In 2013, another player entered the field of mountain bike suspensions with ÖHLINS. Thanks to years of experience in motorsport, the Swedish suspension manufacturer has managed to impress straight away and has won various tests with its forks and shocks. With more than 300 world championship titles, ÖHLINS succeeds in transferring all its racing experience to the mountain biking sector, thus creating another serious alternative on the market. 

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ÖHLINS Suspension Fork Highlights

ÖHLINS Rear Shock Highlights

Öhlins: All That Glitters is Gold!

In motorsports, the suspensions from Swedish Öhlins Racing AB have a golden reputation. Four decades of motorsport experience are now also pouring into mountain bikes.

You can spot the Öhlins suspension components by their bright gold-colored shocks, reservoirs, or the vivid yellow coil springs and the distinctive “Ö” from a distance. However, the Swedish suspension specialist is about much more than just a big visual impact. Öhlins suspensions have stood for uncompromising performance in car and motorcycle racing for almost four decades: On asphalt and off-road, Öhlins suspensions have contributed to more than 300 world championship titles. Mountain bikers today also benefit from this know-how. Since 2013, Öhlins Racing AB has been offering forks and shocks for mountain bikes and e-mountain bikes, initially in cooperation with Specialized and now as a top-quality retrofit option for your bike!

Ride Dynamics from Swedish Steel – Since 1976

Like many great company stories, Öhlins' success also began in a small garage. Company founder and namesake Kenth Öhlin laid the groundwork for his company in his father's automotive and engineering workshop in 1976. As an ambitious motocross racer (MX), Kenth simply couldn't find products that met his demands. Less than two years later, in 1978, legendary Soviet motocross pilot Gennadi Moissejew won the first world championship with and for Öhlins. Encouraged by these early successes, Öhlin dropped everything else he was developing – like engines and exhaust systems – and focused entirely on suspensions. To this day, despite engagement in many other motorsport disciplines, the connection between Öhlins and motocross has remained particularly close. There's no major motorcycle and MX manufacturer that doesn't rely on Öhlins, among other things. That’s great news for all mountain bikers: After all, MX and MTB are closely related in terms of ride dynamics and physics, and the requirements are more comparable than, for example, mountain bike versus road bike.

From the Racetrack to Production

Öhlins products are gold or yellow – it’s been that way since the founding years. The company itself doesn't elaborate on this color choice. One could interpret the color selection as a reference to the company logo. The name logo already shines bright yellow on a blue background – in the Swedish colors. The characteristic yellow “Ö” on the Öhlins forks, for instance, comes directly from there. The distinctly gold-anodized shock bodies of the Swedes can just as well be seen as a reference to the countless gold medals won with Öhlins. Motorsport shapes the company's DNA, in development and marketing. CEO Henrik Johansson said in a 2017 Pinkbike interview: “The racetrack for us is the development area. That’s where we can test new ideas and where we can fine tune new products. Where we can tune the vehicles together with the customers. Then when we get fantastic new technology we can move into aftermarket and later to OEM […] Then of course when we win world championships people read about it and we make a stronger and stronger brand, then it also becomes a part of our marketing.“

TTX and Co.: Technology Transfer from Motocross to (E-)Mountain Bike

One of these racing innovations might be in your suspension too . TTX – the Twin Tube Technology. Unlike conventional dampers, here oil flows not only through valves inside the piston but also in a separate chamber around it due to the double-wall design. This provides more leeway to design complex damping systems with a wider range of adjustments. One of the most famous twin-tube shocks ever, the Cane Creek Double Barrel (CCDB), originated from an Öhlins design based on a collaboration between both companies from 2005. Since Öhlins has been offering its own MTB components, the Swedes have been successfully implementing their Twin Tube Technology in many shocks and forks. Öhlins primarily focuses on the (technically more complex) damping side compared to the spring side, which is company philosophy, as Torkel Sintorn, head of the MTB department, revealed to Vital-MTB: Öhlins products follow, according to Sintorn, a very clear design philosophy. Safety is paramount, then comes perfect damping control and easy, user-friendly adjustability to also get the most out of the suspension elements. According to the motto: Anyone can do springs. It’s the right damping that rounds off the suspension element.

Kenth Öhlin: A Constant in a Changing Company History

Company founder Kenth Öhlin and motorsport – those were and are the constants in an admittedly volatile company history. In 1987, long-time partner Yamaha took over the company, but Öhlins was still able to operate independently. In 2007, Öhlin bought back 95 percent of the company shares. Finally, in 2016, Kenth gave up "his baby". Henrik Johansson, who at that time had been with Öhlins for more than 20 years, took over management. Since 2018, Tenneco Automotive is the majority shareholder in Öhlins. The Swedish specialist has a long-standing history with the American supplier giant. With and for Tenneco, Öhlins had developed a real-time controlled electronic suspension system (CES, Continuously controlled Electronic System) in the 2000s, which premiered in the Volvo S60R. Since 1984, Öhlins had been working in motorsport with electronically controlled semi- or fully active suspension systems, winning the first world championship with this technology in 1991 with Yamaha.

Öhlins and bike-components

Bike-components has been selling Öhlins MTB suspensions from the very beginning and offers one of the largest Öhlins ranges anywhere. There's a simple reason for that: We want to offer you even more choices and even better products so you can find the exact right part for your bike. Or in short: Your bike needs this!