Öhlins and Specialized have forged a relationship together on select 2014 model bikes. We’ve been testing one of their TTX 22M dampers out and have some additional details inside for you all on the Öhlins damper and spring setup. We also delve into how they will be handling maintenance and service work.
If you’re not familiar with Öhlins (www.ohlins.com), they’re a high-end suspension company who have made a name for themselves across many motor sport genres already. For 2014, Specialized is offering the Öhlins damper on select frames and complete Specialized bikes. You can learn more about the 2014 Specialized Range from the posts we’ve done on the 2014 Specialized’s.
Video: Demo 8 and the some details on the Öhlins shock
Video: Specialized // Ohlins
WHAT MAKES THE ÖHLINS TTX SPECIAL?
TTX is the only shock technology that truly offers low hysteresis damping performance. This translates into a ride quality of bump absorption and traction that is unmatched in our industry today. This performance gain is substantial and easily appreciated by the rider as straight line stability and corner speed improves dramatically. The shock uses Öhlins patented twin-tube design to separate compression from rebound, and has been custom made for only Specialized. The TTX also uses spherical bearings on the forward shock mount to allow the shock to rotate while the bike is under side-load, an advancement proven in the motocross industry by greatly improving cornering traction on rough terrain. – Specialized.com
If you have an earlier generation Demo or Enduro then you may be able to fit an Öhlins TTX 22M to your bike (see below for details).
Öhlins TTX 22M adjustments
High Speed Compression (black dial) – 3 settings
Low Speed compression (blue dial) – 17 clicks (*ours seems to have more and the screw was a hair loose so we’d suggest checking yours)
Rebound (gold knob) – 7 clicks
Blue Knob - Low Speed Compression | Black dial - High Speed Compression
Rebound knob and tapered bottom out cone
Öhlins TTX 22M Spherical Bearing
In order to improve shock performance Specialized and Ohlins have taken revamped the way things have conventionally worked. Typically current bikes use a bushing in each shock eyelet. Some advancements have been made in this area to help reduce restriction to improve damper performance.
Spherical bearing can articulate in the front shock hole
Specialized have been using a variety of sealed-ball bearings in their shock linkages across more bikes that we’ve become a fan of. It helps improve shock actuation and reduces the stiction that can sometimes be felt on other bikes. With the TTX, Öhlins took things to the next level by adding a spherical bearing in the front shock eyelet. This allows the shock to rotate and twist if need-be. The result of this combination of sealed ball-bearings in the linkage and the spherical bearing in the front eyelet yields some supple feeling suspension at all speeds that isn’t as restricted.
Spacers sit next to the spherical bearing - rubber o-rings surround spacers to grip inside eyelet
Spacers sits nicely in place against the spherical bearing
You might be thinking wow, why hasn’t anyone ever done speherical bearings before? Well it has been done (in the motorsports side as well already). Cane Creek also had an option for spherical bearings in their Double Barrel (around 2006-2010ish) that we’ve used before as well. Note: Cane Creek may still offer this on 22mm eyelets.
Cane Creek - Spherical bearings in the DB eyelets
Cane Creek’s implementation used very small spacers on the outside of the spherical bearing that made it quite challenging to install as the spacers could easily fall off during installation since they didn’t sit inside the eyelet.
Cane Creek had spherical adapters - notice how the o-ring sits in the shock and not the spacers
The Öhlins design is easy to install without any trouble in comparison given the larger spacer size, it’s chamfered edges, and the way the spacers sit inside the eyelet like a moto setup. This makes it more trouble-free when installing.
Anyway, we digress… back to the Öhlins TTX 22M.
Adjustments in the rear eyelet for geometry
In order to give riders even more adjustability, the rear shock eyelet also has a rotatable eyelet that allows riders to tweak the geometry of the bike by turning this insert.
Öhlins TTX Springs
In order to get the correct spring rate, Öhlins offers their springs in ~23lb increments.
If you’re looking to know what all the numbers on the Ohlins springs mean you can refer to the diagram below for details
It’s worth noting that the rebound knob has to be removed if you want to swap springs out. It’s an easy process but you need a long / thin screwdriver if you don’t already have one.
If you’re running a FOX shock or RockShox Vivid on your current Demo 8 you may have experienced how snug it can be in the rebound knob area. Fitting a finger in there to adjust the rebound can prove challenging, especially if its muddy. The Öhlins rebound knob is nice and long which helps make this adjustment easier.
Imagine trying to turn this rebound knob if it were not this long
Suggested tuning steps from Specialized’s Matt Cipes
Start with SAG
Then move to rebound damping
Finish with compression damping
Matt Cipes’ setup currently:
After a week in Whistler I settled on the following set up:
Rider weight: 150 lbs (68.1kg)
Spring Rate: 343 lbs.
SAG: 23mm (SAG measured in attack position in full gear)
LSC: 7 clicks from full compression
HSC: fully open
Rebound: 3-4 clicks (depending on wet or dry terrain – I like my rebound a little more slow in the back when it is wet)
Once SAG is set, I like to dial in my rebound damping. I make the shock as slow as I can, then back out the rebound adjuster until I come to my preferred rebound rate. I will then do some initial compression tuning on the LSC and save HSC adjustments for the trail. – Cipes
Currently I’ve settled with a similar compression/rebound setting as Matt has but with a heavier 434lb spring for 23mm of sag (I’m ~187lbs) with HSR set in the 1 or 2, rebound 3 clicks From Full In (muddy), and LSC (7 clicks from full in).
2014 Demo’s that come with the Öhlins TTX22M
S-Works Demo 8
Demo 8 II
S-Works Demo 8 frame
Demo 8 Alloy frame
(available for purchase on select 2011-2014 Enduro/Demo’s)
If you’re purchasing a Demo / Enduro, you can expect the spring rate as follows dependent on bike frame size (just for reference):
RECOMMENDED SERVICE INTERVALS:
SERVICING THE Öhlins TTX22M :
The service of Öhlins TTX22M shock damper will be handled through your local SBC dealer and will ultimately be serviced by a Specialized Authorized Service Centers. There are over 15 Specialized Authorized Service Centers globally.
Öhlins warrants its products (“Product”) to free from defects in materials or workmanship for a period of two years after the retail sale to the consumer (only applies to the original consumer and not transferable). The complete warranty document can be found on www.specialized.com.
MSRP: (both Enduro EVO and Demo)
Shock: 799.99 USD
Springs: 49.99 USD
HOW TO PURCHASE
Shocks can be purchased though your local Specialized dealer. Shock should be available for AM purchase around December.
-Service springs are available now for riders who need to alter the spring rate that comes stock on the bike.
-The Öhlins TTX22M springs are not compatible with any other shock.
Ti Spring compatibility on the Öhlins TTX22M
-The Öhlins TTX22M shock is compatible with Cane Creek manufactured titanium springs.
Enduro EVO (2013-2014)
Demo 8 (2011-2014)
We’ve rode the Demo 8 with a variety of shocks and have enjoyed it with the Cane Creek Double Barrel in years past. The Öhlins TTX offers a similar feeling of damper control but with an easier way to adjust. The Ohlins damper feels very good on the Demo 8 and so far it’s been impressive to ride on. Specialized includes some really good starting points for the Cane Creek Double Barrel but the Ohlins makes it even harder to set up badly as the adjustments are much tighter around the Demo specifically. The adjustment range is quite a bit tighter and made setup a piece of cake.