Magura Thor Review

Forks Pro Reviews

Ride Impressions
The main competition during my long term test with the Thor, was the Manitou Elite and the DT Swiss EXC 150, so I had some nice ways to evaluate how the fork functions and compares as I swapped back and forth between each of them. Before I started testing these forks I had been using a Manitou MRD and a Fox RL as long term forks.

The Thor is slightly stiff and firm, and has a stouter feel than most of its competition. Even with that stoutness, small to medium bump compliance is good, and it stiffens up towards the end of its travel, but does not become overly harsh. It sits high in the saddle and does not wallow down in its sag, which made it very synergistic with the DT Swiss XR Carbon rear shock. It did not exhibit any excessive fork dive when the pressure was set properly, something that its competition had troubles with. The Thor has very a powerful rebound, and takes a bit to get used to it, if you push the shock down it rockets back up. When climbing up a lot of terrain that really helps, and makes the fork stick like glue on the terrain.

What I really like about this fork is the climbing ability, and how the fork can turn on a dime. This fork is a surgeon wielding a scalpel. Precise is the word that comes to mind. An example of its climbing prowess is when I rode non stop up Cardiac Hill, a local long sick steep hill with lots of embedded rocks that really bashes the bike around, causing large loses of energy just trying to keep the bike on line. I always bonk towards the end of the hill, but due to the climbing abilities and tenacity of the Thor I persevered.

HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

When I took it to my tough rock gardens, the Thor did just fine, but it was a bit harsher and firmer than its plusher competition. It is not as linear deeper into its travel nor as plush as the other forks, but the double arch does stiffen it up and that’s noticeable. I really liked that once you found your base air pressure, you could bump up the pressure and change the attribute of the fork without it becoming too stiff. I usually used 65-70 psi, but when I rode on trials terrain, I could increase it to 80 psi and still have a useful fork. With the other forks, if I bumped up the pressure I would lose the forks typical characteristics, and they would become overly stiff, while the Thor just got a bit stouter, had less fork dive and kept its personality.

On technical sections, it stoutness and precise steering made it trials monster. It was very nice to point it exactly where you wanted it to go, you just pick the exact spot, and it went there. When I took this fork down to the notorious Pueblo South Shore trails and slammed it into anything, it never whimpered. Drop offs, ledges, slow speed trials moves, slam it into square rocks, tweak the fork this way or that, and it just stayed right on line. I could do trials stuff that any of the other forks just could not handle, this thing was a champion, albeit long rock gardens would be a bit more work on the upper body. This is one serious demon in trials settings.


Hooters Canyon, Pueblo South Shore, CO from Brian Mullin on Vimeo.

Hard braking did not cause much fork dive, and the double arch really aided brake slop and chatter. Over time, I was averaging 128mm of travel, but when pressed to its maximum, I could get 135mm, with one foray to 138mm.

The fork performed well in a variety of trails conditions and terrain. Since I ride in the Front Range of Colorado the conditions tend to be dry, with lots of gravel, sand, loose rocks, rock gardens, slick rock and packed dirt.

The fork initially came with the Magura’s proprietary 60 less thru-axle, which weighs approximately 60 grams less than the Maxle. The Maxle 360 now comes standard on the Thor. The 60 less axles worked just fine, and was easy to put on, after screwing in the axle, you use a 4mm hex key to clamp down the pinch bolt. The Maxle, on the otherhand, fits pretty snugly into the dropouts, so it took a good hand tap to get it in, and a good tug to pull it out.

The Thor is a typical German engineered part, stout, well made and with excellent craftsmanship. It has a cold forged Aluminum 6082 T6 fork crown, 32mm anodized aluminum stanchions, 1 1/8 Aluminum steerer, 1-piece magnesium double-arch lower legs and 20x110mm thru-axle dropouts compatible with Maxle 360.

Here is some of the terrain, I do the bashing and testing on. This is the Stoopid trail on my home turf of the Mt. Herman trail system in Monument Colorado, and its a great flowing and technical singletrack goat trail.

Thor - Local Terrain
Local Testing Terrain

Next » Tuning

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • LeeL says:

    Super-useful review Brian. A lot tighter then the manual. I’m going to try to set it up with 90psi (I’m 160lbs) and dial in the Albert platform setting a little more firm

  • flystagg says:

    Does the fork not have a rebound adjustment? Maybe if you try some heavier oil in the rebound cercuit it will slow down for you

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Yes, the Thor has a rebound adjustment, I played with it, then you have a slower strong return instead of a fast one! I did not change the oil in the fork, the strong rebound was not that much of an issue, and it did help keep the wheel planted on rocky climbs.

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