Review: Magura TS8R 150 26er and 27.5/650b Fork

27.5 Forks

Testing Rig and Terrain
I tested the TS8R 150 Fix with Albert Select+, a tapered steerer and 15mm Maxle lite axle. Testing was performed on my medium Ibis Mojo HD with the Cane Creek Double Barrel Air rear shock, and multiple 26″ and 27.5″ wheels and tires. I am 5’9″, weigh in at 155 lbs, and I have mostly ridden in the West, including vast portions of the Colorado Front Range, Sedona, Moab, Fruita/GJ and many parts of the Colorado mountains. The testing terrain is predominantly loose rocky conditions, with many long steep climbs and descents, rock gardens, slick rock, an occasional smooth singletrack and lots of ugly, loose gravel. I tend to enjoy gnarly technical terrain, where precise steering and maneuvering are required and intricate follow-through, and full commitment is advised.

Impressions
Out with the old Thor, and in with the new TS8R 150! What a pleasant surprise this fork has been, it’s simple and light, offers excellent plushness, great compliance and stiffness, and it can play rough or mellow.

The fork has good stiffness and strength, and you can definitely feel the brutally strong DAD system, which provides superb steering response and control, and a flex-free drive through any heinous terrain it was tossed into. It’s not as stout as 36mm stanchions, but it’s on par with the 34mm and 35mm models of the competition. Unfortunately, the DAD can become a dust and dirt magnet, and tends to hold debris on the top cups of the arch and funnel’s things down towards the wipers.

The air pressure, which is located on the top of the left leg, could be tweaked to give a plethora of riding experience, from a firm X-Country setting to a plush All Mountain feel. I really liked that I could drop the pressure low enough to cause a change for my svelte 155 lbs body, and I got excellent plushness with a good platform, and I could actually extract most all the travel. I didn’t miss the usual compression tuning capabilities, and having just the air pressure and rebound for adjustments was more than adequate during my testing and riding. Magura has done an excellent job of engineering usable and functional compression damping and spring curves into the fork.

The bottom of each fork leg has highly functional protective caps (red is rebound knob), which allow the fork to rest on the ground without any damage when the front wheel is removed. The default PM 7″ disc mount was a nice feature since most All Mountain riders use a 180mm rotor in the front, and this saves having to slap on an adapter.

It was a fairly easy fork to tune, and once the air pressure and rebound were set; it didn’t require further tweaking (set and forget). I ended up with about nine clicks of rebound, and three turns of the platform knob. Depending on the terrain I was riding, I might fluctuate the pressure up and down, though I usually ended up with around 30% sag.

The fork pounced its way down ugly rock gardens, ledges and slabs, and even an occasional huck without any undue stress, and it retained composure, precise steering and stability at any speed outside of Mach 1. Since it made the front end light, it was really easy to launch the bike into space, and it only required a slight tweak of the bars to get it up into the air. It climbed like a XC demon and kept the front end plastered to the ground, and when asked to jam in and out of berms and corners, it didn’t washout, dive or lose control. If the air pressure was kept high enough, I never felt any fork diving issues, even under heavy braking and when dropping into heinous and steep terrain. I engaged the Albert Select+ whenever I was on fire roads or ultra smooth singletrack, as it kept any energy loss down to a minimum on terrain that didn’t require much travel. I got pretty proficient at engaging the Albert Select+ on the fly, but it was still a tricky endeavor.

I liked the subdued and understated white and black color scheme of the TS series, and was impressed with the usual superb German craftsmanship of the forks.

Measured Specs:

  • Weight – 1694 grams
  • Axle to Crown – 535mm

 

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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