What is it
It’s a safe bet that when Magura first got into business back in 1893, they didn’t expect to be making burly suspension forks for electric mountain bikes. But flash forward to modern times and the German company was one of the first to bring an e-specific MTB bump tamer to market. The upside-down oriented Boltron was designed in collaboration with suspension gurus WP, who are best known for making OEM equipment for KTM and Husqvarna motocross bikes.
Indeed, in the marketing video for the Boltron (which you can see below) one of the first selling points mentioned is how the increased mass and speed of modern eMTBs is closing the gap to motorcycles, which presumably is why you’d need a moto-looking fork on the front of your eMTB. And the Boltron certainly fits that bill. It’s upside down orientation and massive 40mm stanchions are designed to soak up the rough stuff — and deal the with the forces that come with trying to keep a 50-plus-pound mountain bike in control and on-line while charging through chunder.
The reversed design keeps constant lubrication on the fork sliders, helping improve sensitivity throughout the stroke, especially off the top. And the Boltron is compatible with 29er wheels and tires up to 2.4 wide, or 27.5 hoops with tires up to 3.0. Travel is 120mm or 150mm. Mtbr’s tester Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 eMTB was set-up with plus tries and 150mm of travel. Other topline features include stock fork leg protectors and a burly 20x110mm axle. Press play for a full tech rundown, including a run through of the wheel removal process.
- Super sensitive off the top
- Magnetized axle tool included
- Fork leg protectors come stock
- Easy to read sag indicator lines
- 22 clicks of rebound adjustment
- Oversized stanchions improve stiffness
- Beefy 20mm axle
- No external compression adjustment
- Only available OEM for now
- Wheel removal is tedious
- Heavy at 2200 grams
- Max travel is 150mm
Clearly there’s a significant difference between a wispy 22-pound XC hardtail and the 51-pound Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 eMTB that served as test mule for our review of the Magura Boltron suspension fork. Though they both share the same general mountain bike moniker, realistically the latter deserves its own categorization — and components. I wouldn’t dare charge into the gnar on this bike were it not for its burly alloy frame, powerful 4-piston brakes, and the Boltron, with its 40mm stanchions, 20mm thru axle, and 150mm of well-lubricated suspension.
And that’s the first important point about this fork: It just makes sense. The idea of spec’ing eMTBs with components originally made for sub-30-pound trail bikes doesn’t make sense. No wonder SRAM now makes an e-drivetrain, DT Swiss recently launched e-wheels, and Magura invested significant time and energy into the Boltron.
The result is an impressive, albeit heavy and expensive, bump tamer that’s good at its intended purpose. During several weeks of testing in the Crested Butte, Colorado, backcountry where many trails are multi-use and thus moto-legal, the Boltron dutifully handled numerous long, chunky descents. Its upside-down design means buttery smooth off the top sensitivity, while the oversized stanchions helped maintain stiffness and steering precision. This stiffness is magnified thanks to upper and lower floating bushings that overlap under compression to increase torsional and braking-force rigidity.
Yes, it’d be nice if you could play with compression settings without pulling the thing apart. But with air pressure adjustment and a wide-range of rebound clicks, it was fairly easy to find the happy place. Setting sag was also straight forward thanks to indicator lines on the fork leg protectors.
Points are deducted, though, for the wheel removal process, which is time consuming and tedious (watch the video above to see what we mean). Thankfully Magura was wise enough to include the required T25 torx tool, which is housed inside the axle and held in place via magnetization.
Overall I can’t say I loved the ride experience, but that had more to do with the overall weight of the bike than the fork itself. I’ve never been one to shy away from climbing, so the call of the e-bike just isn’t that strong. And any way you slice it, blasting downhill on a lumbering 51-pound bike is not the same as the poppy, playful experience offered by the exceptional current crop of non-motorized trail bikes. But if riding eMTBs is your thing, then Mtbr strongly recommends looking at bikes with e-specific components such as the top-line performing Magura Boltron suspension fork.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: 1190 euros (~$1389US)
More Info: www.magura.com