Introduction by Francis Cebedo:
Brian Mullin and I have been using Magura forks the past few months and we’ve been pleased. The forks are laterally stiff, light, plush and reliable. My review on the TS8 29er fork can be found HERE.
We believe Magura has improved quite a bit in the areas of plushness and ride quality. The double arch still looks unusual but it does provide an advantage when it comes to lateral rigidity and weight.
The big advantages of this TS8R 150 fork is the ride quality, weight and wheel size versatility. The fact that it can be used for 26er and 650b use is awesome. Now it won’t clear the biggest 650b tires and leave you with mud clearance but for meaty 2.2 tires, it will be fine. And if it clears the Magura arch, it will always clear the crown, unlike other fork brands.
Read on and check the details as only Brian can reveal!
By: Brian Mullin
Magura has been in existence since 1893 and has been building top-notch bike brakes for over 20 years and high quality, and German-made suspension forks for close to a decade. The Magura TS8R 150 Fix is a 150mm or 5.9″ travel fork, which works with 27.5″/650B and 26″ wheel sizes. It weighs in at a light 1675 grams (3.7 lbs), comes with their Albert Select+ or DLO damping and a 15mm Maxle lite axle. The fork is meant for All Mountain or Enduro riding, and offers a plush ride, and utilizes a dual-arch for improved stiffness, rigidity, better steering and increased control.
Magura has a new line of forks for the 2013 season, with a plethora of sizes, models and travel options. The TS (Team Suspension) series includes their first ever 29er, with travel options of 80, 100 and 120mm, a 27.5″ with 100, 120 and 150mm, and 26″ with 80, 100, 120 and 150mm. There is a slew of versions for the forks with multiple features, including the entry level TS6, and the higher-end TS8 SL and TS8 R. The TS6 uses heavier internal parts and isn’t as machined as the TS8, and replaces many of the aluminum portions with steel, and although the changes decrease the cost and increases the weight, the performance remains the same as their more expensive brethren. The forks retail from $600 to $850, depending model and options, which are pretty reasonable in today’s market.
Much of the fork’s stiffness comes from their unique DAD or Double Arch Design and 32mm stanchions, which provides torsional rigidity and a low rate of twist, for exceptional steering and handling, with minimal flex. The forks are easier to maintain since it uses modular internal parts, such as a separate compression or rebound circuit, and the design is fairly basic for simplified service. It uses an elastomer negative spring, which has excellent durability since it’s in a closed system and doesn’t interact with any oil and grease.
Magura utilizes their Fork Master Concept (FMC) on the TS line, so they can manufacture forks with a sensitive response. They accomplish this with full surface bushings that have a larger area for less wear, durable, tight and low stiction seals, and the ultra smooth stanchions with very little roughness, and they all work in concert with their new Fork Meister Grease (FMG). The switch to grease instead of oil, and its inherent thickness, mean less leakage past the seals, no cavitation and less stiction, since a minute amount adheres to the pores of the stanchions.
They have three different compression damping options depending on the model chosen, either the DLO or Dynamic Lock Out, which has a blow-off for added traction and comfort, the Albert SL, which has a fixed compression, or the Albert Select+ (tested), which has a platform compression damping with a tunable threshold.
The Albert Select+ has an On/Off switch (blue dial) for platform compression damping, which sits on top of the right fork leg. In the Off position, the fork is fully open, and when On, the platform damping is engaged. It has a micro adjustment knob (the gold knob), which allows finer tuning of the engaged platform from firm to supple. You’ll have to hold onto the outer blue dial when setting the threshold knob, else they’ll both turn together. Outside of minute changes of the compression damping, you have air and rebound adjustments, and there is a handy decal chart on the right fork leg with the appropriate air pressure for your body weight.
The 27.5″ fork comes in a slew of options, covering the gamut of the TS6 to the TS8 models, with 100, 120 and 150mm of travel, their DAD arch, Albert Select+ or DLO damping, 7″ PM disc mounts, 15 mm axle (Maxle lite or TA), and 1 1/8″ or tapered steerer. The 26″ and 27.5″ use the same lowers, which is basically the remnants of the 2012 Thor. If a tire fits within the confines of the DAD, then it won’t bump against the crown and can be safely used. Magura has a tire compatibility chart for the fork (see end of article), though larger and taller 27.5″ tires will scrape the bottom of the arch and aren’t very feasible to use.