2013 Magura Suspension - First Look

May 23, 2012
by Mike Levy  
Magura Sedona camp
Magura's new TS8 and TS6 29er suspension forks were the focus of our visit to their Sedona, Arizona, press camp, a gathering that also allowed us to sample the new suspension offerings on some rather demanding terrain. Home base for our group was the Red Agave hotel, conveniently located right at the foot of one of Sedona's best trails.



Magura TS8 and TS6 29er Forks

The 2013 TS8 29er (shown at right) can be had in either a 80/100mm travel option who's travel can be adjusted internally, or a standalone 120mm travel version. The split between the travel offerings is due to the longer stroke model requiring extended stanchion tubes, extra material that would add unneeded weight to the 80/100mm travel fork. The TS8 uses 32mm stanchion tubes, along with new lowers that feature Magura's M15 thru-axle system and a dedicated post mounts for mid-sized, 7" (180mm} rotors. The 29'' TS8 R 120 that we rode comes in at a claimed 1715 grams (3.7 lbs). MSRP up to $849 USD.

The TS6 29er fork uses the same DAD equipped casting as its more expensive brother, including the new M15 axle and 7'' brake post mount, but weighs in heavier due to it employing the same, longer stanchion tubes throughout the 80, 100, and 120mm travel options. Also, its internals function in the same manner, but feature less machining. The 120mm travel TS6 comes in at 1945 grams, with MSRP's up to $649 USD.

650B options

Magura is also addressing the in-betweener size that seems to be the hot subject, but not in the way that you might expect. As it is, their current 26'' fork lowers that are used for their TS8 and TS6 models will also allow most 2.3'' wide 650B tires to fit nicely. The 650B models will feature different graphics to set them apart, and will only be available in the higher end TS8 versions. Prices are yet to be decided upon for the 120, 140, and 150mm travel 650B fork models.

2013 Magura TS8 DAD

As found on their entire fork line, the 120mm travel TS8 29er fork employs Magura's Dual Arch Design (DAD for short) that is claimed to improve torsional rigidity. After spending time on Magura's forks over the last few seasons, we'd have to agree that it creates a stiff package.


2013 Magura TS8 controls

The air sprung TS8 and TS6 forks can be had with Magura's DLO (Dynamic Lock Out) that greatly stiffens the fork for climbing, but still allows it to settle into its sag for a lower front end and more traction. This is accomplished by way of a very small free bleed port in the compression assembly that allows a small amount of damping oil to pass by, letting the fork settle down into its sag point. The result is firm suspension when the DLO is activated, but without compromising the bike's geometry by forcing the fork to ride at full extension during a climb.




M15 Axle

Magura's ''Stiff Light Easy'' ethos has also been applied to their new thru-axle design, dubbed M15. They have eschewed an actual thru-axle quick release in favour of a 15mm axle that requires a T25 torx tool to remove - Magura's trick being that the torx wrench is stowed away within the non-drive side of the axle itself. The tool can simply be slid out (it's held in place by way of a tight fitting O-ring) when required to remove the axle, and also be used to adjust all of their brake hardware or any other component that fastens with a T25 screw.

The axle itself threads into a self-locking threaded insert on the non-drive side of the fork that Magura says renders pinch bolts redundant, along with a steel cap for the torx wrench to fit into that should make rounding out the interface nearly impossible. A floating cone is captured under the steel cap, with a thin washer between the two that allows the axle to rotate independently of the cone as it is threaded into place. This lets the cone nestle freely into its concave home within the lowers without it binding as it is tightened.

2013 Magura TS8 M15 axle

2013 Magura TS8 on Specialized test bike

We sampled Magura's new TS8 29er fork on the front of a Specialized Camber Expert Carbon 29, a bike that turned out to be well suited to the area's technical singletrack. The local terrain is difficult enough to not only challenge any rider, but its rough, rocky, and unforgiving trails also make for an ideal place to get a feel for a bike's suspension.




On The Trail

The usual ''two day's doesn't make for a proper test'' disclaimer applies here, although we do also have to say that if a product performs well when ridden over Sedona's demanding terrain, it can likely be set up to work well nearly anywhere. This was the case with our TS8 test fork, with it proving to be trouble free and invisible on the front of our bike. But the real story here is how simple the fork is to understand while still performing every bit as well as some of its more complicated competition. Setting the air pressure and rebound speed are all that's required before hitting the trails, but the fork managed to feel far more controlled in hairy situations than other offerings that are adorned with enough dials to make even the most gung ho tech nerd confused. The extra control comes from two places: first, the fork stays remarkably high in its travel when on steep pitches, enough so that the geometry of the bike is compromised far less than we would have expected; and second, the DAD chassis is impressively stiff, belying the fork's 32mm stanchions. Our initial impressions are promising to say the least, but we'll hold off on making a final call until we can put much more time in on their TS8 fork.

The topic of where Magura fits into the suspension world, a question that is valid considering the other heavyweights in the industry, came up in the office before we left for the Magura camp. It's a bit clearer now that we've had a brief but revealing time on their 2013 products: Magura isn't about bells and whistles, but rather an easy to understand suspension that can be ridden hard without having to tweak multiple dials in search of a good setting. This is something that many riders may be looking for in these days of 'more dials must be better' kind of thinking.


www.magura.com


71 Comments

  • + 33
 Having the arch 'round the back as well makes great sense when you run over a beer can...
  • + 1
 Nothing here!
  • + 2
 Things that didn't make great sense? Hiring Fred Flintstone to design the graphics for one.
  • + 15
 Come on Magura, make a splash, give us a 150mm 29er fork. Give us a true 650b fork that can fit a 2.5 tire with 160mm travel. Following the rest will always leave you behind.
  • - 24
flag RapidBerthaPicksHerNose (May 23, 2012 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 Be quiet.
  • + 9
 wow, rapid, that added a lot to this conversation, tool.
  • + 4
 *troll, judging by the profile age....
  • + 2
 get back under the bridge!
  • + 5
 Had the pleasure of owning their 160 Wotans. Shame they stopped doing them because they were a real contender for the 160 fork market. Very stiff, very plush and they looked awesome. Shame they look a bit boring now Frown
  • + 3
 I'm still riding my Wotan and love it! It's ubersimple to service, reliable and survives my enduro/pseudoFR well. Only downside is 160mm of travel, 170-180 would be sweet. Maybe Magura works on something? Smile Anyways, it doesn't look outdated and the looks are still better than some current fork options.
  • + 3
 hey man. Be positive.
  • + 1
 Seems if they can make a stiff 32 they should be able to make a stiff 35-40 long travel too. I wish they would. Simple and reliable but still light seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs
  • + 7
 No more 15mm thru-axles. Stick with the 20mm. The weight cannot be that much more.
  • + 3
 Enough fiddly talk. I want a light, stiff fork (this applies to both chassis and actual movement) that I can neglect and beat up riding dj's and street daily. You said it feels impressively stiff, but can it take any serious abuse?
  • + 3
 Rigids??
  • + 3
 04-07 marzo's mate
  • + 2
 manitou circus comp or expert, ive run the comp (the cheaper one) daily for 8 months of street, park, and fr, and its taken the abuse well, i may upgrade to the expert to the expert for weight savings and better adjustments.
  • + 1
 No bueno rigid dirt jumping.
  • + 3
 Currently trying out my first Magura fork, and have been nothing but impressed. 1357gr for a 100mm fork that seems to be plenty stiff and has a nice linear feeling stroke. The only issue I have had is the seals weep a bit of oil on the stanchions, which seems to be a common issue with Magura forks. Nothing big, just gets a bit grimy. But, apparently Rock Shox seals are compatible with Magura forks, and upgrading to either Rock Shox or the Enduro seals fixes these issues right up. I would not hesitate buying another Magura fork.
  • + 2
 So, you have to use a torx wrench to get the front wheel off? That one down there in the leg will be lost in two rides. If older Rockshox rebound knobs fall off, then so will that wrench.
  • + 2
 My first thought was that the tool would rattle out, but it's quite secure. It takes a good pull to get it out, and a good hit to pop it back into place. It stays put via an interference fit with an O-ring. Time will tell if it will be as snug after a few seasons of riding, but replacing the O-ring in order to make the fit tight again couldn't be simpler - it it's required at all.
  • + 1
 Plus I know a couPle riders who just pull their lyrik's knob and throw it in the back pack and put it back when the stow It. No big deal to get a good axle.
  • + 2
 If you're going on a ride that's long enough that you're worried about flats then you should have a T25 with you anyway.
  • + 3
 Why didn't they just ditch the Torx axle and stick with a good old 6mm allen wrench? Every rider worth their salt carries a set of allen wrenches with them and then Magura could have left the wrench that sticks into the axle off too saving how ever many grams. Just my thoughts on it when I saw it.
  • + 3
 torx is the way to go. mr. allen, or whoever invented the hex?, im sure would agree that torx is better and should be the new standard. personally cant wait for torx standard as a mechanic
  • + 1
 that is true that torx are better, but is everything on this bike torx or just one axle?
  • + 1
 As a bike mechanic I hated them, especially the smaller ones. The problem was that not everyone had quality wrenches or knew how to use them. If I got a nickle for every rounded out torx rotor bolt I had to deal with in my 10 years as a bike mechanic I would have been rich. I did find the trick to removing stripped torx rotor bolts though, if you smack them a couple times with a hammer it will normally push the metal back into shape so you can get the bolt out. It is a one time go though because there is no way you could ever get it back up to proper torque, the metal becomes too soft.
  • + 1
 i have broken the tips off like three different t10 torx when trying to bleed brakes. They grip great, but they are so weak
  • + 2
 The biggest mistake people make with Torx is buying cheap. Unfortunately the torx that come on most multi tools fall into thay category.
  • + 1
 Craftsman? Luckily I could replace my tools when they break for free from SEARS
  • + 1
 Rode one of those camber 29'rs as a test bike recently. Not the carbon the normal model, and i must say that thing really flies up the hills. Struggles on the downhills obviously when you pick up speed in tecky sections, but its still a wicked ride for going both up and down or across.
  • + 3
 If only they had stuck to their guns and spec'ed a 20mm thru-axle on their longer travel offerings. Now THAT was a product differentiator that was substantive
  • + 3
 That M15 axle is just a way for Magura to use the exact same concept in the X series axles of Syntace without getting sued. Lameeeeeeee.
  • + 1
 I wager a bet that no one will ever lose that T25 Torx wrench housed in the NDS axle, and be SOL in the middle of nowhere stuck with an old school toolkit that only has a flatblade screwdriver and wine bottle opener.
  • + 1
 lets have channels that will direct all the trail crap to the seals ,, imagine a wet ride those channels will work a treat , designed in a warm climate then
  • + 2
 Can see these being a pain in the arse to clean, especially around the seals area
  • + 2
 Bring back the Wotan! I own one and it's amazing, I also have a Durin...also money.
  • + 3
 It's shouting MAGURA!!!...
  • - 2
 Something Pinkbike didn't mention but bikerumour did in its review is how on at least one model, they're dropping oil for the damping/lubrication and going back in time to using GREASE because its lighter and simpler. Terrific... if you want that. Lousy if you actually want a good range of adjustments to be possible in how the fork performs.
  • + 5
 The forks still use oil for damping, just like everything else out there. The grease lube is to limit/stop the slight weeping of lubrication oil past the fork seals. The build up of oil around the seals was never that bad at all, and it had zero effect on damping because it was only lube oil (the damping oil is sealed within the stanchion tube, effectively creating a cartridge), but the weeping certainly didn't look great. Also, the oil collecting around the seals could collect dust and cause premature wear, although we never found it to be any worse than anything else on the market.

You can still add or subtract oil from the air side in order to tune the spring rate by changing the volume of the chamber.
  • + 1
 I wonder if someone ever attempted using air as damping medium passing through a valve with just a bit of lubrication. I'm sure some weight-weenie fundamentalists would love dropping some 100g off.
  • + 2
 Yes, several companies. Arlo Englund's Total Air Cartridge system is probably the most well known. The patented designs were later sold to White Brothers but not before Arlo made a lot of money selling drop-in cartridge kits to upgrade manitou, rockshox and other brands of coil/elastomer sprung and often oil-damped forks to Total Air forks. RST produced a model called the XMO that used the total air cartridges (ordered direct from Arlo's assembly line) themselves as part of their original design. The cartridges had interchangeable valve jets inside (3 rebound rate jets were available) that could be adjusted to vary the compression damping after removing the air valves and inserting an allen wrench into them.

The Halson Inversion PDS fork used elastomer MCU spring stacks, and a pneumatic-damping system to control the rebound with special valve jets in the base of the legs. Hell there was a simple modification to add air-damping to many forks in the mid-90s such as Manitou forks, simply using a 1/16" drill bit to put a hole in the base of one (or both) slider end caps, to pull air into the fork during the rebound stroke (like a simple vacuum pump) and let it out in the compression stroke, to speed up/slow down the fork's response to bumps.

The easiest to use and best performing of the air-damped forks for the individual owner were probably the Noleen MegaAir forks. 75 or 100mm travel (internal spacer adjustment, rockshox would steal the idea for their All-Travel spacer setup), 3.1 pounds, 32mm nickle-plated alloy stanchions at a time when every other major brand was still 28 or 30mm, grease ports and 1-way wiper seals (old grease purges out the top) to prolong bushing life, V-brake and I.S. disc mounts, and adjustable rebound damping using an allen key inserted up the damping cartridge leg from the bottom.
  • + 2
 I don't think that logo is big enough... MAKE IT BIGGER!
  • + 1
 If you look good you feel good. They should stick some red on. Should help shift big numbers
  • + 1
 these forks are ugly as hell. bring on the neg props but these forks are UGLY
  • + 1
 I argree with the comments, they could have done better on the visuals. not the best looking forks out there.
  • + 1
 do you mean a dual brace single crown fork
  • + 1
 oops this is supposed to be a reply to pendsocks
  • + 1
 Do you thinking about rockshox or manitou ? Chose magura !
  • + 1
 I'd like to this animalistick fork!
  • + 1
 No hs33 mounts for a magura fork? strange...
  • + 1
 Are Magura Forks made in Germany?
  • + 1
 They used to be. I wonder whether the 2013 batch will be produced there too. That was one of the reasons they were/are expensive.
  • + 0
 I doubt Magura would go to their past again. I think Magura learned about shit made overseas and won't do it again. Heck Marzocchi's Shivers will probably be made in Italy like they used to be this time around. Frames can get away with overseas crap, but suspension can't. Sure castings can be made overseas, but it's the internals, stanctions etc that can't get away with it.
  • + 1
 dupe post
  • + 0
 I wonder if there as rubbish as the their Big Egos where ;-)
  • + 1
 any word on prices?
  • - 3
 If only were they with better stickers..
  • - 1
 I agree it looks cheap
  • + 6
 Because we all know that stickers take at minimum 3 seconds off your race time. =] Maybe they should add some chrome, that would take an additional 2 seconds off.
  • + 1
 And breath :0
  • + 0
 Come on people, if you won't buy a fork just because it looks cheap cuz of the stickers:

a) rather buy something that maybe is not as good as this cheap looking fork (read: you are an idiot)
b) make a custom sticker that is unique, and you'll have an awesome working fork that looks just the way you would like.

Simple as that.

p.s. I find Fox forks looking HORRIBLE, their stickers look so boring and the same over the years that I can't find words for it (maybe their designer died? who knows...), but are Fox forks bad? NO, they are not!
  • + 1
 It's not about race times or anything it's merely an observation of the appearance of the fork itself, If i'm going to drop $1000 on a fork I would much prefer a somewhat flashier look, by no means does that imply that i would choose a fork based on appearance rather than performance.
  • + 1
 I guess German engineers adhere to the principle that "Form" should follow "Function".
  • + 0
 If you have enough to spend on 1k$ single crown forks hockey... it isn't too much to spend an additional 30 and get some custom stickers exactly to your liking now is it.
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