Magura invited me down to sunny Sedona, Arizona to check out some fine German brakes and suspension in their 2009/10 product offering. They've added some other brands to their current US distribution, so I got to put in 3 solid demo days with a lot of new products.When I first got the call from Pinkbike.com to cover the Magura Press Camp in Sedona, AZ, I jumped for joy at the idea of riding sunny Sedona, as it was the middle of winter in Washington and it had been raining for about 4 months. I anxiously waited and finally May rolled around. I stepped off the plane in Phoenix and the heatwave hit. Running low on sleep after having covered the still-snowy Whistler opening day event the day before, my brain melted at 104 degrees Fahrenheit as I walked the streets of Sedona for 4 miles from the shuttle bus dropoff to Magura base camp.
The site when I arrived at base camp
Base camp turned out to be a welcome sight! I downed a couple Gatorades then tried to collect my thoughts. I was the first guy to arrive at camp and I spent awhile getting to know all of the hosts of the event.
Rear view of the Magura support rig
John, a Sedona local, served as tour guide for the week for the Magura camp and offered an 'early bird special' ride for me since I was the only one there at that point. I rummaged through the extensively high-end demo fleet and found a single bike suited for my style- a Knolly Delirium T, outfitted with a Magura Wotan 160mm fork and Louise brakes with 8" rotors. I also got my pick of helmet and glasses, which worked out well since the only helmet in the mix that was anywhere near my style or relevant to Pinkbike.com viewers was the sole XP100 helmet lurking among the many XC lids.
1/2 of the demo fleet
The other 1/2
John, our Sedona trail guide
Me on day one at camp
My test bike, a Knolly Delirium T
John and I had a good 2 hour ride that evening and I got adjusted to the test bike quickly. The Magura Wotan was instantly impressive in the rigidity department, and quite supple as well. I grabbed a hold of a set of lower legs out of the Magura van and gave them a twist...nothing. They don't flex AT ALL! The dual arch is no laughing matter, it's STIFF. The parking lot push test did not net anything great out of the Wotan, but on the trail I never even noticed a sound or bit of hesitation out of the fork. It did what it's supposed to with no questions asked.
About to get a snakebite to the tire!
Wotan dual arch is STIFF!
Magura's Louise brakes were powerful enough for one-finger stopping and had nice modulation and easy adjustment to set them where I like them. I can't say anything out of the ordinary about the Louise brakes, they work just as well as everything else out there at the moment, with the benefit of having been around probably the longest of any brake manufacturer. They worked smoothly and consistently for my mainly XC experience in Sedona, and would trust them just about everywhere else as well. The Knolly was equipped with a Syntace carbon handlebar and seatpost, which I swore I would never use, but the components worked great and I couldn't feel a difference between the carbon and an aluminum bar, other than the substantial weight savings.
Louise lever on my test rig
Louise caliper on my test rig
Syntace carbon seat post
When John and I got back we found everyone lounging by the pool. So this is work eh? I like it. I never would have guessed that clicking around on Pinkbike.com would have led to this! More people started showing up from various media publications and we all made our introductions and started some story swapping to get to know each other.
Magura staff lounging poolside
The next day everyone picked out their test bikes and we set off for ride number 1 (2 for me!). We shuttled up a ways for our first lap of the day and put in 3 hours off the bat. Everyone was riding hard and having a good time, and the Magura parts were working great, despite a minor trailside bleed that Jude performed in less than 5 minutes. Lunch was followed by a two hour nap for me, then Jude and Tony offered up a Magura suspension presentation. Then, you guessed it, we hit the trails again for another 3 hour lap.
Uvex helmet assortment
Magura forks ready to rip
Jimmy Mac from Mountain Bike Fiction magazine
Jude of Magura USA
The Germans invade! Mario of Uvex, Stefan of Magura, and Garnot of Vaude
Magura USA is the distributor for Magura's German made products, and this year they have teamed up with Vaude, a decade-old pack manufacturer in Germany, as well as the Uvex brand of helmets and sunglasses to offer these German products in North America. Vaude's packs
are impressive. There is an extensive line of anything from waterproof commuting panniers to the Bike Park pack I ended up with. I picked the Bike Park pack because it is spacious enough for my camera gear and has a lot of lashing straps for pads and such. It fits well, especially with a plastic molded back piece that offers support for the pack and keeps gear inside from poking you in the back.
Vaude BikePark pack
line of helmets have some unique features that make the helmets extremely comfortable. To start with, the XP100 is the lightest helmet I've ever tried on. The ratchet fit adjustment in the back of the helmet controls a soft band inside the perimeter of the helmet, making for a very snug and comfortable fit. Mesh lines the inside of the front helmet vents to deter bugs from flying in.
The Uvex Hawk glasses worked great in conjunction with the XP100 helmet. Interchangeable lenses were handy in the varying light conditions between morning and evening rides in Sedona. I usually don't ride with any sort of glasses, but it was so bright in Sedona that the Hawks were an essential piece of gear for me.
Myself with my new Uvex helmet and Vaude Bikepark pack
Uvex XP100 helmet
Uvex XP100 helmet ratchet fit system
Uvex Hawk glasses were great in sunny Sedona!
Eric from DirtRag mag shoots Garnot riding
There are two things I learned on this trip that I did not previously know
Just riding along in Sedona
1) Uvex helmet studies show that typically Americans have greater head mass than Europeans.
2) "Radsport" is German for cycling, combining 'rad', meaning wheel, with sport. It is a rad sport, isn't it?!
Brian Riepe from Mountain Flyer mag rides the steeps
Stefan from Magura Germany loving the singletrack in Sedona
Me taking a shortcut opportunity to test the Magura fork and brakes
Overall I was quite impressed with all the gear I tried on this trip, and with the fact that the Magura crew are all great riders that put these parts through the wringer on a daily basis. It was a great opportunity to open my eyes to some brands that I previously was not aware of, as well as to further my knowledge of the Magura brand and solidify their place in the industry. Are you looking for something different? Who knows, maybe a Magura product
is in your future!?