Magura Jumps into Big Travel 29, Smooths out forks for 2014
Now for the 9th year in a row, Magura has descended upon the breathtaking red rock trails known as Sedona for their annual press camp. Working around epic rides around town, Magura had a few new tricks up their sleeve – some we can talk about, and others that will have to wait a few days.
What we can talk about is Magura’s entrance into the long travel 29er market along with their new for 2014 Performance Package to improve the suppleness of the forks across the whole line.
Drop into the new suspension tech, along with more 650b options after the break! Updated with Axle to Crown measurements.
With the launch of the TS8 (Team Suspension), just last year, there was a visible hole in the range for the new crop of super 29ers with TS8 29 travel topping out at 120mm. New for 2014 is a 140/150mm long travel 29er fork that will be shipped to the US in 140mm setting. Travel will be internally adjustable via a roll pin set up, allowing the fork to bump up to 150mm travel.
The top photo shows the 3 positions for the spacer, which is held in place by rolled pins. The 29er fork will only utilize two of the positions, but the cartridge will be used in other forks which is why there is an additional position. The whole travel change procedure can be done fairly quickly with the right tools and know how, especially with the new grease.
Like the current TS8, the new fork will feature an M15 axle that utilizes a t25 torx wrench that is stored inside the axle when not in use. The wrench is coming in more and handier with more companies switching to T25 bolts for their controls, so while not as quick as a QR, it is a nice feature. Drop out bumpers also carry through, which are a very nice touch when resting the fork on the ground without the wheel installed.
This fork, and other 29ers from Magura are all Post Mount 7″ disc brake equipped. You can run 8″ rotors as well, but you can’t run 6″. Magura’s reasoning is that the larger wheel platform benefits from the larger rotor, and eliminating the adapter and extra set of bolts keeps the weight down.
Other small changes include a reprofiled rebound knob to make it easier to grip, and a tuneable air chamber that uses internal spacers to change the spring rate. Keeping with Magura’s KISS principle, the spacers are incredibly easy to use and snap into the top cap.
Weight for the 140/150 TS8 DLO3 29er fork came in at 1775g, or a quite respectable 3.91 pounds! Considering our test 100mm SID 29er fork was 1700g, Magura adds a lot of travel for 75g. If you want to get real weight weenie-ie, you can drop the T25 tool for an additional weight savings of 17g.
In addition to the long travel TS8, the 650b crowd will gain options in the form of a new dedicated 650b lower. Initially, Magura had advised the use of Thor lowers which allowed the use of 650b tires up to 2.3 inches, or so. Now, the new lowers are 650b specific and will allow up to a 650×2.5 tire. The new lowers are currently available in Europe, but only as a 9mm QR, with the M15mm axle coming to the US around Interbike.
On all of the2014 forks, Magura developed what they call the Performance Package as a way to improve suppleness and system durability. At the core of the new package is a new aluminum bushing that is impregnated with Teflon rather than the plastic/Delrin bushing of years past. The new bushing improved the stiction of the fork dramatically, and allows for a non-fluted design when used with Magura’s ForkMeister grease. Yup, no more oil in the lowers of Magura forks. Instead you will find a few grams of special food-grade silicone based grease which is also now used in the air chamber. The grease means that the fork seals can be redesigned as well, no longer needing a foam ring which means you will no longer see oil wicking out of the forks onto the exposed stanchion. A few of the components are slightly heavier than before, but once everything is done the Performance Package weighs almost exactly the same.
My Specialized Stumpjumper Evo test bike was fitted with the new 140mm TS8 DLO3. The DLO3 is their new compression damping cartridge with 3 way platform for fully open, Firm, and Locked Out. We’ll get more into the damping in a few days, but for now the take away is that the new fork is indeed impressively supple.
The front end of the bike was plenty stiff, after pushing the fork to it’s limits on the Highline Chute, it certainly wasn’t fork stiffness keeping me from going faster. Small bump compliance seemed slightly less than competitors, but after the fork started moving through the travel it was incredibly plush. Magura’s desire for a simple to use fork that is easily set up and ridden is apparent, with little other than air pressure and simple rebound tune to get it up and running.
With two solid days of long morning rides and quick afternoon, rattlesnake spotting sprints, the TS8 was impressive. Hopefully we’ll get some time on one at home on local trails, but first impressions were certainly good.
Check back on the 30th for some even more exciting news from Magura!
- 150 mm – 561
- 140 mm – 551
- 120 mm – 530
- 100mm – 510