2012-2013 Magura suspension fork technology overview

As we learned at Sea Otter, Magura has revised their naming scheme for the suspension to match up with the brakes. Forks are no longer Thor, Durin, etc. They’re now TS (Team Suspension) with TS6 and TS8 levels. They also introduced their first 29er fork, which is an entirely new casting, and a 650B compatible series. Both use their dual arch design and are only available with the thru axle and post mounts for a minimum 180mm rotor. You can use a larger 203mm rotor, too, with an adapter.

Bounce past the break for more info…

2012-2013 Magura suspension fork technology overview

The bottom of the fork has small rubber “Protection Caps” bumpers to prevent damage to the fork legs. On some of the other forks, the bumpers are integrated over the adjustment knobs.

The 29er forks come in several travel options. The TS6 and TS8 look identical on the outside. The difference is additional machining on the inside to save weight. The piston shaft is steel on the TS6 and alloy on the TS8. The only other difference is travel settings. The TS6 can be internally adjusted between 120mm, 100mm or 80mm. The TS8 can be either 120mm or 100/80mm, again internally adjusted. The reason is the TS8 has a shorter stanchion tube for the 100/80 version to save a bit more weight. Average weight savings for TS8 over TS6 is about 320g depending on model and travel. Available in both tapered and 1-1/8″ straight.

2013 Magura suspension forks actual weights

Weight examples:

  • T25 thru axle combo (62g)
  • 650B-R 150mm fork with cut tapered steerer and Maxle (1697g)
  • TS8-R 29er 100mm fork with uncut 1-1/8″ straight steerer w/o thru axle (1582g – it would be 1644 w/ axle)
  • TS8-R 29er 120mm fork with uncut tapered steerer w/ thru axle (1757g)

650B forks are available now in 150/140/120 travel in the TS8 model, which is the same fork as the TS8 26″ fork, just different graphics. Stefan says if the tire clears the arch, it’s safe to ride because it won’t rub the crown even under full compression. This is not the case for all fork brands. By fall 2012, they’ll have 80mm and 100mm travel options for 650B, too. There’s no TS6 level fork that has the appropriate clearance yet for 650B wheels.

2012-2013 Magura suspension fork technology overview

The R system has DLO (Dynamic Lock Out) on or off compression damping via a blue external knob on the top of the fork. The SL system is preset but weighs 70g less. The DLO is an interesting system. Lock it out and it’s stiff under normal activity, but ultra low speed compression still works, so the fork will still sag normally to maintain your geometry. Hit something and it’ll extend (rebound) normally, then slowly settle back into it’s normal sagged position. Their external travel adjust isn’t available on the 29er forks, but it is on the 650B TS8 150mm travel fork (travel change is about -30mm). External travel management adds about 200g.

Inside, the forks use an elastomer negative spring and both TS6 and TS8 have an external rebound knob on the lower left leg (red knob on the second picture). For 2012 models (all forks), they switched from a 60W oil to a grease. This eliminates cavitation and reduces the amount of internal lubrication that can leak past the seals because it’s thicker. Product manager Stefan Pohl says the stanchion’s coating is microscopically porous, too, to let the grease settle into it for less stiction.

The switch to grease, limited damping adjustment and negative spring mechanisms follow Magura’s “Stiff. Light. Easy.” mantra. It’s as simple as it sounds, make them stiff (dual arch, 32mm diameter stanchions), light (their heaviest fork is 1850g, their lightest is 1299g) and easy. The latter is accomplished with a lack of compression options and not using an air or coil negative spring. Some may find this refreshing, and it does make use simpler, but some may miss the additional compression options to fine tune the fork to the trail conditions.

2012-2013 Magura suspension fork technology overview

Magura’s new 29er thru-axle forks come with a T25 wrench integrated into the axle handle, which serves as the “lever” to release the thru axle. At the moment this new axle is only on the new 29er forks, but as their inventory of existing 26″ forks using the Rockshox Maxle runs out, it’s likely they’ll replace it with a new casting to use their own thru axle with the tool. The new axle has a steel cap where the Torx key inserts to improve durability over an alloy interface. The rest of the axle is alloy. Conveniently, almost all bolts across their brake range are Torx 25 except for a couple very small allen keys when T25 is simply too big, mainly for the tooled reach adjust on the MT6 and 8. So, the axle tool will work with their brakes and many of SRAM’s components.

What do you think?