Magura 2014 TS 140/150 29er Forks

by Brian Mullin on May 24, 2013

The
typical Colorado springtime weather was making me crazy, with entirely
too much cold temperatures and snow on my foothill rides, even for my
warped tastes. It took me 10 hours to drive from home to Sedona for my
yearly desert adventure, going from mild weather to seemingly hotter
extremes.

Magura USA (aka Magura Direct) hosted their 9th annual
press camp in the spectacular Red Rock country of Sedona Arizona this
May, and they invited editors and writers from various media outlets to
test out the products that they distribute, which includes Magura
(brakes and forks), uvex (helmets and sunglasses) and Vredestein tires,
and they also were joined by SKS and Specialized. We got to test the
products from each of the companies on the inspiring, sometimes scary
and invigorating, and extremely technical singletrack trails of the
Sedona area. From right outside the venue’s door, we did the burly
Hiline trail with lots of sub loops on the first day, and on the second
jumped over to the other side of Sedona and did Chuck Wagon and Mescal
(show above).  I want to thank Magura Direct for hosting this shindig at
the lovely Red Agave Resort, and their partners SKS and Specialized,
and our cooks and guides, John, Janet and Debbie.

The
big news at the Magura Press Camp was their new TS (Team Suspension)
29er 140/150mm travel fork. The fork will come to the US in the 140mm
mode, but can be changed internally to 150mm. The fork will come with
their proprietary M15 thru axle system, dropout bumper protectors, 32mm
stanchions, 7″ PM disc brake mounts and will be available in their TS8
and TS6 models. Magura was late to the 29er fork game, but they’re
diving full force into the long travel 29-inch bike world, and this new
lightweight (1775 grams) and decently priced fork (around $849) should
be a real winner.

At
the press camp, they had various Specialized 29er bikes equipped with
the new fork, so the editors got to go hammer the forks on the local
epic trails, so we all got a good feel for how well the forks perform on
the flowy and sometimes vicious Sedona terrain. In addition to the new
long travel 29er fork, they are coming out with a true dedicated 650B
fork in the November time frame. They currently have a 27.5″ compatible
fork, but it can only be used with small to medium-size tires, and the
new lowers should be applicable for any 27.5″ tire, even monstrous 2.5″
ones. Although they didn’t give any specifics, I would assume that it
will have a slightly taller axle-to-crown than the current 26″/27.5″
version.

All
the 2014 forks get an upgrade named the Performance Package, which
improves suppleness, smoothness and usability. They had been using a
food-grade quality silicone based grease in the lowers with their TS
model forks, and this year they’re replacing the 5mm of oil in the upper
air chamber with 4 grams of the grease. They have also replaced the
Delrin plastic bushings with slicker aluminum bushings that have been
impregnated with Teflon, and they’ll work in synergy with the grease for
to provide good supple action. They upgraded the rebound knob, and made
it more ergonomic and easier to use, as the existing knurled one was
hard to turn.

Jude
Monica of Magura gave an excellent short clinic on breaking down their
forks, which surprisingly only require a couple of tools, and is a
moderately simple operation in the grand scheme of things. During the
demonstration, he highlighted all the internals pieces and how they
interact with each other. All the parts are very modular, and everything
is easy take apart and replace if required, though the damper itself
isn’t serviceable and would need to be entirely swapped out.

On
top of the existing SL and DLO2 damping cartridges, they have a new one
named the DLO3, which is the predecessor to the Albert Select+. The new
DLO3 has an easy to use adjustable thumb wheel, with three positions,
open, firm and locked, with a blowoff in the lock mode.

The
air side of the system was pretty interesting. The bottommost elastomer
has little triangular indentations cut into it, so that it gives a
slight plushness during its initial compression. The notches in the
middle of the rod (shown above) are where the travel height can be
changed by moving the roller pin to a different location. The plunger
head at the top of the rod pivots, and it uses grease instead of oil, so
you’ll no longer see any weeping oil on that side of the fork.

Final Thoughts
The new long travel 140mm/150mm 29er and 27.5″ are great additions to
their lineup, and the subtle improvements of the Performance Package add
suppleness and usability, and it’s retrofittable to the existing TS
models. The new DLO3 damping cartridge is easy to use and works really
well, and is very much like FOX’s CTD system. During my test rides of
the new TS8 29er 140 DLO3, the fork had excellent suppleness, decent
small bump compliance, great plushness on medium to large bumps, and had
good stiffness from the DAD arch. I do wish they had 34mm stanchions
for this big beast, since there was just a hint of give when pushed
extremely hard. During my short rides, I found this long travel 29er to
be lightweight, supple, stiff and compliant, and would be a great
addition to my long-awaited Ibis Ripley.

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