by Marc Basiliere
October 3, 2013
eLECT: Smarter than your average fork
For the past couple of years, Magura’s mantra has been Stiff. Light. Easy. Their dual-arch forks manage the stiffness bit and weights speak for themselves, but what about the Easy bit? With the goal of providing maximum race fork performance while asking the minimum of its rider, the German company has released its new eLECT damper and eELCT-equipped TS series forks. More so than with many innovations we saw at Interbike, the Magura folks who had spent time on eLect forks were clearly excited about their new technology.
Using a combination of inclinometer and accelerometer feedback, Magura’s electronic damper closes to minimise movement on the climbs (and flats, if so configured) while opening on descents, removing the need for its rider to see through the red mist to interact with the fork lockout. A slick-sounding free-fall detector recognises drops, opening the damper for landing. All of this thinking, opening, and closing happens within 0.2 seconds. The damper’s lockout angle is based on the bike’s position when calibrated: propping up the front wheel during calibration will result in a more active fork overall, propping up the rear will result in a fork that doesn’t open until steeper descents are encountered.
Though Magura says it won’t be necessary on the majority of trails, the system also comes with a wireless handlebar remote. Once the remote is used, the fork’s intelligence is overridden until reset by the rider. Under normal use eLECT system’s charge should last for about forty hours’ worth of riding. Should the rider fail to notice the low battery indicator, a dead battery will result in an open damper (unlike come companies’, which can fail closed). Under the top cap sits a standard Micro USB port for charging.
Most likely the domain of the racer and tech-loving singlespeeder, Magura TS8 eLect 100 suspension forks will be available in 26in and 27.5in (with tapered steerers and 9mm QR dropouts) or 29er (with tapered steerer and 15mm dropouts) models. Shared with analog models, a new crown improves stiffness while saving weight and the Fork Meister Concept includes stiction-reducing bushings and improved damper performance. Pricing, at €1,350/$1,400, is flagship-appropriate- but owners of 2010 and newer Magura forks will be able to upgrade to eLECT for €650/$600 (saving 15g in the process).
Welcome to the future.