While we were out taking a look at Magura’s brand new MT range of brakes, we also got chance to ride their new fork range. In the past we’ve liked their XC race Durin forks a lot – back in May last year (Issue 57) Benji rated it as the best 100mm travel fork he’d ridden.
Although externally unchanged for 2012 they’ve come up with some improvements to the internals of both the Durin and also their mid-travel, all-mountain Thor fork.
For 2012, the Thor fork is bumped up in travel a bit. It’s now your pick of 150 or 140mm fixed travel options with a 150/110mm ‘Lift Select’ travel adjustable version available with or without remote. All the steerer options under the sun are available with 1 1.25″, tapered and 1.5″ versions.
The dual crown magnesium DAD lowers remain and we’ve found them impressively stiff and light in the past. Lowers will now use a 15mm through axle rather than 20mm, using a Maxle style system and they have neat plastic protection caps on the bottoms too. There is a post mount that takes a 180mm rotor without adaptors too, a nice touch.
The fork has got revised internals, now using their DLO² damper. The damping rod is now aluminium rather than steel to save a bit of weight – overall at 1710g the fixed travel 2012 Thor T150 is 65g lighter than last year’s model.
Magura are now using new, non-slotted bushings which are
lubricated with ‘Fork Meister Suspension Cream’, a super thin grease, which say they results in less friction. The damping is still a semi-open bath oil design, but they’ve tweaked the shim stacks and valving to improve the ride.
There’s no separate low or high speed compression adjustment but instead the new DLO² damper has a pedalling platform with adjustable blow off and a very nicely detented rebound adjuster at the bottom of the leg. It’s available with or without a bar mounted (and MT brake integrated) remote to operate that feature. There’s also a small hole to allow the fork to sag properly when it’s in the platform mode, so you don’t end up with a tall fork. The shim-stack type compression damping has been tweaked over previous years to make the fork more reactive too.
The air spring has a single air chamber using a new lightweight air piston rod and the elastomer negative spring is made of closed cell foam to make it impervious to oil ingress. There’s a rather useful weight-pressure guide in both Kg/Bar and PSI/lbs on the fork leg graphics and, in a bit of a shocker, the suggested numbers bear some relation to reality – in fact they’re pretty much bang on.
First riding impressions that the firmly damped and classically ‘Magura’ characteristics of old remain, as does the impressive stiffness, the fork tracking true through the rocks of Mallorca. The fork behaves very well on big hits, absorbing them with little fuss and no hint of damping weirdness coming back through the bars on repeat strikes. We’re looking forward to testing them on home turf – they seem well put together and with prices starting at £719 they’re gunning firmly for the competition.
The cross-country orientated Durin range also gets the new bushing and lube system as the Thor for 2012. The Race and X models also get the new DLO² damper while the racey Durin SL now has a 120mm option and uses the rebound adjustable Albert SL damper, doing without the pedalling threshold in the name of weight saving.
The Durin Race now gets the option of a 15mm Maxle dropout on the 120m travel fork plus Lift Select adjustable travel option while the Durin X does without. All of the forks are available in 120/100/80mm fixed travel options and it’s possible to change the travel internally, although that’s probably best left to someone that knows what they’re doing.
Talking of that, the forks are all remarkably simple to service, with a strip down needing no special tools and achievable in around 5-10 minutes. When the forks are apart the quality of manufacture does shine through, with no plastic on show and loads of well thought through engineering, such as the hex-ended damper rods which locate securely into the lowers without spinning.
Claimed weights are down across the range, with the £699 Durin SL now weighing in from 1,299g and the entry level Durin X starting at £549 and 1,690g. The Durin Race will start at £649 and the claimed weight of 1,380g is rather good. All lowers use a 160mm post mount but they’re fine with rotors up to 203mm.