Preview: Magura TS8 29er

A first look at Magura's 2013 29er fork

By Vernon Felton

Some days just don't play out the way you plan them. Take today for instance.... Today, I was going to slap Magura's new 29er fork onto my bike, give it a test run on a solid four-hour ride and call it all good before heading out for a week of riding in Sun Valley, Idaho. Today, however, was also the day that I discovered that I'd cracked the headtube on my bike, which is why you're looking at a picture of a fork that's distinctly unattached to a bike.

Bummer, eh? I really liked that frame.

Ah well, at least I can give you a glimpse of the fork before I head off into the garage and slap it on a different bike.

If you've been following developments at Magura, you've probably noticed that the company has been on a bit of a tear of late--they completely re-worked their brake line in 2012 and 2013 looks to be the year that their suspension products get a whole lot of re-design love.

The fork still sports Magura's distinctive dual arch design, which the company claims improves torsional rigidity. I've ridden several Magura forks with that basic chassis and can attest to the fact that, for a fork with 32-millimeter stanchions, they are quite stout indeed.

No pinch bolts--just this innovative T25 system. The wrench you see here tucks neatly into the other side of the thru axle. Will it stay put out on the trail? Good question. We'll see.

The TS8 comes in both an 80/100-millimeter travel version (the travel is internally adjustable) as well as this longer, 120-millimeter travel version. The fork sports a unique 15-millimeter through axle (dubbed "M15") that uses a T25 torx--the wrench is tucked away conveniently in the bottom of the non-drive side of the fork. No pinch bolts at all.

Damping options? You've got your standard rebound damper and a Dynamic Lock Out knob (handlebar activated) that lets you lock out the fork for climbs. There's no fancy adjustable high and low-speed compression damping on here and that's intentional: Magura's goal is to create a fork that's straight forward to use--bolt it on, ride hard, forget about the knobs. High end? Yes. Lots of frills? Nope.

This top of the line fork is admirably light--just 3.77 pounds with a cut steerer. I'll let you know how it fares in a few weeks when I've got a solid couple weeks of riding under my belt and can offer up a valid First Impressions piece. In the meantime, it's time to crawl into my garage. I have a bike to build.