Magura 2012 suspension forks – First look
While Magura have replaced their current disc brakes with an entirely new line for 2012, including the range-topping MT8, to the casual observer their suspension forks look relatively unchanged. However, there are two new models, the Thor 150 and Durin X, and there have been significant internal tweaks to existing forks.
The German company say their aim for 2012 was to make their forks stiffer, lighter and easier (to operate and maintain) than the competition, as well as smoother. Their distinctive Double Arch design has always been good for rigidity and that's carried over to the new forks.
To save weight they've introduced a new compression damping unit called DLO2 (Dynamic Lock Out) which is lighter than the old Albert Select+ due largely to use of an aluminium rather than steel damper rod. They've also switched to a new, lighter air spring assembly.
The latest forks are easy to strip down – we watched a Magura tech guy do it in about five minutes – and because grease is used to lubricate the lower legs instead of oil, the process is a lot less messy than usual (Magura say the grease, or as they call it 'Fork Meister Suspension Cream', also reduces friction, along with new stanchion bushes).
The 2012 forks are designed to be easy to set up, with just one air valve, simple platform damping controls and a new travel-adjust system on selected models called Lift Select that's easier to operate than the old Flightcontrol Remote System. There are also 'Protection Caps' on the bottom of each leg to stop the dropouts getting scuffed.
On top of all this, spring rates have been made more progressive, so the forks should be less prone to blowing through their travel and they also have new shim stacks and revised valving. There's a new, more ergonomic and durable handlebar remote too, called RCL2, which now works in the same direction as your shifters.
Travel on the Thor all-mountain fork has been bumped up to 150mm for 2012, although a 140mm version will still be available. Despite this increase in travel, Magura say the 2012 Thor is up to 65g lighter than last year's fork.
The Lift Select model, which has adjustable travel between 150mm and 110mm via a fork-top dial or a handlebar lever, is claimed to weigh 1,750g, while the fixed-travel 140mm and 150mm forks are 1,710g.
Down below, Magura have switched from a 20mm Maxle 360 through-axle to a 15mm Maxle Lite. Their Double Arch brace has always provided good stiffness, so this is unlikely to have any impact on handling, while saving weight.
All Thor models come with 7in post mount disc brake tabs (so you can run a 180mm rotor without an adaptor) and a choice of black or white lower legs. Various options are available, including tapered steerer versions. Prices start from £719/€859.
The Durin range of cross-country forks has been revamped for 2012, with a new arrival in the form of the Durin X, plus longer-travel Durin Races and SLs, and lower weights across the board. The Durin Raceline and Marathon models will be discontinued.
All three 2012 Durin forks will be available in 120mm-travel versions (this year's had 80-100mm), making them an option for trail riders as well as out-and-out racers. The new X slots into the range below the mid-level Race and the lightweight, race-tuned SL.
Shops will sell the forks in 80, 100 and 120mm versions, but travel on each of them will be internally adjustable between 80mm and 120mm. Magura recommend getting a shop to do this but say an experienced home mechanic with the right tools shouldn't find it difficult.
All three Durins have the new air spring assembly, bushings and grease lubrication. The X and Race get the new DLO2 damper, while the SL sticks with the Albert SL and isn't compatible with the new remote lever. A Lift Select travel-adjust version of the Race will be available.
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All three forks will come with 6in post mount brake tabs. The Race 120 will be available with a Maxle Lite, while the other forks will take conventional quick-release hubs. There's a choice of black or white lower legs.
Claimed weights and prices are:
Durin SL: From 1,299g (1,370g in 2011), £699/€849
Durin Race: From 1,380g (1,450g), £649/€799
Durin X: From 1,690g, £549/€649
The Menja will continue as Magura's entry-level model, with a less sophisticated DLO+ damper and 85 or 100mm of travel. Prices start at £399/€499, and claimed weight is from 1,635g, the same as this year.
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