The Menja is the cheaper brother of Magura’s Laurin fork, but its super-stiff structure, light weight and controlled enough stroke make it a top-value winner in the cross-country/trail category.
This year, Magura has deliberately concentrated on making its forks much freer-moving, and this initial sensitivity is obvious straight from the box compared with older Magura forks. However, the Menja’s very linear stroke means it takes a fair bit of back-and-forth ﬁne-tuning of the pressure to ﬁnd the sweet spot between too much dive and not getting full travel.
There’s a well controlled stroke in there if you persevere, though, and the broad range of rebound damping copes with a wide different pressures/rider weights. We also like the fact that the ‘DLO’ dynamic lockout leaves some movement between the lock and top out to maintain steering traction when climbing.
The Double Arch Design lower legs use two braces – one front and one at the rear – to create one of the stiffest quick release-axled fork structures on the market. In fact, steering and line-holding precision feels closer to that of forks with 20mm hub axles when you get the Menja on the trail, and static torque tests we’ve done have backed up that stiff feel.
Those International Standard mounts are looking slightly dated now, although most modern brakes use adapters with sideways play for easy ﬁtting. The mounts are rated for disc rotors up to 210mm, too, which is rare for a trail fork.
The Menja has dropped a noticeable amount of weight for 2008, making it a respectably light fork despite its strength. The 100mm and 85mm versions are even lighter.
Neat details of the German build include stainless steel corrosion protectors on both brake and dropout mounts, and aluminium adjusters and cover caps all round, as well as built-in hose guides and a free fork pump. You can even order the fork in a range of different colours to stand out from the crowd.
Finally, the reliability of the Menja forks we used last year was better than the more expensive Laurins, and this year’s fork is easier to set up, too. Be warned that this year’s optional remote lockout on either fork is very fragile, though.