Magura TS8R Fork Update- by Grannygear
When I came to realize that the Magura TS8R in 120mm form that had been previously tested on the Camber was not working to Magura’s specifications; that it was a hand assembled, pre-production fork (see our article from Magura Press Camp 2013), then I was keen to see how much the 2014 full production version would compare to the old one. I struggled with getting the older one to respond to quick hits. It transferred too much impact up into the bars and was fatiguing to ride. It seemed to be getting worse with time, not better.
What I did like was the light weight, stiff chassis, and simple design. After having 2014 models in play for a time now in two forks; a 120mm version of the TS8R on the Camber and a TS8R 140mm version with a DLO3 damper on the long term FSR, I have some thoughts and impressions.
- Chassis stiffness remains intact. These are pretty light forks for the way they drive down the trail. Would a Fox 34 or a Pike be stiffer fore aft or torsionally? Likely so, but at a pretty high weight cost. For instance, the 140 version I have on the FSR weighed 3lbs13oz/1729g with a cut steerer. The White Brothers 140 Loop fork it replaced (with a slightly longer steerer tube) weighed 4lbs5oz/1956g.
- The resistance to brake dive and sinking into its travel remains. Both forks ride high in their travel and work well with a stand and hammer style of riding. I think these would make great hard tail forks for that reason alone.
- The bump response is much improved. These two forks move much more easily on smaller impacts and suck up big hits with poise. They both are much less fatiguing on the body when the trails are rough and long.
The Less Than Good:
- Repeated, fast coming trail impacts still are not the forks forte’. Compared to a recent ride on a Pike in 150mm mode, the TS8R is off the back.
- Set up is tricky in that they are very sensitive to air pressure settings. A few PSI makes a big difference. I ended up at the low end of the suggested settings and found that this gave me full travel and still did not dive obsessively. What it did do was require me to run the rebound damping nearly or fully open to get the fork back in place for the next hit and it still felt slow to respond. A higher pressure corrects this but then I do not get full travel.
So overall, I like these versions much more than the last one, admittedly a flawed sample. Balance on both bikes feels good with the forks in place and balance is key for me. I think, due to the traits of great single/big hit response and the lack of dive under braking, that these would be a good choice on a 29er hard tail too, like a 140mm AM frame set up.
The DLO3 in the 140 TS8R when set to the firm setting is just incrementally more so than full open. It is useful. I never used the fully closed position. No need to. Even in the open setting the fork does not bob much during out of the saddle pedaling and in ‘firm’ mode it is even more stable.
I still would like to see things opened up a bit more on the rebound side of things and maybe even on high speed compression too. I understand the Magura philosophy of wanted to retain trail feel, but as the end user, why not offer me an optional damper set-up that allows for a more open feel to things? Choice is good. Call it the Americano blend.
Note: Magura sent the TS8R forks over for testing and review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review, and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.