[Tested] Magura TS8 All Mountain Trail Fork
Magura has been quietly developing their suspension division for the last few years. Their initial offerings such as the Thor and Wotan were built based off of feedback Magura received from riders. They then took the damping platform they had, improved and placed it inside the TS8 R150. They now have a new cartridge designed to respond better with aggressive riders. Magura claim that the fork is stiffer, lighter and better performing. We tried it on the trails of Punta Ala to see if it managed to keep up with our All Mountain demands.
The TS8 is comes in at 150mm and is accurately aimed at the All Mountain category.
|Weight||TS8 R 150 27.5″/650B | M15 mm | DLO³: 1,685 g/3.71 lbs.|
|Colour||Lower leg and Fork bridge: White|
|Technical principle||Telescope system with DAD|
|Travel (mm/inches)||150 mm|
|Adjustment possibilities||DLO³ open/firm/lockout Rebound Preload (air pressure)|
|RCL² (Remote control) standard equipment||No|
|Dropouts (mm/mm)||M15 mm thru-axle with T25 tool|
|Steerer tube diameter (inches)||1 1/8″-1.5″ tapered steerer|
|Stanchion diameter (mm)||32|
|Axle to crown length (mm)||539 mm|
|Approved for disc brakes up to (mm/inches)||210|
|Integr. disc brake hose guide on lower leg||Yes|
The TS8 manages to cram a lot of features into a light weight package. With a middle of the road 150mm of travel it is at the limit of what most fork makers do with a 32mm stanchion diameter. Despite this, features such as being compatible with discrotors up to 210 mm, suggest that it is possible to take this fork places where things can get more technical and demanding.
The build quality and look of the fork is unfussy. The double brace arch aims to increase torsional stiffness without adding huge amounts of weight. It gives the 32 mm legs a bit of extra stability. The brake caliper attaches directly to the fork for a 180 mm disc and the cable is kept nice and tidy with a screw based cable retainer. The front wheel is removed with the slot in T25 torx key that snaps into the axle to stow, a feature that we liked and potentially saves some weight.
The fork comes prepared for use with a remote as you can see by the cable stop that’s built into the crown.
The sag setting we found to be optimal, around 15-20 percent.
The blue compression adjuster knob is on the right side of the fork…standard fare.
The double brace arches. Definitely unique.
The front wheel is removed by the T25 key that is stowed in the axle.
Ideal for trails like 301 in Punta Ala, flowing with some technical sections, nothing too excessive.
This was the average maximum travel of the fork – quite progressive.
On The Trail
Chassis – With 32mm fork legs and its double brace arch, Magura have created a light weight fork which manages to retain its torsional stiffness despite being at the lower end of the leg diameter spectrum that we are used to riding with. The trails that we chose to ride were mainly adapted to trail riding with some Enduro sections thrown in for good measure. In each case we found the fork was able to withstand the more extreme demands made upon it in more technical terrain for short periods. When cornering the chassis remained under control and responded to our inputs with out giving any perceptible excessive movement or extreme flex when compared to other 32mm fork chassis’. We felt that we had a solid lightweight performing fork on the front of our bike, not in a class of say a Fox 36 regrading burliness, but none the less it did not slow us down on manageable trails.
Damping – The TS8 has been updated compared to a few years ago and with it’s lock out knob, it is possible to change the compression damping of the fork. We like the open mode a lot and rarely used the middle position. We used the closed position when riding up hill, and it locks out the fork completely, unless a big hit is sensed, then a blow-out valve activates and the fork moves.
In smooth trail riding conditions the fork performs well, damping is smooth an controlled, you are not able to really know/feel what it is doing (no harsh responses), you just get on and ride. It provides a steady mid travel platform to work the bike off of, and is ideal for trails that transition from descents to climbs, with some in reserve to push if need be.
When we took the fork onto more rugged Enduro trails we started to find the limits of what is possible with the fork. Although we did notice it was very progressive, and we never once bottomed out the fork. We felt that in extreme conditions when braking and dealing with multiple hits the fork did not return repetitively to the centre of the stroke as well as a fork that is designed for those conditions. These limitations of the TS8 are because it was not designed as a day to day Enduro fork, so this is to be expected. It’s the everyday trail riding where this fork really shows it balance. It maintains a good flowing ride and ground contact with zero fuss when buzzing around gentle All Mountain trails.
Overall Performance – Braking was dealt with well, it has the right amount of suppleness versus resistance for everyday trail conditions. If the trail gets steep and technical and you are braking hard, you will approach the limits of the fork, it will not resist the same way a 36mm fork will. When we pushed it in these conditions it does settle and remain lower in it’s travel. As we mentioned before, retaining a balance between trail and heavy technical riding in a light weight package is not easy. The Magura TS8 does one of the best jobs possible in this 32mm stanchion fork leg category.
The progressive spring curve is the stand out feature of the fork on the trails. It seems to absorb big hits, yet remain sensitive on gentler trails, out of the box. This is the kind of feature that everyday trail riders will appreciate, no having to fiddle to achieve a good starting baseline. Just install the fork and ride.
Magura have created a great light weight, mid travel, All Mountain fork package with the TS8. It can be used in gentle flowing trail conditions with confidence. Cornering surprised us as with its double brace arch it maintains a stiffness that was above our expectations for a 32 mm chassis. If you want to take this fork down heavier duty trails then we would say great, go for it, but it is designed for more everyday trails and it will reach its limits in burlier technical terrain. The lightweight, snappy, precise feeling that the TS8 has when cornering and pedalling uphill is a welcome benefit of this style of fork.
The TS8 is a fork that’s at home on All Mountain trails, long rides, long transfers with some good single track blended in. It was reliable and had excellent build quality, perfect for the vast majority of light weight to medium weight riders out there that have a 150mm bike and want something competitive regarding weight, yet still have some of the performance characteristics in the chassis that bigger 34 mm forks do.