The bicycle that I was given to ride was an Ellsworth Epiphany with 5.25” of travel in the rear, outfitted with a Marta SL hydraulic brakes with Storm rotors and a Magura Thor 140mm fork with a 20mm Maxle 360 axle. Titus and Pivot also supplies demo bikes for use. I generally don’t ride with this much suspension, but it was a welcome change for the steep, slickrock descents, unexpected drops and generally adrenaline boosting terrain that our local guide John Finch and his wife Janet lead us to. Magura’s Marta brakes functioned perfectly and I detected no fluid expansion during the longest of hard-braking periods, which there were plenty. Likewise, the Thor fork performed like a champ, once setup properly, and felt smooth through its travel without any twisting or binding.
Outfitted with an Uvex XP 100 helmet and Hawk glasses, and a Vaude Alpine Air hydropack and Basin RC shoes the rest of the media riders, Maurice, and I followed the ride leaders to trails named Chuckwagon, Hangover, Dry Creek and a secret trail or two. Beautiful trails full of exposure, and views to take your breath away, but made me focus completely on climbing, descending, and handling more than nearly anytime before. I can honestly say I rode terrain and features that I haven’t had the opportunity or mindset to experience before. And that’s awesome. (Note to self: Don’t try to step on off camber slickrock when wearing new shoes.)
So what has Magura changed for 2010? New are lighter Storm SL rotors that shave 15% of weight compared to the previous model. The rotor geometry allows for high temperature absorption without warping the high performance steel, a wider braking surface for maximum stopping power and modulation, as well as a bigger surface with larger cutouts for heat dispersion and ventilation. The Storm SL rotor is said to exhibit less wear than its predecessor and comes stock on all Marta disc brake systems. Available rotor diameters are 203, 180, 160, and new for 2010 a 140mm offering. Mounting is IS 6-hole and new is Centerlock compatibility with adaptor usage.
The Storm rotor shares some of the features as the SL rotor, but has fewer ventilation ports resulting in more braking surface. This adds 30g of weight to Storm 203mm (177g) rotor compared to the Storm SL (147g). Storm rotors are stock on Louise and Julie brake systems. Available rotor diameters are 203, 180, 160 with the same mounting options listed above.
As stated, I rode the all mountain 140mm Thor fork with on-the-fly adjustment down to 100mm via a handlebar-mounted remote control. Albert Select+ damping, air preload, rebound control, lockout, 32mm uppers, and an AL 6082 fork crown with integrated cable stops for the remote are standard. For 2010 Thor’s shim stack has been changed to improve the responsiveness and the adjuster knobs received a makeover. All this at an impressive 1785g. and a 5-year leak-proof warranty.
For 2010, Magura is offering 1 1/8” to 1.5” tapered steerers on Thor, Wotan, Durin, and Marathon model forks, allowing Magura to build an oversized crown to increase strength and rigidity over the 1 1/8” steerer. New damper oil is said to increase performance at low temperature, but under the warm Arizona sun this couldn’t be verified. More color options, and a redesigned Magura logo round out the line. Still no sign of a 29er offering, what gives?
26”or 29”. It doesn’t matter. There’s a tire size and corresponding fork travel that works best at any given location. It’s all about the ride and having fun. And thanks to Jeff Enlow (Magura Directs General Manager), Stefan Pahl (Magura Germany Product Manager) and the rest of the people from Magura, Uvex, Vaude and those along for the ride, we all had fun riding the trails, eating fantastic food and sharing a beer.
On a side note, Vaude makes a complete line of commuter and touring gear. Follow this Bicycle Times link to the website for the posting I placed there.