Sizes: 165×38, 190×50, 200×50, 222x65mm / Adjustments: high/low, speed compression and rebound / Negative spring / Weight: 289g
The Magura Hugin shock is unique in that it comes supplied with a shock pump and a selection of mounting hardware to fit three of the most common frame spacings. There is also an array of washers provided to pack out the hardware for less common frame configurations and two reducer sleeves that let you step the drilling down from 8mm to 6mm if need be. So fitting the shock couldn’t be easier, but no matter what we did we couldn’t eliminate play on one of the ‘ball and socket’ mounts. As a result the shock rattled in the frame straight out of the box — not the best start to a shock test. Magura promptly supplied us with a new ball and socket bearing (and the tool for fitting it) and in a matter of minutes the problem was solved. Or so we thought.
Heading back out on the trail, it was instantly apparent that the shock still wasn’t right. There definitely wasn’t any problem with the fitting attachments and this time we had no doubt that it was the shock that was knocking. We backed off the high and low-speed compression adjusters, and tried several different rebound settings, but we could not eliminate the knocking. And while we’re on the subject, the range of rebound adjustment on the Hugin shock is excessive, and half of the range is effectively unusable as it is way too slow.
While climbing the rear suspension on the Orange 5 would stall on small rocks and roots, rather than just react and move on. When the trail started to head down the performance of the bike also took a sharp nosedive. It was as if we’d completely changed the geometry of the Orange 5, not just the shock. The front suspension was totally overloaded and the lack of traction on the rear had us tentatively riding down our regular test loop with nothing of the reckless abandon that we attacked it when the other shocks were fitted to the bike. Out of the saddle the shock tops out and rattles in the frame, and overall the ride was harsh even with minimum compression damping — forcing us to ride slower with a reduction in grip and control.
So while the other three shocks on test had us trying to detect subtle differences, the performance of the Magura shock was standalone dreadful. Obviously the shock we were sent to test is exactly the same damper you could buy from your local bike shop so we’ve scored it accordingly. That said, we are not convinced that the Magura could get it so wrong with the Hugin shock. For that reason we’re returning it to Magura to get it checked over and hopefully it’s just an assembly problem and we received a dud shock. If it isn’t, Magura will need to rethink its entire shock programme.
MBR RATING: 3/10