Travel: 120-160mm / Adjustment: rebound, compression and platform / Steerer: aluminium 1 1/8in / Weight: 5.74lb / Spring: Air / Axle to crown: 545mm / Disc mount: 8in post
Instead of trying to develop its own 20mm QR system, Magura simply licensed the Maxle design from RockShox. Out of the box, the axle threads felt rougher than expected. Some grease helped things along, but because the dropouts are more inboard than on a Lyrik, it isn’t as easy to get the final turn, which locks the front hub in place. When we tried using the RockShox 360-degree axle, to see if it was any better, we discovered that the two axles aren’t cross-compatible, which we feel is an oversight on Magura’s part.
At the other end of the magnesium casting, the DAD (Double Arch Design) adds extra torsional stiffness and, if you run sensible-sized tyres, there are no mud clearance issues. There was also no noticeable twisting under braking, even with the 8in rotor. In fact, 8in rotors are the only size you can use on the Wotan.
A handlebar-mounted travel adjuster supplied with the fork allows you to set the travel anywhere between 120 and 160mm. Lever pressure is high but the system has proved reliable. The travel adjuster only works with the handlebar-mounted lever.
Magura’s Albert Select damping offers a usable range of adjustment, and set-up is very similar to the RockShox and Marzocchi forks on test, where the level of platform can be preset with a secondary dial and only kicks in when you turn the blue compression adjuster. For an extra £26, Magura offers the Wotan with a second remote that controls the compression damping.
Overall, the Wotan performs extremely well while out of the saddle or descending, as the fork is primarily working in the mid to end stroke. However, on flatter singletrack and when climbing, there is a noticeable knock in the initial portion of the travel. It is particularly bad when un-weighting the bike for roots or rocky sections. We’re not sure if the knocking is caused by the damping circuit, or if it is stiction in the seals of the air spring assembly. Either way, it doesn’t dramatically affect the performance of the fork but it is bloody annoying.
The bottom line is that we wouldn’t accept it on a fork fitted to a £500 bike, so why should we put up with it on an expensive unit like the Wotan?
MBR RATING: 7/10