Review: White Brothers Cycling 29″ 80mm Magic

From White Brothers Cycling’s website: White Brothers Cycling is a division of Mountain Racing Products, a performance bicycle component manufacturing company, located in Grand Junction, Colorado. We have been innovating suspension technology since 1996. From our early fork upgrades to our original 32mm oversized stanchion forks, cutting edge Downhill advancements, ground breaking air suspension seatposts and now our revolutionary new IMV damping technology, White Brothers has continually focused on improving bicycle suspension.

Product Tested:
White Brothers Cycling 29? 80mm Magic

WB 29″ 80mm Magic on the trail

Website’s MSRP:
$ 725.00

Model Name: Magic 29/80
Dropout: QR
Brake mount: V-brake/Disc or Disc Only
Travel: 80mm/3.1″
Wheel Size: 29″
Damping: IMV
Adjustments (external and/or internal): Threshhold, Rebound, Air Pressure
Spring: Linear Air Spring
Stanchions: 32mm
Crown: standard
Weight: 3.9lbs/1.8kg
Color(s): Black
Steerer Tube: 250mm
Axle-to-Crown: 483mm

About Me:
6’0? 210lbs, 28 year old male. I’m a mountain biking enthusiast who enjoys rocking the big 29er wheels.

A little dirt, don’t hurt

Testing Grounds:
Chino Hills State Park, Marshall Canyon, Aliso Woods, Bonelli XC Challenge and many trails in Southern California.

First Impression:
There is something to be said about the look of a simple, shiny black fork with a machined crown and butted stanchions. Like the black cocktail dress, it’s a classy and clean. It doesn’t draw attention to itself with loud graphics or even a matte finish. Instead, it looks good all cleaned up and it looks just as good when it gets down and dirty.

View from the Top; IMV knob on the right side, Air on the left

OK, ok. So I’ve hogged this fork for a long enough period of time but not without good reason. The WB 29? Magic 80 has a lot going for it.

Once on the fork you’ll notice that its a pretty stiff fork (not TA stiff) but better than what most people would normally associate with 29er forks. This is especially noticeable when you’re taking on gnarly descents. I found that the Magic is able to keep the line I’ve chosen rather than twisting to follow the trail ruts. A major plus.

I also like that the WB 29″ 80mm Magic displays very little bob if any at all while climbing. You see, I dislike bob, either felt through the rear suspension or the front. Bob indicates to me that my energy is being gobbled up by the suspension and that plays havoc with my mind. The WB 29″ 80mm Magic was great in that I saw and felt very little bob. When climbing the fork felt stiff but yet still able to eat up the bigger roots and rocks in its path especially when there was a little weight being applied on the fork. If there was no weight on the fork then the fork stayed fully extended and didn’t suck up anything, just the way I like it. The best part about this is it doesn’t require any work on my side. There is no lever to twist or button to push. Just set it up and you can forget about it.

I like my forks to be setup stiff and not buttery soft. Some of you might not like this setup but I find this to be my ideal because I like my forks to mimic rigid forks except when going through the rough stuff. The WB fork can accommodate both setups and all sorts of different setups in between with aplomb which I can attest to: In the beginning I had the fork set up too soft for my tastes. After a ride on my local trail I realized the setup was all wrong and over the next few rides I methodically moved across the spectrum of the fork from soft to stiff. After I finally found the setup I preferred, I left everything alone and it’s stayed exactly how I like it since then.

I like that White Brothers has gone with Enduro seals on this and many other forks in their lineup. I did not have to perform any maintenance on the fork over few months I’ve been riding it but from all my previous research I have only heard people sing the praises of Enduro seals.

White Brothers 29″ 80mm Magic is ready to rock the trail

As with any fork it takes a little bit of time to get it dialed in just right and working the way you want it to. The WB 29? Magic 80 was no different, but it did seem to take a bit longer than normal for the fork to feel just right.

The red IMV knob on the crown of the fork is a bit hard to twist. I couldn’t twist it with my gloves on and even without the gloves I found that I had to use my fingernail to really get the knob to move. The problem is that you need to be accurate with the turns to determine exactly how much of the IMV feature you want. Was this a big problem? Not really, but it was a little frustrating. Thankfully this is a setup issue and once you have it setup you pretty much never touch it again.

Price. This fork is on the expensive side when it comes to 80mm 29er forks. The official website price is $725 but a quick search turned up this fork being sold through online stores from as little as the low $600s up to about $689. But then again you do get what you pay for and this is a quality fork, designed, tested and manufactured in the US.

This fork is a keeper for me. It fits exactly how I’d like my XC riding front suspended fork to be: stiff, light, simple and non-bobbing. The White Brothers Cycling 29? 80mm Magic has all these features and has a nice black finish. Add to this the fact that the fork is supported by White Brothers Cycling’s prompt/knowledgeable technical support and you really can’t go wrong with this as your 29er XC fork.

For more info about the White Brothers Cycling 29? 80mm Magic, click here.

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