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  1. #1
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
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    Mag 21> is it as sweet as i remember or some primitive flexy form of equipment?

    I can't get away from a misty eyed nostalgia whenever i see it (though finding parts is such trouble i give up any plans of installing one for daily riding).
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  2. #2
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Honestly, compared to today's stuff, they ride like scary garbage, IMO. The noodle factor at speed is ridiculous.
    For the time....groundbreaking, and I had many, many of them.
    Bonus points for terrible: aftermarket 3/2.5 Ti stanchions!

  3. #3
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    I enjoined mine for family off reading or if I had a newbie out on a ride. It kept things fun at low speed! For actual hard riding they are terrible against anything from the last few years.

  4. #4
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    Of course they don't stack up to what's out there now. Too little travel, too much flex, no disc mount.
    I am not a big suspension expert, but I don't think that what's out there now is much more advanced in terms of valving- the external parts like legs, stanchions, bridge, and so on have been scaled- and beefed up.
    Souped up to the max, a MAG21 rides passably. Together, a better brace, Englund travel extension kit (which also increased leg overlap), lighter oil, and a solid axle with axle nuts make it ride tolerably. They did first come out 20 years ago, let's not forget.
    I wish someone would do a linkage fork again.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  5. #5
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    I put in quite a few rides this spring on a Mag 21 and thought that it rode pretty well for it's age. It was much smoother than the rigid fork on my "modern" bike.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  6. #6
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Well, yeah.

  7. #7
    taste death, live life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphiller View Post
    Of course they don't stack up to what's out there now. Too little travel, too much flex, no disc mount.
    I am not a big suspension expert, but I don't think that what's out there now is much more advanced in terms of valving- the external parts like legs, stanchions, bridge, and so on have been scaled- and beefed up.
    Souped up to the max, a MAG21 rides passably. Together, a better brace, Englund travel extension kit (which also increased leg overlap), lighter oil, and a solid axle with axle nuts make it ride tolerably. They did first come out 20 years ago, let's not forget.
    I wish someone would do a linkage fork again.
    Your linkage fork prayers are answered.
    german:A. - lightweight bike engineering since 1995

  8. #8
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    I rode a mag21 for almost 15 years, switched to a slightly more modern fork just a couple years ago. The difference in lateral stiffness and plusher travel from the modern fork was astounding, the mag21 is definitly been rendered obsolete.
    Probably the one good remaining use for a mag21 is on a lightweight kids MTB where they dont need modern travel and stiffness but do benefit from the low weight and tubeability. Mag21 can even be convered to work with 24" rims and rim brakes;
    FAQLoad - Modifying 26" fork for 24" wheels

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by super_stein View Post
    Your linkage fork prayers are answered.
    german:A. - lightweight bike engineering since 1995
    Yeah, I know about those. I think they don't support customers outside Europe. Plus they're way expensive. Dream fork: that USE anti-dive, one-sided linkage fork of several years ago. Smart tech of the type that never goes big. If you buy things like that, you end up scrounging the net for replacement parts a few years down the road, and finally go conventional.
    Sweet Wings cranks, USE fork, Kappius hubs, and so on.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  10. #10
    Team Brooklyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Mag 21> is it as sweet as i remember or some primitive flexy form of equipment?
    Yes
    and
    Yes

    They were incredible when they hit the scene. i have a few in various configurations on my vintage rides and enjoy and appreciate them as much today as I did then.

    You didn't ask how they compare to modern suspension but I suspect you already know the answer from your own experience.

    So much today is far superior to what we had back then ...

    But this is the VRC forum and we like the stuff of those days along with their relative limitations.
    Wanted: Might be done for a little while...
    LOL - yeah, right ...

  11. #11
    Team Brooklyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Bonus points for terrible: aftermarket 3/2.5 Ti stanchions!
    Had them too as well as threaded 1" Ti steerer.
    Wish I could find some now ...
    Wanted: Might be done for a little while...
    LOL - yeah, right ...

  12. #12
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
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    i will fix the first decent Mag 21 i find under my vintage susp. uncorrected bike. just for the vibe.. just for looking at those gold legs.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  13. #13
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    I rode the Specialized Ti version for many years back in the day. That fork, combined with a relatively flexy steel hardtail provided some of my scariest early mtb experiences on fast and rocky descents. Wet noodles front and rear. Then the Onzas with elastomers wouldn't unclip if below 60 degrees F so down you go sliding over rocks on your side still attached to your bike. Ahh, memories. I also had a Proflex carbon with the Noleen Crosslink which was the best fork ever. It needs a frame with funky front geometry, though. If I remember correctly, frame needed to be lower in front than normal so maybe an old non-suspension corrected frame would work. Not sure on that.

  14. #14
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumblytumbly View Post
    I rode the Specialized Ti version for many years back in the day. That fork, combined with a relatively flexy steel hardtail provided some of my scariest early mtb experiences on fast and rocky descents. Wet noodles front and rear. Then the Onzas with elastomers wouldn't unclip if below 60 degrees F so down you go sliding over rocks on your side still attached to your bike. Ahh, memories.
    ha! ouch!

  15. #15
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    Yeah, Crosslink. Picked one up just a year ago for my older brother for his birthday from eBay. The thing tracks straight as hell, especially compared to telescopic forks of the time. I guess the rigidity surplus narrowed as conventional forks got bigger tubes and one-piece bridges. The later versions had a flatter axle path than the earlier Girvin Vectors- it would be nice to have a modern version with carbon legs, arced axle path, disc mount, and of course 29er compatibility.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  16. #16
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
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    Dunno, but I could never stand the damn things, especially compared to my IRD which though had short travel but didn't have any of that awful stiction. Seems like the newer forks are way smoother, but then again I went back to rigid in '99, simplicity is more my style.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  17. #17
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Hmmm.. the Mag 21:

    The bad:

    Flexy if you're over 150lbs and not a finesse rider.
    Limited travel. About 66mm if modified correctly, or 70mm if you use Rock Shox math.
    Needs complete disassembly to tune the damper.
    The stock internal settings are horrible.

    The Good:

    High speed, low speed and rebound damping circuits in each leg along with an air spring.
    They can be every bit as plush and supple as modern forks - with the right tuning.
    Despite the flex, they're tough as nails. Check out "Eddie Roman's Hammertime" to see what these forks can take.

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