Out of the box.
The SL stands for super-light and they weren't kidding. I weighed it in at 3.0lbs including starnut and bearing race. Having previously ridden the 2008 Durin Race I was anxious to try this one out. I loved the linear compression stroke and actual 100mm of travel of the Race as well as its stiffness and light weight. I went with the SL this year for a few different reasons. First is that I never use a lockout unless I'm commuting to work. Second is that this fork is about 150grams lighter due to a few tweaks like no lockout and lightened steerer. Third is that I like to try new stuff lol. Out of the box the fork worked well and required no perceived break in period. Adjusting pre-load is very easy thanks to the handy chart decal on the left leg. Rebound was a simple adjustment too via the red knob at the bottom of the fork. Rebound goes from very springy to overkill slow which is nice for users tinkering and wondering what the rebound does. Compression damping comes courtesy of the Albert SL damper which is new to the Durin for 09. It is valved to keep movement to a minimum when pedalling like a tourist or getting out of the saddle at the cost of some small bump compliance.
On the trail.
The Durin SL is quite at home on pretty much anything XC you can throw at it. The Albert SL damper behaves exactly how I imagined I would like it to. Little to no movement when riding smoothly out of the saddle yet still allowing the fork to go deep into its travel on larger hits and still absorbing most small bumps. The very things I liked about the Durin Race have thankfully remained unchanged with the SL. It still uses a real 100mm of travel unlike the big 2. The fork has a very linear compression stroke which matches my riding/racing style perfectly. The dual arch design yields an extremely stiff fork in all dimensions making it very point and shoot on the descents. It lacks the extreme small bump compliance common to Fox and Rockshox and has a slight amount of bushing knock. The open bath seeps quite a bit of oil past the wipers and needs to be topped up every couple of months especially in adverse conditions. This is very easy to do and I will do a How-To on this and post it up the next time I do it.
-Linear compression stroke
-Race oriented Albert SL compression damper
-Lightweight one piece lower casting with dual arch
-Adjustable air preload
-100mm and 80mm options
-3.0lbs for the 100mm disk version
-Integrated disk hose guide
-Post mount disk tabs
-Available in white or black for North America
-Actual 100mm travel
-Minimal movement from rider input
-Leaky open bath
All said I really love the Magura Durin line of forks. I really don't miss any of the ridiculous adjustments that now seem to be common place on many high end forks. If you are looking for a high end bare bones race fork that is stiff and light with a deep linear compression stroke then give the Durin a try.
Value - 8.2 out of 9.3
Performance - 4.3 out of 4.45