Are Manitou forks rubbish, or just unfashionable? PSAish content.

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  • Are Manitou forks rubbish, or just unfashionable? PSAish content.
  • Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    CRC have various types of Manitou forks, all seemingly well-reviewed, on at very low prices in their final clearance (sub £150 with the extra10% off for a few of them)?

    Is there some reason why these should be shunned like the plague?

    eg

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/manitou-marvel-pro-forks-qr-9mm-tapered-2012/rp-prod81578

    I’ve had them before and really liked them. But reliability was shocking (primeraly the SPV dampers) for a while and they never really recovered their reputation. When they do pop up in magazine tests they often win against the Fox and RS competition.

    My only qualms would be, the dampers are sealed with bladders like fox FIT cartriges, which means they have to go to a service center to be serviced. So be sure that somewhere does them. And manitou only provide spares going back 3 years, so buying a 2012 fork, make sure it’s a current model still otherwise you’ve only got 2 years of serviceing. That’s how they used to be, things may have changed.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Good reasons, that would certainly put me off if it were the case. However, even putting the inflated RRP aside, there’s not many reasonable forks you could pick up for £150.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    back in the day, they were rubbish when everything else was rubbish too, they didn’t really work, but that was ok, because nothing really worked. But they looked very cool.

    then they were very rubbish, they managed to get worse at roughly the same time as Marzocchi figured out how to make forks that actually worked.

    Manitou either have to wait until we forget about forks that simply fell apart as you rode away from the shop. or make something better AND cheaper than RS.

    (they might be great now, but even cheap rockshox are pretty good really.)

    You missed the bit of histroy where they were brilliant!

    Back when Rock Shock were producing the god awfull hydrocoil damped Boxxers (how many WC racers actualy ran RS internals in their boxxers? The mags had more reviews of aftermarket Boxxer internals than the forks themselves!) and Psylos, Manitou were making the TPC+ damped, carbon uppere’d Dorrado and the Minutes. They just went off the boil with SPV (which was licenced version of Progrsives damper, who also left the MTB market tail between legs) at arround the same time as RS came out with the Reba/Rev/Pike. And they dominated 36/Lyric market with the Sherman well before the rest of the world even realised they wanted 150mm forks.

    Phone or E-mail TF-Tuned, they certainly used to service them, and if they still do should be able to advise about stuff like that. They used to buy up old spares to extend them past 3 years as well, it was more of a problem with shocks than the forks IIRC.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Only ever had manitous – 7 years in and never an issue.

    superfli
    Member

    Have had 3 sets of Manitous in the past, but I’m talking a while ago.
    Man 3’s which were simple elastomer things, but cnc machined crown looked bling and easy to strip and lube (regularly – almost every few rides!), no damper (until I got an Englund? cartridge upgrade).
    Man SXTi with DPC. These were great, comp+rebound damping which worked well. Air and coil spring. Loved these (until bike got nicked)
    Man Mars which came on my stumpy replacement. A bit lightweight, but worked ok (some topout I remember).

    I stopped buying them before they went bad. They always made them light rather than better performance (opposite of Marz), possibly part of their downfall.

    I would get a 15mm though, not QR and for sub £200, they could be worth a go. Always had comprehensive instruction/service manual.

    Premier Icon jairaj
    Subscriber

    They are regularly on offer at CRC. I have a had a demo on a mates Miuntes before and they felt lovely, really smooth and supple action. There are also lots of adjustment possibilities with Manitou dampers.

    I think they are more popular in Europe just not over here.

    I was tempted to switch over to try them out a while ago but decided that £170 was too much to spend on an experiment.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    I’ve taken a punt on a tower expert bought for cheap from CRC. Only about 10hrs in so far, but seems a good’un so far. I’ll report back in the summer.

    Premier Icon neil the wheel
    Subscriber

    My old Blacks came back from TFTuned in the summer as good as new. They hadn’t been serviced for 5 years but apart from needing a new compression damping knob (and new seals etc obv.) they were fine. They work really well and are super-reliable.

    solamanda
    Member

    I purchased a set of Manitou Dorados 2 years ago and the experience was bad. Out of the box they rode very well, the best DH fork I’ve ridden or owned. However they blew a seal in their old traditional manner after a few rides. I sent them back for warranty and had to wait over 6 weeks. In this process I was lied to by the UK distributor, also an interesting fact is there was only one mechanic employed who could fix them and the spares required had to be ordered from the US, they don’t keep UK stock.

    My first ride with the forks back was a DH race. On the way to the race they leaked a substantial amount of oil into my car on the journey from a different part of the fork.

    I returned them again and raised a grievance. When I got them back I sold them and bought some Boxxers which were faultless. I had someone senior at the UK distributor speak to me about my experience and it was apparent from the conversation that the communication within the company regarding the issue was not great.

    It’s a real shame as the fork was amazing, but the backup in the UK is unacceptable.

    On a side note, I’ve had out of the box failures with most other brands of forks over the years. The difference wasn’t the quality of the product, but the fact the customer support was good and had me back and riding in days, not nearly 2 months.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    A mate is running Shermans or some other hefty looking fork – plenty of oil and shim stacks and seem plenty plush and reliable. They seem to run problem free indefinately. Whether the new ones have such Marzocchi levels of oil and reliability …

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    My Swinger was absolutely gash… I replaced it with a DHX3 which was actually broken, but still better.

    Yes I know they’re not forks!

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    I had some Nixons. Not the travel adjust version, which seemed to all break (TF refused to service them IIRC). They felt great for about 3 weeks, until they developed a horrible top out clunk which TF couldn’t remedy, and the anodising wore off the stantions in about 3 months

    Have vowed never to buy anything Manitou ever again.

    petersnell
    Member

    Had some Sherman breakouts years ago and they were absolute brilliant . Just sold some Nixon elites travel adjust and had no problems either. Can’t really comment on the newer models tho so probably. Not much help really!

    Premier Icon JoeG
    Subscriber

    Manitou is now owned by Hayes Brakes, along with Answer, Sun, Ringle, and Wheelsmith.

    rob1984p
    Member

    Back in 2007 I had two pairs of Sherman breakout plus at the same time. I had a Yeti ASX which I took to the alps and as the 1.5″ headtube and brand were unfashionable at the time the second set were a spare that I got off of ebay for around £50. Both were incomparable to the Lyrik Solos that eventually replaced them and during my month long holiday I was swapping between pairs of Shermans daily. From memory one set had some poncy damping system which made them horribly hard and the other set had shim stacks which we played with until they were way plusher than originally supplied. The lockdown went wrong as well and led to a roll down Pleney with 20mm of banging almost locked out suspension…a hacksaw remedied this though!

    I recently had some Manitou Blacks which were sublime, they came on a bike I bought for the frame but they were such a surprise I would have kept them if they had been bolt thru.

    DanW
    Member

    They just went off the boil with SPV (which was licenced version of Progrsives damper, who also left the MTB market tail between legs) at arround the same time as RS came out with the Reba/Rev/Pike. And they dominated 36/Lyric market with the Sherman well before the rest of the world even realised they wanted 150mm forks.

    Basically this ^

    A bit like Marzocchi, they initially made great forks and make great forks at present but a combination of a middle purple patch, lack of forks on OE bikes and invisible advertising/ magazine reviews means they haven’t really recovered a trendy or desirable image. Great forks though- generally light, good value, stiff as the competition and pretty darn smooth throughout the ranges.

    dantsw13
    Member

    For a 29er fork the Tower Pro gets great mag and user reviews. I bought one and am very happy with it. The incremental LSC/Lockout works really well.

    I am still running some 2000 X-Vert Supers with TPC on my HT – they were serviced once in 14 years and still going strong. They are elastomer + spring – I’d imagine the elastomers are like pieces of dried up chewing gum now, but they still work pretty well. Probably helped by the grease nipples on the back of each leg that I regularly pump Manitou fork grease into

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Running 20mm bolt through Minutes and Nixon’s on 2 different bikes. Nixon’s are non travel adjust and nice and plush and I’ve had no problems with. The Minutes (TPC+) have never felt right from a ride point of view – too soft or too hard despite lots of experimenting with pressures.

    I recently broke the bolt through retention part on the lowers. The importer very helpfully sold me a set of new lowers (including seals) at trade price. When swapping the lowers over it was apparent that most of the damping oil had emulsified. With fresh oil they perform as well as a set of Pikes I was running whilst waiting for the new lowers (maybe not quite as stiff under braking).

    Premier Icon jairaj
    Subscriber

    With fresh oil they perform as well as a set of Pikes I was running whilst waiting for the new lowers

    Are you comparing to the new Pikes or the older one?

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Older Pikes

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Older Pikes

    DT78
    Member

    Only forks I have snapped a steerer on. I’d avoid. Was some time ago, but still I like my teeth

    Junkyard
    Member

    Mine were no better or worse than Fox or RS
    Worked fine but a pain to service to put it mildly
    Very light though

    Would not be put off owning them v other brands

    kazafaza
    Member

    2007 Minutes on my 29er still going strong! Had some Shermans in lovely camo back in the days – again no probs whatsoever. R7 on missus bike had to go for a full service but they sat unused for two years!
    Contemplating Tower Pro’s at the mo…do I really need to replace my scruffy Minutes? 😈

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