Manitou Axel Elite 2003 Front Shocks

2.86/5 (22 Reviews)
Weight : 4.2 lbs


Product Description

Features:
Internally convertible travel from 80mm to 100mm Coil, Fluid Flow Damping, adjustable rebound & preload, Microlube grease ports, Magnesium RA (Reverse Arch) casting, Steel steerer tube


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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by albertboffin a Weekend Warrior from Newcastle, England

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2009

Strengths:    Plush, buttery smooth, preload adjustment, damping adjustment, reverse arch looks quality, pretty stiff.

Weaknesses:    None really....decals looked shabby quickly

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic first forks or for those on a budget, they take the big hits well, climb ok and are reasonably adjustable for the price. I gave these a beating and were still fine with no servicing when I sold them on

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Glentress

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   RockShox Indy XC, Judy TT, Recon SL, Marzocchi DJ3, EXR pros, Pace RC40 fighter

Bike Setup:   Marin Wolf Ridge, Pace RC40 fighter, RockShox Ario 2.1, XT dual control, XTR mechs, XTR brakes, Hone cranks

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by tengwar3 a Cross Country Rider from Nashua NH

Date Reviewed: April 22, 2009

Strengths:    Many adjustments with a great range to be very soft to reasonably stiff. Lockout is easy to use and adjustments to the spring tention are a snap.

Weaknesses:    Do not ride in any weather that is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit because it will freeze up.... and well, there goes your suspension. I have also just resently been having a few problem with it, and i have only had it for a season of riding.

Bottom Line:   
This fork can take what you punch at it.... granted your smooth, but isnt that how all forks are? I have done a 5 footer with this fork and i didnt bottom out, because of how do drops i always land on my rear rather than both at the same time. This has helped the fork survive in many cases. Its reverse arch is there for the extra stiffness that it so badly lacks. There also seems to be a lot of play between the stantions in the one i have as well (checked the hub/stear tub and they were not the problem).

The great thing about this fork is though its versatile. It has its weaknesses (more than most forks) but it has its strengths. Lots of adjustments with a wide range of stiffness. Lockout is easy to use, but i rarely have used it because i like to ride anything thats interesting... so thats a loss for me.

It is going to be the first thing that i up grade though, shooting for a tora or a reba right now. But if this came on your bike, ride it till it brakes, then upgrade it. Thats how it works till you got the bike you want.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Yudicky Farms

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   RockShock Judy

Bike Setup:   Garry Fisher Parahna 2007 stock, with Nashbar Race Saddle.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Smurfje007 a Cross Country Rider from Netherlands

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2008

Strengths:    A lock out. If it isn't broken it worked fine for me.
It can handle the weight of 87KG without problems.


Weaknesses:    Leaks pretty fast oil. After the first revision and 500KM further even harder then before. Manitou says: "Advice your local distributor". I would i'd never done that, because after the revision it leaks harder than ever before.

Bottom Line:   
Avoid this fork. If it's broken, buy another one. Do not aspect much support from the manufacturer.
Maybe some bad luck, but if a manufacturer doesn't take a problem seriously it says enough for me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Stock on bike

Similar Products Used:   A stock schock from Merida, Rockshox.

Bike Setup:   Cube frame, LX disc, shifters and gears. Sram9 chain.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kevin childs a Cross Country Rider from kalamazoo

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2008

Strengths:    got the diva edition(07)works good for my riding nice and tight in the corners keeps me moving quick through the trees(at 140 lbs.)and still gives good kush on those big fast drops

Weaknesses:    after a year and a few hundred miles it's not bottoming or dropping out but has taken on the feel of a cheaper not so competent shock but still performs well for what i expect out of a shock

Bottom Line:   
you can't find a better fork for the price in my opinion. they're better shocks out there no question. but if you're looking for a tight xc fork with lock out and weigh under 2bills this fork will easily fit your needs for at least 2 to 300 miles at price that won't hurt cha peace!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fort custer

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   breakaway bicycles

Similar Products Used:   rock shox indy xc,rc,cannondale head shock,marzocchi mz comp

Bike Setup:   oem on a 07 gary fisher marlin genisis

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bentley a Weekend Warrior from Bellevue, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2007

Strengths:    I'm 14 and only weigh 110 pounds. i don't know much about forks but it is the only fork i've tried thats soft enough for me it absordes bumps and drops great.

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
perfect for anyone that doesn't wiegh much. I have a buddy whoes only 90 pounds, and as soon as he took a spin on my bike went out and bought his own Axel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Philip Arnold park in renton

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   REI

Bike Setup:   07 Novara bonanza

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jasper a Cross Country Rider from Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2006

Strengths:    Sokes up every bump, long travel. Adjustable travel and rebound.

Weaknesses:    Not to stiff in combination with disc brakes, far to soft.

Bottom Line:   
Not to expensive, nice value for the money. It hasn't let me down yet, although it's much to soft for me, I weigh about 75 kilos, 160-170pounds. I have magura Julies as brakes, the fork can't handle discs very well, it bends quite a lot when braking hard. Overall I'm satisfied. In a year or so I'm going to buy a new fork. Driving 2,5 years, 3 times a week for 13miles for just 150 bucks is not expensive.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Berg en Dal

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Kersten Wielersport

Similar Products Used:   Rock shox Judy and RST Gila

Bike Setup:   Home made hardtail with blank frame from the shop.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jason Sanborn a Cross Country Rider from Saco

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2006

Strengths:    Sweet looking, nice lockout feature. Weight is decent.

Weaknesses:    A little mushy on the bottom end.

Bottom Line:   
Value plus fork. I beat the p@ss out of my bike, keeps on going. Forks have saved my shoulders and elbows from much abuse!! Bravo

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Polelines

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $175.00

Purchased At:   Gorham Bike and Ski

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Piranha.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by michael lockhart a Downhiller from swindon

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2006

Strengths:    amazing amount of travel and good for huge(90ft) drop perfect for international downhill

Weaknesses:    nout

Bottom Line:   
amazing for downhill and freeride i luv them soooooooooooo mutch

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   my living room

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2690.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   super monster ts

Bike Setup:   intense m3 full chris king and axel fork

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by rob c a Cross Country Rider from grimsby

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2006

Strengths:    fairly cheap
manitou customer service is excellent


Weaknesses:    very weak, flexible
the stanchions corrode and pit easily,
the postmount is a pain in the 4rse
too soft
the preload is either very soft of very hard nothing in between


Bottom Line:   
if youre going to ride on roads mainly then maybe this fork is for you, i ride alot in mud and the wet which has caused the seals and stantions to corrode i am now on my 3rd pair of the forks (manitou keep replacing them for me) and still gettin the same problem
have upgraded to a better fork now :D no problems at all

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   pace rc39s

Bike Setup:   specialized rockhopper

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andy Baxter a Weekend Warrior from Grimsby, U.K.

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2006

Strengths:    Cheap, Adjustable, Look quite good (Reverse Arch), Not a lot else out there that's as good for money

Weaknesses:    A bit heavy, Occasionaly top/bottom out

Bottom Line:   
Cheap & cheerful, not had any major probs, did the C2C(U.K.)150 miles, with no probs, soaks up almost anything I care to throw at them, but maybe I'm not trying hard enough!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dalby Forest (Red Route), N.Yorks., U.K.

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Stif, Leeds, U.K. (Fitted to bike as std.)

Similar Products Used:   none, 1st sus forks

Bike Setup:   Orange Gringo, Hope xc hubs, Hope Mono Mini's, Mavic xc317's, Deore 8spd Drivetrain, Easton ea50 stem.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Ryan a Cross Country Rider from New Londen CT USA

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2005

Strengths:    good lock out, soft for amiture raming's, good flex, nice color.

Weaknesses:    this is not a reliable fork i am 14 and weigh about 130 and it some times stifens out when outher times it goes smouth not recomened for any drop off over 12 in. i am not that grate of a rider and can only ride some advanced singal track and it still is horible the first month it paformed ok but after the 2ed or 3erd it started giveing me a whole bunch of probles not worth bying at all suck a rip off

Bottom Line:   
its bad for all riders even in the amiture levil but i would recimend it for riders just starting out and going into cross contry cheep first buy

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all at bluff point

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   wayfar bikes

Similar Products Used:   none except my friends wall-mart spechil


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike Muller a Cross Country Rider from Simsbury, CT, USA

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2005

Strengths:    Light weight, smooth riding, easy to adjust, great as a beginner's fork

Weaknesses:    Can't handle too many heavy landings

Bottom Line:   
If you are starting out, take it for the great price. Want something more durable, invest a bit more

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Alpach, Tirol, Austria

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Cellar

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi All Mountain, Marzocchi Bomber, Marzocchi DJ III

Bike Setup:   Giant Rainier with Marzocchi Dirt Jumper III and Avid mechanical disc brakes.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jason Brown a Cross Country Rider from Molalla, OR

Date Reviewed: October 19, 2004

Strengths:    Good Customer Service

Weaknesses:    Cheap as a $5 Hooker.

Bottom Line:   
I bought the bike about 3 months ago. I ride quite a bit of cross-country on singletrack. There are about 50 miles of trails less than 10 miles from my house, but most of it is technical singletrack with a lot of roots and rocks, no big drops to really speak of and lots o' hill to climb.
The Axel Elite is a cheap fork to begin with. I weigh around 190 lbs and this is too much for the fork to handle. To begin with I cranked the compression real high and the fork handled pretty much anything I could throw at it. Then one day I packed in about 15 miles and noticed that I bottomed out at least 4 times. Putting the bike back in my truck, I noticed large amounts of oil coming from the lockout side of the fork and dripping all the way down to my front hub. I took the fork back to the bikeshop and they said they would tear it apart and get back with me. This was a nightmare waiting to happen. I did some research while I jonesed for some riding and found out that you have to pay to play. These Axels are crap if you ride more than 15 miles 2 to 3 times a week. So, the guy at the shop puts my fork together and tells me the lockout cartridge is blown but I can still use the fork, mistake #1. This is the reason for the oil leaking so badly. They did absolutely nothing. I call Manitou personally and they have great customer service, and send me the lockout cartridge and new seals for free. I decided to rebuild the fork myself, mistake #2. Bottom line the fork is still a piece of crap and I am looking at getting a Marzocchi fork.

Do not buy this fork unless you are lighter than the bike itself.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Deer Skull, Rim Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Mountain View Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Last Bike was a KHS in 98 with a front Manitou fork.

Bike Setup:   03 FSR Stumpjumper, pretty much stock w/ Avid Mechanical Disks.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by dalle001 a Racer from California

Date Reviewed: August 26, 2004

Strengths:    Lock out.

Weaknesses:    Weight, way too soft.

Bottom Line:   
Came on a Specialized Stumpjumper. The Axel is a POS. The preload is all or nothing. The fork bottoms out on any hit - made for someone who weighs sub-100 lbs. The beast weighs a ton. I feel for all those who get stuck with this fork because the manufacturer was to cheap to stick something decent on. Switch out immediately (I threw on a SID Team, which I LOVE).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bret Marts a Weekend Warrior from Cleveland

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2004

Strengths:    Cost, adjustable travel

Weaknesses:    soft fork, not built for a rider above 170 pds.

Bottom Line:   
I'm your average XC rider weighing in at 153 pds. I bottomed out the fork once, then promptly adjusted the travel the very next day. Since then the fork has performed well. This is a great buy for a lightweight rider who will not be taking on major jumps. Buy it if you are looking for a cheap fork and are under 170 pds

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   West Branch State Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Spin Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shock Judy

Bike Setup:   Ironhorse Rogue 2003: Deore Drive system, Monster tires, hayes HMX1 mechanical disk

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Replacing Manitou Axel Elite 100mm fork from 2004 Spec'd FSRxc Pro - suggestions?

So it's an older bike but I enjoy it a lot and have put on some good upgrades. Blew out the fork today and am tired of screwing with it. I'm not particularly familiar with fork upgrades so I'm looking for suggestions. Budget - unsure... $250-450? Travel - current fork is 100mm, I don't want to m ... Read More »

Spring kits for an '04 Manitou Axel Elite fork? Part #85-4828

I picked up an 04 Rockhpper PRO yesterday and it has the original fork which is far too soft for my 200lb ass. Anyone know where I can get the "Firm" spring kit for this fork still as its 6 years old now? eBay was no help and couldnt find anything with google. I need this: Manitou Firm ride kit ... Read More »

Axel Elite any Good? (For steel hardtail)

I'm looking for a fork for my 12 yr. old steel hardtail, which was originally spec'd w/ a 67mm but which has spent most of it's life w/ an 80mm Manitou SX-R. The SX-R is wearing out, after thousands of miles and multiple rebuilds. Parts are no longer available. I notice the Axel has V-brake bosse ... Read More »

Need info on Manitou Axel Elite w/TPC lockout

The fork came on my 06 Piranha, so I am assuming it is also an 06 model. Is that correct? I know it is listed as having 100mm of travel and has magnesium lowers. I have searched the internet for info on this shock and come up empty. I have tinkered with it and figured out that the drive side has ... Read More »

manitou axel elite rebuild, what do i need?

i bought a 2006 gary fisher piranha used and i want to rebuild the fork. fork is working ok but i want to get some more plushness out of it. the fork has compression damping and tpc lockout. i was thinking of getting new wipers/seals, regreasing, changing the damper oil and maybe bushings. any tips ... Read More »

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