Manitou Axel Super 2003 Front Shocks

2.91/5 (45 Reviews)
Weight : 4.2 lbs MSRP : $229.95


Product Description

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


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

Reviews 1 - 15 (45 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by soren.s.s a Weekend Warrior from Missoula MT

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2008

Strengths:    obsorbs shocks well doesent bottom out like everybody sais

Weaknesses:    cracked the arch, preload isnt very adjustible

Bottom Line:   
The fork is pretty good, the person at the bike shop said that that type of wreck would break any fork like that, so I dont have very much against it except that the preload doesent adjust it very much

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dirt jumps

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $140.00

Purchased At:   Bike Doctor

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   GT chucker 3.0

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Shell Shell a Weekend Warrior from Norway

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2007

Strengths:    Great suspension for gravel tracks - cheap (!) - easy adjustment - lock out

Weaknesses:    A bit to heavy - does compress to much by default

Bottom Line:   
Best damper I've ever had but I'm interested in a lighter (stiffer one) for XC races. I have ridden this damper quite hard in XC trails and have not broken it yet - seems like its a good product.
Seems like an ok damper but need adjustment (unless you are just skin and bones)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gravel

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   XXL

Similar Products Used:   Several Rock Shocks - RST

Bike Setup:   Scott Scale 50 (came with this damper)

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bob a Cross Country Rider from Illinois

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2007

Strengths:    Not the body. This is a good all purpose fork.

Weaknesses:    After 1 year I broke the shock in half while riding a moderately aggrressive xcountry trail. I didn't realize it was busted until I tried to take off the wheel and one strut came off at a time. Marzocchi promptly replaced the shock free of charge!

Bottom Line:   
It's factory equipment on a lower, mid-ranged priced bike. There are tons of better shocks, but there are tons of worse ones too. If you have a chance to improve your bike, buy new wheels first, then think about swapping out this fork. Don't buy it to improve your bike unless your current ride really sucks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   There's trail in Squamish, B.C. named after a dead guy - Bob I think it was.

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Bob's Bikes in Chicago

Similar Products Used:   Many.

Bike Setup:   Giant warp DS-1, Mavic F219 rims with XT hubs and 2.2" tires, Truvative Stylo crank, MonkeyLight Handle bars, and a newer stronger coil-over spring than stock.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Sneaker a Weekend Warrior from Sydney, Australia

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2006

Strengths:    Its very light and works neat on anything going downhill. Its a s#$% load better than the RST Omni 191 it replaced. Saved my ass from what would have been a very painful stack on the Omni :). Pretty sweet on curb hopping through the burbs.

Weaknesses:    Feels a lil flexy sometimes. I want a better fork after using this even though it craps all over the RST POS. Need regular maintenance as i am beginning to find out,only 2 months (1000km) and its lost some of its plushness :(

Bottom Line:   
Got this as a replacement once my RST pos locked up. I am a newbie but i think this fork is ok for the price. Steep downhills on fire trails are where i feel it shines. As mentioned before its already saved me. It does feel flexy sometimes but nothing significant. Good for newbies like me

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any i can find

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Avanti Escape, Sun Rim Ditch Witch rims

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Neil a Cross Country Rider from Manchester

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2005

Strengths:    Lockout, Adjustable rebound

Weaknesses:    none yet.

Bottom Line:   
They came as standard on the bike, I have done 600 off road miles on them in 6 months, without a single problem (touch wood). That said I have not been jumping off cliff faces with them.I do weigh in at 14.5 stone and they are perfect for the type of riding that I do (XC and singletrack but not Downhill/Extreme). I do think that they feel a little fragile, but this has not had any effect on their performance (I put this down to my excess weight!).
I would recommend these to an enthusiast, but not a racer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   edale - hayfield (via jacobs ladder)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   HH cycles

Similar Products Used:   RST, Marzocchi

Bike Setup:   Rockhopper 05' stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Vanessa and Steve a Weekend Warrior from Houston, Texas, USA

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2005

Strengths:    Lockout is impressive, dial in preload and tension with a gauge

Weaknesses:    WAY too soft, degree of travel, sticky response, lockout seems weak

Bottom Line:   
This is an impressive fork for a stock set-up. The lock out feature and the compression dial are attractive add-ons; unfortunately, I expect a stiffer, more resistant quality, and the Manitou doesn't deliver that. It's not worth the price you pay, especially for a medium-tier bike. Rock Shox and Marzocchi forks are definitely more bang for the buck. I would consider upgrading or finding a bike with these as stock.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cypresswood

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   Sun and Ski Sports

Similar Products Used:   Spinner Grind AC 323 (on Bobcat Trail)

Bike Setup:   Stock 2005 Marin Nail Trail

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Will a Cross Country Rider from Dover, MA, US

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2005

Strengths:    Was better than no shocks in the beginning. Did fine for most rides.

Weaknesses:    Arch support fractured while riding, causing me to tumble - had to ride home with wheel rubbing brakes for 10 miles.

Bottom Line:   
This product is a safety hazard. Fortunately my crash was at low speed when the support arch fractured on one side.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   One I don't crash on

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Came with bike

Bike Setup:   stock Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo bought in '03.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Fraz Dokie a Racer from alabama

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2005

Strengths:    looks pretty flashey uuuuuummmmmmm its good

Weaknesses:    the silver thingys go into the back things ( i tink ther called lowers)

Bottom Line:   
its good exceppt that the fork movves

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   me backyard

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   me local store

Similar Products Used:   wooden stick

Bike Setup:   cardboard box with weels and this spoon i mean fork

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by bernie a Weekend Warrior from Laguna, Philippines

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2005

Strengths:    It's a Manitou!

Weaknesses:    All adjustable features seems No Function - Nothings happening when you adjust the travel and rebound.

Bottom Line:   
Save your dollars and buy other models, this is a display fork only on your bike. This fluid type sucks deeply and rebounds poorly, not recommended for heavier riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Caliraya & Cavinti Trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Ross Cycles-Cartimar

Similar Products Used:   Marz Bomber MX Comp

Bike Setup:   XXTenssion w/ LX 05 Group set

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Patrick a Downhiller from Moapa, NV, 89025

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2005

Strengths:    The fork can be really plush and fast action on the high speed downhills. I don't need to worry about anything smaller than a curb. The adjustment Knobs work great, I don't what these other people are talking about. I ride a steel frame that flexs anyway so the fork matches the frame really well. I am 5'10" 180 and it works great.

Weaknesses:    Only that it seems to cost more than it should

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line is that the fork works great. I haven't had any problems. Only if I go to moab I would like to get the firming kit from Manitou. If you like huge drops and low speed this fork is not for you. If you like high speed and fast riding this is your tool.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Similar Products Used:   Manitou SX

Bike Setup:   Hard tail steel frame, downhill rims and tires.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Bill Murray a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2004

Strengths:    looks good

Weaknesses:    travel adjust is a joke, too easy to bottom out, you cant run tyres fatter than 2.2 with the reverse arch. they flex like crazy, expensive

Bottom Line:   
I got these forks put on my bike after the RST's that came on it gave up, when i first got it the the tyre rubbed on the reverse arch and wore away at the tyre. you cant run anything fatter then 2.2 otherwise the wheel wont roll. they are alright for XC but once you start doing drops above 4inches they cant handle it. they flex like theres no tomorrow, i weigh 50kg and can bottom them out while im riding on flat concrete simply by "pumping" them up and down. all in all im am bitterly disapointed and will be buying some 2005 rockshox judy SL's or marzocchi MX comp coil's in the next week or so.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   rockshox judy

Bike Setup:   2005 specialized hardrock sport disc w/manitou axel super alloy platform pedals, electrical tape

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rene a Weekend Warrior from Veracruz, Mexico

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2004

Strengths:    Fairly good performance. Hard to bottom (at least for me)

Weaknesses:    Reverse arch too low for 2.2 tires. Poor rebound adjustment.

Bottom Line:   
A fork you don't need to change if it came stock on the bike. It does its job without complaints or highlights. I would recommend it as an upgrade for cheaper or similar priced (Rock Shox?) forks or bikers on a budget. Mine is a OEM version without the RTWD and it bobs easily. It's sweet going downhill though. Point and Shoot. Not a Black or a Zoke but the fork follows your instructions.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   chiluca

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Stock on Bike

Similar Products Used:   Manitou SX '00

Bike Setup:   Stock Giant Warp DS1 2003

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Kemal K a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2004

Strengths:    Lockout is really useful and is not usually found on lower level forks
If you're not going to be doing any real jumps it'll do
Good for beginner-novice riders who won't be doing any racing. The microlube ports work amazing and are easy to use


Weaknesses:    Flexes like no tommorow, preload does absolutely nothing,rebound adjustement is barely noticeable
bobs like mad in a sprint, would no recommend it for racers.
Nearly bottoms out just going over curbs, unpredictable


Bottom Line:   
If you use this fork for purely XC riding it'll do the job. Its not very sensitive over samller roots and stuff but as soon as you ride off anything higher than a curb the travel nearly bottoms out. I haven't had many problems with it being too soft because I'm only 140 lbs but any heavier riders will need to get stiffer springs. NEVER take this dirt jumping!! It simply can't handle it. Way too flexy. I'm looking to upgrade but it'll do for another season while I save up enough to buy a really good fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lower Don

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Bike Depot

Bike Setup:   Specialized Rockhopper Pro (hardtail)-- Stock
XT/Deore Mix, Avid Single Digit Brakes, Mavic 221 Rims

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Erick B a Cross Country Rider from Tampa, Fl

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2004

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    EVERYTHING! is broken!

Bottom Line:   
This is a HORRIBLE shock, it worked for the first week, and then the lock out broke, has no resistence, rebound doesnt work, preload barely works. if i even hit a stupid speed bump it bottoms out! worst thing i have ever touched! today the lock-out lever fell off... this fork had ruined my life, dont get it

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   rock shox pyslo race, manitou black

Bike Setup:   stumpjumper

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Avi Hefets a Weekend Warrior from Israel

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is my second review.
I upgraded the fork using manitou's firm kit.
I must say the fork is by far better, and if you are an agressive XC rider and you tend to blend it with some free riding, than the kit will do the work.
The new spring is very stiff and can handle real tough trails. adjusting the rebound to the oil's slowest flow will ease the spring a little bit and will apply the rider with some more feeling of controll.
The kit comes with aluminum cap instead of the silly plastic one that came with the fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Agressive XC

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   Specialized rockhoper fsr comp

Reviews 1 - 15 (45 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


My 03's - Answer Manitou Axel Super Front shock is jacked up - worth fixing?

I have a 2003 Rockhopper FSR Comp that I just picked up, and sent it off to my LBS for an overhaul. I got a call today and they told me they can't get the front shock to adjust correctly, it "pops" when they try to turn the adjustor knob to set preload. It also looks like the lockout damper isn't ... Read More »

My 2003 Manitou Axel Super is clanking.

Well to make a long story short-both my Fox Triad and Float RL from my 07 Stumpjumper are being serviced, which forces me to ride my old SJ FSR until the suspension parts are returned. The old SJ has a 03Manitou Axel Super, which is an inexpensive fork that I was planning on selling the bike with un ... Read More »

Thule Super G Carrier Failure - need advice for 20mm axel

I have a bike with a 20mm through axel and there arent too many good options for roof rack carriers. I've been using the Thule Super G and it[I] seemed [/I]to work OK, but the bike always moved around a lot and never gave me much confidence. This past weekend the carrier developed enough play and ... Read More »

Manitou Axel super lockout notchy

I have a set of Manitou Axels that are only 500km old and feel very notchy whilst riding and seem to be getting worse. The manual is pretty much useless and the web site is down probably forever by the look of it. Is there any thing that can be done to this fork to make it smoother? BazRead More »

Manitou Axel Super Stuck in 100mm position.. help?

What could cause the travel adjuster (75-100m i think) on my Manitou Axel super to stop working? Can anyone help me out here? I'd prefer if I could fix it myself since I dont want to spend any money on such a cr@ppy fork. Thanks:thumbsup: rbRead More »

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