This year we offer two Black Elites, both are coil sprung but neither is necessarily any better then the other…they’re just different. The Black Elite 100 has preset travel and our heralded TPC Lockout damping system, while the Rapid Travel Wind Down (RTWD) version has Fluid Flow damping and our new geared travel adjust system for anywhere between 90 and 120mm of travel, on the fly, without a change spring rate. It’s your choice.
a Cross Country Rider
from fairfax, virginia, u.s.a.
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2008
Strengths: Product hasn't worked at all, so I can't see any strengths.
Weaknesses: These forks don't work at all. Neither did the brand new replacements. Both blew up inside 10 days of regular road riding. GARBAGE FORKS.
Don't buy these forks because they don't work. I bought my gary fisher new 5 weeks ago and have already gone through 2 brand new Manitou Axel Elite 100 forks. both blew from riding off a 4-5 inch curb. I weigh 170 lbs. Dude, I wasn't Even Riding on a trail ...WTF!!!!!
Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Judy, Fox Vanilla
Bike Setup: Gunnar, Custom, Avid, Sram, XT, Thomson, Easton
from guelph, ontario, canada
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2005
Strengths: This fork is great, the fluid flow damping works quite well. the spring set is perfect for my weight(175ish) not to stiff or plush. i dont notice any flex at all. it soaks up everything bigger then a small stick, feels like your riding a rigid down a sidewalk or road.
Weaknesses: i havnt noticed any weaknesses yet
this fork is great for all around riding. it islight for xc and is stiff enough for light freeride. i havnt had much time to use it but so far i am very pleased.
Strengths: STRONG, light, rebound adjustment and lockout actually work unlike marzzocchi crap, awesome.
Weaknesses: none its beyound perfect
i do 10 ft to flats on this fork, I gap 15 sets, and do freeriding on this fork. I totally misue it and its holding up perfectly well. I would reccommend that u use it for what the fork is intended for but heres a note to all you cross country riders, if you get this you will never need to service it. (provided you don't do 20 ft hucks). AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME
Bike Setup: Heckler set up for long rides in the back country.
a Cross Country Rider
from Onatrio, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2004
Strengths: Great fork. Very stiff. Absorbs just about anything you can throw at it.
Weaknesses: After the the second month of owning the fork, TPC lockout stopped working. Don't really use it that often, but still worried it might lead to other things. Told my LBS about the problem, said it should not be anything difficult to fix, most likely a broken seal somewhere. No oil leaking, so i'm not worried. Planning on taking it in shortly.
Great fork for cross country and light downhill. Even with the TPC lockout failing, think it is a quality product. This problem is rare, do don't get discouraged. Springs are a bit too soft for my weight (205 lbs), thinking of a spring kit. Fork takes a beating, do alot of free riding, drops, stairs, walls, tables, etc., and fork keeps on going.
Bike Setup: 2004 Giant NRS 1 frame, fox racing tuned rear suspension, Avid Mechanicals, Titec Wheels, Manitou Black Elite 100 front fork, Race Face cranks, Easton post and bars, Deore drivetrain.
a Weekend Warrior
from Cambridge, UK
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2004
Strengths: Stiff steering and plush in operation with the ability to soak up rough trails
Weaknesses: Massively over sprung unless you weight 200+ lbs. Manitou take note!
As an aggressive XC rider and these forks are well suited to my riding style. I also commute 60+ miles a week to work some road some rough track. In comparison to the Manitou Six’s fitted to my bike from new these forks are a big step forward. In comparison with my original forks there is minimal flex and the Semi-Bath with Evil Genius Seals is a fantastic upgrade over the old grease ports.
I am not sure the lock-out is really that effective out on the trails but then I have not used it that much, as my ring style when climbing doesn’t result in the forks bobbing. On the road, again the lock-out makes little difference. However, the damping system works fine with a half a turn adjustment easy to use and effective.
However, for someone who weigh 140 lbs I believe these forks are massively over sprung, especially as they are also an air fork. Now that I have installed a lighter spring, these forks have bedded in fine.
If I could have bought the forks with a suitable weight spring from new they would have got an overall rating of 4 chilli’s but as I couldn’t it’s a 3. Overall, these are a great dependable XC fork, well worth a look, but get the shop to fit the right weight spring before you part with the cash.
Bike Setup: Big black round tires(2),a seat, handlebars, and meaty cranks.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2004
Strengths: Lotsa adjustments. I have the Elite with TPC lockout, rebound, and preload. It really helps to dial in the best ride for you. It's a lot stiffer than my previous fork, the Axel Super.
Weaknesses: If it matters to you, this model has 100mm of travel, preset and non-adjustable. If you want the RTWD feature, I would reccommend going with the Platinum, as it also keeps all of the adjustments of the Elite.
The OEM Axel Super started flexing so much my tire would rub when cornering. Let me tell you, that does NOT inspire confidence! Anyway, Answer Products allowed me to cover the Axel under warranty and upgrade to the Elite a a good price. So far, it's a lot better - stiffer, smoother, more bells and whistles.
Gotta give it 5 chiles for value (warranty credits rule!) and 4 for overall. Yes, it's the best fork I've ever owned, but it's still not high-end.
Bike Setup: Rockhopper Comp with Avid mech discs and the Elite.
a Weekend Warrior
from Birmingham UK
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2004
Strengths: The lockout is easily accessible, excellent shock absorbtion.
Weaknesses: Stickers... well others had mentioned it and i have to say even new without any use there are areas that are loosing their stickyness. Might just take them all off.
Well after having an Axel Elite that failed 2 times in 6 months from normal XC use my LBS and Raw were verry kind and let me upgrade to Black elite for 60 quid plus vat. Only been using the fork for a couple of weeks but so far theyre excellent. Would give 5 chillis but will wait to see how i feel after a few months :)
I'm having a tough time locating a firm spring for my 02 Manitou Black Elite. Does anyone have any ideas that don't involve me spending $500+ for a new fork? Anyone know where I might find a spring?Read More »
I came across a good deal on a 120mm Manitou Black Elite fork. I was under the impression that by taking it apart, one could adjust from to either 100 or 120mm of travel. This is not the case (as I learned this afternoon).
So, my question is, can I buy the parts for a 100mm Black Elite and stuff t ... Read More »
The RTA on my 2003 Maniotu black does not want to disengage from the shortest setting. It was workin gfine on a ride on Sunday but failed to disengage after the final hill before my ride home. I have tried thrashing the bike down local singletrack with it set at the longest setting, hoping that it ... Read More »
I just bought a set of Manitou Black Elite 80/100 2003 on ebay. Normally I dont buy used but the guy said they were barely ridden. So I just got them in today, from the looks of them they look brand new. I have yet to install them but I was pushing down on them against the floor to test them out and ... Read More »
My bike ('04 Stumpjumper FSR) has a Black Elite 100 fork. I'm 210 lbs. I ride on many rock gardens, steps, and roots. When I'm going downhill a friend told me that the fork seem to bottom out pretty soon (I'm pretty much an amateur rider who is starting).
I don't know if I have to change to ... Read More »