Manitou Black Elite RTWD 2004 Front Shocks

3.5/5 (14 Reviews)


Product Description

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.


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

Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by aaron cuff a Cross Country Rider from new brunswick

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2008

Strengths:    this fork is a good fork, im using it on a hardtail and it almost makes it in to a dh, its a good reliable fork, and where it has a 90mm travel it can be used in bike parks, like as a bmx.

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
this fork is worth the little bit of cash asked for, really good on hardtails. just wonderin if its anygood on a full suspension.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   around my house

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   2004 K2 Zed 2.0

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Patrick Vallillee a Racer from Ottawa ON

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2008

Strengths:    Takes the hits super well for not being meantfor down-hill, rebound works amazing, Needs o tune-ups, ver relable.

Weaknesses:    Hard to find an adapter for my disk brake to go on the fork.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line,great fork extremely reliable would recommend to anyone, take abuse better tan they should.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Fresh Air Experience

Similar Products Used:   Fox Vanilla

Bike Setup:   2006 Norco Wolverine, Shimano Deore shifters, avid brake levers, race face bars, FSA Crank, Manitou Black Elite

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Simon a Weekend Warrior from Paisley

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2006

Strengths:    good lightweight fork that supports even my bulk

Weaknesses:    none that I've found yet

Bottom Line:   
These forks have ben superb, all other forks have a tendency to bottom out under my substantial bulk, but these don't plus the lock out makes them great for commuting as well.

I am now looking at a pair of Balck Elites fr my other bike to replace my freerides

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Carron Valley

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Jett XC, Marzzochi Bomber Freeride SL, Manitou SX

Bike Setup:   Terk 6000, Manitou Balck Elite RTWD, Mavic Crossrides, Raceface Evolve XC, Avid Speed Dial 7's, Deore

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pete long a Cross Country Rider from johnson, vermont

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2006

Strengths:    cheap, looks cool, good rebound and smooth compression

Weaknesses:    third day i had it, the bolt that hold on the brakes stpipped right out of the housings after a hard stop, i just replaced the bolts with some longer ones and i have not had any problems since.

Bottom Line:   
thist is a great value trail riding fork. i would recomend it to anyone new to the sport or someone who is looking for a quality fork without spending too much. No complaints here.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   came with bike


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tony a Weekend Warrior from Knoxville, TN, USA

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2006

Strengths:    Adjustable Travel - 90-120mm. Adjustable rebound. Very plush and smooth.

Weaknesses:    Sprung too light, bottoms out without any effort for all but the lightest of riders. Needs constant maintenance despite only occasional riding. Weeps oil.

Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is this: This is a good fork for a very light rider who doesn't climb often and wants a very soft ride and adjustable travel. Heavier, hillier, hairier riders will be all but disappointed with the spongey softness of this fork and the subsequent uncomfortable bonk of the fork bottoming out. The RTWD function works perfectly - one can choose to smoothly travel from 90mm upto 120mm before hitting bottom!

The firm and extra-firm spring upgrades can be tough to come by - it seems that Manitou doesn't have these widely available, despite their popularity as an upgrade. There is also considerable confusion thanks to their naming two forks exactly the same with vastly different internals. (hint - extra firm springs are available for the non-RTWD) Expect to wait months on backorder for an upgrade. I contacted several shops about obtaining an extra-firm kit and got the same story from all of them - 4 month backorder. I got the impression bike shops weren't very well supported by Manitou in the distribution channel.

This could be a very good performer, if only the parts were available to adapt it to the more realisticly weighted XC weekend warrior. I give it 3 chilis for value, because they are rather inexpensive, but 2 for an overall because of Manitou's poor customer service, parts availability and channel support.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Haw Ridge

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   OEM...

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi MX Pro ETA

Bike Setup:   '04 Cannondale Jekyll, Fox Float RL rear suspension.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by BV S a Cross Country Rider from Austin, Texas

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2006

Strengths:    Adjustable travel is nice. That's about it.

Weaknesses:    I purchased my last Manitou product ever after owning this fork. In less than 100 miles of off-roading, the rebound assembly has blown apart 3 times. Also, it's way too heavy and bulky. The threads that hold the brake strip-out too easily. I have had to install helicoils. I do tend to overtighten, but it really didn't take anything at all with this fork.

Bottom Line:   
Manitou is notorious for filling their forks with cheap, plastic parts. Spend a little extra on a Fox or even the same money on Marzocchi.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cameron Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Manitou MARS (Also junk), Cannondale Headshock (Best lockout ever designed), and Rock Shox Duke

Bike Setup:   Steel hard-tail. XTR, Race Face, Thompson, Chris King, and Mavic Cross Max SL's.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike Davies a Cross Country Rider from Lehi, Utah, USA

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2005

Strengths:    Tuneability, plush ride, cheap price, online support. Responds well to tweaking.

Weaknesses:    Comes set up poorly. There are many variations, so ordering parts can be tricky. Those not familiar with fork tuning can get frustrated.

Bottom Line:   
These have great potential, you just have to find it. I am submitting this review primarily to share what I have learned about this fork. In stock trim, the spring will be too soft for almost everybody over 140 lbs. (I'm 190)Get the firm ride kit. MAKE SURE that your dealer (they will not sell direct) orders the right spring as they differ between forks with wind down and those without. You should plan on disassembling the forks. You can also purchase the rebound adjustment assembly and the compression/lockout assembly if your forks didn't come with it. The compression/lockout assembly is where I found some issues. The adjustment knob allows about 2/3 of a turn. The manual says to place it in such a way that it stops turning in the clockwise (locked out) direcction just before the tab makes it stop. I did this and had some harshness when the thing was open. I cut off the tab so I could spin the adjuster open as far as possible and the harshness was gone. That, combined with the firm ride spring makes for a super plush ride with wind down and lockout on the side for special occasions. So the rating would be a meager three chilis stock, and five with the modifications I have done. So I averaged it to four.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Came on bike

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shock Judy

Bike Setup:   Giant VT3.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ben from sheboygan, wi

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2005

Strengths:    RTWD works, good rebound adj.


Weaknesses:    stock spring is very soft, replaced it with the firm, rebound control sucked until i replaced the oil with a blend of 10 and 20 weight

Bottom Line:   
it took a little work to get it running the way i wanted it to. servicing it is pretty simple too. VERY easy to replace the spring and oil! any monkey could do it, manitou has the service manual on the website if you havent figured it out already that will help if you havent done it before, makes a slight mess if you dont know what your doing. otherwise its worth the money

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Bike Setup:   homegrown, full xt drive train

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from Cape Town

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2005

Strengths:    Rebound adjust, revese arch, Nice stanchons.

Weaknesses:    Weak travel adjustment, weak coil spring

Bottom Line:   
It is not very durable, great for the start but fails fast. If you are a freerider don't get it, I think the XC guys wil use it better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   pARADYSKLOOF track

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Masons Bike inn

Similar Products Used:   Manitou stance flow(much better)

Bike Setup:   Ravo dirt series, black, truvativ cranks, sram 90 shivters+ sprockets......

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mike Zima a Weekend Warrior from Huntington Beach, CA

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2004

Strengths:    Long Travel - 90-120mm, adjustable

Weaknesses:    Too soft, not enough features (no preload, no rebound)

Bottom Line:   
Came with bike. Springs and replacement stiff spring are way too soft for the heavy rider (240lbs). Bottom out with stock spring, not with stiff, but stiff spring still carries too much sag and not rebound to slow the travel down. Makes it a linear travel fork.

Wouldn't buy this fork for the price offered ($300). Can find other Manitou products with slightly less travel and loads more features for much less than $200.

Fork is good for the weekend warrier XC girlyman rider or a chick. Will not survive freerides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tunnel

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Limited, Rock Shock

Bike Setup:   Giant VT-3

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rusty a Weekend Warrior from So Cal

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2004

Strengths:    Adjustable travel, reverse arch, rebound, color, light.

Weaknesses:    No lockout, stickers, little soft for coming on large bike

Bottom Line:   
Great fork. love the adjustable travel. very smooth. very plush for street and trails but had to add compression dampening/lockout for jumps and pedaling uphill. Stickers aren't very good, just keep em on to protect the paint.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Marshall

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Incycle: came with bike

Similar Products Used:   Manitou spyder R, Marzocchi bomber M1.

Bike Setup:   2004 Cannondale 600 disc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Angotti a Cross Country Rider from Dallas, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2004

Strengths:    Nice damping, responsive, nice feel, excellent control. Looks cool. RTWD

Weaknesses:    Decals on the fork are kinda weak. I have heard of problems with the reverse arch design (Answer says 2004 models have been fixed.

Bottom Line:   
Way better than the other shocks I've ridden. The RS Jett was garbage, and the Skareb Comp was too flimsy for me (Lots of flex, mine failed within the 1st 75 miles.The RTWD is a nice feature...provides some versatility for the all-around rider. Absorbs the bumps and keeps the wheel on the ground nicely.

Mine has the stiff spring (Me = 250#). I am a commuter, and a Weekend Warrior. This fork satisfies all my needs. I shall ride it until it breaks.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $225.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   RS Jett, Skareb Comp(2004)

Bike Setup:   GF Ziggurat

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chase a Weekend Warrior from Greensboro USA

Date Reviewed: February 27, 2004

Strengths:    Very smooth, adjustable travel and keeps spring rate, reverse arch keeps things stiff,

Weaknesses:    Stock springs way too soft, you have to get off the bike to adjust the travel(not that big of a deal), rebound and preload not adjustable, wish it had SPV

Bottom Line:   
Overall, this is a very well made and well working fork. I have to take a chili away though because the stock springs are truly WAY too soft. If you are buying this fork or a VT 3 for that matter and weigh any more than 120lbs., make sure that you've got the proper springs for your weight and/or the springs that you want. But other than that, you're buying a good quality products from one of the leading suspension manufacturers in the world and most of you trail riders should be descently satisfied with this fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Urban

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Came stock on Giant VT 3

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Sherman Breakout Plus SPV and Slider Plus SPV, Manitou Skareb SPV and Comp, Manitou Minute 3, Marzocchi Dirt Jumper II, Marzocchi Z150 FR ETA, Fox TALAS RL, Fox Vanilla R, Fox Terra-Logic, Fox Float 80RLT

Bike Setup:   Stock VT3 except LX front derailleur and Specialized Roll-X Pro tires (stock Hutchison's SUCK)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Will a Weekend Warrior from Loughborough

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2004

Strengths:    For the price, these forks are the bomb. Super smooth, nicely damped travel in both 90mm setting and 130mm. Amazingly stiff for an S.C. fork. Has the Manitou /Hayes post mount. Looks fantastic!

Weaknesses:    When rebound damping is wound down, it really is fast.

Bottom Line:   
Great forks, decent looks, super stiff. Bit too quick.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $461.00

Purchased At:   Leisure Lakes Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Freinds mx comp + Freinds DJ3. Neither compare.

Bike Setup:   Club Roost XC-4, Hope Mono minis, Mavic F219 on deore, deore group, Nokian Gazza

Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

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


Manitou Black Elite 90/120 RTWD upgrade

I need suggestions for what to do with my Black Elite fork. I have a 2004 Black Elite 90/120 RTWD fork. I purchased, what I thought was, the correct xtra-firm spring upgrade (answer part no. 85-5855). When I go to install it, the spring sticks out of the top of the fork about an inch. In order ... Read More »

Test your knowledge of weights...Marathon S120 & Black Elite RTWD 125

Which one is lighter? 2004s..... Which one would sell for more used? Both in excellent shape...... Thanks SBobRead More »

black elite help (2004 rtwd)

i posted a couple days ago with no reply... giving it one more shot.... I need to replace the stock spring with the firm one. i have it in hand, but im not completely sure how to go about it. i have the manual downloaded off the manitou site, but its not as much of a help as i would like it to be. ... Read More »

Can TPC+/Lockout Be Added to 2004 Manitou Black Elite RTWD?

I was wonderng if you can get an aftermarket kit to add TPC+/lockout to replace the FFD damper on a 2004 Manitou Black Elite RTWD fork? If so, anyone know how much/where to get/how easy it is? Thanks, ChrisRead More »

manitou black elite rtwd

i've noticed after every ride that the rebound damper on the bottom right of my fork gets covered with oil. not a whole lot, but enough to cover the whole blue cap, adjuster. is this normal? does something need to be fixed? would it be pretty simple to do it myself? i've had the fork for three to fo ... Read More »

Read More »



 

INTERBIKE

EUROBIKE





Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!




















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »

   

MTBR on Facebook