For 2004, Blacks are not only better than ever - they’re a better value too. Packed with features such as our new Rapid Travel Wind Down no spring rate change travel adjustment, our TPC Lockout damping system, and the latest generation Reverse Arch magnesium casting, the new Black Platinum has a Thoroughbred’s pedigree at a workhorse price. Elsewhere in the line, the Super offers the same high-end damping system mated to a significantly lighter air spring. Frugal and discerning riders, look no further
a Cross Country Rider
from St Louis MO
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2008
Strengths: LIGHT, lots of adjustments, high quality fit/finish
This is a whole lot of fork for your hard earned $$$$. It's not as stiff as a Fox or light as a SID, but you would spend 2x the cash on either of those choices. I have a SPV valve in my fork, it is almost infinitely adjustable (except no lockout). Air spring, rebound, hi/low speed compression they all work and work very well. My 120mm travel version has very long legs and tends to flex on hard hits, but you really can't beat this fork for the price. Oh yeah, no leaks after 1.5 years of service riding trails, XC, bike paths and urban jungles.
Bike Setup: Fisher Pirahna, XT drive, XT brakes, race lite wheels ect.
a Weekend Warrior
from Dewey, AZ
Date Reviewed: February 15, 2007
Strengths: Very tunable, plush ride, good looking, can take small and big hits. Very nice ride!!!
Weaknesses: Stickers fall off, leaks oil easily, had many waranty problems.
One of the greatest riding forks ever!!! BUUUUTTTT, Ive had three major problems: the compresion dampaning had to be replaced twice and the rebound had to be replaced once. All this in two years. This was a 04 model but I bought it new in 05. Maybe its the year? Either way great buy as long as you can get your local bike shop to intervene for the waranty issues.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2005
Strengths: Full adjustments Sincere behaviour with any kind of set up - The rider always knows what to expect.
Weaknesses: None so far. I was told it tends to bend along it’s axle (torque) easily! Haven’t felt it yet! The graphics do come off… a bit - Not to the extents of pealing – But Yes : They ARE just stickers! Leaking oil????? Breaking arch? Never crossed my mind! Are you guys serious? Should I be worried?!? :(
Bottom line it is “adequate”! A word I think should be used more often on MTB, and why not, on most mechanic apparatus. After all you shouldn’t buy a screwdriver to bang on nails. My bike is an “all-around”; “aggressive XC” bike. Not a race bike, a dirt bike, a DH bike or a BMX. I only have money and patience for ONE bike. So I wanted the funniest and more multi-task I could find. One has to compromise! It’s not the best 80mm XC fork on the market, nor the best 120mm Enduro fork. It’s simply a multi task, plain middle of the Manitou chart, Black fork. It’s soft and lightweight in every sense. How come that on this same thread of posts, some 200lbs guys say that the fork takes it all? When others with 140lbs, want to throw the black platinum into the trash? Do they all “land” the same way? Do they all have FS frames? Don’t think so. I consider myself lightweight. If you’re not, read the posts from the big guys, and give it some thought. I’m 154lbs, and it works a bit on the soft side!
You can have an extreme style riding if you keep in mind what you have between your legs – And by that I mean the Bike, guys! :) Don’t let the 120mm fool you! It is still XC!!!! And again, by the 120mm I mean the fork, guys!!!! But again, if what you wanted was a Sherman, a Nixon, or just even a Minute, why the hell did you buy the Black? I tell you why - $$$$ - Me to! I would go for the bike with the Minute, just by looking at the fork!!!! But again – One has to compromise! I’m 154lbs (70Kg), 5.42ft (1,67m), and ride a full suspension S frame (16,5in) – I must stick to it!
Manitou with the Black platinum gives the consumer (some of us at least) what he wants: - Lightweight, soft responsive 1st bit of the travel and progressive until the bottom; TPC keeps it real doing what he must when it suddenly gets rough. - 90mm for fast XC and "up the hill", - Lockout for urban and road parts specially climbing. The gadget is so soft (too soft actually) you can change it with one finger while riding. No need for remote! - 120mm for your back and ass health on “down the hill” trails (NO REAL DH - on your dreams pal!). Just mountain gaps and drops or urban obstacles like stairs and fat curves. - One finger on the fly adjusts (TPC/preload and lockout while riding), rebound (bottom of the leg – one must get off the bike, LOL), for the travel I’m afraid two fingers are needed (bit boring- twist, twist, twist – Now perhaps more exciting with IT 2005)
In conclusion: They give the “Prosumer” everything he wants on ONE simple, smart package. What do you want more? SPV?
Adapt your ridding style or change the fork, but don’t kill the messenger (Manitou)!
NOTE: Gave 4 for the fair price (comparing) and 5 because it is ADEQUATE. (Not the best fork ever for sure, but that’s not the point)
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi EXR Supra 04, Suntour XC Pro
Bike Setup: Canyon Bikes FX4000: LX,XT group 04, Magura Julie 04, Magura Swinger 3 way 38mm, all Iridum components (seat post,etc.)
a Weekend Warrior
from Irvine, CA USA
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2005
Strengths: Travel adjust, lockout
Weaknesses: WEAK! WEAK! Weak!
I had the fork and bike for about 6 months when the fork started leaking oil everywhere. Up to that point, I was only doing some moderate cross country riding in Orange County (Santiago, Aliso-Wood, Whiting Ranch, Peters Canyon), and only going about once or twice a week. I'm only 140 pounds and don't do gnarly downhill riding, so I can't imagine this fork is good for anyone who does more than that. After I blew out the catridge, Manitou fixed it for free and I didn't even have to pay for shipping, which was cool. I have since upgraded to a 2005 Fox Talas RLC, which is 100% better. Know anyone who wants a rebuilt Manitou Black Platinum? Let me know.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2005
Strengths: Light, Sweet feel, Nice and adjustable, extrememly reliable, good size stanchions, has never bottomed out(I weigh 145), I could go on........
Weaknesses: I really don't see that there are any........
I love my black platinum. To me, it feels the same as the vanilla R, but with travel adjustment, compression adjustment, rebound adjustment, and a lockout. I read in a couple other reviews that people have had problems with the knobs, but I doubt they knew what to do for sure. Initially, I had the same trouble, however, a simple tightening and realignment of the top screws was all it took. It sounds like no one else understood that you can't simply crank down on the screws, you have to align them. I have had nothing but good experiences with this fork. I ride Idaho, so you can bet it's seen some gnarly stuff. Too bad the highest rank you can give is a 5, caus I'd give it a 1 million if I could. This fork is sweet and don't believe for a second that it isn't good for racing XC. Wind it down to 90, up the compression damping and you've got one heck of a XC fork.
Similar Products Used: RS Duke, several Zoke forks, Fox Vanilla R
Bike Setup: 1st Bike: Trek 04 4500 hardtail, XT FD, Kinetics Tires, Manitou Black Platinum 04. 2nd Bike: 05 Jamis Dakar XLT, Fox Vanilla R fork, Everything Stock.
a Weekend Warrior
from Highlands, Scotland
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2005
Strengths: Initially very plush, great upgrade to my previous rig of Suntour fork on Diamondback hardtail
Weaknesses: Similar to previous posting, just 5 rides use and now I have only half travel and the fork bottoms out on anything more than a small hit, independent of compression setting. Pretty scary development 4 miles from the road on the gnarliest local trail.
Depends on Manitou's customer support response in the UK. Given this is Easter weekend I have not tried them yet. Watch this space.... Got a great deal on last year's Enduro so better value rating than overall
a Weekend Warrior
from Nova Scotia
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2005
Strengths: *Seems like a lot of fork for the money. *The travel is excellent, plush from day 1. *The negative springs do a great job of completely eliminating top out. *Its also a very light for for the travel, and very adjustable.
Weaknesses: *The damping cartridge has given me nothing but problems, its been repaired twice by Manitou. *I also had a crack near the arch, but this may have happened during shipping of the fork to/from Manitou. *The cheap plastic knobs would have broken off if given enough time. I dont know why they put that cheap crap on a fork like this.
I went from riding a 1997 Kona Explosif with a Z2 bomber for the last 7 years, to a new Kona Bear with the Black Platinum. Apart from normal oil seal issues, I've never had a problem with my old Z2, and its still going strong on the old hardtail.
The Black has been a real pain in comparison. About 4 or 5 rides after I bought the bike, the fork was bottoming out at half travel and the compression adjustment didn't work at all. I sent the fork back to Manitou, and got new all new lowers, presumably the cartridge failed.
Once the fork was repaired, a couple rides later oil started leaking from the rebound adjustment on the bottom of the fork. So the bikeshop sent it back to Manitou again. The cartridge was replaced for a second time.
My riding style is pretty smooth, and these problems are certainly not from abuse. I don't do stunts or large drops or anything, I ride agressive xc and enjoy the occasional epic, which this fork should easily handle. I'm also under 200 pounds, so that shouldn't be an issue.
I've always liked the smoothness of the fork (when its working), but its just not reliable. I'll probably buy a Marzocchi fork to replace this one. Too bad, the Black seemed like a great lightweight 5 inch fork.
I checked the reviews on this page before buying the fork, and I didn't see any problems like I've experienced.
At least Manitou customer service seems to work quickly.
Strengths: Plush ride on the downhills without much bob on the uphill. Awesomely adjustable
Weaknesses: The lockout & rebound plastic handle thingies are way too easy to turn: twice the lockout has engaged without me touching it(must have brushed it against something?) and once the rebound moved to the highest setting and my hands were shaking at the bottom of the run!
Sweet fork, awesomely adjustable, too bad tightening the allen screws on the controls doesn't make them harder to turn(I tried).
Small stuff aside, I couldn't be more pleased uphill or down.
Strengths: -quality for the price -lockout -RTWD -Travel
Weaknesses: -stickers -to soft -flexes to much
This is a good fork for the money. It could use a little more tavel only 120mm mainly because im more into freeriding. A very solid XC fork if thats all you use it for. Im selling this fork to get the 05 sherman firefly because that fork kicks ass. I wouldnt spend your money on this fork but if your a light XC rider it would be a good fork.
Similar Products Used: marz drop off 2, marz z1 fr, judy tt(crap), sherman firefly
Bike Setup: 04 Specialized Enduro to many extra to list
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2004
Strengths: - 120 mm travel, coil spring (air is fine, but nothing beats the feel of a coil), RTWD - Weight - not bad for a 120mmm coil with TPC and lockout
Weaknesses: - Comes with soft spring (Cust Service says its a Medium, but it is not). Maybe they put the soft in to keep the weight down. Soft is worthless for most riders, especially me at 220lbs I am getting the firm kit, hope it is enought since the x-firm is not available for the Platinum. - Stickers (ruined when instlling a cyclometer) - read reviews of the 03 and 02 models - same thing - wake up Manitou!!! - RTWD(I would prefer the Rapid Travel Adjust II (top mount) - Lock out/ compression adjustment - I have only riden a few times put this knob is cheap plastic and once moved into the lockout position, but did not lockout.
Not bad so far. If money was not a factor I would have opted for a Marzocchi MX Pro or Marathon 120 SL or a Manitou Minute 1 or 3.
Similar Products Used: Manitou XSR, RoxkShox Duke XC 100 air
Bike Setup: 2002 Stumpjumper, lots of upgrades, including BETD long travel rear link
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 5, 2004
Strengths: Packed full of features, great design, love the rapid travel wind down and lock out feature. and fairly cheap.
Weaknesses: Decals.. Decals.. Don't know why they even put them on in the first place, they just peel off so easy. When turning the rapid travel knob the numbers move when you turn it so it's out of whack.
Since I have owned the forks for such a short time, time will tell if I have any problems but judging from everyone elses reviews these forks will last me awhile. Happy riding!
I am building a bike for a friend and have both of the forks above in the title. Both have little miles on them but I am trying to decide which of them stays and the other goes. The Black, a 2006 model has the Mars Air spring, TPC with Lockout (not TPC+) and is a 120mm fork. The R7 is a 2008 Elit ... Read More »
Quick question. I have changed the oil a few times on this fork with success. However, this time I do not have any compression adj or lockout. According to Manitou, the oil level should be 4.5" - 4.9". Well does this mean 4.5 - 4.9" from the top of the crown [B][U]or[/U][/B] 4.5 - 4.9" high
T ... Read More »
Just got a 2008 Giant Trance 2 Yesterday. Came stock with a 100 mm 2008 Marzocchi MZ Super Comp. I also have on hand a 2004 90-120mm Manitou Black Platinum That I got new 2 years ago and is still in great shape.
Was wondering which would be the better fork to keep on my main Trial bike. I've r ... Read More »
First time I post so hopefully I don't write too much .
I have recently bought a Santa Cruz blur LT 2006 ; on it was a Manitou black platinum fork with spv damping .
The fork is from 2006 as well.
The fork has two air outlets : left black , right red and the rebound knob on the bottom on ... Read More »
I've been lurking on this great site for some time now and love it. I need some advice from the experts. I'm currently piecing together a single speed. Someone is selling a 2005 Manitou black platinum with tpc lockout for $100. Is this a good deal? Are there any pitfalls with this particular fo ... Read More »