Manitou Black Platinum 2004 Front Shocks

4.11/5 (27 Reviews)


Product Description

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


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Reviews 1 - 15 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven S a Cross Country Rider from St Louis MO

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2008

Strengths:    LIGHT, lots of adjustments, high quality fit/finish

Weaknesses:    Flexy

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Castlewood

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Man. Axel Comp

Bike Setup:   Fisher Pirahna, XT drive, XT brakes, race lite wheels ect.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cole 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Supergo.com

Similar Products Used:   FOX float R, Manitou Axil, Manitou Minute (1,2,3), Manitou splice, Rock shox (pilot, judy, pike), Marzocchi EXR comp air.

Bike Setup:   Jamis XLT 05 frame, FOX float R rear, Mavic F217 rims, WTB wearwolf 2.5 tires, SRAM (X-9, X-Gen, X-0 gripshifts), Crank Brothers Mallet C platform pedals, Manitou Black Platinum fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Edward Lee a Weekend Warrior from Germantown, Md

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006

Strengths:    Weight, adjustability/features, Rebound adjustment is a nice thing to have

Weaknesses:    the buttons are plastic

Bottom Line:   
Great shocks period.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wakefield

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox J1

Bike Setup:   XC Hardtail

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by G. Cruz a Weekend Warrior from Portugal

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:   
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)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oporto XIX century

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Came with the bike

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.)

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Darrin J a Weekend Warrior from Irvine, CA USA

Date Reviewed: August 8, 2005

Strengths:    Travel adjust, lockout

Weaknesses:    WEAK! WEAK! Weak!

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Luge

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   SuperGo

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy TT

Bike Setup:   The Manitou Black Platinum came stock on my 2004 Specialized Enduro Comp . . . At the time it broke, everything was stock on my bike.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Michael No Name from Marquette, MI

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2005

Strengths:    NONE

Weaknesses:    EVERYTHING

Bottom Line:   
How do you spell POS? Oil leak like all the other postings. I wish they had negative chillis!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   OEM


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike Merkley a Cross Country Rider from Pocatello

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........

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   West Fork

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $320.00

Purchased At:   Barries Sports

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.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andy Vickerstaff 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.

Bottom Line:   
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

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bad na Scalaig

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Cycle Surgery

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Stock Spesh Enduro Comp 2004

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by SexyPlexi 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.


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $480.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   1997 Z2 bomber - which is STILL going strong on my hardtail! A 2004 Float rlt 100


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Charlie Katerba a Cross Country Rider from Clarkdale, Arizona, USA

Date Reviewed: November 26, 2004

Strengths:    Hey, its all better than a Rock Shox Judy TT. I like the lock out and travel adjustment.

Weaknesses:    I bought it on a rental bike so the stickers were thrashed and the fork leaked a whee bit o oil on my first ride. Spring felt a little soft and im only 130 lbs.

Bottom Line:   
Sweet compared to anything else ive tried. If you weigh more youll probably want a more stiff spring. Good for rough XC. Too much travel for racing XC

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Submarine Rock Loop in Sedona

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Absolute Bikes, Sedona AZ

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy TT

Bike Setup:   Specialized Enduro Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex a Cross Country Rider from MA

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2004

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!

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Blue Hills

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   On my enduro

Similar Products Used:   Psylo

Bike Setup:   Specialized enduro stock except FSA bash guard & WTB progel seat.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ralph Ralph a Racer from Brookfield

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2004

Strengths:    -quality for the price
-lockout
-RTWD
-Travel


Weaknesses:    -stickers
-to soft
-flexes to much


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   flowbee

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   cycle loft

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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by brian a Cross Country Rider from phoenix

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.


Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Trail 100

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $199.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Manitou XSR, RoxkShox Duke XC 100 air

Bike Setup:   2002 Stumpjumper, lots of upgrades, including BETD long travel rear link

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pookie a Weekend Warrior from Perth

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.

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything on dirt

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox forks


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Norm H a Cross Country Rider from Kalamazoo

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2004

Strengths:    Everything! Very light...easy lock-out

Weaknesses:    stickers...took them off. No big deal.

Bottom Line:   
Very solid fork that eats up roots, rocks, 4foot drops and I even took it downhill a few times with no problems. I did get the firm springs put in.
Easy to use lock-out and adjustment.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $360.00

Purchased At:   Ridge Sports

Similar Products Used:   RS DukeSL/Race, MarzMX

Bike Setup:   Tomak Thrasher

Reviews 1 - 15 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Manitou 2006 Black Platinum vs. 2008 R7 Elite

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 »

05 Black Platinum IT

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 »

Which FORK to Keep: '04 Black Platinum or '08 MZ Super Comp

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 »

How do I setup my manitou black platinum fork recof

Hi , 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 »

Noob advivce. Manitou black platinum tpc lockout

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 »

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