Manitou's Minute line offers their new stable platform valve (SPV), one of the most sophisticated damping technologies ever developed. With SPV, your fork is extremely active, soaking up bumps, but highly resistant to pedal induced bob.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2010
Strengths: adjustable travel rebound and a good bit of travel
Weaknesses: blows out, loses air compression as you ride, bottoms out
my brother and i bought two of these at a bike show a couple of years ago his was the newer black one and i got a cheaper older silver one. his worked pretty good it could be very stiff if you wanted or you could make it real soft. mine worked fine until i went off about a 3 or 4 foot drop then they just felt like crap it was just on the springs i tried putting more air in but it would just leak right out so i got rid of them. my brothers pair is still good and working and he took it off the same drop i did. i guess if you get these spend the extra money on them instead of trying to buy them cheap. he bought his for $100 and i got mine for $50. i wouldnt pay over 125 for them though.
The rebound control knob broke after 3 weeks of light use while I was trying to adjust it. The quality of manitou products is so bad and the components so cheap that I feel like I've been robbed by buying one of their products. Customer support is a joke. Don't buy manitou products, read the reviews on any of their products and you'll see why.
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore, MD
Date Reviewed: November 17, 2007
Strengths: This review pertains to the 2005 with SPVE damping. It has smooth, invisible performance in all normal trail situations. Bob is really only noticible when I'm out of the saddle hammering on the steepest climbs. In a non-race situation, that can be remedied somewhat by cranking travel down to 100mm. As I'm a hefty boy, the fork was a bit soft at first. I looked around for tips on the web and compensated by reducing the SPV chamber volume and pumping it up to max (150 psi) pressure. The result was a somewhat unforgiving ride over small stuff, but it did the job when the hits got bigger. Recently, I replaced the stock spring with the firm ride spring, and was able to open up the SPV chamber to give the fork a more linear feel. That means I can now bottom it out, and I did that recently when I endoed on a about a 3-foot drop to flat ground off a rock. Gotta remember to lift that wheel. Set up as it is now, however, I can't say I've ridden a fork that works any better in most situations, although I've ridden more expensive ones.
Weaknesses: I detect a hint of flex at times... we're only talking 30mm stanchions here. But by far the biggest weakness was the whimsical use of plastic parts throughout. Stupid. It probably saved $1.00 per fork in manufacturing, and then Manitou/Answer paid many times that covering warranties when the plastic hex shaft the rebound adjust knob is connected to disintigrated. That happened to mine literally on my first ride. Luckily, it was in a usable spot about halfway between fully damped and not damped. The Manitou/Hayes service dept. was out of replacement rebound assemblies for the Minute 1, but shipped one from the SPVE Black fork which was equivalent, went in just fine, and works just fine. (I was is in a hurry and did the work myself using Enduro Fork Seals Nobel Prizeworthy online service manual.) Later, putting in the new spring assembly, I stripped and almost shredded the plastic cover/bolt that holds the spring in place... another idiotic use of plastic.
I was close to ditching this fork when the rebound knob came off on the first ride. I'm glad I stuck with it, fixed the problem, and installed the heavier spring. Now it's a gem. I'm even thinking about picking up a spare, since they're available on closeout now for under $200 online. 4 & 4 chilis for good performance but sketchy design.
Weaknesses: poor rebound damping. durability. tracking only average. availability of replacement parts.
Affordable fork that performs well till it breaks. Then you are SOL.
I happily used this fork for two seasons of trail riding. Once I got the SPV dialed in I was quite pleased with it's performance. The SPV platform works and while it's not a freeride fork by any stretch of the imagination, it happily soaked up high speed rock gardens and smaller (3'-4') drops you'll find on technical Colorado trails. I didn't find the ride as "harsh" on the small stuff as some have complained. I typically ran it around 115-120 mm travel but I definitely enjoyed the ability to adjust this before prolonged climbs or descents. It never leaked oil or required service of any kind.
My only performance gripes were that the rebound was always a touch sluggish (even with damping all the way down) for my riding style and that the tracking through the rough stuff was only good, not excellent. Aside from those minor weaknesses it just quietly did it's job.
Until now. I was adjusting my rebound damping in the middle of the ride when the knob came off in my hand. The metal knob is attached to a plastic shaft which in turn interfaces with the damping chamber. The plastic shaft broke.
Now the fork is stuck in the fully damped mode. Let's just say it is so damp it's wet. It packs up horribly on descents and dives (with nasty results) in slower rocky technical sections.
The only way to remedy the situation is to replace the entire rebound damping chamber. Manitou/Answer/HB suspension products tells me that there is a roughly 1.5 month wait for this $60 part. My experience with factory service (to be fair this is not specific to Manitou products) is that you should probably double the amount of wait time they tell you. Add shipping and labor at a bike shop and we're looking at over two months and close to $100 in the best case scenario.
If it were just the expense of the repair I would be perfectly satisfied with my minute. Yeah, it shouldn't have cheap plastic internals, but it did last two years of solid use before breaking, and I spent several hundred less for the minute than a similarly featured Fox TALAS. That said, even if the promised 1.5 month waiting period is correct, it is far too long.
Unless I can quickly find the needed part from another source, I will be buying a new fork. Let's just say that I am leaning towards a Rock Shox Revelation or Fox Talas this time around.
Buy this if you are tight on cash and want an excuse to try out the newest fork on the market in a year or two. Don't buy it if you want a fork to last the life of your bike.
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Id set up for epic trail riding
a Cross Country Rider
from Kirkland WA USA
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2007
Strengths: Feels good for the ride or two before it breaks
Weaknesses: POS for reliability
I bought the bike with this fork in November, just in time for the worst season of weather we have had. So several months later, after only maybe half a dozen short easy rides, I hang up my bike and notice the air shock side is soaked in oil. I weigh 195 but the biggest air I have done is about a foot off the ground and a bunch of log rollovers. This has got to be someones idea of a bad joke! Looking at the reviews, I am defnitely not alone. I had a Manitou fork before this one and it was surprisingly reliable. No more Manitous for ME! This works out to be a pretty high cost per ride for a "budget" fork that is now shot, if I read the other reviews correctly.
Similar Products Used: Bunches of lower travel forks on previous bikes
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Epiphany
a Cross Country Rider
from Jim Thorpe, PA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2007
Strengths: looks, weight, SPV (so far), 'big' hit absorption
Weaknesses: terrible rebound adjustment, no compression adjustment, difficult to adjust SPV pressure accurately.
Decent fork. I like the performance this fork offers, and you can fid them brand new for 200 bucks on eBay. The biggest hits I throw at this fork are 2-3 foot drops. All mtn stuff, not freeride. For this type of riding it works great. I weigh 185... if you weigh more you might want a stiffer compression coil. I've heard that the SPV may fail in the future... so far so good. Rebound knob snapped after 2 rides..... replaced under warranty but took 4 weeks.
Bike Setup: Jamis XLT with Mavic Crossmax Enduro, SPV front and rear
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006
Strengths: light weight
Weaknesses: air leaks, crappy adjustment knob, poor rebound adjustmont
these shocks are a falure and there is a good reason that they dont sell the minute ine anymore. from day 2 i have had problems with air leaking and oil leaking. they were factory rebuilt ad after 2 rides they started leaking air again. the travel adjustment know broke after ony a few uses. over all a piss poor product.i should have known when ever major retailer has a product on sell at the same time there must be a reason.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Haven
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2006
Strengths: Good rebound damenping adjustment, climbs well, SVP
Weaknesses: Doesn't work!!! not plush at all
I think that the first SPV forks just don’t work. I first noticed problems with this fork about 5 months into ridding it became very still and didn’t respond well to high speed bumps I called Manitou and they said that it sounded like the SPV had sprung a leak. A very common problem for these forks I understand and they sent me a new SPV unit desinded to address this problem and it did at least for a while. After riding the bike for a couple of months the fork became unresponsive again and now the thing is almost totally seized up and is leaking oil from the spring side. Now I should say that I am a light ridder 130 lbs and even after installing a soft-spring (should have gotten an X-soft) I had to run the SPV valve with the minimum air pressure. The bottom line is that while I loved the X-vert super I had I think Manitou had many problems with this fork and I am switching to a fox vanilla.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cerritos, CA
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2005
Manitou's reliability is terrible. The fork leaked at the rebound knob like everyone is saying. The fork has serious flex problems. If you have this kind of dough, do not hesitate and get a FOX, you will thank me later. It will last longer, has better tunability, more plush, less flex, and way more confidence. Forget MANIPOO, their customer service and product is horrible!
I know a few months back I put a review here and said the fork was still running well. Lets just say I've had a bumpy ride through the month of July 05. Started with needing a new headset my Cane Creek one lasted me close to three years and I decided on a new King for my XC Bike. Got it installed and noticed a knocking through my bars I thought was my old headset. Hey it was shot anyway but knocking after a installing a new King NO WAY ! So I brought my bike back to my LBS and check the headset, it's as tight as can be! So I ride the next day more knocking and it's getting worse! Back I go and only to find out guess what it's my fork. After a full year and two months of ownership and a winter of non riding it's DEAD! Here's what is shot on my fork; A bushings and shims are either worn or now shifted, My rebound Cartridge that is also my SPV is stuck in slow and the adjustment knob does nothing now. My travel adjustment is broken the fork needs to be held down to reduce the travel. Not to mention it never stops turning so you never know when it is reduced to 100 mm or maxed at 130 mm. With the rebound shot and the bushings shifted the fork knocks and skips all the way down the trail, especailly downhill. I changed the oil at the beginning of the season and all was fine. In one month of XC Trailriding my fork deteriorated into a pile of junk, no jumping or stunts, it's attached to a Stumpjumper the frame would break before the fork did if I did that. When I called Manitou to see about repairs,(Manitou makes all repairs on their forks to at the factory in California) It was going to cost me 35 bucks to drop ship it and a 120 buck bench fee to open it up. That is not counting parts to repair it, plus a three week turn around time to repair it and ship it back! With a bill of 155 for just looking at it and knew it needed parts I got a new fork to replace it instead of fixing it. Manitou still has the same bad Customer service thay always had and their products still don't last I should have never trusted Manitou again. I've used their forks before and it always ended this way broken fork out of the blue, too expensive and not worth it to repair it. Should have learned the first time. Forget SPV it's overrated, works great when it's new, sucks after a year. Thought I embrace the new suspention technology got burned instead. If your gonna get a fork with Stable Platform Valving get a FOX Terra-logic. If you want something that will last a long time get a Marzocchi! I went back to what always worked in the past, welcome back to my XC bike Marzocchi and I'll never stray again. You want tough get a BOMBER you can't go wrong, you want perfectionist design get a Fox. Forget Rockshox and forget Manitou, they can't ever get it right, PEACE!
a Cross Country Rider
from Western Australia
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2005
Strengths: Reasonably light and adjustable,looks good.
Weaknesses: Way too much flex, poor quality control, oil leaks and recurring problems with SPV valve. Manitou Australia service (or lack thereof).
These forks came with my bike and were a major selling point based on reviews from this website and the adjustability. I was in heaven for two weeks, never having riden anything so plush and smooth. Then oil started to leak from arond the rebound knob, the forks had to be sent to Melbourne for repair. I was without them for two weeks and the LBS wouldn't even lend me something to keep me going. They lasted OK with minor oil seepage for another nine months when they lost their nice feel. I took them to the local "expert" who "serviced" them for me. After two rides they started leaking then started making a "hammering" noise over rocks and then seemed to lock up and just bounce off anything I hit. On the way home they leaked oil out all over my brake pads with predictable results! The LBS sent them back to Melbourne for warranty, they were gone for nearly three weeks and when they came back they started leaking again after a month or so. I rebuilt them myself this time and they were fantastic with no oil leaks for two months when they started hammering again. I have rebuilt them again and they are fine once more: until the SPV valve gets sticky and they start to hammer AGAIN! Compared to the Fox forks I've ridden they flex very badly and don't hold a nice line over rough ground and I'm always wondering when they are going to F*** up again. Bottom line (finally) is: Nice concept, poorly executed lacking quality control and reliability. I know there are people out there who have had a good run with these forks and will be offended by my review but it is honest and objective.
Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Judy & Phsylo, Fox 36R, Fox Talas, RST.
Bike Setup: Giant VT2.
a Cross Country Rider
from Long Island N.Y.
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2005
Well I've been using this fork for about a year now and it's still as good as the day I bought it! I'm still very satisfied with the fork since the day I bought it. I've had one issue with the Travel Adjustment but it still works well. Since it is attached to a Specialized Stumpjumer I usually keep it around 110 mm of travel anymore effect the bikes handling too much. For extremly rocky or rooty sections I will open the travel up to the full 130 mm but on a normal riding setting it is about 100 mm to 110 mm at all times. The weight is right on trget since I use my Stumpy to bacily trail ride since I'm not a weight weeine her it woks great. Still very Stiff and very reliable compared to the stock Rock Shox Duke XC 80 mm travel fork that was orginally on my bike. A little to heavy and not enough travel for me. I still to this day love the SPV (Stable Platform Valve) Works extremly well and I definately feel a huge difference in the fork whil just riding. My other bike is a Kona Stinky with a Marzocchi Jr.T on her! That thing mushes like nobodies business but it also not ment to be a trail bike either! I like Fox's Terralogic forks I really do but the price tag equals OUCH! So the next best for is the Minute. I love this fork and I don't see myself getting rid of it anytime soon! Not to metion the look of it is drop dead SEXY since it has no stickers on it the intergrated graphic lokk SWEET. Happy trails and enjoy your rides! PEACE!!
Bike Setup: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC with way too many goodies to list! The FSR series has to be one of the best full suspention bikes ever built! This fork works so well with it!
a Weekend Warrior
from El Paso, Texas
Date Reviewed: April 27, 2005
Strengths: Strong, lightweight, good travel, adjustable travel.
Weaknesses: Bad rebound adjust knob.
This fork is great. Strong, light, and the SPV rules! It soaks up anything you ride over. I've used it for a little over six months, and the only trouble I had was with the rebound adjust knob. It fell off, or maybe I broke it off. But whatever the case, I called up Manitou, and they hooked me up, no BS, and I had my fork back and in perfect condtion in about a week. Good product support I think. If you are looking for good travel and good quality but dont want to go overboard with a dual-crown, this fork is for you.
Strengths: Stiffness, big hit abilities, predictable stroke, no bobbing, durability and set up possibilities
Weaknesses: Small stuff, expensive, plastic adjuster knobs
Great allround fork. It handles anything from freeride to all day trail riding. For me it´s not important with small stuff damping, however if it would be possible to combine it´s superb big hit capabilities with a bit more suppleness over the small stuff - it would be the perfect fork. Climbing suffers a bit due to this - I feel climbing is when you need a sensitive fork. This is a minor problem though. The confidence automatically follows as the damping is so much more than 100-130 mm travel. I feel 100 mm Minute travel is so much more effective than most other forks. Working in a bike shop i´ve had opportunity to verify this. The build quality is almost equal to Fox forks, leaving a stiff but light fork that excels in almost any terrain.