Manitou Minute Three 2004 Front Shocks

3.82/5 (22 Reviews)
MSRP : $649.95


Product Description

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.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by trooper a Cross Country Rider from finland

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2007

Strengths:    light, stiff enough for trail riding and good damping. with almost minimum spv pressure doesn't bob too much and still is quite plush.

Weaknesses:    spv had to be chanced to evolve version after 1 year of use because damping disappeared completely. needs maintenance quite much to work properly, seems like complete service once a year is needed.

Bottom Line:   
good fork once the spv was changed to evolve unit. first thought of riding it for one year and changing to another fork but it felt pretty good after upgrade so i rode it for 3 years and it felt good. compared to drop off 2 of my other bike not near as plush or stiff but still good for xc/trail kind of riding and alot lighter.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   et-sports

Similar Products Used:   old rs sid, 2003 mrz mx comp 105, 2004 mrz drop off 2

Bike Setup:   dmr switchback, minute, mavic 618/hope xc hubs, trailbear 2,25s, truvativ stylo cranks, xtr gears, wtb saddle etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Emery a Weekend Warrior from Birmingham, AL USA

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2007

Strengths:    Well, been the fork almost exclusively for coming up to 4 years now. I service with new lube 1x year and put in new seals from Enduro last year but didn't really need to.
Still as good as it was and I think MBA ran some bad set up PSI's in some old issues. It does matter if you set your psi's in the 105 or the 130 setting. I set in them in the 105 setting and flip to 130 on some downhill sections. for 180-190lb rider, 35-45psi in SPV side, 100-110 in the other, pre load all the way out to zero and 50/50 rebound or whatever. This is a good starting point. If you flip to 130, you are really adding more "sag" (@3/4"travel) if you do not add more air to the main chamber. I feel a noticable difference between 100 and 110 with the 110 firming up the front end while the 100psi is more plush but the front end kinda "wallows" in hard burms. Guess I should try 105psi.


Weaknesses:    Too durable as a trailbike fork as I want a reason to buy a new bike! Oh well, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new BlurLT and put on the 4 year Minute 3.

Bottom Line:   
I have heard that OME from bike manufacturers may use internally downgraded forks to keep pricing low.
I paid full price as an aftermarket item and maybe this could be why this fork has done so well and why some others have had issues. Just speculatin'.

PS I had to upgrade the chilis with time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   OMSP

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   I have forgotten how the others felt....that's a good thing.

Bike Setup:   See previous post and I have upgraded most components.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by JJ a Weekend Warrior from Canyon Lake, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2006

Strengths:    Adjustable travel, plush ride, long life between rebuild/replacement. Low maintenance

Weaknesses:    bottom fitting and setting dial busts off when hit by rocks.. Nothing should be on the bottom of a shock except a bash guard.

Bottom Line:   
Good shock for the money. Does what it is supposed to. Low maintenance. Better than Fox. Just has bad location for fittings / settings dial.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Madrone

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Greenfishsports

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy

Bike Setup:   Marin Attack Trail

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Neal Fix a Weekend Warrior from Penticton, BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2006

Strengths:    Good smooth travel, not much pedal bob, easy to set up as per instructions found on line.

Weaknesses:    Right hand fork blew up in the first week of riding by my wife.

Bottom Line:   
Fork only lasted about a week in Moab. Could not handle 6inch drops by a light weight rider. Sent back to Manitou by local bike shop at home on our return. Set up was as per manual downloaded from the web. All the stuffing came out of the top on one side and the oil followed rapidly. Very annoying and hard to get the oil out of cloths. All three rock shox have been to moab and back a few times with no problems.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porc Rim

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Psylo Race and SL, Rock Shox XC, 888

Bike Setup:   5 inches travel, all mountain XT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Emery a Weekend Warrior from Mountain Brook, AL USA

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2005

Strengths:    Two travel settings, 105 great for flats and climbing, 130 awesome for gnarly cross country 1-3' drops and hits. Solid fork with plush reliable action. Always quiet never had "knocking". Looks sharp, reverse arch, minimal stickers, highly adjustable for riding style and rider wt.

Weaknesses:    Stock first run production sloppy assembly and missing blue dampening knob, oil leak, immediately replaced by factory. Once I did minimal service, oil change and torquing re-assembly, fork performance was extremely smooth.

Bottom Line:   
I weigh 180 and run 100psi and 45 psi in SPV....smooth as butter. Think too many are running high pressures and may need to check oil levels internally. Has far outlasted the 5th Element Air Shock(3 rebuilds/failures 2 years). I would buy it again although I wish Push or HippieTech offered some aftermarket internal upgrades since it appears this fork will be lasting for a long time.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Phat Tire

Similar Products Used:   RS Psylo with firm spring, RS Quattro, Judy

Bike Setup:   SC Blur set up for aggressive trail work, 5th Element Air just replaced with 2006 Pushed Fox RP3

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Joynt a Weekend Warrior from New Zealand

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2005

Strengths:    Price

Weaknesses:    not stiff enough for my 220lbs body

Bottom Line:   
I got the knocking too, I believe it's the SPV valve. I have had the SPV replaced under warrenty and I'm now selling the fork.
It's not a bad fork, but for my size---I decided to upgrade and spend a lot more money on a '05 FOX 36 RC2

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Woodhill Forest

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   RS SID, Fox 26 RC2

Bike Setup:   Intense 5.5 evp

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Wilhelm a Cross Country Rider from Leipzig Germany

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2005

Strengths:    good looks, SPV does what it is suppused to do, keeps air and oil inside ;.)...

Weaknesses:    sticker peel off, rebound knob hard to turn, knocking in the fork when pressure in SPV is under 55 psi, nosediving (compression damping full in and still to soft) or weak small bump absorption....very difficult to find a setup that gets anywhere near the pushness of my old cheap JUDY SL...

Bottom Line:   
Either you get plush performance with knocking sounds or weak small bump absorption - very difficult to find the right setup. I weigh 200lbs, SPV under 55psi is unrideable and main chamber is 80-110psi (still searching the best setup).

I really hate that the crown and/or casting are slightly misadjusted (or whatever). This makes the bike drive to the left- not that much, but......

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Judy SL, EFC (a decade ago..)

Bike Setup:   cheap mailorder linkage-bike with swinger 3 in the rear, Magura LouiseFR and full XT.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Neville Bailey a Cross Country Rider from Hong Kong

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2005

Strengths:    Plush. Rides well.

Weaknesses:    Knocking sound when the fork "tops out" with normal air pressure settings.

Bottom Line:   
Good Shok. However.....Does anyone have a fix for the knocking sound ? I have spoken to several riders using the same shok, all noticing the same noise. I weight 185lbs, and run 170 psi and 50psi. If I reduce below 170psi the shok knocks continuously. Unfortunately at 170psi it is not as plush as it needs to be. Reducing the SPV side below 50 psi does the same thing.

Overall its a very nice shok, and the noise has not detracted from the performance.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tai Mo Shan

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Friendly bikes Mui Wo

Similar Products Used:   Fox.

Bike Setup:   NRS

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kyle a Cross Country Rider from Denver, Colorado, USA

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2005

Strengths:    Extremely smooth and plush travel, with the SPV (stability platform valve) performing what it promises. Lots of adjustment options.

Weaknesses:    Expensive, can be difficult to dial in.

Bottom Line:   
I bough this fork while I was building up my current bike with my local bike shop. The sales guy had to talk me into the fork because it was so expensive; I was originally looking to get the Minute 1. After some discussion I realized it was the fork that made the most sense for my type of riding and cross country/trail riding bike I was building.

If you are planning on purchasing this fork you need to plan on getting a shock pump as well so you can play with the pressure and rebound to get comfortable with the fork and what feels best to you. I have to recommend not going crazy and putting to much pressure in this fork to make it stable when hammering on the peddles, that’s what the SPV design is for and if you put in tons of pressure to make it solid it will ride like hell over small bumps. If you expect no bob in this fork even when out of the saddle sprinting you are not going to find it.

I ride my Minute 3 in the 130mm setting almost all the time. It is an unbelievable fork for descending, it eats up everything, is very stiff (of course I am not a very heavy rider at 170) and takes corners like a pro. I love how progressive the travel is in this fork, about a week after I got I was riding a trail with 1 - 3 foot drops in it and I launched off the trail into a rock garden, not only did the fork take the initial drop it guided my through the rocks with ease. This subsequently kept me on the bike, which was appreciated.

I don’t usually adjust to the 100mm setting when climbing for a few reasons, one is because when I am riding I don’t want to get off my bike and switch it to that setting and also because I find it still climbs excellently in the 130mm setting with the assistance of the SPV. If I am going on a road ride or know that a particular trail will include a long steady climb I will usually switch to the 100mm setting to take advantage of the additional stiffness.

Overall the Minute 3 is a great fork if you don’t mind paying for it and devoting some time to getting it set up properly (you might want to enlist the help of a LBS if you are having trouble). I would not recommend this fork to the hard core cross country racer so much as a trail rider. The ability to adjust the amount of travel is great but cross country riders shouldn’t expect to get this fork and ride it in the 100mm setting all the time nor should they expect it to be ultra rigid for serious cross country racing applications. But for general trail riding and even some urban thrashing this fork is tough to beat.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Still Looking

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Local Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Fox Float, Manitou Minute 1

Bike Setup:   Intense Tracer, mavic cross max enduro, hays disc brakes, assortment of components, etc...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by G.K. a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2004

Strengths:    Mucho travel, lots of fine tuning options.

Weaknesses:    Fine tuning is taking some patience.

Bottom Line:   
First of all, this is a beautiful fork.

That aside, I am loving the change in geometry the increase in travel has caused. Normal single-track handling feels just as sharp as it did before except the front end doesn't feel as skiddish. I was concerned that the ascending ability would be compromised and that the front wheel would start to wander up some fo the nastier climbs, but it doesn't.

The fork is very smooth and quiet (the stocker made a 'phst' sound on a good sized hit). The 130mm option is beautiful! I just flip the switch before a long nasty downhill and it improves stability, handling, and keeps me behind the handlebars (where God intended). It even feels a bit softer initially in the 130mm setting, which is definitely a good thing since I only use it on downhills.

I had been lusting after this fork for a long time and when I saw $300 off MSRP...well, that's all she wrote.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   National - South Mountain

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   None really similar, just the stock Manitou Six 80mm that came on the bike.

Bike Setup:   Marin XC FRS - X0 shifters, X9 rear, XT front, Avid Mech discs, Mavic Crosslands....

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ghost Rider a Weekend Warrior from Kuopio, Finland

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2004

Strengths:    Extremely stiff. 130mm of plushness. They're Beutiful!

Weaknesses:    Takes a while to break them in and the right settings are difficult to find.

Bottom Line:   
Extremely good fork. Recommend this product to every trail rider out there! Just spend a little more money on a fork and it won't let you down.

Free Riders: Don't buy it, isn't durable enough - Go for a Sherman

Trail riders: GET IT!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Puijon eri reitit

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Puijon Ski and Bike

Similar Products Used:   Rock shox - pyslo

Bike Setup:   Sram x.7 and x.9 XT + LX, Minute three front fork. Hard tail alu frame(!) Pro/RooX, Fizik saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jim a Cross Country Rider from Aspen, CO

Date Reviewed: August 17, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This in update to my earlier posting:

Now that I have had a chance to put some miles on this fork I'd like to make some recommendations on setup. I weigh 180, ride aggressively and do 1-2 ft drops occasionally. The air presure is measured at the 130 mm setting:

SPV chamber: 50 psi
Main air spring: 110 psi
Rebound adjuster: all the way out

With these settings, the fork shines. I was using way too much air in the main spring before. The fork only bobs when hammering (standing) but c'mon: this should be expected. It is ridiculous to expect small bump performance AND complete anti-bob from any fork. I'm amazed at how many fellow riders are setting their forks up WAY too stiff to counteract a little bob. Small bump performance is CRUCIAL to great handling, yet people are so fixated on a little movement when sprinting. What's up with that?

It is important to note that the spring rate changes significantly at the 100mm setting. The fork is meant to be used predominantly in the 130mm setting. Make sure to check the pressures in that setting, follow these setting guiddeline and you'll love the fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Blaine from Los Angeles, CA

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2004

Strengths:    It's pretty.

Weaknesses:    Paint peels and travel adjustment breaks.

Bottom Line:   
Just bought this shock at Supergo on Sunday. The first one they installed had peeling paint on the leg brace that was revealed after I pulled off the bubble wrap. The second one has a broken travel adjustment that causes the fork to make a horrible noise and lock out in the 100mm setting. Horrible. Returning it tomorrow to buy a Fox.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Walker Ranch

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Manitou SX Ti


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jim a Cross Country Rider from Aspen, Colorado, USA

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2004

Strengths:    Torsional Rigidity, adjustability lightweight

Weaknesses:    Setup defined poorly in owners manual

Bottom Line:   
Setup was a little tricky at first because the manual calls for sag. Well, forget about sag--it cannot be achieved. I called Answer products and spoke with the technical rep who told me to put 40 psi in the SPV valve, backed the chamber all the way out, put 150 in the main air chamber (I weigh 180) and the rebound adjuster 1/2 turn out from slowest. The fork felt really firm at this setting when pushing down on it in my driveway. But when I got it on the trail it was achieving almost full travel at the 100mm setting and was very smooth. It does not shine on small bump sensitivity yet but I think thi is largely related to the tightness of the new bushings and should improve with break-in (Answer recommends 20 hours). Don't expect both small bump sensitivity AND no pedal induced bob. Though SPV does a pretty good job of REDUCING bob, you simply can't have the best of both worlds with this fork. I recommend living with a little bob and getting all the plushness this fork has to offer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim, Moab Utah

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $339.00

Purchased At:   Answer Employee Accommodation

Similar Products Used:   Almost every Rockshox product

Bike Setup:   Four bar linkage frame w/ disc brakes and Manitou Swinger Three Way at rear

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Pic-n-Sav a Weekend Warrior from Mission Viejo, Ca

Date Reviewed: May 26, 2004

Strengths:    Weight, Stiffness, Adjustability

Weaknesses:    Adjustability, leaks oil

Bottom Line:   
Not feeling the Love. I weigh 200 lbs and ride cross country. I want plush downhill more than anti-bob. I have tried several settings, here is my current: Main 100psi, SPV 40 psi, Volume backed out, Rebound fastest. This setup gives me the most travel but feels like a jakehammer over rocks or stutters. My Psylo weighs more and flexes more but it gave me the plushness I wanted. If wanted to know, the SPV works like they say. I would not recommed this fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   BeyondBikes.com

Similar Products Used:   RS Psylo

Bike Setup:   ID w/xo shifters and der.,Hayes mag+, Ryno lites w/ King hubs, Thompson stem and post, WTB saddle, Easton bar

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Manitou Minute Three (w/ IT) or Fox TALAS?

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getting a 04 Manitou Minute three

for my Tracer , what are the goods and bads from some of the folks who currently ride them? From what I can see they seem to be pretty tech. and solid. Any tune and set-up tips would also be appreciated. I weigh 190lbs, ride long distance cross-country, with lots of climbs. I traditionally like my ... Read More »

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