If your cup of tea is sweetened with a little less travel than the Breakout, but you still savor the aroma of the lightest, best performing freeride fork on the market, the Firefly will lull you to rest with a bag full o’features such as SPV damping and a Ti main spring. Upgrade options include a onepointfive inch steerer and our Hex Lock Thru-axle
Similar Products Used: Manitou black sport/comp/elite, Manitou splice, Manitou x-vert DC
Bike Setup: Be-one Trial frame
a Weekend Warrior
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2006
Strengths: very strong, lots of travel, SPV,rebound and travel adjustments work well, matte black looks great
Weaknesses: requires a disc brake adapter does not use normal brake disc tabs.
I recommend this fork for anyone who does dirtjumping, Freeride it can also take some pretty big drops. I find you get more features and better performance from the sherman firefly than you do from the marzocchi dj line and the sherman's are cheaper depending on where you buy them.
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2005
Strengths: Versatile fork. Can be set great for a street session, or responsive off-road feel. Light-ish, very tough. Over 6" to flat is A-ok on this one. Not that your supposed to do that. I bought it to replace a dirt jumper. I wanted sensitive and able to take a huge hit with the same setting on the fork. This one won out, it can do it. Plus it won me over I used to hate these guys. The dorado is still lame. plastic forks are for picnics.
Weaknesses: The SPV system, while significantly increasing efficiency of suspension, renders response slow-feeling. The travel dial bolt on mine seems funny and feels like it's loose sometimes. But I leave it in 5 mostly
They DO stand behind it, it works great, fits my needs to the dime. The new nixon seems like a good current version. A fifth element in a fork. Does what the rear shock did. Also over a year and still clearly silent, no leaks and very functional
Bike Setup: light street bike, saint parts, 1speed ass kicker weapon
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2005
Strengths: Looks good. Seems to work better with TPC cartrage, but at my expense.
Weaknesses: Spv valving is a joke, never predictable allways failing at the most inopportune time. Lock out is only good for climbing.
After servicing the fork twice, I've decided to junk the SPV and upgrade to the TPC cartrage. The SPV just never seemed to work well at all, locking up at random times making for a harsh and unperdicable ride. As for the lock out feature, I'm told its only for climbing and not actually ridding, would have been nice to know before buying the fork. I think after this fork I'm done with manitou products. In my opinion they're gimmicky, not well tested, poorly supported and frankly overpriced.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Collins, Colorado
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2005
Strengths: STIFF! Light for a five inch, 32mm fork. SPV works great, feels great.
Weaknesses: The travel adjust never worked right but I never needed it so I didn't care.
I used this fork for two seasons very happily without any maintenance or rebuild and it was starting to get slightly worked. While I was doing a basic rebuild on the fork the rebound adjuster bolt broke inside the lower leg. This bolt threads in to the bottom of the leg from inside the fork. It's reverse threaded and I initially turned it the wrong way - oops. I called Answer / Manitou and we discussed the part that was broke. The tech was helpful and we were off the phone in five minutes with a free replacement rebound assembly in the mail - THANKS. Later that day a bike rep friend said he had a Pike Team in his truck and in a weak moment I decided to go ahead and buy it - cheap. I installed the Pike and rode it for a couple of weeks. In the meantime my parts showed up from Answer exactly as promised....
To shorten what is already a long story, I greatly preferred my Sherman to the Pike and just got done rebuilding the Sherman and putting it back on the Heckler. The Pike was nice but it felt tons heavier - especially when lofting the front wheel - the Pike was also really prone to brake dive when the flood gate was open and the poploc was... unlocked - if you hit the front brake on something steep the front end would dive hard and the rear of the bike would rise up to compensate - not exactly the most confidence inspiring of feelings - that was my main complaint with the Pike.
The Sherman's SPV platform greatly reduced brake dive, the ti spring greatly reduced weight and the reverse arch made up for the lack of the thru-axle, somewhat - at least enough so that I considered it a non-issue.
Anyway, two years later the Sherman is still going strong getting 40 - 50 technical, Rocky Mountain foothill miles a week put on. I had a great experience with Manitou's customer service with regard to getting parts and the online service manuals are easy to read making rebuild / maintenance a snap (literally, in my case). For a burly fork it's light, plush and super adjustable. It's a great product and deserves to be on the mtbr hall of fame.
Bike Setup: I use the Firefly on my XL Santa Cruz Heckler, 5th Element shock with ti spring, Crossmax XL's, Thomson stem & post, Easton scandium DH bars, Avid Juicy 7's, ti hardware, Conti Vert Pro 2.3 UST tires, SRAM X.0 triggers, X-Gen front, sweet, light, rugged.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ventura County California
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2005
Strengths: When it actually works, it works pretty good. Plush and stiff. Soaks up the tough stuff nicely
Weaknesses: The travel reducing lock-out thingy mysteriously quit working. It was under warranty so I had them fix it (through a local shop who did the work). I have used it twice since then. On the second attemp to use this feature, it snapped, and then proceeded to make an unreal grinding noise. It has been back at Manitou for a few days and as of today they haven't even looked at it. I was told by my LBS that it would realisticly be another 2 weeks.
Customer service seems to be unreal (in a bad way). Due to this, I'll never buy another Manitou product. It's hard to train when your fork is in the shop twice in 6 weeks.
Similar Products Used: Another Manitou P.O.S. The Axel (on my first MTB)
Bike Setup: Doesn't matter.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2005
Strengths: Extremely stiff, strong fork, good for people who need to feel safe, and not worry whether the fork will break. Very light as well, hex lock - easy to take the wheel off.
Weaknesses: 1. Stiff SPV cartridge bushing ever since it was new (the fork has never been plush) 2. Play - over 2mm on the bushings, started having this problem 3-4 months after buying the fork. 3. SPV - doesn't work. 4. Bushings move inside the fork 5. Damping damaged (after 15 months of usage) - fork bottoms easyly. 6. Spring damaged - much weaker then when it was new 7. Pumping up the fork doesn't change SAG or force needed to bottom the fork (recent problem).
This fork is no good if you want to give it a hard time.
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi Mr.T 100mm Marzocchi Z1 Wedge Apart from that, only DC forks
Bike Setup: Duncon Nicolai UFO replica, 24" wheels front and rear.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cool, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2005
Strengths: Reasonably light, very stiff (with 20mm through axle option).
Weaknesses: Difficult to get exactly dialed in. Perhaps b/c of SPV?
The fork is durable (no bushing play after a year of hard riding), reasonably light, and fairly affordable. It tracks very well, with very little detectible flex (I weigh 225lbs and have the 20mm through axle version of the fork). The rapid travel adjustment (90 to 130) is great for long climbs.
The SPV system works as advertised, although I'm not sure I'm a fan. I am having trouble adjusting the forks so that they are responsive enough to smaller hits without losing the benefits of SPV. I guess I'm willing to trade some efficiency for small bump compliance; this isn't a knock on SPV, its just that for my style of riding I'd like the forks to be more plush.
Bottom line: works as advertised, great forks for all-mountain and aggressive XC. If you want a really responsive fork then don't waste money on SPV.
Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Psylo, Marzochi (spelling?) Bomber.
Bike Setup: Turner 5-Spot, Romic rear shock, XT and SRAM parts mix.
from Yorba Linda, CA USA
Date Reviewed: August 24, 2005
Strengths: - Very Strong -Stiff when it needs to be stiff, soft when it needs to be soft -SPV -Rapid Travel Adjustment -Look of the fork
Weaknesses: When I first got mine when it was in the higher travel(130mm) it seemed like it used to flex towards the bottom of the headset.... I easily fixed that by wrapping a little bit of electrical tape to the outer rim of the bottom headset where the fork meets it.
Other than that nothing so far...
These forks are frekin awesome.... They take stairs like champs with the 130mm and with 90mm too! The 90mm are perfect for dirtjump and urban riding... well so are the 130mm, and the 130mm are great for drops and bigger gapped jumps... well once again so are the 90mm.... So basically this bike can tackle anything in its path and I look forward to riding it up at Mammoth this weekend. I highly recommend these forks...Awesome...
Favorite Trail: Anything thats fun...hate going up hills...
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Supergo
Similar Products Used: My other fork sucked and we wont even mention the name of it...
Bike Setup: Iron Horse Yakuza Bakuto, Hayes Mx2, Sherman Firefly,.....
a Weekend Warrior
from Westchester, NY
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2005
Strengths: 20 mm through axle, titanium spring, 90/130 mm travel adjustment, reasonable weight
Weaknesses: I have not found any
This fork came on my Banshee. I bought a Fox Talas 130 for my Kona, which felt flimsy going downhill. I loved this fork on my Banshee, but I was trying to make my Dawg perfect, so I swapped it. I might get some new wheels and tires for my Kona, but I love this fork. For the money, I would consider a Pike if I was looking at this type of fork. I don't know about all of the people who have had problems with their Manitou forks, this one has never given me a minute's trouble. Mine came with my bike. The Firefly Plus seems pretty expensive, and has a lot to compete with. (Pike, 66, 36, etc)
Similar Products Used: Fox Talas 130, Marzocchi Jr T, Marz EXR, Marz MX Comp
Bike Setup: Was on Banshee Morphine, now on Kona Dawg with BETD linkage plates, Rhyno lites, XT drivetrain, Specialized Roller RS Pro 2.3 tires, WTB seat, Hayes HFX Mags with Bonz one finger levers, Easton Vice stem, EA 50 bars, FSA pig pro DH headset, Oury lock-on grips.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2005
Strengths: -good strength to weight ratio - not to heavy to effect handling but i dont see them breaking anytime soon -look lush -adjustable travel - 90mm for street and dj, 130 for double sets and big drops -nice and firm spv rocks dont move when pedalling so sweet for 4x -i got my pair half price -titanium springs -steal steerer - shouldnt randomly snap -stiff! -in my opinium best street, dirt jump and 4x forks
Weaknesses: -not so good offroad compared to marazocchi which i have on other bike, not as plush and prob not as durable (internally) or long lasting as marazocchis -gay disk mount -doubts on long term durability
on my jump bike i am very picky with forks therefore i have had lots of diff pairs, some i disliked straight away and others i liked but they broke. Shermans are best so far, spv rocks and they seem well built. However they are not so good offraod as zocchis which i have on my patriot. So stick with them off road, otherwise i think shermans rule. Value rating is based on price i payed (half price new). Im rating these for what i use these forks for.
Favorite Trail: trails, street, dh and freeride on other bike
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: chainreaction in pounds
Similar Products Used: 02 psylo sl (good) 04 psylo sl (horid and unreliable!!!) 03 fox vanillas (mine broke) 01 mcr's (nice but FLEX!!) 04 zocchi freerides (lush offroad but feel bad for street, trails) 04 zocchi dj 3's (really didnt get on with this fork HEAVY)
Bike Setup: 24' wheel on-one gimp, shermans, c2, profile cranks, atomlab trailpimp rims, 24seven pro stem, pro taper bars etc etc
from Santa Cruz, Ca
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2005
Strengths: -light -6 inches of travel -inverted arch for stiffer handling -can be switched to 4 in. -looks awesome
Weaknesses: -hard to get dialed in -expensive
This is the best alround fork out there. It has sweet rebound and has a nice feature of the ability to switchto 4 inches for uphilling. Also, very stiff. Can take anything you throw at it and is still reasonably light. And you have to love the looks. Sweet black or winter camo. This fork is where its at.
Manitou no longer has the 130 mm spring in stock. Anyone here have one that they would like to part with, or any spring that will work? I don't mind loosing the travel adjust, I just want a fork that won't sag or brake dive so much. Even a firm spring would be better than the medium titanium spri ... Read More »
i picked up a used Sherman Firefly and its ins great shape......other than the bushing slop. Is there anything i can do to help with that, or do i just need to order new bushings and install them?
The only reason i ask is that the fork was barely used, but has some decent play. M ... Read More »
alright, I pulled this bad boy out from the attic and i couldn't remember the problem. Now, its obvious.
I checked the air pressure and its still at 100 ( where I left it, to see if it held pressure and it does ) so then I cycled the shock some to move around the oil. and i couldn't compress it muc ... Read More »