Manitou Skareb Elite 2004 Front Shocks

3.87/5 (15 Reviews)


Product Description

Want an XC racing fork that’s light, blessed with excellent bump eating abilities, AND steers in the direction you point it? The only option is Skareb. This year we’ve stiffened up the Skareb Elite’s hollow crown with longer skirts, and further refined the magnesium RA casting…important upgrades considering all Skarebs are now offered in a 100mm travel option. Now, for the first time, you can own a superlight 100mm travel fork with the stiffness to tackle even your most aggressive XC outings.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by WeeWheelie a Weekend Warrior from Bakersfield

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2005

Strengths:    Lite, progressive firming up toward end of travel, adjustable rebound

Weaknesses:    Bobbles when standing, not for big drops or any heavy downhill stuff

Bottom Line:   
My 1st impression was this fork is mushy, too soft, but on my 1st mountain trek I never bottomed out! I have only praise. It is lite weight fulfilling a niche for the non-aggressive cross-country and endurace rider superbly. With my 170 lbs it provided a stable platform ride under most conditions. The exception was it's big bobbing whenever I stood on the pedals. I'm running 150lbs pressure and the manual says I can go as high as 190lbs. Yet I haven't tried that as I'm addicted to the way it gobbles up small bumps and smooths out abrupt jolts. As I rarely stand and don't want to pedal extra weight up the mountain, these forks suit me perfectly, reasonably priced too! I believe the 2005 models weigh even less.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cow Flat

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $395.00

Purchased At:   Jacobson's

Similar Products Used:   Simple Fox fork, Marzocchi basic fork

Bike Setup:   Schwinn Rocket2 w/ the Manitou Skareb Elite fork, Cloud 9 rear shock, Shimano pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a Cross Country Rider from GARBERVILLE.CALIFORNIA,US

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2005

Strengths:    Very plush fork with good dampning control. It is easy to adjust but make sure you have a fork pump. Cool graphics. easy too re oil on top of left stanction. I have the 100mm version which is plenty of travel.

Weaknesses:    grphics easily scratch when you lay bike down.

Bottom Line:   
go for it if you race xc. light 3.2 pounds. pretty rigid and the reverse arch looks sick.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CHEMISE MT

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   JENSONUSA.COM

Bike Setup:   tst Titanium mtb frame, xtr-xt, wtb tires seat, avid rim brakes. ust mavics, race face and easton. 23 pound

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ben a Weekend Warrior from Belgium

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2005

Strengths:    Light fork, well designed for V-brake, quick rebound and hard enought for amateur Cross country. Quick respond drive, it's very gooc XC fork for weekend rider ;)

Weaknesses:    No Disk brake mount and maybe not hardest fork I have tested. now you can put more air psi to get hardest fork. it's not a well designed fork for peoples over 100 KG.

Bottom Line:   
For the price of my bike it's a perfect replacement over the original RST omega T5 coming with the trek 4400.

The trek 4400 have a very good frame and wheel fo ramateur biker the only weak point is the fork. for the cost trek 4400 + Skareb elite is a very good low budget choice for weekend warrior biker like me :) it's my second manitou fork, befor eI haved a SX model.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Sport Velo

Similar Products Used:   Manitou SX

Bike Setup:   Trek 4400 - XC dry tires - Manitou Skareb fork - WTB wheel.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richardt Ferreira a Cross Country Rider from Molteno,East-Cape,SA

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2005

Strengths:    It's a Manitou,its very light,it's responsive and it eats all the bumps.

Weaknesses:    None that I can see so far!

Bottom Line:   
It is awesome buy it now buy it now do you understand buy it now!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Keep changing my mind.

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Manitou

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy SL,Manitou Six Elite.

Bike Setup:   Raleigh RM.7 frame,DT Swiss XR4.1 ceramic wheelsets,full LX and Selle Italia SLR XP saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jerome Le Sueur a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2005

Strengths:    It's a Manitou, light weight and adjustable rebound.

Weaknesses:    After a short period of usage - none.

Bottom Line:   
The world has opened up to me now that I have rebound adjustment - The improvemnet over the RST is amazing. Looked really good in the shop window and even better on my bike. I am taking my riding a bit more seriously this year and this fork will and is making a huge difference in control - this inturn improves confidence - and so it goes on. Will do a longer term test report.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   I keep changing my mind

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   2nd Hand

Similar Products Used:   Old Rock Shox Quadra 21R, RST Gamma El

Bike Setup:   Nothing special - basic entry level components - other than great new shock

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Alex a Cross Country Rider from The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2004

Strengths:    Lightweight, lockout, relatively stiff for what it weighs

Weaknesses:    It's performing better than you'd expect for something this light, but it still isn't what I'd call ideal. Airspring is way too soft

Bottom Line:   
This thing came OEM on my Stevens M8 bike and it was sort of OK. Pretty precise steering for something so feeble, didn't expect that really. But the air spring was ever too soft. Always felt like it could brake, so it took a bit too much attention when I was riding it. And then I broke it last month....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Veluwezoom

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Hoekman 2wsp

Similar Products Used:   Rond 2 Stroke S, Marzocchi MX comp ETA

Bike Setup:   Stevens M9 hardtail, SRAM X7 shifting, Marzocchi MX Comp ETA

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob Schuiling a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: October 10, 2004

Strengths:    Plush. Being able to adjust the spring rate. Lght. Great for mild trails & light cyclists.

Weaknesses:    Bottoms out very easily. The spring adjuster requires a 16mm tool which is hard to come by.

Bottom Line:   
Major upgrade over Rockshock.
Well made product. SPV in my opinion is a huge enhancement in terms of adjusting to personal preference.
Would recommend a manufacturer upgrade (free) to all owners in order to address the softness (bottoming out).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Rockshock SID xc / SL

Bike Setup:   '04 Giant NRS AIR

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bill a Cross Country Rider from eureka,california,humboldt

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2004

Strengths:    Very plush and smooth,easy too adjust,looks cool,solid.the price is also great buy it and you wont be dissapointed.

Weaknesses:    a little too soft when sprinting out of the seat thats it

Bottom Line:   
it is awesome buy it now buy it now do you understand buy it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but seriously it is great and very affordable. Jenson has it on closout hiny hint.the only reason you wouldn't want this fork is if you are a crazy downhiller or freerider.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   jenson usa

Bike Setup:   hardrock thats blue

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lactic Addict a Racer from Chatham, NY, USA

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2004

Strengths:    Plush without being sloppy. Lightweight. Stiff. Available in 100mm. Looks nice.

Weaknesses:    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the durability of the decals.

Bottom Line:   
Last year I "upgraded" to a Mars Super from my beloved X-Vert Air (damn I loved that fork so much) because I had bought a new frame and the X-Vert didn't fit anymore. Though the Mars turned out to be very light, it also turned out to be kind of a piece of @$#%! The damn thing was way too rigid and needed to be cleaned about once a month! Plus it had a number other problems which I won't bore you with...

Last week I realized that it was time to buy a new fork. I was looking for a XC fork that would be light enough to race while at the same time being plush enough to smooth out the technical, rocky trails we have out here. The Skareb 100mm seemed to fit that bill perfectly. After seeing that Jenson had the Skareb Elite on sale, I jumped all over it, having read such good things about the 2003 Elite on this site.

When I received fork, I realized that Jenson had sent me a OE model with SPV damping! So I basically got a Skareb Platinum for $219!

Having ridden it (hard) for about week, I can tell you that this fork does EXACTLY what it's supposed to do. It's a relatively light XC fork that can handle technical, aggressive riding. It is a tremendous improvement over my Mars in that it actually soaks up rocks, roots, and anything else that gets in its way. And at the same time it is stiff, accurate, and feels quick and responsive. I couldn't be happier!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Broken Thumb

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $219.00

Purchased At:   Jenson

Similar Products Used:   Manitou X-Vert air, Manitou Mars Super.

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cary a Cross Country Rider from Lafayette, CA

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2004

Strengths:    So Plush

Weaknesses:    Can't find them.

Bottom Line:   
This a great fork for its intended purpose, Cross Country. I am using the 80mm version, set up with the firm spring kit (I am a 225 pound clyde) and 160 psi. Note that the fork is an air/coil hybred acting as an air for the first part of the travel with the coil working in the last 1-1.5" of travel to prevent bottoming.

The result is an incredibly plush fork that does not bottom easily. Down fire roads and single track, the fork just eats up vibrations and keeps the front tire stuck to the ground. Small drops that you find on single track (less than 1 foot) are just eaten up. The proper spring keeps the fork from bottoming.

There is no comparision between my Sid XC and this fork. The Skareb is far stiffer torsionally and much plusher. In fact it feels plusher than my Fox Float, but not quite as stiff torsionally.

I think the mediocre reviews on this fork are because people don't understand its proper use and setup. This fork is a CROSS COUNTRY FORK. If you are doing drops, etc, get a black or other fork. Also, the fork will travel its full 80mm, but it is very linear during the first part of travel, ramping up at the end because of the desing with the coil. This keeps it from bottoming harshly. If you want a great CC fork, you can't beat these things, especially at the current $210 closeout prices.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one I'm riding

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $290.00

Purchased At:   Red Barn Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Sid XC, Fox Float 100 RL, older Judy C.

Bike Setup:   Titus Riddler, LX/XT components, Velocity Wheels, Avid V brakes, etc.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by john curry a Cross Country Rider from québec, qc, canada

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2004

Strengths:    (skareb comp, oem)light, rebound ajust knob gives fine tuning, works very well when climbing.

Weaknesses:    a lot of loose play, enough to make you think the aheadset is loose. bottoms out easy. air limit is 190 psi, but the owner's manual doesn't mention it (e-mail manitou to get it). I weight 150 lbs, the manual says to put 75% of your weight in air, but I have to put 185-190 lbs to get good performance without bottoming out(and I do have the right spring).

Bottom Line:   
the forks works well overall. the only thing that wouldn't make me get this fork unless it came with the bike is the loose play. you feal it mostly when riding on regular bumpy terrain (like going down a big grass hill in a park). when riding in actual trail (rocks, roots, etc.) you don't really have time to feal it. I do cross-country, but I do like to give my bike a hard time. This is where the fork as limits. If you ride your bike hard, get a stronger, stiffer fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   marin eldridge grade 04

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Scott Roberts a Cross Country Rider from Newark, DE

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2004

Strengths:    A great light weight fork for lighter riders. Good for any normal XC riding but not the best for big drops or jumps.

Weaknesses:    If you are a heavier rider or like taking big drops then this is not the proper fork for you.

Bottom Line:   
A great light weight fork if you use it for it's intended purposes. This fork is made for the lightweight, XC singletrack rider. I am abut 145lbs and this fork is performing well for me. Nice, light and stiff.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Middle Run

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Skareb Super, Skareb Comp

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakota XC

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Aaron a Cross Country Rider from Campbell, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2004

Strengths:    -Light Weight
-Colors....I Guess...
-It holds the wheel properly


Weaknesses:    -Makes a clicking noise when coming from an idle stance to any amount of compression and vise-versa.
-Too squishy
-Collapses down when pumping hard
-Manual says not to exceed 100 psi


Bottom Line:   
I weigh 200 lbs at 5'5" so im not exactly small and I ride a 16.5" size and this shock came stock on the bike. I am very dissatisfied with this product due to its weak a$$ spring rate and just overall performance. I believe that this a terrible match for the NRS - due to its premise on the "No Resosonance System". But the front has so much "Resosonance" that it compensates for the back end. A clearly weak shock unless you weigh a buck 20 or less. I will probably upgrade to a FOX front shock.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Pacific Bikes

Bike Setup:   '04 Giant NRS2 Disc, all stock except wah wah platform pedals, and Haro Mirra Pro seat.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andy a Cross Country Rider from Durango, Colorado

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2004

Strengths:    Light weight, supple on fast decents

Weaknesses:    poor rebound at slower speeds, poor lateral stiffness

Bottom Line:   
a good choice for riders who are on a budget, don't need great lateral stiffness and are weight concience.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hermosa creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $360.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rusty Kuhns a Cross Country Rider from Bakersfield CA

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2004

Strengths:    Light, stiff

Weaknesses:    A little soft compression

Bottom Line:   
This is a great fork when it comes to being light and stiff but when you want to get out of the saddle and sprint the front end is a little soft. Other than that this is a great fork. The reason I went for this fork over the Sid was due to the horrible stories I've heard about getting anything repaired by rockshox.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Camp Nelson

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Team Rider

Similar Products Used:   Mars Comp

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz superlight, XTR Drivetrain, XTR hubs laced to mavic 517's. Thompson Elite post, Fox lockout

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

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


Manitou Skareb Elite Damper Assembly

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