Manitou Black Platinum Air IT 2005 Front Shocks

3.85/5 (13 Reviews)
MSRP : $599.95


Product Description

The top-of-the-line Black gets a sweet new feature for '05 - Manitou's new IT (infinite travel) system. With IT, the rider can adjust the fork's travel via a handlebar mounted lever, so it's perfect for use on a variety of terrain. You get a proven and reliable Reverse Arch casting, Evil Genius seals, and TPC damping with a lockout lever for pure climbing performance.


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Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ian Hatton a Weekend Warrior from Tampa FL

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2007

Strengths:    Adjustable travel
Lock Out
V-brake mounts
Decent feel, not insanely plush but at the same point, it isn't flimsy


Weaknesses:    Had to send it in to have a line replaced, it had a slow leak. Nothing terribly bad, but it was consistant. It looks like they got it taken care of this time though.

Bottom Line:   
It's a nice fork, nothing mind blowing. But never the less, nice. Got it for an awesome price. Way lighter then any of the other stuff that was at that price point when I got it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Boyette

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Greenfish

Similar Products Used:   An Rst pogo stick piece of crap

Bike Setup:   2000 Kona FireMountian with upgrades.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steven Salmons a Cross Country Rider from Rolla, MO

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2007

Strengths:    Lightweight, reasonably stiff, smooth travel, easy adjustments, good looks

Weaknesses:    post mounts?

Bottom Line:   
This is one sweet fork for 250 bucks (mine is 120mm travel w/SPV). It is stiffer than SID with longer travel but 1/2 pound heavier. The adjustments are easy to make and you can feel a big difference. I do not have the IT mine has the SPV which is very cool too. The only complaint one might have is the post mounts because you need adapters for a lot of brakes, buy I actually prefer the post mount over IS.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Axel Comp (stock fork)

Bike Setup:   GF Pirahna, black fork, xt drive, carbon bars/post, x lite pro seat, deore disks

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dylan Sutton a Weekend Warrior from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2006

Strengths:    Reasonably stiff, and lightweight for the travel. IT is fantastic feature for climbing, wish my '07 Float 140's on my new Giant Reign had something similar to make it easier to keep the front wheel down on steep climbs. Have had none of the IT problems others mention.
Service from Greenfish was outstanding.


Weaknesses:    Not as plush as some, but doesn't seem to affect real world performance. Can leak oil if bike stored upside down (so I don't!). Compression damping/lockout lever action is too light, have had the fork lockout accidentally after being flicked by branches on narrow singletrack. Have filed end off lever so it doesn't stick out past the fork leg to stop this happening again. Substandard paint finish and plastic rebound/compression levers feel cheap (but hey, this closeout OEM model WAS cheap!) but don't affect performance.

Bottom Line:   
The Black Platinums with IT let me ride my XC hardtail down steeper, rockier trails than was practical with the original 80mm race forks, without sacrificing climbing performance. They offer a good level of stiffness, tuning and performance, and the closeout price was unbeatable value. I mostly use the IT either fully extended or dropped down to about 1" travel, perhaps because the trails around here are always up or down. Maybe the in-between travel settings would be more useful on flatter terrain, but having only 2 positions would suit me fine.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fast and flowing singletrack

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   Greenfish

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Mars Elite 80mm ('02 model), Fox Vanilla 125 RL, '07 Fox Float RL 140mm, old Marzocchi air forks with about 60mm travel.

Bike Setup:   These forks replaced Manitou Mars Elite 80mm - a deliberate switch to slacken the geometry of my Iron Horse Vice XC/race hardtail. SRAM 9.0SL, Hayes Mag XC, XT cranks, Sun DS2XC wheels.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Oswald a Cross Country Rider from Brakel

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2006

Strengths:    Versatile, light, lockout, IT

Weaknesses:    IT switch, flexy

Bottom Line:   
The fork is versatile. The IT works well: good for climbing and descending. But I don't like the way the IT switch works. Leaning back isn't sufficient to extend the fork to full travel, you actually have to pop a wheely. When you've been racing for 3 hours and have 2 more hours to go, popping a wheely after every long climb can cause cramps. Instead of an IT switch, a remote lock out would be better. The travel should be controlled by a U turn switch like RS has...
The fork is also very flexy when cornering and under heavy braking.
I can't figure out how to increase the compression. I have the red knob turned clockwise all the way, but it is still way too plush for me. The air valve seems to control the IT switch. Apart from that there is only the rebound and compression knob. Manual isn't clear on this, Belgian sales rep has no idea and Manitou won't answer my mails...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Different forks

Bike Setup:   03 GT Idrive 0.0, full XT, Ritchey parts

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by T Mayne a Cross Country Rider from waterville,ny

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2006

Strengths:    vast amounts of tune-ability, IT remote, lockout, weight, intial setup. For as little as I have used it (a slow piece-by-piece buildup of a custom bike) the fork seems to perform well.

Weaknesses:    A rebound assembly oil leak that is hopefully going to be factory fixed due to the fact that I have put about 4 miles on the thing.

Bottom Line:   
I hope that after answer fixes it I can put it through it paces and write more good and less bad about it....we shall see!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   greenfish

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Magnum (dinosaur)

Bike Setup:   Sette Shadow DS (sweet frame), XT 6 bolt front hub, XT front and rear derails, XT rear V-brake (for now), sram rocket shifts, avid levers, avid BB7 disc front brake, ringle rhynolite front rim, ringle fully sealed headset(an older unit but still as sweet as the day I brought it home, and this is the second bike that it has been on) sette seat post and stumpy stem, specialized seat, clubroost go-fast DH bars(older but I can't part with them), LX front rings and arms w/ xtr btm bracket, ringle cr17a rear rim w/ older shimano hub (this winter's upgrade project)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Mesa, AZ

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2006

Strengths:    IT remote, takes a beating

Weaknesses:    Leaked a little oil once, but no problems at all.

Bottom Line:   
Love it. I'm a 215lb beginner, and this fork saved my ass at least a few times. The IT remote helps a TON on climbs. You can drop the travel down to almost nothing, giving you better positioning for really steep climbs, then pop it back out to full travel, or any point in between. It works like a pneumatic office chair. It handled stuff I never thought it would, especially with my weight behind it. It gave me more confidence, and I tried bigger and better descents and drops. It handled EVERYTHING I threw at it beautifully. Highly recommended. Don't know much about the price, but all chili's are due.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Came on bike/ used

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox, if that's at all similar


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brett Rivera a Weekend Warrior from Menlo Park

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2006

Strengths:    It has all the goodies like Compression, Lockout, Damping, TPC Lockout, Rebound and travel. They all work very well.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
These are great shocks with lots of adjustable things and have a pretty good price.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   BicycleBuys.com

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Mars, Manitou Axel, RockShox Judy and Marzocchi Dirt Jumper.

Bike Setup:   2002 Marin Rift Zone

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ty a Weekend Warrior from Orlando

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2006

Strengths:    Lightweight, very plush, extremely tunable, and versitile.

Weaknesses:    Plastic knobs (Aluminum would not be too expensive of an upgrade) No real apparent weakness has reared it ugly head as of YET!

Bottom Line:   
Good Fork! I am not sure why others have state that it does not handle small bumps well, mine is as plush as can be! (One thing I experience initially, was a leaky rebound damper. Which once the oil has leaked to a certain amount, your small bump compliance severly diminishes - After obtaining a warranty replacement damper there has been no such issues)
** Manitou did admit that it was faily common that these dampers are prone to leaking. So if your small hit compliance has gone south check in to this matter. Never know!
Ride On!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bellview (Santos)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Greenfishsports.com

Similar Products Used:   Black Comp, Black Elite, RS Psylo (XC & SL) etc...

Bike Setup:   2004 Giant Vt1 - Sram guts, Black Plat IT, Swinger 3 way, Sun rims, Xt hydros, and easton dressings...

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by cameron a Racer from Md

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2006

Strengths:    Its a fork

Weaknesses:    Pretty much everything, its not even plush at all. Does'nt absorb any rocks except big ones. And yes i do have it set up right.

Bottom Line:   
buy a fox

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   snowshoe

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Anything that rides like crap

Bike Setup:   Right now I own a Stumpjumper FSR carbon with Fox Talas RLC, xtr front and rear, getting ready to buy a X-0, and XTR disc. and of course i use the panaracer fire xc, why..because they are the best tires out there!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fred a Cross Country Rider from Charlo, N.B., Canada

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2006

Strengths:    i am not a pro the only thing is that the travel settings and the lock out are great and

Weaknesses:    i find it like the switches are going to break caus they are made of plastic

Bottom Line:   
i like

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any trail is good

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Extrem bike shop

Similar Products Used:   none i hade a judy xc befor

Bike Setup:   2000 gt avalanche rl modifyde

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chain Buster a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2006

Strengths:    Light, stiff, great damping, tons of features. Love the IT that allows you to adjust from 80 to 120 mm travel at a flip of switch. Great value.

Weaknesses:    Plastic knob that controls the compression and lockout worries me, though has worked well so far and is easy to reach and adjust with a flic of a finger

Bottom Line:   
I am an lightweight (140lb) cross country and trail rider. I love the climb as much as bombing downhill. This fork gives me the range of travel to fullfill my needs with confidence. I would drop the travel to 80 and lockout if it is not too rocky and pull up to 100-120 when I need to make big clearance (to protect the crank) or when I start my downhill. It takes a little practice to work the IT switch when you want to remain seated. Cornering with this fork is great compared to rockshox. Because I am light, I do not need such a beefy fork. Wear and tear on this fork cannot be assessed yet, but confident in its construction.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dakota Ridge/Matthew Winters

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox, RST

Bike Setup:   Scott FS, LX/XT, WTB velociraptor tires. About 27lb setup.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daniel a Cross Country Rider from Charlottesville, VA USA

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2005

Strengths:    This fork is pretty sweet. The travel adjust is great for changing your preformance over different terrean. If im on a long rocky downhill i can crank it up, if im on a fast flat i can crank it down. And with the lock out it helps out alot on long climbs.

Weaknesses:    lockout switch is on the top of the fork instead of on the handle bars. if the IT switch (that changes the travel) was instead a lockout switch it would pretty sweet.

Bottom Line:   
This fork is awsome for XC. Its nice, light, plush and versitile. O-hill is REALLY rocky and walnut creek isnt so i can change the fork depending on where i am. I just it had a switch lockout instead of it on the fork, but i think i just need some practice. BOTTOM LINE: Really good fork if you dont want to spend another $100 on a muinite

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   o-hill or walnutcreek

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $260.00

Purchased At:   performance bike

Similar Products Used:   Manitou splice elite. Manitou 3:00. rock shox judy.

Bike Setup:   Souped up iron horse maverick.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BJ a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta

Date Reviewed: December 2, 2005

Strengths:    easy rebound and firmness ajustment

Weaknesses:    full compression while climbing seems to add resistance, as if the tire is rubbing against the frame. it's not, just feels that way.
also after climbing and trying to extend to full 120, I'm able to get about 80%......operator error?


Bottom Line:   
glad I got what I consider a good deal for a 120, but I'm disappointed in the IT. I'll keep using for awhile to make sure it's not operator error conerning unloading for full extension. Anybody have one and notice the resistance when compressed and climbing?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any xc

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   first 120

Bike Setup:   Klein Palomino(appropriate, for I'm a clydesdale), XT components, hubs, Mavic 317 discs, Hayes hydraulic, and frogs

Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

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


04 Manitou Black Platinum...can I add air to it?

A friend of mine bought an 04 Specialized Enduro Comp off ebay. The Bike arrived yesterday and everything is good except the fork, its really soft. Can you add air to this fork or is it coil only. I tried looking on manitou's web site but their tech manuals aren't very straight forward. I also tr ... Read More »

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