Manitou Black Super Air SPV 2005 Front Shocks

3.83/5 (12 Reviews)
MSRP : $549.95


Product Description

Black Super Air SPV for '05 offers the performance and adjustability of a pure cross-country fork, with a stiffer, tougher chassis to handle more aggressive terrain. Lighweight air-sprung design, highlighted by SPV (stable platform valve) Evolve technology - full active on the bumps, but highly resistant to rider-induced forces.


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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jraff a Weekend Warrior from Jakarta

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2008

Strengths:    SPV system...no need Lockout system

Weaknesses:    So far None

Bottom Line:   
I love this Fork, when Climbing the compression automatically works, you dont need turn Lockout knob for compression setting because it dont have it, Sometimes I try it for Bunny Hoop and it bumps very good

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   JPG, Parigi

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   RST Storm, Rock Shock Recon

Bike Setup:   Jamis

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeremy a Racer from Loma Linda, CA

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2006

Strengths:    I got a great price. Light weight for an 80mm all mountain type fork. Works well. SPV Evolve sounds like a great idea.

Weaknesses:    SPV Evolve just doesn't do what I wanted it to. This fork doesn't hold air for very long.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this fork on Ebay. The auction was for a Manitou Skareb with remote lock out. This is what I wanted, a light weight inexpensive XC fork with a lock out for my every day XC hardtail. After paying for the fork the seller notified me that they were out of the 80mm Skarebs. I could have a 100mm, which would have thrown off the geometry of my bike, or they would upgrade me to the Manitou Black Super Air with SPV evolve. This isn't the forks problem. But explains why I'm not super satisfied with it. I took the Black thinking "It's a more expensive fork it must be better." Plus the seller/Manitou insured me that I would be happy with the SPV Evolve and that it "virtually eliminates" the need for a lock out. That is where I have a problem with this fork. The SPV thing just doesn't do enough. I use the remote lock out on my Sid all the time during a race. I know if I'm going to get up out of the saddle and hammer up a climb I have control over it with the flick of a switch. You can't do this with the SPV feature on the Manitou Black. I don't get any bob when in the saddle. But the moment I stand up, there it is, wasting my energy. I weigh a mere 140 lbs. I run the fork at Manitous suggested air pressure for my weight and the SPV at near Max.

Don't get me wrong. It has been a good fork outside of the lack of a lock out. I don't have any complaints. I like my Sid better. But for my every day XC Mtn bike this fork works well.

Just don't be fooled by the promises of the SPV Evolve. If you are truly used to using a lock out you won't be happy with the SPV.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Ana River Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $265.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Sid Team, Marzocchi Z2 X-Fly QR20, Rock Shox Judy


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Roger a Cross Country Rider from Mt Carmel, IL

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2006

Strengths:    Strong, stiff and relatively light

Weaknesses:    none yet with the shock, but the information provided from Manitou (the little paper with the shock and the internet downloads)is not very useful.

Bottom Line:   
I rode a very technical trail with lots of steep ups and downs and never found the bottom of this 80mm shock. It is very plush for an 80mm shock and it seems to keep it's air at the end of the day. I'm still experimenting with the air settings and it's not had the recommended break-in time yet, but I definitely like the stiffness over my previous Judy. This fork has SPVE and I didn't notice any excessive bobbing, but on undulating singletrack riding seated you're probably not going to feel it. I like it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Legend Park, Clayton NC

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $265.00

Purchased At:   new on E-bay

Similar Products Used:   '97 Rock Shox Judy with total air inserts

Bike Setup:   '97 Klein Mantra Race,
Cane Creek Cloud nine rear shock,
Shimano XT
Bontrager Race Lite Tubeless Wheels
Specialized Roll X Pro tires with Stan's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by GUY a Racer from WINSTON SALEM

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2006

Strengths:    As from before, see previous review. great bump eating abilities for an 80 mm fork very plush I mean very plush . Like a fat girl plush. still offers V Brake bosses.

Weaknesses:    Yoiu know, its not as stiff as a Zokie but eats bumps better than my F80 RLT. Still some leakage at lower right leg but maybe its related to a Harley. It doesn't leak. It marks its territory. I can live with that leak. SPV?? Maybe I just can't get used to total lockout.

Bottom Line:   
As said above. Manitou took care of me with customer service and now I have a good fork. BTW Manitou has a customer service in South Carolina for all of us East Coast riders, the ones that Bike Mag forgets about. Not quiiiiitttte as stiff as my Fox but I like the travel better. SPV Hmmmm, still working on it but almost perfect. Dude, a Fox costs 650.00++ A Black will set you back 250.00 to 350.00 with disc or V Brake options available. I am buying another one for my SS bike I am building up because its cheap and customer service is so good.Yeah, I got a few nice bikes and a computer to right these corny reviews but SH*T folks I work for my money. Why pay more than you have to.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   without fred

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1.00

Purchased At:   gift from vegas baby

Similar Products Used:   F80 RLT Zolie Marathon -good fork. POS SID

Bike Setup:   Fuelly 100 minus the CrossMax wheels. Cane Creek Zonos ti instead. 23pounds ish on my Berkley Hawg Master fish scale

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Mike Robert a Cross Country Rider from Los Gatos, CA

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2006

Strengths:    A plushy feel at first, worked well when I went heavy. I also liked the fact that you can choose a lockout, mid point and a full on suspension.

Weaknesses:    Heres my problem. I started noticing that the bike stopped locking out. Okay, then I lost half of my travel, then dammit, I bottom out on going over a speed bump. The fork is about 6 months old, but the symptoms came about on 2 rides.

Bottom Line:   
I've had it with Manitou, I have used 2 of their forks, and both times they've let me down. Please start spending more money in R&D. I also noticed that Specialized has dropped them from their line of high performace bikes. Save your money and buy Fox, that's what I need to do.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sawpit

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Came with bike

Similar Products Used:   N/A

Bike Setup:   Specialized Stumpjumper Comp.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Cross Country Rider from Trabuco Canyon

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2006

Strengths:    Lots of adjustability, lightweight, looks cool, no leaks

Weaknesses:    Not as stiff as would like.

Bottom Line:   
Good overall fork. Works well on the most technical of descents once you have it set up right. SPV works pretty well, although does have some bob to it, but is negligible. Feels a little loose compared to the Fox's larger stantion tubes. If you can get for cheap (250-350), would be a great buy. Buy it if you need a lightweight fork for cross country riding and dont want to spend 600 bux for a Fox.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   ALl

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi Bombers

Bike Setup:   05' Blur SRAM XO, King Wheelset

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by GUY SPIHER a Racer from Winston

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2006

Strengths:    Seems plush and travel very linear. in other words it feels very plush at beginning of travel and towards end of travel it ramps up nicely. eats bumps or did for awhile anyhow. Most adjustment knobs actually work. Not just there to give you something to play with.

Weaknesses:    Should sell this thing at Wal Mart its so Bloody cheap. Hmmmmm,where do I start... Leaky right fork leg at rebound adjustment knob, leaking right top seal, loose bushing in right leg sounds like a headset but its not Thacka Thacka Thacka. I suspect the SPV has issues as well as its not quite there. Kinda like the old guy who is a greeter at Wal Mart. Nice guy and probably good for something but just not quite there.

Bottom Line:   
Very disappointed. Yeah the fork was free, it was a gift from family but it was new.It should work. Made in Taiwan, I guess little Ho Chi does not care about quality. C Mon folks. I had three or four easy rides on this fork before taking it out for a long ride this past Sat. 1/28/06. I had checked the fork out after I had it installed. I did not have time to do it myself.Installation was good and only one issue to note. A leaky lower right leg seal at the adjuster knob. Hmm, just a little oil. I looked in the original box and Yep, sure enough it had left its mark in there as well.
Alright. This put me on alert. It has only gotten worse since then. Ohhh Yeah, and then --- after a nice long ride in which I rode maybe 30 miles I noticed some strange sounds coming from the right leg. Uhhh Ohhh. Okay, I'll be able to get back. At the end of this long but relatively smooth ride, no drops no hucking XC only I noticed a fair amount of oil on the sliders on both legs mixed in with the usual trail dirt. Turn the Biatch over and there is oil on the bottom as well and more oil began to seep past the seals on the top. Evil Genius seals my ARSE. More like Village Idiot seals. My take on this??? Save up your pennies and buy a FOX.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any and all

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   gift from vegas

Similar Products Used:   Fox F80, Yeah Baby!! Zokie Marathon, SID- POS.

Bike Setup:   Trek Fuelly 100 XC Carbon. Good stuff on it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by james wilkinson a Cross Country Rider from mooresville, nc

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2005

Strengths:    trek quility, paint to finish, sweet suspension, unlimited setup

Weaknesses:    it dont have a motor like my dirtbike, yee ha

Bottom Line:   
Im new to this sport, but researched and studied them all
test rode several bikes with different suspension set ups
the 2005 liquid 25 with the manitou 120mm super air spv evolve fork, swinger 3 spv shock, i was sold and wanted to buy the 06 fuel 7 with rock shox till i rode them both and the manitou air just fit my aplication better, rough terrain, roots rocks, and plan on useing the bike for cross training for my dirtbike cross country rideing i was looking for the best transition, the bike feels light next to my 02 520 exc ktm dirtbike, hats off to trek nice scoot, currently playing with suspension setup, lots of options and just carry your suspension air pump that came with the bike read the terrain and adjust as necessary lots of options sweet....

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fisher farm park in nc

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1450.00

Purchased At:   flyth cyclery in raleigh nc

Similar Products Used:   none new to this mtb rideing

Bike Setup:   completely stock, pretty awesome

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Walter a Cross Country Rider from Washington, DC

Date Reviewed: October 16, 2005

Strengths:    Follow up to below review....

Bottom Line:   
I finially got the adjustment right on these forks and they ROCK!! It took several rides, carrying my shock pump and trying different adjustments, but I finally got them dialed in.

I'm running them with:
- Main Fork Pressure: 100 to 110psi
- SPV Pressure - 150+
- SPV Volume - all the way out, then about 2-3 turns in.
- Rebound - around half, towards "more".

BTW, I'm aroung 160lbs (to give you some context on these pressures).

This gives me real plush rock and root absorption and keeping the SPV pressure high keeps the fork from bobbing on standing climbs. If you get the main valve up over 120, the shock gets so stiff that it's almost locked out.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'll never go back to a lockout. The SPV technology is so superior; no forgetting to lockout, or unlock the shock.

As promised, I'm upping my review score to 5 chili's!! 5 on value because I got them for FREE!

This is a great XC shock...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Avalon@Patapsco

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Bike Setup:   SC Blur

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Walter N a Cross Country Rider from Washington, DC

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2005

Strengths:    Very plush feel and crazy adjustability

Weaknesses:    take a long time to dial-in

Bottom Line:   
Good shock so far but it takes a lot of adjustment. I got this shock free with my SC Blur Frame. Knowing nothing about this shock, I was disapointed to find that it doesn't have a lock out. Then I read about the SPV (Stable Platform Valve) stuff and how to adjust it so you basically don't need to lock it out. It works pretty well, but it needs a ton of adjusting to get it right.

Bottom line is that I think that if I ever get the adustments right, it will be a great shock. It performs great in the bumps , but it still bobs some when pedaling. So for now this shock gets 3 chili's until I can get rid of he bobbing.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Avalon @ Patapsco

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Psylo's

Bike Setup:   SC Blur, Super Air SPV's, SRAM X-O's

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by SNPete a Cross Country Rider from Near Yosemite, CA

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2005

Strengths:    Plush, Stiff and light

Weaknesses:    Minor quality control issues. Sligh leak botom of rt leg, Valve core leak, but easy fix.

Bottom Line:   
My 99 Judy was totally trouble free for the five years I owned it. After 15,000 miles it started to wear out. I would have gone with a current Rock Shox, but they did not offer a fork that would work with V brakes. The Black is a good fork, but for the price one expects perfection. Too bad it has to be a Taiwanise fork. I would recommend it, but the minor problems mentioned prevent me from giving it 5 stars.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   99 Rock Shox Judy-when Judy was flagship fork for XC.

Bike Setup:   99 Kona Explosif frame-sweet 853 steel. 2003 full XT avid 7 brakes, Conti verical pro tires. 24.5lbs complete.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan from Los Angeles

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2005

Strengths:    plush, pretty light, adjustable, spv evolve

Weaknesses:    decals

Bottom Line:   
I just bought a new Liquid a few weeks ago and this fork came stock on it with 120mm spv evolve. I know what huge part of the bike the fork is and after not reading mixed reviews of the 2004 and not having any of the 2005 I had been considering upgrading at some point but after riding the Black Super Air I decided that the fork will be staying for a looong time. The 120mm of travel is seemingly endless and plusher than my coil/oil zoke and my friend's Fox. It is stiff and soaks up everything, I took it off some several foot drops and over some super rocky washed out riverbed and it worked perfectly. The SPV is awsome, I'm still fooling around with the pressure and it does bob some but not nearly as much as my old fork on the climbs. There are basically infinate pressure adjustments between the main chamber and the SPV chamber as well as the reboud adjustment so I am constantly fiddeling with it but I have it on the softer side now and it takes everything well. This is a great trail/xc/all mountain fork that can take pretty much anything and will leave you smiling on the up hills and giggling like a school girl on the way down.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   older Manitou SX, Marzocchi Z2 Atom 80

Bike Setup:   Stock Liquid 25

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

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


2005 Manitou Black Super Air SPV Evolve 100mm Oil Level

I am looking for the proper oil level for this shock. The 2005 fork service manual refers me to the 2005 Black service manual for the oil level which I am not able to locate. I have found the oil level for the 2004 SPV (2.9" - 3.0") and the 2006 SPV (2.7"-2.8"), but can't seem to find it for the 2 ... Read More »

Manitou Black Super Air SPV or Fox F80RLT?

OK, this is a follow on question to another post I made last week. I've narrowed my search for an 80mm fork to the 2 in the title. Seeing as I ride a steel hardtail in east coast single track, which would you choose? I'm predominantly looking for a light weight, rigid (read no twisting or flex) f ... Read More »

Manitou Skareb Super Tpc Vs. Black Super Air With Spv???????

I am debating between getting a Skareb Super TPC with lockout (80mm) or the Black Super Air with SPV. Both weigh about the same (.1 pound difference). I am 180 pounds and need a 80mm fork. I recently upgraded to a Skareb Super 100mm with remote lockout but I don't like the long travel fork on m ... Read More »

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