Nixon is Manitou's new fork lineup for long-travel trailbikes. The Elite offers 115-145mm of travel, adjustable via the Rapid Travel Wind Down system. You get a new for '05 Reverse Arch casting, hollow black-satin crown, and 32mm aluminum stanchions for incredible stiffness. Manitou's proven TPC setup handles the damping duties.
Bike Setup: sc heckler, 5th element, hussefelts, hayes 9, irc mythos
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2008
Strengths: stiff, progressive, adjustable, very light, looks good.
Weaknesses: requires post mount brake adapter (I didn't have one on hand, but really not the fork's problem)
I was looking for a 6" fork to match the 6" rear suspension, and I thought 5.7 was close enough. This is my favorite fork out of all my bikes, with the best balance between weight and stiffness. I am no stranger to high end components, and this fork rocks.
For all those kiddies who say this fork is too soft, manufacturers sell their forks with a target rider of 150-160lbs. If you weigh more, expect to modify the fork with a firmer ride kit, or use the air pressure the fork is designed to work with. I weigh 260lbs, and the fork does not bottom out, as it is set for me. There is not a "one setting works for all frames and riders." My fork was shipped with zero air pressure as it was air freight. It bottomed by just leaning on it. Recommended setting is 65-80% body weight. Even going to 100psi made the for workable.
I recommend this fork to anyone looking for a weight conscious fork in the 5-6" range for an all mountain or enduro bike. I think the weight penalty for the travis or dorado makes sense with a freeride or downhill rig. The minute is lighter for cross country, mild to moderate trails, but gives up a lot of rigidity for that 1.25lbs.
Similar Products Used: DJ3, Minute 2.00, Travis 180, Dorado 180, Manitou Black 120.
Bike Setup: 6" travel custom built Horst link frame (similar design to norco 6), Sun Single track wheels, SRAM X-7 f&r, Nevegals, FSA V-drive, hayes stroker brakes (may go back to bb7's, not sure yet)
a Cross Country Rider
from salinas. CA. U.S.
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2008
Strengths: amazing quality to price ratio, lots of travel, soft for small bumps, stiff for big hits, never bottoms out
Weaknesses: travel reduction only goes down 1 maybe 1 1/2 inches, thru axle hard to take off, thats it!
this fork was a lot softer than i was use to and at first i was afraid it was too soft.. but not at all. this fork glides over small bumps and when you hit a hardrock or a drop it stiffens quick and doesnt bottom out at all. it looks great and was the best fork for the price.. before i bought it i read reviews saying it bottoms out too easily.. well that is BS. what they were feeling was the transition of the soft fork stiffening on hard hits. there is a rubber end at the top of the fork to ensure it never bottoms out so dont think its bottoming out. this fork is very good quality and low maintenence. it can take drops, jumps and everything else you throw at it... this is a dam good fork with plenty of travel!!! take y word for it!!
Bike Setup: hardrock comp with avid disc brakes and mavic rims
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2008
Strengths: Plushness, smart fork, ability to adapt, ride, stiffness, looks, and, believe it or not, dips/drops, and it's TOUGH.
Weaknesses: Inaccurate travel due to "travel upgrade," and the rebound/compression dampening appear ineffective (at first), the need for the x-firm spring.
I can admit when I'm wrong. Manitou...I'm sorry. Try to follow this comparison...Say you free fall drop 2 bombs. The bigger one goes BOOM! The smaller one goes "boom". Which do you want to have on your side in a war? BUT, say the smaller bomb is actually a "smart bomb", and the target is a small opening in a bunker? which bomb do you want for most effectiveness?
Point is, This is a smart fork. Like others, I found that I could bottom it out by slowly dropping it over a curb. It's sag was about 30% even with the x-firm spring (I weigh about 210 lbs). So I said to myself, I'll mount this thing, and beat the hell out of it until it destroys itself.
So, I have the fork on my bike, and am going down my fastest downhill urban run, and came up fast on "the dip from hell." It is very hard not to bottom out on ANY fork on this evil dip at speed so I usually pull up hard as I go over, even with my Drop Off II. I did not pull up on the Nixon, as my goal was to abuse the hell out of the fork. POW I hit it...but no "clunk" or any bottom out noise. I stopped, looked at my travel marker. The Nixon after taking into account the "travel upgrade" STILL HAD AN INCH+ of unused travel! I repeated this over and over and had the same result! So..the fork that can bottom out going over a curb will successfully dampen a bone-crushing dip that has flatted tires it hits so hard???? With room to spare????
Closing: I was like some others. I was judging this fork based on my experience with less expensive forks, or with free ride forks, where what you see is what you get, at any speed. This is a high-end fork, that has been ditched, in my opinion, by riders who assumed what I assumed. We got lucky and got a $600.00 MSRP fork for a fraction of that price, and therefore judged it by the low to mid-range fork standards. It's like saying that a BMW at slow speed is very plush and therefore, must suck at high speeds and aggressive roads as well. When some said that the fork tightens up as the conditions get more hardcore, I thought they were full of BS.
Similar Products Used: Torra, Drop Off II, All mountain 4.
Bike Setup: See previous review.
a Weekend Warrior
from Austin, TX USA
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2007
Strengths: It's pretty and soft... the oil rings left by wipers can be wiped off and used to oil down the bike. Plush and mushy. When I am standing there at a traffic light, it looks great, as long as I don't put any weight on it. New ex-firm spring is only 25 bucks
Weaknesses: The usual, stock springs are stunningly soft, compression and rebound knobs apparently put there for looks only. has max of 120mm travel. and both wipers leak and leave pronounced oil rings.
I want to like Manatou, I really do. I just cant fathom how a company with the experience that Manitou has putting out a product with such huge flaws that any testing should have pointed out...for God sake, how could they not know that the tire would need more clearence for full travel??? How could they not know that the dampening adjusters didn't noticably work?? How could they put out a fork with this much travel and even with a 20mm through axel with springs so soft it's common knowlage that you automatically put in the x-tra firm spring as part of the initial set-up, like punping up the tire before you use it? Was this thing designed by freshman engineering students as a class project???
I put the fork on without reading these reviews. At 200 bucks, I thought that It would at least be worth the 200 bucks I paid. I would have been so pissed if I bought this fork for anywhere close to the retail price of around 5 to 6 hundred (ha ha ha!). My comments about the fork were not based on reviewes, but my experience thus far.
To be fair, I am 6'2" and with my urban back pack I weigh close to 250 lbs. My other bikes have Rock Shox Tora with 130mm travel and a Marzocchi Drop Off 2 with 150mm travel. Both have stock springs and ROCK!
I have finally found a vender with the ex-firm spring for sale, thank God. After days on the net, GreenFish found it for me. If you are thinking about getting this as a clearence item, I highly suggest you find the ex-firm spring first, before you buy the fork.
Similar Products Used: marozocchi jr. t, marozocci 66, manitou black
Bike Setup: enduro
from Redondo Beach, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: August 16, 2007
Strengths: Works great for the kind of riding I do.
Weaknesses: Having the adjustable ride hight does not work the best. I think it broke awhile ago and now I at set for long travel.
The shock works great for me. I ride all different types of trails and terrain. It work good on average trails and when I get into the more aggressive the shock takes the abuse. I weigh 175 and it handles everything I through at it. I would recommend the shock to anyone.
Similar Products Used: Just other friends bikes with other shocks. Don't remember what they are.
Bike Setup: Fugi Adventure
a Cross Country Rider
from Sierra Vista
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2007
Strengths: Would probably be good for a lighter rider
Weaknesses: Spring, not air, so the adjustability for riders of different weights is weak.
I have not been impressed with this fork. Riding at 210 pounds I have found this fork to be ineffective. I ride quite hard and adjusting the rebound and damping does not make any change. The fork has adjustable travel but when the compression is set to anything other then max, one hard hit will bottom out the travel. So heading down the trail with the travel maxed out, one hard hit will change the travel setting to the lowest. I am switching over to air.
Strengths: Very stiff (through-axie version), plush, great small bump compliance... it's actually very light, for how strong it is and how much travel it has. Mine weighs 4.25 pounds with the through-axle...
Weaknesses: Wish it had some kind of on the fly adjustment... the rebound and compression adjustment knob labels are counter-intuitive. Turning the rebound dial towards "more" gives less rebound. Maybe it's just the fork that I got? It's no big deal, though.
I weigh 164 before dinner... and the factory springs work great for me. I ride mostly in the lowest travel setting for off road climbing purposes, but love the plushness of the full 145mm when in the city... wish the fork had a quick way of adjusting travel for off road purposes, but I heard the system Manitou currently employs sucks...
The fork has taken moderate abuse (all kinds of drops up to 5 feet and lots of up and down stair riding) almost every day for a year now, yet it keeps performing wonderfully with occassional stanchion greasing (no disassembly). I also use Lizard Skins to protect the seals.
I feel like this fork has saved my @$$ more than once due to its stiffness and shock absorbancy.
There are no doubt better forks out there, but for under $300 I have yet to find a better price/value ratio.
Similar Products Used: Manitou Black, Manitou Axel Comp, Marzocchi CR Z1...
Bike Setup: Azonic Steelhead, with Bombshell Fatboy wheel up front, Rohloff laced to a SnowCat rim in the rear. Hayes HFX 9, FSA V-Drive Xtreme, Cane Creek Thudbuster, Iron Cross pedals, Chris King and Truvative cockpit.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bellingham, WA, US
Date Reviewed: October 11, 2006
Strengths: Lightweight Great TPC+ Damping No tools 20mm axle Plush out of the box, virtually no break in period Affordable RTWD system does not require a shock pump to adjust Low stack height Ano Al knobs are easy to turn Adjustments make a noticeable difference
Weaknesses: None so far!
I am reviewing the '06 Nixon Elite. I heard that the '05 sucked, but that they fixed the problems, and I am now convinced that they really did. None of the problems I have read about, such as not getting full travel, adjustments not working, damping being of poor quality, etc. do not apply to the 2006 model. This thing is very similar to my Dorado, which also had TPC+ damping (the '05 Nixon's had plain old TPC), and they feel very similar. The compression adjustment doesn't do much when you're just jumping on the fork, but it makes a difference when you're riding. I have the knob somewhere in the middle, as well as the rebound. All in, the fork is difficult to move past half travel, and the rebound, the fork pretty much stays down (though it's not meant to be a lockout). All out rebound, the fork is a pogo stick. The adjustments work! As for travel, I get all 145mm - I measured. This thing is about a pound lighter than the Marzocchi Z1 Light that I was considering, and at what I paid, well less than half the price. Ridiculous! How can you go wrong? I am thinking that the fork may need a stiffer spring in one leg, but that's because I'm fat, and no fault of the manufacturer. The small bump performance and sensitivity is amazing, and the fork has not bottomed on me yet (harshly at least, but I have gotten 145mm of movement out of it). I really can't imagine a better 6" single crown. Well, I guess it bobs on the climbs, but I don't care at all. Not only am I not riding for the uphill, but one doesn't lose much efficiency if the fork bobs, as longs as one stays seated while pedaling (it's the rear that matters for efficiency). I like the fact that the fork's sensitivity to small things such as roots and rocks on the way up allow it to roll perfectly without wandering or bouncing. This fork is money. Buy it. I can't believe they still have them in stock at JensonUSA for $250 a pop. Ridiculous. Oh, you should buy this fork if you like trail riding, all mountain riding, XC riding or light freeriding (no hucks over 10'). You should not buy this fork if you're a huckmaster, a hardcore DH'er, or a weight weenie XC'er who's gonna gripe about the fact that the plush travel allows the fork to bob a little. I say screw platform damping, it's what gave Manitou's (SPV) such a bad rep anyway!
Similar Products Used: 2002 Marzocchi Z1 Freeride '03 Dorado, '06 888RC2X, '03 Super T
Bike Setup: 6" Helius FR, built light and durable for trail riding, not XC, not FR, somewhere in between. I weigh 185ish.
a Weekend Warrior
from aurora, colorado
Date Reviewed: September 28, 2006
Strengths: plush, absorbs trail bumps without equal.
Weaknesses: does not have the travel it claims, too plush sometimes, brake dive.
this is a follow up review, after 1 year of riding, I have beat on this fork over and over and the travel stops at 4 inches.I ordered a stiffer spring because it was a little too plush,but i have to agree with the guy below who says the tire clearance upgrade is just some kind of plug that prevents getting full travel.this is a great 4 inch travel fork but shame on manitou for lying and selling it as 145 mm's! I am removing some chili's for that and switching to a z-1 from marzocchi.shame,shame,shame...
Weaknesses: not great for out of the saddle sprint or climbing.
I made a mistake buying this fork,it wallows unless you stay seated when pedaling.....lose so much energy to bob even when rapid wind down at 115 cm, I am returning to Marzocchi, I bought a 2005 Marzocchi all mountain SL prior to this fork, it was defective out of the box, this model must be a lemon they are so heavily discounted now, would not air up on the negative chamber so I exchanged it, went with the manitou trying to save money, Marzocchi ETA and TAS much better than any thing out there, Fox forks are unreliable....sooo I will buy another Marzocchi with coil not air.This fork is excellent on downhill sections.I installed the proper spring for my weight thus substantially improving the progressive feel of this fork, soaks up the small stuff much better, this fork takes bigs hits great.
a Weekend Warrior
from Colorado Springs, CO. USA
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2006
Strengths: Light, stiff, adjustable, simple.
Really enjoying this fork. It's much stiffer than the Black 120mm, and I like being able to alter the head tube angle via travel adjustment. I can crank it down for long climbs or when I want the bike to have quick steering, or I can let the travel out all the way and lower my seat for a full on downhill sled feel.
Travel adjustment works great. Rebound adjustment works great. The compression adjustment is very subtle. You can't tell a difference just standing around pushing down on the fork, but it makes a noticable difference when riding.
I think the people that don't like this fork are trying to use it as a freeride/downhill fork when it was really designed for epic style XC riding.
I tip the scales at 200+ pounds, and have no problem with the stock spring, but I tend to have a laid back style where I float obsticals with wheely drops. If you're a heavyweight basher, a stiff spring might be best.
I recently rode a ~20 mile trail that included 6000ft of decending. Fast, technical, baby head boulders, drops, etc. and the fork performed flawlessly.
Similar Products Used: Replaced a Black 120mm with the Nixon
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Heckler with coil spring rear, set up for back country epic style rides.
a Cross Country Rider
from TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA USA
Date Reviewed: May 26, 2006
Strengths: Very agile, Climbs well
Weaknesses: a little weak when cold, but dial right in when warmed up.
Once the shock heats up it easily can be hucked and dropped. I weigh 210 pounds and was pissed at first but once I got on it I loved it. Climbs well and handles great. It got it as a replacement for a splice super I blew out. Manitou's customer service was great. It helps when you go through your bike dealer also. Doing good business with the same folks always pays off big dividends later.
Bike Setup: Fox float Rl rear shock, Maxxis Mobster tires, Avid BB5 Mechanical disk brakes 203mm rotor front 180mm rear.
a Weekend Warrior
from Las Vegas, Nevada
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2006
Strengths: Super Plush, Relativly Cheap.
Weaknesses: Travel Stated inacurate. Knobs do nothing.
I've always been a Manitou Man. This is my 5th or 6th bike with a Manitou Fork. I've found several things in common with all Manitou forks...
1) Manitou lies about their travel, always less then stated. In this case this fork is supposed to have 145mm travel when in fact it about 130mm max (A tad over 5 inches), should be 5.7 inches. The weird thing is there is only about 5.7 inches clearense from the top of my tire to the bottom of the steer tube. The confusion I have is the fork has a sticker that sais "Tire Clearense Upgrade Installed". Which to me means at one point the fork bottomed to far into its travel and hit the top of the tire causing people to endo on their face. In other words the sticker "Tire Clearense Upgrade Installed" means they took .7 inches of travel away with a spacer. Point 7 inches that they probably never meant for us to have.
2) None of Manitou's Compression and Rebound adjustments ever work or make any changes to the original ride of the fork. This doesnt apply to Travel or Spring rate adjustments which always works fine.
3) All of Manitou forks are super plush, which to me and my type of riding is perfect. I dont mind loseing a few inches of travel to sag, just as long as I do not feel the gravel and rocks under my bike. Thats what suspension is for.
Over all I give the fork 4 chilis for Value cause you can pick one up new right now for about $200 bucks from Cambria.
Would give it 5 Chilis if the Rebound and Compression did anything.
I've got a 130-160mm 2008 Nixon Elite that I'm trying to rebuild. I ended up needing to buy a 28mm socket and grind it down to a thinwall so it would fit. So this rebuild has been taking months with slowdowns like that (oh and it took Manipoo 3 months to send me the new spring and new seals.
So ... Read More »
I'm replacing my brakes and rotors, putting Clark's Skeletal Hydraulic brakes with a 203mm rotor on. The Nixon is a Post Mount setup, so I've taken the IS adapters off, but the bolts I have (originals) make it so that I can't fit the rotors on . Do I just need bigger bolts and spacers, or is there ... Read More »
I have a 2005 Manitou Nixon Elite, 145mm. I noticed this weekend when taking the bike out of the car from the morning ride that the fork is leaking around the rebound adjustment knob. I have serviced a lot of motorcycle forks but have not done a bicycle fork yet. Any suggestion on where to get a kit ... Read More »
I have a 2008 Nixon Elite 160mm. It has TPC+ damping and the Mars Air spring.
I got the fork new at the beginning of summer. It performed great with only one minor issue. Whenever the fork was compressed abruptly (i.e preloading before a jump or running across a patch of roots), it made a knockin ... Read More »