Here it is - the top of Manitou's new Nixon long-travel trailbike lineup - the Platinum. It offers the newest and best technologies currently available in the suspension market. First up is the new IT (infinite travel) adjust system, that lets you dial in the travel via a handlebar mounted remote. If that wasn't enough, you also get Manitou's SPV Evolve stable platform technology.
Strengths: Lighweight, cheap as long as you don't pay more than 1/3 MSRP! Rides very nice, with the right pressure it is very efficient, but still travels nicely over the big stuff, good amount of travel, beefy stantions.
I loved this fork when I got it, and for several years of relatively infrequent use, and no big drops or bad crashes. At the beginning of this summer on my first ride out it sunk to the bottom of the travel and wouldn't come back up. It's still holding pressure but has no compression or rebound...must be some interior seal blown or something. Knowing this (and it's unreliable rep) I wouldn't even pay $300 for it again. So here's what I did. I bought a used Marz drop off cheap and bolted it on to get back riding. It works well, I don't like the action (or the weight) as much as the Nixon, but it has a rep for being bulletproof. Then I scoured craigslist, ebay, and online closeouts for a good deal on a FOX, which I hear is the best. No such luck! Even used these things are $$$$$! So I ended up getting a nice deal on a brand new Nixon, and bought another one. I figure it would have cost me as much to send mine out for repair. So now I have the new Nixon, waiting for install, and the Zoke on there now. When I remove the zoke I will keep it as a backup (I missed a lot of riding due to this) and I will cross my fingers the Nixon lasts. Also I will attempt to rebuild my old Nixon, and in doing so learn the workings, so if/when the new one bites it I have some knowledge to take care of it quickly (I hope). Anyway, the moral of the story is, If I started off buying a more expensive, more reliable fork, I probably would have spent the same money, and less time. So if this is you, I would do this...UNLESS you can get a killer deal on one of these, then it's worth the gamble, but keep a backup...just in case. I hope this is helpful to some folks!
Similar Products Used: Manitou Splice, Marzocchi Drop Off
Bike Setup: Giant Reign
a Weekend Warrior
from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2008
Strengths: Doesn't pack down under heavy braking on bumps. Rigid design structure. Handles big hits well (when set up properly). Light weight for the travel and adjustments you have.
Weaknesses: Harsher ride compared to non-platform damped forks; so you lose small bump sensitivity. Dirt tends to get into the IT chamber of the fork leg and cause travel problems, (easy to remove and clean though and you're sorted.
Great working fork that rides smooth, soaks up big hits(Need to ride aggressively), Doesn't bob on out of the saddle efforts, with the travel all the way down you can ride up almost impossibly steep uphills without swerving around. I had initial problems with the IT adjustment packing down on normal riding, but this was quickly sorted out by the local distributer and has been perfect since. This fork is ideal for aggressive riders who like to throw their bikes around on their favourite trails. My rides comprise mostly dry, dusty and pretty rocky conditions. But these forks have seen plenty mud and water as well. For interest,I'm 160lb's. Would be 5 chilis overall if I didn't have initial IT problem, as well as if it was a little more forgiving on small bumps. Some of the complaints people voiced about these forks are easy to sort out. If your SPV pressure is too low = Harsh fork top out; If your travel packs down under normal riding = Your IT cable may not have enough slack (Holding the valve slightly open); The gear cable running from the leg to the IT lever may be too short/tight or may have drag in it causing resistance to the inner cable so that it can't close off the valve. I had this problem after a year of riding; Replaced inner and housing = Problem solved.
Similar Products Used: Manitou Axel, Manitou Minute 2 , Pace Forks.
Bike Setup: 2004 Stumpjumper 120, Hone cranks, XTR DCL, XT front deraileur, 2009 Saint rear deraileur, Nixon platinum fork, DX pedals, XT calipers, XT Hubs laced with DT Swiss EX 5.1D rims.
a Weekend Warrior
from Chico, ca
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2008
Strengths: There are no shortages of ways to adjust this fork, it has fairly good small bump response and IT is a great concept. It is also stiff considering the travel and no through axle.
Weaknesses: Poorly made, extremely unreliable, and not the easiest fork to set up. It weighs a lot for an air sprung fork and is poorly designed. I think the "tire clearance upgrade" is evidence enough of this.
I can't tell what Manitou was thinking here. This is a poorly made, poorly designed fork, period. It does not have the claimed travel because Manitou had to modify so the tire wouldn't hit the crown a flip you.I guess if you are a gambler you can gable that you will get a good example of this fork, but a better idea would be to stay away! Maybe if no one buys this Manitou's junk for a few years they will go out of business and the world will be better for it. It didn't cost much, unless you consider the lost time and energy spent trying to deal with this thing, in which case I would say it cost me hugely. I am switching back to Fox in spite of the cost and will never consider Manitou again...
a Cross Country Rider
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2007
Strengths: Smooth tuneable fork. When working, is amazing.
Weaknesses: One of the poorest QC situations ever. Should have automatic replacement policy or recall.
Piece of poo. Answer should apoligize to everyone that spent money on something so obviously flawed and then offer a new free fork. I worked for years in a bike shop and this a disaster!!! If I could give a negative flaming turd I would.
Strengths: Light weight at a genuine 4.1 lb & stiff for hard trail riding (I'm also 95kg kitted). Fit & forget (, for me anyhoo).
Weaknesses: SPV, it isn't for me, so had the damping swapped for a standard cartridge at the last service. IT cable assembly isn't removable.
These forks are top banana & they seemed to fit most, if not all of the criteria I require for a strong, lite & capable hard working trail fork. The SPV started to play up (topping) just before the service was due, but this is all the trouble I've had since buying them. Its a shame to here of the agro some people have had with their units. This has also been addressed with my forks by the previous owner & as mentioned elsewhere, they are now running superbly after there rough start. There are only three issues I have with these forks. 1) The SPV & Manitou's idea of the dampening req' for hard off road riding (i.e. adjustment windows too sml). 2) The IT system doesn't get used & I thought I would use it a little, but have found its not req'd. The issue being that the cable isn't removable & I'd rather it wasn't there. Finally, but only by todays standards, the weight. It is possible to loose 1/2lb off of this model today & with a little better performance thrown in from some manufacturers as well.
Strengths: light, IT, 145mm of travel.. It tracks the condition of the trail...
This fork is awsome!!! went on a rocky trail today, and this fork just rolls over anything... the it adjust is sweet, you can adjust it to any travel you desire. plus with the prices on these forks now adays... cant be beat.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2006
Strengths: Does the job Light weight- same weight as my 4 inch mx pro
Weaknesses: None so far
The bike is an ex demo/ rental bike from the hub in the forest in Glentress. Its had a hard life and i guess all the initial niggles that people have had were already sorted before I got the forks.
I have had to service them, this took me about 4 hours plus traipsing about buying tools, but now its been done they are great. After 36 rides round glentress they only had mild discolouration of the semi bath oil and the spv oil was totaly fresh. Glentress is a harsh place for bikes and a hire bike is going to get thrashed there, so this is great going.
They hoover up the trail dead well. They don't quite the magic carpet ride of my mx pros, but neither do they bob like mad or bottom out on jumps. With the tire clearance upgrade (which is two little rubbery washers stuck in the bottom of the forks, very high teck!) they get about 135mm of travel and will use it very well.
Get some used (not abused) ones that have had their problems sorted and they will serve you well! They get 5 chillis for value as the bike was half price- only twice the price of the forks!
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi MX pro, Junior t, Z4, Rock shock Judy, Mantinou Magnum
Bike Setup: Mostly stock Giant Reign 1
Date Reviewed: March 13, 2006
Strengths: Very tunable. The black one looks good. Lightest 6in fork out there. Great price compared to Fox or Marzocchi.
Weaknesses: It should have worked right out of the box. Other than that, it is a great fork.
When the fork was first installed, I tested it and noticed that when the travel was reduced, it would slowly creep back to full extension. Otherwise, it worked. I rode it that way for a little while and found that keeping my weight over the front kept the fork from creeping. After about two weeks, I decided to take it back to the LBS. They shipped it out and two weeks later, it came back. Luckily, I still had my old Minute 3 to ride while it was gone.
Once it came back, I re-installed it and tested it out again. At first, it did not work at all. In fact it fell through all of its travel because it was loosing all of its air. I re-aired it a couple of times and jumped up and down on it a bunch. Turns out the seals just had to seat. It has been working as advertised since then.
All of that aside, it has been doing great. It is perfect for the person who wants something light with long legs. the tuning is not as bad as people think. Start with the main spring and set it until you sag the appropiate amount (everyone likes it a little different). Then, if you want it to be really supple, set the SPV to about 50psi. Increase PSV until it stops bobbing enough for you. Then Set rebound as fast as possible, then back it off a quarter turn. From there, you should be set.
The IT feature is great if you have an adjustable travel rear end or if your bike does not have the geometry to really compliment the long stroke.
Overall, it works great or just jammin' along tame singletrack one day where efficiecy is key and turning around the next day to take small to moderate drops with plushness.
Dropping one chili since it did not work out of the box.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney Australia
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2006
Strengths: Absorb big hits. ITC (infinite travel is a boon given the steep short hills here. SPV works well with enough pressure.
Weaknesses: ITC and SPV failed at separate times. Not super plush over small bumps.
I got pretty close to the first production forks. At different times faults developed in both the ITC and SPV features. Manly Cycles and Manitou gave great after sales service and as quickly as possible repared/ replaced the faulty components. Haven't had trouble since. I find ITC really useful around Sydney with the short but very steep hills. It really does stop you lifting the front wheel off the ground. Sure these aren't slushy soft over small bumps but the SPV works well and and they soak up the bigger hits well. Now they have settled down I am a very happy camper.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2006
Strengths: Weight + stiffness
Weaknesses: Rebound is slow and sticky no matter how you set it up , spv doesnt really work - you have to leave it at the min setting to get any kind of plushness if you put any more air in them then they lose all small bump sensitivety and feel harsh and gritty and the IT seems like a gimmick more than anything else because as soon as you touch that lever any travel that is left feels absolutely terrible and to get them to return to full length takes an eternity.
I can honestly say that in over ten years of mountain biking that i have never had as many problems with anything as i have with these forks , after taking them back three (or is it four) times they only feel slightly better than they did to start with. I have however felt other platinums that feel ok and the supers that my friend uses seem fine but unfortunately for me mine feel absolutely shocking. I really cannot believe how bad these forks are , im going to have to swallow the cost and buy myself a new set of forks maybe a Pike or RC36 vanilla but one thing that i can say for definate is that this will be the last time i buy a Manitou fork EVER ! BUY THIS FORK AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!!!!!!!!!
Similar Products Used: marzocchi shiver sc , rock shox , nixon super
Bike Setup: Specialized S-works 2005 , nixon platinum , full xtr , hope m4's frt and rear , hope bulbs frt and rear , flite ti , answer hyperlite carbon riser , hope headset and xtr spd's
a Weekend Warrior
from NZ / UK
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2005
Strengths: Long travel, light weight, plush lineah travel with SPv to stop rider input. IT adjust great for long climbs (1,500ft+)
Weaknesses: The frok is now topping out (loud metalic 'thunk' on rebound after lifting off for hucks). As I was checking the oil level in the SPV chamber in (you need to fully remove the lowers to do this accurately) I founbd fluid leaking out of the positive air presure Schrader value in the lower left leg. All in all, not great for a product that has served me well for 6 months at that price tag. NB. My Z1's went for 2 years + with out a service, and were still plush as.
This fork has served ne well so far. Unlike some people, I've had no issues with the IT adjust. One of the bike mags had a similar issue with the main air chamber spewing out fluid from the schrader valve. RAW experience seem happy to fix the fork in the UK (even though I purchased it in the US). They have been genuinly helpfull with advice so far, and I'm told by the local bike shop they turn around warranty fixes fairly quickly. ALthough the Fork is definately one of he best forks I've riden in terms of ride quality, I'm not too sure if I would go back to Manitou again in the future - especially now Rock shocks have bought out the Pike (with the cool pop lock 20mm axle).
If Fox bought out a 34" stansion thu axle version of the 130 float (with 110 to 140mm travel) - I'd be in there like a shot.
Oh - and who should buy. For a start - avoid the 05' versio like the pague. The 06' looks promising, and should have most of the forementioned issues sorted. It's agreat fork for all round trail use, with good performance on 5ft dead drops so far. The thru axle adds stiffness and confidence on those hairy downhills where your really sure that small QR is not going to hold up. I've riden Wourld Series marathons in Austria and agressive trails in the UK on this fork - as well as a bit of Fr park riding - and apart from an SPV dampening vavle and a seal - it's heald up fine. V plush when set up correctly!
Favorite Trail: Golden Birdies, North Downs, Surrey UK
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: Wrench Science CA
Similar Products Used: Maveric DUC32's, Pike 454 U turn air, Marz Z1 SL
Bike Setup: Turner 5 SPot Nixon Platinum Fox RP3 Sram X9 shifters Sram Xo rear D Sram Xgen front D XT hollow tech chainset Sram PC-99 chain Thompson 4x 90mm 5 Deg stem Thonpson elite seta post SDG Bel Air sadle Easton OS monkeylite CNT Bar Bontrager Big Earl lock on grips Hope 180mm fornt and back Mono M4 brakes Goodrich brake lines King head set King ISO Hubs (20mm fornt) Macic 819 UST rims Conti Gravity 2.3 UST tyres
a Cross Country Rider
from Kirkland, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2005
Strengths: Ease of adjustment and smooth opperation. This fork has a good feel for small and large bump forces. I love the ability to adjust the fork to any length and maintain the same feel. Great for my neck of the woods where you climb for a while and THEN get to enjoy the downhill.
Weaknesses: The fork was broken right after I purchased it. The rebound adjustment is not notched so it is difficult to keep track of adjustments. The IT adjuster lever is a great idea, but if the lever were made slightly smaller and eaiser to place inbetween the grip and the brake lever with out causing it to be bumped by the hand it would be better received.
I purchased the bike from Supergo 7 days ago. I brought the bike home and started adjusting the suspension so it would work. I soon found that the fork was not opperating properly. I called Supergo and they asked me to bring the bike in and they would repair it. The next day at work I read some of the reviews that were on this site and I became very worried. I then emailed Manitou and let them know of my concern. I was called and emailed within 1 hour and explained my options. I was given a choice as to how I wanted to solve my problem and after 6 days I had a new fork on my bike. I rode it last night to adjust it to my riding style and it works perfectly. I am glad to say that I've not received such good customer service as I did from Supergo and Manitou. I love the way the fork feels now and I'm glad I made the decision to stay with this fork rather than switch it out for another brand.