Manitou Axel Elite 2006 Front Shocks

2/5 (22 Reviews)
Weight : 4.3 lbs


Product Description

  • Magnesium Reverse Arch casting
  • Black nitride-coated steel upper legs
  • Fluid Flow Damping (FFD)
  • Steel steerer


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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by karelven a Cross Country Rider from Holland

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2009

Strengths:    Cheap, not to soft (with a coil upgrade), simple maintainance, strikes all the bumbs flat

Weaknesses:    soft with the normal coil, not very mutch options to set-up

Bottom Line:   
Very nice fork for beginners and for advanced riders when you need a fork for in the mud

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Drunnense Duinen

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   marktplaats

Similar Products Used:   RS SID, Suntour crap, Manitou Skareb

Bike Setup:   Full XT

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by nico a Cross Country Rider from sudbury mass

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2008

Strengths:    it looks cool

Weaknesses:    not adjustable, heavy, to plush

Bottom Line:   
if you have the money get a fox

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all of them

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   rei

Similar Products Used:   something rockshoxs and fox f32 rlc

Bike Setup:   fox f32 rlc, avid juicy sevens, manitou radium, shimano decore xt Derailleurs

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by keith a Cross Country Rider from quincy in the IL

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2008

Strengths:    It attaches your front wheel to your handlebars

Weaknesses:    Oh jeez. First of all, it leaks constantly, no matter how fresh the oil is, how hard you ride, temperature, maintenance, anything. I've actually found it works better without any oil in it and with no maintenance. Also, it doesn't include a coupon for $150 off of a better fork, which it should

Bottom Line:   
I'm still saving up for a replacement, but like I say it rides better without oil in it. If that doesn't say something about the quality, nothing will. If you buy a bike that has it, ask for a good $250 off the price to replace your fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Came with bike

Similar Products Used:   None, I just know that this fork is a POS

Bike Setup:   trek 6500 with Avid BB7 and TI levers, Sram X7's, and dart/smoke

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rickuss Mork a Downhiller from fl/socal

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2007

Strengths:    ive actualy taken this thing off jumps and 2-3 foot drops and it didnt snap or blow up, mabe having to do that im 120 lbs. not so bad for the price.

Weaknesses:    not plush at all, infact its like anti smooth, basicaly soaks up curb drops and rock gardens

Bottom Line:   
now that i really dont give a damn about this thing i thrash the hell out of it, im pretty sure i take it to its limit each time i hit anything as fast as i do which is a pretty scary speed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   dirt

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   encinita bike shop in sandiego

Similar Products Used:   36 talas 32 float rockshox reba and some other stuff

Bike Setup:   its a dahon zero (pretty sweet folding hardtail)

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Scott from Arkansas

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2007

Strengths:    Been riding this fork for over a year and a have and have about 800 miles on it with no problems so far.

Weaknesses:    It is a little Soft but I am a bigger guy (210 LBS) and would like to see a stiffer spring made available. Hasn't been enough of an issue to make me want to upgrade.

Bottom Line:   
It could be lighter and could have more adjustment but it isn't and it doesn't. Bottom line is that it is an affordable shock that has held up very well for me. If you are a racer you should probably look else were. If you just love to get out and ride, give it a look.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $140.00

Purchased At:   can't remember

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi MX Comp, old Rock Shox Indy

Bike Setup:   Hard Tail, Deore LX and XT Drive train. BB7 brakes, Easton Monkey lite riser.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by notarichbiker a Cross Country Rider from Chula Vista, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2007

Strengths:    When it works, it really gives the spec 4 inches of travel. From my experience, it doesn't flex.

Weaknesses:    Even when properly lubed, it will start to freeze up after about an hour of riding. Once frozen, it only gives about 2 inches of travel. Heavy, but it's an entry-level fork, so no worries.

Bottom Line:   
This fork came on my entry-level Trance 4, so I didn't expect much from it--you get what you pay for. I was happy to finally be riding a bike with more than 3 inches of suspension front and rear. Coming from an 80mm, super-sticky, Marz Z4, this Axel felt like a monster. And that's a good thing. When the fork is clean and lubed, it gives 4 inches of smooth travel. Plus, I've never had any problems with fork flex. My only beef is that once the stanchions get dirty, the fork will slightly freeze and travel seems to reduce to just over 2 inches. I can usually tell by the pain in my hands when my fork has reached this point during a ride. I'll see if a Lizard Skins fork boot will help.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Los Penasquitos Canyon

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Mid-range stuff from the late 90s from Marz, RockShox, and Manitou--nothing over 80mm travel

Bike Setup:   06 Giant Trance 4

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mike Allen a Weekend Warrior from Albany, OR

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2007

Strengths:    lightweight, decent seals

Weaknesses:    no real range of adjustment. lockout is weak. Easy to break, so prepare for warranty work.

Bottom Line:   
I just bought this bike and took it down a pretty challenging xc trail with 3-4ft dropouts, downhill, babyhead singletrack and a few "make your own trail" areas. The rest of the bike was great, but this Manitou wouldn't adjust correctly. Poor rebound, bobbing when locked out on climbs, etc. Just totally misbehaving. Had it checked out after 1st ride and tech at Cycletopia in Corvallis, OR (hey Mike!) says it's toast. After 1 ride! I rode an old RS Judy for 4 years prior and no issues. Manitou has some serious quality/design issues on this product. Granted, I'm 210lbs and I ride hard, but the fork should've lasted longer than 1 ride before failing. NO adjustment now, no lockout, very stiff except on babyhead trail, then it locks up completely and beats you to death. Unless you stay on the sidewalk with your training wheels on, I'd avoid it. This fork is not meant to be ridden.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Perpetua

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Bicycles 101

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Judy

Bike Setup:   '06 Gary Fisher Cake 3, Avid Discs, lots of Bontrager.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Earl Haigh a Cross Country Rider from Gladstone, Australia

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2007

Strengths:    Came standard on 2006 Trek 6500 bike, looks good in black?

Weaknesses:    Leaked oil from day one, lockout broke in 3rd week and I only ride on black top, don’t figure?? 80mm travel, not a major issue for me as I ride on black top. Currently at LBS being repaired/replaced.

Bottom Line:   
Came standard on bike, when repaired and if they last, they are fit for purpose as I ride mainly on black top to commute to work. LBS M1 Cycles very helpful, shop owner offered to lend me his personal bike while being fixed. Can only hope repairs or replacement last; I guess that’s what warranties are for.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything down hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   M1 Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Standard shocks on 7+ year old Avanti Ridge Rider

Bike Setup:   2006 Trek 6500, Tires Maxxis Xenith slicks, Pedals Shimano PD-M545, Cateye Lights – front HL-530, rear TL-LD1000 complete with aging overweight rider.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Matt a Weekend Warrior from Skagit

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2007

Strengths:    This fork is very good for the price.

Weaknesses:    no problems yet, good xc trail fork

Bottom Line:   
Not bad for an entry level fork. very servicable. some day I will upgrade but seems to work fine for me so far.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   GT IDXC

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Phil a Weekend Warrior from Lancaster, UK

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2007

Strengths:    They look nice all in black

Weaknesses:    They're rubbish. Travel - 50mm max. Adjustment has failed, no lockout either. On bumpy stuff, they're a waste of time 'cos they just don't move.

Bottom Line:   
Don't waste your money!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rooley Moor

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Edge Cycleworks

Similar Products Used:   marzocchi bombers

Bike Setup:   Trek 6500 standard

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Scott a Weekend Warrior from Calera, AL

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2007

Strengths:    These came on my bike and are the 2007 model.
Lockout and compression adjustment.
I weigh 205lbs and haven't bottomed these out yet.


Weaknesses:    Forks are a little too stiff initially, but after setting sag at 3/4" and setting compression 3 clicks from the lightest setting they are doing the job. Still a little stiff though.

Bottom Line:   
I WOULDN'T say this fork is junk at all. It's wayyyy better than the RST fork that I used before.
After making the adjustments above it does the job on the trail that I ride which has roots, roots and more roots and lots of rocks.
Over a series of roots at speed the shock does the best an entry level fork can do and lessons impact, but can't really smooth the ride out, hey it's an entry level.
I'm happy with the performance for what it is, but will upgrade to a better fork when this one breaks, cause this bike does definitely deserve a plusher fork.
I've ridden this fork fairly hard since purchasing the bike, I would say around 80 miles of roots and rocks and haven't had any other problems.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oak Mtn

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $640.00

Purchased At:   Cahaba Cycle

Similar Products Used:   RST Gila+ T6

Bike Setup:   2007 Gary Fisher Piranha (stock)

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by michael from eau claire

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2007

Strengths:    Ability to switch from lockout to suspension

Weaknesses:    Fork can not tollerate much bumps when locked out.

Bottom Line:   
This fork caused me nothing but problems. When I took delivery of a new 6500, the fork was bad and was replaced. Then the new fork broke when I did a small bunny hop with it locked. I wouldn't recomend for anyone to buy this fork,I would only ride it till it busted and upgrade; and I'm about as new to the sport as anyone

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Bike Setup:   Trek 6500 stock except for a new fork now.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by John from lexington, ky

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2007

Strengths:    I dont know

Weaknesses:    When I bought my Gary Fisher Pirahna, these shocks came broken. The manager at the store told me that they had seen alot of these shocks coming in broken.

Bottom Line:   
I wasnt even able to test these out, they came broken when i got my bike..

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   schellers

Bike Setup:   stock Pirahna

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by bernie a Weekend Warrior from Pangasinan and Laguna, Philippines

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2007

Strengths:    If used on correct intentions ( Cross Country ) the fork can do the job.

Weaknesses:    Seems that oil leaks on the arm of the fork.

Bottom Line:   
This fork is definitely for light jobs only, decent enough but don't expect long life span and durability on the trials.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bolinao PATAR Trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Stock of R3 Shift Haro

Similar Products Used:   Marz Comp, Rock Shocks, DNM & NSync, RST's

Bike Setup:   Haro R3 Shift set up, see Haro website

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Alex Muniz a Weekend Warrior from Rancho Cuamonga, Ca.

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2007

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    All

Bottom Line:   
For my first higher end bike, these forks blow. i bought the bike 3 weeks ago with these on the bike and they've already failed, the adjustment was the first to go, then came the oil and grease blowing out the top. i'm a novice and don't push these things as hard as some of you, but this is a discrace. avoid them.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bonelli

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Jenson's USA

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Cake 3, Avid BB7 Discs, Manitou Radium rear, panaracer rollers, deore shifters.

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Replacing Manitou Axel Elite 100mm fork from 2004 Spec'd FSRxc Pro - suggestions?

So it's an older bike but I enjoy it a lot and have put on some good upgrades. Blew out the fork today and am tired of screwing with it. I'm not particularly familiar with fork upgrades so I'm looking for suggestions. Budget - unsure... $250-450? Travel - current fork is 100mm, I don't want to m ... Read More »

Spring kits for an '04 Manitou Axel Elite fork? Part #85-4828

I picked up an 04 Rockhpper PRO yesterday and it has the original fork which is far too soft for my 200lb ass. Anyone know where I can get the "Firm" spring kit for this fork still as its 6 years old now? eBay was no help and couldnt find anything with google. I need this: Manitou Firm ride kit ... Read More »

Axel Elite any Good? (For steel hardtail)

I'm looking for a fork for my 12 yr. old steel hardtail, which was originally spec'd w/ a 67mm but which has spent most of it's life w/ an 80mm Manitou SX-R. The SX-R is wearing out, after thousands of miles and multiple rebuilds. Parts are no longer available. I notice the Axel has V-brake bosse ... Read More »

Need info on Manitou Axel Elite w/TPC lockout

The fork came on my 06 Piranha, so I am assuming it is also an 06 model. Is that correct? I know it is listed as having 100mm of travel and has magnesium lowers. I have searched the internet for info on this shock and come up empty. I have tinkered with it and figured out that the drive side has ... Read More »

manitou axel elite rebuild, what do i need?

i bought a 2006 gary fisher piranha used and i want to rebuild the fork. fork is working ok but i want to get some more plushness out of it. the fork has compression damping and tpc lockout. i was thinking of getting new wipers/seals, regreasing, changing the damper oil and maybe bushings. any tips ... Read More »

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