Manitou Mars Elite 2002 Front Shocks

3.84/5 (25 Reviews)
Weight : 2.9 lbs. (1317g)


Product Description

One of the lightest weight cross-country race forks on the market, the 02 Manitou MARS Elite offers all the features you would want from a high-performance race fork.

Travel: 80mm Spring Air/Coil


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Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gotdurt a Cross Country Rider from Austin, Texas, USA

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2010

Strengths:    Excellent action & overall performance, light

Weaknesses:    Hmmm, have to think about this one... compared to other forks in it's day, not many.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding the Mars Elite hard for 10 years now. I was just in the garage doing a tear-down & tune for a trip, and got to thinking about how well it still performs for it's age, and how the internals still show little wear. This thing is the oldest part on my bike, other than the frame, and still going strong. I've always read/heard negative things about the fork leaking air and laugh; people don't seem to read the manual (which tells you what you have to do to keep it alive) then get rid of it prematurely. If they read it, they would have known that you have to keep 2.5cc of 40wt oil in the air spring chamber; this is what "seals" the air spring... there are no "oil seals" in the air spring side. About once/year I have to add a little oil to the the chamber (it eventually leaks into the leg, so you'll need to pull it apart and clean it up a little, it's normal).

So, if you're here because you're considering bidding one of these on ebay, go for it, it's a great value as long as you maintain it; it's a high performance piece of equipment, it requires maintenance. If you're the type of rider that doesn't want to tune or care for your equipment, then look for something else.

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Favorite Trail:   National Trail, Porcupine Rim, Barton Creek

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Came on Stumpy FSR

Similar Products Used:   Manitou EFC, Rockshox Judy XC, Rockshox SID and many others on friends bikes and shop bikes (worked in a couple).

Bike Setup:   This one: '01 Specialized Stump FSR XC Comp; XTR, XT

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by artttoad a Cross Country Rider from coquitlam .c. canada

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2008

Strengths:    no strengh dose not hold air

Weaknesses:    seals blow replaced and blow again. do not like this product

Bottom Line:   
I am not sure as I have only ridden mountian bike for 20 years I have bought 2 sets of shocks brand new rock shocks judy the first useless , manitou ? on my M2 not as bad but not very inpressive and these mars the worst yet > I do not know if there are any good shocks out there but would like to find some

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   on the bike I purcha

Similar Products Used:   rock shocks judy also no good

Bike Setup:   janis dakar 2003

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Ramjet a Weekend Warrior from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2008

Strengths:    Light weight, decent adjustability

Weaknesses:    Bad seals, no replacements available anymore

Bottom Line:   
After a few months of riding this fork would not hold air for more than a few days. I sent it in to my LBS for service but there was no difference. Now the fork will not hold air for more than a kilometer or so of trail riding. I have searched for replacement seals but cannot locate any.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Maniou Spider R

Bike Setup:   Stock Rocky MTN Blizzard

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Annie C a Cross Country Rider from Montreal, Québec, Canada

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2006

Strengths:    light, absorb everything

Weaknesses:    none so far, just the periodic maintenance has to be followed real close to keep it as new!

Bottom Line:   
So far, I love that fork, it is smooth, and easy to take care of. Makes the bike feels really light, climb easily when lock is used (but never forget to un-lock it!!!)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cooaticook trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Sugar 1 2002 upgraded with Sram 9,0 resin derailleur, resin levers sram 9,0, avid breaks, ceramic rear rim, tubeless rims and tubeless tires.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by FcPhun a Cross Country Rider from Fort Collins, Colorado USA

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2003

Strengths:    Light

Weaknesses:    Too much flex (I weigh 170lb)
Not durable


Bottom Line:   
I was unimpressed by the durability of the Manitou MARS fork. After about a year, the ride quality, which was never great, declined. Took it to LBS and they said that to repair it would be $150, since warranty was over. I bought the fork on LBS recommendation, that it was light and had a good ride.

I bought an '02 Marzocchi Atom Race and wonder why I ever left Marzocchi. Great ride, durable, low maintenance. Just right for me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Horsetooth/Lory

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi, RockShox

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mtn. Element

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt Dutcher a Cross Country Rider from Lenexa, KS

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight and plush feel.

Weaknesses:    Blew the air seals

Bottom Line:   
The fork performed well for me out of the box. It has a plush feel and absorbs the terrain quite well. I first tested the Mars Super on a bike that I demo'd and was sold on Manitou. I came from a Rock Shox Sid that still suffers from bushing play. So, in my mind...the Manitou was a big improvement. It is still light at only 3.1 lbs and performs as spec'd. However, recently I suffered from some blown seals in the fork. Took the fork to my LBS and had it serviced and upgraded the seals to Evil Genious. That allowed the boots to be taken off. The fork now performs like it first did out of the box. Does the blown seals mean that this fork is a bad fork or bad value...no! It is a great fork!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Landahl Park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Supergo.com

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Sid XC

Bike Setup:   Gary Fisher Sugar 1 with some nice stuff bolted to it.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by KYLE R. a Cross Country Rider from OREGON

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2002

Strengths:    Light, smooth, and not as flexy as my previous fork

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
I've had it about a year with out any problems. Manitou sent it to me for free. My Mars 1 seized so I brought it to my LBS, they sent it to the factory with a warning that it may be expensive and Manitou sent me a new Manitou Mars Elite. Great costomer service.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Mars 1

Bike Setup:   Trek 7000

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Curtis a Cross Country Rider from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2002

Strengths:    Weight, adjustability.

Weaknesses:    Weak ... ... no, CRAPPY air seals.

Bottom Line:   
Air seals blew out after a couple months riding.

I had to pay shipping for factory service.

Air seals blew out again after a couple of months.

These forks made me miss weeks of great riding.

I am not jumping, jibbing, bonking, hucking, whatever - just a lot of real xc.

No matter how inexpensive you may get them, they still are CHEAP PIECES OF CRAP. I can't trade 'em or upgrade them. So Bye-bye Manitou. I will throw 'em in the trash.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Supergo

Bike Setup:   Ibis Ripley, Hugi/317, Avid disc, xt/xtr, ...

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Alexander a Cross Country Rider from Toronto, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight air fork, cheaper than the SID 2002 and perform equally well.

Weaknesses:    It is light weight however, it is a little bit heavier than the SID.

Bottom Line:   
This fork is suitable for any XC rider as long as it is set up to the precise pressure according to the rider weight. The fork will last as long as you take care of it. It is as plush as the SID. Although it is slightly heavier than the SID but it has stronger body and is not flexy as the SID. It is significantly lighter than DUKE forks, FOX R fork or the Marzzochi X-Fly. It does not leak air or lube like the SID. I seen users who bought the new SID and it started leaking lube within 6 months of XC riding. I paid 600.00 CDN dollars in Toronto, Canada. It is expensive but a worthy investment in my bike. It will last a long time. I always take of my equipments and I clean it digilently following every ride. I give only 4 chilli because it is expensive.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dagmar, Hardwood Hills

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Sporting life, Toronto

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Spyder R

Bike Setup:   Rockhopper A1 FS 2000 XTR rear derailluer, AVID SD 7 brakes & Levels, XTR shifters, XTR teflon shifter cables, Panaracer trailblaster, Specialized generic crakset, Velo Pro saddle, Raceface stem & handlebar and seatpost.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Derek Lewis a Cross Country Rider from Ambler, Pa, USA

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2002

Strengths:    Not to flexy, very plush, very light!

Weaknesses:    NONE!

Bottom Line:   
This fork freakin' rocks! It's plush and not to flexy.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   If I told you I'd have to kill you

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike shop

Similar Products Used:   MArzocchi EXR air

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakota XC- XT, Avid, Easton,Tubeless tires and wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt Dutcher a Cross Country Rider from Lenexa, KS, USA

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2002

Strengths:    TPC Damping, weight, and if feels very "plush"

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
When the Gary Fisher rep came out to Kansas and let us test ride the new Sugars with the Mars Super, I was hooked. The fork just responded very well to anything that we rode on/over. I wanted that same feel within my fork. The SID was not performing for me anymore. So, I bought the Manitou's Mars Elite. The only difference between this and the Super is the lockout feature. It still performed the same. I haven't had any problems with my fork leaking or anything. It has performed just like I thought it would. What a great fork. Manitou is on to something here.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Supergo.com

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Sid and Mars Super

Bike Setup:   Fisher Sugar2, XTR/XT components, Thomson Stem, Yeti Carbon Handlebar, Racelight Tubeless Wheelset, and Mars Elite.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Andy a Cross Country Rider from UK

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2002

Strengths:    Light

Weaknesses:    Harsh, unprogressive, plastic damping adjuster, flexy

Bottom Line:   
They weren't too bad when new, but instead of loosening up and becoming plusher they have become stiffer and harsher (~200km XC racing). Compared to the Fox Forx (yes I know they are much heavier), they might as well be fully rigid. I bought them because they are cheaper than SIDs and previous Manitou forks (1999 Mars) were OK, but I would not recommend these.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Fox Forx Float R

Bike Setup:   Orange E6

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tim a Cross Country Rider from Pierce County, WA

Date Reviewed: August 23, 2002

Strengths:    As everyone is saying, Smooth. I have hit some bumps that I should not have hit and stayed on the bike. That is what suspension is about. This is on my first bike with any suspension so I can't compair it to anything, but I could not have asked for anything more even in my dreams of a sus-fork as I was riding Cro-Mo.

Weaknesses:    This is what I wanted to mention. Though the fork works great. I have been getting some oil leaking out of the rebound adjuster during wild rides. It does not leak when the bike is resting, but after 20 miles of hard XC, I reach down to take the wheel off and there is oil on the bottom of the fork and on the skewer. I have not had a chance to take things appart yet, and imagine it is only a loose seal, but I'll make a follow up if there is anything serious to report.

Bottom Line:   
The fork works great. I have not had the problems with bottoming out that others mention, but then again my bike and myself together only weigh 175lbs. But I ride hard and have loved the performance. Just look for oil and check the level regularly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Noble Nob Bluff

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Stock on Marin Mount Vision

Similar Products Used:   NOTHING!

Bike Setup:   2002 Marin Mount Vision stock set up.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James a Weekend Warrior from Gold Coast

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight

Weaknesses:    Big hits

Bottom Line:   
After six months worth of use these forks are still amazing me with their performance. That said, they suffer in a couple of areas that won't worry cross country racers (their target market) but need to be considered.

One, don't be mislead by their performance into thinking they can take a big hit. Hitting rocks any larger than grapefruit size finds their limit very quickly.

Two, they're kind of mushy for street riding. They shine on the trail but elsewhere will not act like the kind of fork you want.

In summary, if you're a weight conscious racer you'll want these. If you're not, they'll still impress you, but maybe aren't perfect.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Judy XC

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakota steel hardtail

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by JC Stage a Cross Country Rider from Albuquerque,NM,USA

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2002

Strengths:    Light, clean design. Solid manufacturer. When everything is working this is a really nice fork.

Weaknesses:    This fork came stock on my Sugar 2 from my LBS. This fork leaked oil from the rebound dampner after my first 15 mile ride. Cheap and weak compression and rebound adjustment knobs. Owners manual is poorly put together-Yes, I actually read every word! The spring kit is very soft and I suspect most riders who would get this fork, would need the stiffer spring kit.

Bottom Line:   
I have no choice but to give this shock poor ratings since it leaked oil after my first ride. I will post a follow-up on the shock performance after I get some more miles on it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   South Boundary/Cedro Peak

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Other Manitou forks

Bike Setup:   2002, Sugar 2/XT/XTR

Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


2001 Answer Mars Elite Dampner Knob

Hi, I recently performed some maintenance on my 2001 Answer Mars Elite. The said to pop the dampner adjustment knob off from the right fork leg and after reassembling everything the knob keeps falling out. Does anyone know how to keep the knob in place? Thanks.Read More »

A brand new 2001 Manitou Mars Elite

Clunks. It's super light though.Read More »

Looking for LOCKOUT - 2001 Manitou Mars Elite

Im trying to find the classic "anti bob" system for the 2001 Mars forks (comes with mars super). I cant find one anywhere. However, i have found a TPC lockout system, but it doesnt specify that it will work with my fork ( [url]http://www.airbomb.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=2065&eq=&Tp=[/url] ). i figured ... Read More »

2002 Mars Elite fork boots

I think that's what they are called anyways, the rubber protectors for the stanchions? Anways, I just got this fork on a used bike I bought, and to be honest, I don't like the way the boots look, I think they make it look old, the new forks I see don't have these. This is a great fork, I'm really ... Read More »

2002 ANswer mars elite

Hi, the bike I just bought came with a mars elite. I've looked it up and it is very light. 3.1 lbs. Has there been any technology progress since this fork or is it a real keeper. I'm not finding anything new that is lighter.Read More »

Read More »



 

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