a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2009
Strengths: This is for the 20mm axle 100mm travel version.
Plush fork, compared to the 02 marzocchi marathon SL that I had before. Its pretty good compared to the 120mm vanilla on my heckler too. I like the 20mm axle, and I like the extra security of all those bolts keeping my front wheel on. My new setup with the manitou and a hope/stans front wheel is actually 80g or so lighter than my old QR setup with king/mavic rim. The red damping knob is simple, works well, and feels solid. You can dial in the right amount of stiffness, from fully open to locked out.
It makes me want to ride my XC bike again, in the front range its very rocky and you really want a good fork IMO.
Weaknesses: Color, blech. If it was a better color it would have been more expensive I guess. Front wheel takes a while to remove.
As others have said, the fork makes some damping noises when you are using the damping. So does my pushed rear shock, sometimes. However if you turn damping off, no more noise, and that's how I mostly use the fork.
Plush, solid, stiff, and simple to work on I hear. Lightweight too. Cheap. What's not to like? Ah yes, the color. Maybe I'll spraypaint it flat black one day.
Similar Products Used: 02 marzocchi marathon SL. 03 Fox vanilla 120mm. Girvin fork on my old pro flex. Some rock shox fork on an NRS.
Bike Setup: Yeti ASR-SL
a Weekend Warrior
from Winchester, MA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2008
- very stiff
- highly adjustable
- works equally well going slow, medium, and warp speeds
- very smooth compression and rebound damping
- Manitou customer service
I have been riding this fork for a month now.
I mostly ride rocky singletrack north of Boston. This fork really shines on singletrack when going at all speeds. Small, medium, and sharp hit compliance is excellent. The rebound stroke is well controlled, and the fork tracks repeated step off such as series of stairs, successive roots, and other obstacles extremely well and does not get airborne. The fork seems to be very stiff - when attacking off camber obstacles on singletrack, it really goes where you point it.
On fireroads, the fork feels like it levels off the vast majority of imperfections on the fireroads. Launch landings on fireroads at speed are extremely smooth and controlled. Manuals off of bridges are similarly controlled and smooth.
The platform lockout on this fork works perfectly. I end up not using it much (as I forget to turn it off sometimes when hitting the trail). When full locked out, the stiffness really stands out, as it does not get thrown off by minor obstacles on the trail.
For climbing, I have been happy leaving this fork in the fully open position, as it hardly bobs and adroitly absorbs trail imperfections.
Log pulls and rock pulls can be taken really fast with this fork. It takes a quick compression input very smoothly and the controlled rebound really enables control when pulling over very steep log and rock obstacles.
See additional comments from my review on the Ibis Forum:
Weaknesses: - color is U-G-L-Y!!
- front wheel removal / installation is not all that fast
- makes a slight squishing noise during the compression stroke
This is a superb fork for lower speed technical singletrack riding. The stiffness and superb go-where-you-point tracking is a pleasure and noticeable with every ride. Both compression and rebound strokes are completely unflappable in my limited experience, and the compression stroke can be adjusted nicely on the fly by the top-mounted adjustment knob.
You don't notice the putrid color when riding, and I don't hear the squishing upon compression when concentrating on the ride. I understand there is a fix-kit for the noise issue, but I have not received it from Manitou, yet. One downside I do notice is that wheel removal is not the world's fastest, but that is a small price to pay for precision steering.
At the $309 from Jenson USA, this is a superb value and a great upgrade if you are looking for a thru axle fork.
Similar Products Used: I have only owned Marzocchi forks with 30mm stanchions and 100mm or less of travel in the past and an old Manitou XVert. I don't believe those would qualify as "similar products".
Bike Setup: 2008 Ibis Mojo SL WTF with the following modifications:
Hope II Pro hubs with Stan's Arch rims
WTB MotoRaptor Race 2.25 with Stan's tubeless
Titec Hellbent AL handlebars (temporary)
a Cross Country Rider
from murfreesboro, tn, usa
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2008
Strengths: this is a great fork. i got the 130 through axel and love it. i ride very technical trails Hamillton creek anyone and have nothing but good things to say about this fork.
Weaknesses: the only problem is that the colour is ugly.
this fork feels very solid and if you do hard technical sort of riding and are a big guy like me you will love it. im 6'4" at 180 and destroyed my dart 2 in 2 months of this type of riding. i enjoy taking moderate drops of 1 to 4 feet and i have never bottomed out this shock.