TheTower Pro gives you a lightweight 29er fork with excellent damping and rebound.The MARS Air system withTheTwo small springs and air chamber reduce stiktion and offer smooth bottomlessTravel. Manitou also includeTheTPC+ Activation dampingThat givesTheTower Pro a compression adjusting dial atTheTop ofThe right fork and a rebound adjuster atThe bottom ofThe right fork. Additionally,TheTPC+ augmentThe system with another damping adjustmentThatTakesThe fork position into accountTo further fineTun
I've gone through a bunch of different forks. All have been unreliable at best and have not been a decent riding fork. There are way too many "racer: types who basically use a suspension fork as a rigid, that will absorb big hits only. I was a suspension fork to absorb the 1" tree branch as well as the 4ft drop. And the Manitou's are the only one I've found that does both. There are many who will say it's "too plush" but the thing is if they have it set up correctly it will be plush, but wont bottom out except on the very big drops/hits. I remember when the truth of a suspension was.. "if you don't bottom out a suspension once or twice a ride you have it too Hard"
I jumped from Quick release to 20MM for the first time with this fork so that most likely helps with the stiffer control of the fork,.. but it most certainly has less flexy feel than any other fork I've ever ridden.
If you are racing I can see where you'd want a stiffer ride, but the average rider should be able to appreciate the plushness when they get home after a long ride and their arms aren't all stiff and sore. And if you want stiffer you can do it by adding a Under $30 ride kit.... find one other company that sells a "tuning kit" for that kinda $$$..?
People who just aren't mechanically inclined may have issues with installing ride kits, but even taking it to a shop it's going to be cheaper than a equal fork is just to buy.
On the down side, I will say they have the ride kits are rated kinda off and should have firmer kits as standard (thou the newer ones have the Firm as standard instead of the mid) and if you think you want a firm, you probably want the extra firm. Also the ride kits are kinda hard to find in the x- firm and XX-firm ranges. Also the way they are marketed makes it harder to find.
Service is awesome and you as a customer can call, e-mail or what ever you prefer to contact Manitou and they will actually talk to you. Not like Fox and Rock Shox where you have to go through a shop who has a million other things going on and takes weeks sometimes to get a simple answer to a 2 minute question.
On a last note, it may seem silly, but I friggin hate leaves getting all tangled up between the tire and the fork. The reverse arch is a big + as it sheds leaves and you end up with that annoying leaf clicking noise MUCH less than with any other fork. Not that it stops it, but it's pretty much constant annoying sound for the whole ride here during New England Fall outings with any other fork but a Manitou.
These have been one of the best choices made in upgrading my new bike. These forks have so many adjustments you can play with or just leave them as delivered. They are so buttery smooth and respond to small changes. I set them up with out of the box recommendations and added a little more air to get the results I feel comfortable with. At a little over 3 lbs, these are a great addition to my bike! Beautiful castings and finish. I would recommend the Manitou Tower Pro to anyone!
Bike Setup: 2012 Cannondale Flash(Great bike with an Awesome fork, now)
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2013
Strengths: ,stiffness on 15qr,adjustability and tunability on its price range......
Weaknesses: None to date....
First time to build a 29er...rode it and love it ..not much of a difference on 26er...only the ride height and bottom bracket clearance are on a higher side............Tower pro rides great during ascent with its lockout option and smooth descent are expected ....great fork,great price........
Bike merida 29er xt edition hardtail on mavic crossride wheelset and crank bros. cockpit
ibis mojo,fox talas rc2, hope v2 brakes and syncros cockpit and wheelset....
Bike Setup: Bike merida 29er xt edition hardtail on mavic crossride wheelset and crank bros. cockpit
ibis mojo,fox talas rc2, hope v2 brakes and syncros cockpit and wheelset....
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2012
Strengths: Price, stiffness, performance, and service
Weaknesses: None to date
I purchased this for $330 on Ebay from Krakatoa Bikes..good service from them. When I got the fork, I realized it came with the heavy spring so I contacted Manitou that night and asked about a spring for my 285lbs. I received an email that night asking for my address as they had a prototype for somebody my size. I received it a few days later and was able to put it in myself. Manitou has great service from my point of view.
The fork has only about 60 miles on it and is not quite broke it. However, so far it has been great and much nicer than others I have used. It is easy to set up and stiff (even with 285 pushin oin it) with the 20mm axle. I love it. Bump compliance is great already and I would recommend this over any other 29 fork due to price and performance.
I bought this 2011 120mm, Hex 20mm axle version from Jenson's on sale for $349. I did so mainly because (aside from the low price), I needed a non-tapered steerer 29er fork for my 2008 Turner Sultan with 120mm, a thru axle for stiffness, and some damping adjustments. Really, this fork has checked off all those needs. The price was a bonus.
Upon receiving, the fork was decently light, and depending on the air pressure settings, can be quite plush or firm. I've already owned a Manitou Minute 29er (the predecessor of the Tower) and it held up very well for four years,with minimal maintenance. The minute is on another bike now.
Damper/Plushness: The Tower had basically the same ride characteristics as the minute (damping wise). I've learned that you have to be precise in the air pressure settings - Too low and it will be plush but dive too much ;Too high and it will lose some small bump compliance. Take your time and experiment on the pressures.
The difference between the Tower and the Minute is the ABS+ adjuster and stiffness.
ABS+: The Minute had the ABS (no +) damper, that had a bit vague settings from open to lockout. The ABS+ on the Tower has noticeable differences between each click/detent from open to full lockout.
Stiffness: The Tower is miles ahead of the MInute in stiffness, owing obviously to the Hex 20MM axle. The Minute's 9mm QR would squirm on dicey terrain. Not the Tower. This alone has greatly improved the descending and rock garden prowess of the bike.
Durability: Its been on 2 rides so too early to tell. But my earlier 2008 Minute 29er lasted 4 years of use/abuse and its still going strong. No issues. If the Tower is made of the same stuff (sure looks the same), then I'll be quite happy.
The fork is quite light.
The axle though, requires 2 different allen keys to remove, and the dropouts have no "lip" that guides the wheel axle into the right position to insert the axle. Its a bit inconvenient if you have to remove and re-install the front wheel repeatedly, but its a minor gripe thats easily overlooked once on the bike and riding through rough stuff.
The rebound adjuster at the bottom has a woefully short "throw" You get the full range of adjustments in around 3/4 of a turn of the knob. It would be nice to have some more turns for finer adjustments.
All in all, the fork is highly recommended, especially at sale price. Even at full retail, its a lot cheaper than a fox. This fork has practically everything I asked for.
a Cross Country Rider
from Zagreb, Croatia
Weaknesses: Did not come with a remote Milo lockout, hopefully they will offer remote locokut compression damper lever, so not just an on-oss switch.
Very good fork for the money. After beeing on the market for a 29er fork for some time, and doing my homework on the review part on several forums, this seemed like a much better choice than a more expensive Reba, and is much lighter than any competition. It is light, stiff and gets the job done. Servicing boils to stanchion cleaning after each ride. Combo of spring and air works for me, plush but does not bottom out.
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi MZ Comp, Headhok, Reba
Bike Setup: Haro Mary with XT components.
a Weekend Warrior
from Vestal, New York
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2011
Strengths: Price, plushness, light weight, stiff.
Weaknesses: TOO plush, cheesy rebound adjuster... STILL. Lame graphics.
The fork is nice looking in white and is very stiff (I have the 20mm T/A option).
Do they offer a quick release option or is there a conversion out there? I don't think so. This thing will be a pain to undo out in the woods if (when!) I flat.
Manitou still uses the mushy feeling rebound assembly on the bottom of the leg that feels like it will snap off at any moment. I know the plastic rod is meant to be a failure mode so you don't break the valve, but it feels like limp spaghetti. I know people that have broken theres because it was so wippy they had no idea it had reached the end of its range. There is really just no excuse for something this cheesy STILL being used. Everyone else manages to make them solid and also offer some detents or other means of knowing where the H#$% the adjustment actually is within the range. C'mon guys.
I am 6'5" 230lbs, and I am struggling to get the ride of this bike where I want it. I never thought I would have a bike that was TOO plush, but this is the case here. Setting to the recommended static sag on either end (20-25%) is useless for me, as it is simply a wallowing pig at those rates. The RP23 shock and this Tower Pro have been very difficult to get set properly, and I'm still searching. The first thing I did with the fork was swap in the extra firm spring. This seemed little different than the medium spring it came with, or the firm I mistakenly tried first. I immediately went right up to the stated maximum of 110psi air pressure, and while I have never felt the fork bottom, I can blow through the travel VERY easily at this point.
When I'm on rolling non technical terrain, it is nice to have the silky smoothness, but more often than not I am on my favorite tight, rocky, rooty, creeked, log-overed technical stuff, and this fork just is far too flacid. On nasty rough downhill sections, I've actually had to lock the fork out just so I could keep the nose up, maintain geometry, and have some braking power (8" Hayes Stroker) that wouldn't endo me.
The compression damping adjustment to lockout is nice to have, but it does not seem very linear. It does very little until near the last few clicks when it ramps up fairly quickly to locked. At the max pressure of 110psi and with the x-stiff spring, I was still riding at 2 clicks from locked just to keep the front end up. I like plush, but this is more like MUSH. I would likely be able to tune it quite well if it used oil for damping, but alas it does not, being of the semi-bath variety where the oil just simply lubricates everything.
What I really need is more progressive damping that ramps up and firms as it compresses so that it will smooth the small noise out when cruising along, but ramp up and firm on large compressions as the travel nears its end. So far I have not been able to achieve this. I was able to tune my old Minute 1 perfectly, and after a lot of twiddling (Fox does not offer a spring past 200lbs!), I got my Vanilla worked out pretty well. This one is not going so well to date. I am even up to 130psi - 20 over the rated max!!! - but this is killing a lot of the plushness.
Hey... I'm not hard to please. All I want is perfection. This is a very attractively priced product (I just could not pull that $700+ Fox trigger), and with the exception of the springing/damping not being nearly progressive enough for my needs, it seems like a very nice piece. The value is quite high, in my estimation, but I'm going to have to lower my overall rating based on said difficulties. If you're a big'n like me, and ride rough terrain, I'm not sure this will be the fork for you. If I do manage to get it worked out, I will amend my comments here.
a Weekend Warrior
from St Louis, MO USA
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2011
Strengths: Very predictable response to terrain. Almost smooth to a fault. Very easy to get setup comfortably within first or second ride. The compression speed/lockout knob is indexed and makes it easy to return to known repeatable setting quick. eg - 3 clicks gives me enough stiffness to pedal over fast flat rocky single track where I want some dampening. The fork is at an excellent price for the features and ride quality.
Weaknesses: Rebound speed knob lacks a positive feel of adjustment amount and somewhat like you might break it, even though it has held up to me twisting it to its limits.
I bought this fork because everyone in my area strictly almost all ride Rockshox/Fox as a rule. So I decided I would split from the norm and try something different out somewhat because the price was right and deep down I was angry I never got to own one of the old blue elastomer Manitou forks I coveted as a kid and wanted to make up for it.
The spring low force absorption definitely keeps your tire tracking the ground well without much input or thought from the rider. There is a wide sweet spot for adjustment, which makes it easy to dial in a satisfactory setting quick and get on with the riding. I find myself adjusting compression speed to suit terrain because the indexing makes it easy to do to an expected setting where I would avoid it on my other forks. The back side brace is kind of cool looking when everyone else has one out front. Overall I like the fork, it helps me ride fast and fun.
Similar Products Used: Rockshox Reba SL, Rockshox Recon, Fox F32
Bike Setup: Trek 69er hard tail, Stans Flow/Hope wheels, 9 speed XT
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2011
Strengths: Very smooth, Adjustable Lockout, Very Light
Weaknesses: None so Far
This is an excellent fork, very light and very smooth. I like the adjustable lockout, and it is easy to set up for your riding style. I am 225lbs. and have yet to bottom it out. I do use the full travel on every ride. I am running the fork without a through axle and it is stiff enough for my riding style. My Scott came with a RockShock Recon Gold TK and I rode it a couple of times and then switched it out for the Manitou Tower Pro. I like the Tower Pro much better—even without the remote lockout. The bike shop I purchased the bike from gave me full retail for the Recon and only charged me the difference, which was $60.