Manitou Mars Elite 2002 Front Shocks

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

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
Gary   All Mountain Rider [Sep 25, 2015]
Strength:

stiff and light

Weakness:

oil seals leak slightly though just enough to see a light film after a gnarly ride

I have this shock on a 2002 Yeti ASR and it came new with the bike in 2002. Remember now, this is being posted in September of 2015.....I ride trails with many "rock gardens" and downhill rocky features around Grand Junction, Colorado and after 13 years of riding these trails with this bike, the shock has never let me down. Don't understand the posts about losing air??? Sure, it needs filled after sitting for 3 months in the winter, but hasn't ever "leaked out" on a ride. the SID was the other top-end fork at the time, and the problems my buddies have had with that expensive POJ makes me glad I got the Mars. make it to the Lunch Loop trail system on Tuesday nights and you can see it in action yourself.....

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gotdurt   Cross Country Rider [Oct 09, 2010]
Strength:

Excellent action & overall performance, light

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Manitou EFC, Rockshox Judy XC, Rockshox SID and many others on friends bikes and shop bikes (worked in a couple).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
artttoad   Cross Country Rider [Sep 09, 2008]
Strength:

no strengh dose not hold air

Weakness:

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

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

Similar Products Used: rock shocks judy also no good
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Ramjet   Weekend Warrior [Aug 07, 2008]
Strength:

Light weight, decent adjustability

Weakness:

Bad seals, no replacements available anymore

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.

Similar Products Used: Maniou Spider R
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
FcPhun   Cross Country Rider [Sep 04, 2003]
Strength:

Light

Weakness:

Too much flex (I weigh 170lb)
Not durable

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.

Similar Products Used: Marzocchi, RockShox
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Jason Sears   [Feb 13, 2002]
Strength:

The weight, the fact it doesn't bob when climbing, the easy adjustability, and the look.

Weakness:

The stickers on the fork are crappy!

Bottom line is that this a great fork. I can dial it to what i want and when i want. If i am hitting a rocky trail then i make it more responsive but if i am on a smooth trail i make it nice and stiff. The fact that this is not only a light weight fork but also race and ride worthy makes it an even better product. Hat's off to Manitou for this fork. Now if they can only make the Black Fork just as light.


Similar Products Used: Judy XC
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Matt   Cross Country Rider [Dec 06, 2001]
Strength:

Light, Smoooooth

Weakness:

none yet

This fork is super duper smooth I love it so far, havnt gotten too much use out of it yet, but hope to as soon as spring comes I'll update and tell ya all what i really think, but so far it seems to be better then my judys the whole way around!

Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Judy SL 01 Rock SHox Judy Race 99
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris Price   Cross Country Rider [Feb 05, 2002]
Strength:

Looks, smooth, easy to service

Weakness:

I had it for about two rides, and then had to call and get all new insides.

The bottom line is that Manitou has some issues. 4 mounths ago I bought a Mars C (the nice looking one with the Carbon Arch), but that had some major probles, so I sent it back to California and a month later They sent me back a new 2002 Mars Elite. At the time I was happier then Michiael Jackson at a boy scouts meeting. But once I got it on my bike....
The fork came with a tag telling me to run it at 70% to 80% of my body weight, which should be around 140lbs. I had to put 220lbs in just so that it wouldn't bottom out when I sit on my bike. But it would still bottom when I rode off of a side walk or hit a pot hole. I called them up and they said that they would take care of it and send me new parts. To my surprise it only took 3 days for the parts to show up, but also to my surprise there was a bill for $25. My next fork or bike purchese will not have a manitou!!!!!!!

Similar Products Used: MARS C (also sucks), Judy XC (it may be 4.5lbs but it works)
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Annie C   Cross Country Rider [Nov 11, 2006]
Strength:

light, absorb everything

Weakness:

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

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!!!)

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Riley   Racer [Jan 04, 2002]
Strength:

great feel... looks (the chrome one)... adjustability... plushness(for an air fork)

Weakness:

none

my number one choice for xcountry racers... no need for lock-out, this fork doesn't bob much on climes...I will use this fork til it busts'... this is the best!!

Similar Products Used: Mars Cl... Manitou SX
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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