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Discussion Starter #1
Took my brand new '04 Manitou Skareb Super 80 out for her first ride on Saturday morning - sweeeet! She was soaking up everything, a huge difference from the Manitou Six that came stock on my bike. Question - when the fork compresses, should you hear air? Really, the fork kicks butt, however, when I rode it again today it felt a little looser. Perhaps I need to dial it in more, but could it be leaking? Geez, I'd hate to think so. The lockout works fine, but when I played with the compression and rebound gauges I didn't notice much difference between the various levels. I'm a big guy (195lbs) so maybe that has something to do with it. Should I have done anything specific to the fork before I took it for its first ride?
 

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1) you are not hearing air, you are hearing the fluid flowing. I have one and it sounds the same way.
2) You should be running the firm spring kit at your weight.
 

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Dirt Pilot said:
Took my brand new '04 Manitou Skareb Super 80 out for her first ride on Saturday morning - sweeeet! She was soaking up everything, a huge difference from the Manitou Six that came stock on my bike. Question - when the fork compresses, should you hear air? Really, the fork kicks butt, however, when I rode it again today it felt a little looser. Perhaps I need to dial it in more, but could it be leaking? Geez, I'd hate to think so. The lockout works fine, but when I played with the compression and rebound gauges I didn't notice much difference between the various levels. I'm a big guy (195lbs) so maybe that has something to do with it. Should I have done anything specific to the fork before I took it for its first ride?
I just took mine out for its first ride on Sunday, too. I don't remember hearing any air noises, but I did notice some air bubbles would form around the seal on the right (non-air) side when it was compressed.

You could check the air pressure before and after riding to see if you're losing it out of the air chamber. Remember that attaching the pump will let some air out of the fork and into the pump, so small losses in pressure are expected, but you probably already knew that.

The one thing I noticed with mine is that the first few mm of travel are pretty loose and easy, and then some resistance is reached. It makes a clunking noise on the trail. When I held the front brake and rocked the bike back and forth, it sounded for all the world like a loose headset. But, I can see the headset has no play, and can see the stanchions move. I swapped the stock medium spring for a soft one (I'm 125 lbs) before I ever rode it, and now I wish I'd ridden it at least once so I'd know if this was just the fork, or something I did. I reassembled and torqued everything according to the manual. Still makes me wonder if something isn't right. Does yours do this?

I didn't play much with the settings except for the compression damping. I had to keep it pretty fast to reduce brake dive. I've gotten this on other forks, and it may be because I have to run low air pressures because of my light weight. I don't know what pressure I have, but I set it to 15mm of sag, which is near the high end of the recommended range. I put rebound near the middle and didn't feel the need to change it.

Other than that, I agree it's a very nice fork. I'm getting more travel out of it and more easily than the '00 SID XC it replaced.

Kathy :^)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

Thanks for the responses.

CDMC - you are right, I should be running the firm spring kit.

Lucky - I have not noticed any air bubbles per se, just the sound. I plan on checking the air pressure tonight and increasing it if need be. Also, as CDMC suggested, I will most likely upgrade to the firm spring kit - I do not like brake dive. I did not experience the clunking noise that you described, perhaps you are just hitting full compression? As a former off-road racer (trucks), I know a little bit about shocks, so the best thing I can recommend is to just play with your gauges until you find the optimum compression/rebound balance. In the off-road racing world it's all about compression, not droop. I imagine much is the same in th MTB world too. Overall though, I am really impressed with the shock. Not only did I shave and entire pound off my bike, but I now have the increased ability and confidence to literally float over sections of the trail that I previously couldn't.
 
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