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Discussion Starter #1
Could someone please help make up my mind? I'm ditching the Manitou Six (too squishy) that came stock on my '02 Specialized Rockhopper hardtail and making the investment in a good front fork. I am a cross country rider at 6'3" 195lbs and do about 6 races a year. Looking for a stiffer and lightweight (yes, I'm a weigth weenie) fork with some decent travel. I'm leaning towards the Skareb Super 100 because of the 100mm of travel (versus only 80mm on the Black Super SPV 80). I know these are both great forks, but what have your experiences been with these forks and will the Skareb be stiff enough for someone my size?
 

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I have the Manitou Skaerb super in 100mm and its AWSOME! very stiff and very plush and pretty light, I would defently buy another one!
-Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
NRSDude said:
I have the Manitou Skaerb super in 100mm and its AWSOME! very stiff and very plush and pretty light, I would defently buy another one!
-Sam
Sam,

Thanks, nice bike too. I think it's a great fork, but how big of a guy are you? My only concern is will the fork hold up for someone my size?

-Steve
 

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the skereb has 28.6mm stanchions while the black has 30mm; the black might be a little stiffer. however, for the price of the super SPV you could get a fox...
 

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I just went through this raging inner debate recently. The main deciding factors for me were the original frame design. My frame is an older hardtail designed around 70mm fork. It also has a 71.5* headtube and has always been just a little fast for me. It is a telepathic singletracker, but can be more of a handful for me on downhills.

Given several years of decreased riding, and growing older and getting worried about crashing, my downhilling has really suffered. I wanted a new fork that would 1) upgrade my 99sx ti to more modern suspension; 2) slacken my head tube JUST enough to give me more stability but NOT turn the bike into a couch.

In talking to Tom Rogers at the Soul Rider forum at www.bikemag.com (he is a former Manitou R&D engineer. See this thread:
http://forum.bikemag.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=000054)

he informed me that the BLACKS are designed around 'free riding' and are designed around a taller tire size than the Skarebs which are designed around typical XC tire sizes. Regardless of your definitions for free ride vs XC, it means that the BLACKS are 8mm taller than a comparable Skareb because of the tire design issue.

His suggestion was to go with a Black 80 because it would slacken my head tube out just enough to give me more stability without compromising the good handling of the bike.

So my choices were, in order of how they might 'slow' down my bike were
-Skareb 80
-Black 80
-Skareb 100
-Black 100

I went with the Black 80 SPV ( if you look hard enough you can find some Black Elite Airs from 2002 that are 80mm also)


I've got 2 rides on it so far, and it is working just as he said it would. The handling is less twitchy, and feels much like my last bike which was had a 71* head tube. It requires me to 'push' more and muscle more on turns and singletrack, but it is so much more stable that I am flying again.

The fork is sweet too. I still have a ton of dialing in to do with choosing the air pressure, the SPV pressure, spring, rebound, etc. but man, it rides nice.

I am not so sold on the SPV thing, and sort of wish I'd bought a used Black Elite Air 80mm I'd seen in the classified for half of what I paid for the Black SPV. But overall I am very pleased.

So anyway, be aware of the ride height issue when choosing between Blacks and Skarebs.
 

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i'm a big fan of the blacks. moved up to them from a couple of the mars forks. remember those? anyway, i'm about 180, and the blacks are much stiffer than the mars were. i also ran mine with a lot of sag, which helped with braking etc, and lowered the chopper feeling.

also, as far as the manitou design idea... i think the current ideas about what makes for a cross country ride v. free ride are a bit different. skareb - black - minute - sherman - doroado... pick the right poison to cure your local trail... or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ashwinearl said:
I just went through this raging inner debate recently. The main deciding factors for me were the original frame design. My frame is an older hardtail designed around 70mm fork. It also has a 71.5* headtube and has always been just a little fast for me. It is a telepathic singletracker, but can be more of a handful for me on downhills.

Given several years of decreased riding, and growing older and getting worried about crashing, my downhilling has really suffered. I wanted a new fork that would 1) upgrade my 99sx ti to more modern suspension; 2) slacken my head tube JUST enough to give me more stability but NOT turn the bike into a couch.

In talking to Tom Rogers at the Soul Rider forum at www.bikemag.com (he is a former Manitou R&D engineer. See this thread:
http://forum.bikemag.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=000054)

he informed me that the BLACKS are designed around 'free riding' and are designed around a taller tire size than the Skarebs which are designed around typical XC tire sizes. Regardless of your definitions for free ride vs XC, it means that the BLACKS are 8mm taller than a comparable Skareb because of the tire design issue.

His suggestion was to go with a Black 80 because it would slacken my head tube out just enough to give me more stability without compromising the good handling of the bike.

So my choices were, in order of how they might 'slow' down my bike were
-Skareb 80
-Black 80
-Skareb 100
-Black 100

I went with the Black 80 SPV ( if you look hard enough you can find some Black Elite Airs from 2002 that are 80mm also)


I've got 2 rides on it so far, and it is working just as he said it would. The handling is less twitchy, and feels much like my last bike which was had a 71* head tube. It requires me to 'push' more and muscle more on turns and singletrack, but it is so much more stable that I am flying again.

The fork is sweet too. I still have a ton of dialing in to do with choosing the air pressure, the SPV pressure, spring, rebound, etc. but man, it rides nice.

I am not so sold on the SPV thing, and sort of wish I'd bought a used Black Elite Air 80mm I'd seen in the classified for half of what I paid for the Black SPV. But overall I am very pleased.

So anyway, be aware of the ride height issue when choosing between Blacks and Skarebs.

Wow, thanks a ton for the insight - that is great information. Just made up my mind to go with the Black...

-Steve
 
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