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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Do any of the heavier riders have experience on a Fox Vanilla and Manitou Minute Elite? If so I would like know what your feelings are about the difference in the quality of the forks. I'm hoping to avoid the QR, 20mm debate - I'm really interested in the quality differences between the forks.

I'm convinced that the newer axle technology is better. I'm trying to figure out if I can afford it and if I want the parts I can afford.

Thanks,
Anthony
 

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squish is good
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Not much of a quality difference to be honest. The new Manitou's are super solid. TPC damping is proven and effective, easy to service and/or modify.

I know you said you don't want to get into axles but seriously, I think the Minute wins in this comparison because of the axle, 20mm. The Fox just can't compare, assuming your asking about a Van 32 of course.
 

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I would make the argument that if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, the Manitou is a great fork and the better choice. TPC is in my mind, much better than the FOX dampening system and you will get close to full travel with the Manitou.

The best thing about TPC is how easy it is to modify the shim stack to get the ride that you want.

I vote for the Manitou.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clutch,
I'm with you that the axle is better, I just haven't ridden one or know of anyone that does. I know lots of people with fox vanillas, floats, tallas, etc... So I think I can get the Minute in my budget, and I'm actually leaning towards it, but I just want to make sure its right.

Does anyone other than Manitou service it?

Thanks -
Anthony
 

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agabriel said:
Clutch,
I'm with you that the axle is better, I just haven't ridden one or know of anyone that does. I know lots of people with fox vanillas, floats, tallas, etc... So I think I can get the Minute in my budget, and I'm actually leaning towards it, but I just want to make sure its right.

Does anyone other than Manitou service it?

Thanks -
Anthony
Sure, places like Dirtlabs (http://www.dirtlabs.com/) or acunatech (http://acunatech.com/main/) will work on Manitou forks. Honestly, they are very simple and can be easily modified by any competent person at home.
 

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I recently got a 2008 manitou minute elite TPC on clearance from Jenson for 249$. I got the 100 mm travel model with the 20mm axle. Due to the weather I've only had the chance to get one ride in but I am very impressed. Seems very linear for an air fork and very plush. The TPC damping works very well as it has in other forks I've used. The 20mm axle gives a nice increase in fork stiffness that is even noticeable on my lightweight xc bike. In my opinion this fork is a no brainer for anyone looking for a 100mm fork for trail riding. Its not as light as a sid or other true xc racing fork but otherwise its top of the line.

My only concern comes from the seals/dust wipers or whatever they are called. In my experience the seals on manitou are bad at best. Typically after a few months I replace them with enduro seals and they work much better and make the semi bath oil last much longer. I plan to do this with this for whenever I suspect the semi bath oil is gone, which shouldn't take too long.

I've use some fox forks and could never see what all the hype was. I've never been able to get full travel out of them. And unless you spend the money to get a top of the line model, you don't even get compression adjustment. Its always been a deal killer for me.
 

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I notice increase friction and the fork seems slightly less plush. Usually the crappy manitou seals leave an oil residue on the stanchions so when you stop seeing that it would be a good time to do it.

Its a very easy job and costs very little money. I wouldn't put it off too long to be on the safe side.
 

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noMAD man
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dascro, I don't find the same results with the Evil Genius seals that you have. For me personally and through the shop, I find the Evil Genius seals to be quite reliable. Frankly I find the Fox and RS seals to "bleed" or weep much more than Manitou seals. Of course, Marz seals have traditionally been the best, but that's another issue. I have one or more forks of each of these brands, along with seeing bunches of these forks at the shop, and I'd rate the EG Manitou seals to be quite decent. I had a '99 dual crown Manitou X-Vert DC fork on a Bullit. When EG seals came out in about '00 or '01, I installed a set in that fork. A friend now owns that fork on his only MTB that he rides all the time. Now...and this is no exaggeration...those seals are still in that fork, and they don't leak. Freakin' amazing, and just saying that to show some degree of durability.

On TPC and TPC+, I'd rate that damper as good as any available today. I prefer it over the RC2 damper in my Van 36.
 

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agabriel said:
When I go riding I typically put the bike in the trunk of my car, is the fork going to leak?
No.
 

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TNC said:
dascro, I don't find the same results with the Evil Genius seals that you have. For me personally and through the shop, I find the Evil Genius seals to be quite reliable. Frankly I find the Fox and RS seals to "bleed" or weep much more than Manitou seals. Of course, Marz seals have traditionally been the best, but that's another issue. I have one or more forks of each of these brands, along with seeing bunches of these forks at the shop, and I'd rate the EG Manitou seals to be quite decent. I had a '99 dual crown Manitou X-Vert DC fork on a Bullit. When EG seals came out in about '00 or '01, I installed a set in that fork. A friend now owns that fork on his only MTB that he rides all the time. Now...and this is no exaggeration...those seals are still in that fork, and they don't leak. Freakin' amazing, and just saying that to show some degree of durability.

On TPC and TPC+, I'd rate that damper as good as any available today. I prefer it over the RC2 damper in my Van 36.
Well it could be a combination of my over sensitivity to anything not working perfectly on my bike combined with the fact until the 2008 minute I mention above, my experience has been buying new, old stock forks that are a few years old. Both of them arrived with hardly any semi bath oil installed so perhaps the rubber degraded over time?? I bought a new old stock nixon elite tpc+ this past spring and the seals were absolutely horrendous from day one, and the other 2 I've worked with weren't much better. On the new fork (again after only 1 ride) they seem to be working much better than the others did after 1 ride so maybe I'll have to keep an open mind.

Also, all of the forks I own now either have Marzocchi seals or enduro so perhaps I expect too much! I'd certainly put your experience over mine as I've only had experience with 4 manitou forks.

Yes, I agree that I would rate the TPC and TPC+ amongst the best dampers on the market today. For the price these forks can be found for I can't see going any other way.
 

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Another vote for the Manitou Minute elite tpc. Expecailly if you are getting one from Jenson. You can't beat $249 for a nice fork. I picked up the 120mm version and have a few rides on in it until the cold settled in. So far, been very happy with the light weight, stiffness and plushness of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, nope it won't be this batch of Jenson if I go with them. I'm going to need a 140mm travel fork for this build. I may have a lead on some reasonably priced units, but I'm going to hold off for a few weeks until Jenson gets there '09s in to see what they price them at. If they price then ~370 I will get one from them, else I will see if the other options still exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've heard on a local to me web forum, that Manitou is no longer selling parts, only complete lowers. A few people went on to say that they consider there forks disposable. Can anyone speak to this?
 

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Can I ask something here - Manitou used to use way too many plastic parts including the shafts and caps. Even on their high end models. Is this still the case? I have avoided Manitou since early 2000's because of this reason. Thanks.
 

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agabriel said:
I've heard on a local to me web forum, that Manitou is no longer selling parts, only complete lowers. A few people went on to say that they consider there forks disposable. Can anyone speak to this?
Not at all true. I had to buy parts for a 2005 model this spring. I called manitou and got the part number and was told they have plenty of stock, went to the bike shop and gave them the part number to order. 5 days later it was in stock. Similar experince with the newer forks.

Actually, if you read online, you will see this rumor everywhere. I was convinced it was true until I decided to go straight to the source and call manitou.

hatake said:
Can I ask something here - Manitou used to use way too many plastic parts including the shafts and caps. Even on their high end models. Is this still the case? I have avoided Manitou since early 2000's because of this reason. Thanks.
I've had all mine apart and there is plastic in some places but nothing different than the rockshox I've had apart. In my opinion everything that is plastic is suitable to be made in plastic.

I wasn't around for the early 2000's in the industry so i don't know how bad manitou got. But there are a lot of bad unfounded rumors about them for whatever reason. I see no reason to be afraid of their current product.
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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agabriel said:
Does anyone other than Manitou service it?
Manitou does not provide service to forks and shock only warranty work. I e-mailed them a couple of days ago and they directed me to these service centers.

Garage Works: 949-861-2240 (CA)
Hippie Tech: 208-724-9158 (ID)
Shockspital: 952-240-9158
Suspension Experts: 828-255-0205 (NC)
Dirt Lab: 303-324-2172 (CO)
 
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