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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I got a first generation Trance 4 with maybe ten miles on it as my graduation gift. Unsurprisingly, the Manitou Axel fork feels absolutely lifeless in spite of hardly any use. I would love to at least get a season out of it before I need to replace it, but I'm not sure what I need to put in its place. Budget is unfortunately on the low end being a college student, but I don't want to waste money on junk either. I've been looking at the Match, but have a sour taste in my mouth for Manitou now. Any ideas?
 

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If the fork only has 10 miles on it, then it won't even be broken in. The axel is low end with an orifice damper. But that's no different performance wise to many more expensive forks.

If you can define your needs a bit better, we can offer some advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. I was reading that they had gotten better recently, glad that was reaffirmed. I was looking at that fork too cobba, how difficult of a process would it be to swap the spacers? Dougal, you're right about it not being broken in yet, but the terrible reviews mixed with the fact that it is leaving thick oil rings on the stanchions every time it moves has me ready to look elsewhere. I don't need anything fantastic, I ride mostly XC but I do like technical trails. I'm 6 foot 210lbs, I'm starting to race a little bit this year but I would much rather have something that is durable and reliable than something that is light. I hope that helped to clear it up a bit. Thank you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know that, I guess what I'm getting at is that right now it performs poorly, the consensus seems to be that even when everything is done right, it still performs poorly. I don't want to bother putting time and effort into making it work right if working right for this fork is still sub-par. The amount of stick and lack of responsiveness just seems remarkably high, even considering. And this is after coming of an old Bomber Z3 which I'm fairly sure was never serviced.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I was reading that they had gotten better recently, glad that was reaffirmed. I was looking at that fork too cobba, how difficult of a process would it be to swap the spacers? Dougal, you're right about it not being broken in yet, but the terrible reviews mixed with the fact that it is leaving thick oil rings on the stanchions every time it moves has me ready to look elsewhere. I don't need anything fantastic, I ride mostly XC but I do like technical trails. I'm 6 foot 210lbs, I'm starting to race a little bit this year but I would much rather have something that is durable and reliable than something that is light. I hope that helped to clear it up a bit. Thank you guys.
The oily ring will be assembly lube working it's way out. Most forks leave oil/grease rings on the stanchions when first used and again after a service. They should stop coming after the second or third wipe.

How much travel do you want/need? What axle and steerer tube size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
9mm QR and a 1 1/8" steerer. It has 100mm on it now and I feel that is more than enough for what I need. I love the geometry so I wouldn't really to up the travel and risk raking it out. That's good to know about the assembly lube, I thought the seals were going, which wouldn't have been surprising since it sat so long. Would the Marzocchi DJ3 be a bad match for the bike? I know it is a jump fork, but does that mean it reacts different than an XC fork would?
 

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9mm QR and a 1 1/8" steerer. It has 100mm on it now and I feel that is more than enough for what I need. I love the geometry so I wouldn't really to up the travel and risk raking it out. That's good to know about the assembly lube, I thought the seals were going, which wouldn't have been surprising since it sat so long. Would the Marzocchi DJ3 be a bad match for the bike? I know it is a jump fork, but does that mean it reacts different than an XC fork would?
Jump forks are generally heavy, firmly sprung and have damping set to only handle individual impacts. I haven't ridden one yet that I'd want on a trail bike. Though they could be revalved at extra cost.

V brakes or disc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Currently V Brakes, but plan to step up to BB7s relatively soon. Thanks for the feedback, I have a pretty good general understanding but general doesn't really cut it when debating a purchase of multiple hundreds of dollars.
 

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Currently V Brakes, but plan to step up to BB7s relatively soon. Thanks for the feedback, I have a pretty good general understanding but general doesn't really cut it when debating a purchase of multiple hundreds of dollars.
That limits your options considerably. The R7 is still available with V brake posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Agreed. Do you think I am better off just dealing with the Axel for a while then biting the bullet and getting a better fork and discs at the same time? I can deal with the sub-par performance, but not with the thing failing all together. That is my real concern, the multiple accounts of these forks totally seizing up after moderate use.
 

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Agreed. Do you think I am better off just dealing with the Axel for a while then biting the bullet and getting a better fork and discs at the same time? I can deal with the sub-par performance, but not with the thing failing all together. That is my real concern, the multiple accounts of these forks totally seizing up after moderate use.
It takes serious abuse to seize a fork.
Has your fork given had any actual problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Problems as in not functioning, no. Problems as in functioning poorly, yes. I don't feel like it'll just fail instantly, it just doesn't seem to be a very high quality piece regardless of condition
 
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