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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This probably belongs in the shocks and suspension part of the forums, but alot of people don't check that and since I'm using this as a DH shock and its air, I thought it might be worthwhile to post it here instead.

This is a long ass review. I've devided it into a couple sections: Manitou support in helping me get it set up, my ride style, tuning options, and the ride.Skip to the end if you don't want to read it all.

After a long period I've finally had some ride time on my evolver so I thought I'd give a bit of a more specific review. It was a bit tumultuous getting it setup, but once I did it was golden.
Manitou's CS
First I ordered the wrong size - needed 8.75x2.75 and got 9x2.75. Didn't come with any bushings. I was hoping to get it setup on my bike for sea otter (got it a week before), but the Hayes/Manitou tent only had one size that I needed so I couldn't get it on my bike on time for the race to replace the roco TST coil I had, but that was fine.

Got back home, got a hold of the right bushings (Manitou hooked it up fat and sent them out for free) got the shock on my bike, and was pumped. After about 3 weeks of having the shock I finally had it on my bike. First impression was that the bike was sitting really really high in its travel and suddenly I could barely reach the ground. The shock felt pretty good I guess, but felt pretty funny (at this point I wasn't aware I had the wrong i2i) in terms of the height. Just assumed it was the new shock. I was having trouble with the bottom out though - I was getting about 80% of the travel, and then it would just totally come to a halt. It was not a comfortable smooth stop, it didn't feel like it was ramping up, but it didn't feel like metal on metal or anything..

Got it out on one DH ride shuttled a couple times on a sunday, and had a great time. Great small bump absorbtion and pedaled amazingly. It was pretty cool through about 80% of the travel. Then it sucked! That Tuesday, I finished my papers/midterms and broke my wrist riding home from the bars drunk!

With time to spare, I called up Manitou, sent it back, and 2 weeks later I get it back. Yet again, they hooked it up fat - without even me asking them for it (I discovered it was the wrong size half way through its time being sent back. I was able to get full travel by removing all air from the main chamber and slowly compressing the shock - it wasn't an incompatibility with the frame) they sent me a shock with the proper i2i. Got it on my bike and started setting it up. I could not be happier with Manitou CS. Every time I talked to them they were extremely helpful and hooked me up huge. Totally stoked to be running their products.

My ride style
Anyway, now that I finally had the shock on, I could start setting up in earnest. I'm running a giant glory 0 large, I'm 6'1" and 170 lbs geared. I'm what's generally referred to as a "hack" and ride like a plow. After about 2 weeks riding with a recovering broken wrist my wheels are showing chips and small flat spots with about 33psi in my 2ply tires.

My setup
I like to run my suspension setup with tons of LSC and as low HSC as I can get away with, as well as a very quick rebound. I like it to be very linear through the entire stroke, with very little ramping up near the end. This shock has not disappointed. The tuneability on it is pretty amazing.. You get the obvious LSC/HSC controls, but you can alter the intensity of the compression a lot more then the adjuster knobs would seem to give you. Basically you get a piggy back reservoir that you can pump full of air. You put more air in it to get a stronger compression and remove air to get less. Running it at about 50psi you get about no compression. You can crank it up all the way and feel it a bit, but its pretty minimal. It has a pretty weak midstroke at 50psi. Manitou suggests that for changing the air in the piggy back, you set the compression settings to 0. I found that I could alter the feel of the midstroke support without changing the LSC or HSC feel too much by playing with comp settings and then putting air into the piggy back. By doing that you get a weaker midstroke, and by setting to 0 and then adding you get a stronger midstroke. Pretty fun to play around with that, and it especially shines when you compare it to a DHX A. You can alter the progressiveness of the stroke with the bottom out adjuster they give you without significantly effecting the feel of the compression. Pretty neat. Its all fairly noticeable changes - turning the knobs makes a very evident different in the ride.

The Ride
After playing with my settings for awhile, I've gotten to where I want it to be. It pedals amazingly, but doesn't feel overly harsh over the little stuff. I've et the BO to the 2nd setting so its ramps up slightly near the end of the stroke, it's a pretty sweet setup. It is way smoother then the TST I had, pedals much better, and doesn't feel overly harsh on slow or high speed tech stuff. After 8 runs at N*, I did notice that it started feeling a little different then initially, although that could have just been exhaustion. It wasn't a big deal, it still felt pretty good, it just felt like there wasn't quite as much comp damping, and the rebound sped up a little bit.

The bike is way more stable in the travel now, and this is a very tunable shock - you can set it up however you want, and its fairly easy to understand and feel. It really shines on bikes that don't need a lot of comp, like maestro, DW, VPP, canfield, etc. If you need to run a lot of comp, its there for you, but I don't feel it will feel any better or worse then a well tuned coil shock, just slightly lighter. On a fairly linear low comp damping bike, its amazing, just blows everything else out of the water - although I don't have real ride time on things like the CCDB and AVY, so I can't speak for those, but I will never use a DHX, vivid, or roco (after ride time on those) after riding this. I think I'll be riding on air shocks from here on out. This is the first air shock that I've really been blown away with and felt was totally suitable for DH (although the rocco A feels pretty darn good, I just don't like the feel or tuning options of em).

I will be using Air from here on out and probably Manitou. I'm pretty stoked by their service, and the shock feels great. If you have any questions, or see me riding it at N* and wanna play on it a little, hit me up. I'm on a sweeted out glory 0.
 

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a simple 'manitou ROCKS' woulda sufficed, but glad to hear manitou is getting better. i have had great times on their air shocks-love the swinger4ways....better than any fox.

oh their oldschool elastomer ones too....
 

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Nice writeup...:thumbsup:
I just ordered a 08 Swinger X4 Air to replace the DHX 5.0 Air on my Bullit.
I decided to go with the X4 because I wanted some platform since the Bullit will be used as a "do it all" bike with lot's of climbing.
It should be here today. I can't wait to try it out.

IMO Manitou makes the best air shocks and their CS is far better then the competition.
I have a 4 year old 3 way air on my trail bike that has been very reliable.
It has been abused just as much as any other shock I have owned and has out lasted every one of them coil or air.
Finally this Spring I decided to have it rebuilt out of guilt...:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
im probably not gonna make it to northstar before my trip back east to NY unless its for pictures only - i went on a ride two days after and my wrist isn't feeling too awesome right now. I want it strong for Ny!

I am hoping to do the race on aug 12th and plan on being around more often when i return from NY, see ya then!
 

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nice write up man, i just got a Revox used and can't wait to ride it. it had a seal leak so its in being repaired.
i hear that customer service is great from manitou but it kind of depends on where your coming from. i called them over and over for 3 days until i finally got ahold of them. then i found out that they WILL NOT service anyones shock unless it is a warranty issue. so unless you bought yours in the last year your out of luck if something happens. i guess since the move they are only taking warranties.
they were nice enough to suggest some other places i could send it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
climbingbubba said:
nice write up man, i just got a Revox used and can't wait to ride it. it had a seal leak so its in being repaired.
i hear that customer service is great from manitou but it kind of depends on where your coming from. i called them over and over for 3 days until i finally got ahold of them. then i found out that they WILL NOT service anyones shock unless it is a warranty issue. so unless you bought yours in the last year your out of luck if something happens. i guess since the move they are only taking warranties.
they were nice enough to suggest some other places i could send it though.
not my experience with them - i've sent numerous items back for rebuilds and repairs (i work at a shop though) that were in no way covered by warranty in the recent past. I've definitely talked to some people who seem to know a little more about whats going on then others. Try getting ahold of Shannon in tech/warranty. the man knows his **** and is pretty cool at helping you out.

I have noticed that getting ahold of tech is alot easier then getting ahold of sales. If you're a home mech, its possible they're working on getting their shop relations setup before they start taking home mech rebuilds etc.

When it gets back, hopefully its working great - i've heard great things about the revox. Manitou gets a bad rep because of their forks, but alot of their shocks are pretty rad
 

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Thunder Chunky
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climbingbubba said:
nice write up man, i just got a Revox used and can't wait to ride it. it had a seal leak so its in being repaired.
i hear that customer service is great from manitou but it kind of depends on where your coming from. i called them over and over for 3 days until i finally got ahold of them. then i found out that they WILL NOT service anyones shock unless it is a warranty issue. so unless you bought yours in the last year your out of luck if something happens. i guess since the move they are only taking warranties.
they were nice enough to suggest some other places i could send it though.
Dude youre going to love it, Ive had mine for almost a year now and I will never replace it unless it breaks (even then would just repair it or buy another if it couldnt be fixed)
 
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