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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been a big fan of Manitou for the last few years as they have really stepped up in their customer service when I have needed it. My first interaction with them was a few years ago when I first built up my hardtail and installed a Manitou Tower Pro 100mm. This was the first year it came out so it came with the MEDIUM stiffness spring which I quickly found out was not quite sufficient for my 200lbs riding weight. Quick call from my LBS and $100 later for the new FIRM spring and install and I was good to go.

Throughout the life of the fork/bike I have been in contact with Manitou with regards to tuning the fork and they have always been super responsive even at one point getting a call from Ed Katowski (sp?) one of their lead suspension design engineers. He spent well over an hour on the phone with me on tuning the fork for my riding conditions and style and even worked with another member on the forums here to develop a CLYDE specific spring which they ultimately released.

Last year I built a new FS 29er Trail bike specifically because the steel HT was killing my back on longer rides, which I love doing. Unfortunately the reviews of the LONGER Tower Pro where not that great as most felt there was quite a bit of lateral flex in the fork making it feel noodly. I found a deal I couldn't pass up on a 140mm RS Rev and haven't looked back.

However, the one downfall (in my opinion) of the bike was the Fox Float CTD with Trail Adjust (Boost valve). While specifically tuned for this bike after less than half a season of riding the CTD stopped functioning and I began to have the same give in all settings no matter what I did. Talking with FOX they did not feel it was a warranty issue and rather that I had hit the 100hr threshold for the rebuild cycle (which I think is BS). Fox wanted me to fork out $180+ to have it rebuilt and thus the search began. Knowing that the Manitou Mcleod was due out late last season (2014) I was patiently waiting for it to show up on retail websites only never finding it.

After a quick email to Manitou I found out that they had run into some production issues with one of their suppliers and on top of that were having and INCREDIBLE demand for the shock from their OE spec companies. Anyways a couple weeks ago I noticed it on CRC for a jaw dropping $280 shipped!!!

I ordered one on Saturday and paid the extra $20 to have it shipped via express DHL so it will be here on Wednesday or Thursday. There are ZERO reviews of this shock so I will do my best to document everything I can on it. I purchased mine in the 190mm x 50mm for my frame. I have never done a full-blown review before but plan to do as much as I can with this so if you have suggestions on writing stuff or something you would specifically like to see let me know (either on here or via PM).

In the mean time, I have contacted Manitou to see if there is rebuild documentation on the shock so that I can possibly give it a whirl on my own.

For now.....
The bike.
http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/next-build-hammerhead-thumper-911051.html
Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

In my build thread there are examples of the trails I ride and living in No. Nevada I have access to everything in Lake Tahoe within an hour. This bike has seen everything from mild, flowing singletrack to more DH oriented rides like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in South Lake Tahoe, CA or the Emerald Mountain in Steamboat Springs, CO. My normal trails are right next to my office so I ride them CONSTANTLY and have a good variety of fast and flowy singletrack to somewhat (mild) technical descents.

Again I will post more when I get the shock, install it and get first rides in.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here is the link for the product page on Manitou's website

Their page does include Rebound and Damping Curve Graphs.

The shock got here this afternoon, now just to get time to install it (probably this weekend).
Initial impressions are the shock is very well made, machining is good and there are no sharp corners and the M seems to be actually etched into the can.

Knobs all have very good feel to them moving smoothly but firmly. The IPA knob has what seems to be 4 different detent positions but definitely feels like it could have five with a small bit more movement. The blue rebound knob has not detents but is very firm and seems to stay in place.

Overall weight according to my kitchen scale was a tick over 9oz (about 255g) but feels pretty light in hand. I plan on using the current FOX hardware to mount unless I run into problems then I will get new hardware as there are no issues with my bearings.

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Saved for installation and first impressions.

So went and had my LBS press out the stock bushings on the McLeod after talking with Dougal some. Literally took them 2 minutes (longer to find the tool than to get them out) and $5 to get it done.

When I got home I did like Dougal said and used a knife to wedge between the edge of the bushing and the side of the shock and just worked it out. Once I got it far enough out they pulled out with a little force with my fingernails.

After they were out I was able to easily press them in on the Manitou without issue, then the spacers went on and the shock mounted up with ZERO issue!!!!

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Untitled by renofizz, on Flickr

Pressure was initially set at 150psi from the factory but when I sat on the bike it felt REAL stiff. Checked the sag with my Saggle and maybe had 10% sag... So dropped the pressure some to 125psi and that is right about 25% sag in the full open (Aggressive Descend) position. This feels COMPLETELY different than the FOX did but I am going to attribute that to the new shock with ZERO hours on it.

When I set the shock to Trail Mode it had pretty decent give to it. Platform was a bit stiffer than the full open but not overly stiff. Seemed pretty comparable to Trail mode in the FOX. Then I set to Technical Climb (Trail Mode 2 I am calling it) and the got quite a bit stiffer with the platform ramping up pretty quickly. The final setting, Aggressive climb, is complete lockout in the sense that the shock will normally move about 5-15% but requires some serious input to move past that.

Tomorrow will be the first ride on the new shock so I will play with the rebound and what not, unfortunately there are not detent positions for the rebound so it will be all by feel.

Oh and FYI there are NO setup instructions in the box or on the site so this is definitely going to be a tweak and tune scenario.
 

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Yes, very interested in your impressions of the shock. Also, did you really pay $100 for the firm spring and install?
 

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mnt bike laws of physics
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2,763 Posts
I look forward to your review. I read Dougal's short review and he was very impressed.
Can you post a picture of the shock when you get it? I'm interested in its remote capability.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, very interested in your impressions of the shock. Also, did you really pay $100 for the firm spring and install?
It was something like that.... I did other stuff at that time too so wasn't just those two things (that would be a rip-off). But I did have my LBS do it because 1) the Tower took the special Semi-Bath oil which I didn't have regular oil let alone that, and 2) I was not comfortable taking the fork apart myself.

I look forward to your review. I read Dougal's short review and he was very impressed.
Can you post a picture of the shock when you get it? I'm interested in its remote capability.
Plan on taking plenty of pics of the shock and what not once I get it. Also, can you link Dougal's short review. I thought I remembered reading a short review on it somewhere but for the life of me could not find one so thought it must have been my imagination.
 

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Sir Shreds-A-Lot
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1,076 Posts
ive had this shock on my giant trance for a few months now, paid $250 OTD from my local LBS, sometimes it pays to check there first. anyway, I installed a mattoc fork on the front and wanted to match the shock. had a fox rp23 which was ok, didn't really let me down but didn't do anything amazing for me either. so I got the mcloud and the mattoc dialed in with base setting and took the bike for a spin. the rear shock felt much more solid than the rp23. I purposely hit a few 3-4ft kickers and tried to land it hard to see how it would react. never bottomed out, im 175-180ish geared up. pedaling felt great. maestro is a thing of beauty as it is but it really felt like a hardtail when laying the power down and felt extremely controlled and supple over the baby gnar I encountered. weather here has been pure **** for the past few months so I don't have a ton of miles on it but initial impressions are good and that for 250 this shock is a killer value as long as durability is good
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@obs08 - post up some pics of everything!

I am 190lbs outta the shower and about 200lbs kitted up with my hydro pack. My feelings are about the same as your with your RP23, the Float has worked (if that is what you call it) but really hasn't impressed me. After riding yesterday I was talking with my buddy and saying how it now feels like I just sink into the bike when I am just sitting pedaling. I actually thought that I had a flat at first but tire was just fine, then I thought maybe I had lost a bunch of pressure but the pressure is still at 180psi like the day I set it with about 30% sag.

I think it is kinda BS that FOX requires a rebuild at 100hrs of riding to keep your warranty. Talking with my buddy he has never actually had his NUDE rebuilt on his Scott Genius and thinks it works just fine. I let him ride mine and he even said it just felt weird, like a low tire or something on a car that was just slightly dragging.

Anyways, I look forward to getting the McLeod and then if I can only persuade Manitou to release a 29er version of the Mattoc, that would be stellar!

EDIT: Oh and I did try to go through my LBS to get me the shock but they did not have an account with Manitou direct (nor did they want to set one up) and their distributor was telling them that they would not be available until April or May sometime.
 

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Sir Shreds-A-Lot
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1,076 Posts
oh man that sucks about the lbs, I gave them a BTI part number and he got it within a couple days. ill grab a couple pics when I get home tonight. youll like the shock for sure. it cost me almost $100 less than the rp23 I had on there and it feels way ahead. not a crazy amount of adjustments but to me it just feels right and works well. I don't think its worth paying double for a CC inline which was my other option
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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6,534 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh man that sucks about the lbs, I gave them a BTI part number and he got it within a couple days. ill grab a couple pics when I get home tonight. youll like the shock for sure. it cost me almost $100 less than the rp23 I had on there and it feels way ahead. not a crazy amount of adjustments but to me it just feels right and works well. I don't think its worth paying double for a CC inline which was my other option
Yeah figuring that I can sell the Float and pay for half the McLeod. I am more of a set and forget type person so this sounds like it will be great. I have left my shock in the trail mode the entire time.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Subscribing..... been waiting to hear more about this shock.

Does the rebound only have 4 clicks? Looking at the damping graph on manitous site makes it appear that way.
No clicks on rebound. It's smooth for the whole rotation.

I just took the knobs off mine for a look. Yes they've been designed to fit a return spring in there for remote operation of the IPA.
 
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