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Well, I guess I'll quickly introduce myself since this is the first time I've posted here. My names Clint and I'm 22. I used to mountain bike a lot when I lived in Utah, but when I was 17 I moved down here to Arizona and haven't biked since.

The bug has bit me and I have a lot of desire to start mountain biking again. Here is my problem. Everything in the industry has changed quite a bit from 6 years ago. I recently got a good deal on a Trek Fuel frame with XTR derailers. I'm looking for good deals on used parts here locally and also closeouts on the web to build it up, but I have a few questions first.

1. The guy who sold me the frame told me that the XTR derailer worked differently than other derailers. He said it basically worked in the opposite direction (the spring pulls it to the largest ring). Does anyone know if I'll have to buy XTR shifters because of this, or is this type of derailer compatable with any shifter?

2. I would like to ride cross country/all mountain. I'm don't want to spend more than $300 on a fork and I'd like to have +100mm travel. (Back in '97 a fork wasn't that tough of a decision, lol). I've narrowed my options to the following:
Manitou ’05 Nixon Comp 145mm QR Axle Version
Manitou Gold Label Jump Series II 100mm
Manitou '06 Black Platinum Air With SPV Evolve 120mm
Manitou '05 Black Super Air w/Remote Lockout 120mm
Manitou R7 (R Seven) Comp 100mm
These are the Forks I've seen for under $300. If anyone knows which is the better of these please let me know, so I can make a good decision. Also, if you know of a fork better than these for under $300 please let me know also.

Thanks guys,
Clint
 

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I railed it like Kong
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637 Posts
Since no one has answered you yet i'll give you my opinion and then others can correct me if they feel i need it.

1. stick with shimano shifter. The other option is sram and then you would need to change your rear derailler to a sram

2. I don't have experience with any of your choices first hand so it's hard for my to be an expert but CBO is selling 05 manitou minute forks for nothing right now. 1,2,and 3's are all less than 300$ I have the minute 1 and the spv valving is amazing. I'm heavy and rough on it and it's held up great. If your lighter than go for the air sprung minute 2 or 3.

Well there's one answer for you.:)
 

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= dirt torpedo =
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1,210 Posts
i vote a big fat NO on Manipoo...

get a Marzocchi! there are plenty of closeouts on last year forks, on ebay and other places, so you can def. score something in the $300 range that will fit your tastes.

another one to check out would be a RockShox Reba.. really nice trail fork with 100mm of travel. Despite what you may remember about RockShox from 6 years ago, after they were gobbled up by Sram, they actually started making quality forks!

for the love of god stay away from Manitou.
 

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I railed it like Kong
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I have 2 bikes with manitou and 3 bikes with marzochi and haven't had any problems with any of them. And i do ride them all. I love how you can go into different shops and each one will tell you how one company sucks and never touch them and down the street they will say the opposite.

Oh and in the same ad the have 05 marzochi mx pro w/eta for less than 300. I have that fork and am really happy with it. Though i like the minute better.
 

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= dirt torpedo =
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the '07 Manitou stuff is supposed to be super hot... and some poeople swear by their highend forks. What blows me away is that they keep "redesigning" their damping systems every damn year after previous designs fail in one way or another.

Marzocchi, however, has a proven record of reliability that won't let you down in the long run.

I've had 2 Manitou forks, that felt great first 2-3 months and then turned into utter crap. I then had the "new" RockShox Reba which was the biggest surprise after old RockShox stuff, as it was a very well preforming fork, had to let it go due to a frame change, it's now running happily on a buddy's hardtail. I'm running 2 different Marzocchi forks right now, and the quality is far beyond anything Manitou i've ever tried.. and i bet i won't need to send either one of these in for a rebuild anytime soon :p

but again. some people absolutely love their Manitou forks, and will never turn to the dark stanchion side :)

I'd say ride as many forks as you can, and make a decision. Don't get stuck on Manitou alone, as there are very competitive alternatives out there.
just my humble opinion.
 

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= dirt torpedo =
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1,210 Posts
sorry for the thread highjack Clint

i have an '05 All Mountain 1 (the black one) on my SC Chameleon
and an '06 66 Light ETA on my Transition Dirtbag

both amazing forks.
I'm fairly big (215 lbs.) and dish out all kinds of abuse to these things.. they're both stout and smooth, performing consistently ride after ride with no more than a stanchion wipe in between.

And yes.. the Reba rocked, i only had it for a few months before i busted my XC frame and upgraded to the Chameleon. It was sad to let it go, but it went to a good friend.

Cheers
 

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I railed it like Kong
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637 Posts
Yeah, sorry Clint - this is the last one.

I just ordered the 66 light friday and am stocked to try it out. I was debating between the all mountain and the 66. Glad to know you like it. I'm 280 so it's going to be taking a beating. LOL I love that eta switch and wanted it on my coiler so i went with the 66.
 

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Me hates pinchflat
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2,415 Posts
Well, all of those seem like good choices. However, I would advice you to stay away from the Gold Label Jumps series if you are doing trail riding. That fork is designed specifically for dj and urban, so it would not perform very well on smaller bumps and stuff.
I would also recommend the Marzocchi Mx forks. The 05 Mx Comp is in around 200 bucks (I think). However, if you can find a Mx Pro, I would recommend it, since the Comp has internal rebound adjust. Although the rebound is "set and forget", it is really a pain in the a$$ to fiddle around with the long metal stick in case you want to experiment with the rebound.
 
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