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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just bought a manitou nixon comp i was wondering if any one had any tuning tips it has no preload adjustment so how do i adjust sag do i use the rebound and compression dials to do this? that doesnt seem right i weigh between 170lbs and 180lbs (weight fluctuates because of winter LOL) also what spring comes in it thanx
 

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Most Manitous come with Medium springs, which might put you *just* at the heavy end of their range. If that fork has no preload, you can try increasing the compression damping a bit, and see how it rides. It's worth putting an o-ring or zip tie on the stantion to see how much travel you actually use.

If you bottom it a lot, it's better to get the right spring rather than run max compression damping to compensate, and make the small bump performance a bit harsh.
 

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I also just bought a Nixon Comp. Here are some tips I have learned after talking with Manitou service techs and reading the service manual on the Nixon.

1. Setting Sag: None of the Nixon coil forks (Comp & Elite) come with a provision for preloading the spring to fine-tune sag. Your options here are limited to selecting the proper spring for your weight. I would suggest calling Manitou to determine this as I don't remember seeing a chart anywhere with this info. Adjusting the compression dial on your fork will do nothing for setting sag. On the TPC damper in your fork the compression adjustment is for low-speed compression. Adjusting this will affect how the fork reacts over small to medium sized hits and can help to control pedal-bob to a degree. Here is an "under the table" tip that the Manitou tech would not officially confirm due to liability: If you decide you would like to fine-tune the sag by preloading the proper spring for your weight, you could make some small spacers to stack on top of the spring. This would require threading the top cap on under pressure as you push down on the spring and spacer. Be very careful not to strip the threads. My idea was to buy some PVC pipe with an outside diameter just smaller than the inside of the stanchion tube and maybe throw a nylon washer between the spring and spacer for good measure. Make sure that the PVC wall thickness is such that it contacts the spring and top cap fully. The spacer would not need to be very large to fine-tune your sag measurement. It would be a process of trial and error. I had been planning to go through this process with my fork. I purchased the recommended X-Firm spring for my 230lb weight and found that the 1" of sag achieved with no preload was less than the 1.4" (25% of travel) that I was shooting for. I am, however, able to hit the bottom-out bumpers through the course of my regular riding so I am inclined to think that a lighter spring with pre-load spacers to fine tune my sag would be sprung much to lightly. From what I've read in this forum the general consensus on Manitou coil forks (especially the Nixon) is that they are undersprung. I believe it has more to do with the dampening than with the spring-rates provided by Manitou (more on this in my next point).

2. TPC Tuning: For my tastes, the TPC damper on the Nixon Comp works fine for casual trail-riding but is overtaxed when the going gets rough (this may have something to do with my weight). The low-speed compression and rebound dials have a small adjustment range that is nearly invisible once you hit the trail. With my old Fox Vanilla fork the adjustments made a visible difference from max to minimum settings (with the Rebound set on max the fork extended much slower than with the Rebound set on mimimum). Right now I have my Nixon Rebound set on max and the extension is still not being controlled to my liking. In addition to the limited adjustment range, the fork blows through its travel much too easily (rolling on flat ground I need only to hit a small 4" bump while simultaneously forcing my weight down on the handlebars to nail the bottom-out bumpers). This is not a case of being undersprung but rather the TPC damper is not progressively controling the fork's motion as it should. The only possible solution here is to put a heavier oil in the damper. The TPC comes stock with a 5wt oil. The Manitou tech I spoke with recommended using a 7wt or a 10wt oil in my situation. This should make the Rebound and Compression adjustments more effective and should help to better control the forks movement under fast compressions.

3. Change Damper: The best thing about Manitou forks is the wide range of configurations you can use to set up your fork. Coil Sprung: travel adjustable or fixed (for lighter weight as in the Nixon Comp). Air Sprung: IT travel adjustable or fixed. Dampening: TPC, TPC+, SPV Evolve, Intrinsic. With these combinations you should be able to change your fork to perfectly suit your needs. In my case I am waiting for the TPC+ damper which is now available in the '06 Nixon Elite (the guys at Manitou said production should be moving along shortly on aftermarket dampers). The TPC+ damper adds a floating compression piston to the standard TPC unit. The floating piston is pushed against the adjustable compression piston under high-speed impacts. This is said to increase the dampening and in effect provides the progressive compression control under sharp impacts that I am looking for.

Those are the three suggestions I have for tuning your Nixon Comp (change and fine-tune the spring, tune the TPC, or change the damper). In my case I had been planning to change the TPC oil to 10wt to try and better control the fork's adjustments and high-speed dampening. I have since left it alone as I am waiting to purchase a TPC+ damper to which I will probably add the 10wt oil.

P.S. I hope you bought your Nixon Comp from Jenson as I did. They have been offering it for $199 from time to time. The secret is that these particular forks at Jenson have aluminum steerers rather than the standard steel you normally see on the Comp (Jenson said that this is simply how the bike company that they bought them from had them speced from Manitou). So for $199 dollars you can buy this fork, order any available Nixon parts (air spring, travel adjuster, damper) you desire and still be hundreds of dollars under the prices that unsuspecting buyers are paying for '06 Nixon forks!
 

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titusquasi said:
2. TPC Tuning:

This is not a case of being undersprung but rather the TPC damper is not progressively controling the fork's motion as it should. The only possible solution here is to put a heavier oil in the damper. The TPC comes stock with a 5wt oil. The Manitou tech I spoke with recommended using a 7wt or a 10wt oil in my situation. This should make the Rebound and Compression adjustments more effective and should help to better control the forks movement under fast compressions.
Stellar info titusquasi! Thanks!

To add to the TPC tuning:

Others have tried different weight oils in the TPC systems and found it not working so well. I think most went back to original oil weight. (edit: from additional posts in this thread, this seems to not be correct.)

Also, when I serviced my 02 TPC Black a year ago, I found I could find a more "tunable" knob setting range for both compression and rebound dials. The trick was to take off the cap and reattach the cap NOT in the same position. So remove the cap when it is set at mid turning, and reattach in the least compression "indicated" setting. Caveat: this was an 02 fork so it may not apply now and going too far could damage the damper(?).

Mr. P
 

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Agree with Titusquasi, I have a 02 black, which I had the same issue that quasi had, my solution was to chage oil to 7.5w and voila!! Haven't had any issue so far. Hey Titus Q, any info as where to get online the spare parts to play with these forks. I was just planning the same, to get that Jenson Nixon and mess with it to suit my preferences. Besides I don't like the black stanchions.
 

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Relayden said:
Agree with Titusquasi, I have a 02 black, which I had the same issue that quasi had, my solution was to chage oil to 7.5w and voila!! Haven't had any issue so far. Hey Titus Q, any info as where to get online the spare parts to play with these forks. I was just planning the same, to get that Jenson Nixon and mess with it to suit my preferences. Besides I don't like the black stanchions.
No matter where you go to get aftermarket bits for the Nixon, make sure you check the service manual to obtain the exact part # and I would suggest actually calling Manitou and getting any applicable part #s from them to be sure. You then may have to actually call the retailer to match part #s as they may not have the Manitou #s listed on their website. It's a lot of footwork, but better safe than sorry. Any retailer that is a Manitou dealer should be able to order you the part if you can't find it in stock.

Here are a few places to start:
Best Bike Buys
AE Bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nixon

thanks for all the info im gonna start with the firm spring im thinking of adding the rtwd from the elite what do you guys think is it worth it i have all the part #s but any idea who sells the parts online thanks
 

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mcrumble69 said:
i just bought a manitou nixon comp i was wondering if any one had any tuning tips it has no preload adjustment so how do i adjust sag do i use the rebound and compression dials to do this? that doesnt seem right i weigh between 170lbs and 180lbs (weight fluctuates because of winter LOL) also what spring comes in it thanx
Those forks tend to be a bit undersprung with the stock springs. You'll probably want to upgrade to the firm or x-firm ktis depending on riding style.
 

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My 2 cents...

The damper is tuned to give enough damping for the stock spring. I ain't gonna discuss Manitou's have very narrow damping adjustment. They do.

Given this narrow range, if you change springs, the damping will be off. Too high damping if you go with a ligther spring. Too little if you go to a heavier spring. Simply the force of the spring will overcome the damping or backwards.

This is why heavier riders will look for a heavier oil weight and lighter ones a thinner oil.

Up to certain degree, oil level can change performance too. TPC is not that sensitive to oil height, but its another point to tune.

Maybe Dougal can shed more light on this.
 

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Warp2003 said:
My 2 cents...

The damper is tuned to give enough damping for the stock spring. I ain't gonna discuss Manitou's have very narrow damping adjustment. They do.

Given this narrow range, if you change springs, the damping will be off. Too high damping if you go with a ligther spring. Too little if you go to a heavier spring. Simply the force of the spring will overcome the damping or backwards.

This is why heavier riders will look for a heavier oil weight and lighter ones a thinner oil.

Up to certain degree, oil level can change performance too. TPC is not that sensitive to oil height, but its another point to tune.

Maybe Dougal can shed more light on this.
That is an excellent point on the spring weight affecting the dampers performance, Warp. It was my understanding that the TPC oil height was to be a specific number. I can't remember if I got this notion from the service manual or a Manitou tech. My old Marzocchi could be tuned for more bottom-out resistance by increasing the oil height. Can you actually do this with the TPC damper? This would be great if it is true. Does anyone have any experience with varied oil heights with Manitou's TPC???
 

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titusquasi said:
Does anyone have any experience with varied oil heights with Manitou's TPC???
Dougal has a write up on his website about oil heights in an older Manitou fork. And older TPC forks gave a range of oil heights.

I applied what I learned from Dougal's website to put the maximum recomended oil in the fork and it rarely bottomed on me. (02 Black 80-100). Again, if that applies to a Nixon(???)

His posts have his website link under them, unfortunately, I don't know the web address.

Mr. P
 

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Mr.P said:
Dougal has a write up on his website about oil heights in an older Manitou fork. And older TPC forks gave a range of oil heights.

I applied what I learned from Dougal's website to put the maximum recomended oil in the fork and it rarely bottomed on me. (02 Black 80-100). Again, if that applies to a Nixon(???)

His posts have his website link under them, unfortunately, I don't know the web address.

Mr. P
Dougal gives you the whole poop at his site and gives a thorough explanation why.

The trick still works for current generation of TPC's... nothing has changed in how those work.

His website is www.dougal.co.nz

He's THA man... I have a lot of respect for that guy.
 

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Mr.P said:
What brand and product name of oil did you use?

I just learned that suspension oil weights are about as consistent as the width of MTB tires (read: inconsistent with each other) So brand and product are important to know.

thx.

Mr. P
Maxima fork oil, don't remember exact oil added or height, but my guess is what the manual specified.
 

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titusquasi said:
If you decide you would like to fine-tune the sag by preloading the proper spring for your weight, you could make some small spacers to stack on top of the spring. This would require threading the top cap on under pressure as you push down on the spring and spacer. Be very careful not to strip the threads.
I just pulled the spring cap of my new Nixon Comps to get some measurements to try the preload technique described above.

I found two important bits of info.

1) Under the aluminum spring top-cap is a bolt that screws into it and hold the spring. Unscrew the bolt a bit and intsa-preload. I will contact Manitou on Monday to make sure this is safe. It would seem it is safe as a preloader on an 02 black did the same thing and is plastic.

2) For me screwing down the top cap underpressure = insta-cross threading! I was able to clean up the threads but I had to back off the 10mm preload I had. I was then able to screw it in fine. To help relieve preload pressure when starting the threading I pulled up on the top of the fork while pushing down on the bottoms, effectively compressing the top-out spring (?) and relieved most of the pressure.

I am in the zone for sag now (I measure 33-37mm) - even in "attack position", but have a feeling that I will still need the firm spring. I weigh 185. Only riding will tell. :)

Already hacking and I haven't even taken this fork for a ride yet! I swear upgraditis is like crack.

Mr. P
 

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Mr.P said:
I am in the zone for sag now (I measure 33-37mm) - even in "attack position", but have a feeling that I will still need the firm spring. I weigh 185. Only riding will tell. :)

Mr. P
This info may help. I contacted Manitou and asked about suggested spring weights. The color codes on the springs are Soft=Blue, Medium(stock)=Red, Firm=Yellow, X-Firm=Black. I only asked their suggested rider weights for the Firm and X-Firm and they told me that Firm was suggested for up to 200lb and X-Firm for greater than 200lb. I weigh 225lb and thus I ordered the X-Firm spring. I posted this in another thread but Nixon users may be interested in knowing that Manitou is now making the TPC+ cartridge for the Nixon. Part number is 83-2812.

As far as sag goes, I am beginning to form the opinion that old rules of sag for XC bikes with steep head angles don't directly translate to today's long travel bikes with slack head angles. With the slacker head angle there is less weight directed inline with the fork when seated on flat ground. Case in point: I feel that the X-Firm spring in my Nixon is probably the correct weight for me but I barely get an inch of sag on flat ground. Even so I am achieving full travel on certain impacts throught my test ride with no indication of harsh bottoming. This is right where the spring weight needs to be so that you use all the available travel without slamming the bottom-out bumpers. Furthermore, the stock Medium spring only produced slightly more than an inch of sag--a difference of about 1/4 inch vs. the X-Firm and still less than traditional sag recommendations--yet I could bottom the fork at a standstill. I would bet that if I measured sag with the rear tire elevated to simulate what these forks were designed to do best--flying downhill--it would be closer to what I was initially looking for. This theory is also backed by what the tec at Manitou told me. He said to worry less about the sag while seated on flat ground and to be more concerned with how the fork rode on the trail.
 

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titusquasi said:
As far as sag goes, I am beginning to form the opinion that old rules of sag for XC bikes with steep head angles don't directly translate to today's long travel bikes with slack head angles. With the slacker head angle there is less weight directed inline with the fork when seated on flat ground.

This theory is also backed by what the tec at Manitou told me. He said to worry less about the sag while seated on flat ground and to be more concerned with how the fork rode on the trail.
That is my thinking too. I need the fork to perform at it's best when I am in steep gnarl situations, not when seated in the flats. I checked my sag in "attack position" meaning standing and some weight over the front, but ultimately it is like your wrote: "be more concerned with how the fork rode on the trail."

And the little difference in sag between spring that you srote about almost guarantees I move to a firm. This is my 3rd Manitou and my previous 2 had firm springs which suited me well.

Thanks for the info. Now off to the maiden voyage tomorrow!

Mr. P
 
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