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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could have sworn I posted this one before... Form data seems to be saved in my browser...

The question is as follows:

I can buy a used 66 RC2x on my local market pretty easily and inexpensively. The price is comparable to the prices on a NEW Travis 180 TPC+.

Which one would you pick and why? I've never used a Manitou product before, and the 66 is proven, although a bit heavier. Both are in the same travel range, though I haven't confirmed the A2C height of the Travis. It's said the Travis is easy to service and to tune the shim stacks. The 66 is not that hard to service either, and in addition to the HSC X cart, it offers oil height bottom out.

Any thoughts on Manitou? I hear the TPC+ is quite good, although I've never tried it in many years.
 

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noMAD man
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The Travis with TPC+ is a very solid and reliable fork. The Intrinsic models functioned just as well, but the damper service requires an annoying bleeding process. Intrinsic is great for rear shocks, but a little problematic for a fork IMO. The biggest advantage of the 66 may be the full oil bath system vs. the Manitou semi-bath. The full oil bath provides a tuning tool as well as longer service intervals. The Manitou semi-bath isn't a big deal, but I've always liked the full bath Marz system. That said, my primary fork has become a 160 Nixon 20mm/TA w/TPC+ while my 66SL has taken secondary duties. Both forks you're considering are excellent. I've used several Marz HSCV and later damper models along with several TPC+ Manitou forks. Both have been relatively bombproof with great performance. Most complaints on Manitou forks have involved damping systems other than TPC+. In the last few years, it seems no company's fork line has been perfect, but both of the models you're looking at are solid performers.
 

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I dig trails!
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For Huckin' the oil level ramp up is a significant difference between the two forks.

But I don't know how the Travis's shim stack is set up (should be more HSC for landing big). I do know that I never bottomed my Nixon TPC+ when I had the freebleed closed (compression knob) - that includes bad landings, stuffing the front wheel, etc. Freebleed open it was buttery.

But the spring tuning via oil level lets one tune compression for butter and spring for BO - so you can ride both at the same time.

The chassis on both should be similarly stiff.

If the 66 is a spring + air preload, brake dive will be better on the Nixon that is just coil. It is the initial spring rate that is key for brake dive.

Another alternative is a Domain. But HSC is pronounced which is good for big drops, but less good for the high speed square bumps. TPC+ mostly bypasses this issue by having the floating piston.

P
 

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carpe mañana
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It is worth mentioning that the difference between the 66SL and 66RC2X is staggering, in terms of ride quality. SL is like 7/10 fork, RC2X goes to 11.

_MK
 

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noMAD man
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JC, my Nixon 160 is classified as an air fork, but it has a fairly large 4" helper coil in there which I think was a fairly creative method of influencing fork dive and other characteristics. It's a little like my 2 Marz Z150SL Frankenforks...somewhat of an air/coil hybrid. The Travis is going to provide the burlier chassis, but I've commented at least two or three times in other fork comparison posts recently about how surprising the rigidity of this 20mm axled/32mm stanchioned fork has turned out to be...and close to a pound of weight difference over my 66SL. However, the Nixon is a ways off from your 180mm standard, of course. Frankly, IMO the Travis is a lot like a burly Nixon, so for the added weight, you're going to get a stiffer fork and more travel. JC, one other issue with the Travis and Nixon is that I believe the Travis offers room for a 650B wheel/tire combo like I know the Nixon does. The Marz forks don't. I'd might be running by 66SL if a 650B fit. I only went to the Nixon because it fit a 650B, and like it has been with my experience with a pair of Shermans and a dual crown X-Vert with TPC+, I was very pleased with the Nixon. Is 650B that important?...not really if you're running huge DH rubber on very long travel forks. However, if you're looking at an aggressive AM bike, I think 650B is a very worthy experiment to see if it suits your situation...and some of those issues may change as more tires and wheels become available.

MK, I know your very excellent background with the 66SL and other Marz forks, but I would still differ with your opinion about the '06 66SL. I think the ride quality and performance of the 66SL can be changed quite a bit with oil level and air pressure juggling in the two legs to get what you want. With anything close to the recommended settings, the fork dives too much and is a bit mushy...but you know that.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. I am interested in the aspect of the Travis being close to stiffness to the 66, without the weight penalty. Not that I'm a weight weenie, but it's interesting.

I'm still looking at the tinkering aspect of the TPC+ with shims. Does anyone have pictures of the innards?
 

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carpe mañana
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TNC said:
MK, I know your very excellent background with the 66SL and other Marz forks, but I would still differ with your opinion about the '06 66SL. I think the ride quality and performance of the 66SL can be changed quite a bit with oil level and air pressure juggling in the two legs to get what you want. With anything close to the recommended settings, the fork dives too much and is a bit mushy...but you know that.;)
Sure. But that's not what I am basing what I'm saying on. The RC2X is a much livelier fork. You can "breathe on it" and it will move. The SL suffers from a considerable amount of stiction on the air seals. Even with Renegade honing my bushings to the point of there almost being bushing slop, the fork still took a considerably stronger input to begin moving. Swapping the honed lowers with the 66RC2X produced the most incredible smoothness I have ever experienced with a fork. That is all slow speed stuff. The damper on the SL is also compromised to make room for the doppio cartridge. The X cartridge makes the RC2X sing. And yes, the SL dives more. Even with extensive tuning, you can't overcome the inherent nature of air spring, even when you create different positive air volumes, on both sides, to move the flat spot and progressive spot of the air spring, it just isn't the same thing.

Can you tell I wish I never got rid of mine? ;)

_MK
 

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...idios...
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JC, if you have the cash, could I suggest that you just get the 66 and give it a shot? Seriously, the fork has such a good reputation that you'll be able to shift it no problem on the old eBay if it's not to your liking. Worst case scenario is that you pay a few Euros for a test ride. Granted, you won't be able to do the same with the Travis, but after the 66 it's quite possible that you won't want to...
 

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Outcast
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JC, you will not regret getting the RC2X. What year/length? You can tailor the travel to your liking by buying the right x-cartridge; I turned my 170 SL into a 150 RC2X.
TNC, I don't know if you've ever ridden an RC2X, but it is a night and day difference from the SL. Black and white. Sweet and sour. Boob and butt. You get the idea. :D
MK, it turns out that the stiction in the SL is from within the doppio cartridge, not the bushings.
 

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carpe mañana
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Renegade said:
MK, it turns out that the stiction in the SL is from within the doppio cartridge, not the bushings.
If you were to take the time to read my post, you'd realize we agree on the matter.

_MK
 

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Outcast
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MK_ said:
If you were to take the time to read my post, you'd realize we agree on the matter.

_MK
I think I did.
This: " The SL suffers from a considerable amount of stiction on the air seals. " is not exactly the same as " The stiction comes from within the doppio cartridge; the piston seal againts the inner diameter of the doppio cartridge".
Not to be confused with the fork seals, which are identical on all 66 models of the same year.
 

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carpe mañana
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Renegade said:
I think I did.
This: " The SL suffers from a considerable amount of stiction on the air seals. " is not exactly the same as " The stiction comes from within the doppio cartridge; the piston seal againts the inner diameter of the doppio cartridge".
Not to be confused with the fork seals, which are identical on all 66 models of the same year.
We both know that the air seals are in the doppio (on the 66SL fork), so I am not sure why you're nit picking.

_MK
 

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carpe mañana
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Renegade said:
I mis-interpreted your post, so others might too. I was just trying to clarify, not start a fight.
By no means am I rolling up my sleeves. As someone who loves to dish out sarcasm, I didn't think I needed to be particularly careful with you in the choice of my wording. :aureola:

Anyway, thanks for straightening my post :rolleyes: ;)

[/thread derailment]

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Renegade said:
If there's going to be any fighting here, we'll let Jerk Chicken handle it. It's one of his hobbies. :D
Did someone say "EW"?

Renegade said:
JC, you will not regret getting the RC2X. What year/length? You can tailor the travel to your liking by buying the right x-cartridge; I turned my 170 SL into a 150 RC2X.
TNC, I don't know if you've ever ridden an RC2X, but it is a night and day difference from the SL. Black and white. Sweet and sour. Boob and butt. You get the idea.
MK, it turns out that the stiction in the SL is from within the doppio cartridge, not the
bushings.
It will be a 170 model. I've been tracking these for a while here and they are fairly regularly occuring on the local markets or in surrounding countries. For some reason, I thought the rc2x was available as a 180 in 07. I was hoping to get some more a2c over the 36 I run now.

SteveUK said:
JC, if you have the cash, could I suggest that you just get the 66 and give it a shot? Seriously, the fork has such a good reputation that you'll be able to shift it no problem on the old eBay if it's not to your liking. Worst case scenario is that you pay a few Euros for a test ride. Granted, you won't be able to do the same with the Travis, but after the 66 it's quite possible that you won't want to...
Thanks for that perspective. It's quite valuable and quite realistic, although when I get stuff, I'm not known to sell them ;)

I'd likely move my 36 to my gf's bike in that case, then keep both our Z1's as spares.
 

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carpe mañana
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Renegade said:
Originally posted by the Ellsworth Troll:
I thought the rc2x was available as a 180 in 07?
It was, at least in the U.S. It was offered as a 150 and 170 in '06, and in '07, a 160 and 180.
The 150 and 160 are hard to come by. I'm looking out for a white 160. So far, little luck. Mine was a 170, rode great, but now I have a 5 Spot rear end and 170 would be a tad much. I wish that $275 RC2X in the classifieds had longer steerer :(

_MK
 
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