Sea Otter - Answer Racing and Manitou Suspension

May 11, 2009 at 0:09
May 11, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
 
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Answer Racing is a division of the Hayes Bicycle Group and along with Manitou suspension have a lot of things in the works for the 2010 season and at present too with the all new Dorado. We were able to sit down with Denny Yunk and talk about the all new Absolute Plus from Manitou as well as talk to Melissa Buhl about her relationship with the Hayes and Manitou brands. Also enjoy some course footage from Jason Memmelaar and his Dorado.

KHS Factory racer Melissa Buhl talks to us about her relationship with Hayes, Manitou and Sun Ringle:
Views: 4,112    Faves: 1    Comments: 1

Those that have been biking for a while will remember Answer Products and the impact they made on the market years ago with their ProTaper handle bars. They were revolutionary at the time and showed great potential for the brand. Well the brand is back and with new found flame they will be bring forth all new products from Bars and Stems to riding gloves. Watch for a push from Answer in 2010.

Answer Stem: (prototype)
Side

Side

Top

Top

Face

Face


Answer Gloves: (prototypes)
XC

XC

FR

FR

Palm

Palm


Denny Yunk gets technical for us about the all new Manitou R7 fork and the Absolute Plus damping on it. We also take a peek at the Prototype Stem from Answer:

Views: 2,962    Faves: 1    Comments: 0

Manitou R Seven Fork and Absolute Plus:
Fork

Fork

Fork

Fork

Crown

Crown

Arch

Arch

Milo Lever

Milo Lever

Absolute + top cap

Absolute + top cap

Absolute + assembly

Absolute + assembly

Absolute + shims

Absolute + shims


Jason Memmelaar of 2 Wheel Freaks tells us about his relationship with the Hayes Bicycle Group and the new Dorado:

Views: 3,333    Faves: 3    Comments: 5


www.manitoumtb.com
All Manitou Products

www.seaotterclassic.com

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62 Comments

  • + 5
 It all does perform great. Been performing great for about 4 years now, just everybody has been wrapped up in the "manipoo" stereotype to notice. Manitou has been engineering quality stuff, it's taken the Hayes acquisition to turn the marketing around. Look for them to make a big comeback in the next few years.
  • + 11
 The Stance series was a disastrous crap. Word.
  • + 11
 thats because it was the disasterous low end products there to provide products for the not so wealthy cyclists... Their top end products have been ni on great...Any problems they sorted out pretty quick, but there havnt been hardly any. The fact is, people's manitous only started to go dodgy because people havnt serviced them enough themselves...This then starts the stereotype that manitou are actualy manipou...where its a simple case of user negligence.
  • + 6
 thank you for stating what every other non-ignorant mountain biker knows, but doesn't have the patience to write about because of all these stupid people who think a Stance is world cup level fork can't leave their uninformed opinion to his/herself. Facepalm
  • + 0
 Pretty sick!!!
  • + 4
 No problem valtra...I was getting bored of the manitou slating from ignorant cyclists that dont actualy have any facts to support their opinion so they use their opinion to sound like a fact. Ill support manitou all the way because i believe they have sound forks on the top end of their products... And im also with clutchman83 on this one...you need to keep your eyes out in the near future because i can eally see some impressive products coming out from the manitou guys soon.
  • + 5
 im with you guys too. im running 5 manitous at the moment. if you know how to service them yourself then they run amazing. ive be running them for over 3 years now and have NEVER had any problem. i think people see the stereotype and start to make stuff up just to fit in. the stances were crap. ill give them that one.
  • + 1
 I agree that You can't say that all Manitou products suck.

But trying to compare the low-end Manitou forks to low-end Marzocchi, will show that Manitou made a poo and did not clean it Wink . By this I mean that they failed to build confidence and relability around their products.

I had Stance Flow - worked worse than fork stuffed with pudding Wink , the arch broke finally and the fork is now resting in my basement.

Now I have Sherman Jumper (my GF rides it mostly Smile ) and it's better for sure Smile .
  • + 3
 But thats the point...were talking about the stupid stereotypical views that have risen from ill-educated people that have had dodgy experiences through the very low end manitou products and from not treating their products correctly.

Yes indeed manitou's low ends dont compete with marz's...but then, the prices reflect the quality of both brands.

Just because manitou have perhaps made a "mistake" through selling some naff low end forks...so what, every company makes mistakes...Thats what happens through a businesses lifetime, they create low end products/high end products, some may take off, some may not take off, some be lame, some may be great. mistakes occur.
I think an EPIC mistake from a big fork company is Marzocchi dont you think? from having their forks made in some cheapo factory where nothing was good...

Manitou's low end models wernt great...and thats from our point of view (being mountainbikers), but imagine it from a casual cyclists point of view, they wont know the difference.

I personally think the manitou slating should stop now and people actualy think for themselves and open their eyes...
  • + 3
 True, Giant-Rider-Sam.

Marz makes the *what-ever-you-call-it* part (damper? not sure about the correct word here Wink ) with a SR Suntour logo on it...

That ain't good either.
  • + 1
 TPC+ is awesome. super easy to service. I love both my manitous
  • + 2
 i have a gold label for dirtjumping and without a doubt you can say it is a better fork than any of the dirtjumping forks that marzocchi has been pumping out.

It is the same for manitou's high end crosscountry and allmountain forks.

The problem that manitou has is that they are yet to incorperate air technology into anything bigger than mid travel all mountain forks and they have failed to make any advancement in their technology in a while. While marzocchi is releasing all these new damping systems and expanding their lineup offering us like 3 different dual crowns and 3 different 66's and a tonne of xc forks, manitou has taken the same one or two forks and just repainted them. Thats their main problem and its only because they are bringing back their famous dorados that they are starting to reemerge in downhill. Noone wanted to run a dualcrown travis because boxxer wc's were just plain better and cost nearly the same on release. And noone wants to run a travis single because all it has is an ineffective compression adjust and rebound where as 66's come with adjustable travel, high and low speed compression, rebound, and some are air sprung.

Once answer catches up to the other companies and establishes a new fork lineup (instead of a revamped one) they will take the lead in fork technology without a doubt
  • + 2
 tpc+ is a shims and oil damping system. In the world of moto x. shims and oil is the way to go. They havent updated technology because it works and works well. I wouldnt run a travis for downhill because they are super progressive twords the end of their travel. The adjustments on my travis work i can physically see it takes longer to rebound and the compression turned up makes it jump really well.
  • + 2
 at last...someone who knows what theyre talking about, thankyou flying fish for simply stating that manitou havnt updated because they havnt needed to...

Think of it in business terms...If something works well, why put in tons of money for research to change it? it increases cash outflow which "can" decrease profit! Hence the reason to just change designs to keep with trends and carry on using what works best for them Wink
  • + 0
 i dunno.....whatever.
  • + 1
 funny you all conveniently forgot about the intrinsic damping system... mostly because so many blew and were sent back to have the cheaper tpc+ system thrown in them... manitou lost major trust.
  • + 1
 its also cause that damping wasn't thrown into the travis 150 (what most people were using for fr) till 2 years into production. Noone wanted to use the 200mm dualcrown or the singlecrown with it cause it cost the same as a fox or marz so only die hard manitou fans bought it, and when the people who bought the travis tpc got bored of its 2 adjustments they abandon it for a different brand. The intrinsic damping was introduced after manitou's reputation had died and that is why it didnt do well. Now they are brining their name back to the front so hopefully it will catch on the second time around
  • + 0
 Well, my Nixon has been leaking air into the lowers, and blowing dust seals a whole ton. twice on the day I got it, then it was fine for a while. It blew again at sea otter in the parking lot, so I wheeled it over to the Manitou stand. They were great, and Manitou is an amazing company from the service standpoint. They rebuilt my fork, made it better than new, and assured me it wouldn't happen again.

But yesterday, I did a fire road ride with my dad. Climb 600 feet in 3 miles along a fire road, then descend the same way. And guess what? When we rolled into 7-11 for slurpees, I got that same old *Pop-pfffft* noise, for the fourth time. Dissapointingly, this was my first ride since the fork was fixed at Sea Otter. I will be calling them next time I can during their business hours...
  • + 1
 And I just read kevinthelilbiker's post from three posts ago, and he's right- Mines an intrinsic.
  • + 2
 I have 2 intrinsics now. I love them. and yes they only have 2 adjustments. but thats fine with me. its simple, uncomplicated and just plain easy to work with. TPC is the best system out there definitly. simple and relyable. Intrinsic is just a updated version. Im happy to ride my Intrinsic or my TPC's over any other fork out there.
  • + 1
 i dont know anything about the intrinsic system, never owned, rode, or serviced one.
  • + 1
 Well mines overcomplicated. Not only is it intrinsic (rebound & damping knobs) but it's also IT (infinite travel). I think it's that bit that doesn't do too well, the damping side has been great. The travel side has been less than perfect, that's where all four air leaks happened. The IT system works on a basis of a handlebar lever, like adjustable travel seatposts. Press the lever, lower the fork, release the lever. Fork stays down. press it and bring up the fork, the fork stays up. This is what I assume has been giving me the trouble...
  • + 1
 Really? I actually like my IT adjust. It is the one thing I will miss most about my Minute now that I have a Talas 32 RLC. adjusting travel with the Talas is going to be sketch while riding.
  • + 1
 Don't get me wrong, I love the way it works, when it works. Only trouble is, I've spent too many weekends in the garage looking at it because it was broken when I should have been out riding.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Heh. nice stuff. I love TPC+. I still have my old XVert Super with TPC+ and while it is a lot shorter, it's easily as plush and responsive as my Totem. I have to service my Totem actually as it's getting very stictiony, but it's a 2007. Last time I had to rebuild my Xvert was end of summer 2006 and it's still smooth like butter.
  • + 0
 i love my manitou travis 180. no problems what so ever. whereas my totems leak oil like no tomorrow and my friends brand new 66 feels like crap and makes three different noises on the way down. and then my other friends brand new DJ1 just blew a rebound assembly. point is i think people should give manitou a second chance
  • + 3
 While working at a bike shop, I've serviced pretty much every fork out there. In addition, I've owned xverts, black, mars, rseven, nixon, and sherman. Except for dorados, manitous have poor tolerances (seals come off or don't seal properly, threaded parts wiggle, etc), small parts construction (lots of plastic) leaves a lot to be desired. As far as damping goes, tpc+ was very good although midrange rebound and compression adjustments would have very little effect. The worst manitou I've ever had was the nixon. They tried to pack so many features in that fork that it didn't do any of them well. The IT didn't work, it would blow through it's travel and didn't extend back regardless of air pressure or rebound adjustment.
There's not enough space to write all reasons of why you couldn't pay me enough to use a manitou. However, I do hope that Hayes pases their engineering expertise to manitou. By the looks of the machined internals in these pictures, manitou may be on their way to recovery.
  • + 1
 all the forks you've mentioned were before hayes took over. i owned two shermans and they sucked. the travis on the other hand is awesome and my buddies gold label is still going strong after a year of abuse.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Ironically, I had no trouble with my Stance Static fork, yet 3 out of 4 R Sevens that we sold at the shop failed catastrophically. Yeah, I lump Manitou in with companies like Magura whose products look all shiny but don't perform for shit unless you're trained to work on them specifically. Nothing about their products is intuitive at all.
  • + 0
 i own maguras and i find them great straight from the box
  • + 2
 If you had worked in a bike store for any significant amount of time you'd know that Maguras are the single hardest brake to make feel good (once they inevitably start to feel bad).
  • + 1
 i do work as a bike mechanic . I've been building up my own bikes for 14 years . I stand by my comments . Magura's Have very simple internals . It's all open system (much like the old 'zocchi forks) Yes the older forks were a pain but the o8/09 forks are very nice. Manitou USED to be very good (X-Vert ) But now i find them ver very sloppy . Had a R7 in the other day 85 mm travel but rocked back and fore more than a $50 pair of SR suntours. That's a poor show for a £400 fork in my book .
  • + 1
 i Also know 3 other people that use Maguras that have had no problem with them at all . A service consists of change the oil once a year. The air forks are the same . undo the top caps pull out the damping rods change the oil . put the rods back in and Roberts your aunt's live in lover.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Jason Memmelaar translation - "I have no clue how to setup my fork and they just give it to me and I go thru the whoops like ~~~~~"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the gloves look sick

i can't figure out why manitou would build such a high end fork (dorado, which looks absolutely incredible and seems to perform just as well) without putting a more complete lineup together. Although, if the extra r&d time means the next generation of shermans or nixons (or whatever name they may choose) don't fail easily then i guess it's time well spent. i'll be looking for more prototypes this summer

bring back the single-crown dorado
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i couldn't give my stances away, ended up having to pay a recycling charge. won't be going down that road again.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm glad someone mentioned the xvert super.... i still to this day love this fork.... its butter and cheese... i went from that fork to a fox vanilla 130 rc.... i'm sorry but the xvert was way smoother than the fox.... it wasn't until i sent the fox out to get'pushed' that it was a better fork.... imho
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Don't let the video fool you. He's detailed about his bike. I watched him lube his pedal axles this weekend. Has anyone else put that kinda effort into their bike lately? B.A.S. or was it B.A.F.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 and yes... single crown dorados would be amazing... never owned it myself, but i had a buddy who did, it was amazing.... also consider an x-vert supernova (i hope manitou people are reading this)
  • + 1
 If you recall, the Dorado SCs cost over $1500. No thanks.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 lol the guy in the last video is pretty hilarious, knows a lot about the dorado...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Good to see Answer back in business.
  • + 2
 Yes! Pro-Tapers are still the best bars out there, far as I'm concerned. When the wider model comes out, I'll buy that one too.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I think that al the big fork companies out there have lost their way a little . Manitou , Zocchi , Rockshox , and fox are making lots of different forks that appear good on paper but don't seem to work so well in real world situations , eg they need regular cleaning and maintenance in the case of manitou's , rock shox are OK but I've seen a lot of forks with blown seals /or cartridges (and very expensive compared to 2 or 3 years ago) , Zocchi have just sold out using cheap Sr suntour parts inside , you can't even tell what their forks are intended for these days ( what ever happened to using the simple Z series of definitions Z1 free ride/dirt jumping/BSX ,Z2 light weight XC and trail use, Z3 heavy XC/ free ride, Z4 budget air , Z5 super budget. ) . They have all gone over complicated. Look at the non mainstream companies ( ie ones that don't get so much shop space) Magura , Whyte Bros , DT swiss , even society and dear i say RST keeping things simple and therefore reliable in real world conditions . What pople realy want is not a fork that has loads of bells and whistles but forks that are fit and forget with minimal of servicing .
  • + 3
 Fox doesn't make a ton of forks like the other companies. Basically they only make variations of the Float, Vanilla, and Talas platforms. I find their forks to be the most simple to work on and overhaul in-house, and they have the least convoluted adjustments. Rock Shox makes 10+ fork lines, Marzocchi makes 8+, and Manitou makes 9+; Fox only makes 3 (4 if you count the 40).
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that's true but they are very over priced (here in the UK it seems) and needs lots of servicing (in the UK I think it our kind of mud it destroys fox seals , heck tyre companies test their mud designs here) .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Ya jason is sick. and he is very meticulous about his bikes every three rides he basically takes it completely apart and greases everything!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 hahahaah that guy is awesome
[Reply]
  • + 1
 they should make an oversized wide version of the protaper, it would sell so well
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hayes blows monkey balls. anybody get the el camino brakes?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 good to see they're bringing back TPC+
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks quality, it would be nice if it could perform great
  • + 3
 The stem and fork are so sick
  • + 1
 Looks so light but, strong looks sick aswell = Awesome Smile
  • + 0
 what discipline is the fork designed for ?
  • + 1
 dorado= downhill
Rseven= xc/crosscountry
[Reply]
  • - 1
 yeah... SELL ME on a big scale SELL ME, only thing id be touching is the sun ringle stuff

*i have 2 sets of Manny forks and i want to put them under a bus to drive over!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 OMG i want that stem.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I must say, Memmelaar sounds very convincing...
[Reply]

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