Manitou Gold Label Jump Series 1 review£325.00

Manitou hit the jump/dirt circuit last year with their Sherman fork but now they've produced a dedicated jump family - the Gold Label Series. The £325 Series 1 and £355 Series 2 are basically the same fork,

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Manitou hit the jump/dirt circuit last year with their Sherman fork but now they've produced a dedicated jump family - the Gold Label Series. The £325 Series 1 and £355 Series 2 are basically the same fork, but the cheaper Series 1 doesn't have the steel grind bolt for street work, or the 20mm bolt through-axle option (£395) of the Series 2. It does use BMX style slanted dropouts though.

As you'd expect, this fork is a tough structure based around 32mm diameter legs, but it's not excessively weighty so it would make a decent choice for heavy riders to run as a cross-country fork. It's only available in 80 or 100mm travel versions though and Manitou are not joking when they call the coil spring extra firm. The damn thing needs to be slammed super hard to get even halfway through the travel, even with a big lad like Doddy on board, so most riders will probably need to swap the spring. The range of rebound adjustment is wide enough to cope with whatever spring you run or height you land from though.

We've only tested one production fork so far and that's been fine but, again, the Gold Label Jump Series forks run the often temperamental Fluid Flow damping system. Hopefully, the reliability of it on this platform will be much better than others we've used but so far we can't report either way.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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