Manitou Gold Label Series II£279.99

Four-cross race fork that deserves more users

BikeRadar score4/5

Manitou’s glitter flavoured beauty is gradually proving itself as a smooth groover down the dirt jump disco. Black Label forks have been running for three years, but this 08 fork is the hit so far. 

It’s a lot lighter than the opposition, which picks it out as a potential race fork. 

Despite the narrow stance, the 20mm Hex Lock axle gives great steering precision, so you can really carve the tightest lines.

There’s just enough supple movement to hold on to traction before the Xtra Firm spring ramps up to catch the big stuff, but the rebound adjuster doesn’t seem to do much, however far you turn it. 

With relatively few in operation it’s hard to find feedback to support our trouble-free experience.

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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