Manitou Nixon Elite RTWD £395

Manitou have a huge range of forks at the moment, with the Nixon sitting at the top end, in both travel and cost terms, of their XC/All Mountain forks. Travel is just under the 'standard' 150mm (6in) level and the height is relatively low.

BikeRadar score 4/5

Manitou have a huge range of forks at the moment, with the Nixon sitting at the top end, in both travel and cost terms, of their XC/All Mountain forks.

The RTWD (Rapid Travel Wind Down) is just under the 'standard' 150mm (6in) level and the height is relatively low, but it plugs into most 150mm travel bikes without disturbing the geometry too much.

The RTWD lets you crank the fork down to 115mm if you want to, but the clear plastic winder lever and numbered dial look and feel cheap compared to the RockShox and Fox adjusters. The soft spring rate and fluid movement are great for smoothing small bumps, and the TPC damping does a great job of stopping the fork diving too hard under braking and catching big hits and drops. If the standard spring rate is too soft, the firm kit will set you back another £30.

The reverse-arch structure is reasonably stiff steering - a through axle 20mm version is £50 more - with the supple ride boosting cornering traction. The Evil Genius seals and semi-bath lubrication have built a great reputation for lasting smoothness over the last few years too. Manitou's stubbornly independent use of post mount discs has also paid off; most brakes now mount directly and easily. The coil spring and travel adjust mean the weight is high though.

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