Manitou Relic Super Lockout review£275.00

Relic is an all-new family for Manitou this year, but it shares all their trademark features for a workable if not outstanding performance. Coil springs make it a relatively heavy unit,

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Relic is an all-new family for Manitou this year, but it shares all their trademark features for a workable if not outstanding performance. Coil springs make it a relatively heavy unit, but the skinny 30mm diameter legs also have a relatively narrow stance, which means they don't resist steering twist well. The coil springs are relatively stiff, and while the fork does bed in, it never feels totally plush - even with minimum preload. We never got more than 113mm travel out of them either, despite an alleged 130mm max. Different spring rate kits are available, but it makes them more awkward and expensive to adjust than air forks. There's noticeable top out clunk at the start of the stroke too, which is irritating.

On the bright side, the rebound damping and compression damping work fi ne with the lockout, which is useful for road climbs. Metal knobs add a quality feel, too. Overall control is pretty consistent, and we've had no signs of oil leaks or other problems from the Evil Genius seals. Despite its looks, the tyre-hugging reverse arch brace will take large tyres, too. 100mm and V brake versions are also available if you prefer.

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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