Manitou Travis Single 1.5 Intrinsic Fork£650.00

Manitou have been on the back foot recently but things look set to change in a big way for 2007. For a start they've been bought by brake magnates Hayes, which means serious investment as well as a massive injection of bike industry and manufacturing experience.

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Manitou have been on the back foot recently but things look set to change in a big way for 2007. For a start they've been bought by brake magnates Hayes, which means serious investment as well as a massive injection of bike industry and manufacturing experience. UK super distributors Ultimate Pursuits have picked up representation in this country too, so you're likely to see Manitou in lots more shops and on more complete bikes.

We've just had our first drop of 2007 Manitou forks: R7, All-Mountain Minute and Relic, plus this Travis freeride fork.

The first thing you need to remember is that Manitou were the originators of the monster OnePointFive (1.5in) head tube concept, which finally seems to be gaining headway with freeride frame builders. Manitou were also the first to push single-crown fork travel beyond 6in, though, again, others have now followed. This means that we're dealing with a proven structure here at least, and while the 34mm legs and crown aren't quite as stiff as new benchmarks like the 40mm legged RockShox Totem, the fork steers and brakes tight enough to hit the turns and skinnies with confidence. At just shy of 3kg (2,944g to be exact) and with a long back catalogue of extreme rider use, we're not worried about its slam-down strength either.

The ride is super supple and linear from the box too, with even relatively light and polite riders shoving it through most of its travel on a regular basis. Spare ride kits are available from X-Soft to XFirm for dialling your ride.

Winding the compression on cuts obvious braking dive but doesn't seem to make a massive difference elsewhere. While loss of small bump traction and no spiking at higher shaft speeds is a good thing, we'd definitely like some sort of end stroke control for the bigger stuff. Rebound adjustment is subtle too, so be prepared to wind and wind before you find your sweet spot.

The Evil Genius seals are holding up, with no leaking or unpleasantness so far, though as we say, these are early days and we haven't gone full mental jacket on the fork yet.

If you're after more stroke, then the 203mm (8in) travel version is the same price, while the 150mm (6in) conventional 1 1/8in steerer tube version is only £450. The Triple Intrinsic twin-crown will set you back £750 if you're prepared to swap less steering freedom for increased stiffness.

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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