Manitou R7 MRD MILO fork review

Lightweight cross-country fork

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Manitou’s R7 has been one of the lighter cross-country options for a while but its skinny structure feels flexy compared with more recent race forks.

The 30mm stanchions are a good width but the fork is narrow and the crown hollow, which reduces its ability to resist twist and shear loads when pushing into corners or trying to carve across off-camber trails, rocks or rutted sections. We had to adjust our lines and start turning early, and we were still regularly running wide or clipping trees.

The TS air spring stroke is smooth and fluid. However, it’s either dive prone or reluctant to move initially unless you get the air pressure spot-on or start adjusting the high-speed damping internally. Also, the height of the remote lockout trigger makes it awkward to find a comfortable, ergonomic position for it on either side of the bars or brakes/shifters.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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