Manitou’s Minute is one of the longest-running fork families around but its lightweight long travel potential is marred by several issues. Our first fork exploded before we even rode it, as the shock of knocking the star fangled nut into the steerer was enough to pop the seals on the damping chamber. Manitou blamed that on a faulty O-ring and we’re now running the repaired fork (hence the 2006 photo stand in).
The good news with the mark II fork is that the stroke itself is smoothly linear, with a pressure adjustable SPV threshold to cut bob and small bump sensitivity if you want. Run low it’s only noticeable as a slight braking and cornering firmness though, with no loss of fine traction. We found that overall damping control is good, too.
The bad news is that even with soft pressures, the fork is stopping at 125mm travel – however hard we brain it. After having to tighten the unique twin vertical QR axle lock system on the trail it’s now developed a significant sideways wheel knock. We can’t stop it however hard we tighten it either, which removes any theoretical stiffness advantage. The Hexlock axle is really awkward to install too, and while QR versions are available for the fork, they’re significantly flexier – it is £50 cheaper, though.