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.