Manitou has a new design for its XC forks, the R7 and the Mara, improving adjustability while maintaining an affordable price.
Starting with the re-envisioned R7, a namesake in the Manitou line, the new version is meant for that new style of cross-country riding that everyone is talking about. The updated R7 is available in two different levels, Pro and Expert, with 80-120mm of internally adjustable travel. Unlike other brands, Manitou is making both 29″and 27.5″ versions of this XC fork.
The R7 uses a Reverse Arch design, which Manitou says increases stiffness by 13% compared to a forward-facing arch, and they went with 32mm stanchions as well to save weight.
The Damper on the Pro model R7 is called Variable Terrain Tune, and it’s a three-position damper with open mode adjustability. Manitou wanted to keep a solid lockout on the R7 to satisfy XC riders without taking away from the open or mid-mode settings.
Manitou says that the VTT damper eliminates high-speed spikes in the compression. The fork should have a more linear response at high speeds, while it maintains good low-speed support.
Manitou used independent shims tacks, one for the lockout and one for the two other positions.
“By controlling the shim stack through which the oil flow is diverted we can manipulate the characteristic of the damper to be locked out, digressive, or progressive to meet the demands of the rider and terrain.”
For the air spring, Manitou is using the Dorado Air spring system, which they say equalizes positive and negative air chambers during the air fill process via a balancing valve. There is also an Incremental Volume Adjust, which modifies volume in the positive air chamber with a set of self-contained spacers. There are five different settings here, allowing the rider to tune the ramp up.
The R7 Pro is $850, and has a claimed weight of 1,648g, for a 29er fork with 120mm of travel. It is also available in either a 37/44mm offset for 27.5″, or 44/51 for 29er forks.
The Expert R7 sells for $700. It has a different air spring, but the same VTT 3-position damper, 160mm post mounts for the brake rotor, and weighs a claimed 1,812g.
Manitou has also announced a new Mara shock, following the Mara Pro version released last year. The Mara is a “slimmed down and XC focused sibling.” The Mara uses the same air spring design and an SKF internal floating piston with a flexible membrane and lip seals, rather than a rigid disc. This should reduce the breakaway force on the fork.
There is a four position Incremental Platform Adjust (IPA) damper. The IPA uses two separate shim stacks for a balance of low and high-speed compression damping throughout the adjustment.
The Mara sells for $425, has as claimed weight of 275g, and is available in either a Trunnion mount or with eyelets.
The Hayes group, which owns Manitou, also owns SUNringle. SUNringle has a new wheelset, the Duroc 30 Pro, a double wall alloy tubeless rim, paired with the new Super Bubba X hubs. These hubs have 4 degrees of engagement.
The rims have an internal width of 30mm, and the wheelset is built as a 28-spoke count, with 6-bolt disc brake mounts, in either a HG, XD or Micro Spline freehub. The claimed weight is 1,760g and they sell for $900.
Lastly, they have a few cockpit items. The Hyperlite handlebar, a 125g, 31.8mm alloy handlebar in a 760mm width, for $175.
The ATAC stem is a 31.8mm stem, available in a 50-100mm length in 10mm increments with titanium hardware for $140.
The new Forty post is made from carbon, with a 40cm length, and 0° offset, in either 30.9 or 31.6mm. It weighs a claimed 212g, and sells for $250.