Weight: 4.17lb / 20mm through axle, QR version available / Travel: 140-100mm/ Post Mount
It’s a bit of a long-winded name but the Minute Elite has the latest Absolute damping and the familiar IT (infinite travel) bar-mounted remote. Like the Magura you lean forward to compress the fork and lean back or loft the front end, while at the same time compressing the lever, to extend it. The cable is connected to a small, spring-loaded plunger that opens a bleed port between the positive and negative air chambers, which means the spring rate self-adjusts between the travel settings.
The difference between Absolute damping and previous SPV (stable platform valve) based dampers is that you don’t have to charge the damper with air — it’s operated by a lever. It has six clicks of adjustment, which translates to three distinct settings — fully active, platform and locked out.
Because it’s offset behind the fork the reverse arch is more compact than a conventional brace and allows Manitou to reduce the height of the lowers, and since stanchion is lighter than lower, this saves weight. The Minute is only available in the UK with a Hex Axle, which is a 20mm thru axle with two hex-shaped ends that locate in the dropouts. These are now bolted together rather than secured with two mini quick-releases.
In this guise the Minute is the stiffest fork here; it felt rock-solid across off-camber roots and there’s almost no caliper deflection under braking. It didn’t feel as supple as the Fox but on fast, rough descents it’s a lot more controlled than the Pike.
We think the IT is more usable than a wind-down but there’s couple of things we don’t like. Apart from looking at the exposed stanchion there’s nothing telling you where you are in the travel, which is why we used it to drop the fork down rather than balancing front and rear travel. We’ve also never been able to get the IT remote positioned correctly.
We reckon the Minute is cheaper than the Fox, slightly stiffer than the RockShox, with a travel adjuster similar to the Magura; if it can be as reliable as Marzocchi, Manitou could be back with a bang.
MBR RATING: 9/10