Travel: 150mm / Adjustment: Rebound, TPC+ compression / Steerer: steel 1 1/8in / Weight: 6.48lb / Spring: Steel Coil / Axle to Crown: 545mm / Disc Mount: 8in post
Manitou has had its ups and downs in recent years, partly due to too much product development brought to market too fast resulting in inconsistent performance and poor reliability.
Well, no one can say that the 2008 Travis Single 150 suffers from too much innovation, as it’s pretty much identical to last year’s fork; the only difference being that the assembly and some of the manufacturing is now done in the US. This, in theory, should improve quality control, so you can imagine our surprise when we pulled the fork out of the box to find that the rebound adjuster was hanging off. Yes, it was easily rectified with an Allen key, but it is not what you’d expect from a fork that has been sent to a magazine for test.
With a steel steerer tube and coil spring, the Manitou Travis Single 150 is more than a 1lb heavier than the next heaviest fork on test. We found the stock spring rate perfect for a 12st rider and Hotlines offer three additional spring rates, at £19.99 a pop, for different rider weights.
Adjustments are refreshingly simple and a beginner could set up this fork without reading the manual; twiddle with rebound and tune in some compression and you’re off. Manitou has gone back to its tried and tested TPC+ shim-based damper, featuring a two-stage compression circuit that is hard to beat for bump absorption and compliance.
Because of the coil spring and ample lubrication fluid in each leg, stiction is non-existent, and as a result, out-of-the-saddle climbing causes the Travis to bob like a pogo stick. However, when the contours start to tighten and the elevation drops, the Travis feels like its offering 5 to 10 percent more speed than some of the other forks on test. Yes, it’s a bold statement and one that is hard to prove, but we’ve been down our test track hundreds of times and we know how fast we can go.
Okay it’s heavy, and Manitou has a checkered past, but if the Hayes Group can get the reliability issues sorted, the Travis 150 is a good fork that’s more than capable of holding its own on a hard-hitting 160mm bike. Don’t rule Manitou out of the fork market just yet.
MBR RATING: 8/10