Smooth, damped, consistent
Fresh for 2018 is the all-new Manitou Jack dropper for £300. It’s a collaboration between the engineers at component brand Answer and Manitou.
The Jack has already been OE tested for reliability for 18 months. Manitou is one of the last suspension fork and shock brands to the dropper party, but (in theory at least) should benefit from other’s mistakes and deliver a solid product incorporating the latest technology and fixes. Time to find out…
The Jack uses a popular internal floating piston design with air pressure returning the saddle to full extension and a three-way keyed internal shaft, which means the inner stanchion has a trio of grooves or indents to prevent twisting. This indexing should help stop the post loosening or getting sloppy over time whilst cycling up and down.
Once installed, your saddle looks properly secure, as it’s clamped by a beefy aluminium bracket that uses two chunky hex bolts rated for 10Nm torque. It’s the tallest clamp on test though, with around 40mm height between seat rails and bottom out, which combined with a long seat collar means the Jack takes up more non-functioning real estate. This doesn’t affect performance, but it might be an issue on taller bikes where it’s crucial to get the saddle as low as possible.
One final consideration is that Manitou only offers an above bar button-style remote. It’s functional, and uses stiff and sturdy materials, but it’s nowhere near as accessible as an under bar remote if you’re running a single-ring drivetrain.
The Jack has a smooth, damped action and tops out with an audible thunk. The return speed is neither rapid-fire, nor glacial, and remained consistent in testing, but we can’t comment on long-term durability since the post is relatively new to market.