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 Post subject: Manitou 4 Fork help??
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:08 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 5254
Location: UK
i seem to be left scratching my head with these forks.... i cant seem to find replacement manitou elastomers anywhere. the current ones have gone so soft that the forks bottom out and dont come back up again

ive read about using polyurethane rod which can be cut into size and drilled through the middle, and another option where the elastomers can be replaced completely using 'speed springs' :? any help or additional info on getting these forks working again would be great

Sean 8) :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:08 pm 
Anglian Deputy AEC
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Location: Livin' in a dust bowl
I have used 'Wings' springs in some Manitou 4's with great success. Cannot find an Ebay link at the present time but they also had them for sale on their own website. Just be aware of import duty if you order.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Location: All you other Iron Men are just imitating
You don't want to buy elastomers from suspensionforkparts then ?

http://www.suspensionforkparts.net/

They are beautiful BTW and really suit that Zaskar.

Also for info....Speed springs (or Wings) are good but it makes the rebound a lot harsher (springs don't have the inherent damping qualities of elastomers) so they can 'klunk' a bit


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:23 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:45 pm
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Yeah they look nice together. Heres the build thread http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... p;t=284041

Seems like the only option atm but theyre pricey and i dont like shipping from the US

Sean


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:13 am 
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I'd buy some rod and drill it. Not too tricky, and if it all goes pear shaped you've only spent £10 and can go for other options. I did have a set if these with an ecko sport damper and springs once. Hard to find bit if kit but worked well, and those forks do look damned nice on a bike. You could also go half elastomer, half spring if you wanted.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:18 pm 
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Inspired by a couple of sites below I've been experimenting with spring conversions for a couple of early Manitou forks (1st gen and similar "M-Sport").

The 18mm polyurethane rod I got (£5 via Amazon, now sold out) is easy to saw/drill but very stiff so I'm mainly using it as spacers for some springs I bought. The pair on the left are generic compression springs from eBay (£8/pair) while the other pair are stiffer Rock Shox "Type II" springs (£14 eBay). Ideally you want a spring with flat ends (had to grind the generic ones) and with 2~3mm wire diameter.

Haven't actually road tested these combos yet but off-bike they feel very similar to other elastomer/spring forks I've got. Was it worth the effort? Well maybe seeing as I had two pairs to fix, plus I'm light and wanted to experiement to create a soft setup.

Another option I considered was finding some cheap low-end forks for sale locally that I could rob elastomers from, but now I think I prefer this zero-maintenance solution :)

http://brianmillerhotrodding.com/b/2012 ... h-springs/
http://faqload.com/faqs/bicycle-compone ... elastomers


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:27 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:45 pm
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Location: UK
lrh wrote:
Inspired by a couple of sites below I've been experimenting with spring conversions for a couple of early Manitou forks (1st gen and similar "M-Sport").

The 18mm polyurethane rod I got (£5 via Amazon, now sold out) is easy to saw/drill but very stiff so I'm mainly using it as spacers for some springs I bought. The pair on the left are generic compression springs from eBay (£8/pair) while the other pair are stiffer Rock Shox "Type II" springs (£14 eBay). Ideally you want a spring with flat ends (had to grind the generic ones) and with 2~3mm wire diameter.

Haven't actually road tested these combos yet but off-bike they feel very similar to other elastomer/spring forks I've got. Was it worth the effort? Well maybe seeing as I had two pairs to fix, plus I'm light and wanted to experiement to create a soft setup.

Another option I considered was finding some cheap low-end forks for sale locally that I could rob elastomers from, but now I think I prefer this zero-maintenance solution :)

http://brianmillerhotrodding.com/b/2012 ... h-springs/
http://faqload.com/faqs/bicycle-compone ... elastomers


Would you be interested in making some more and selling them to me? :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:46 pm 
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I've done something similar with some pace forks which work well.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:11 pm 
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SEANSTEPHENS wrote:
Would you be interested in making some more and selling them to me? :D

Haha, the amount of rod I've got left isn't much longer than visible in the pic so probably not enough for later Manitou forks. I'll probably just keep it in case I need spares as it's hard to find rod so cheap now.

It's very stiff so not really a straight replacement for elastomers. I'd hunt around eBay for some high-density foam (flexible hair curlers?) or rubber tubing as an alternative. Really depends on how much of your stacks have melted and what you want to replace them with... You might get away with just slapping in a spring to replace the knackered section. My forks had been bodged and had a random selection of good/melted/missing bits inside so I just went and replaced the whole lot.

Probably best you experiment yourself as I've got no idea what would work best on those later models :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:31 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
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Location: Yateley, Hants.
You are aware that steel springs have almost zero damping capability, right? The reason for elastomers originally is that they offered both spring and damping in one light weight simple unit. This was an advantage in the early 90's when air/oil forks were either too heavy or if light too weedy and unreliable.
Putting in a steel spring effectively turns them into a pogo stick, steel springs are fine in oil damped forks like an early Judy or Mani SX but will ruin a set of elastomer only forks.
The suspension fork parts elastomers work well and the shipping is reliable. There was also a guy on here that was making elastomer stacks for various forks as he had found a good supplier on the bare rod.

Carl.


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