After a number of years scratching a living by building mountain bike frames, straight blade forks, stems, and front and rear hubs, Manitou founder Doug Bradbury produced his first suspension fork in 1990. Over the next two decades, the Manitou brand has grown to become one of the most innovative around, thanks to extensive R&D testing and competition at both world and national levels.
Forks in the current Manitou range are the XC-focused Marvel, R7 and Match, the XC/all-mountain hybrid Minute, the downhill Dorado, and the Circus, designed specifically for dirt jumping. Now for 2014 is the all-mountain Mattoc, with 140, 150, 160 or 170 mm of travel. There are also four models in the company’s range of plush, lightweight, adjustable rear shocks – the XC Metel, the dirt jumping Swinger, the DH/freeride Revox and the Radium, for 29ers and downhill models.
Among the technological innovations on Manitou forks is ‘MILO’ (Manitou Integrated Remote Lockout), a remote lockout lever featuring separate thumb-operated lock and release buttons allowing it to be placed anywhere on the bar without compromising access to shifters or brake levers.
Along with Hayes Disc Brakes, Wheelsmith, SUNRinglé and Answer, Manitou is part of the Hayes Components group of companies, based in Mequon, Wisconsin. Riders on the Hayes company team include Hannes Klausner, Aaron Chase, Adam Hauck, Eric Porter, Mike Kinrade, Andi Wittmann, Thomas Genon and Geoff Gulevich.