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  1. #1
    Nemophilist
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    Manitou Tower Pro Fork for Clydesdales - Techical

    Hey All;

    I thought I would post regarding this product and the efforts I have been making to dial it in for my out-of-the-norm needs. Further, I wanted to add more than the review platform offers, and get it out there in the main forum so that everyone might see it. You can reference my review here;

    Manitou Tower Pro 29er Forks Reviews

    (Edit: TM's Tower tuning guide link http://www.jonesparkchronicles.com/ManitouTowerPro.html )

    As things stand now, I am still working to get this fork to function well for someone my size (6'5"/240), riding the terrain that I do, without much success to date. The bottom line on most suspension products is that they simply do not offer a spring stiff enough for someone my size. Spring rate is the basis on which all other suspension function operates, and if it is not ideal, then nothing else will work right either. In fact, every other fork I have ever had has offered the same problem. In some cases, like my old Manitou Minute 1 or Fox Vanilla RLC, the combination of adjustments offered coupled with the bike in question allowed me to "work around" this basic deficiency and come up with a nice plush ride that was not burdened by excessive dive. This has not been the case with my new Niner RIP9 with the Tower Pro fork.

    The Extra-firm spring is still far too soft. Adding air pressure never quite gets the job done, and offers a fairly non-linear progression from one extreme to the other; a plush ride but not enough dive control to far too stiff and harsh in the mid travel, with very little in between. Going from 100psi to 10-20psi more throws it over that threshold; solving the dive problem at the expense of the plush ride. I've exhausted all the adjustment and tuning parts that were generally available. What to do?

    Well, on the advice of a review comment, I contacted Manitou by e-mail. At the risk of flooding them with all sorts of e-mails, the result has been that I got a direct response from and have been corresponding for the last month or so with the Chief Engineer of the suspension division. The Big Cheese at Manitou has taken a personal interest in my plight, and has been INCREDIBLY generous with technical information and advice. In a time when it is so very hard to get support for many of the things we do with the products we buy, and in an age of small companies getting gobbled up and folded into larger groups, I find this personal touch and interest quite amazing, and very heartening.

    What I can tell you right now is that Manitou LISTENS to us. They were aware of my less than perfect review already, and wanted to help. They have products in the pipeline that are going to address my specific issue, and others that will help we users with an incredible array of technical information, and a superbly complete tuning kit to optimize the damping circuits. These guys are serious about us on the user end!

    As of now, it is going to be a few months before the heavier-yet spring kit is available. In the interim, we had discussed adding some preload to the spring to fully activate it sooner in the suspension stroke. I installed a thick washer under the existing spring perch washer/bolt on the lower spring spacer rod, which increased its effective length by 4mm. I had previously settled on 120psi in the air chamber (10psi over the max suggestion!), but set the pressure at 90psi for this test ride. I seemed to notice a subtle change.

    There seemed to be "more there." The ride was plush, but it seemed as though the fork was a little less prone to diving or blowing through all of its travel as it had before. I was also riding with a click or two less compression damping, and all of this suggests to me that the preload increase improved the situation, and that further, we are on the right track with the heavier spring due out soon.

    I got a very gracious care package in the mail the other day that, among other things, contained a longer drive rod (goes between the spring and air piston, inside the fork stanchion) that will increase spring preload to 6.8mm as a means of offering some more suspension rate and dive control. I am very eager to test this increased preload and see if it confirms the subtle effect I thought I felt with only 4mm of preload from my previous mod. I also got some nice fork and semi bath oil, and some damping shims. Another idea is to increase the amount of semi bath oil from 5cc to 10cc, which will give a bit more firmness to the air piston motion. Beyond that, if the spring theory holds true, I am hoping the damping "shim stack" as supplied will then work as it supposed to. If not, I am going to have to decipher the incredible amount of technical information in print that was e-mailed to me. Pages and pages of shim stack variations with supporting dyno graphs to show the effect relative to other arrangements. This gets TECHNICAL!

    I hope this treatise proves useful to others out there. Look for further updates along the way as I twiddle with it. Quite frankly, I have been very disappointed that I have not been able to fall in love with this new bike of mine. Through this post I also want to give a shout out to a company (Manitou) through an employee ("anonymous," for now) that have gone out of their way to help me to enjoy my new bike the way I had hoped to. I truly feel this is a good product at a great price, and getting this kind of support to tailor it for my needs is really B-itchin!!

    As I signed one of my e-mails;

    John Hajny
    Manitou Field Test Engineer
    Clydesdale Components Group

    (For the record, I have no connection to the company, other than owning their product)
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  2. #2
    the mountian is within
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    Very true-they are there for ya! On the expert model-the xtra-firm is well,XTRA FIRM...we got one in for a fork...too stiff for a 250lb rider with no air. They sent a firm-no cost to set it up. It works great-20lb air and the firm spring. The Pro is different-but when you get dialed-it will amaze you! Such nice forks for the money. They are my shops go to fork for builds and upgrades.
    i own a bikeshop in WV thetruewheelwv.com

  3. #3
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    I would ask Manitou to swap the internals from an Expert model & run the stiffest coil then add air for preload. I weigh 50lb. less than you and hate single fill air forks.

  4. #4
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    Please keep us updated when you get the new spring. I'm 260 # and will be in the market for a new fork after Christmas. I have nothing but good things to say about my current Minute fork, so the Tower is on my short list. Glad to hear Manitou is treating you as a valued customer

  5. #5
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    I ran into similar problems with my Tower Pro. I'm not quite as heavy as you are though and the extra-firm spring kit is working well for me...I'm weighing about 210 pounds though.

  6. #6
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    I had the X-firm spring and ~100 psi in the chamber, and my Minute/Tower fork would still dive like crazy with my 185 lbs. I also had four forks in a row, sent directly from Manitou, all with bad CSAs that would start to make horrible noises in a matter of months.

    By the second fork, I didn't even have to pay to ship it out to them. Their CS is good, but it can't make up for a bad product.

    The latest, brand-new Tower fork they sent me is currently for sale.

  7. #7
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    http://www.manitoumtb.com/assets/Ser...e%20Manual.pdf

    Here's a link to the 2011 Service Manual.

  8. #8
    beautiful jackass
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    Does anyone know where an illustrated walkthrough is for changing the springs on these forks? I ordered a firm kit a long time ago, but I've been too nervous to install it.

  9. #9
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    Been on my Tower Pro since March '11 with no issues. Swap to X-Firm spring was easy peasy and only took like 10 min. I weigh 200 to 210 depending on the day and am running an 80mm Pro version. This is easily one of the best forks I have owned....and almost prefer it due to the simplicity and quality of the damping. Between the XFirm and ABS+.....I can get to settings that work.

    Hopefully you guys can get your issues worked out......good luck.

  10. #10
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    Donkey: I found a thread on here somewhere that went through the spring swap. I can seem to find it now....but there was a post that really helped me. Truth is that this fork is super easy to work on because the spring is not swimming in oil. There is a certain amount of oil in the same leg as the spring but if you took the advice(like I did) from the guy in the post, it will save you the trouble of having to deal with replacing said oil.

    Look for the Tower Pro manual on the Manitou site. You will see how to remove the lowers to access spring. But, before you pull the bolts out of the bottoms of the lowers, invert the fork enough (easier if you have a repair stand) so that the oil runs back down toward the crown. Then, replace the bolts with tapered rubber stoppers(I picked up some in the drawers at Home Depot) and reinvert the fork to normal position and let it sit long enough for the oil to run back into lowers. With the rubber plugs snug enough, the oil will not leak out the hole at the bottom of each leg. Remove the lowers, rods, and spring. Make your swap, and reinstall rods, then just reinstall the lowers making sure the oil doesn't have a chance to leak out, by flipping the fork accordingly. Once the seals are back over the stachions, you can again invert the fork so it's easier to reinstall the bolts on eace leg. Presto, no need to measure any bit of oil. (It's a minimal amout of oil anyway, just for lubrication purposes) All the damping oil is in a separate chamber in the upper portion of the opposite leg.

    Took me all of 15 minutes or so. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    I have been running the Minute Pro 140mm (yes, I still run 26" wheels so please don;t flame me) on my trail bike and after making some tuning mods to the damper the performance was night and day! That combined with the X-firm spring has the fork tuned perfectly for my style of riding. I live in Vancouver, BC and we deal with a lot of steep terrain and big rocks and roots.

    Trail Maker, I have found that for bigger guys and aggressive riding that the linear tunes are the way to go. You get a nice ramp up at the end of the stroke without getting the spiking from having to run too much platform. I went for the most aggressive linear tune (eliminates the platform and makes the damper more like TPC) that gives the highest ending stroke damping level from the tunes offered. I have not missed the platform setting at all since i can just max the damper to reduce bobbing while pedaling.

    Let me know what you think if you try it.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
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    Bottom line suspension forks are designed around a 170lb rider. X-firm spring kits usually max out @ a rider weight of about 220lb. Only forks that I know of that handled heavier riders, w/ some degree of proper operation, were older dual coil Marz. forks w/ dual coils and air assist. The only 29er fork I can think of that might be Clyde friendly would be a Reba Dual Air.

  13. #13
    JB
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    I'm around 215 geared up, and I run the firm spring with only 50 psi air and find it perfect! Not sure why your fork is so far off mark?

  14. #14
    dru
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    I just put a Tower Expert on my Salsa. I'm loving it so far and it's not even broken in yet. The fork, like the Pro is super easy to work on so don't be intimidated. Since I'm paranoid I decided to check the semi bath oil levels on mine (6 hours riding time) since there really is next to nothing to start with. I'd guess there was a little more than half of what should have been there. Looks like the factory skimped out a bit.

    If you take yours apart have a look at the quantity and condition of the semi bath oil instead of trying to use stoppers and such to prevent the 16cc from leaking out of each leg. Clean the dust wipers and the foam rings, if dirty. Clean out the lower legs if you need to. When you refill, soak the be-jesus out of the foam rings, drain out the excess and then add the 16 cc to each side before pushing the lowers fully on. A quart of full synthetic 5w-40 costs ~$10 and will provide you about 1 million semi-bath changes.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  15. #15
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    Tower Pro on my Niner, it's got an X-firm spring kit and I currently weigh around 225. It's worked pretty well for me at this point, but I do wish it was firmer. I'm really interested in a stiffer spring. I'll be following this one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Bottom line suspension forks are designed around a 170lb rider. X-firm spring kits usually max out @ a rider weight of about 220lb. Only forks that I know of that handled heavier riders, w/ some degree of proper operation, were older dual coil Marz. forks w/ dual coils and air assist. The only 29er fork I can think of that might be Clyde friendly would be a Reba Dual Air.
    I've been riding a 2010 Reba Team since April. At 255 lbs, it always feels soft and divey. I actually preferred the RS Tora 318 I had on my old bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    I've been riding a 2010 Reba Team since April. At 255 lbs, it always feels soft and divey. I actually preferred the RS Tora 318 I had on my old bike.
    I currently have a 2010 Reba and weigh 200lb. My buddy weighs 235lb w/ the same fork. In order to combat a "soft divey" condition you need to run the positive @ least 15psi higher than the negative. Tuning for equal pressures might work for your average weight rider.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I currently have a 2010 Reba and weigh 200lb. My buddy weighs 235lb w/ the same fork. In order to combat a "soft divey" condition you need to run the positive @ least 15psi higher than the negative. Tuning for equal pressures might work for your average weight rider.
    Tried that. Helped some. Guess I just like a super-firm travel. I got some advice on another thread regarding setting the positive pressure, emptying the negative, then airing up the negative in stages. I'll try that. Also going to increase the bath oil levels. However, I also got one of the Rebas with the offsett lowers from fleabay. I had the wheel dished to compensate, but sooner or later I'm buying a new fork. Messing with suspension tuning is not particularly fun for me. If I can't find an acceptable clyde fork, I'm going rigid. Awaiting news from this post, and to hear what Manitou might have coming in the future.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluestatevirgin View Post
    Tried that. Helped some. Guess I just like a super-firm travel. I got some advice on another thread regarding setting the positive pressure, emptying the negative, then airing up the negative in stages. I'll try that. Also going to increase the bath oil levels. However, I also got one of the Rebas with the offsett lowers from fleabay. I had the wheel dished to compensate, but sooner or later I'm buying a new fork. Messing with suspension tuning is not particularly fun for me. If I can't find an acceptable clyde fork, I'm going rigid. Awaiting news from this post, and to hear what Manitou might have coming in the future.
    You should be able to easily firm the fork up by running higher positive pressures & lower neg. You can't adjust the damper oil level it isn't an open bath fork - it will just hydra lock.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by one incredible donkey View Post
    Does anyone know where an illustrated walkthrough is for changing the springs on these forks? I ordered a firm kit a long time ago, but I've been too nervous to install it.
    It's really simple, take a look at Manitou's service section on the site. There are step by step directions on there. I haven't been able to find any video's.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    You should be able to easily firm the fork up by running higher positive pressures & lower neg. You can't adjust the damper oil level it isn't an open bath fork - it will just hydra lock.
    Thanks. I'll keep working towards a solution.

  22. #22
    Short-Change-Hero
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    Trailmaker - Glad that Manitou has been so responsive with you. Like I said before, I was able to get a quick reply from them and even recently got a call from the engineer that helped me out asking if I had changed the spring in mine (which I actually just did to the firm) and how I was like it. Talked with him quickly on the phone and he was saying that he rides the Tower Pro 100mm as well with the firm spring and is a bit lighter than me but runs around 40psi in his. I have found that if I run around 70psi I can leave the fork completely unlocked and get no bob when standing to climb on my HT. But when descending I feel that somewhere between 40 and 50psi is what gives the least amount of trail chatter/feedback. All in all I am completely satisfied with my purchase of the Tower Pro and will look into Hayes other products (the parent company of Manitou) for other things such as brakes, bars, etc.

    Seriously, since building my bike and asking LOTS of questions of different companies there have only been two that have followed up by phone; GEAX and Manitou. Both calls were from engineers to follow up on questions I had asked previously and received some sort of email response from already. That is what I call customer service.

  23. #23
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    I might be one of the larger riders on the Manitou Expert at 290#, but I have had good luck with the firm spring kit offered by Manitou. I spoke with a rep prior to purchasing the fork, and it was suggested I purchase the Expert because it utilizes a spring w/ air assist, whereas the Pro is Air w/ spring assist.

    I have honestly not had a chance to play with psi, preload, or shim stack setups as when I have the chance to ride.....I gotta get out and ride. But I do plan on playing around with it more as time goes on.

    I will say that I do have a lot of pedal bob when climbing, and purchased a lock-out to combat that problem, which has worked great!! I will not say the pedal bob is 100% the forks problem, as I am sure I don't have very good climbing technique. I also get a fair amount of brake dive, but I have a 203mm rotor on front w/ xtr's. Some riders may consider the 203mm overkill for the typical xc rider, but that is because they are not trying to bring a schoolbus to a stop in short order.

    I do think there would be a decent market segment for equipment for the larger rider. But there needs to be better support regarding setups and guidelines for those who need it. There are 10k different threads that apply to 90% of the riders, but the larger guys are kinda s.o.l. when it comes to anything outside the normal weight range.

    Manitou was the only solution that I found for someone my size, so as long as they have their foot in the door, they should devote everything they can for the larger rider. Seeing as how they should have a larger budget (being owned by a larger company) they should be able to throw some $$ to r&d.

    DO IT!!!

  24. #24
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    I am 250lbs, most likely 260lbs geared up. I run a firm and around 100psi with 3 to 4 clicks of compression and have been very happy with my fork. I have the same setup up on my SS and Fully. Fully is 100mm of travel, and then SS is 80mm of travel.

    That being said, when I got the firm spring I did not know they made an extra firm spring. Something to think about, and drop the air pressure.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Manitou Tower Pro Fork for Clydesdales - Techical-imag0083-3.jpg  


  25. #25
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    It was some time ago that I had to deal with Manitou over a fork issue. I too can say that I was treated with the best customer service that one could hope for! My mid-priced TPC spring/elastomer fork cracked at the brake-arch/outer leg junction. I sent it back after talking with a very respectful sales associate and was "given" a brand new fork with better internals than the one that broke...AND it was "Mango", a hot color option back in the day!

    The Manitou people treated me very good and I'm glad to see they're still backing their customers. Just because of their customer service I will buy one of their forks over the others,(not that I've had problems with anyone else).

    I'm putting together a 29er KMonkey and if I don't like "rigid" I'll be buying a Manitou...any suggestions?
    Only if I got paid to hang out in my garage and tweak on my bikes...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badassbassangler View Post
    It was some time ago that I had to deal with Manitou over a fork issue. I too can say that I was treated with the best customer service that one could hope for! My mid-priced TPC spring/elastomer fork cracked at the brake-arch/outer leg junction. I sent it back after talking with a very respectful sales associate and was "given" a brand new fork with better internals than the one that broke...AND it was "Mango", a hot color option back in the day!

    The Manitou people treated me very good and I'm glad to see they're still backing their customers. Just because of their customer service I will buy one of their forks over the others,(not that I've had problems with anyone else).

    I'm putting together a 29er KMonkey and if I don't like "rigid" I'll be buying a Manitou...any suggestions?
    I like the Tower Pro 80mm travel on my SS. Might be the way to go for you, seeing as you are considering a rigid setup. The 80mm fork will keep the front end lower, and closer to you rigid setup if you like the way the rigid handles, but just want to smooth the ride out.

  27. #27
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    Yeah they have been seriously a great company to deal with and I am in love with my Tower Pro. Was thinking about building a full suspension bike in a year or so and figure when I do it will be loaded up with Hayes,Manitou, Answer, and SRAM stuff.

  28. #28
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    WOW;

    BIG GUYS ROOL! Great response fellas. Every component manufacturer needs to see the interest this thread has provoked. There are enough of us out there that it should interest them.

    I can report from my test rides with 6.8mm of preload on my X-firm spring that it DOES indeed make a difference, and it makes me double excited about the even stiffer spring coming out soon. I am able to ride with 10-20psi less air - which is always the best for ride quality - and yet I am using slightly less travel. I also do not notice it diving as badly, which I believe is the result of there being better support through the mid range of the travel. I am also using 1-2 clicks less compression damping.

    Let me copy in all of my notes so far, hopefully to help others with their efforts;

    Manitou Tower Pro tuning Notes
    by TrailMaker


    MOD - Added stiff spring. 100+/-psi air pressure. 2-3 clicks from locked on compression.
    Result - Still too soft. Blowing through too much travel too easily. Too much dive. Dive is very sudden. The fork feels bottomless and I never feel a bottom out, but I use most of the travel very easily. The bike is endo happy like this, and gets caught on obstacles easily. Same old same old like all my other forks

    MOD - Added Extra Stiff spring. Generally running at 100-120psi air pressure. 2-3 clicks from max on compression.
    Result - No real difference in the attitude of the bike. Maybe a little better but still way too soft in the front with too much dive. Definite air spring "spike" feel in the mid-range travel, making the ride harsh and non-resilient. Lower pressure eliminates this, but the dive returns. The damping is not very linear. Nothing much happens until you near max and then it ramps quickly. The lockout platform level and blow off point is good. I have used it on steep downhills to try and keep the front up. It accomplishes this without being too harsh to give a bit, and blows off nicely when needed.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    Note: Air pressure level has a very sharp break point in effectiveness. Up to a point it does not adversely affect the ride, but 5-10 psi more spikes it sharply and ruins the ride quality. The break point seems to be at about 95psi for me. I would assume I would like the air level to be far lower to achieve the well-controlled plushness I desire. Good small bump compliance with more mid-range ramp up. More coil, less air seems to be what I want.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    MOD - Added 4mm washer under existing spring perch washer/bolt on alloy spacer rod to shim spring preload. 90psi air pressure. 3 clicks from locked.
    Result - Seemed to notice a slight improvement in spring and travel linearity. Still blowing through travel, but seemed to have more mid-range resistance to doing so even with lower air pressure. Also was able to ride 3-4 clicks from locked on compression (1 less). Overall seemed to have more firmness in the mid-range of the travel, with less pronounced dive. Very subtle but noticeable. Also dialed in a bit more rebound and hit the sweet spot where the front ride "went quiet."

    MOD - Added Manitou long drive rod, increasing spring preload by another 2.8mm (6.8mm total). Started at 90psi air pressure.
    Result - Definitely reinforced the feeling of and increased the improvement from the last preload increase. Not using as much of the travel as easily. It now takes a pretty deep dip to reach the same travel limit as before. Was able to ride at lower compression (3-4< max) along with the lower air pressure. Now noticed an obvious top out clunk on long cadence climbs. Iím assuming this is the result of the increased spring preload blowing off the rebound shim more easily. Tried 100psi air pressure, but it ruined the plushness. Tried 95 and it was less harsh but not as resilient as I would like. Definitely preferred 90psi, but it was a little too soft in terms of travel used. Kept increasing rebound until it was at about 80% slow. The front is now ďquiet.Ē Overall a very worthwhile improvement. This does not solve the issue, as the spring still allows too much travel used too easily, but the improvement tells me I am on the right course. No amount of preload will cure things for this spring. The latest heavy spring will hopefully FIX this problem for good.

    The overall impression of this ride was that I spent more time noticing what the rear felt like than the front. Weíre getting there!

  29. #29
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    I'm saving this post! Thanks for all of the Tower-Pro advice!
    Only if I got paid to hang out in my garage and tweak on my bikes...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by one incredible donkey View Post
    Does anyone know where an illustrated walkthrough is for changing the springs on these forks? I ordered a firm kit a long time ago, but I've been too nervous to install it.
    Hey;

    It is exceptionally simple to do. I can do it in about 15 minutes, and that includes removing the fork from the bike! I have the manual, but I find it a bit obscure in spots, and not completely representative of some aspects of the Tower. Some of the info is for earlier and/or different models, and can be off-putting.

    I put the fork in my bench vise, angled slightly downward from the top so no oil drains out.

    -12mm wrench and take off the spring shaft keeper bolt on the bottom of the left leg, R/H thread.
    - 2mm Allen wrench takes off the rebound knob screw, right leg. R/H thread.
    - I don't remember the size (8mm?) Allen wrench runs the threaded end of the rebound keeper out of the bottom of the right fork leg. LEFT HAND THREAD.
    - Slide the legs down, and then a slight tug to pull the wiper seals off the stanchions. Keep the leg housing pointed slightly down and set aside that way so oil does not drain out.
    - 22mm wrench to remove the spring housing nut from the bottom of the left fork stanchion. The alloy spring shaft/rubber spacers/large plastic nut can be set aside. Above that is the spring. Pull the spring out, get the new one, grease it up, and slide it in. Make sure it slides over the spring/piston rod end.
    - Tighten the plastic nut to specified torque. Push the legs back onto the stanchions until you feel it engage the shafts. Look inside each bolt hole at the bottom of the legs and line up the rods (small screw driver) to get the fasteners back in. Thread in the keeper bolt in the right leg. Insert your Allen wrench, push up lightly on the legs, and screw the rebound shaft back down into the bottom of the left fork leg. Install the rebound knob, and you're done!

    I do not remove the top of the left spring leg (air cap) so there is no oil to spill there. 5cc of bath oil for the MARS system if you spill. it is just a lubricant. I didn't have any, so I used Mobil 1 10x30 which he says is fine. I was told by the engineer that 10cc will make it a little firmer.

    I plan to do a REAL accurate and detailed photo essay of this procedure, which I might send to Manitou for their use.

    PLEASE do not hesitate to PM me when you are ready to go. I'd be glad to walk you though it!

    Cheers - TM
    Last edited by TrailMaker; 11-23-2011 at 07:07 AM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVman View Post
    Trail Maker, I have found that for bigger guys and aggressive riding that the linear tunes are the way to go. You get a nice ramp up at the end of the stroke without getting the spiking from having to run too much platform. I went for the most aggressive linear tune (eliminates the platform and makes the damper more like TPC) that gives the highest ending stroke damping level from the tunes offered. I have not missed the platform setting at all since i can just max the damper to reduce bobbing while pedaling.

    Let me know what you think if you try it.

    Good luck!
    This is AWESOME feedback;

    The amount of cadence climbing I do is squat, so platform is of little interest to me. I'm all about small bump compliance, good linear/progressive ramp up of compression damping, and bottomless travel. The Tower Pro has the bottomless for sure, but not the others for me so much. I have a document from Manitou that shows ALL of their damping dyno charts and shim stacks for all three series (XC [big platform], Trail [some platform], Linear [little platform]).

    Thanks a bunch for the tip!

  32. #32
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    Wow... ok I might have to look into the shim stacking for some more fine tuning of my fork. I feel like it is just about dialed but that there is something slightly missing. Unfortunately, with the weather changing here I have had less and less time to ride and thus cannot test as easily. I do have a small course (~3 mile loop with climbs, step downs, small drops, flow, small rock gardens, and one jump) though that I can test things like this on. Now just need the time to get out there, take a note pad and some small tools with me and make the adjustments, ride, adjust, ride, rinse and repeat.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by S:Drive View Post
    I like the Tower Pro 80mm travel on my SS. Might be the way to go for you, seeing as you are considering a rigid setup. The 80mm fork will keep the front end lower, and closer to you rigid setup if you like the way the rigid handles, but just want to smooth the ride out.
    +1, have the Tower Pro 80mm on my Mary SS for half a year now, performs flawlessly on any parameter.

    Just wiping off dirt and lubing stachions after each ride and that is it.

  34. #34
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    OK;

    Here's the schematic for the spring side.

    - Remove bolt #1, Right Leg, 12mm wrench.
    - Remove the small screw and rebound knob in the same place on the other leg. Pull off the lower leg casting.
    - #2 is the large 22mm plastic nut that holds the spring drive rod #3 in. All of #3 comes out as an assembly.
    - The spring #4 will slide out.
    - What I call the spring to air piston spacer rod #5 (blue plastic) will slide out after that.

    I placed my 4mm washer under the washer that is under the bolt #6 in the end of the drive rod. The part I received from Manitou was a longer spacer rod #5.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Manitou Tower Pro Fork for Clydesdales - Techical-manitoutowerprospringsidediagramlabled.jpg  


  35. #35
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    Hey;

    Here are the torque specs for the fork bits.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  36. #36
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    And...

    The machine in question, for those that like pics. I did my own custom graphics.



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    Any update on the resolution? I have similar issues.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by snajper69 View Post
    Any update on the resolution? I have similar issues.
    Hey;

    All I can offer right now is that my contact (the Chief Engineer) is travelling to Taiwan this week to visit their factory. He said he would check on the progress of the heavier spring while he was there.

    You know... the more I think about this, the more I like what NVman had to say. I don't really give a hoot about platform, as I do so little cadence peddling anywhere that I ride. I'm all about small bump smoothness transitioning seamlessly to enough ramp up in damping to handle those big hits on ganarly downhills.

    I rode tonight on some monstrously root infested trails - which is a "real hoot" at night I might add! - with a couple of fairly fast, undulating, steep downhills, and I must say that the fork is acting very nicely now. It still is a little too soft in the spring to be ideal for me, but the resistance to blowing through the travel so quickly is much improved. For anyone riding smoother and/or flatter terrain, or not quite as heavy as I am, you might consider this preload upgrade I've done. It might tune you in just right.

    I mentioned in our last e-mail that now that I could see the light at the end of my fork tuning tunnel, I would like to then turn my (our) attention to the rear shock. The RP23 suffers from the same problem as the fork, but it does not offer any real user tuning options. The only thing you can really do is send it to Push and hope they pick a tune that works. I think I will swing my business toward the Hayes Group and select one of their Manitou shocks for my Niner instead. They've earned the business with me!

  39. #39
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    Iím not sure but I believe the M Tower is similar to my M Minute??? I too have had trouble dialing my fork in for my Clyde Ride. I first started riding my MM last Feb where I experienced excessive pedal bob on the climbs and severe brake dive. I contacted Manitou where they promptly provided a part number for the heavier spring which helped with the pedal bob. After conducting a little research and reading the thread below I made the following adjustment which resulted in zero pedal bob, no brake dive and when the fork is locked out it rides like a ridged fork until I experience a hard hit where Iíll get the audible click of the ABS+ blowing off:

    Installed recommended heavier spring (canít find details because itís been over six months)
    Changed oil to 15wt
    Adjusted shim stack to one velocity shim and four blow-off shims.

    My riding weight is currently down to 300lbs and Iím running the fork at 120psi. My M Minute 29 is performing better than any fork I have ever ridden.

    How to guide: Reshim your ABS+ HSC shim stack

  40. #40
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    Wow...

    300? And I've got size issues? Keep peddling brother! I'd say this new stiffer spring they are working on would be great for you. It would allow you to run less air, which is always a good idea if you can do it. Air tends to be very "spikey" in its action in the midrange, not linear like a spring. The fork can be too soft, so you add and add and then all of a sudden it gets really harsh. The spring preload I have added, and the very positive effect it has had, strongly suggests that this new stiffer spring will be just the ticket.

    There is some good info in that link. I plan on carefully documenting my shim work when I get there.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    I plan on carefully documenting my shim work when I get there.
    Dialing in the shims was the single most important improvement I made...it was night and day after discovering the right combination...

    Manitou's Marvel Pro and Real Custom Tuning - Eurobike 2011 - Pinkbike.com

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenkem View Post
    Dialing in the shims was the single most important improvement I made...it was night and day after discovering the right combination...

    Manitou's Marvel Pro and Real Custom Tuning - Eurobike 2011 - Pinkbike.com
    Hey;

    Another good link. That Tuning Kit pictured will be a real Godsend to those of us who need the revised damping. It is really great that Manitou is gong to make it available to end users. I have a .pdf of the booklet pictured. It has a wide variety of shim stacks depicted, along with dyno charts to illustrate its effect on fork action. If the spring change does not solve all my fork issues, I will be getting into this booklet in earnest!

    Along with the new parts available, Manitou sees the need for improved documentation, which I have discussed with my contact. I took the liberty of re-writing and embellishing some of the text in the booklet. The information was very in depth, but not necessarily well written. Look for some improvements to the text in their next reprint. I will also be submitting my tuning guide to Manitou in case they may find it useful for future publication.

  43. #43
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    I heard about that Tuning Kit somewhere but wondering if it was a figment of my imagination. Cant wait for that so I can really get in there and tune my fork!!!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    I heard about that Tuning Kit somewhere but wondering if it was a figment of my imagination. Cant wait for that so I can really get in there and tune my fork!!!
    I just seen this at Chainreaction...no pic's though:

    Manitou Absolute + Tuning Kit
    Manitou Absolute + Tuning Kit | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

  45. #45
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    Hey;

    I would say that based on the pics, that kit is a bit overdone for the average end user. That would even be overkill for most dealers, who rarely even do this stuff. It is probably based on what the factory might take to a race. I would think that something a bit less exhaustive would be more in line with people's budgets and needs. Something with a good selection of shims, seals, o-rings, any vulnerable pieces that like to break/fail, and maybe a few of those pesky detent springs/balls that like to jump away from you. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $50.

  46. #46
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    All you really need are the shims unless you mess up an o-ring during disassembly. As per the other Thread here's a good source for the shims:

    MX-Tech.com - MX-Tech Suspensions &ndash; Catalog

  47. #47
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    Yeah Trailmaker, I agree that a much smaller "tuning" kit would be nice. But then again if you fall in love with the fork and plan on keeping it for a while it would be nice to have the full kit that has EVERYTHING in it should you ever need random repairs or whatever.

  48. #48
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    Any more on this Trailmaker? I know that it is winter and all but we have been seeing an unseasonably dry one (still no snow in Tahoe). Finally getting a chance to get out after all the family goings on. Looks like it may be lunch rides for a while for me.

  49. #49
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    Hey;

    Yeh, Things are all over the map this time of year. I have not followed up since the Mr. Manitou went to the factory in Taiwan a couple of weeks back. I will get that ball rolling again after the New Year. I have been getting rides in here in Southern Upstate NY as we have had little snow and fairly mild temps for the most part. The fork's performance is noticeably improved with the increased spring preload. Still, the spring is FAR too soft for my needs, which are moderate in terms of riding style but not in terms of weight. I took it down a VERY steep grade the other day that is loose and leaf covered and requires a lot of brake application and control of same. The spring just squashed flat, and the front dived so deep I had to lean back, hook the seat into my stomach to keep from endoing, and skid all the way down. Very tacky performance, and not a controlled decent by any means.

    Keep prodding this thread as it is important to quite a few folks. I'll get back and report as I get more info.


  50. #50
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    "Keep prodding this thread as it is important to quite a few folks. I'll get back and report as I get more info."

    YES INDEED! Thanks for keeping this thread alive!
    Only if I got paid to hang out in my garage and tweak on my bikes...

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