The going, as they say, has been rough for Manitou over the past several years. A while ago it got so bad that the company was on the brink of bankruptcy and eventually was bought out by the Hayes Bicycle group in an attempt to rebuild the storied suspension brand. This however, wasn’t as simple as turning on the machines and pumping out new forks, as Manitou still owed money to some of their suppliers over seas.Â This meant that the Hayes version of Manitou actually lost tooling and the ability to make some of the castings necessary for rebuilding the brand, which has in turn stalled them slightly when it comes to the new product.
However, with the rebirth of the Manitou Dorado, and the recent release of the Manitou Circus, among many more improvements to their entire line, Manitou is coming back with a vengeance. It may easy to dismiss the “new” Manitou as just another marketing ploy, but spend any time with Project Manager Rich Travis, and you will be convinced that Manitou really has their shit together.
The new Circus dirt jump fork is a perfect example of just what the new era of Manitou has to offer. We first leaked the release of the Circus back in Febuary, which we followed with Tyler’s coverage of the new forks out at Sea Otter. While Manitou were eager to showcase the new Circus, it has been tweaked even further with some much needed changes to guarantee that it will be able to handle all the punishment you can dish out,
Check out what makes the Circus different after the break!
We will hopefully have a Circus of our own to put through the paces, so I will spare you the nitty gritty, but Rich and the Manitou crew want you to know that this isn’t just a Gold Label DJ fork with new paint and stanchions.
A big concern for the redesign was to guarantee that the new lowers are super burly and won’t break at the arch.
To accomplish this Manitou has seriously buffed up the arch, almost doubling the thickness of the new Manitou Tower you see next to it.
Not only did Manitou beef up where the Reverse Arch attaches to each leg, but they also paid special attention to the backside of the arch and the sizes of the lightening holes.
If you take a look below you will see that the Circus arch on the left has much smaller and more widely spaced cutouts than the light weight XC fork on the right.
If you think all the additional material will make the Circus a pig, well, you would be wrong. According to Manitou, the new Circus Expert comes in at a very respectable 4.7 pounds. Possibly even more impressive, is that the Circus Comp weighs only 5.32 pounds which is awesome for an entry level coil dirt jump fork.
On the inside the fork is equally burly with dual bottom out bumpers and all new damping. The new Jumpstack compression damper with Absolute + damping and TPC adjustable rebound, mean that the oil side of the equation has been suitably upgraded.
Check back for more on the Circus in the future!