Thursday, July 21, 2005

Testing my loyalty

Been having problems with my 2004 Manitou Black 80 SPV. The 04 damper had problems with a sticky SPV valve, and also there was a fair amount of stiction in it's movement. There was a screw up in shipping out my warranty 05 SPV valve. The shop had requested one a day before I did and Manitou only sent one. And then they were back ordered.

I'd been riding on the 04 but it just wasn't feeling right. So the 05 damper finally gets here yesterday, and it goes in fine, but there is this stiction that occurs after about 55mm of travel. It feels like the damper hits something, and then with a little bit more force it continues on through the rest of its travel.

I took the fork apart again, and drained the oil. Looking down the inside of the leg with a flashlight while pushing the damper up the leg shows nothing visible. I can't see anything wrong with the inside of the leg. I tried it with the 04 damper and it does it in the exact same spot, though the 04 damper requires a lot more force for it to continue through it's travel. It's almost as if there is a warped spot on the inside of the stanchion leg, but I can't really see anything wrong. The anodization on the rings of the 04 damper above and below the 0 ring are worn down, so it has been scraping the inside of the leg, and I'm wondering if it has worn out the inside of the leg and maybe grooved it at this sticky point

It's disappointing, because I've been on Manitous since 1993.
I love how easy they are to work on, and tinker with. Their prices are pretty good, and past customer service has been good. And even with past problems, I guess I'm just brand loyal and have not wanted to move to another company. I tried a Marzo. once because they were the only ones with a 1" steerer left and wasn't really that impressed with it. Fox is just SOOOO darn expensive and I've also heard that they didn't work too well for light riders. Rock Shox used to really suck but lately I've been hearing incredible things about the Reba and Pike. But still, I'm not about to go buy another fork. And it's just that I WANT to like Manitou, but after waiting 6 weeks for the warranty damper and then to still have this stiction problem my loyalties are being tested.

I'll get an RA # tomorrow and hopefully get it shipped out ASAP. I know in the end they'll take care of me, but it's down time which is always tough. We're driving to NY on Tuesday and will be gone through Sunday, so I guess this is as good a time as any.


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