Product Review: Manitou Marvel Comp Forks – 9mmQR 2016

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

It’s a tough name to live up to. When it comes to XC-it’s all about efficiency. The hole shot, cleaning lines with precision, climbing like a goat and descending like a river. Not to mention being able to custom tune the thing with as little effort as possible.

The Marvel-is a marvel. Rebound, damping and lockout is all external. And the stiffness will point the front wheel where you need it to go.

Read more reviews or buy here


  • Weight: 3.96lb/1798g
  • Spring: TS Air
  • Spring Rate: n/a
  • Bottom Out: Rubber Bumper
  • Crown: Forged Hollow Crown
  • Crown Finish: Shot Peen Black Ano
  • Offset: 26″ – 41.27, 27.5″ – 44, 29″ – 48
  • Compression Damping: TPC Technology, Absolute+ XC Stack
  • Rebound Damping: Adjustable TPC
  • Adjustments: Air, compression to lockout, Rebound
  • Leg Diameter: 32mm
  • Leg Material: Straight Wall Aluminium
  • Brake: Post Mount
  • Axle: 9mm QR
  • Crown to Axle: 26″ – 458/478/498, 27.5″ – 476.5/496.5/516.5, 29″ – 490/510/530

TS Air: Light weight for XC, the easy set up covers all rider weights and features simple user charts on the back of forks.

TPC (Twin Position Chamber): Providing 4-Dimensional Compression Damping; The velocity dependant circuit responds to the terrain while the Pressure Dependant Circuit flattens the bumps, the Energy Dependant Circuit activates on big hits while providing unmatched small bump sensitivity and the Position Dependant Circuit creates a bottomless feel.

ABSOLUTE+: Velocity/Pressure Dependent System; Compatible with MILO remote lever, Absolute+ Switches between velocity dependent to pressure-dependent based on adjuster position. With an eight-position dial for compression rate-adjustment, it achieves lockout feel at maximum adjuster position, and plushness and control with pedalling efficiency.

Read more reviews or buy here

Manitou Marvel Comp Review:


2100g – 29″ | 2298g – 27.5″ | 2396g – 26″

Rebound Damping: Adjustable TPC

The Marvel is simply a beauty to behold. The well thought out details such as the replaceable hanger and rock solid Maxle bolts are just a small sample of why the frame itself looks like it belongs on a race course.

As for the DT Swiss has to offer—The 350s had a DT 370 hub laced to a DT 1470 on the rear and DT 350 hub laced to a DT 235 on the front; both wheels are 30mm wide at a 2.25 casing. But this guy has a penchant for branding…so the wheels were built up with Stan’s ZTR Arch MK3 wheelsets. No complaints here—the stock wheels look great and the ZTR wheels were stiff as a board.

Setting Up The Fork:

With the fork being a standard air spring—this process is well within the grasp of anyone who knows a little about droppers. One thing that stood out to me should be mentioned though. The bottom hose connection apparently can wipe the floor like a drunken sailor! BE CAREFUL! Although the fork is narrow—the ports are on the narrower side which can make connecting the hose a little difficult. Take the time to carefully align it and you’ll be fine.

I set my fork up with the TPC in Absolute On mode, my high speed compression at 4 (17 clicks out from fully in), low speed at 3 (fully in) and rebound at 6 (fully out). There are a bunch of settings that can be tweaked such as the air pressure (PSI) and air volume (ml) that works best for your weight but this gets the thing working if you’re short on time.

First Ride Impressions:

It was an overall positive experience. Committing my weight to hard sections of trail and being able to spin through the drops with ease is truly a priceless feeling. There was still a little bit of that marshmallowy damping characteristic to the fork but it was very subtle. The progressive nature of the fork made it a great compliment to the Yari. Absolutely no negatives or complaints from me here.

Flow trails that require smooth lines are where this fork shines. The thing truly allows the bike around it to do whatever you want it to, when you want it.

Long Term Durability:

This thing has been bombarded with everything from North Shore root/rock assaults to loose/loose trails through the rest of the Northwest. There have been zero issues. This should tell you everything you need to know about this fork. I’ve got a couple thousand miles on it now and it’s still going strong.

For the price—you’re getting a beautifully made fork packed to the gills with functionality. You might feel a slight compromise in the performance area but when it comes to standard coil forks—the comparison pales in comparison. For enthusiasts with travel requirements that exceed what standard air forks can offer—the Manitous are hard to find fault with.


  • Excellent design, well thought out details.
  • Stiffness while retaining suppleness.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Top-notch quality control.
  • Standard air Spring.


  • Difficult Bottom hose connection.

This product was provided for free, in exchange for the review provided. All words and photography are the opinion of the author, not Santa Cruz Bicycles. Images edited with Aperture and the Mac Photos Application.

Santa Cruz Bicycles provided the product for free in return for an honest review. All locations of Santa Cruz Bicycles are independently owned and operated, as is BikeIsland.Stop by our website at

Mountain bike parts, accessories, clothing, and bikes. Mountain bike parts, accessories, clothing, and bikes.

Read more reviews or buy here

Josh Russel

Born and raised in Vancouver. Living the dream of riding bikes and just being alive. Growing up with a father who worked for the ICBC as a mechanic shop instructor means that when it comes to the world of bikes—I got the bug early. My main focus is on the enduro/all mountain segment of the market; however by no means am I strictly limited to that. For the past 5 years of my life I’ve spent a significant amount of time in the Eastern Sierra/Western Mojave desert, which is a mecca for riding everything from your local dirt jumps to world class downhill runs. I’ll do a burly marathon XC ride one day, and the next be found charging the gnar on a steep and sketchy classic DH track. I love riding bikes, and currently work for, and as a photographer for Santa Cruz Bicycles.

Read more reviews or buy here

Written by Jahanzaib

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Product Review: Mavic Crossone MTB Wheelset 2015

Product Review: Selle Italia SL Flow Saddle