After all sorts of troubles over the last few years, Manitou has been busily trying to reinvent itself from the top down by concentrating on its high-end MRD line of competition forks rather than spending millions on covering all fork types and price points. Just arrived at UK distributors Hotlines are the new 2009 Manitou Dorado DH fork, described as “a technology centerpiece for Manitou and demonstrates their design, manufacturing, and performance capabilities.”
We’re told that the new Manitou Dorado has been in development for three years, with input from Julien Camellini, Chris Kovarik and Melissa Buhl being taken on board. The resulting fork looks broadly similar to the previous incarnation, and shares the unusual upside-down stanchion/slider configuration. The 36mm fork legs are at bottom, attached to the 20mm Hexlock through-axle dropouts and running inside carbon fibre outer legs held by a pair of forged aluminium crowns. The upper crown has an International Standard integrated stem mounting.
Inside there are positive and negative air springs (although they’re not independently adjustable) with TPC+ damping offering adjustable rebound and high and low-speed compression. Travel out of the box is 203mm, although you can easily drop it to 180mm. All-up weight is claimed to be 2,902g (6.4lb).
Talking of the box, if you buy a Dorado it comes in a sturdy plastic flight case that also contains both tall and short upper crowns, a shock pump and setup and tuning instructions on DVD. Manitou are clearly going to town on the “competition” angle – it’ll be maintaining a database with information on each fork and its owner’s setup preferences, and Dorado buyers will get two no-cost (or no additional cost, at any rate) fork overhauls within the first two years of ownership.
We don’t have a UK price as yet, but we plan to be sitting down when we find out. More information and details of your nearest retailer can be had by contacting Hotlines by email.