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Why is nobody talking about the Manitou Dorado Expert?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by 0110-M-P, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. 0110-M-P

    0110-M-P Monkey

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    I just happened across the news of the release of this fork and was wondering why I haven't seen anyone talking about it?

    I have the 2011 Dorado Pro and absolutely love it (everyone I have talked to says the same thing about the ones they have ridden). Now there is another version, the Expert, that is only 123g heavier than the Pro due to the use of 6000 series aluminum instead of 7000 series, but is internally identical to the Pro and can be purchased new for $900 from pricepoint.

    Just seems like this is an incredible deal and it is surprising that people aren't really discussing it.
     

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  2. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

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    It feels the same on the bike. We have the 2013 Aurum 1 we have been testing for 2 months now. Feels just as smooth as its more expensive version. I thought it was 300 grams heavier?
     
  3. 0110-M-P

    0110-M-P Monkey

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  4. sethimus

    sethimus scroll all you want!

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    it lacks green anodizing
     
  5. time-bomb

    time-bomb Monkey

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    I'm not trying to be a richard head when I say this but it is kind of old news (the fork, not the price), and I don't mean that in a bad way (I own a 2012 Dorado Pro). I think the general consensus, ever since the release of the "newer version" of the fork has been so positive that there really isn't much else to be said about them. With that being said, at that price anyone looking for a DH should be considering getting one IMO. That is a pretty smokin' deal.
     
  6. Carraig042

    Carraig042 me 1st

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    I have the 2013 Dorado Expert coming in next week hopefully. I am really excited to put it on and race!

    -Brett
     
  7. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    Never ridden a new Dorado. Pretty keen. I'm surprised any of the new gen Doradoes haven't gained more street cred and discussion than they have. Are they not as good as most people claim? Are peoples positive claims just purchase justification? and What about flex. Rarely see it discussed. Are they noodles or not? I personally don't mind if they have a touch of flex, but that's my very old conclusion from Shivver days. I may have evolved to a different opinion now.
     
  8. davet

    davet Monkey

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    I think they haven't gained street cred and internet fame because Joe Famous isn't racing on them. I haven't heard really any complaints from people that ride them.
     
  9. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    I've been riding a 2012 Dorado Pro for a year, and here's my answer to the above questions:

    I rode a model year 2010 Fox 40 for two years prior to the Dorado, and that's my main comparison.

    Maintenance on the Dorado has been much lower so far (one preventative rebuild done by Manitou for free in the off season); I used to replace the seals and lube oil on the 40 a handful of times per season, and replaced a blown bladder once or twice (although the bladder issue was solved in '11+ models)

    Damping would be about the same level imo. The TPC+ takes a little longer to wrap your head around how the adjustment works on the trail, but it works great, and the adjustments are usable. As a plus, the knobs have a very high quality feel, and the clicks are very obvious. That's real convenient when counting clicks.

    The coil spring of the 40 does have a noticeably better feel & less stiction at the top stroke. However, the air spring of the Dorado can be tuned to exactly the spring rate you want. Pick your poison.

    Stiffness difference has been hard for me to really notice. A heavier, or much faster rider might notice a difference. (I'm 175 lbs)

    Geometry is a little different, as the Dorado has a minimum axle to crown height of 590mm, and it's difficult to get your handlebars super low, as the fork tubes stick up pretty high. It also has about 5mm more axle offset than most. That makes for slightly slacker angles with the taller fork, and a slightly longer wheelbase with less trail. I've experimented with axle to crown heights from about 570mm up to 605mm, and I rarely want to run lower than 590mm. If you run your a-c height low, this could be important.

    For me, I can get either a Dorado or a 40 for cheap, and I'm sticking with the Dorado for 2013. Overall, my opinion is that a 40 and a Dorado are both great, and I'd be happy with either.

    I think the Dorado Expert is a helluva a great idea- same spring and damper as the Pro, but you gain a little bit of weight to save some cash. Win.
     
  10. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    Cheers MTG.
    How bad is the initial stiction/suppleness? I'm only light.
     
  11. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

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    I rode the 2011 fox40 for about six months when testing the tr 450. The forty wins the stiffness category. I weigh 210 or so gear up. I would say the Dorado feels similar to a Boxxer as far as flex. The Dorado wins in the high speed rough stuff it's vavling doesn't seem to pack up at all it stays active and following the ground no matter how rough or fast.

    The Dorado we had went through 2 test bikes and had a ton of saddle time. When it got sent in it had close to two years riding on it and never had been touched. I am testing a DVORAK when they come out but will run a Dorado for now.

    There is a fix to cut down the strict ion I will have to look through my emails and post....it's not bad I don't think.
     
    #11 -   Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  12. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    It's on par with other air sprung forks I've ridden. I've never thought "gross, that feels sticky", but it is something that I notice, especially when hopping back on a 40.
     
  13. 92SE-R

    92SE-R piston slapper

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    Hows the stiction compare to a 888 evo
     
  14. 92SE-R

    92SE-R piston slapper

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    Also, any lightweight riders wanna chime in on how it feels?
     
  15. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    888 has similar stiction to a 40. Depending if the 40s just been serviced or not. Safe to say a 888 has less stiction a lot of the time(oh but the Kashima!). So if it has more initial stiction than a 40, it'd have more than a 888, No?
     
    #15 -   Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  16. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    888's and 40's are nothing alike in terms of sliding smoothness, even with their silly "Kashima" coat.

    The Dorado is between the two in terms of sliding smoothness, and is an open bath damper with nothing major to fail in it. Fantastic fork.
     
  17. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

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    The trick below was given to me from HACK above. I never used it BTW...

    "A little "works" trick to get the fork a little plusher off the top is to fill it up when it's about 1/8"-1/4" short of topped out to put a little bit of a negative air cushion in the fork. This will make it enter its travel easier."
     
    #17 -   Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  18. no skid marks

    no skid marks Monkey

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    Ha ha. I was trying to dodge an inevitable bullet. Freshly lubed up 40s are pretty slick but.
     
    #18 -   Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  19. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    I think because it hasn't been well advertised, and there's a lot of stigma attached to the manitou brand. While that's pretty much gone away in recent years, very few people seem apt to jump in and try one. I think it's tough that it's an air fork, too.

    Manitou also hasn't done a terribly good job of hitting the right price points, either. When the fork came out, it was $3600 and it was a right off for anybody but a sponsored rider. Now they're coming out with a few different models to try and hit price points better, but you're talking about a $1250 fork here, it's only on sale because it presumably didn't sell. $1200 for a manitou when you could buy an OEM/Takeoff 40fit for the same price...that's not easy to justify.

    They really should have introduced one at $850 with a steel coil and ported rebound head to compete with the 888CR, and work their way onto lower end bikes.
     
  20. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    ^^ Those are good points, but it's probably not totally fair to compare retail price of a Manitou fork to OEM takeoff price of a Fox fork.

    I agree that a low end fork would help boost their volume, but from a product development perspective, the amount of work to create the Expert fork was probably about as low as you can get. They took a product that they've had for a bit, and from what it appears, removed a machining process from the crown and changed the material of the fork legs to a lower cost alloy and added some wall thickness. Cost removed, a little bit of weight added, now there's a second model with the same spring and damper, but costs less.

    It would be awesome if they develop a "Dorado Comp", as you mention. There aren't many budget DH forks, and that would fit the model of their Comp/Expert/Pro scheme. Maybe strip the damper of the external adjustments and hydraulic bottom-out circuit, use a coil spring (as you mention) with a rubber bump stop like a Boxxer.
     
  21. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    I've tried that. It does add more air to the negative spring, producing a softer top stroke, and I used it when I had a sticky shraeder valve that was causing a hard top out for a bit. It also is a way to lower the fork/reduce travel, if desired.
    One problem it creates, though, is WTF (wrench throwing fever) when trying to remove the front axle. When you adjust the top out point, the damper leg and spring leg no longer come to rest at the same length, which binds the axle while trying to remove it.
     
  22. Ithnu

    Ithnu Monkey

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    The reason why the first ones were $3,600 (I thought it was $2,800) was not just that they were carbon fiber. They were hand made in the Hayes prototype test lab in Milwaukee WI. Now they out source to Taiwan like everyone else.
     
    #22 -   Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  23. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    Hah you did use it! Just didn't know it. Before I told you about that, and the fork was set 1.5" down into its travel.
     
  24. Huck Banzai

    Huck Banzai Turbo Monkey

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    So, with the 'guts' the same, and the obvious weight difference -- is there also any performance considerations?

    6000 less stiff? More fragile in the event of a crash? -- Im just looking for any possible practical differences when it seems you would get all the performance for a significant savings.
     
  25. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    Which, also prevents the fork legs from aligning correctly when you let the right side dropout "float". If they're bound up from coming to rest at different points, they wont translate sideways easily when they're supposed to.

    In case anyone cares, the way to verify this on moto forks (which have a normal round axle - can't do this with a Dorado) is to install both fork legs, and the axle with no wheel. If you can turn the axle by hand smoothly, then the fork legs are at the correct height. If there's any resistance, then the dropouts aren't concentric, so one leg needs to be slightly adjusted up/down. It's not uncommon for the top caps to be 1mm or so different for the purpose of making sure the lugs/dropouts are at exactly the same position, so the fork leg alignment trick can work right when you install the wheel.

    I'm sure nobody gives a rats ass, but there you have it.
     
  26. ianjenn

    ianjenn Turbo Monkey

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    They just went overseas with them last year. I had one of the last USA made Dorado's in the garage for a bit.... I also think they were assembled by the 2 engineers not just anyone. I had been told this not sure if anyone can confirm it?
     
  27. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    6000 series is typically a little more ductile, a little easier to machine, yield strength of 250 MPa vs. about 300 MPa for 7000 series (if memory serves me correctly).

    I think Youngs modulus (modulus of elasticity) is pretty dang close between them, so it shouldn't cause any difference in the ride quality.
     
  28. klunky

    klunky Turbo Monkey

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    I dont think many people will ever get back on board with manitou products.
    For Manitou to really get customers back they need to do something amazing - I dont know what - but to drop the old reputation of being frankly bollocks making a good fork is not enough.
    They need to make either a new fork that is amazingly better than everything else for similar money to the competition or make a good fork that is amazingly cheaper.

    I for one would not be able to take the gamble on the dorado when I can get a 40 or boxxer for similar money and be confident in the product.
     
  29. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    But...it IS better than the 40, and everything else on the market, in basically all ways.

    Let's put it this way - I wouldn't take a gamble on a Boxxer or a 40 when I could get a Dorado for similar money. Or even slightly more. And have a properly engineered product.
     
  30. UiUiUiUi

    UiUiUiUi Turbo Monkey

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    never thought I'd hear that sentence with a manitou fork...

    i was one of the burnt people with the Manitou Dorado X works back in 04, this still scares the hell out of me even though i know they are not the same company anymore...

    that said maybe it's time to try it again, even though i was really really lucky mith my 2012 Fox 40 which worked pretty close to perfect
     
  31. Kanye West

    Kanye West 220# bag of hacktastic

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    They had Showa/Ohlins engineers working on that fork - the guys that Fox could not afford because they hire broke college kids. Not much in the way of truly legitimate engineering going on at RS or Fox last I checked.
     
  32. time-bomb

    time-bomb Monkey

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    Coincidently I was on an 09 Fox 40 RC2 prior to my Dorado. I agree with all of the above except the red highlighted part. I'm not saying that mtg is wrong, I'm just saying I had a different experience. A Kashima coated 40 may be very different from a regular 40 but I haven't even had the chance to push down on one yet. Maybe my Dorado was plusher in the beginning than the 40 because I didn't do as much maintenance
    on mine as mtg did but I never felt I had to (maybe I should have). Plus, the bushings always seem to be well lubed on the Dorado perhaps because of the upside down design (or perhaps because I didn't clean/replace/relube the 40 after every ride). The Dorado air spring is better than any other air spring I have ever ridden. To me it is close enough to a coil but side by side not the same.

    ^^^^This^^^^
     
  33. Carraig042

    Carraig042 me 1st

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    Maybe people wont go back to them, but you have to think there is an all new generation of riders coming up including me. I did not experience the old Manitou. I am looking forward to trying out the Dorado Expert as I just keep hearing good things about them.

    -Brett
     
  34. 0110-M-P

    0110-M-P Monkey

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    I experienced the old Manitou (snapped the arch on a 99 X-Vert R back in the day) and was very, very hesitant to go back to them last year when I picked up my Dorado. Hell...I can't say that I would buy anything from them except the Dorado, so I understand the hesitation. But the Dorado has been so good for me and I can't help but recommend it to everyone who asks about it and that's why I figured it would be good to post about the Expert since it is a bit more affordable to buy new.
     
  35. JustMtnB44

    JustMtnB44 Monkey

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    I have a 2011 Dorado on my Legend that I bought used last year. I rode it this past season probably a dozen times. My previous forks owned for DH were a '08 Marz 66 RC3 and a '06 Marz Super T. The Dorado is a great fork IMO. It is highly tuneable with all the right adjustments, smooth, and light weight. It is not super stiff laterally (not as much as a 40 at least), but I don't notice any issues on the trail. It holds a line through rock gardens well. I haven't had to do any service on it yet, but might send it in this winter still for a rebuild. I wouldn't pay $2k for one (or any fork for that matter) like when they first came out, but $900 for the Expert model is a great deal for anyone looking to get a brand new DH fork.
     
  36. Huck Banzai

    Huck Banzai Turbo Monkey

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    Manitou 'hate' is so fantastically undeserved.

    The STANCE series of forks was an absolutwe failure that marred them; the forks with SPV/CVT internals performed horribly and were a terrible idea.

    Throughout that, prior and since, they have made excellent equipment and suffered from an undeserved bad reputation.

    My 2002 - 11years old - FireFly has a TPC+ damper that will own whatever fork you have built to date.


    They are back in the game, and would be a lot moreso if they were given the latitude that RS has had with a MUCH more inconistent product line and performance record.
     
  37. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    At first I was 100% with you. The hate is a bit undeserved since TPC manitous are awesome when they work. Even the very old ones. The problem is I remember taking a few older manitous apart and the internals quality was even lower than on RS products.

    Still yeah. TPC worked great for many years but manitou also had serious customer support problems and were really bad at advertising their product. Unless they fix the rest of it (CS is better, at least here) they will still be manipoo to many people.
     
  38. Huck Banzai

    Huck Banzai Turbo Monkey

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    I always got great CS from Manitou; mind you the guy I dealt with is now a Marzocchi guy....

    TPC was OK, TPC+ is awesome, evidenced in its continued life!! I have only had a Black Elite 80/100 and the Sherman Firefly, but both have been great -- and the guts in my Sherman are very high quality. (I dont like the travel adjust/spring base, but I took the adjust out of play when I got it anyway!)


    They're still bad at advertising there product!!

    Im just saying - Manitou gets the hardest hate when RS is the most regular at failing - good CS from RS? I disagree, but a moot point if the product is a**. (I do have a Pike I like, but then again I pushed it the day it arrived)

    Based on track record, RS should get the hate, a little for Manitou, and a smidgen for MZ -- yet somehow Manitou hate keeps popping up as the Holy Fail!
     
    #38 -   Jan 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  39. Deano

    Deano Monkey

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    i rode a 2010 dorado last year, only sold it and got a 2012 888 cos i made money on it.

    Would not hesitate to get a new dorado if i can swing it moneywise

    But would never pay retail for ANY fork- im cheap like that, i prefer one thats a year old hardly broken in and half price off someone that had a rough year(little to no riding time).

    ofc im itching to try a DVO out this summer, but fat chance of getting a cheap one in euroland this coming season, and its one of the brands where i dont have an "inside" guy hahaha
     
  40. norbar

    norbar Turbo Monkey

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    The local distro for manitou here is now great but it wasn't that way.

    As for RS. Yes they are horrible here also. I think there are some reasons to hate them though I doubt they failed in such a spectacular fashion as manitou did back in the day. Though I still wonder why after so many years of trying they have trouble with creating a proper dj fork.