Manitou, a name that resonates with quality and innovation in the mountain biking world, has been a game-changer since its inception in 1986. Founded by mountain biking icon and Hall of Famer, Doug Bradbury, the company has been at the forefront of technological advancements in mountain bike suspension systems. Bradbury's vision of a suspension system for mountain bikes led to the creation of the first mountain bike suspension forks in 1989.
This review will focus on one of Manitou's flagship products, the Circus Expert Forks. Many mountain bike and dirt jump riders swear by this fork and it’s easy to see why. We’ve ridden and tested various types of this fork to make sure the construction of every setup feels great.
Review of: Manitou Circus Expert Forks
Uses: Dirt Jumping and Enduro Mountain Biking
Versatility for enduro and dirt jump riding
Multiple travel options (80mm, 100mm, 130mm)
ACT Air spring and dual bottom-outs for a smooth ride
Durable construction with 7050 Aluminum leg material
We Don't Like
Limited versatility for other types of riding outside of enduro and dirt jump
May not provide enough travel for downhill riding
Specific maintenance requirements
The potential cost, depending on the retailer and country of purchase
Availability may vary based on location and retailer stock levels
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Manitou History and Information
Born in the mountainous terrain of Manitou, Colorado, Manitou started as a garage project with a focus on creating high-quality, technologically advanced products for the mountain biking market. The company's dedication to research and development, coupled with collaboration with top riders at national and international levels, has earned Manitou a reputation as a reliable manufacturer of MTB forks. In 2006, Manitou was acquired by Hayes Performance Systems, further solidifying its position in the industry.Click Here to Check Best Price
Review of the Circus Expert Forks
Photo by @slopestyleworldwide
The Circus forks are a testament to Manitou's commitment to quality and performance. Designed with enduro and dirt jump riding in mind, these forks are a perfect fit for beginner and intermediate riders. The Circus forks come in three variations: Pro, Expert, and Comp. This review will focus on the Expert variation, a product that has gained popularity among riders worldwide.
The Circus project was initiated to support slopestyle riders, a subcategory of dirt jump biking performed on larger jumps. Manitou aimed to help these riders compete at a higher level. Little did they know, the Circus Forks would become a favorite among top riders globally.
The Circus Expert Forks are a blend of performance and durability. Weighing in at 1946g, they are light yet robust. They offer travel options of 80mm, 100mm, and 130mm, providing flexibility based on rider preference and trail demands. The forks feature an ACT Air spring and dual bottom-outs, ensuring a smooth and controlled ride.
The steerer is an 11/8” Aluminum 1.5” taper, and the crown is a forged I-Beam Crown. The offset is 41.27mm, and the forks offer Absolute+ compression damping and adjustable TPC rebound damping. The adjustments include air, compression to lockout, and rebound. The leg diameter is 32mm, made of 7050 Aluminum. The forks are designed for a 26” wheel size, with crown-to-axle measurements of 458mm, 478mm, and 508mm.
The Circus Expert Forks offer several advantages. They are lightweight, making them ideal for riders who value speed and agility. The forks' design caters to enduro and dirt jump riding, making them versatile. The multiple travel options allow riders to customize their ride based on their needs. The ACT Air spring and dual bottom-outs ensure a smooth ride, even on challenging terrains. The forks' durability is another significant advantage, thanks to the 7050 Aluminum leg material.
Despite the numerous advantages, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. The Circus Expert Forks are designed specifically for enduro and dirt jump riding, which may limit their versatility for other types of riding. Additionally, while the forks offer multiple travel options, they may not provide enough travel for riders who prefer downhill riding.
- Weight: 1946g
- Travel: 80mm, 100mm, 130mm
- Spring: ACT Air
- Bottom Out: Dual Bottom-Outs
- Steerer: 11/8” Aluminium 1.5” Taper
- Weight: 1946g
- Crown: Forged I-Beam Crown
- Offset: 41.27mm
- Compression Damping: Absolute+
- Rebound Damping: Adjustable TPC
- Adjustments: Air, Compression to Lockout,
- Leg Diameter: 32mm
- Leg Material: 7050 Aluminium
- Wheel Size: 26”
- Crown to Axle: 458mm, 478mm, 508mm
Photo by porkercon
Pricing and Availability
You can purchase these forks at most of the places you usually purchase mountain bike equipment. They are available on Amazon here. All of the options are readily in stock at these suppliers.
You can expect to pay around $500 for the Manitou Machete forks. The price changes a little depending on which options you go for.
Manitou Warranty Policy
Manitou are a part of Hayes so their products come under the Hayes warranty policy. You can read more here but they will repair any factory defects for up to two years after purchase.If you make any modifications to the forks then you won’t be able to claim this warranty.
Maintenance for these DJ Forks
Maintaining your Manitou Circus Expert Forks is crucial for their longevity and performance. Regularly check for any signs of wear or damage, especially after a rough ride. Clean the forks after each use to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating. Lubricate the moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure smooth operation. It's also advisable to have the forks professionally serviced at least once a year, or more frequently if you ride often or in harsh conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Manitou Circus Expert Forks
Are the Circus Expert Forks suitable for beginners?
Yes, the Circus Expert Forks are designed to suit both beginner and intermediate riders.
Can these forks be used for downhill riding?
While the Circus Expert Forks are versatile, they are primarily designed for enduro and dirt jump riding. They may not provide enough travel for downhill riding.
What is the weight of the Circus Expert Forks?
The Circus Expert Forks weigh 1946g.
What are the travel options for these forks?
The Circus Expert Forks offer travel options of 80mm, 100mm, and 130mm.
What is the wheel size for these forks?
The Circus Expert Forks are designed for a 26” wheel size.
Manitou Circus Expert DJ Fork - 4 Month Review // Commencal Absolut
You can read some more about the manitou circus expert forks on our post about the best dirt jumper forks.