I finally pulled decided on a front fork. After purchasing the rear shock from Manitou, I decided to go with the R7 Expert Fork. With most purchasing decisions on this bike, I don’t have a lot of brand awareness or awareness of the capabilities of the equipment. My default assumption is that most components are equally functional at a given price point. As I mentioned in the discussion of the rear shock, a friend of mine who does downhill racing suggested Manitou. One of my goals with this bike was to be unique, and since I’ve never seen Manitou in the wild, it drew me to it.
Within the Manitou brand, there are a ton of forks. My budget is around $500 for the front fork. Since the front fork takes a lot of abuse, I didn’t want the economy model, but I also didn’t need to go top of the line. My sweet spot for components is in the middle of a product line-up, the so-called Goldilocks zone. The R7 Expert came in at $700 and 1980 grams. I budgeted $500 for the rear shock but only spent $424, so I think I’m doing okay. Hopefully, I can save on other components
The R7 has a dizzying array of configurations options, none of which I’m ready to go into at this time. But, I ordered the 120 mm travel with 44 mm offset.
In dry fitting the R7, using headset bits from the frame manufacturer, everything is a great fit. Unlike the rear shock, the installation of the front fork will be a breeze.