Manitou was a frame shop and MTB-thinktank back in the early days of mountain biking. Manitou is known for their original aluminium MTB frame that had some unique aspects. First the frame was made of unpainted polished alloy tubes, some parts of the frame were CNC-machined and Manitou had his own fork, a rigid very cool looking fork. He also ran his own spacing for hubs which I think was 140 mm rear and 115 front on custom hubs in order to make stronger wheels.
The main man behind Manitou was a former Motorcyclist if I have not forgotten the original legend. As hardcore mountain bikers pushed their MTB’s harder and harder the motorcycle roots began shine through over to the MTB world in the form of suspension forks (and many other products actually) to improve riding in rough conditions and to have more fun.
Manitou was actually quite early with his suspension fork, a CNC machined stout looking elastomer based hardcore suspension fork offering around 1 inch of suspension travel. Back in the day, you either had elastomer or oil/air based suspension, the difference was you could have low speed suspension with an elastomer fork but you could only have great suspension at high speed with air/oil while an air/oil fork typically was terrible at low speed.
Manitou 1 was a simple suspension fork and to a degree the successor, the Manitou 2 is not that much more advanced if you view the suspension fork with critical eyes, the improvements are a bit more travel and external adjustments. I think the first fork was way cooler looking but the second revision does look great on any vintage mountain bike.
This fork is in a bit of a sorry shape, elastomers feel a bit firm so I guess future owner of the fork will need to track down replacement elastomers. The seals are in great condition though (at least visually) and mechanically fork is in working condition without any major damage. I do not have a torch here so I can make my own super long index key in order to open up the fork and inspect the elastomers but the famed super sized Manitou index key can be found on the world famous bay or created with the mentioned tool.
Manitou was famous for its CNC-machining booth the forks and frames where nicely carved out of aluminium in a stylish way.
This is a 1-1/4 sized fork suitable for a vintage Yeti frame. The sheerer tube is unthreaded A-headset and is about 7 and a half inches long (19 cm long), it fits a 17.5 inch 1-1/4 Yeti frame as is.
In used condition in desperate need of new elastomers this historic suspension fork is yours for 60 euro.