After starting with the Enduro Collection, Hayes is introducing their next family of components – for XC. Combining the newest parts from most of the brands under the Hayes umbrella, the XC Collection is meant to bridge the gap between dedicated XC racers, and those who want to build up something a bit more aggressive.
Manitou R7 Pro & Expert Suspension Forks
Off the front, the Manitou R7 Pro gives new life to the old name. When the R7 was last popular, so were 26″ wheels. Now, the R7 will only be offered in 27.5 and 29″ models and in 80-120mm travel that is adjustable internally. Leaning on their Reverse Arch technology, Manitou claims that they were able to stick with a 32mm chassis that is 13% stiffer than a comparable fork with a forward facing arch.
VTT Pro Damper
Inside the fork, you’ll find their VTT Pro Damper (Variable Terrain Tune) which has a three position compression adjustment with open mode adjust. Manitou states that, “when developing the VTT Pro damper we set out with a goal to maintain a rock-solid lockout without compromising the open and mid settings. The downside to many dampers with firm lockout modes is that in any other position than lock-out you will reach some critical shaft velocity that choke off the low-speed flow path. When this happens the damper peaks at nearly the same lock-out force as the locked-out position. This translates to harsh force in the hands and possibly lack of control.
The all new VTT damper solves this issue by eliminating the high-speed spikes while maintaining the lock-out force demanded by most XC users. This allows the fork to have a less progressive high-speed response while maintaining some low-speed support without getting wollowy. This is achieved thru independent shimstacks (one for lockout and one for the other two positions). By controlling the shim stack through which the oil flow is diverted we can manipulate the characteristic of the damper to be locked out, digressive, or progressive to meet the demands of the rider and terrain.”
- Position 1 – Open – (Progressive) The lowest damping force available to provide comfort while staying progressive enough to keep the fork under control. This is ideal for casual trail riding where comfort takes preference over speed. In this position you can fine tune the feel of the fork by adding additional low-speed support through turning the open mode adjust.
- Position 2 – Mid – (Digressive) Provides additional low-speed support for flow trails or gravity style riding where you want the fork to ride higher because the rider is biasing more weight forward.
- Position 3 – Lock Out – This setting provides the most platform for maximum pedaling efficiency.
Dorado Air Spring
You might be familiar with Manitou’s Dorado air spring system, but now it’s coming to shorter travel forks as well. The system includes a balancing valve to equalize positive and negative air chambers when airing up the fork, which claims to provide a more consistent feel throughout the fork’s stroke. Along with Dorado, you’ll find their IVA or Incremental Volume Adjust system which allows you to adjust the air volume in the positive air chamber with five different internal settings. This prevents the need for any additional parts.
- MSRP: $849.99 USD
- Weight: 1648g (29” at 120mm)
- Travel: 80-120mm
- Offset: 37/44mm for 27.5”, 44/51mm for 29”
- Spring: Dorado Air with IVA
- Crown Material: Forged aluminum, deep hollow bore
- Leg Material: 7000 series Aluminum\
- Damping: VTT Pro
- Adjustments: 3-position Compression with Open Mode Adjust, Rebound, Air Pressure, IVA volume adjust
- Leg Diameter: 32mm
- Wheel Size: 27.5”, 29”
- Brake: Post Mount 160mm
- Axle: 15mm Hexlock2
- Fender: Integrated fender mount.
Manitou will also be offering an R7 Expert model which drops the price by moving from Dorado Air to the Expert Air Spring and dropping from the VTT Pro to VTT damper which loses the ability to adjust the open position setting. Also, the Deep Hollow Bore crown and 7000 series aluminum legs on the Pro make it 164g lighter than the Expert with a Hollow Bore crown and 6000 series aluminum legs.
- MSRP: $699.99
- Weight: 1812g (29” at 120mm)
- Travel: 80-120mm
- Spring: Expert Air
- Crown Material: Forged aluminum, hollow bore
- Leg Material: 6000 series Aluminum\
- Damping: VTT
- Adjustments: 3-position Compression, Rebound, Air Pressure
- Leg Diameter: 32mm
- Wheel Size: 27.5”, 29”
- Brake: Post Mount 160mm
- Axle: 15mm Hexlock
- Fender: Integrated fender mount
Manitou Mara Rear Shock
Need a rear shock to go with that fork? The new Mara is a lighter, XC oriented version of the burly Mara Pro.
Built using the same proprietary SKF Internal Floating Piston as the Mara Pro to keep things buttery, the flexible center section is said to move first before the outer lip starts to move which increases the initial sensitivity.
When it comes to the damper circuitry, Manitou explains, “The four position Incremental Platform Adjust (IPA) damper offers a wide range of compression adjustment from an open mode ready to smash through rock gardens to a firm platform setting that offers the support you need while battling those leg burning climbs. It does this by utilizing two separate shim stacks to maintain an ideal balance of low-speed and high-speed compression damping throughout the adjustment range. The first of these is the preload stack which is controlled by the IPA knob. As you turn the knob clockwise you begin to increase the preload on the shims directly without the use of springs or carriers. The lack of springs and carriers minimizes moving mass and maximizes the speed at which the shims are able to respond to trail inputs keeping your rear wheel cool, calm, and collected no matter how choppy the trail is. The second shim stack is a fixed velocity stack that was carefully designed to increase small bump sensitivity and provide the correct amount of high-speed compression to control the wheel with the lowest amount of harshness. This provides the rider with more chassis control, better small bump sensitivity with excellent bottoming control, less deflection through the rock gardens and phenomenal ride quality in all conditions.”
- MSRP: $424.99
- Weight: 275g
- External Adjustments: Compression Platform, Rebound, Air Pressure
- Mount Styles: Trunnion and Eyelet
SUNRingle Düroc 30 Pro Wheels
With the Enduro Collection, we also saw the rebirth of the Super Bubba hub. The XC collection adds a set of Düroc 30 Pro which this time get the Super Bubba X hubs.
You’ll still find the drop-in ratchet rings that claim to increase durability over threads. Only this time, instead of two offset 45 tooth rings that allow you to run their Clock’D engagement, the Super Bubba X only has a single 90 tooth ring. This still provides 4° engagement with a six pawl freehub body, but chopped 55g off the total weight to get it down to 285g for the rear hub.
Built with aluminum rims, straight pull Wheelsmith DB14 spokes and alloy nipples, the Duroc 30 Pro wheels check in at 1690g for a 29″ set. The rims have an outer width of 30mm and inner width of 26mm, and are fully tubeless ready and include everything you need to run tubeless in the box.
SUNRingle Duroc 30 Details
- MSRP Wheelset: $899.98
- Wheel Size: 29”
- Outer Rim Width: 30mm
- Inner Rim Width: 26mm
- Spokes: 28/28 Wheelsmith DB14 Straight Pull
- Nipples: Alloy Nipples
- Spacing: 110×15 / 148×12
- Disc Mount: 6-Bolt
- Front Wheel Weight: 806g
- Rear Wheel Weight: 954g
- FreeHub Options: HG, XD, and Micro Spline (Each wheel available separately)
ProTaper Hyperlite Bar, ATAC Stem & Forty Seatpost
To finish off your build, you’ll need a cockpit. ProTaper is stepping up with their Hyperlite bar, the ATAC stem makes a return (again), and the Forty seatpost is there if you’re anti-dropper.
With a name like Hyperlite, you’d expect this bar to be light. And at 125g for a 760mm bar, it is. Offered in Team Yellow or Stealth color ways, the carbon bar sells for $174.99.
Hyperlite Bar Details
- MSRP: $174.99
- Weight: 125g
- Width: 760mm
- Clamp Diameter: 31.8mm
- Sweep: 9°
- Color: Yellow or Stealth
Perfectly matched to that bar is the new ATAC stem. This time, it includes titanium hardware and a 31.8mm clamp in lengths from 50-100mm.
No dropper? I know, it’s hard to believe. But some still prefer the low weight and simplicity of a fully rigid carbon post. If that’s the case, check out the Forty. Named for the 40cm length, the post comes in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters and has a twin bolt clamp with Ti hardware and zero offset.
Forty Post Details
- MSRP: $249.99
- Diameter: 30.9mm or 31.6mm
- Offset: 0mm
- Length: 400mm
- Weight: 212g
- Hardware: Titanium
What about brakes? Hayes has you covered there as well with their dual piston Dominion A2 brakes which were first seen at Sea Otter last year. These were first shown with their JUnit kids’ group since they included the SFL or Short Finger Lever option for smaller hands. But with the standard brake lever, they’re a perfect option for an XC or Trail build.