BIKERUMOR.com 2009 SEA OTTER CLASSIC COVERAGE: Manitou unveiled their new TPC-based Absolute+ damping technology at Sea Otter Classic.
Quick background: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Manitou introduced TPC, or Twin Piston Chamber, damping that separated rebound and compression. Ã‚Â It was a big deal then, but commonplace now. Ã‚Â Fast forward to 2009, and it seems like most manufacturers are introducing some sort of separate slow- and high-speed compression damping control. Ã‚Â The benefit is that damping designs no longer have to compromise between balanced low and high speed compression with a single shim stack or other mechanism.
For Manitou, it’s called Absolute+ and both slow and high speed compression damping characteristics will be externally adjustable via simple knobs. Ã‚Â In short, the Speed Needle circuit handles normal bump compression, letting oil flow through the seat around the needle. Ã‚Â Turn the adjustment dial and you increase or decrease the flow of oil and speed or slow the damping.
Big hits fall under the “high speed compression” department, and that’s handled by the Pro Stack Circuit. When you smack the crap out of something, the shims in the Pro Stack flex and let more oil bypass the circuit than the Speed Needle could allow, letting the fork accommodate your abusive riding and keeping you in control.
There’s lots more to discuss, and more new goodies and news from Manitou…click on the pics to enlarge, and hit ‘more’ to read about them…
The left picture shows an early stage lever for the low-speed compression damping adjustment. Ã‚Â The final version will be more polished, we’ve been assured. Ã‚Â The lever allows for seven levels of damping compression, from wide open to fully locked out.
The middle two pictures are Manitou’s new right-hand-specificÃ‚Â MILO (Manitou Integrated Lock Out), and it’ll be available on any fork with Absolute+ either on the bike or as an aftermarket upgrade. Ã‚Â The lever assembly is sub-30 grams and has an actuation lever with separate release button. Ã‚Â The remote lockout does away the range of control…it’s either open or locked…but it appears as though you can still reach down and adjust from the top of the fork. Ã‚Â Their rep says they’re working on a MILO lever that’ll allow a range of adjustments, but no timeline on that.
Absolute+ will be available on the full range of Manitou forks (except Dorado) starting late Summer / early Fall. Ã‚Â It’ll also be available as a retrofit upgrade for any 2007-or-newer R7, Minute or Drake fork. Ã‚Â Following that, they’ll have an MRD (Manitou Racing Development) version of Ab+ that’ll be lighter, but no timeline on that, either.
Lastly, Ab+ will, for now, be limited to the forks. Ã‚Â Some of their rear shocks have both low and high speed comp damping on them, but it’s not named Absolute+. Ã‚Â Pricing on everything mentioned here is TBD.
The Manitou website is also under revision and should be fresh, new and shiny any day now.