Fork for Demo 8

Hi Lee, I just got my new Specialized Demo 8 frame, and I built it up with parts I already had laying around, with hopes of upgrading in the future. I know you have been riding one of these for a while, and I was wondering what fork feels balanced with this frame? Right now I have a 2002 monster T, and it feels heavy for the bike, but I haven’t ridden it off road yet. I plan on lots of riding at Keystone this season. I’ve had my eye on a new Travis, what do you think of these on the Demo 8s? Thanks, man


Hey Eric.

From what I’ve read, the Travis looks like it would work well. I’ve had bad experiences with every Manitou I’ve ever owned (four over the past 8 years), so I’d wait for some long-term reviews.

I’ve run these forks on Demos with great results:

– Fox 40. Light. Very tunable damping. Reliable. As plush as the 888. Feels stiffer when it comes to handling. A racing weapon.

– Marzocchi 888. A bit heavier but very plush, tunable spring rate (because you can add oil) and reliable. Less $$$ than a 40. Get a low-rider crown. BTW, I started 2004 with an SPV Dorado, but after the third failure I went to a 888 — and I had my best race season ever.

I’m on a 40 now, and I dig it. The only thing I wish for is more bottom-out control — esecially in Whistler — but Fox is working on that.

Hope this helps …

— Lee

PS: To all you Manitou folks, I’ll be happy to test your forks and give them fair reviews.

10 replies
  1. Nick says:

    Lee, the new 888RC2X comes with flat crowns now. So they have esssentially the ride height as the Go-Ride crowns you had, so now no reason to upgrade crowns. Which is nice….I think

  2. Will says:

    Hey lee, after browsing your entire site i yearned for your book, luckily a well timed trip to sydney allowed me to buy your book, not available in smaller stores. This book is the best book on a sport i have ever seen, forget the best mtbing book, this is simply the best sports books. ever. But enough ass kissing. It’s a great book full of knowlege that only a seasoned racer could accumulate.

    At this point in time i am saving for a new bicycle and was hoping you could give me some guidance. Since i am strapped for cash this would be my only bicycle, at the moment i have an 04 gt avalanche. It would be used for free riding, light downhill work, all day rides and the occasional xc race. With the emphasis on fun, i only want a capacity for xc racing not a bike specifically for xc. Any ideas or am i fishing for a some super bike that doesn’t exist? I am 6’2″ 190-200 pounds and very muscular, so i’d be pushing the equipment to the limit.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Trevor says:

    fox40’s are about the nicest fork on the market, but its a money thing they cost the earth.
    888rc2x’s are super nice and like all mari forks are about idiot proof and will never break and most people on the non-racer scean run em
    as for travis’s i was chatting to the rep from manitou the other week (me being a manitou fan too) they sound very good, plus with the new spv style system the spv valve does not move and is alot more reliable (i blew up the old style floating spv twice in two weeks in whistler)!!! and very tunable.
    also think about boxxers but get them properly tunned and set up first they do work once you get them set up i would say ask but they are uk only

    i hope that all makes sense. the recap, 40 the best but $$$$, 888 reliable and bomb proof, travis they are ment to work!!, boxxers get them tuned first

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Geez, I forgot about Boxxers.

    I ran one in 2002-2003, and it was a champ once the faulty rebound damper got replaced.

    Quality control has been spotty, but once you get a good one, they work well. And there are lots of great tune-jobs.

  5. Quinn says:

    I work for a bike shop and got the inside deal from all the reps on the 2006 downhill forks. This year manitou and rockshox made some drastic changes. Hands down the 40rc2 is the best for on the market as far as stiffness and reliability. The Boxxer Air is pretty legit, completely redesigned, however Im not saying that its stiff. The 888rc yeah it works, plush, stiff, heavy, tuneable, but i think it has to springy of a feel to it for a race fork but great for freeride. The travis is a toss up I would say, legit dampening system but Im a skeptic on the problems with it because Dorados leak like a siv.

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