GF Wahoo '05, Trek T1000 '04, Lemond Buenos Aires '07
Manitou Axel -- slow torture or quick burial?
Yes, yes, of course: everyone knows that the Manitou Axel is a maggot-riddled piece of crap.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way: my son rides a GF Piranha with a Manitou Axel that had been wroking pretty decent up to today. Today it stiffened up so badly it is not much more than a very heavy rigid fork.
Like all 16 y/o's, the concept of maintanence is foreign to him, so he never wiped down the stanchions or showed the fork the slightest bit of love.
This is the question: I know that Manitou Axels tend to do this (from reading MTB Reviews). Is it worth disassembling the fork and trying to lube it, fix it, etc? Or should I just pitch it and shell out as of yet unavailable money on a new fork? If so, what do you recommend? My son is a good rider but no big-hit freak. The fork has 100mm travel. If you recommend the Boxxer I will know that you are full of crap.
Not trying to be a smartarse but...unless you are a world famous neurosurgeon who makes $10,000/hour, it would probably be worth the time to disassemble the thing and see if a little TLC will bring it back to life. Better yet, sit your son down with you as you tear it down and maybe it will spark in him some interest in mechanics. And finally, I have to disagree with you: there is something fundamentally wrong with being full of crap.
well i can speak from experience on axels. mine was acting funny so i decided to pull it apart to clean/ rebuild it. low and behold my stanchion had a fracture. they are easy to pull apart and rebuild so if thats your ability, do it. as far as a new fork, if you are looking for your best bang for the buck check out the tora or recon. they have a bunch of features and adjustability for the low price.
i. take the fork apart to see if it can be fixed/maintained to it's original condition. Wouldn't this be a nice time to be with your son? And it shouldn't cost any dollars either. Of course this may depend on whether or not your are a tinkerer or not, or whether your son would be interested.
ii. Depending on what you find from i., rebuild it or buy a new fork.
Incidentally, I bought a Manitou SX-R 00 fork back in 2003 for just over a $100. I'm not an extreme rider by any means (actually, I'm gentle) but I think the SX-R along with its tunability ranks high for me (pre-load, damping and compression adjustments). I still use it today, and I find it's pretty darn good (well, caveat here, at least for me!). You might be able to get one of these forks on ebay cheap, though travel is limited to 80mm. Maintenance is pretty easy too, I stripped the fork to put firmer springs in it.
Guess I've been lucky with my Axel--no problems. But the one on Donna's bike had a bolt that was loose that held some pieces on that contol damping (sorry I don't know the tech terms here, I just took it apart & fixed it!). If you want, let me take a look at it, doesn't take long to tell if it's a serviceable problem or scrap. BTW--decided whether to ride Sat? (you have e-mail).