If you’re looking to improve the performance of your mountain bike, upgrading its suspension fork is a great option as it can significantly enhance your riding experience. While a new suspension could be the costliest investment in a bike, it is also potentially the most effective upgrade.

A mountain bike’s fork is your only savior when you’ve overdone a jump and need landing backup, or when you are riding on extremely bumpy trails. If you were looking for suspension forks for your bike, you might have come across Manitou Markhor vs RockShox Recon. But which is the better choice?

In this article, you’ll find out which fork better suits your requirements so you can take a more informed decision!

  • Best Value

    Manitou Markhor

    41Fm3SrOVsL. AC SL1000
    • Spring Type: TS air
    • Weight: 1.84 kilograms
    • Travel: 80-100mm
    • Wheel Size: 26-inch
    • Steerer: 1-⅛” straight
  • Budget Pick

    RockShox Recon

    51nITgenhFL. AC UX679
    • Spring Type: Solo air
    • Weight: 2.17 kilograms
    • Travel: 100mm
    • Wheel Size: 26-inch
    • Steerer: 1-⅛” straight

Brief History of Manitou and RockShox

Two of the world’s leading manufacturers of suspension forks, Manitou and RockShox have their differences and advantages over each other. RockShox forks are more abundant than Manitou forks; whereas, Manitou is renowned for offering excellent bang for bucks.

Manitou

Founded in 1986 by Doug Bradbury, Manitou started in a bike garage to manufacture the most sophisticated and well-engineered products. Doug Bradbury was a popular face in the world of mountain biking, who felt the need for better suspension setups for the then ‘new’ mountain biking sport.

Manitou was acquired by Hayes Performance Systems in 2006. To add a little context, Hayes has acquired a few more companies in order to offer a portfolio with a wide range of bicycle components such as –

1.     Hayes: Brakes, brake pads, brake rotors, and other brake parts

2.     Manitou: Forks, shocks, dropper seatposts, closeout forks

3.     Reynolds: Mountain wheels, road wheels, gravel wheels, closeout wheels

4.     SUNRINGLÉ: Wheels, hubs, rims

5.     Protaper: Handlebars, stems, grips, seatposts, closeout bars

RockShox

The company was formed in 1989 by Paul Turner, who was a mechanic for a professional motocross team. While longing for a better suspension system, he designed the very first suspension forks for mountain bikes, the RS-1. Eventually, the company started expanding, but it wasn’t doing too well financially.

It did have great success and generated a revenue of $100 million within the first 8 years of operation. However, as other manufacturers were stepping into the market, it became harder for RockShox to maintain its position. After defaulting on a loan to SRAM, it was taken over in 2002 for its debt of a staggering $5.6 million!

Currently, RockShox’s line of products include –

1.     Suspension forks

2.     Rear shocks

3.     Seatposts

4.     Remotes

5.     Axles

6.     Upgrade kits & accessories

Comparision Between Manitor VS RockShox

 ManitouRockShox
Components AvailableForks, Shocks, Seatposts, Closeout ForksForks, Rear Shocks, Seatposts, Remotes, Axles
Additional AccessoriesFork Rebuild Kit, Fork Service Tool Kit, High-Pressure Suspension PumpFenders, Carbon Spacers, Vice Blocks, Dynamic Seal Grease, Suspension Cleaner
Warranty2 years2 years

Which One Is Better: Manitou Markhor or RockShox Recon?

The correct fork should provide your preferred stability when riding on rough or flat terrains. As suspension forks can get expensive, it is essential for you to get the one that suits your need the most. With that being said, below are short overviews on both the Manitou Markhor and RockShox Recon.

Manitou Markhor Fork 26”

41Fm3SrOVsL. AC SL1000

Specifications

  • Spring Type: TS air
  • Weight: 1.84 kilograms
  • Travel: 80-100mm
  • Wheel Size: 26-inch
  • Steerer: 1-⅛” straight

Cue in one of the best budget suspension forks; the Manitou Markhor! The fork offers great value for money along with a few neat features. Its travel can be adjusted, making the fork a great choice for cross-country and trail tracks. In brief, it is a well-made coil spring suspension fork.

Structure

The Manitou Markhor makes use of a TS air spring system and has a travel of 100mm. It can be extended up to 120mm for the 29-inch variant, which is rare in its price segment. Its stanchion has a respectable width of 30mm.

Adjustable Options

Thanks to the ‘KwikToggle’ feature, the air pressure/compression can be adjusted on-the-go with just one setting. Moreover, the rebound can be adjusted with its TPC cartridge. It also comes with a lockout feature that can be used on flat terrains for efficient pedaling.

Why we like it

●   Simple to install

●   KwikToggle’ knob for easy access to lock-out

●   Offers great value for money with incredible suspension performance

●   Well-balanced lightweight suspension fork

●   Adjustable travel, rebound, and lockout are rare combinations in this price segment

What is disappointing

●  Adjustment knobs feel a bit flimsy

The Manitou Markhor offers stellar performance while costing a fraction of its counterparts. It is ideal for all terrains as it has adjustable travel, rebound, and a nifty ‘KwikToggle’ lockout feature.

RockShox Recon Silver TK

51nITgenhFL. AC UX679

Specifications

  • Spring Type: Solo air
  • Weight: 2.17 kilograms
  • Travel: 100mm
  • Wheel Size: 26-inch
  • Steerer: 1-⅛” straight

A mid-end suspension fork from RockShox, the Recon Silver is highly functional and visually aesthetic. Made from a combination of aluminum and magnesium, it is a bit bulky. On the bright side, this ensures the fork’s rigidity and durability. Since it comprises a straight steerer, most old bikes can use this fork.

Structure

The RockShox Recon comprises a solo air spring system. It offers incredibly smooth feedback and does a great job at dampening with its four-piece bushing system. It has 32mm wide stanchions and has a 9mm quick release for fast and simple installation/uninstallation. Like most rivals, it has a 100mm travel.

Adjustable Options

This is where the RockShox Recon shines with nearly all the bells and whistles. It has a special ‘TurnKey’ lockout that can be used for efficient pedaling on flat terrains. But in case you come across a sharp bump, the fork will absorb it. Moreover, its dampening can also be adjusted via the crown or an included remote.

Why we like it

●   Visually appealing design with sleek graphics

●   TurnKey’ lockout works great against sudden potholes/bumps

●   Four-piece bushing system enables butter-like smoothness

●   Adjustable air compression and dampening

●   Has removable studs for V-brakes

What is disappointing

●  Slightly heavier than most counterparts

The RockShox Recon Silver offers impressive suspension performance. Nearly everything on this fork can be adjusted, so you can fine-tune your riding experience for all terrains.

Comparison Between Manitou Markhor Fork VS RockShox Recon Silver TK

 Manitou Markhor Fork 26”RockShox Recon Silver TK
Spring TypeTS AirSolo Air
Travel100mm100mm
Stanchion Diameter30mm32mm
Weight1.84 kg2.17 kg
Maximum Rotor Size180mm200mm
Adjustable Options‘KwikToggle’ lockout, Travel, Dampening, 9mm quick releaseTravel, Dampening, Air Compression/Pressure, ‘TurnKey’ lockout, 9mm quick release

Final Thoughts

The significance of a suspension fork in a bike’s performance cannot be understated. While the differences between Manitou Markhor vs RockShox Recon isn’t very noticeable, the features of both models create a whole different experience.

With that being said, we hope to have helped you narrow down your choice!