Comparison for Manitou Markhor vs RockShox Recon in 2024

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 a landing backup or 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 to make 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

What is Manitou Markhor?

The Manitou Markhor is a lightweight, air-sprung mountain bike fork for cross-country and trail riding. It offers an impressive blend of performance, durability, and affordability, making it a popular choice among recreational and serious riders. The Markhor features adjustable rebound damping and can accommodate 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29-inch wheel sizes, depending on the model. Its versatility and ability to handle a wide range of terrains, combined with Manitou’s reputation for quality, make the Markhor a standout fork in its category, catering to cyclists seeking a reliable upgrade or replacement for their mountain bikes.

What is RockShox Recon?

The RockShox Recon is a line of entry-to-mid-level mountain bike suspension forks known for blending robust performance with affordability. It’s designed for riders looking for a reliable upgrade or a high-quality component on a new bike, offering features such as adjustable air springs, lockout capabilities, and rebound adjustment. The Recon series caters to various mountain biking disciplines, from cross-country to trail riding, providing a balance of weight, stiffness, and responsiveness. Its versatility and durability make it popular among recreational riders and more serious enthusiasts looking to enhance their riding experience without breaking the bank.

Brief History of Manitou and RockShox

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


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 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 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 seat posts, closeout forks

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

4.     SUNRINGLÉ: Wheels, hubs, rims

5.     Protaper: Handlebars, stems, grips, seat posts, closeout bars


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

It succeeded greatly and generated a revenue of $100 million within the first 8 years of operation. However, as other manufacturers stepped 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 a staggering $5.6 million debt!

Currently, RockShox’s line of products include –

1.     Suspension forks

2.     Rear shocks

3.     Seatposts

4.     Remotes

5.     Axles

6.     Upgrade kits & accessories

Comparison Between Manitor VS RockShox

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, you must get the one that suits your needs the most. With that being said, below are short overviews of both the Manitou Markhor and RockShox Recon.

Manitou Markhor Fork 26”

41Fm3SrOVsL. AC SL1000


  • 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.


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 has 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


  • 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 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.


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 if 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
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

What is the best MTB fork in the world?

Determining the “best” mountain bike (MTB) fork globally is subjective and depends on various factors, including riding style, terrain, and personal preferences. However, forks from brands like Fox Racing Shox and RockShox often receive high praise for their performance, durability, and advanced suspension technology.

Models such as the Fox 36 Factory Series and the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate are frequently highlighted for their exceptional balance of stiffness, responsiveness, and adjustability, making them favorites among professional and enthusiast riders. Ultimately, the best MTB fork suits your riding needs, offering the right weight, stiffness, and damping capabilities for your favorite trails.

How much air should I put in my RockShox Recon?

The air you should put in your RockShox Recon fork depends on your weight and riding style. Generally, RockShox provides a recommended air pressure chart that matches rider weight to air pressure in psi (pounds per square inch).

For example, a lighter rider may require less air pressure for optimal performance, while a heavier rider will need more. It’s crucial to start with the manufacturer’s recommendation based on your weight and then adjust slightly according to your preference and the terrain you ride on. You can find the specific air pressure recommendations in the manual that came with your fork or on the RockShox website. Remember, fine-tuning the air pressure will help you balance comfort, traction, and efficiency on your rides.

What is the max tire size for Manitou Markhor?

The Manitou Markhor fork can accommodate a maximum tire size of up to 29 inches for the 29er version and up to 27.5 inches for the 27.5-inch version, with a maximum tire width of 2.6 inches. This versatility allows riders to use a wide range of tire sizes for different riding conditions, offering a good balance between traction, comfort, and performance on various terrains.

F&Q For Manitou Markhor vs RockShox Recon

What is the best for Manitou Markhor vs RockShox Recon?

Choosing between Manitou Markhor and RockShox Recon depends on your priorities: Manitou Markhor is best for lightweight and cost-efficiency, while RockShox Recon offers better adjustability and performance for more aggressive riding.

Is Manitou Markhor a good fork?

Yes, the Manitou Markhor is a good fork, known for its lightweight design, reliable performance, and affordability. It is a popular choice among cross-country and trail riders seeking a quality upgrade without breaking the bank.

Is RockShox Recon a good fork?

Yes, the RockShox Recon is considered a good fork, offering reliable performance and value for entry to mid-level mountain biking. It provides solid durability, adjustability, and a smooth ride, making it a popular choice among riders looking for a quality upgrade without breaking the bank.

Which fork is better Fox or RockShox?

Determining which fork is better between Fox and RockShox depends on personal preference, riding style, and specific needs. Both brands offer high-quality, performance-oriented suspension forks with different characteristics. Fox is known for its plushness and high-performance damping, while RockShox offers versatility and user-friendly adjustment features. It’s best to consider the specific models, features and reviews relevant to your riding style to make an informed decision.

Is Manitou a good fork brand?

Manitou is considered a good fork brand, known for producing high-quality, innovative suspension forks for mountain bikes, offering good performance, durability, and adjustability across various riding conditions and disciplines.


Regarding Manitou Markhor versus RockShox Recon, the decision on which is better hinges on what you value most in your rides. If you’re leaning towards a fork that’s light on your bike and easy on your wallet, then the Manitou Markhor stands out as a solid choice. It offers a great mix of performance and affordability, making it ideal for riders who want reliability without breaking the bank. On the other hand, if your adventures demand a fork that can be fine-tuned to tackle more challenging trails and you don’t mind investing a bit more for that capability, the RockShox Recon proves to be a formidable contender. It’s designed to cater to those seeking enhanced adjustability and robust performance. Ultimately, both forks have their merits, and the best pick for you depends on your specific needs, riding style, and budget.

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