Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Manitou has held a strong position in the suspension game by maintaining a plethora of cost effective products for every day riders to use without breaking the bank. The Machete is one of the most notorious of their forks and we have seen them equipped on bikes of all shapes, sizes and ages. Our buddy Steve recently made the upgrade on his Trek Marlin 5. Let's see what he thinks of the upgrade.
After buying my 2021 Trek Marlin 5 about a month or so ago, I took it out whenever I had a chance and challenged it on my local trails. Those trail rides confirmed a couple of things... The bike frame was awesome...the parts on it...not so much. Most especially evident with the stock SR Suntour suspension fork.
The Trek Marlin 5 has a beautiful and awesome handling frame, the SR Suntour fork was obviously holding the bike (and me!) Back from the trails this bike is capable of doing. After doing a lot of upgrades on getting the components up to a better spec, I kept thinking about the need for a better suspension fork. After doing a couple of weeks of research, I decided the best candidate for my Trek would be the Manitou Machete Comp 29 Fork.
I'd read about its stout build, decent weight, and really supple air suspension. All of which I wanted to have on my 2021 Marlin. I reconfirmed my thoughts after taking my bike out to the Catamount Trail in Silver Falls State Park.
The frame was awesome, it was being held back by a suspension fork that was too "springy"... pogoing on a trail like Catamount can get you in trouble real fast, so... I had to keep the speed in check even though the bike truly wanted to fly down that trail! After riding Catamount, my decision was obvious...I needed that Manitou Machete Comp Fork on my 2021 Trek Marlin 5 immediately! Because of the coronavirus and now the forest fires here in Oregon, getting the fork put on took some time... I ended up doing the fork swap myself. Not the first time I've done it, but it's been at least a decade since I did.
The install was without incident and went smoothly. The Manitou Machete Comp looks great and definitely lives up to its reputation. It's very tunable, the ability to micro tune it to your specific weight and uses the rebound adjustment is awesome. Easily dialed in and tunable for when riding on different terrain.
I love the out of the box suppleness of this fork!
It reminds me of some of the pricey Marzocchi's of the past...a really nice riding fork. It works and you just float over things with a stable nature that is definitely confidence-inspiring. I'd have to say it's transformed my Trek Marlin 5 into a much more capable trail type hardtail.
Hayes now owns Manitou, and this is a great thing because the ability to make a consistently great product comes with its name. I like having a great suspension fork on my bike.
"The Manitou Machete Comp is a great suspension fork with an awesome pedigree behind it. Backed up by Worldwide Cyclery and it's awesome people as well! I'm really looking forward to taking this awesome Manitou Machete Comp Fork on the incredibly awesome trail here in Oregon called the Catamount Trail... So many adventures await with this great suspension fork now on the bike.
My advice to anyone looking to upgrade their bike to make it truly more trail-worthy and inspiring is to look at the forks available, compare what's out there at the different price points... That's when you'll discover the awesomeness of what the Manitou Machete Comp Fork offers. Best of luck to everyone... Ride your bike today!" - Steve