The Elite is plush, with great liner travel, and shines on the big nasty terrain, and it goes much deeper into its travel than its competition. The Elite has a bit of stiction and starts out a bit stiff on small bumps. For medium bumps, it works just fine, but where it really shines is the very linear feel from just above small bump to monster stuff, and it goes deep, and it remains very plush that entire way.The Elite has a bit of fork dive (its fatal flaw), has vague steering and sometimes has issues on loose and rocky climbs. On my second ride, the Elite started to make a clunking noise. The mechanical issue did not affect the functionality of the fork, but it sure was annoying. I got a fix-it kit from Manitou, and it not only resolved the issue, but it seems to have an extra notch of plushness, and it gained 2 more clicks on the Absolute platform setting. I changed the fork oil from 5 weight to 7.5, and it helped but did not solve the fork dive issue. I have ridden the fork for around 5 months since the fix-it kit, and has had no other issues since then.
When doing a slow speed maneuver if your weight is too far forward you can get a fork dive and then the fork stiffens (ramps up quickly) and you get thrown forward and stopped dead? The dive problems occurred when you dropped all your weight directly onto the fork on ledges or drop offs, or hitting square rocks, or in very technical trial spots, all of these rough and tumble situations made the fork dive rear it’s ugly head. Increasing the absolute damping helps, but it was not enough, keeping the pressure a tad higher helped but at the expense of plushness. You quickly learn to keep your weight back a bit farther, but it would still happen, usually at an inopportune moment.