Manitou goal is one fork that can be adapted to how and where you ride, is easy to upgrade and maintain, and still feels perfect whatever the terrain
#The PeoplesFork is a strong statement to hitch to a mountain bike suspension fork, but from what we’re finding out about the new Manitou Mattoc, the brand has clearly put in a lot of work to create a fork that suits a whole lot of riders, but also allows for at-home adjustability and maintenance too.
Need to know:
- Three builds – Pro, Expert and Comp
- 29er and 27.5 options
- Adjustable travel with 10mm increments from 110mm to 150mm
- Internals are compatible and interchangeable throughout model line and across Manitou Circus and Mastodon
Normally the first question about a fork is ‘what is it for’, and in this case that’s not as easy to answer as Manitou essentially says it’s for everyone. At least, everyone who isn’t a dedicated downhill or enduro rider.
That’s partly because of the Mattoc’s adjustable travel. It can be adjusted in 10mm increments to be anything from a 110mm XC-ready short-travel model to 150mm of trail-riding goodness. And here’s another interesting aspect; the fork is designed so it’s easy for the owner to change the travel at home, as it comes with all the relevant parts and no additional purchases are required.
So say your local trails are fairly undulating so you tend to run a short-travel fork for maximum speed and fun. Then you decide to head somewhere with bigger terrain for a holiday and need more travel; you can boost your travel up for the trip so you’ve got more to play with.
This also, depending on how it actually works in practice, could make the Manitou Mattoc a great investment fork for riders that don’t have an endless budget to play with, since it can evolve alongside the rider’s requirements. This is further helped by the fact that the internals are compatible within the range – so you can buy the base Comp model and upgrade internals to the Expert or premium Pro model as and when budget allows.
This is also good news for at-home and in-shop maintenance, since it makes it easier and more accessible to get hold of parts. And the internals are also compatible across the Manitou Circus and Mastodon forks.
Manitou Mattoc features
On the inside, the Mattoc forks are built around 34mm stanchions which, Manitou say, offers a great blend of strength and low weight. The brand also claims the new Mattoc is 30% stiffer than the previous version, and offers a claimed weight of 1750g for the Pro model.
The forks are compatible with 29er and 27.5 wheels with a 44mm offset, and the 27.5mm size also has a 37mm offset option, designed to suit smaller bikes and smaller or young riders.
Unsurprisingly the range topping Mattoc Pro is the most tuneable fork, featuring a Dorado Air spring which allows for that travel adjustment without adding parts mentioned above. It also has new travel spacers which account for negative air volume change, with the result – Manitou says – being the 110mm fork has the same initial stroke feel as the 150mm version. Both the Dorado Air and Expert Air springs have a balancing valve that equalises positive and negative air chambers during fill process to give consistent spring rate, and allow different weight riders to have a similar feel.
Other elements include:
IRT – Infinite Rate Tune – which allows users to adjust air pressures on the stroke beginning and end independently of each other. This comes on the Pro model, and is available as an aftermarket upgrade on Expert and Comp models. It works by creating a secondary positive air spring that affects only the mid- to end-stroke, allowing the lower fork pressures for better small bump sensitivity while still offering plenty of support at the end stroke for bigger hits and rougher terrain.
Trail-tuned MC2 sealed damper – available on the Mattoc Pro, this uses a bladder system to manage heat build up on long descents with a relief valve.
HBO – Hydraulic Bottom Out – system controls the final 30mm of travel to provide a bottomless feel.
TSR – Trail Side Relief – involves casting bleed screws to allow users to release casting pressure from the fork. Pressure builds up due to riding, particularly hard riding, and temperature and elevation changes – release it to equalise pressure and improve fork feel and small bump compliance.
- Manitou Pro – $1049.99 / €1260
- Manitou Expert – $799.99 / €990
- Manitou Comp – $549.99 / €720
The Manitou Mattoc certainly promises a lot, and could potentially be a significant development for the average mountain biker who doesn’t have the cash to splash on multiple forks, upgrades and new bikes every season. It sounds like a product that, once invested in, allows for easy maintenance and adaptability to suit the changing needs of the rider, and we’re all for that. The proof of the pudding, of course, is in the easting. Or in this case, the proof of the fork is in the testing, so when we get our hands on the new Manitou Mattoc, we’ll be able to let you know whether it really does live up to it’s #ThePeoplesFork moniker.