The John Wayne of suspension forks.

The new Manitou Mastodon is designed to swallow five inch wide tyres. And it’ll still work just fine even when it’s -15°C outside.

Whilst most of us are still coming to terms with the brave new world of 2.8in-3.0in Plus tyres, Manitou have been beavering away building a proper suspension fork for the full-on fat bike brigade.

Tyres accepted

The Manitou Mastodon will accept 26″ x 5.15″ tyres, 27.5″ x 4.5″ tyres and 29″ x 3.0″ tyres.

manitou mastodon

Thanks in part to a bit of collaboration between Manitou and Foes (specifically the Foes Mutz full suspension fat bike) the Mastodon travel range has a fork offering up to 150mm for travel. The full list of travel options: 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 140mm and 150mm.

There isn’t a whole load of competition when it comes to fat bike suspension forks. Basically there’s the RockShox Bluto and… er, that’s it. This new Mastadon has the Bluto clearly in its sights. Although it doesn’t explicitly state the RockShox rival, when the literature accompanying the Manitou Mastadon states “the competition”, it’s the Bluto that they’re on about.

Stiffer than the competition

The Mastodon has 34mm diameter stanchions. Combined with Manitou’s trademark reverse arch and Hexlock thru-axle, the Mastodon claims to have 26% better fore-aft stiffness (under braking, essentially) and 25% better torsional stiffness compared to… “the competition”.

Not many MTB folk know that Manitou have considerable experience in snowmobile racing. This knowhow has enabled Manitou to ensure that the Mastodon still performs acceptably in terms of reduced stiction even down to temperatures as low as -15°C. So this is definitely the fork to have if you’re a snow-riding fat biker.

Suspension tuning abilities

Perhaps most significantly, the new Mastodon offers a range of suspension tuning pretty much unavailable in other fat bike forks. The damping technology used has been brought over from Manitou’s impressive Mattoc and Dorado forks.

manitou mastodon

Not only can you drop in ‘IVA’ volume spacers (pic above) to tweak the end-stroke, you can also upgrade to an Infinite Rate Tune Kit (‘IRT’, see pic below) that essentially offers riders the ability to control mid-stroke feel independent of end-stroke or initial-stroke.

manitou mastodon

No word on UK pricing and availability yet. The Manitou Mastodon is a serious bit of kit for those serious about their fat bike fun.