Manitou’s new all-mountain Mattoc is available at three price points and borrows a chunk of technology from the Dorado downhill fork. This Pro version has 34mm stanchions with a lighter Taperwall construction to shave off weight and a reverse arch design, which means the magnesium slider bridge can sit lower for better torsional stiffness. The fork comes with an all-mountain appropriate (no adaptor needed) 180mm post-mount brake boss and a new push and quarter-turn Hexlock axle. This 15mm QR system is a bit fiddly at first, but really quick once you suss it out.
A single Schrader valve inflates a dual-chamber air spring with a hydraulic bottom-out dial to control ramp-up. Inside, a sealed-cartridge rebound assembly saves weight, and there’s a shim-based compression circuit with external high and low-speed adjusters. The compression dials offer subtle incremental effects making it quite hard to gauge any knob twiddling, and the low-speed circuit doesn’t lock out travel entirely. At the opposite end, the rebound adjuster offers very broad changes with each click and we’d prefer more fine-tunability.
Maybe due to the large-volume air spring, there’s a very coil-like, deep and linear feel to the Mattoc, with great cushioning and isolation. The ramp-up worked well even when we ran lower pressures than suggested to improve the grip and tracking, with no excessive diving or instability. Winding on high-speed compression to cope with harsh impacts doesn’t adversely affect the comfort and smoothness either — the fork never felt too hard or jarring against
While the Mattoc feels ready for proper all-mountain terrain, the chassis is mid-pack in terms of stiffness, demonstrating a very slight twanginess in twisty, rock-threading scenarios.
During testing the Mattoc leaked a small amount of oil on the air-spring side and also lost 20-30mm of travel over the course of a massive ride (performance was unaffected). Deflating, cycling and reinflating set the fork back to the full 160mm, but in case there was an issue we chose to complete this review with a new unit instead. The second fork worked well, but didn’t feel quite as supple and made a harsh clanking noise bottoming-out. The difference between the two forks was subtle and could be because they need an extremely long time to bed in properly. Overall though, the performance of this fork is impressive for the price.
Manitou's new Mattoc is a welcome addition to the market with a decent price to go with its highly tunable chassis. The travel feels bottomless with a very deep, plush feel, but as we've had a couple of minor issues and the fork is new, reliability is still unknown.