The Manitou Mattoc Pro is hugely adjustable and easily the best entry-level 160mm fork on test.
Manitou has finally ditched the baffling Hexlock QR axle for a new bolt-thru design, which is easily removed by using a standard 6mm Allen key.
The fork still gets a tapered steerer, hollow-forged crown, and 34mm stanchions that use a lighter Taperwall construction to shave off weight. The lowers are united by Manitou’s lightweight reverse arch, making the Mattoc one of the lightest 160mm forks on test. There are zip-guides for the brake hose and a 180mm post-mount for the brake caliper.
A single Schrader valve inflates a dual-chamber air spring, and the fork can now be fitted with Manitou’s new IVA tokens.
These are included with the Mattoc Pro II model for £619.99, but we actually upgraded to Manitou’s new IRT (Infinite Rate Tune) assembly (for £59.99), which works like an adjustable token that you charge by pumping air into the upper valve. It’s an involving process initially, but it does mean you can make changes to the progression with just a shock pump.
The fork has high and low-speed compression, rebound and a hydraulic bottom-out adjustment to control ramp-up. Our only criticism is that the tiny dial, giving you control over this, is hard to turn with gloves on.
Even with the new bolt-thru axle, the Mattoc Pro is not as stiff as the other forks here, and it felt a little wayward when really pushing hard. In terms of damping, though, it felt the most composed at all three test locations, and never felt too jarring over roots or hitting square-edge bumps at speed.
The supple, coil-like feel, kept the fork planted on the Forest of Dean’s slippery, flat trails, but the IRT still gives plenty of support on steep stuff. Even smashing through the rocks at BikePark Wales, the Mattoc Pro was totally unfazed, and we never had any issues with excessive diving or harshness in the damping. Our only criticism is there’s a bit of a squelching noise from the rebound circuit.
The IRT upgrade does bump up the price, but in terms of performance it’s definitely worth the extra £60. The Mattoc Pro is hugely adjustable and easily the best entry-level 160mm fork on test.