Does Manitou's Mastodon Pro Make Fatbikes More Fun? - Review

Aug 29, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Manitou Mastodon review test


Fatbikes have come a long way over the last few years, and many brands now offer high-end models that aren't only about the novelty of mucking around in the snow. Manitou's new Mastodon fatbike fork, first shown at the most recent Taipei Cycle Show in March, has been designed with exactly those high-end requirements in mind. As such, it's sporting features also found on Manitou's more conventional performance range of forks, but in a new, wider chassis and with an all-temperature build that's designed to be unaffected by the bitter cold.

My test fork is a 120mm-travel Mastodon Pro model that employs their TPC layout, MC² compression assembly, and a Dorado air spring. Total weight is 2,430-grams, and the fork goes for $849.99 USD.


Mastodon Pro Details

• Intended use: fat biking
• Travel: 100mm (adj. to 80mm), 120mm (adj. to 140mm),
150mm (OEM only)
• Spring: Dorado Air
• TPC damper
• MC² compression damper
• Stanchions: 34mm
• Hexlock SL 15mm x 150mm thru-axle
• Max tire clearance: 26''x5.15'' / 27.5''x4.5''
• Weight: 2,430 grams
• MSRP: $849.99 USD
www.manitoumtb.com



Manitou Mastodon review test
A fitting name for a larger than life fork.


Inside the Mastodon

Dorado Air Spring - Just in case the Dorado name doesn't ring a bell, it's Manitou's high-end, inverted downhill fork that I believe possess some of the best spring and damper performance in the biz. And it's a version of the former that's put to use inside of the much shorter-travel Mastodon in the shape of the Dorado spring system. The gist is that it's a relatively high-volume air spring that features a self-equalizing negative chamber, with both being adjusted simultaneously via a schrader valve at the bottom of the fork's left leg.

If you look closely at the valve, you'll see that it's not a run of the mill schrader setup, however, with something that looks like the valve core protruding slightly from the top. Threading on a standard shock pump depresses this 'core' which opens the port between the positive and negative chambers, thereby allowing the latter to constantly self-adjust to the optimal pressure.


Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou Mastodon review test
The air valve at the bottom of the left leg is protected by a thread-on alloy cap, and it pressurizes both the positive and negative chambers at the same time.


The Mastodon Pro also comes with Manitou's IVA (Incremental Volume Adjust) setup installed that lets riders tune how the fork ramps-up by rearranging volume-tuning spacers to sit either above or below the air piston, or you can even install their IRT (Infinite Rate Adjust) system that creates a secondary air chamber above a floating air piston. While more complicated to understand, the IRT setup is said to allow independent tuning of the fork's middle to ending stroke, and it does come with easy to understand instructions. I was happy with the Mastodon Pro's stock IVA spring, however, so I stuck with that.


MC² and TPC Damping - It's another case of borrowed technology, this time when it comes to the important oil related stuff. TPC is shorthand for 'Twin Piston Chamber,' and that's exactly what it sounds like: a single oil chamber with two pistons; one piston is fixed at the bottom, and the other is on the damper rod. If that layout sounds familiar, it's because that's what you'll find in pretty much every modern, high-end suspension unit.

The MC² name refers to, you guessed it, the Mastodon's dual compression adjusters found at the top of the right leg. The outer anodized red dial tunes the Mastodon's low-speed compression, while the inner black dial lets riders adjust the high-speed control.

Rather than twenty-something clicks to flip through, Manitou has gone with a simple four-clicks for each dial, which is probably a good approach. Each click is well defined, and the adjustment range is wide enough to make anyone happy.
Manitou Mastodon review test
Compression adjustments are done at the top of the right fork leg; the red dial tunes low-speed compression and the black handles high-speed duties.

A fatbike fork is much more likely to be faced with freezing temps than a standard fork, and those icy conditions can have a detrimental effect on performance - seals can fail, lube can thicken, and the same thing can happen to damping oil. Manitou has worked with athletes competing in the Idita-bike races, so they have some history when it comes to extremely low temps and knew that specific fluids and greases would be required, and also that certain internal features might not perform at their best when conditions go from cold to really freak'n cold. ''We decided to go with Dorado Air in the Mastodon Comp because the top-out systems used in TS and ISO Air just don’t perform well enough in the cold,'' Manitou's Eric Schutt said. ''Since people don’t only ride their fatbikes in the cold, any solution we made had to work equally well in hot conditions.''



Mastodon Chassis

Wider Stance, burlier Chassis -The Mastodon's wide stance due to its 150mm wide hub spacing called for some extra beefiness in its chassis, so that's exactly what Manitou did. ''The huge tires and massive traction drive higher torsional loads than a smaller tire, so the stiffness is very important,'' Schutt explained, but there more to it than that. ''It’s also more important at cold temps where internal seals are working harder and don’t need the added challenge of sealing on a flexing leg.'' Using finite element analysis, there were between twenty and thirty different iterations of the Mastodon's arch during testing, says Schutt, and Manitou focused much more on stiffness over aesthetics than with their other forks.


Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou prioritized rigidity over looks when it came to the Mastodon's lowers.


Manitou also went with 34mm stanchions, a choice that makes sense when you consider that travel options go all the way up to 150mm. The final product is claimed to be 26% stiffer fore/aft, and 25% stiffer torsionally, than ''the competition,'' which is surely a veiled reference to RockShox's Bluto fatbike fork and its 32mm stanchions.

The biggest challenge turned out to be how to make the Mastodon play nice with the massive variance in diameters of fatbike tires. Schutt explains how they tackled this: ''Our solution to this was to offer two different ride heights for the same range of travels This allows us to deliver a lower ride height for the more typical fat tires, and still fit the largest rubber by building the fork a bit taller for those who need it. The forks use the same casting and legs, so it is possible to change from one version to the other by swapping some internals.''


Manitou Mastodon review test
The Mastodon's HexLock SL is a simple and lightweight 15mm x 150mm thru-axle that requires a 6mm allen key. The cap is captured in the right fork leg.


HexLock SL - Manitou has used their hexagonal-shaped axles to tie the fork lowers together for ages now, with the design evolving over the years from a simple thru-axle and cap setup to a more complicated "quick-release" (HexLock QR15) that frustrated some riders. While the QR15 setup was quick when you nailed it, aligning the T-shaped end of the axle with the slot on the opposite side could be tricky, and Manitou is now offering forks with their simpler HexLock SL that's employed on the Mastodon.


Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou Mastodon review test
This is where the HexLock name comes from.


The Mastodon's HexLock SL still features a round center section and hexagonal-shaped ends that interlock with the 150mm-wide spaced fork lowers, but the axles threads in via a captured nut on held in the left fork leg. Sure, you need a 6mm hex key to get the axle out, but I doubt anyone riding a fatbike is in that much of a hurry that they'll miss the more complicated Hexlock QR15 system. I know that I don't.




Manitou Mastodon
My 120mm-travel Mastodon Pro test fork was bolted to the front of a Trek Farley EX 8.


Riding the Mastodon

Sensitivity and Air Spring - A massive 3.8'' wide tire goes a long way to helping erase any and all imperfections under it. But giant tire or not, the Mastodon is slippery and smooth from the get-go, with it feeling on par with anything else on the market as far as stiction goes, especially at the top of the fork's stroke.

The Mastodon's air spring feels suitable for a bike with nearly 4'' wide tires that's probably not going to be thrown into nasty terrain at the same pace as an enduro bike. That said, the fork's ramp-up felt more than adequate in this regard, and I never needed to tinker with the IVA system to create more bottom-out resistance. Granted, I'm not exactly sending fatbikes off of Rampage-sized drops, but the spring rate felt controlled at the 70 PSI that I settled on and well-suited to some relatively aggressive fat tire shredding, even if that includes some drops around the five-foot range.

I thought that I might miss Manitou's effective HBO (Hydraulic Bottom Out) control that's employed on their Mattoc Pro 2, but I don't think it's required on the Mastodon.

Chassis Performance - I don't doubt Manitou when they say that they've gone to great lengths to keep the Mastodon's ultra-wide chassis as torsionally rigid as possible, but I'm not convinced that this is all that noticeable when speaking about the 120mm-travel fork reviewed here. Hear me out: fatbikes are most often put to use in the worst of the worst; deep sand or snow are the common conditions, of course. And the tires used are often around four-inches wide and running single digit pressures to boot, all of which can make for a, er, forgiving feeling to the bike's steering precision.

What I'm trying to say here is that while the Mastodon never felt like a wet noodle to me, the entire thing steered like the other fatbikes that I've spent time aboard: fun, but not exactly a shining example of handling exactness. Either way, the Mastodon is torsionally stiff enough for any rider, and it's 34mm stanchions likely make it more precise than RockShox's Bluto.

Jump up to the 150mm-travel, OE-only Mastodon, or the longer axle-to-crown EXT versions that have added length to clear up to 26'' x 5.15'' tires, and I bet that Manitou's work to create a stiff chassis does pay off.
Manitou Mastodon review test
Need clearance? That's a 3.8'' wide Bontrager tire between the Mastodon's legs, and there's loads of room for something much larger.

Damper Performance - I've had good experiences with Manitou's MC² damper in the past, especially when it was used inside of their Mattoc all-mountain fork, and the Mastodon performed in much the same way. The dials look the same and also do the same job, sans the HBO dial that's not present on the Mastodon, and while I'm happy to admit that I love to tinker with settings ad nauseam, the four available clicks for both the low-speed compression and high-speed compression offer a very effective tuning range.

The red LSC dial firms the fork up substantially when fully closed, and while it's not a full lockout, it's likely enough for anyone on a fatbike - the fork can still go into its stroke, but it's heavily damped and quite firm. With 70 PSI in the air spring, I found myself preferring to run the dial either two or three clicks from fully closed, a setting that offered plenty of control and felt like it helped to manage fork movement that could sometimes feel more active than it actually is due to the soft, high-volume tire. The black HSC dial saw less action, with it usually sitting either three or four clicks (fully open) from closed.


Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou Mastodon review test
Manitou's damper has always impressed me, and it's no different when it comes to the Mastodon.


I'm a bit under 160lbs and ride at a solid expert lever, and the above settings had the Mastodon feeling very much like... a normal fork. That should be the goal with these things, I suppose; to make the bike feel as close as possible to a traditional mountain bike, but without stealing away any of the fun and practical benefits (in the right setting) of the massive tires.


Reliability - Manitou had a spell of less than stellar reliability many moons ago, and there's no arguing that it didn't turn some riders off of their suspension forks. The same could be said of any other brand, of course, especially when talking about crown/steerer/stanchion tube assemblies, but I'd argue that Manitou has improved immensely over the years and that they can now match RockShox and Fox in that department. The Mastodon Pro fork that I've been using has confirmed this in my mind, with absolutely zero degradation in performance, or even a hiccup, since I started using the fork many months ago.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesYes, fatbikes still have an air of weirdness about them, but that's also what makes them so fun, at least for me. They're also a very effective tool in the right conditions. The correct tool, I would argue, and it's components like the Mastodon Pro that make these machines feel more and more normal, even on perfectly clear singletrack. The Mastodon performs like a short-travel Mattoc, which is some serious praise, but it also goes a long way to making a fatbike feel as normal and as fun as possible. Mike Levy







162 Comments

  • + 135
 you sure you rode the bike bro? there's no pedals on it. lol
  • - 19
flag NYShred (Aug 29, 2017 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 Those lowers will always look backwards to me. I can imagine that back in the day their manufacturer installed a couple thousand the wrong way and then instead of wasting a ton of time/money to fix them, they just put them out to market and acted like they did it on purpose.
  • + 13
 @NYShred: open your mind and you'll see there is no normal, just inventive people looking for a different and better way. Do you remember the lack of normalcy when forward thinking people first put hydraulic brakes and shocks on a mountain bike...ohhh the outrage!!
  • + 7
 @NYShred: I've got Circus forks on my dirt jumper and yeah they may look a little different at first but I've grown to like them, not to mention it's an awesome DJ fork. I'll take performance over aesthetics any day.
  • + 2
 @yeti951SD: also got circus forks on my DJ, and I can honestly say that I had that first initial "what the hell" moment in the bike shop, and since then I haven't given it a second thought.
  • + 11
 @allballz: I rode a solid expert lever once. Ass still hurts
  • + 1
 The bike and tires look almost spotlessly clean too.
  • + 60
 "Does Manitou's Mastodon Pro Make Fatbikes More Fun?"

No.
  • + 14
 We are all excited, waiting for your review of Crank Bros Triglyceride wheelset for Fat bikes.
  • - 15
flag kovaldesign (Aug 29, 2017 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 No and pointless.
  • + 3
 Not to mention the review on the Cat GoPro you've had on long term test for about a decade now.
  • + 3
 2 words......Bumper bowling!!
  • + 1
 Hey, but it comes with a "solid expert lever"! I need one of those on my bike. Flip it and instantly I go from middle of the pack in Junior (Womens) to Expert!
  • + 71
 So annoying to read this stuff.... If I don't do it it's lame mentality. How about when you live in a northern climate and cant don a pair of ski's to get you through the winter, because its flatland all around you. My fatbike allows me to keep biking my singletrack and getting out into the woods when nothing else instills that passion like biking for me. A fatbike while admittedly not as fun as my summer MTB provides an additional 5 months of riding singletrack. Not really a black and white issue, just is it the right tool for the job at hand. Also, you want to improve your bike handling skills, go throw yourself down some steep iced out, ungroomed single track on a fatty with no studs and you'll learn what bad bike handling skills get you.... OTB. Best training tool I've found so far.
  • + 9
 Didnt know you Felt that way.
  • + 3
 @rockin-itis: well I do and thanks for listening.... now lets go ride.
  • + 25
 @eswebster: You made me laugh, I dropped the front wheel off the hard pack single track at speed into 2 feet of powder....It was an epic yard sale that didn't hurt, I got up, had a good laugh about it with my friends. Watching friends crash into the powder at speed makes fat bike rides extremely entertaining. Riding along the ice on the side of the river is a lot of fun and allows us access to locations we cant get to in the summer.

Winter can suck but fat bikes make it much more tolerable
  • + 8
 @eswebster: I have yet to ride my fatbike in the winter (just got it this spring) my nearest trails are motocross and ATV trails and the fatbike has been a blast and opened new possibilities to me with all the loose, soft and rocky trails that were not fun are now fun ,yet still challenging.
  • - 6
flag chize (Aug 29, 2017 at 21:34) (Below Threshold)
 I'm convinced that 90% of fatbikes exist to give slow people an excuse for being slow.
  • + 2
 @chize: at some point we just need to accept who we are... I respect that. Because there is nothing more pathetic than a bloke discussing buying a lighter stem...
  • + 5
 @eswebster: Wholeheartedly agree with you, I live at 70 degrees north, and the season for normal mtb riding is 4-5 months here, so a fat bike makes a lot of sense. I used to dislike fat bikes, thought they were just XC bikes for slow people, but I bought one last winter, and it's actually quite fun to ride in the snow with. We have a really nice trail network for fat bikes that get maintained regularly, while in the summer we don't have any bike specific trails at all. We do have some really damn good trails though, but we have to share them with hikers.
  • + 9
 @eswebster: Well said. Too many shmucks from Cali and Colorado don't realize the some of us HAVE to hang up our "normal" bikes for months on end. Improvements in gear like this fork let us not just spin, but huck and crash and huck again. It makes for a better spring when winter is still riding season.

Not to mention LBS's pulling in off season revenue.

Fatties are just plain good for everyone.
  • + 2
 @ridintrials: Yea...nobody from Colorado owns a fat bike We just have FatBike Worlds in Crested Butte, a fatbike race in Leadville that has been happening for 17 years and so many local races that you cant get to all of them in a single season...Nope, it's all shorts, sun tan lotion and unicorn sunburns here in Colorado.....
  • + 4
 @yetirich: Ummmm, put down the pipe and read. You are arguing against a point I didn't make.

It's cool Homie, I ain't hatin'.
  • + 26
 Cold performance? I will believe it when I see it/ride it, haven't seen a fork at works below -10 C. If it does work then I will be getting one of these bad boys for sure. Fat bike season will soon be upon us in the Yukon. The idea of a 150 mm travel fat bike has me more excited than husky with a fresh piece of caribou.
  • + 24
 I actually find suspension forks on fat bikes a must-have, mainly due to the stability it offers controlling the bounce when things get rough. You end up running higher pressures in the tires and roll better. This looks like a nice upgrade over the Bluto, which is basic at best....
  • + 12
 [deleted - replied to wrong comment]
  • + 19
 A fat bike is a bike, not unlike any other mountain bike, the reason you run suspension on a fat bike is no different than the reason you run suspension on any other mountain bike. Easy peasy.

The Bluto is an antiquated, Rebaesque fork, that was a noodle from day one, and has been replaced by far better forks for many years.

The Mastodon is a solid fork, very well built, based on current damping and compression designs tested in Manitou's "normal forks". The Mastodon works as designed, it doesn't flex under load, it allows for travel up to 150mm, and the function is as good as the Mattoc.

I run a Mastodon 150mm STD on a 6" travel fat bike and I run a Mastodon 120mm EXT on a hard tail fat bike, both bikes have aggressive geo with 16.25" chainstays. I have wheelsets running 27.5 x 2.8 Minions, 27.5 x 3.8 Minions, 29 x 3" Minions, and 26 x 4.8 Minions; I like Minions. I can pick and choose wheels based on conditions, swapping them between bikes.

^this is why a fat bike is cool, lots of choices, same chasis, adjustable set up, year round biking on the same bike.
  • - 3
 wait, what? You have two bikes, and four wheelsets... and you say they are versatile? Versatile would mean one bike, one wheelset, all conditions. I believe what you mean to say is: "I like fat bikes and I have a whole bunch to suit my preferences on any given day. All you haters can piss off". which is fine. Just don't call that versatile man...
  • + 4
 @slyfink: I go on a road trip, I bring one bike and two or three wheelsets, sometimes I even run mixed wheelsets. Come winter time, I feel like doing some bikepacking, I pull out the hardtail, pick the best wheelset and off I go. Two bikes, numerous configurations, seems pretty versatile to me.
  • + 2
 so how do all those Minions compare to each other? You may be the world's definitive expert on >2.6" Minions based on that quiver!
  • + 4
 @slyfink: how many wheel types can you run on your bike? 1 maybe two. This guy has a Swiss army bike (of sorts) with many blades... Sounds pretty versatile
  • + 2
 You have a 6" fat bike with 16.25" chainstays? That doesn't seem possible.
  • + 1
 @HungarianBarbarian:
Lenz Fatillac. I'm running a Cane Creek Coil IL. 16.25" chainstays, 67deg HTA. It's a beast!
  • + 2
 @slyfink: That's way more versatile than any bike I've owned, except maybe my gravel bike (2 wheel sizes, run anything from 27.5 x 2.25 to road slicks)
  • + 1
 @nurseben I do have to ask, don't you just hate the q factor on the fat bikes, or do you just get used to it?
  • + 2
 @trialsracer: I don't notice it, moving from a 73mm bb to a 100mm requires no adjustment that I've noticed. There's some adjustment going bwteen tire and wheel sizes, but nothing I can't work out in a couple minutes.

I think q factor is waaay overrated. Think about how wide people run their stance in boarding or skiing? They don't seem to complain about q factor; "what's q factor?"

About the only bitch with qfactor is pedal clearance in narrow gaps and narrow trail beds.
  • + 0
 - Which fat bikes are these?

- By STD and EXT, do you mean Comp and Pro?
  • + 1
 Never mind my above comment, I fingered it out.
  • + 14
 Red compression knob... These guys want to watch the entire world burn.
  • + 13
 These clickbait titles are silly
  • + 3
 Buzzbike?
  • + 9
 Looks like an awesome, mainstream alternative to the Bluto for those who want better than an XC fork, but the weight! What I really want is a fat Pike. Are you listening, Rockshox?
  • + 5
 i mean, the mastodon is kinda a fat Mattoc. same air spring and other than the HBO, same damper. Manitou knocked it out of the park with the dorado air spring and MC2 damper, i don't blame them for using it in every higher end fork they make going forward
  • + 4
 @xeren: if rock shox and fox stay out of the segment, the mastodon could be what puts manitou back in contention with them across the board. Fat bikers looking for better, only finding this and then liking then liking it. I bet that person is way more willing to try its normal counterparts (mattoc, durado)
  • + 7
 Someone take it out in the prairies in January\Februrary and let me know how it works in the real cold. If Pinkbike wants to lend me their test fork I volunteer to review it...
  • + 7
 Fat shaming a mountain bike just because it has a wide profile is wrong and you should be ashamed.
  • + 4
 Pat Smage a Trials rider from my hometown is testing this fork for Manitou. Knowing his riding style it had better be pretty stiff. I cant wait to talk to him more about it as he seems to love it so far.
  • + 3
 Pat Smage is an amazing rider, his YouTube channel is great.
  • + 1
 @tigerteeuwen: Pat and Hannah are awesome. Great riders, great people. I'm lucky to have met them and raced three hours with Hannah. We had a nice conversation.

And we weren't on fat bikes Big Grin
  • + 3
 The author thinks fat bikes have "an air of weirdness"? That's like thinking dropper posts are weird.

A few years ago a fat bike made me the center of attention. I couldn't pump gas with it on the bike rack without a stranger talking to me about it. It would be what people talked to me about on rides. It was constantly the topic of discussion. Now? Nobody asks or even gives it a second look. Yesterday I saw some poor kids in the ghetto are riding fat bmx bikes. They're at walmart. They're everywhere.

I'm surprised to hear that BC is behind on fat bikes. Most other areas with so much bike culture have already been through the fat fad and now think of fat bikes as just another type of bike. Some people ride only fat bikes but most have them as just another bike in the quiver. They're not going away. Mountain bikers that have the desire and budget to afford multiple bikes, frequently have a fat bike.
  • + 7
 Does a bear shit in the woods?
  • + 15
 does riding through bear shit make fatbikes any more fun?
  • + 7
 Considering Fat Bikes are a fetish, probably..
  • + 6
 Mastodon - Crack in the skye
  • + 6
 What's important is how the seals hold up in sub zero temperatures.
  • + 1
 What's important is how the seals hold up in any temperature, with a 300 lb rider dropping off rock ledges.
  • + 5
 If I lived in lots of snow I'd own a fat bike for sure. Looks fun as hell.
  • + 1
 I'd believe the review more had they started with a fat bike that did NOT have a suspension fork at all, and then put the mastodon onto it. Simply swapping from a Bluto to a Mastodon on that trek fat bike...isn't really explaining if a suspension fork makes it more fun, since it always had one, as well as rear suspension. Maybe take a blizzard 30 or a Trek Farley 7. Something that has a rigid 15x150 fork already.
  • + 2
 It'd be nice to compare this to it's direct competitor which would be the Wren (buynow.wrensports.com/t/suspension-forks). They are both burly forks in a similar performance category unlike the Bluto.
  • + 1
 I don't get it. I thought fat bikes were designed so you could run low pressures and ride on sand/snow? How much travel do you need on sand or snow if you are riding on top of it? Surely fully rigid is best for simplicity and feeling connected to the steering? If you are cutting through it to the ground beneath then why do you want/need a fat bike?

I'm not trying to upset anyone here, and will hold my hands up that I've no never tried one, but I really don't get fs fat bikes...
  • + 9
 some people like to ride them year-round, in all conditions. I have a fat bike. I am not one of those people. I ride it on snow. I like my "real" bike for riding on dirt. I am with you, I don't really get fs fatbikes. sure, maybe it's goofy fun to ride one on dirt for a little bit, but after a while, I would get very frustrated with it I'm sure. Mountain biking is serious business after all....
  • + 10
 1. Buy a fs fatbike 2. Get rid of the rims and lace the hubs with some regular 30mm wide rims 3. Put on some 2.5 tyres 4. You now have a fs bike with MEGA SUPER EXTREME LEVEL BOOST
  • + 2
 One example, you can ride a fatbike on a cow trail littered with big cow hoof prints that would stop the average bike. Fat tires roll over these relatively easily, but they're still bumps suspension could smooth out. My fat bike is currently full ridgid with 4.8 tires and I'm happy with it, but there are times I think a fork would be nice. It's same same argument when all bikes were ridgid and suspension forks started showing up. I'm old enough to remember that.
  • + 2
 @Duderz7: Agreed. I bought a fat bike this past winter because I was sick of riding a trainer in my basement for months on end and didn't think I would need a fork. I definitely realize the advantage when you are out riding trails and the snow has been post-holed by hikers.
  • + 1
 This reviewer hasn't used a 90mm stiff Nextie or similar design rim on dirt to know shitty the other 120mm noodle forks are with a 4.6 inch ground control. It's essential to get stiffness at the short travel range before spouting on about the tiny 34mm stantions at the long 150mm end. Get some real world experience mate
  • + 1
 Guarantee this fork well perform in the winter, I ride a 2011 minute, every winter in Canada for about five years now, besides it's yearly fluid change, then a summer of riding I have not even changed one leaky o ring, flawless reliability, shim stack tuneable and just works... Why bother bugging other brands after hearing of there terrible reliability issues
  • + 1
 Mike Levy. I see on the new trek Farley ex bikes they have a bumper for the fork crown. Does this crown touch the frame when turned? It would be good to know for folks looking to upgrade the 2017 bikes. Cheers
  • + 1
 Great review of how the Mastodon is built; but I'd like to read more about how it feels riding it at the expert lever on dry and wet technical mountainous terrain with 300 lbs of rider and gear.
  • + 3
 That axle seems so much better than the thing I have to work with on my 2015 Manitou
  • + 1
 I'll let you know, likely by weeks end. The 2015 was kinda a pain huh.
  • + 1
 The real question is, what will be the first full suss fatty with the 150mm option? Knowing how capable my full rigid fatty is, a 150 full suss would eat rocks likean enduro bike
  • + 10
 Maybe because 150mm of travel is pretty much an enduro bike?
  • + 1
 @leojos: 140 rear 150 front is what i meant, itd easily compare to 165/170 bikes
  • + 5
 The latest generation Foes Mutz is 150mm front and rear. That's who Manitou partnered with in making the OEM 150mm model.
  • + 5
 The Foes Mutz is a fs fatbike with 150mm front and rear. Won 2 enduro events in my area on it. The thing is in a class of its own. It has grip where other riders hoofed it and picks up speed like a bullet on the descents due to the big wheel momentum. Sold a hardtail fatbike and an enduro to buy it. No regrets. And I can ride 12months a year swapping the wheelsets.
  • + 1
 @bushmill: whats your summer set up? How much narrower do you go?
  • + 2
 @freestylAM: stock 26X80mm alloy rims with studded 4.8" 45Nrth Dillinger 5 for winter and now rolling on 27.5X65mm carbon rims with 3.8" Maxxis Minions FBF/FBR in summer. Dream setup imo.
  • + 1
 Will this design of air assembly help by NOT filling the air shaft (where you pump in the air) with negative chamber oil? I think the dorado owners know what I'm talking about Smile
  • + 1
 Help me out but isn't Manitou part of the Hayes group of companies? Think they could have gotten a Hayes brake in there instead of a sram brand caliper.
  • + 7
 But the goal is to slow down and/or stop.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: That's exactly why they shouldn't have installed a SRAM brake.
  • + 1
 Last time I checked the snow leveled out all the rocks and dips,smooth sailing on the roughest trails, so I'm not sure why a suspension fork is needed, maybe to look cool??
  • + 1
 I don't think it's needed much in the snow, unless your running technical singletrack and drops in the snow.
  • + 0
 Bigger is better, and this is gonna impress da bros in da parking lot cos it's apparently "stiffer" than a Bluto and more interesting than a stock rigid fork. Let's be honest.
  • + 3
 Photo of the five-foot drop or it didn't happen. Bonus to flat.
  • + 1
 "Manitou focused much more on stiffness over aesthetics than with their other forks."

You mean they focus on aesthetics on their other forks? That doesn't sound right...
  • + 3
 Perfect timing, a fat bike fork review in the middle of summer!
  • + 1
 Some people's favorite time of year to ride fat bikes is in the summer.
  • + 3
 "I'm a bit under 160lbs and ride at a solid expert lever"
  • + 1
 Just point it down hill for more fun. For extreme fun remove one or both of the brakes.
  • + 0
 Fat bike marketing was making good money.....enduro marketing was making good money...Only a matter of time until you put both together (150mm fat bike fork).

#fatduro
  • + 1
 Anyone try Plus tires in the wet? Does it make winter more manageable??
  • + 4
 Plus tires are okay at best in very wet slop, t-e-r-r-I-b-l-e in anything tacky. 50 pound mud donuts happen quickly. Imagine a 130 pound bike...
  • + 1
 Had a race in the spring and 29+ in the absolute stupidest conditions for racing I can think of only dropped lap time by 3mins... arguable at 24hrs in a 3 minute drop may have not had much to do with the tires at all, comparatively a hand full of friends on their slick 29x2.2's ate anywhere between a 10 and 15 minute increase. I'd say the plus wheels were significant in the wet.
  • + 1
 In the wet you mean mud? If yes, no, you better have a slim mud tire! When we say that a fatbike is to ride in the winter months, it's because we have snow! They don't accept Plus tires anyway, 4'' minimum for the real fatbike trails. But I think a good studded 3'' (45nrth.com/products/plus-tires/wrathchildplus) like this Wrathchild would be fun when it gets more icy!
  • + 0
 The fork arch looks like it would #smack the downtube deep into the fork's travel.
  • + 1
 This fork has new standard "Hulksmashboost"
  • - 3
 First off if snow is not hard packed and over three inches deep your Fat bike wont get you far. And 2.35 tires will work fine. I love shredding in snow. No need for a fat bike. Now if this bike had a rack and i used it for shopping. Total head turner.
  • + 2
 I have ridden in 8" of powder on mine. Low (3psi) pressure and wide (4.8") tires. Yeah, the pedals were hitting the snow at their lowest point, and you're not moving crazy fast, but you're moving.
  • + 0
 @sd351: were you floating on the pow like people want to believe?
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: No, But I wouldn't have been able to ride at all on 2.3's. Get some good crust out there and the ride is magical.
  • + 1
 I could ride in clean fresh snow up to 3" deep on a road bike with 1.25" Kevlar tires. At around 4" deep the wheel wouldn't reach the ground anymore and it stopped making progress. It was also shaky on rough ice too.
  • + 2
 @TomBrooklyn:
ive had same experience.
Tires need to sink down to terra firma.

if the tire floats you are going no where fast.
  • + 1
 It's bigger than your mom
  • + 1
 It really makes a difference.
  • + 0
 "Intended Use - Fat Biking".... I'm dying hahahahahaha!!!!
  • + 0
 Say Mastodon, one more time.
  • + 0
 Can we just call fat wheels thiccys already?
  • + 0
 34mm Stanchions... seriously that fork looks redicolous!
  • + 0
 Fatbikes have no place in the uk.
  • + 0
 Do people even ride mountan bikes in the UK? I didn't know they have mountains, I thought it was all like cobblestones, cow pastures, and goat paths...

Those fatbikes ought to be good for riding through pastures Wink
  • + 0
 I mean I saw mastodon once....and that was pretty fun
  • - 1
 Brent Hinds does not approve.
  • - 2
 Who cares
  • - 2
 uh oh its on backwards...
  • - 1
 Yo mamma is so fat...
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