Manitou Mattoc Pro - Review

Jul 2, 2014
by Mike Levy  
 
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It's fair to say that, as of right now, Manitou isn't exactly the name that pops into anyone's head when they're thinking about a new high-end fork for their bike. Sure, there is the constantly underrated Dorado downhill fork that many riders don't realize is both competitively priced and works very well, but it's common knowledge that the Manitou name isn't as respected as it once was. When the company lost ground in both OE and aftermarket sales, and saw its product line shrink, their competition seemed to make some serious strides forward. Enter the Mattoc, a 160mm travel all-mountain fork that we broke the news about back in August of last year. Ten months on and we've been putting some significant time on two different Mattoc Pro forks in order to see how Manitou's new contender compares to the proven champs in its class, the Pike and revised 36. Things have moved on quite a bit since Manitou was last a real option, but does the Mattoc close that gap?

Mattoc Pro Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 27.5'' - 160mm, 26" - 170mm (both adj. to 140/150)
• External adjustments: rebound, separate low and high-speed compression, hydraulic bottom out
• Spring: air
• Stanchions: 34mm
• Steerer: tapered only
• Brake: 180mm post mount
• 15mm Hex Lock thru-axle
• Weight: 1,877 grams
• MSRP: $850 USD


There are two aftermarket versions of the 160mm travel Mattoc available: the $850 USD Pro that is reviewed here, and an Expert model that comes in $100 cheaper and employs a slightly different version of the Pro's sealed TPC damper that weighs just a touch more. There is also a Comp model, available only as original equipment on stock bikes, that sees a downgraded air spring and damper. The Mattoc can
be had in either 26" or 27.5" wheeled flavours, with the former going up to 170mm of travel and the latter topping out at 160mm, and both can be dropped down to 140mm in 10mm increments by adding spacers internally. Those on big wheels will be disappointed to hear that there is no 29er compatible Mattoc. The fork chassis is available only with a tapered steerer tube and uses 34mm stanchions - 2mm smaller in diameter than FOX and 1mm less than the Pike. As you'd expect, it sports Manitou's long-used reverse arch design, and a 15mm thru-axle ties the legs together.

Manitou Mattoc review test Photo by Robin O Neill
  The Mattoc's crown is hollow to save weight (left), and it wouldn't be a Manitou without that reverse arch design, would it?


Hex Lock QR15 - The fork's 15mm thru-axle is round along its center section but features a hexagonal shape to both ends that keys into the fork lowers. The left end of the axle also sports a T-shaped extension that slots into an aluminum cap threaded into the disc side of the fork, and the design only requires one quarter turn to either lock or un-lock it. Here's how it works: flip the Hex Lock lever open, give it a twist and the axle pulls out of the fork. To install the axle, slide it in, twist the quick release lever one quarter turn to lock the T-shaped end in place, and then close the QR lever. The lever always indexes in the same spot, and a knurled dial inboard of it adjusts the closing force of the mechanism.



Damper Tech - Despite what you may have read elsewhere, the Mattoc's damper isn't a shrunk down version of what you'll find inside Manitou's Dorado downhill fork. The TPC acronym, which is short for 'Twin Piston Chamber' still applies in that there is a separate compression and rebound piston within the Mattoc's sealed right stanchion tube, but that is also found in the majority of high-end suspension forks on the market. Manitou uses the MC² designation for the fork's compression damper that sits at the top of the leg, and it's home to both low- and high-speed compression duties, as well as the fork's HBO (Hydraulic Bottom Out) system that we'll touch on below. All three can be tuned externally via dials at the top of the fork, with the low-speed compression dial sporting a lever-esque fin that makes it easy to reach down and flick to a firmer setting at the base of sustained climbs. Given how well Manitou's three piston TPC+ damper performs within the Dorado, we were curious as to why Manitou didn't also utilize it inside the Mattoc. Nick Pye, the lead engineer on the Mattoc project, told Pinkbike that it really came down to the space constraints of a single crown fork: ''We basically had to decide whether we wanted to keep the floating piston (TPC+) or the hydraulic bottom out feature found in the Dorado,'' he explained. ''The most positive feedback we received since the release of the 36mm Dorado was the bottomless feel, so the consensus was that the hydraulic bottom out was more valuable, and, given the limited packaging space, would be the value added feature of the Mattoc.''

Manitou Mattoc damping assembly
  The far left portion is the hydraulic bottom out control, and just to the right of it, above the o-ring and below the silver ports, is the high-speed compression shim. Low-speed compression is altered via a needle valve inside the damper that is adjusted by the red dial atop the unit. The large grey piece on the right is the closed-cell foam compensator.


One of the more interesting design points in the Mattoc's damper leg is the use of a closed-cell foam compensator instead of an extruded rubber bladder as found in both RockShox's and FOX's top offerings. Basically, the fork's foam element compresses in order to compensate for the volume displacement of the damper rod being pushed into the stanchion, as well as providing back-pressure to limit cavitation when the fork is working hard. It certainly isn't as high-tech looking as what's found in the Pike or FOX's FIT-equipped forks, but then again its job is pretty simple in that all it has to do is get squeezed down by internal pressures. There's also no doubting that the use of closed-cell foam as a compensator is a big factor in the Mattoc sporting a much lower MSRP than its competition, but it should also be easier for the consumer to service compared to a bladder setup.



Hydraulic Bottom Out - Many forks in the mountain bike world depend on a simple rubber bumper to keep you from smashing into the end of its travel, and while we all usually try hard to avoid such scenarios, it's inevitable if you're out there charging hard. The Mattoc's HBO system that's been lifted from the Dorado is designed to prevent exactly that from occurring, while also not forcing you to depend on either excessive ramp-up by altering the volume of the fork's air chamber, or having to dial in massive amounts of high-speed compression damping that can sacrifice performance in other areas. As its name suggests, HBO harnesses oil displacement to slow the fork down during compression in the later stages of its stroke, doing so by using a position sensitive valve on the bottom of the MC² compression damper. As the fork nears the end of its travel, a small extension on the end of the Mattoc's rebound damper enters the hollow HBO unit, and since the confines are tight and the entire system is submersed in oil, the fork's compression action is slowed. ''The HBO creates an independent end-of-travel damping component that acts as a safety net for unexpected hard compression events,'' says Pye. ''The result is travel-specific damper characteristics, a very supple high-speed in combination with end-of-travel support that maximizes the fork's usable travel in a controlled manner.'' Small bleed holes up the side of the HBO unit allow oil to pass through, and Manitou has spent a good amount of time tuning the system so that it does its job while still allowing for full travel. No, Manitou isn't the first to put a hydraulic bottom out system into a fork - FOX and others did it many years ago, and it is also common in the motorbike world - but they are the first to offer an externally adjustable version.





Manitou Mattoc review test Photo by Robin O Neill
  The top of the right fork leg is the control center: the red dial adjusts low-speed compression, the black does high-speed compression, and the HBO function is tuned via the silver dial at the center of it all. Rebound adjustments are made by a dial at the opposite end of the fork. The left leg houses the Mattoc's air spring, with the pump attaching to a valve at the bottom of the leg.



DH Air Spring - Just in case the name of the Mattoc's air spring didn't give it away, the design is lifted from Manitou's 203mm travel Dorado downhill fork, and it features a similar high-volume, self-equalizing negative air chamber. Spring rate is adjusted via a schrader valve at the bottom of the left leg, and threading a shock pump on opens both the positive and negative air chambers, thereby allowing the latter to constantly self-adjust to whatever you want to run in the positive chamber. It's interesting to see that Manitou decided to locate the valve at the bottom of the fork and right next to the brake rotor given that a very small amount of lube oil can escape when you bleed off air pressure during adjustments, something that was a complaint on older Dorado forks until Manitou flipped the system so the valve sat at the top. ''It is possible to flip the system by using a cartridge design, but we could not justify additional weight, potential failure modes, and cost to customer for the sake of convenience,'' explained Nick Pye, the lead engineer on the Mattoc project. We never ended up having an issue with any lube oil escaping during our time on the fork, though, and, as Pye suggests, the K.I.S.S. approach is very likely the best way to go

The Mattoc is missing two features that all of its main competition can brag about: an external travel adjust system, and the ability to add or subtract volume-reducing spacers that determine how much the fork ramps up in the later stages of its travel. The former will likely be a major point of contention of some riders, even if most of us at Pinkbike prefer the set-and-forget approach to fork length, although Manitou does give Mattoc owners the ability to alter the fork's travel in 10mm increments via clip-on spacers that are installed on the air side. This setup allows our 160mm Mattoc to be dropped down to either 150 or 140mm of travel, which is something that we took advantage of during testing. And what about the lack of volume spacers? ''Most of our development riders were pleased with the stock air spring since it was specifically designed to work in parallel with the damper, but riders who were coming off of other forks onto Mattoc may have preferred a more progressive air spring, and we certainly want to accommodate them,'' Pye explained to Pinkbike. Manitou will be doing exactly that by including a volume spacer kit in future aftermarket forks, as well as a separate kit for those who may have already got their hands on a Mattoc sans spacers. The fork's HBO system should also come into play when talking about ramp-up, a fact that means many riders who assume they'll need volume spacers may actually not require them.






The standard suspension review goes a bit like this: I take whatever item I'm testing and put in a good number of set-up rides on it, always on familiar terrain, in order to come up with a proper baseline to start at before pushing my luck a bit on the bike. And while the most useful feedback comes when you're riding at around 80%, a pace that allows one to go hard but still take in what they might be feeling under them, it's often only when you begin to roll the dice that you find out what a new fork or shock can do for you. Add in copious amounts of chicken-scratch note taking that no one but myself can decipher, all taken while doing as much riding as one can squeeze in over the test period, and you have enough ingredients to assemble a proper in-depth review. I did things a bit different this time around, though, by taking possession of two different Mattoc Pro forks and getting them under three different riders, all of very different sizes and with very different skill levels. The feedback from all three was used to put together the review below.
The Riders

Rider #1 installed the fork on his Kona Process 134 with it dropped down to 140mm of travel, calls Whistler home, is what I would call a pro-level bike handler, and weighs 160lb; rider #2 rode the fork at 160mm on the front of GT's new Sanction, is a solid expert-level shredder and weighs 175lb; and rider #3 used the Mattoc at 160mm on the front of his Norco Range, and is more of a sport-level weekend warrior who comes in at 220lb. All three have spent time on nearly all of the top-level suspension offerings on the market, and they all know enough about suspension to set up a fork to their liking.

In other words, a good cross-section of riders to provide feedback on the new Mattoc. Let's get on with it...



Sensitivity - The Mattoc is very close to matching the competition's latest offerings in this regard but does feel like it falls just a bit short. That's not to say that it isn't supple off the top or mega-smooth when changing direction in its stroke, just that it seems to be a hair off of the Pike and latest 36 in this regard. Is it still going to take in that micro-sized root or tiny rock? You bet, and to be completely fair we never found ourselves wishing that it was smoother or more supple. Out-and-out comparisons is surely what you're looking for, however, and the Mattoc comes in a very close second in this category given that the Pike and new 36 are undoubtedly tied for first. It's really just splitting hairs once it gets down to this level of performance, isn't it? Either way you slice it, both of our Mattoc test forks are more active than anything else from just a few years ago.


Air Spring - Manitou absolutely nailed the Mattoc's air spring, with it offering a good level of suppleness combined with great ramp-up that kept all three test riders from hitting bottom hard. Changes of just a few PSI are immediately noticeable, and while aggressive riders will likely end up running a touch more than the recommended pressure (isn't that always the case?), the air chart decal on the fork's lowers is a good place to start. And what about our test forks' lack of a volume adjustment system like RockShox's Bottomless Tokens or the blue spacers in FOX forks that can be added to the air chamber to promote ramp-up in the last part of the stroke? All three testers were unanimous in saying that they didn't feel like they needed more ramp-up, despite Manitou's Nick Pye tell us that the Mattoc's air spring is a bit more linear than the competition's. It simply didn't feel like more progressivity was required, likely due to the fork's HBO system that's located in the damper leg. Not only is the HBO design very effective at literally erasing any and all hard bottom out moments, the aluminum HBO dial at the top of the fork allows for super easy tuning that doesn't require tools. We experimented with this by coming off of the same drop-to-flat multiple times at the same speed with the dial set to different positions. The outcome? The O-ring on the fork's stanchion showed that we were using full travel with it backed all the way out, which resulted in what we'd call a "soft bottom out" that still didn't pass any of the impact through to the handlebar, yet turning it all the way in showed that we could use noticeably less travel by making a quick change.

Manitou Mattoc review test Photo by Robin O Neill
  If we've learned anything from listening to rap music it's that sometimes it's best to just lean back. The Mattoc Pro feels like a pint-sized downhill fork in moments like this.


The adjustable HBO system is pretty neat, but it gets even cooler when you realize that you can quickly and easily adjust the fork's ramp-up to compensate for your preferred spring rate. Want a more active stroke and more forgiving ride? Drop a few PSI and neutralize those hard bottoming moments that would usually come from that by turning the HBO dial clockwise - that is exactly what we did and found it to be very effective. The same goes for high-speed compression settings, with us able get away with running it in a more open setting, and therefore reaping a more forgiving ride, by depending the on the HBO dial. It's a great feature that is much more efficient than opening the fork up to add volume spacers, but don't assume that you should just run it all the way in because you think you're the next big thing on the World Cup circuit - it's so effective that it can keep you from getting all of the fork's travel when needed.

One other point that needs to be touched on relates to when you're making pressure adjustments with your shock pump: because both the positive and negative air chambers are connected by the shaft running through the center of the air leg, and both are open simultaneously when the pump is attached, you can very easily hold the fork down its stroke slightly if it's compressed a bit when you're airing up or down. You could use this fact to adjust ride height but we don't see many riders doing this other than by accident, much like we did at first.



Torsional Rigidity - Much like we said in our ride impressions of the new 36, torsional rigidity can be a tough one to judge. Wheel choice, tire choice, and even what handlebar and stem combo one prefers can all take away from one's impressions of a fork's rigidity. With that in mind the red fork was installed onto bikes that the testers were familiar with, and only with wheel and cockpit components that fell under the same category. The result? The Mattoc left test rider #1, the most hard charging of the bunch, asking for more. He consistently felt that the fork had a bit more torsional flex than the Pike, noting it most at the bottom of steep, hard corners that put quite a bit of stress into the chassis. Riding the same sections of trail both before and after having the Mattoc on the same bike and with the same wheel, tire, and handlebar only further convinced him of this. Surprisingly, the other two riders didn't come away with the same impression, saying that the fork felt like it matched the Pike in this regard.

Who's right? Both, actually, and we're not just being nice. Rider #1 was not only on terrain that many others wouldn't even roll into, he's also likely coming in hotter than most casual riders would think is possible. And while the other two testers are less aggressive and usually on less demanding trails, they also weigh more. It all adds up to a fork that, while likely not as torsionally rigid as the Pike or 36, is stiff enough to keep the large majority of riders out there from taking note of this fact.




Damping - If Manitou had debuted the Mattoc two or three years ago there's a good chance that anyone who spent time on it would be hailing the unique looking fork as a game-changer, but, as we all know, the Pike is the fork that did exactly that. And it took FOX an extra year but their new 36 now matches RockShox's offering. It all means that the bar has been lifted pretty damn high while Manitou was developing the Mattoc, and that their new fork has to at least equal the level of control that the two leaders currently offer. So, does it? We believe that it not only does exactly that, but actually feels more controlled in some ways, with all three riders reporting back that the fork's MC² damper blew them away with how well rounded it feels on the trail. Not only were all three able to dial-in a setup that provided a ground-tracking ride, but also one that kept the fork quite high up in its travel when we required it.

That balance of low-speed control and suppleness is one that's mandatory for any high-end fork these days, and Manitou hit a home run in this regard, but it's how the red fork gobbles up square edged, high-speed bumps that surprised us most. It's not that the fork simply absorbs those usually harsh impacts, it's how it nearly erases them from under you - enough so that it makes the competition feel a touch "spikey" in hindsight. This makes the Mattoc great for those moments when the only thing you can do is drop your heels, lean back, and charge through the worst of the worst, and is exactly what we were talking about when we said above that it actually feels even more well rounded than the other options on the market. It's not a downhill fork, but there was a time, not that long ago, when performance like this would shame even the best 200mm travel sliders on the market. And no, with 160mm of travel the Mattoc doesn't pretend to be a downhill fork, but the level of control on tap literally bests some of the current longer-travel offerings out there.

Manitou Mattoc review test Photo by Robin O Neill
  Going inside is always more fun, right? The Mattoc felt like it kept the bike's front wheel glued to the deck, which is the kind of behaviour that you want when you'd trade your left nut for a bit of extra traction.


Other Details - Manitou's QR15 thru-axle is like nothing else on the market, and while that can sometimes be a good thing, we don't think that's the case this time around. Can you get the wheel on and off quickly? Yes, but only when you've had fifteen minutes of practice in order to understand how it works. All of the testers felt a bit like they were trying to pull a digit out of a Chinese finger trap until they looked up how the Mattoc's QR15 axle functions, and even then it simply isn't as intuitive as a Maxle or FOX's 15QR design. We'd rather see an easier to use design over one that can save a few seconds compared to what's already out there. It is, however, obviously faster than the 15/20mm bolt-on axle that the new 36 employs, but it would benefit from some orientation marks on it that would make it easy to see if the latching end of the axle is lined up correctly before turning it to lock it into place. Manitou also need to come up with a cable routing solution for the front brake line instead of asking riders to concoct their own guide on the crown with zip-ties. The hose guide on the lower part of the leg is fine, but after that you're left with trying to figure out a way to keep the line from rubbing the crown excessively or simply looking terrible. A small detail, no doubt, and one that's complicated by the fork's reverse arch design, but also something that should be sorted out.

We dropped the fork's lowers in order to see how difficult it is to change its travel, which turned out to be a pretty easy task for the most part. It's as simple as adding or removing some simple clip-on spacers in the air-side leg, with the leg's seal head requiring a standard cassette lockring tool to unthread rather than asking you to put a big ass wrench onto some tiny wrench flats - pretty clever. One thing that we don't like is how the air-side foot bolt calls for a thin-walled 8mm socket, something that isn't exactly common in most people's tool boxes. Besides that, the job is about as easy as cooking up a good steak on the barbecue. Unlike both the Pike and 36 range, however, there is no Mattoc with an external travel-adjust feature in the lineup, a fact that will no doubt be a turnoff for more than a few riders who like to steepen-up their bikes for climbing.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesI know exactly what you want answered: is the Mattoc Pro better than the new 36 or Pike? In many ways it is, but there are a few details that keep it from being as polished as those two - that pesky axle and questionable cable routing might be small beans but they're details that need mentioning regardless. It also needs to be said that RockShox, and especially FOX, both offer a wider range range options, including forks with on-the-fly travel adjust, although all cost appreciably more than the $850 USD MSRP that the Mattoc Pro retails for. Options and cost aside, when you're talking about out-and-out performance, the fork's damper does feel incredibly controlled when you're on the limit, even more so than what we've seen from the competition, and the HBO bottoming adjuster really is a thing of functional beauty. Those two elements add up to a potent package that, at the very least, matches the competition, and even manages to outshine them in some regards. Neither of our two test forks showed any hints of reliability issues, either, and there is no reason why the Mattoc shouldn't be considered a real player if Manitou has nailed this last factor.- Mike Levy


www.manitoumtb.com

Photos by Robin O'Neill
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218 Comments

  • + 222
 I can't believe we get access to reviews like this for pretty much all MTB gear we can buy, for free, all year round. The quality of your reviews is outstanding Pinkbike keep it up!!
  • + 17
 gotta agree. they tend to cover all the bases, in detail. love yah pinkbike!
  • + 32
 + that. The quality of component reviews on PB is constantly getting better and better. Great Job Mr Levy
  • + 21
 I like the addition of direct comparisons in reviews, thanks for listening to PB readers
  • - 4
flag leecozens (Jul 3, 2014 at 3:51) (Below Threshold)
 ...agree with all of the above 100% but that doesnt mean you can introduce subscriptions and want us to pay for this PB! (Shhhh everyone they might not have thought about charging the public for this awesome content) Wink
  • + 3
 Props to @david-hill for finally giving some positive credit to these reviews, instead of just knocking the product or giving negative feedback... Feels good to see the top comment be a positive remark instead of the old crap that Pinkbike usually gives these reviews. Smile
  • + 1
 @Mike Levy

great review on a very interesting product, and one well worth looking into.

I got to ride a Manitou fork for a few months on my Banshee and was absolutely blown away by the quality their damping had compared to RS and Fox equivalent models

this was a few years ago, and there reported issues with general reliability (not an issue on my fork) and supply into the UK. Perhaps Manitou are making a welcome comeback to the market
  • + 1
 I want those Baron Projekt tires!!!!! If they're even half as awesome as the Kaiser Projekts were then they'll be amazing.
  • + 73
 i used to make fun of "manipoo" but after riding my dorado for a season i can say that i prefer it to the boxxer and the 40 (both of which i have at least one season of riding on) the damping performance of manitou outshines the competition in everyway.
  • + 18
 and thats a boxxer world cup im referring too
  • - 4
flag chyu (Jul 2, 2014 at 1:59) (Below Threshold)
 til the boxxer charger comes.
  • - 8
flag evillampost (Jul 2, 2014 at 2:09) (Below Threshold)
 The fork is beautiful and from the looks it rides amazingly but the inverted arch just doesnt fit in my opinion
  • + 26
 If this fork is as nice or nicer than the Pike with the Charger, then why would the boxxer charger feel better than the dorado?
  • - 11
flag bulldog6485 (Jul 2, 2014 at 2:49) (Below Threshold)
 It doesn't matter how many times I see a reverse arch , I always think "Some dickhead has put their forks on backwards"

I've seen quite a few bikes being proudly ridden around by young kids who's dads didn't realise that when bikes are delivered un built in cardboard boxes, the forks are turned around to save space , hence money on the packaging. It must only be a penny or so for the extra couple of inches but if you're paying by the by length that shit would surely add up.

Just too used to seeing arches on the front I guess.
  • + 13
 Inverted forks just make more sense... Less unsprung weight.... In regards to evillampost...
  • + 9
 i have these forks on my cube fritzz with the 160ml travel and there feel soo flush. bottom less feeling once there set up right for the trail. using my biking on the local dh trail and i could hit things i wouldn't of without the dh bike.
  • - 6
flag kleinblake (Jul 2, 2014 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 I've had different experiences then you guys. Every manitou fork I've felt had super sticky compression. Not just off the top, but throughout the stanchion
  • + 22
 Looks promising and old people will be down with it, they love Matlock
  • + 3
 @snoopy24777: Agree with you about the Dorado. Had mine 3 seasons and have had no complaints, super plush travel, heaps of adjustment options, good trail feel and very minimal maintenance. Original seals actually lasted until this season, which is more than I can say about another popular (overrated) DH fork. A new Mattoc might be just the ticket for my trail rig if it can live up to the same rep as the Dorado.
  • + 3
 I'm guessing you are referring to manitous old forks that tarnished their reputation. The Mattoc has nothing in common with those other than a name.
  • + 4
 Sounds pretty sweet but do I have to buy the damn thing in red ?!?
  • + 2
 It's currently only available to non-pros in white and black.
  • + 1
 that can't be right, because i'm riding the pro mattoc for the last 2 weeks in black as shown above^
  • - 1
 I think you should try buttery smooth Marzocchi
  • + 10
 think you should ride the mattoc before you bad mouth it
  • + 2
 @rufo
I meant non-pro riders. I see how that can be misunderstood.
  • + 5
 I would agree although I don't ride the Dorado I still ride a marzocchi shiver. But when I upgrade it's either Dorado or emerald I'm going with. My 03 shivers still feel better than my 09 888s ever did
  • + 5
 Agree about the Dorado, I replaced my Boxxer World Cup with a Dorado and haven't looked back. My only complaint is the axle, which is a pain in the @ss.
  • + 1
 little tip/trick for the dorado axel ive figured out is the SAG isnt their when you are putting the fork on so push down on the one side you start at (youl see/feel it drop to the even point) and it slides through easy as butter. i used to think it was a pain in the ass till i noticed they just were never even enough to slide through but that it doesnt take much push and it sits in at that point with minimal effort on the one side of the legs and doesnt push passed it) ... just realized that was complicated sounding for saying push down one side lol but ya get me Razz
  • + 50
 brain say "no", heart is looking for the credit card.
  • + 33
 Wow manitou! You really turned it around!
  • + 41
 You could say they have sprung back...
  • + 28
 They have dialed this one but shouldn`t lock out if they want to get the crown!
  • + 38
 Get the fork out of here with these puns!
  • + 20
 You will not get away dampening our puns...
  • + 20
 I was filled with suspense for this review!
  • - 1
 they sprung back so hard their arch turns the other way round.
  • + 6
 The red on the front of that sanction really took the compression out of my 3rd leg
  • + 13
 Puns again.... My (reverse) arch nemesis.
  • + 13
 Good to see them on the rebound at last
  • - 10
flag peechyboy (Jul 2, 2014 at 4:04) (Below Threshold)
 These ^^ are all I read suspension reviews for
  • + 17
 Yeah they're definitely steering in the right direction now
  • + 7
 WTF you all mattoc'ing about??
  • + 2
 After multiple bad experiences with Manitou, I'm not sure if I should fork out my money on one.
  • + 10
 you guys need to travel to another website if you want to keep doing puns.
  • + 10
 I'm afraid the quality of these puns lowers.
  • + 5
 It takes a crazy women or Man i Tou admit these are better than the pike.
  • + 4
 looks like manitou is going for the crown on this one
  • + 2
 My enthusiasm has rebounded for Manitou's ability to offset their recent history.
  • + 8
 I feel pressured to join in... I mean, to compress so much wit into one post with whatever springs to mind takes a sense of humour that is truly dialed. Ah well, looks like we're all going to be forking out for a new set of these then.
  • + 3
 i'm gonna dropout of this argument, cuz i just sprung from 80mm to 180mm
  • + 3
 What it does with the high speed compression strokes caused some personal dampening...
  • + 3
 This review really smoothed out my opinion of Manitou. With another great fork option on the market, my choices are less rigid.
  • + 2
 That seals it, I want to join in too. Looking forward to a cracking review of that wheelset too
  • + 2
 Nice to see good comedy springing up around the world. And all from one tiny seed - or maybe a big grow room. Man up to 7 inches. More puns now!
  • + 19
 When will we hear more on that GT Sanction??? And any plans to review the Marzocchi 350 too?
  • + 6
 Full review on the Sanction soon.
  • + 14
 Awesome Review, same ride impressions I have with mine.

For the Cable Routing, in my case it worked best when going with the hose from the left side and then on the backside of the Fork Crown and then using the two cable guides, no cable rub till now.

When will there be a review of the GT?
  • + 2
 For sure, you can rig something up to guide the brake line but I'd like to see a nice purpose-built guide that keeps the line off of the crown while letting it move freely. As it is, consumers have to come up with something of their own. Sanction review is in the works.
  • + 2
 Here are a few pictures of my routing, but my brake hose is way longer than that on your testbike.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/10872190 www.pinkbike.com/photo/10872192


cheers
  • + 8
 I had The Chance to Test The mattock for am couple of days and was suprised by its Controller Ride. Coming from a dailed in bos deville and Saying that means a Lot.
Well The deville had slightly more stiffness and The bling factor is better ....
But saying that who Cares about The Look of other dudes when cueing for The Lift? When you can overtake them on your Short Travel bike in proper Dh Runs....

If i Would have to choose my next Fork Would be The mattoc.

Sorry for The spelling but Auto correct is a pain in The arse...
  • + 9
 Looks solid and adjustable too..
Wonder how it compare to Xfusion Metric or Vengeance?
Because seems like they're in a close price camparison.
Anybody know the comparison?
  • - 2
 This is what i wanted to know too. X-fusion and Manitou are definately market competitors. Lets not kid ourselves Manitou are not really a competitor for Fox or RockShox. Not yet. If you have the budget to buy a Pike or 36 you probably wont consider the Mattoc. If your in the market for an X-fusion you'd want to know for sure if the Mattoc performs better or not.
  • + 12
 Unless you've tried a set how can you make a statement about manitou not being a competitor against fox or rockshox. Sure they don't hold as big a market share but that doesn't have any relation to performance of these forks.
  • + 4
 I meant 'market' competitor. I'm not dissing the forks performance, they may be totally competitive performance forks but in the eyes of your average mtb punter its like comparing Alfa with Ferrari. So comparing Mattoc to 36/Pike is unfair and is sensationalism to make a manufacturer biased article. Compare them to X-fusion instead and you have a fair battle reflecting better on the product and so better sales. Better sales = more market share = future competitve performance AND market share. Which is good for us all. Brap.
  • + 2
 These reviews are funny. The X Fusion Metric checks all the boxes of being a top performer, and even better in some regards (ex. chassis stiffness), yet you don't hear a mention of them. Probably because nobody has tried them? I own one, and I can tell you its a 'game changer'.
  • + 1
 Yeah, i am also interested in a review of the Metric by Pinkbike. I've already read it on vital and some other blogs. They all where quite impressed.
  • + 1
 +1 For a Metric review!
the review on VitalMTB left me with a very good imression of the Metric
  • + 1
 NO, there is no reason to compare it to X-Fusion alone (don´t get me wrong I own both Mattoc and Vengeance HRL Coil and both are great). Manitou is one of the oldest players int he MTB suspension market. Their Dorado is one of the best stock DH Forks. The XC and Trail options are great, too, if shimmed for advanced riders needs. And if you´re looking for a 36/Pike it´sinteresting to know even for peoplle that are new to mtb, that there is a fork at a great street price beeing better in most respects. If it is, you can compare it as well to offerings as the sweep. And X-Fusion is great too, besides the sweep, so why compare manitou to it, because only it seems to be the same low level of quality? strange!
Buyers want to know where they get the most for the money, some only want to buy a certain company´s product for this reason only. But others want most fr the money and then want to know how much less or perhaps equal performance they get, when they buy the product that is XX% cheaper. No logic in comparing today not well known manitou to other companies which are in the heads as LOW-END.
  • + 1
 Besides there are some reviews on mtb-news.de.... jsut google metric and mtb news review. seems to be same-till better than the vengeance hlr, which is already better than 36 RC2 or Lyrik DH.
  • + 2
 a bit hard to understand what you are acutally saying but i got it... i wouldn't say X-Fusion and Manitou are low-end because they are a bit less expensive. especially not the mattoc, dorado or metric etc. Compared to real low-end stuff they are still pretty expensive. For example X-Fusion uses a lot of metal parts for the insides of their forks. Thats pretty high quality there. It makes sense to compare it only to X-Fusion when you want to have two forks that are in the same price range. Not quality wise.
So you won't compare a BOS Deville for $1200 with a Mattoc for half the price. And for me, that makes alot of sense.
  • + 4
 I think its more than fair to compare forks (or other product) based on performance first, price second. If a cheaper alternative performs up to the level or better than a more expensive counterpart then that is worth mentioning.

This is my short term review of the Metric soon after I picked it up. 3 months into riding it (lots of hours) my views on the fork haven't changed. For enduro style racing its just amazing. Full on downhill style runs and the fork saves me every time.

factionsk8.blogspot.ca/2014/05/x-fusion-metric-giant-killer.html
  • + 2
 Your never going to get a full-on comparison, but draw your own conclusions. You know how this fork rates to the Fox and RS, and they compare everything else to those 2. Only negatives were stiffness (issue for 1 out of 3), and small bump sensitivity (yet they could not ask for more). Damping is better, spring is bang-on.
  • + 2
 I prefer Manitou over X-fusion because Manitou publishes their damper oil volumes and service documents etc.
  • + 2
 ^ that's pretty easy to find. Plus, the X Fusion forks are actually fairly simple inside. That's not a bad thing. MX suspension is quite simple inside as well, and XF is very similar. Its also the most progressive fork I have ridden yet. Very supple off the start buts ramps up to be quite firm near the end. Rides high in the travel too.
  • + 3
 You can go on and compare the Deville to the Mattoc :-) I´ve had both and don´t regret selling the Deville. The overall package is a winner, definitely. Service, Weight, damping, home serviceability, customizeability, price.... and if you really would like to change the damping or get another characteristics: Manitou will release Vol Spacers and a special shimstack for racers and people mainly shredding in the alps. And this is not going to cost the world.
  • + 1
 yea... sounds fine to me Wink and you don't have to pay the crazy price that BOS is charging for the deville.
  • + 2
 What Iám aiming at is: I think both are really close and it will rather depend on riding style and rider´s taste, which fork he prefers during action ;-) But if the Mattoc was a bit worse than the Deville, still the whole package would make me choose the Manitou again for sure.

What is true:X-Fusion as well as Manitou have almost no plastic bits in the damping. Very many metal parts and at that price really great.

Since Manitou will only release the Mcleod and no real competitor to the new Enduro (haha, love this word ^^) shock as BOS kirk or the announced Marzocchi The Edge, I am eager to see the new X-Fusion shock. I´m pretty sure they will come up with something similar soon. Let´s see what the eurobike will reveal.
My bike only offers space for Monarch RC3 plus and similar dimensions. That´s why I have to observe that kind of shocks...
  • + 1
 Did you try the XF Vector Air HLR? Read good things about that, too. But have never ridden it myself.
  • + 1
 Vector Coil and Air, superb shocks. Like them more then Swinger Expert, Evolver ISX 6 shim tuned or Vivid... really stille works great on fast liddle hits where many air shocks get sticky or too slow... heard that the DBAIR is better then the vector air but it is more expensive then the x-fsuion too. The Coil is as good as CCDB coil.
Have on Vector HLR Coil with spring 22mm*70mm brandnew for sale -soldmy frame. When interested contact me ;-)
  • + 1
 I have the Vector air hlr and it has all the attributes of the Metric
  • + 2
 Price is something i look first in bike parts. If it's in my pocket's reach then i look for the features in it and compare it to others.
  • + 1
 sounds good. but i have no full-sus frame atm. sold the old one, to get money. only riding hardtail atm. but i will order a roam when times are better with a vector hlr air. thats for sure. and maybe i add a metric to that.
  • + 6
 I don't think I've ever read a review with so many backhanded compliments!

Good to see Manitou back in the game! Reminds me of the days when every other bike had a Black, Mars or Sherman on Smile Super underrated forks even then. Shows the power of advertising and marketing!!!
  • + 8
 That GT looks sooo good; what size is it? - can't wait for a review!

Any pics of the process 134? and yes v much looking fwd to a review of the Marzocchi 350!!
  • + 6
 One thing for sure - it looks damn good... compared to boooooring white and black eeeeeeverywhere. I wish Rock Shox starts doing some colour options like the old days with Psylo or Pike etc. and I do hope this will be their next step.
  • + 1
 Needs more neon.
  • + 8
 But how does it compare to RC3 Zocchi damping, cause we all know that is the real benchmark.
  • + 5
 apparently everyone else thinks Zokes dropped off the face of the earth. How about the Mattoc vs. Vengence vs. new 350?
  • + 1
 The RC3 or the Bos Deville, although the Deville is for capable home mechanics only, no chance of any help from Bos.
  • + 2
 The Deville also requires deep pockets.
  • + 1
 Not trying to be a weight weenie here. Marz and X-Fusion are probably not a fair comparison, considering the big weight penalty for similar damping performance. You do get a burlier fork though, if that's the setup you are going for. BOS is no lightweight either because of the open-bath damper. It is close enough for a comparison. It's not a bad thing to have more choices for different setups.
  • + 2
 Marzocchi also had top caps that used a cassette tool almost a decade ago. My old 66 ATA for one.
  • + 1
 @ rathunter83 - The Deville doesn't require that much deep pockets and is an outstanding fork, 2 year service intervals and brilliant stiffness and control = the best fork I ever had! better than my pike (which I needed for lockout and new wheel size Frown
  • + 2
 The Deville is a few steps ahead of Pikes in terms of spring (heavy dude yet still plush) but I am yet to find a damping circuit as controlled as an RC3 evo V2
  • + 1
 No offence but the RC3 evo v2 was a bit of a flop in stock form, lacked control through the midstroke then would ramp up stupidly fast and the compression adjuster was annoying as you would adjust it to increase low speed compression but the way it worked the high speed compression would be made less the more low speed got wound on. Changed to Dorados, best decision ever.
  • + 1
 I also switched from a marzocchi 888 rc3 evo v2 to a dorado this season and I have to say that it is far more controlled especially for heavier riders. It doesn't dive into the face of jumps or berms . Honestly it's the best fork I have owned .
  • + 1
 There is the answer then Wink

to be fair tho, I was talking 170mm travel single crowns
  • + 1
 I was on about the 888s, if you like them then fair enough I just couldn't get on with them no matter what I did and then the stanchion coating flaked off. So I got a warranty set and sold them, one thing that might be worth doing is getting your Marzocchi tuned as I'm sure that would dramatically improve that characteristic.
  • + 1
 Coming from a '07 Zocchi 66 RC2 ETA, I was quite surprised by the Pike in my new bike. From all those reviews it felt like there should've been a world of difference; but to be honest, the Pike isn't beating the Zocchi. It may be far lighter, true. But when it comes down to performance, the old Zocchis were in a class of their own. Too bad bikes today are just about low weight, imagine what you could do with 2-300g of extra weight in a fork...
  • + 4
 I'm not sure why there's an issue with cable routing. Ziptie on the arch, come across under the the downtube and around to the brake lever. Exactly as you'd do on any other fork, except behind it instead of in front. Been doing that on Manitou for years, no issues.
  • + 2
 BINGO!!!
  • + 3
 Almost performs as good as the Pike / Fox 36 (and beats them in some respects), at a lower MSRP. Even if the Mattoc is ultimately not the fork for you, it will keep Fox and RS' prices in check. Competition is good for the consumer.

From the review, it sounds like the 34mm stanchions won't be flexy for the average rider, but odd that they would choose 34mm stanchions when their competitors use 35 and 36mm.
  • + 1
 Marketing from their competitors has convinced the average Joe that they need 36mm stanchions. Maybe a few pros think they need something that big but perhaps they don't - I can't really say because I don't ride at that level. Maybe their competitors came out with larger stanchions while they were in design and production and couldn't change it to keep up with the marketing.
  • + 3
 I've been riding my Pro for a month now and I have to admit that I'm pretty happy. The axle is annoying as suggested but the cable routing isn't a big deal. Manitou has been doing the reverse arch for years - but you do have to think a bit when installing the brake cable. It took a few rides before the bushings broke in (they suggested 40 hours) and now it's buttery smooth and I'm comparing this to my old Travis 150mm coil fork. Manitou has certainly turned things around and the price point is great.

As the article suggests, this fork might get pushed too hard by the competitive pro (who likely charges stuff I'm scared to even attempt) but honestly even most of the most aggressive riders will never reach the limits of this fork. If you are charging something that tough...you might be on the wrong bike! I'll never hit the limits and I'm happy.

I wanted travel adjust but this fork climbs better than a previous fork I owned with travel adjust. That was my only regret until I rode it and discovered otherwise.
  • + 3
 When Manitou releases a new product, it is to be taken seriously. I bought a R7 when they first came out, and damn were they sweet (too bad they were on my stolen XTC). Currently, I am using a Swinger shock and feel the same way. I am now thinking of switching from my Revelation's to the Mattoc.

Most surprising of all: Nobody is going ape that there is a 26r-4-life version... interesting.
  • + 2
 That axle system is great, and its the quickest simplest thing to use. I have the Mattoc and can say it is amazing, and I prefer it to the Pike I used to have. It only took me one try to figure out the axle. This fork is a true Mini DH fork with trail fork weight, and plenty of adjustments to suit your style.
  • + 2
 I have only owned one Manitou fork and it was also my only brand new fork. I have had the Circus and it was an absolute gem. Never have I ridden such a good 100mm fork, for the price and riding style that is. I did my research on forks and after 3 days of non-stop reading, the Circus is the only choice for DJ/Street/FR.
From what I have felt and now know, Manitou are a brand to consider, the compression works perfectly, with absolutely no hesitation and you can rely on it. I have had no problem with knobs falling off or servicing. It's like an old Marzo fork, simple! I would take it over a Fox/RS any day Smile
  • + 1
 I really like manitou! This would be my choice just based off performance, price and it looks awesome! I plan on upgrading my revelation to one soon! Great product and great review! I look forward to more products from manitou
  • + 3
 I'm a fan of the reverse arch; it keeps the mud off your stanchions. However, no mention if it increases the axle-to-crown height.
  • + 1
 I'm not challenging you, I'm curious, why would it do that?
  • + 1
 If I remember correctly, the axle-to-crown heights are a bit taller on Manitou forks because when the fork is fully compressed the reverse arch needs enough space so it doesn't hit the downtube.
  • + 1
 As your tire spins forward, mud flinging off the top of the wheel goes forward. On a normal arch, it hits the back the arch and build up there. There is a gap between the arch and the stanchion in the front, and mud builds up there a ton. As the stanchion goes up and down, rocks and sticks in that mud scrape the stanchion. This happened on an old marz 55 I had, where a big gouge was added to my shiny black finish.

With the reverse arch, this mud is flung against the outside (back) side of the arch, where it can fall off and do no damage.
  • + 2
 Sorry I shoulda said, it was the axle to crown I was on about, chubzy answered it
  • + 4
 dangit
  • + 3
 HAHAHA
  • + 3
 Axle to crown on the 26" mattoc is 545mm in 160mm travel, the old fox 36s were 545mm in the 160mm position but I believe they dropped it by a few mm this year. So the Mattoc's aren't like the older reverse arch Manitous that were a good amount taller than other forks on the market.
  • + 1
 I'd love to own another pair of manitou forks but outside the US, the customer support is terrible. When my dorados failed I had to wait weeks as there was no stock of seals and then on return they leaked a pool of oil out of the damper just sitting in my car driving to a race. Mine spent 6 weeks with warranty in the middle of the season!
  • + 1
 Mattoc is an excellent fork. I have ridden one for 3 months and previously had a Pike. I agree with the very marginal stiffness difference with Pike. Once the Mattoc breaks in, it is a great performing fork. I have adapted a bottomless token from my RS to reduce the volume by ~6cc. Softer off the top now, but ramps up greatly, giving real confidence when pushing on. I run full LC and mid on the HS. Lots of positives for this fork and not many negatives...
  • + 1
 I am still missing how controled and well dambed my Minute was. On those days I owned both a Pike 456 and the Minute and I choose to keep the Minute because of stiffness and performance. Manitou damping was superb. I was never 100% happy the years after from the FOXs & the Marzocchis. I was expecting a fork at this travel range from Manitou. I am convinced already.
  • + 2
 For the brake line, run it up the inside of the fork leg, to the front of the reverse arch, and behind the crown. Zip tie it to the arch on the left side. If the hose is the correct length, it'll never rub the crown.
  • + 1
 something I didnt understand... in the beggining of the article they say "Despite what you may have read elsewhere, the Mattoc's damper isn't a shrunk down version of what you'll find inside Manitou's Dorado downhill fork."
then just a few paragraphs later:
"Just in case the name of the Mattoc's air spring didn't give it away, the design is lifted from Manitou's 203mm travel Dorado downhill fork..."

so is whats written in the beggining simply wrong or do they mean that only the air spring is copied from the Dorado?
  • + 3
 They mean only the air spring is copied from a Dorado. The damper uses technology along the same lines as a Dorado but there are a few differences.
  • + 2
 thanks EuanBisset145
  • + 1
 The damper is nothing like the Dorado.

The Dorado and other TPC+ Manitou forks have two compression damper pistons. One moves and one is static. The moving piston, in conjunction with the needle valve, controls low speed damping when it moves. Once it bottoms, both piston's shim stacks open to control high speed compression.

i180.photobucket.com/albums/x16/ebrabaek/IMG_3766.jpg
images.ridemonkey.com/index.php?size=full&src=http%3A%2F%2Fp1.pinkbike.com%2Fphoto%2F1125%2Fmed%2Fmpbpic1125691.jpg
  • + 5
 Put one of these on a Kona Process...come back story of the year!!!
  • + 1
 Low speed setting lever controls the rod position which presses against the spring and ball on top of it.

HBO lever sits on top of the LS lever and controls the same rod but it does it by ca. 20%

That means HBO affects LS

Manitou says HBO can be felt at HS only

Any ideas?
  • + 1
 Anyone knows why the crown slots where they join the stanchions are not parallel? What happens on full bottomout? The lowers would press the little corner of metal on the crown. Isn't that dangerous? I'm talking about the left image on www.pinkbike.com/photo/11103102
  • + 3
 You are assuming that at full bottom out the seal will touch the crown. They won't touch, because it will have been designed to have clearance between the seal and the crown when bottomed out. As far as to why it's angled, it's probably for esthetics.
  • + 2
 Yeah, Manitou seals usually come short about .5" or more from the crown.
  • + 1
 They could have been parallel like any other fork, at their lower point. Manitou adopted this design for more than 5 years now. It doesn't really make any difference.
  • + 2
 i got the piles cause they were all black and was able to get them cheaper than the mattoc. always had manitou stuff before. shame they don't have a shock to complement it.
  • + 1
 Mcleod shock out soon
  • + 5
 You got the piles? sounds painfull
  • + 4
 Dude, who'd pay for piles!? What posessed you?
  • + 2
 PMSL stupid iPhone Frown
  • + 4
 good old Manitou style. Would love to ride it!
  • + 1
 I know exactly what you want answered: is the Mattoc Pro better than the new 36 or Pike? Not really, I'd like to know how they compare against the best fork I've ridden, the Bos Deville
  • + 3
 Read the whole article. They pretty much said that the damping is better, the small-bump sensitivity is at parity, and stiffness is slightly less than Fox or Pike, and the air-spring is spot-on. I would say this is about equal, it comes down which fork attribute you value highest.
  • + 0
 Erm read article and still struggling to find a direct comparison to a BOS
  • + 1
 Just wanted to give a shout out to manitou CS. Had a part come off on my marvel pro, and they sent a replacement the next day at no charge, to Canada no less. Super cool dudes.
  • + 3
 So Imagine that Fork with the new Cane Creek Air shock... you'd be in for a world of fun
  • + 2
 bitch please them forks on that bike just dont match! instagram.com/p/oiEXJGI8uh/?modal=true look how much nicer it looks on a rockymountain Wink
  • + 1
 Manitou's not doing that well? Hmmm, I don't follow the techno bullshit like I used to, but I can say that I'd grab a Manitou anytime over any load of crap with a Marz or a Rock Shox sticker on it.
  • + 2
 Testing the Manitou Mattoc Pro here in Rincon Mountain Bike Pro Shop track was to good we give it 5 stars good job Manitou.
  • + 3
 "Steerer: tapered only "
----> Not good enough!!!
  • + 6
 Yeah because everyone wants a 2015 fork for their 2009 frame!
  • + 7
 I'd like one on my 2007 frame.
  • + 2
 It is a pain in the arse. Plenty of long travel hardtails still only come with 1 1/8th steerers. I guess the new 36 or the Deville are your only real options or a Revelation if they are too expensive.
  • + 4
 2008 frame, not 2009 Wink
And yes, why not? What's the problem? When I read you, Panaphonic, I feel like somebody who is trying to put some 2014 gear on a 1920 bike.

It's very difficult to find a good fork to put on his bike with a 1"1/8 steerer to give it some freshness. The choice is really limited, like humouroususername said.
Seriously, brands are spending fortunes in marketing, what does it cost to put a 1"1/8 on a fork? It doesn't need to re-engineering the fork from the beginning.
So it's cleary to force people to buy new bikes, new frames and made them threw some perfectly functional gear.
I'm not agree with this.
  • + 1
 @pitrouille it costs a lot actually, especially if you're a smaller producer like Manitou. Adding 1-1/8" means twice as many crown molds, different expansion tooling, and more inventory. It's an understandable business decision.

FWIW, idk what you're currently on, but the new Suntour Epicon TRs (and possibly the Durolux too?) are available with straight steerers, 26" version, and 15QR. Not exactly the same tier as the Mattoc, but I've been really impressed with it, especially for the price. Great amount of damping control for the money, lightweight, stiff (for a 32mm, but the Durolux is 35mm) and never bottoms out hard even when my zip-tie says I used all the travel. Customer service is second to none too (at least here in the US).
  • + 1
 Why not take an external headset?ok,thats 1 cm more height but it works to use tapered forks in a 1 1/8 headtube :-)
  • + 1
 I did not know that was possible. Thanks for the info though. Pretty happy with the revelation rtc3 though.
  • - 1
 How's it measure up to the xfusion sweep or slant or suntour auron? Those are the price competitors after all. I love my durolux, though it is a lot heavier, being a free ride fork. I'd like to see how the mattoc measures up to these.
  • + 3
 so should i trade in my fox 34 for this?
  • + 14
 You should trade your 34 for anything but another 34
  • + 3
 Bos Deville is 34 and an absolute outstanding fork
  • + 2
 yes... Unless you wanna drop an Avalanche cartridge in there, only fix for a 34...
  • + 2
 yes i run a deville best fok ive had, just ment fox 34
  • + 1
 Ahh got ya dude
  • + 2
 On the picture of the GT bike is a Continental Baron Projekt 2.4. Will it be tested, too?
  • + 2
 i have a dorado on my v10c, a mattoc 160mm on my bronson, and a circus 130 on my rook. i love my manitou!
  • + 3
 Your mom likes reverse arches
  • + 3
 Awesome test, thanks Levy!!!
  • + 1
 The cassette tool has been used by marzocchi for years. Sounds like it is a great fork would definetly be willing to give it a try
  • + 0
 Foam?!?!?! Holy crap... Can't wait to see what that looks like in three years. Especially coming from the online shopper who doesn't appreciate routine service from the LBS...
  • + 4
 "but it should also be easier for the consumer to service compared to a bladder setup."
  • + 1
 @nuttypoolog That's a good point. The foam is made of the same oil resistant nitrile rubber that o-rings are made of. Even then, I wonder what all of the compression/rebound cycles will do to it.
  • + 2
 honestly... probably nothing. If the rubber stuff in my RP23 looks fine after 3 years and no service (I did service it recently though) I can't imagine any real damage to the foam. The surfaces are so smooth and well-oiled inside these things that there's practically no way to produce significant wear, unless you somehow managed to get sand in there or scratch up the surfaces. And as far as it compressing and decompressing... I'd be much less worried about a block of foam than a bladder from a longevity perspective.
  • + 3
 Manitou's been using the foam compensator system in their forks since at least 2010, I can't say I've ever heard of a failure. It's actually a large shim backed up by the foam, the shim keeps pressure on the oil and the foam acts as a spring. It's a simple system and it works. I have 3 Manitou Minutes from 2-4 years old that have the foam, they all look and perform like new. And if the foam ever dies it's a 25 cent part that any half decent mechanic can replace in 20 minutes.
  • + 1
 @aerius
Good to know the foam holds up. I wouldn't have a problem with servicing the fork myself. As nutty pointed out, it could be a problem if the buyer that doesn't know how to service their equipment. My only concern would be little bits breaking off and getting stuck in ports or shims. Again, maintenance would take care of it.
  • + 1
 I wonder if it would be possible to run different stiffness's of foam to alter the way that the fork reacts?
  • + 0
 3 of my buddies got brand new Mattocs(not Pro, the middle version), 2 of them had issues and finally got warranty refund, third sold it before it broke.
  • + 2
 What were the issues?
  • + 2
 Forks were loosing some travel over time, problem's been getting back after few rides, shop couldn't fix it under warranty and refunded. They said it some design flaw, but I dont know exactly what, or if they were right. One fork was Pro, other the lower version. I don't think it's coincidence, both were brand new. Better to give it some time, market will verify.
  • + 1
 Interesting. It seems like there is an air leak between the positive and negative air springs. Perhaps it is a bad seal tolerance or a weak spring on the fill valve. Hopefully this isn't common and they figure out an easy fix. Thanks for the info.
  • + 1
 Thats a common thing with the Dorado Air.just attach the shock pump and pull the fork out again.thats all.perhaps once a day after riding.that's all.But the advantage:when putting the bike in a car you can compress the fork/travel it down.
This happens because the pos and neg Air chamber are connected and sometimes the part which connects both lets pass some Air.don't know if they solved that,but its no big deal or defect.interesting that some shops don't know this although selling the product as it's already known from the Dorado,already being sold for several years
  • + 2
 Playing with pressure every 10 minutes or so is no big deal?
  • + 1
 You did not say you had to play with pressure every 10 minutes and I didnt write that either ;-)
read carefully
  • + 2
 Any word on the new Conti Baron tires?
  • + 2
 Review soon.
  • + 3
 That GT! Oh my Bosh!
  • + 0
 I don't care how "good" Manitou supposedly are, I think the rear arc looks absolutely ridiculous and feels odd when riding, I'm sorry but nobody can convince me otherwise.
  • + 2
 Dayummm .... That test Sled!!!
  • + 1
 It's not expensive enough!!!!
  • + 1
 10,000 times better than Fox
  • + 1
 How do the new barons perform and what do they weight?
  • + 1
 eu gostei do peso!
Weight: 1,877 gramas
  • + 1
 Pretty old school looking aesthetics!
  • + 0
 That zip tied hydro line is a nice finishing touch...think i'll stick to my Fox
  • + 1
 You should cut all of the zip ties holding your brake and shift lines then! No one wants that ugly clutter
  • + 1
 Is the ziptie included in the $850 sticker price?
  • + 1
 They use the "fork sprung dirt technique"
  • + 1
 now we just need the review of the marzocchi 55 CR
  • + 1
 Can this fork whip?
  • - 3
 Looks like a fork from 1995. They should price it that way. With the Dorado Manitou has one of the two best forks in the marketplace. Better replace Mattoc with a cut down upside down Dorado.
  • + 0
 Almost had me until 34mm stanchions.
  • + 1
 I believe that's the width on the stanchions
  • - 6
flag Doba (Jul 2, 2014 at 10:38) (Below Threshold)
 I'm 240lbs geared up and ride a bike with 7" of travel. 34mm is not going to get it done for me. Neg prop me all you want.
  • + 6
 Yeah...sure its the stanchion width thats holding you back. You keep believing that.
  • - 3
 I know I'm a Clydesdale and have never raced a day in my life. I worry about fork stanchions because I don't want to break shit because of my gigantic ass.
  • + 2
 Well the Fork is 160mm and not 180mm so.....
  • + 2
 Remember boxxers went up to 200mm on 32mm stanchions, only went to bigger ones to stiffen them up not to make them any stronger.
  • + 1
 A2C comparison?
  • - 1
 usual heights: look at their homepage ;-)
  • + 4
 Mattoc 140mm / 150mm / 160mm / 170mm

26" 525 / 535 / 545 / 555 (41mm offset)
275 535 / 545 / 555 (44mm offset)

Pike 150 / 160

26" 532 / 542 (40mm offset)
275 542 / 552 (42mm offset)
29" 561 / 571 (46/51mm offset options)

Fox 34 160 26" - 537.9
Fox 34 160 27.5 - 554.4
Fox 34 150 29" - 562.8 (51mm offset)

Fox 36 160 26" (older model) - 545.3

All the credible info I could find on this. Didn't include all travel setups, since you can just +/- off the A2C, the difference in travel.
  • + 1
 EDIT: my mistake
  • - 1
 Pretty sure the fork is "unaware" of the wheel size under it and can be run as a 170mm 650b fork as well
  • - 2
 Good to see that if your current forks ramp up to quick just add a bit of closed cell foam to the air chamber job done?
  • - 3
 that should be fine, right?
  • + 2
 Adding oil into the spring chamber works too but yeah. Anything that reduces the free volume in the air spring will increase your ramp-up. You'd have to use more foam than oil to get the same effect though, cuz the foam will still compress whereas the oil won't. I've heard of people buying and cutting elastomer to do the same thing, btw. DIY bottomless tokens basically.
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