Over the years Crankworx Whistler has grown into a mini-trade show, a chance for companies to show off their goods to the throngs of fans that have gathered to watch their favorite mountain bikers flip, spin, and sprint their way through the various events. It's also the perfect opportunity to spot items that are in the testing phase, whether that's a prototype bike, dropper post, or in this case, a new fork from Manitou, and some carbon wheels from Sun Ringle.
The full details, including things like price, weight, and availability, are still being kept under wraps for now, but I was able to get a closer look and snap some photos that make the basic facts pretty clear.
The fork resembles an oversized Manitou Mattoc – it has the same signature reverse-arch design, but with what looks like 170 or 180mm of travel and wider diameter stanchions. The brake housing routing also appears to have been improved; a guide directs it towards the front of the bike, which should make for a much cleaner looking setup.
Manitou were quiet about exactly what's inside the fork, but the writing on the top caps helps to shed some light on the details. It's air sprung, and has Manitou's Infinite Rate Tune (IRT) installed, which is a secondary air chamber that allows riders to adjust the feel of the fork's mid-stroke without affecting the initial spring rate.
Manitou's Variable Terrain Tune (VTT) damper is housed inside the right leg, which offers three compression settings, including a full lock-out, along with the ability to fine-tune the amount of low-speed compression.
The Trek Slash that the new fork was mounted on also had a set of un-released carbon wheels from Sun Ringle. Carbon rims have become increasingly common over the last few years, but purple anodized hubs? That's a throwback to the '90s, when Ringle's anodized goods were all the rage. I'm a sucker for purple or blue ano – hopefully that color makes it to production.