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Team Tested: The Manitou Mattoc Pro Fork

In Issue #009 of ENDURO we tested six interesting forks. At this time, the newest fork from Manitou, the Mattoc Pro was not available. The fork is now on the market and we have been putting the fork through an intense test over the last few weeks. You will find out here how the €650 fork has performed on a variety of trails in the Alps:

Manitou Mattoc (1 von 5)

The features of the Mattoc Pro at a glance:

When first fitting the Manitou Mattoc into the bike, some features are immediately apparent. Thanks to a 7 “Post Mount standard, no adapter is needed to mount a 180 mm disc. Another typical feature on the Manitou is the bridge that is fitted to the rear of the chassis. Moreover, the Mattoc comes with a completely new 15mm Hex Lock thru-axle. Here, a pin is locked into a groove and then secured via quick release. As soon as you work out the system of putting a wheel into the fork or dismounting it works very quickly and is pretty easy.

Nach dem Befüllen der Federgabel findet beim ersten Einfedern ein Druckausgleich zwischen Positiv- und Negativkammer statt, daher ist es nötig beim Einstellen der aufgedruckten Werte den Luftdruck der Gabel mehrfach zu überprüfen.

After setting up the forks air pressure it is important to compress the fork and check the pressure again. This is necessary because when you compress the fork air will flow from the positive into the negative chamber.

But it is not only externally that the Mattoc is different from most competing products on the market. The damping cartridge as well as the air chamber have some interesting details too. The forks predecessor, the Manitou Dorado doesn’t allow the rider to vary the ending progression, but you could travel the fork down to 140 mm by fitting some spacers inside.

Manitou Mattoc (2 von 5)

The new fork is much more adjustable, on the right upper leg of the fork the compression adjusters can be found. In addition to 6 clicks of high and 4 clicks of low speed compression, the rider can fine tune here the progression of the last 15% of travel by means of the hydraulic Bottom outs (HBO) adjuster. On the lower side is, as usual, the rebound adjuster knob.

Die Lackqualität sowie Aufkleber der Gabel konnte uns nicht überzeugen. Bereits nach kurzer Zeit waren hier optische Mängel zu verzeichnen.

The quality of the stickers would not convince us. After a short time we observed some defects.

Die einen lieben sie, die anderen hassen sie - die Hex-Lock Steckachse der Manitou Mattoc.

Some love it, others hate it – the Hex Lock thru-axle on the Manitou Mattoc.

Manitou itself offers the fork in 26 “(140-170 mm FW) as well as 27.5″ (140-160 mm FW). Depending on wheel size Manitou mounted a casting with a different fork offset. Nevertheless, owner of a 26 “variant, can also use this fork for 27,5″ after they reduced the travel down to 160mm.

The Setup

With a body weight of about 84 kg the following setup for me has been ideal over the test period of several weeks:

  • Pressure: 75 PSI
  • Lowspeed Compression: 4 clicks closed (max 4)
  • Highspeed Compression: 4 clicks closed (max 6)
  • HBO: completely closed
  • Rebound: 8 clicks closed

Riding impression

Right from the first few meters with the new Manitou Mattoc I felt very comfortable with it. The fork impressed with its very good response at a SAG of 20%. I personally prefer a strong low speed compression to keep the fork high in travel when riding in steep terrain or when braking. Here I would still like to have a little more support from the low speed compression.

Lermoos_14.06.01__KKM1865

However, at no time did I had the impression that the fork would be overwhelmed with a fast impact series. The effective rebound damping made the travel very quickly available again. The fork succeeded very well in following the ground even at high speed. Especially in the middle range of the travel the compression damping worked very well. Here, the fork generates great traction on the trail and gives still a lot of feedback. Lermoos_14.06.01__KKM1759

Only on really hard impacts would I like to have even more high-speed compression damping and a more progressive air chamber. For this reason I mostly rode the HBO completely closed.

Lermoos_14.06.01__KKM1740

The subjectively perceived stiffness of the fork was observable, with the Mattoc you hit the desired line exactly and precisely.

Facts

  • Weight: 1905 g (Steerer length 19,4cm)
  • Price: 650 €
  • Wheelsize: 26″, 27,5″
  • Travel: 140mm / 150mm / 160 mm / 170mm (26″ only)
  • Steerer: tapered
  • Fork Offset: 41mm (26″) / 44mm (27,5″)
  • Adjustments: Air Pressure / LS-Compression / HS-Compression / Hydraulic Bottom-Out / Rebound
  • Brake: Postmount 180 mm
  • Axle: QR 15 Hex Lock Axle
  • Crown to Axle: 555 mm (27,5″ 160mm)
  • Colour: black, white, red
Lermoos_14.06.01__KKM1871

Conclusion

The Manitou Mattoc Pro impressed us with a great performance despite some minor weak points in the compression damping. The fork always maintains great contact with the ground, and smooths over the smallest bumps and chatter, offering plenty of comfort and even more traction. Racers and bikers in alpine terrain run an optimized Shimstack which Manitou offers to its customers as part of a service, and comes highly recommended. For the attractive price of 650 € the Manitou Mattoc convinced us with a good performance and a solid finish.

For more Information about the Manitou Mattoc Pro visit: www.manitoumtb.com.

Words: Christoph Bayer Pictures: Klaus Kneist (Action) Christoph Bayer (Stillshots)

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