The brand new Manitou Mezzer Pro fork is the new flagship in Manitou’s lineup. With 140 to 180 mm of travel on the 27.5″ and 29″ version, it will be used on potent trail bikes as well as on hard-hitting enduro sleds. Complementing their new fork, the Manitou Mara Pro shock offers numerous tuning options and the legendary Ringle Bubba is back.
Manitou Mezzer Pro fork
The € 1,050 Manitou Mezzer Pro is a completely new development to meet the requirements of an enduro suspension fork. It delivers between 140mm and 180mm travel for both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. Internally, the travel can be adjusted in 10 mm increments to match the bike and personal preferences. Manitou relies on 37 mm stanchions and reverse arch casting, with the fork bridge at the back. As a result, the Mezzer Pro should be 28% stiffer than the competition and weigh in adjust 2000 g for the 27.5 ” version.
The air spring uses Manitou’s reinforced Dorado Air spring with IRT. The IRT spring allows for customization in the mid-stroke, without interfering with the end-stroke progression of the Mezzer.
Manitou Mara Pro shock
Like the Mezzer Pro fork, the Manitou Mara Pro shock has been developed especially for enduro bikes. It is available in all standard dimensions and as a Trunnion or Eyelet version. The air spring of the 610 € damper can be adjusted with three different air cans with different volumes to the suspension design and the intended use of the bike. The real highlight of the shock, however, are the two independent damping circuits: Work and Party Mode.
The work mode firms up the rear end. The platform can be adjusted with Shims to suit the suspension design, terrain and personal preferences. Everything from lockout to a lot of traction for technical uphills should be possible.
If the lever is in Party-Mode, the damping oil is pushed through another damping circuit. With high and low-speed compression both externally tunable. The party mode can be re-shimmed without special tools.
To further improve responsiveness, the new IFP in the piggy-back is made from a soft material. This allows the shock to move into its travel slightly before the IFP even moves. An additional result of this is that the required pressure in the piggy-bag could be reduced to 150 PSI. Thus, the service on the Mara can be done without special tools.
Ringle is back – The Bubba hub
With the Bubba hub Ringle returns to the hub market. In the Super Bubba straight-pull variant, the hub will only be available in the new SunRingle Duroc wheels. If you prefer to assemble your wheelset yourself, the Bubba (€ 530 hub set) built around classic J-Bend spokes is an ideal base. Ringle offer either the classic Shimano or Sram XD freehub bodys. We still have to wait for a Micro-Spline freehub body, which is needed for the new Shimano XTR. Ringle uses Boost (12×148) and Super Boost (12×157) spacing on the rear wheel and Boost (15×110) on the front wheel.
The Bubba hub uses the Clock’d freewheel-system with 6 pawls. Depending on the configuration, there are 4° or 8° of engagement. At 4°, only three pawls transfer the power, while in the 8° configuration, all 6 pawls always engage to optimally transmit the forces.
Our first impression
We already had the opportunity to test the Manitou Mezzer Pro, the Mara Pro and the Bubba Hub for a short time on the trail. The first impression is already very positive. But for a detailed test we have to spend much more time on them. The good news: Mezzer, Mara and Bubba are already on their way to us.
More info at: hayesperformance.com
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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer