Manitou is calling their new Mattoc mountain bike fork “The People’s Fork” because in an age of MTB specialization, this is a single fork for that can cover pretty much all of the disciplines that most mountain bikers actually ride. Few of us are really ultralight XC racers, as much as we dream even fewer are actually enduro racers, and seriously there can’t really be that many downhiller racers, right?
In the middle – where most of us really ride – you can find cross-country, marathon, downcountry, singletrack, trail, all-mountain, and admittedly some light enduro-like riding. Remember, that’s what we used to just call mountain biking? And that’s the gamut covered by the 34mm stanchion Manitou Mattoc fork, internally adjustable in 10mm increments from 110-150mm without any special tools.
Has it really been a decade since the Mattoc had its last total all-mountain overhaul, with 140-160mm of travel back when the 26″ vs 27.5″ wheels discussion was still a thing? In the ensuing years, it got plenty of internal updates, went Boost, and shifted to 29er wheels with 27.5 still an option. But now Manitou has brought the Mattoc back to the core of mountain biking.
Mattoc PRO (l) & Mattoc EXP (r)
The new reverse-arch Manitou Mattoc is a mountain bike fork for all types of riding, now with clearance for up to 2.6″ tires (67mm). Every 34mm stanchion fork can be set up for 110-150mm of travel, and can be easily adjusted internally in 10mm increments by a competent home mechanic. (Interestingly the base Mattoc Cmp fork can stretch out an extra centimeter, up to 160mm).
The new Boost fork is primarily meant for 29″ wheels with 44mm offset, but to fit a bunch of existing bikes and as a platform for younger & smaller riders, there are also 27.5″ wheel options with 37mm or 44mm offset.
The new Pro & Exp forks also feature Trail Side Relief (TSR) bleed screws ports in the lowers to release internal built-up pressure from intense riding, or big elevation or weather changes. It’s not tool-free like on some other forks, but still easy to bleed with a quick turn of your multi-tool.
All of the new Mattoc forks feature forged hollow aluminum crowns with a 1.5″ tapered steerer – with 7000-series butted alloy legs on the two top models and straight gauge 6000-series legs on the Cmp forks. The forks now feature 15x110mm Boost Hexlox SL2 axles, 160mm Post Mount brake, self-balancing positive & negative air spring chambers, are compatible with a direct-mount Manitou fender, and are e-bike rated.
Customization and future upgrades
One cool feature of this and other 34mm stanchion Manitou forks is their simple modularity. The new Mattoc comes in three spec levels – Pro, Exp & Cmp – which essentially differ only in the performance & adjustability of their air spring in the left leg and damper in the right leg. But you can always upgrade down the road by dropping the higher-end internals into your lower-end fork. And you can upgrade a Mattoc, Mastadon, or Circus Pro fork with any of these same interchangeable internals.
No penalty for buying a mid-level Exp or an entry-level Cmp fork now, you can always upgrade to Pro-level performance a couple of seasons later when you have more cash to spend.
The Pro-level fork features a Dorado Air spring with Infinite Rate Tune (IRT) that adds a second positive air chamber that changes spring rate performance from the middle-end of travel, letting you run the fork supple over initial small bumps, while retaining mid and end travel support.
You also get internal travel adjustability without having to add or remove spacers, which means the same air volume and initial feel in any travel setting.
The Pro fork’s MC² sealed bladder damper is resistant to heat buildup, offering high- & low-speed compression and rebound adjustment, plus hydraulic bottom-out (HBO) protection in the last 30mm of travel.
The mid-tier Exp fork features Manitou’s slightly heavier Expert Air spring that is said to offer “identical performance in a more cost effective package”. You still get internal travel adjustability where you change stroke with spacers, decreasing negative air volume in shorter travel setups.
The Exp fork gets VTT-6 compression damping with 3-position lock-out (Open, Trail, Lock) and low-speed adjustment in the Open setting, plus an open rebound cartridge with external rebound damping adjustment.
Lastly, the entry-level Cmp fork features the same adjustable travel Expert Air spring, plus ABS+ adjustable compression damping & internally-adjustable TPC rebound damping.
2023 Manitou Mattoc – Options & Availability
The new $1050 / 1260€ Manitou Mattoc Pro is the top of the line at a claimed 1750g for the 11-150mm adjustable 29″ all mountain biking fork (all are estimated 20g less for 27.5 wheels).
The $800 / 990€ Mattoc Exp is just ten grams heavier at an estimated 1760g for the 29er with the same travel range.
The $550 / 720€ Mattoc Cmp ticks over two kilos, but does add the option for 110-160mm of travel – estimated at 2020g.
We’ve been told that the new Manitou Mattoc forks have just landed and are making their way out through distribution channels as we type. So you should be able to find one in your local shop any day now, and or direct from Manitou now.