Manitou forks has been quiet for a couple of years, with only the downhill Dorado being a stand out fork in its range. Now, however, comes the Mattoc; a 160mm trail fork designed by the Dorado designer, using much of the same technology. And, 26in lovers rejoice as there’ll be 26in and 27in versions.
The chassis is similar to existing forks like the Tower, with a tapered steerer and the X-Loc axle. However, the Mattoc internals have been developed for the rufty-tufty world of enduro with much trickle down from the Durado.
Numbers first then: It’s coming out early 2014 and will be available in 140/150160mm via clip-on/off internal spacers, so it’s easy to change the travel. Stanchions are 34mm. The 26in version will even go to 170mm. The lowers are the same, although the fork offset is different for both forks. Theoretically, though, it would be possible to buy the 26in version now and then run 27in when/if/when you upgrade. A 27in wheel in a 26in fork would have more trail (and be more stable/DH feeling at the expense of some slow speed nimbleness), so it might be an acceptable upgrade path for a 26in rider who might want to go bigger wheeled in the future. Or you could just go out now and get a 27in bike. Did we mention that they were everywhere at the show?
The fork has a clever hydraulic bottom-out. Rather than have a steeply ramping air-curve at the bottom of the stroke, there’s a more linear air spring and when the fork is into its final 30mm of travel, it engages with the hydraulic bottom out, where the rate of bottom out curve is governed by the flow of oil through adjustable ports.
Rather than slot the bushings on the stanchion-facing side, to allow oil to pass through, the Mattock has slots on the back side of the bushing, to allow oil to pass, while keeping full bushing contact on the stanchions to keep things solid. There’ll be a Pro/Expert/Comp level of fork and although we don’t have prices yet, they’re looking to be less than the cost of an equivalent Rockshox Pike.