Mattoc Pro Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 27.5'' - 160mm, 26" - 170mm (both adj. to 140/150)
• External adjustments: rebound, separate low and high-speed compression, hydraulic bottom out
• Spring: air
• Stanchions: 34mm
• Steerer: tapered only
• Brake: 180mm post mount
• 15mm Hex Lock thru-axle
• Weight: 1,877 grams
"And what about our test forks' lack of a volume adjustment system like RockShox's Bottomless Tokens or the blue spacers in FOX forks that can be added to the air chamber to promote ramp-up in the last part of the stroke? All three testers were unanimous in saying that they didn't feel like they needed more ramp-up, despite Manitou's Nick Pye tell us that the Mattoc's air spring is a bit more linear than the competition's. It simply didn't feel like more progressivity was required, likely due to the fork's HBO system that's located in the damper leg. Not only is the HBO design very effective at literally erasing any and all hard bottom out moments, the aluminum HBO dial at the top of the fork allows for super easy tuning that doesn't require tools"
"It's a great feature that is much more efficient than opening the fork up to add volume spacers"
The Mattoc left test rider #1, the most hard charging of the bunch, asking for more. He consistently felt that the fork had a bit more torsional flex than the Pike, noting it most at the bottom of steep, hard corners that put quite a bit of stress into the chassis.
Surprisingly, the other two riders didn't come away with the same impression, saying that the fork felt like it matched the Pike in this regard.
Does it mach the Pike and 36? We believe that it not only does exactly that, but actually feels more controlled in some ways, with all three riders reporting back that the fork's MC² damper blew them away with how well rounded it feels on the trail. Not only were all three able to dial-in a setup that provided a ground-tracking ride, but also one that kept the fork quite high up in its travel when we required it.
That balance of low-speed control and suppleness is one that's mandatory for any high-end fork these days, and Manitou hit a home run in this regard, but it's how the red fork gobbles up square edged, high-speed bumps that surprised us most. It's not that the fork simply absorbs those usually harsh impacts, it's how it nearly erases them from under you - enough so that it makes the competition feel a touch "spikey" in hindsight.
"I know exactly what you want answered: is the Mattoc Pro better than the new 36 or Pike? In many ways it is, but there are a few details that keep it from being as polished as those two - that pesky axle and questionable cable routing might be small beans but they're details that need mentioning regardless. It also needs to be said that RockShox, and especially FOX, both offer a wider range range options, including forks with on-the-fly travel adjust, although all cost appreciably more than the $850 USD MSRP that the Mattoc Pro retails for. Options and cost aside, when you're talking about out-and-out performance, the fork's damper does feel incredibly controlled when you're on the limit, even more so than what we've seen from the competition, and the HBO bottoming adjuster really is a thing of functional beauty. Those two elements add up to a potent package that, at the very least, matches the competition, and even manages to outshine them in some regards. Neither of our two test forks showed any hints of reliability issues, either, and there is no reason why the Mattoc shouldn't be considered a real player if Manitou has nailed this last factor.- Mike Levy