Manitou Mattoc Pro 160mm Fork

Is this trail/enduro fork up there with the best?

Fresh in to test is this Mattoc Pro from Manitou, a 160mm air sprung fork. How does it compare against the benchmark Fox 34 and RockShox Pike, two of our 2016 Dirt 100 picks?

Although we are seeing RockShox and Fox dominating original equipment on many production bikes, we are starting to see Manitou showing up on newer progressive brands such as Vitus, with their Escarpe and Sommet being well dialed examples.

What’s on offer with the Mattoc, and in particular the Pro model we have here?

With 34mm stantions, a Hex Lock QR15 axle system and tapered steerer, the Mattoc’s chassis is on level playing field with the Fox and RockShox offerings. What makes this fork visually different (and is a standard feature on all Manitou’s single crown fork) is the Reverse Arch, sitting behind the legs. It’s a Manitou feature they have used and stood by for years.

Manitou use their DH Dorado air spring on this fork, with an adjustable hydraulic bottom out adjustment. Damping is via their TPC (Twin Piston Chamber) tech for both rebound and compression control. In 2016 we have some very well mannered forks available, just how well does this Mattoc compare to the best out there?

We’ve got the 27.5” Mattoc on test with 160mm of travel and an axle to crown of 555mm. This fork is also available in 140mm and 150mm travel all with a 44mm crown offset and a choice of colours. 26” wheel Mattocs are also available, an area where availability and choice is starting to drop off. Weight is 1877g for the 27.5″ fork.

The Mattoc ticks a lot of boxes and it all looks good on paper and it’s well priced too. Is the chassis stiff enough? How refined is the damping? The axle system promises to be one of the best on the market. We’ve got a 160mm Orange Alpine project in the workstand, a bike we’ve ridden with various forks, so maybe we’ll plug the Mattoc into this for starters, get some base settings sorted. Maybe on the Propain Tyee that’s just rolled through the doors? Stay tuned.

PRICE: £550

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