December's Top Vital MTB Member Reviewer Award
Every month we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize, and this month Jenson USA pitched in another $100 gift card! Sometimes quality outweighs quantity, and Vital Member ThomDawson took home top honors with this in-depth review:
The Good: Surprisingly stiff chassis. Great feeling air spring. Low weight. User serviceable and tuneable.
The Bad: Tooled through axle. Reverse arch may present issues with mud and hose routing. Proprietary tools.
Overall Review: The Mattoc easily stands up to its competition in the form of the Rockshox Pike and Fox 34 in a more tuneable and cheaper package.
As a lighter rider (65Kg) I have long felt that the market leading forks from the big brands are overdamped. Those forks have to please a wide range of riders and I found myself just outside of the range of externally adjustable damping. Though, even if you’ve never found a problem with the damping range of your fork, the user tuneable damping (and air spring) of the Mattoc is a feature that you just don’t get with a Pike or 34.
Excited at the prospect of tuning the fork myself (with the help of readily available documentation and base tunes from Manitou) I picked up a Mattoc Pro 2 for £400 which I felt was an absolute steal only for the price to drop even further lately!
After a week riding the fork in stock configuration it became apparent I didn’t actually need to re-tune the damper. The stock damper configuration seems to have more range than those on offer from Rockshox and Fox, likely due to the combination of adjustable high and low speed compression. I was able to easily settle on a very active tune off the top that provided plenty of damping for high speed impacts and the hydraulic bottom out feature further helps prevent harsh or uncontrolled bottom outs. I’m not a suspension tuning expert, nor am I a bike mechanic but I know how I want my suspension to feel and had I felt the need I would have been comfortable diving into the damper, empowered by the tuning material and literature provided by Manitou.
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself within the stock range of the damper (if a little disappointed I had no excuse to tinker with it) but what I really hadn’t expected was that the air spring would feel as good as it does. When it comes to air springs all are not created equal and the Dorado Air in the Mattoc is superb. I always found the Pike to be quite divey - good top and end stroke but pretty much useless in the mid-stroke - and it’s here that the Mattoc really shines. It has the same supple top stroke that I’ve come to expect but it has far, far superior mid stroke support to the Pike. Manitou offer an aftermarket upgrade for the Dorado Air spring which claims to even further improve the top and mid-stroke though, like the damper, I haven’t felt any improvements to the stock configuration necessary.
In my opinion the Mattoc bests the Pike again in chassis stiffness..." - Read more»
Big congrats to ThomDawson! Thanks for helping out the riding scene with your thoughts on this product.