It’s been a long time coming for another big contender to come out with a suspension fat bike fork that can compete with the Bluto. While the Bluto was a good introduction, it is still pretty low end on the Rochshox scale of forks. With the sport getting bigger and bikes getting more developed, it is time that a new fork comes out to go along with them.
Manitou just released the Mastodon a couple of weeks ago at Sea Otter Classic. The Mastodon is designed with 34mm stanchions for a stiffer fork, cold weather seals that are rated down to 0 degrees F, and a clean thru bolt axle for easy install. Manitou has two choices for the Mastodon: a Pro and Comp version of the fork. The Pro model comes with the Dorado Air Spring with a MC2 Compression Damping, which is on most of the Manitou high-end forks. The Comp Version of the Mastodon comes with an ISO Air Spring along with an Absolute+ compression damping. Both forks have adjustable rebound damping on the bottom of the fork. We will focus more on the difference of these two options in the next blog.
The other main option Manitou is offering on the Mastodon is tire clearance. They make a standard and extended version of the fork. The standard version is for 26x4”, 27.5x3.8" or 27.5x3” tire clearance. The extended version of the fork clears the bigger rubber. The extended will clear 26x5” tires, 27.5x4.8", 29+ all the way up to the Snowshoe XXL tire. If you go with the extended version you are able to run any tire /rim combination and can keep the same fork. The chart below helps determine the tire clearance.
Manitou offers the Mastodon in two different travel lengths as well. They are offered in 100 or 120mm of travel. However, the 100mm version can be converted down to 80mm and the 120mm can be extended to 140mm. That amount of travel pretty much covers what anyone would need on a fat bike build.
The Pro version retails for $850 and weighs in at 2,210 grams. The Comp version retails for $650 and weighs in at 2,430 grams. We are now testing a few comp extended versions. Initial thought reviews will be coming soon.