The niche of fat bike suspension forks is a somewhat overlooked corner of the mountain bike world. Aiming to shed some light into this dark corner is Manitou's new Mastodon.
Two versions are available: Pro and Comp, and the travel ranges up to 150mm thanks to some collaboration with Foes on its Mutz full-suspension fat frame.
- Fox 2018 suspension updates: what you need to know
- It's about time suspension came to gravel bikes
- 6 top suspension maintenance tips
- Cold weather tested at -15C / 0F and colder temperatures
- 34mm stanchions
- 80, 100, 120, 140, 150mm travel options
- Fits 26 x 5.15in and 27.5 x 4.5in tires
- Two ride heights: standard as direct replacement and extended for increased tire room
- Pro weight for 26in / 100mm travel: 2,210g
- Comp weight for 26in / 100mm travel: 2,430g
Even off of a bike it was clear from the giant crown and prairie-wide stance that the Mastodon was designed to fit even the widest-of-the-wide fat bike rubber.
The chassis can easily surround the largest tires available; everything from Vee Rubber's 26 x 5.05in 2XL Snowshoes to Bontrager's Hodag 27.5 x 4.5in. There's also plenty of room for 29 x 3.0in plus tires.
The Mastodon uses damping technology derived from its well-received Mattoc and Dorado forks.
The forks are upgradable as well, accepting Manitou's Infinite Tuning Rate kit for additional mid-stroke control, and all of the seals, oils and internals are built to work in freezing temperatures thanks to Manitou's expertise in snowmobile racing.
Through the use of large 34mm stanchions and Manitou's classic reverse arch, both front and back and torsional stiffness is claimed to be improved over the Bluto. Manitou's testing puts these numbers at 26 percent and 25 percent respectively.
Mastodon pricing and availability
- Mastodon Comp: $649.99 with availability now
- Mastodon Pro: $849.99 with availability now