Review: FSA components, Magura MT brakes, Manitou Mattoc

Review: FSA components, Magura MT brakes, Manitou Mattoc

My review of the Cove Hunner Ti 29er relies largely on a review of a Ti 29er hardtail spec’ed out with selected components. My selection included a mix of Manitou, FSA and Magura. On hearing this someone said to me – “that’s very 90s”. But I had just finished watching The Moment movie and tt occurred to me that this was a hearty compliment. Lots of good things happened in the 90s (not just the Smashing Pumpkins) and bikes were tough. They had to be to tough to survive what we did to them as we explored the limits of trailbuilding and riding on the North Shore. This followup review looks at the mix of FSA, Magura and Manitou components on my personal bikes

Cove Hustler full suspension bike decked out with Manitou, Magura and FSA

Components review

The components I picked are as follows (all prices in USD; all weights actual):

  1. FSA SL-K stem – $ 82– (31.8mm +/-6 rise x 70mm) – (124g) & Gradient Stem – $ 65 – (31.8mm +6mm rise x 45mm) – (143g)
  2. FSA SL-K carbon handlebar – $ 125 – (31.8 x 740mm) – 9 deg backsweep 6 deg upsweep – 18mm rise – (239g) & Gradient alloy handlebar $ 90 – (31.8 x 800mm) – 9 deg backsweep 6 deg upsweep – 25mm rise – (295g)
  3. FSA Flowtron 150mm seatpost – $ 250 (595g post – 50g lever)
  4. FSA SL-K DM Megatooth– $ 450 1×11 carbon cranks (625g) & Gradient modular Megatooth – $ 250 1×11 alloy cranks (683g) with FSA MegaEVO BB (for English-threaded 68-73mm BBs) – (50g)
  5. FSA SL-K Boost 29er carbon wheels (710g F/840g R – 1540g total) and Afterburner WideR Boost 29er alloy wheels (880g F/990g R – 1870g total)
  6. Magura MT7 brakes – $ 310 (530g – w/o rotors) and MT Trail Sport brakes – $ 275 – (485g – w/o rotors)
  7. Manitou Mattoc Pro 29er fork – $900 – (2033g)

Cove Hummer rolling also with the lighter versions of FSA, Manitou and Magura

FSA SL-K and Gradient stems

The SL-K line of FSA products are FSA’s carbon line and biased to lighter duty bikes. They went on my Cove Hummer Ti 29er hardtail. The Gradient line of FSA products are for more of the heavy duty/hard-riding spectrum and accordingly went on a 150mm travel full suspension bike.

The SL-K carbon stem is light (but not super light), looks good and is simply too long. 70mm is the shortest length offered. For today’s bike geometries where reach and theoretical top tubes allow for stretched-out positions combined with shorter stems (for quickening up handling) that 70mm stem felt strange. For the right person perhaps gravel-grinding the SL-K stem will be useful. Perhaps one might even be able to slam the setup more by using the SL-K’s stem ability to flip-flop to -6 degrees.

FSA SL-K stem. FSA Orbit headset

By contrast the Gradient stem is not that much heavier than the SL-K stem, and feels right. The SL-K went into the spare parts bin pretty quickly while the Gradient stem will likely soldier on for a long time. Bonus points to both family of components for having a 4 bolt creak-free interface.

FSA SL-K and Gradient handlebars

Meanwhile both the SL-K and Gradient handlebars meet set and forget criteria. The SL-K carbon bar purports to have vibration – damping properties but then, most carbon bars have that attribute. It was nicely paired with a build on a hardtail where I could use every bit of suspension I could get. Since I’m also a jank-loving tech trail throwback who loves super tight super technical trails the unfashionably short SL-K 740mm carbon bar length was also acceptable for my needs.

FSA SL-K handlebar.

The Gradient alloy riser bar is another understated value-priced performer. The older-school medium rise (25mm) isn’t for everyone. The 31.8mm bar diameters aren’t the newest-fashioned 35mm wider standard but I’m a light guy and really couldn’t notice the 0.08% increase in stiffness that marketing would shill for added performance. Bonus points for handlebar marks so you can line the bar up and shotpeened coating so the bar doesn’t slip

Bars and Stems are set-and-forget items. They should work and be otherwise completely un-noteworthy. 3 months of hard use; dumped on rocks, on dirt, put upside down for on-trail maintenance, heaved into the bushes in an attempt to escape wasp nests (don’t ask). The FSA Gradient and SL-K combinations look fine, have not creaked and have been utterly forgettable.

FSA Gradient handlebar and Gradient stem

FSA Flowtron post

I installed the Flowtron dropper post on both the Cove Ti Hummer 29er and my full-suspension Cove Hustler bike. I haven’t touched them for 3 months. The cartridges haven’t blown up. The saddle clamps haven’t loosened. The Flowtron hasn’t stuck down. It hasn’t developed boinginess (if you have to ask….). It’s another utterly forgettable completely reliable FSA product.

Why on earth don’t more people know more about the Flowtron? It’s relatively cheap. It’s relatively light. If you do blow up a cartridge a replacement costs $50 and can be installed without umpteen bitcoins in shop specific proprietary tools; simply slip the new cartridge on. One explanation might be that the first – generation Flowtron wasn’t all that reliable and the market has a memory. Another may be that there are now many market entrants which are also reliable and in the same price-range. It’s tough to stand out from the crowd by simply being good now that dropper posts have come a long way.

Flowtron 150mm dropper post, cable-clamp, dropper lever

Here are some other highlights

  • Flowtron is relatively low profile so the 150mm length will fit more modern geos with truncated seat tubes (446mm length, 320mm insertion length in the 150mm travel option; 421/285 in the 125mm lengths I did not test)
  • The cable mounts at a hex screw on the handlerbar lever which makes the internal routing relatively easy. The clamping hex is so close to the lever body (pic below) that the cable will invariably split when clamped. This could be improved.
  • On the subject of the lever. It’s massive, ribbed for feeling and on a single hinged easy to remove clamp. The lever doesn’t occupy a lot of space so it plays well with many brakes (I’ve tried it with SRAM, Magura, and older & newer Shimano
  • The Flowtron has super light action. That action can be adjusted by way of a wound return spring at the bottom of the post (see picture above top right). There are three positions for the cable to be set with the stock setting being at the intermediate position. An exceptionally light tap can initiate the post action; while setting it at the opposite end accommodates riders who want a firmer push to initiate the post (who are you strange people?)
  • There are three brass keys to prevent the post from rotating. After 35+ days of use and there’s still minimal post rotation or saddle slop
  • Speaking of saddle slop this is a two bolt saddle head with the bolts made of a nice hard steel controlling fore-aft saddle tilt. The design is old-school and works.

The Flowtron grub screw could use a bit more space to stow excess cable. The cable clamp also splits the cable.

FSA SL-K carbon 1×11 cranksand FSA Gradient alloy 1×11 cranks

I used the SL-K carbon cranks on my Cove Ti Hummer 29er hardtail and the Gradient alloy cranks on the dual suspension. The carbon crank paired with a 1×11 SRAM XX1 on the Cove Ti hardtail while the alloy cranks ran off a Shimano 1×11 drivetrain on the fully.

Both cranks have 30mm spindles but aren’t of the typical PF30 or BB30 variety. Instead you use FSA’s BB392 EVO MegaEVO bottom brack. BB392 EVO measures 13mm longer than a standard BB30/PF30 axle so that FSA’s BB can remain cross-compatible with an exceptionally broad range of frames. The BB in both its threaded and press-fit varieties have remained creak and problem-free over 40 days of riding; although a winter’s worth of wetness will truly tell the tale of long-term durability. The cranks paired with the MegaTooth rings did a fine job keeping chains on. I used a chain guide with the full suspension bike paired with the Gradient alloy cranks when I did some bikepark days but didn’t use a guide on the Ti 29er hardtail paired with the SL-K carbon crank.

Both cranks are somewhat future-proofed being modular. For example each crank can be swapped between 1x and 2x setups. In another example both cranks are Boost and non-Boost compatible. In the image below not shown is a 3mm spacer sandwiched between the crank arm and the chainring. Simply remove the chainring using the FSA tool, move the 3mm spacer to the inside of the chainring and you now have a Boost chainline. There are limits to future-proofing; one cannot swap spindles for example to accommodate the bike industries lamentable propensity for new standards at a drop of a hat.

FSA lockring tool allows you to swap rings.

FSA SL-K carbon cranks

The obvious reason to pick the SL-K carbon crank over the Gradient alloy crank is weight. You pay an extra USD 200 to save 58g – an eyepopping price delta for the weight savings. Whether you want to pay this is entirely your choice. Both the carbon and alloy cranks were flex-free, creak-free and wonderfully forgettable items doing what they should do. I submit that FSA may have shot itself a little in the foot as the Gradient cranks are so good that it tends to erode reasons to get the SL-K crank.

More details about the SL-K and Gradient cranks follows

  • The SL-K carbon crank is made from hollow carbon composite. Finish is UD for that weave look. Cranks are in 170 & 175 lengths
  • The Gradient crank is hollow-forged (strong) 7050T6 and also available in 170 & 175 lengths
  • Both cranks are supplied OE with a 30t FSA Megatooth narrow-wide chainring made from hard-wearing 7075T6 alloy. Other Megatooth chainrings can be bought from 26t to 38th sizes.
  • The chainrings are 10, 11 (and therefore presumably 12 speed) compatible
  • Both cranks have 30mm spindles getting the BB392 EVO spindle.

Gradient cranks with self-extractor cap. The cap can fall off if not tightened

FSA SL-K and Afterburner wheels

FSA in its munificent abundance made two wheelsets available for testing. One was the carbon SL-K wheelset; the other was the alloy Afterburner. Both went on my Cove Ti Hummer 29er hardtail. I used the light, fantastically gucci SL-K’s for a few rides then swapped over to the decidedly less sexy alloy Afterburners for the balance.

Since then the carbon wheels have lived on a full suspension XC bike. Simply put they are pretty old-school at a 21mm ID (25mm OD). A hardtail requires all the cushioning one can get and narrow pizza cutters won’t suffice. For technical, rough trails light is not always right. The Afterburners are a more contemporary (but still moderate) 27mm ID/30mm OD gave larger meatier tires a more natural supported profile when mounted. The carbon SL-K wheels complement the full-suspension XC bike quite well and are bike jewellery personified.

Both the SL-K and Afterbuirner wheels are built on 24 spoke asymetrical rims with spoke holer drilled 4mm off centreline; something that helps promote even tension. Since they came pre-built, strictly speaking I didn’t have to touch them but did anyway. Both wheels built easily after untensioning and retensioning without windup. The spokes didn’t spin on the hubs when tensioning, the rims didn’t come out of round and it was rather brainless getting them both up to a nice even feel (this is definitely desireable). Lacing is a slightly unconventional 2 cross with slightly more conventional stainless steel spokes and brass nipples. FSA’s spoke tension is higher than norm (120kg) which allows then to have a 24 spoke wheel. The 24 spoke wheel count is purported to promote compliance and be lighter.

I can’t say that I am the best judge of wheel flex that being a 75kg/160 pound light rider but both the SL-K and Afterburner wheels held true and didn’t deflect. I also found the FSA claims of wheel lightness to be confusing given that the wheelsets were comparable to others in their class but most definitely not in the weight-weenie gear fappage category. A reasonable inference is that the 24 spoke build is for market differentiation.

FSA Afterburner alloy wheels

Supplied with both the SL-K and Afterburner wheels are Stans tubeless tape and valves. The rims are hookless and tubeless installation is problem-free. The rim bed surface is smoothly anodized. It bears mentioning that if you need to retape they will need a thorough, thorough, thorough cleaning to avoid a lot of garage swearing.

Both are running true after a season of use with hubs spinning merrily. Due to a lack of attention I’ve cased a couple of gaps on the hardtail which has resulted in some rim dings but no catastrophic rim failure or loose spokes. On that score the FSA wheels have fulfilled expectations. Per FSA its wheels are not weight limited and come with a two-year warranty and following warranty a crash replacement policy.

FSA SL-K carbon Boost wheels. 24 spoke for added compliance yet lateral rigidity. Straight pull

The FSA hub is basic; built around the “Quick Draw” freehub which uses six pawls and a 27 tooth ratchet. Pawls are arranged in such a way that you get 54 points of engagement – a satisfying large number. The hub is fairly silent and has been well-behaved through the test-period. Admittedly only a thorough season of wet weather is going to test the hub’s mettle but so far the design of the pawls (3 are always engaging the ratchet), and the hub’s sealing bodes well for reliability.

Another useful design feature is a locking collar which can be hand-tightened onto the hubs to pre-load the bearings. Also supplied as an option is an XD freehub body. Simply remove the cartridge bearings from the axle and pop the freehub body on then reassemble. Parts are available from FSA directly so the hubs are rebuildable should any discreet part have issues

The FSA hubs torn down in the middle of a replacement of the freehub body from Shimano 10-11speed to XD. A simple affair to tear down as bearings, retainers etc are merely pressed into placed then preload is applied by a collar.

Magura MT brakes

Magura’s MT line strikes all the right chords. There’s no one single aspect that sticks out. Instead it’s the combination of attributes that makes the MT line insanely good. Power combined with modulation to deliver exquisite control; remarkably light lever action; relatively light-weight yet tough. I ran the MT7 Pro (top of the line four pistons front and rear) on the Cove Hummer Ti 29er hardtail and the MT Trails (budget-oriented four piston rear; two piston rear) on my full-suspension and was never disappointed.

Interestingly I found that the insane raw power of the MT7s gave me sublime control of the hardtail. While both the MT7 and MT Trail had superior tactile feel the MT7 had bagloads of power in reserve. Especially on a hardtail where the lack of rear suspension meant I craved and needed superb control the MT7 allowed me to feather brakes at speed and even when things got alarmingly rowdy.

The theoretical benefit of the four-piston design is to improve heat management. As brakes heat up, there’s brake fade and a change in feel at the brake lever. Magura’s reasoning behind the MT Trail (with 4 piston front and 2 rear) is that competent riders use more front than rear brake. The theory therefore is to decrease brake fade by improving heat management of the system while cutting weight. I found that both the MT7 and MT Trail brakes met these requirements even on 1000m+ descents. If there were limits, it was my back and my arms, and not brake-fade. Time to hit the gym and stop whining.

A review should stand on it’s own and not bag on the competition. However, it’s hard not to point out the flaws of the two big S’s (Shimano and SRAM) in contrast to Magura. Shimanos’ are powerful but on/off. One might as well throw a log into one’s front wheel to stop. Add to that the alarming tendency of Shimanos to frankenstein-like alter lever feel as you descend. Sure you can get used to it (sarcasm); sure perhaps you like surprises – “how will my brakes feel this second”? Or you can get Maguras. As for SRAM. It’s bewildering that a company could release a product as vital to customer safety as brakes and play personal injury bingo in such a cavalier fashion. Perhaps your SRAM brake will be fine; or it will cease to function in high temperatures. You could feel lucky or you can get Maguras.


Magura MT7 brakes providing steep rock slab control

Here are some features of the Magura MT line

  • The brakes are an open hydraulic system using mineral oil. They are supplied OE with super-long hoses which you’ll probably have to cut. Depending on how careful you are when cutting you may have to bleed the system.
  • At the master cylinder/brake lever end Magura uses “Carbotecture” (plastic with carbon weave) for lightness + strength. The master cylinder is flip-floppable so is ambidextrous.
  • The master cyclider is attached to handlebar with a split handlebar clamp. It’s paired with alloy or carbotecture brake levers of differing reaches depending on brake model. Inexplicably Magura uses wood screws on the handlebar clamp. It’s not a high-torque item so does not cause problems but is definitely a head-scratcher.
  • Adaptors can be purchased for pairing Magura master cylinders with SRAM or Shimano shifters to declutter handlebar space:
  • The master cyclinder has a EBT (easy-bleed-technology fitting on either side of the lever body alllowing for a bleed from either side. The EBT fitting is a soft plastic and can be stripped. Even though it’s not a high-torque item gorilla mechanics be warned!
  • The higher end MT (MT6, 7 and 8) line has tool-less adjustment while the more budget-oriented line (MT2, 4, 5 and Trail) has reach adjustment by torx

Magura MT7 brake caliper and master cylinder/brake lever

(Features – continued)

  • All MT brake calipers are forged one-piece aluminium (for head dissipation and strength) and now post-mount. Of course, adapters can be purchased after-market to fit the brakes on any frame
  • Brake pads are held on by magnets and literally a snap to replace with either 4 or 2 pads dropping into the calipers depending on what model you had and then held on by bolts. In fact if you’re incredibly lazy you don’t even have to remove your wheel to replace the pads; it’s that easy.
  • The brake caliper has a threaded bleed contrast to the master cylinders’s press-in bleed fitting. A bleed kit is aftermarket, optional but is useful if you’re installing the brakes and cutting lines.
  • All MT brake pads are organic but wear differently. Personally I found the lower end blue pads a bit scary on steep descents and would sacrifice their longer life for the better tactile feel of the gray or gold pads. Pad wear was average over the test period with the blue pads (of course) lasting the longest and the gold pads having the shortest life.

MT Trail Sport and Magura brake pads. Highest end are gold “Race” pads; gray “Performance” pads are standard; blue “Comfort” pads are not recommended but wear the longest.

There are some minor quibbles which I’ve detailed below.

  • There simply aren’t a lot of Magura dealers. Keep brake pads handy. Get a bleed kit. This is simple bike maintenance 101 but perhaps more key for a brakeset that’s not as ubiquitous.
  • Bleeding the MT brakes can be tricky; bubbles tend to get hung up in the last bit of the line. Carefully study the videos put up by Jude Monica of Magura and follow his recommended two-step process to accomplish a fantastic bleed. A shout out too for Andrew Major’s excellent tips for the tricky bleeds including his tip of unbolting the brake caliper and keeping it high above the master cylinder during the bleed..
  • Magura levers are long. Those who still two-finger brake or those with big hands will like that. One-finger brakers may prefer to purchase a shorter lever (the lever swap is easy). Personally I got used to it and simply moved my MT7s (with the longer levers) further inboard to tailor for my preference.

Top – the longer Magura lever. Bottom – the shorter one finger Magura “HC” lever

Magura MT Trail in use on rocky rooty steeps

Manitou Mattoc Pro

The Manitou Mattoc Pro is a single-crown fork with the internal guts of a downhill fork. Once considered one of the pre-eminent bits of suspension Manitou’s remarkable absence of marketing means that any appearance of its trademark reverse arch on trail means curious looks.

Those who know, know. The Mattoc is among the most underrated suspension products on the market. I rode the Mattoc Pro in a 29er 140mm travel configuration with Boost (15 x 110mm) spacing , 40mm travel and Manitou’s magical IRT air damper. In that configuration it weighed 2031g with its cost being a couple of hundred dollars lower than other forks of that class. Significantly the Mattoc Pro has more setup adjustments than any other fork in its category including low-speed compression, high-speed compression, hydraulic bottom-out, rebond damping, and two air pressure setups (beginning-stroke & mid/end-stroke). It’s tuneable to a fault.

I also rode Manitou’s Mattoc Pro in 27.5 non-boost 160mm with the simpler IVA air damper on my full suspension bike but will focus more on IRT for the purpose of this review. There are other variants of the Mattoc and to that you should turn to Manitou’s Mattoc microsite with the Pro being slightly lighter, having more damping adjustments and different alloy construction compared to the Comp. Of course the Pro is commensurately a tad pricier.

Testing the Mattoc Pro’s ability to resist bottom-out. This is a Mattoc Pro in the 27.5 configuration

Manitou Mattoc Pro in 29er configuration. You really want a composed fork dealing well with sudden movements & riding high in the travel when tackling sick skinnies.

In most other regards the Manitou Mattoc Pro doesn’t surprise. Stanchion diameter is 34mm with stanchions made of 7075T6 alloy. The crown is forged alloy as is the reverse arch (more on those reversed arch benefits here). Fork offset is an unsurprising 48mm (29er) and 44mm (27.5). Brake mounts are post mount for 180mm rotors. Steerer tubes are tapered.

The key to the Mattoc is its IRT (infinite rate tune) air spring which borrows from Manitou’s 203mm travel Dorado downhill fork. The air spring damper allows the Mattoc’s air spring to be massively tuned. IRT has a deep dive via an article from Andrew Major and Manitou’s tech manual. Suffice it to say that IRT allows the mid-stroke rate of the Mattoc’s air spring to be custom-tuned independent of top and bottom-out. Theoretically this can deliver the holy grail of mid-stroke support without adding harshness at the top or bottom of a fork’s stroke..

Manitou’s IRT valve is located at the top of fork leg (with the main spring being on the lower leg bottom).

There are two compression damper pistons in the IRT airspring. The top piston works in conjunction with another piston at fork bottom with a needle valve controlling low speed damping when it moves. Once it bottoms, both piston’s shim stack opens to control high speed compression.

The IRT adjustments are complex. Suspension nerds will love it. Many will be overwhelmed and content with the less complex IVA (incremental volume adjust) suspension delivered OE with Mattocs. IVA is the more traditional air spring adjusted via one valve and then custom-tuned with tokens/spacers allowing for “simple” tuning. IRT allows for more custom tuning.. Whatever system you like is dependent on user preference. Bottom line is that Manitou empowers end users to nerd out over a custom shimmed tune for a fraction of the cost of most equivalently shimmed dampers.

I worked through my settings with Zac Smith of Smithtech/Manitou Canada who helped me settle on my personal tuning eventually settling on the following settings (I’m a 160lb rider)

  • LSC (MC2) red +1
  • HSC (MC2) black +1
  • HBO – silver +2
  • Rebound – blue (TPC) +6 ;
  • 68 main 115 IRT

The Manitou Mattoc has a bewildering amount of settings available using the Dorado DH cartridge platform including Low-speed Compression Damping; High-speed Compression Damping;; Hydraulic Bottom Out; Rebound Damping; Beginning-stroke Air Pressure & Middle/End-stroke Air Pressure. Dials explained in below picture

Rebound, low speed and high-speed compression is familiar to most people self-tuning their fork (see this useful article for explanations of compression and rebound and this masterpiece of simplicity from Seb Stott on adjusting suspension). The Mattoc poses no surprises here. I found the both compression and rebound settings to be set-and-forget

Manitou’s HBO (hydraulic bottom out) is another set-and-forget item being a separate damping circuit controlling the very end of the fork’s travel. It adds a tuneable function to provide more (or less) support during the very end of the compression stroke thus mitigating harshness of bottom-out.

IRT is the magic. Its key advantage is in attaining the holy grail of mid-stroke support while preserving linearity of the Mattoc throughout the suspension stroke yet allowing a user to tune progression at top and bottom of stroke to custom preference. Follow the instructions Manitou gives (IRT initially pressured with main chamber at zero then pressure the main chamber). Then find a main chamber pressure that allows for suppleness on the Mattoc’s first hits (the fabled small bump compliance). Then find a IRT pressure that provides air spring support without feeling notched or jerky. Do not be afraid to play with pressures.

For someone who doesn’t have access to Zac Smith or an equivalent suspension guru here are some tips. First a digital pump is useful as IRT is incredibly sensitive to pressure so much so that a +/- 2 PSI in pressure (that’s equal to pressure loss from a sloppy disengagement of a shock pump) can make a lot of difference. Second, abandon preconceptions of sag as IRT allows so much tuneable mid-stroke support than other offerings. My Mattoc Pro on both the hardtail and the full suspension settled at 18 and 20% sag respectively. Third don’t be afraid to give yourself time to figure out the fork. I gave myself 5-8 rides before I was happy with how it performed for my needs

Manitou Mattoc Pro and my settings in the handy chart included. My set up is right on spec for a 78kg/162lbs

Well then how did the Mattoc ride? Tremendously well. More on that below

Riding a hardtail (and to a lesser extent a full sus) on ridiculously technical terrain you want your bike to run high in its travel. If you’ve got travel and lots of big obstacles to tackle you want that suspension to be useful. The Mattoc’s ability to custom-tune for outrageous mid-stroke support means that you can have that massively supported feeling of a fork that handles small bumps at least as well as its competitors but when you drop into steeps does not blow through it’s travel. It’s quite a treat to have your cake (small bump compliance) yet be able to eat it (no egregious front-end diving in hard braking, steep drops to compressions then turns or other big hits). Especially on hardtails it’s remarkably confidence-inspiring when a bike’s fork doesn’t fold and geometry stays slack as one drops into steeps. Couple that with the Mattoc’s ability to stay planted on small hits and it really is almost cheating.

I thought I might play with the on-the-fly adjustable Manitou compression dials (perhaps throwing on more compression when climbing for example) but never did. I’d have to attribute that to IRT which allows my Mattoc-equipped bikes to ride so high in the travel without wallowing on pedal strikes while still delivering good small bump absorption and consequently, tons of front-end traction.

The Mattoc is a revelation. To be honest it makes me realize how much much solo air spring forks with stock tuning suck.

Manitou’s Mattoc has immensely tuneable mid-stroke support and really good small bump compliance. It’s stiff enough for a rider of my (light) weight. It’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than comparable offerings. It lets your bikes ride high in their travel. The only thing to nitpick is that it would be nice to have a longer travel 29er version (the max a Mattoc 29er will run is 140mm travel). But perhaps that will come later — are you listening Manitou???






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