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sea otter 2017-201

The Manitou Mastodon absolutely dwarfs this 26 x 4.0 fat tire

I’m not a fat biker, but that hasn’t kept me from wondering why RockShox is the only major suspension manufacturer offering a fork for those jumbo tires. (Chill out Wren fans, I qualified it with “major.”) Manitou is changing the status quo with their new Mastodon fat fork.

The first thing you notice about the Mastodon is the enormous gulf between the fork legs. Manitou says there’s clearance in there for 26″ tires up to 5.15″ wide or 27.5″ tires up to 4.5″. That means you can clear Vee Tire Co.’s Snow Shoe 2XL, which they claim is the world’s fattest fat bike tire.

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It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the Mastodon uses 34mm legs, which seems like a no-brainer for such huge tires and wheels. The Bluto sports 32mm legs, which never made sense to me.

Manitou is offering two versions of the Mastodon: a Pro and a Comp. Both forks are available with either 100 or 120mm of travel. However, the 100mm version can be dropped down to 80mm, and the 120mm can be extended to 140mm. Of course, the Pro gets all of Manitou’s top tech including a Dorado air spring and MC ² damper. The Comp fork gets a simpler Expert air spring and Absolute+ damper.

Weights are 2,210g for the Pro and 2,430g for the Comp. Pricing is $850 and $650, respectively.

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