Manitou Mastodon Comp Fork: Rider Review

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.

Upgrading the fork on your mountain bike can be one of the most enjoyable purchases you make. It is immediately noticeable and usually looks badass! That was definitely the case with our customer Richards fat bike. He picked up a Manitou Mastodon and is here to share his thoughts!

Manitou Mastodon fork rider review


A new fork is always an exciting time, right? Well, this is no ordinary fork…. It’s a Manitou Mastodon. In my opinion one of the best fat bike forks on the market. For this fork, I went with the Comp version at 120mm. It’s like the Mastodon Pro that I have on my other fatty but a little cheaper and a bit heavier. The newest comp (we’ll call it version 2) has a different damper that Pro and even the first version of the Comp which used the ABS+ damper. Version 2 of the Mastodon Comp uses the new VTT Damper. It’s a solid damper with a great feel.

As I understand how the damper works internally; it has 3 flow paths for oil:

  • The full open mode has an LSC circuit and HSC shim stack that flow oil. It’s very supple in this mode absorbing the trail.
  • In the middle setting, a plunger is pushed down and blocks flow through the low-speed circuit and runs only through the HSC shim stack. The main shim stack is linear (not preloaded) so it can flow oil pretty quickly with no real platform. This is supportive without being too harsh. You may lose some small bump sensitivity though but it’s still a great ride.
  • The lockout setting drops the plunger further and blocks flow to the main HSC shim stack. It redirects it to a secondary shim circuit that is highly preloaded which gives a very firm lockout. I personally never needed the lockout, but some people love having it. This would be a good mode to ride in powdery snow.

Manitou Mastodon comp fork rider review

Other Key Points

Some other key points to know about this fork are that stanchions are 34mm aluminum which is very stiff. I have found my Mastodon forks much stiffer than the Bluto that I took off. The positive and negative air chambers are filled at the same time with one pump; just make sure your pump can press the air valve in far enough or it will feel like a pogo stick. All of my pumps had no challenges with this the air valve. Lastly, to change the travel the fork must be opened however you just need to reconfigure the spacers. No need to mess with buying airshafts for each travel change like the Bluto. There quite a lot of configurations.

Final Thoughts

Out on the trail, this fork is very supple and forgiving. It is infinitely tunable with air pressure, damping and the IVA, a set of volume spacers under the left top cap. 

Kudos to World Wide Cyclery for having a great range of products to purchase and for being all-round nice guys. I've been doing more shopping there lately and plan to continue. If you have not tried them yet go for it... you may be surprised!

Shop Manitou mastodon comp fork

March 01, 2020

Fork › Manitou › mastodon › Rider Review ›

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