12 October, 2017
There are two big contenders for 29+ forks. The Manitou Mattoc and the Fox 34 Plus fork, even though Fox does not advertise this fork as a 29+ there is plenty of clearance for it. Both forks have great features which we will go through below.
Manitou Mattoc Pro
Weight - 2012g
Rotor - Post mount 180mm
Spring - Dorado Air
Damper - MC²
Manitou discontinued the Magnum model name this year to keep things simple for advertising purposes. They kept many of the same features the Magnum had but added some new improvements. The Mattoc comes in either 100mm (which is adjustable to 80) or 120mm (which is adjustable to 140). All of the Manitou forks now have the new Hexlock axle, which makes the fork clean, easy to install and lighter. The 29+ fork comes with a tapered steer along with 15x110mm boost spacing.
One of the biggest fork improvements is Manitou's IRT system. Instead of taking apart your fork and adding tokens, you can add air to the top chamber instead. This dual air chamber system allows for a real precise set up and feel. For the initial set up you add air to the bottom chamber based on weight. Then you can add air to the top chamber based on terrain and ridding characteristics. This fork also has 6 adjustments from open to lock (Red Lever). The Pro forks from Manitou have a lot of adjustability to make the fork feel exactly how you want desire.
Fox 34 Plus
Weight - 1880g
Rotor - Post mount 160mm
Spring - FLOAT
Damper - FIT4 3-Pos Lever w/adj
The Fox 34 Plus fork is advertised as a 27.5" plus fork, but it has plenty of room for 29+ tires or even fat bike tires on a narrow rim. The 34 comes in either 120mm of travel or 140, and you can get different air springs to adjust to 100mm, 110mm, or 130mm of travel. The Plus fork comes with a tapered steer along with 15mmx110mm boost spacing.
Fox forks use the Float Air spring which uses up to 5 tokens, which is the same system they improved on last year. It comes stock with 2 tokens installed and 3 extra in the box. The Fox is a little more straight forward to use with 3 modes of adjustment (Open, Medium, Firm) along with the black middle lever which has 18 clicks to set up firmness on open setting. The only draw back is that you have to take apart the fork to install the tokens if you want a firmer feeling fork. After the tokens are installed, add air based on weight and start your ride. Link above shows a chart on how much air should be installed into your fork.
Stay tuned for the review on how the forks perform out on the trail.