The Manitou Mattoc enduro fork is a “nod to all the trail builders who make this sport possible,” said Scott Struve at Eurobike. Struve is the director of marketing at Hayes, Manitou’s parent company. A mattock is a wooden shafted axe, one of the favorite tools of the hard-working dirt shifters who craft jumps and swoopy trails for mountain bikers.
And hard work is in the DNA of Hayes, said Struve. The Hayes Components booth at is dressed to ape a low-brow Milwaukee pub, with rough-looking brickwork and exposed copper pipes, a gritty nod to the city’s working class heritage. The company is headquartered close to Milwaukee, a city also known for its brewing prowess. (Working men like a tipple or two).
The Mattoc is a 34mm stanchion fork with 140, 150 or 160mm of travel for both 26 and 27.5 inch tire sizes. It is also available in a 170mm configuration for 26in tires.
The fork features Manitou’s patented QR15 Hexlock, a super-quick QR axle.
Hayes acquired Manitou in 2005.
"We inherited a company with quality issues, performance issues, and service issues," said Struve, mattock in hand. "We’ve reduced warranty issues by 75 percent since then."
When, bravely, he was asked about current trading conditions (remember, he’s wielding a mattock), Struve said:
"It hasn’t been an easy year, which is just about the same for everybody else. But we’ve been holding our own. For sure, we had higher expectations but, given the weather and other factors, we’ve not been disappointed with our results."
Hayes produces braking and control systems for the automotive sector, the military and power sports as well as cycling. The company owns brands such as Answer and Sun Ringlé, with cycling accounting for a third of Hayes’ turnover, said Struve.
Other products from the Hayes stable on the booth include a range of Answer ProTaper alloy handlebars that are disruptively high-brow in style. The “Gentlemens” line uses an anodizing process to create etched-style graphics. The patterns are Herringbone, Tweed, Houndstooth and Paisley. The bars are 780mm wide, use a 1″rise and weight 330gm apiece.