The new Manitou Mara Pro piggyback air shock follows up with more innovation in the new Hayes family’s Enduro Collection, bringing easy suspension tuning and a unique, more adjustable hydraulic damping circuit design for long-travel trail & enduro mountain bikes. The unified Enduro Collection brought new Ringlé hubs with adjustable Clock’D engagement and a category-killer lightweight 180mm Manitou Mezzer 37mm stanchion enduro fork, but the Mara shock wraps it up with next-level user adjustability.
Manitou Mara Pro tunable enduro air shock
From the outside new Mara looks pretty similar to any piggyback air shock, with a main 43mm diameter air can body and a remote hydraulic reservoir that provides room for more complex and tunable damping design.
From the outside the Mara Pro offers a two-position red compression platform lockout lever that Manitou calls Work mode (locked) or Party mode (open). Then it also gets a separate, nested pair of bronze & red high- & low-speed compression damping knobs. It is important to note that they are independent, as it offers a new level of tuning control that isn’t usually possible. Additionally, the blue dial controls rebound damping speed, and of course a Schrader valve to control the single chamber air spring.
Besides the unique hydraulic compression circuit design, the overarching theme of the new Mara Pro is ease of use. No special tools are needed to pop this baby apart. And Manitou sees it as offering the opportunity for all-mountain & enduro racers who want to take control of their damper valving to be able to easily make changes – not just reserved for the team with a prop mechanic, but anyone competent with basic tools and hydraulic fluid.
Breaking it down, two separate compression valving stacks are easy to remove from the reservoir body. The standard compression valve stack (with the external controls still attached, above) threads out of the side of the upper body and allows the opportunity to modify (add or remove) shims to impact either high- or low-speed compression.
The separate silver platform shim stack which sits entirely inside the reservoir allows you to independently adjust the compression damping character when the shock is locked out – or rather in Word mode.
Why that’s unique is usually when you adjust the platform of a shocks lockout, you also impact the HSC & LSC settings when it is in fully open mode, and vice versa when you adjust your compression damping settings, it limits the adjustability of the platform.
So how Manitou solved that is by creating a standard lockout circuit that redirects oil through the platform shim stack in Work mode. Then a second bypass circuit operated by the lockout lever allows oil to flow unrestricted (hence the two oil ports, above) through the platform stack in open Party mode.
Manitou also says that their use of a flexible IFP (internal floating piston) in the reservoir allows more supple shock actuation, by flexing under pressure before it starts to move inside the oil cylinder.
The new Mara Pro shock is set to officially roll out to consumers late this summer in metric lengths and in standard eyeleted or trunnion mounts, with a claimed weight in this standard configuration of 425g. The shock uses a standard 43mm canister, but it shares the same canister size with the McLeod meaning a smaller volume 40mm can, as well as a large volume can will also be available to OEM looking to optimize setup for their all-mountain, enduro & long-travel eMTB designs.
The Mara Pro (which takes its name from a Buddhist demon, since Manitou says they have pretty much run out of names for tools that start with the letter M) will sell for $580 / 610€. Expect availability at retail in late August to early September 2019.