from Santa Cruz, CA
Date Reviewed: July 30, 2008
Strengths: Everything. Plush, feels like endless travel, ETA is superb for uphills or flat out sprinting.
Weaknesses: It doesn't do my laundry for me. Aside from that nothing.
Wow. If it's heavy, I can't tell because the ETA works so well for climbing. If the travel isn't long enough, I wouldn't know, because I've been getting 4+ ft of air on trails and haven't bottomed yet. I'm hitting things now that I would have gladly crashed to miss before. It's so smooth feeling. I was considering going for something with more travel (140-150) but I'm glad I didn't because apparently 130 handles everything I throw at it, and probably more. This fork transformed my riding. If you can find one, get it!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 16, 2007
Strengths: Marzocchi seals are the best.Stiff.Quality of travel.
Weaknesses: Put a thin shim under the c-clip under the preload caps to eliminate the top-out knocking sound.Easy fix.
Marzocchi forks are solid! It's the original Freeride single crown fork.Has great stifness because of the crown & design of the M-arch.Nice longish axle to crown height.Easy to change the oil.Nice machined preload caps,etc.Marzocchi girls!! These forks are excellent & will keep going without breaking or giving you hassles.I love the seals because they don't friggin leak like any Manitiou or Boxxers.
Strengths: Very stiff, especially for a QR fork, smooth travel, HEAVY duty. LOW maintenance.
Weaknesses: Weight, but for the type of bike you'd put this fork on its probably not a concern. My little ETA lever broke off.
unbeatable for the price, this fork is tough as nails and wonderfully low maintenance, 4 years have done nothing to it. Sucks up big hits but isn't so plush that it hinders out-of-saddle sprints. Not the best climber, but not terrible. The ETA and other adjustments aren't as efficient as on newer forks, but the suspension performance is still second to none. If you seek bells and whistles and flawless adjustments look elsewhere, but if you want reliability and durability let this be your first choice. Since getting the Z1 I've purposefully changed my daily commuting routes to include flights of stairs.
Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Pike, Manitou Black.
Bike Setup: Z1, Rhyno Lites, single speed with lots of Race Face.
a Weekend Warrior
from Centerville, Ohio
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2007
Strengths: smooth, stiff, progressive feel
Weaknesses: heavy (but is does say "FR" on the label, after all)
The travel feels bottomless. Very smooth for small and large impacts. I can't complain about the stiffness either, and for the money I paid it was a very good value. This is my 3rd Marzocchi fork, and I'll likely buy a 4th. For my type of riding I wish I got a lighter Z1, one with a lighter steerer tube, but this fork transformed the feel of my bike. Now to find a frame that matches the fork...
Got a new '06 Steelhead and swapped the forks onto that. The Steelhead is much tougher than the BeOne, which was more of a lightweight DS racer. I am sorry to say that I am doing my best to destroy this fork now. Like punching grandpa in the gut over and over, I hit DH trails, stairs, loading docks, and other stunts with much more confidence in my frame. The fork is starting to show its age now, after three and more years of abuse. However, the seals are still good, the oil is changed regularly, the internals are working just fine. The rebound dampening has slowed considerably in the past months, and there is a tad bit of slop and stick in the first few inches of sag and travel. But still I have no reservations about pointing it through a boulder pit at full speed, or dropping stair gaps and loading docks. I will be sorry when she finally goes. Time to start saving for a new fork.
Bike Setup: '06 Steelhead. Z1 FR w/20mm axle. XT/Truvativ drivetrain. Hayes Mech brakes. Velocity hubs laced to Azonic Butchers (Best damn rim ever made) Thompson seatpost and stem.
from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2006
Strengths: -$180 is a small price for a sweet purchase such as this... -Very little flex (I have the quick release version). -3 years no repairs needed (but I made some anyway.) -Extremely adjustable! -Buttery smooth, I have it setup that once it gets a little stiffer, so there's barley any bottoming out, but it's still smooth!
Weaknesses: Pretty heavy, but once you ride with it for like 2 weeks, you get used to it and it feels rather light...guess it builds up your muscles...
It's getting harder to find the older Z1 freeride forks (2003-2004) and those 2 years I would have to say are the prime years of these forks. I've had mine for 3 years and it impresses me day after day, how long is it gonna keep going, I don't know! I didn't have alot of cash at the time, and i'm sure theres tons of people who are looking to upgrade there rigs were\are in the same situation as I was, 180$ has gotten me a wicked fork that i've used for 3 years and counting... This fork is incredible! I've tried several other *Major* brands, and nothing beats the performance of the Z1's!
Can't go wrong with a Marzocchi!
*I'll make another review in a couple months after my Trip, see if it's still in mint shape than!*
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi MZ comp (2004), Manitou stance flow (junk, I got them new and they were locked out...returned and got another locked out set, thanks Manitou!) Rockshox psylo XC (really flexy)
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Z1 Freerides (of course...) on a Haro Escape frame, maxxis high roller 2.5's (they grip like theres no tomorrow, and don't wear fast.) Tried other little things, but the Z1 Freeride is the best thing I could have possibly done!
from San Francisco, california,usa
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2006
Strengths: plush very adjustable good for dirt jumping and free ride duh
get it or die tryin this is the best fork made if you free ride or dirt jump i demand you to get this sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet fork go get one now.
Strengths: V stiff, supple, smooth, sexy matt black on my Kona Coiler
Weaknesses: maitenance - strip down a bit fiddly, need to grind down a 10 mm socket to undo foot nuts, ETA top stanchion plug easilly damaged.
Great forks super smooth, good small bump big hit capability set the air pre-load lower than suggested by marzocchi for a more supple ride much stiffer with a bolt through axle than the QR Maintenance is a bit fiddly, some of the materials used are suprisingly soft and easilly damaged for wexample when removing the eta top plug grind offthe dase of the socket (unless it is a snap on) as the nut part is so shallow it will strip!
Bike Setup: Kona Coileer Deeluxe, 20mm bolt through front, usual shorter stem, bigger bars, stronger wheels, bigger discs, fatter tyres than standard
a Weekend Warrior
from Las Pinas
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2005
Strengths: -tracks good - feels bottomless - easy maintenance - ETA helps in Climbs
Weaknesses: - weak ETA lever
I own a Super T which I use with my SC Bullit. It was my first HSCV damped forked and it turned me into an HSCV believer. Very plush at the beginning of the travel and damping ramps up when you need it.
So when I got the opportunity, I bought '03 Z1FR brand new from a local shop. I just bought it this year so it was already old stock, I was given a discount for it. It was a good thing that the LBS overstocked this model in particular.
Very good for aggressive XC and light DH/Freeride.
the heckler/Z1FR on ETA is a good combination for climbs and then when the DH comes, just make sure the ETA is turned off and off you go.
Bike Setup: 2004 Heckler, '03 Z1FR , Shimano Deore/XT group set, single track rims, Maxxis High Roller
from Houston, TX
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2005
Strengths: Tracks well, fairly stiff.
Weaknesses: ETA failures, preload settings constantly back off, cheesey ETA lever.
This fork has been back to Zokie twice within 2k miles because of the ETA failing. It still doesn't work, but since I have waited over the 6 month service warranty period (400 miles in my case), my only option is to pay $180. for them to "fix" it again. They recommended that I try changing the oil (after 400 miles?). The preload adjustment knobs constantly back off to zero, even after their bandaid fix of putting an o-ring under the knob-not satisfactory performance from a $500.+ fork. They did offer me an '05 for $540. + my current fork, but I would come out ahead selling mine and buying a new one retail. I have been a loyal Zokie customer for six years, but am really begining to question that, especially since the '05 version is 40% more money (?). I guess they're at least trying to keep up with Fox pricing.
Bike Setup: 2004 kona scrap, 2003 Z1 FR, Maxis mobster in back highroler in front, both 2.5, lizard skins lock ons.
a Weekend Warrior
from portland, Or
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2004
Strengths: Its a Marzocchi Z1 FR fork. What else needs to be said?
Weaknesses: It dosent scratch my back or make me dinner.
Marzocchi is the product of choice for anyone wanting the best bang for their buck. They rarely fall below par on quality, but when they do they will make it right. The customer service is exceptional, their product quality is exceptional. This fork is no exception. It has taken me down hairy chutes and off of scary stunts and drops. You dont even notice it is there. If you need a single crown fork for you urban assault or freeride needs, this one is it.
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2004
Strengths: Super stif, fantastic travel and action. Totally bottomless. Tracks amazingly for a single crown fork. Plenty of travel for most FR stuff. Well pleased to find a new pair of coil sprung ones too.
Weaknesses: none whatsoever
I've tried some of the best FR/DH forks as they came out. And these, despite being 2003 model, are superb. My favourite trails have just got faster! Well pleased, esp at £200 new!!!! If you can still find em, get em!
Bike Setup: Spesh' Enduro, Hope DH4s, Mavic 519s + IRCs, X-lite bar, Worldforce stem, Middlburn cranks (on the way!)
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2004
Strengths: This review is for the '03 Z1 QR20 FR. Use: hard XC to FR to light DH.
Super smooth travel. Fantastic compression damping. Rebound knob that really works. Very tunable...see below. Stiff. Durable. Fantastic tech support. (Great job Ronnie.) Fantastic customer service (Very easy to purchase parts direct from Zoke.) Very easy to work on. ETA allows my Bullit to climb better than my XC Trek HT. Zoke has extensive experience with making forks and it shows. Very versatile. One tough fork that will handle anything between hard xc and FR. No SPV!!! I want my fork sensitive to all hits. SPV really limits a forks small hit sensitivity.
Weaknesses: A bit heavy. But hey, when you make a stiff fork from metal that's what you get.
I'm still undecided about the QR20 system. I guess I'd say it's both a plus and a minus. It makes wheelset changes (which I do often) very easy but I question it's durability. I did snap the QR lever bolt and replced it with the hex tightened thru axel which is much nicer.
I'd buy the Z1 again in a heartbeat if needed.
When I first got this fork I had a tough time dialing it in for my riding style. It did ride nicely out of the box but I'm pretty picky with how my stuff rides and I felt the fork dove through too much of it's travel to easily on the downhills. After playing with the oil levels I was able to set the fork perfectly for my type of riding. this fork is very tunable by simply raising or lowering the oil heights in the stanchions. Understanding how the oil heights affect your Zoke will really help you get the most out of your fork.
Marzzochi has a very helpfull tech department that has just great with all of my questions.
Until I'm thoroughly convinced otherwise I'm sticking with Zoke's.
Similar Products Used: Fox Forx. Float and Talas. Nice forks also but nto as tunable or as easy to work on.
Manitou Slider. Nice but not as tunable and I don't care for some of the plastic internals and I disliked the SPV on my fork.
Bike Setup: 03 Bullit most built for hard trail to moderate FR. Getting a Super T to use for the occasional DH.
from Breckenridge CO
Date Reviewed: July 7, 2004
Strengths: STIFF as HE*L, 32mm stanchions, available in 20mm AND QR, HSCV cartridge, buttery smooth, easy to maintain, ETA is sweet, marzocchi has really good customer service if there is a problem, and good tech support also if needed. Also if you lose your owners manual marz has ALL their manuals at their website via adobe acrobat. Oh yeah, PRICE is RIGHT!
Weaknesses: The newer (O4) ETA levers are sturdier and better designed so as not to be prone to breaking. This hasnt been a problem for me, but some people have claimed to of broken off their ETA levers.
If you can still find one of these GET IT, they are SWEET. The newer Z1's are good too, but much more costly. You cant go wrong with this product. Marzocchi ALL THE WAY!!!
In response to the previous posts claiming that marzocchi has bad service, I just gotta laugh. Try giving rockshoxx a call sometime with a problem, now THAT is truly a frustrating experience. I'll never ride archaeic rockshoxx again!
May be a long shot but I wanted to see if anyone has a detailed service manual for an 03 Z1 with coil springs that shows the assembly and oil fill process. I found some info but it was on the air version. I think the 02 may be the same.
Thanks.Read More »
A few weeks ago I thought I got a great deal on a 130mm travel 2004 Z1 Freeride QR20. When it arrived at my doorstep I was stoked. The fork looked to be in damn near perfect condition. Strapped it to the bike & I was immediatly dissapointed. 3 things were apparent.
#1 Couldn't get full travel, ... Read More »
I've just come into a 2002 Z1 FR with the QR20 Plus system. Seems like it would be a killer fork but it's missing the bolts and bottom clamps. Already called Marzocchi and they have no (obsolete according to them) stock left. Anyone?
anything on laekhouse.com/blog
random bits ... Read More »