Strengths: ETA, and overall plushness remains intact.
Suit DH riders.
Weaknesses: Unreliable, weighty and crown too tall for my bike setup so even with the ETA it wanders around on steep climbs.
If you are getting an aftermarket 2nd hand fork then beware. I have gotten through 2 x TST2 cartridge units and when the fork was new it had to be sent back to Italy and I missed out on riding with it for about a month or more. I raved about this fork when it came out but I understand that Marzocchi were going through some changes in their manufacturing at the time.
It has lasted some time - granted, and I have refused to service this becuase of the exuberent costs (and yes there is a fair bit to go wrong here) - so I guess you gets what you gets, but compared to by smaller XC Marzocchi there is no competitiion - and that fork is a 2003 vintage.
Guess I will get a Fox fork but not much on the market has the same plushness with adjustness - not forgetting the ETA.
Why don't manufacturers take on the ETA to new designs? Nearest like for like is a Talas but it is big bucks?
Strengths: Looks good in black, cheap as heavily discounted
Weaknesses: Mine seems far too soft even on recomended settings I regularly run out of travel.. ETA is rubbish, it seems a good idea but if you hit a big bump with it on you can end up locking your fork down completely at the bottom of its travel! leaving you no further travel for the next bump. quite heavy
cheap to buy now, but maybe worth saving up for something better
middle aged mountain biker
a Weekend Warrior
from northbrook, IL USA
Date Reviewed: August 4, 2006
Strengths: Relative light weight, adjustability, ETA, smooth travel, extreme good looks (sorry, I got one of the last black models), reliability, durability and minimal maintenance.
Weaknesses: Are you kidding, its a Bomber!
Nothing compares to these forks, especially now that they are competitive in weight to the other manufacturers. Buttery smooth without harsh bottom out. ETA rules unlike any other system for climbing, you can't believe it if you haven't actually used this feature.
As in my Ventana review, until I was enlightened by a certain guide in Moab, Utah, I was brainwashed by the hype, marketing and reviews by bike shops, magazines, etc. and thought that Fox was it. Don't be fooled by posers and homers, as the best may not always be the most popular, as is the case with Marzocchi. Nothing compares to this fork or any Marzocchi for that matter - as I have owned 5 Bombers and all are superior to the competition, especially since you can wait just a bit and get an unbelievable price if your patient.
This fork is sublime. It has no faults (for you goofs that hear clunking, it is the REBOUND and/or TST set to high). Like good wine, the fork gets smoother with age, as the seals wear-in. There are no faults with this fork (for you goofs that hear clunking, it is the REBOUND and/or TST set to high).
In sum, until you've ridden this fork (or any Bomber of the appropriate type), you can't believe what your missing. These forks instantly improve any bike and will easily outlast the others. They are head and shoulders superior to the rest.
Similar Products Used: I've tried all the well known posers such as Fox, Manitou and Rock Shox.
Bike Setup: 2003 Ventana El Saltamontes 17" with custom 6" quad-bearing rockers & Romic DD coilover. AM-130-150 (currently set at 140 mm) Bomber fork, FSA Team Issue carbon crankset, Magura Julie discs, xt/mavic 321 w/WTB motoraptors, SRAM X-9, Time ATAC pedals, etc.
a Cross Country Rider
from Loveland, CO
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2006
Strengths: Looks good. Very adjustable. Comes in black, too! ETA is a useable feature as is TAS. Easy to service for the most part. Marzocchi quality parts - no plastic knobs or adjusters.
Weaknesses: TST is not as good as HSCV. Air assist does not compensate for the additional plushness of another coil. Coil knock inside the stanchions.
The fork just hasn't provided the plush travel that I've come to expect from Marzocchi. It does everything OK, but not great, like the Marathon was/is. I attribute this to the change to TST and coil/air hybrid.
Initially, the ETA did not work properly, so I had to get that repaired with Marzocchi (I tried an oil change, but that didn't help). Now the fork seems to have a slight "clunk" on initial compression. I have not determined why yet. There is a bit of stiction still even though I've been riding it for 6 months+ now.
I don't like TST at all. The range of compression clicks is too significant and doesn't really allow for that "sweet spot", IMO. I may take the detent spring out of the adjuster. In order to get a plush, Marzocchi feel, I usually run it "off", but then I do suffer some brake dive. Ideally, high and low speed compression are what's necessary (RC2 anyone?).
Overall, I think this fork could be better. The dual coil Z1s are more to my liking as I think they offer a better ride than the coil/air hybrids. The additional weight is not significant enough to buy a fork with a degraded ride. The dual air forks, with the ability to tune the negative spring, are a better alternative. All of one or the other, but not both, is best.
The fork performs best on medium to big hits. Small bumbs are not its forte.
I'd recommend either a Z1 Light ETA or a AM SL (or Z1 SL for the 20mm TA). I think the AMs are a compromise to lighten the Z series forks and it's just not up to par with that good 'ole Marzocchi "cush".
Similar Products Used: Marathon S, Z1 SL, Atom 100, Fox Vanilla R, RS Reba SL
Bike Setup: all mountain, 6" travel
from Westlake, Ohio
Date Reviewed: June 13, 2006
Strengths: This fork is awesome on my Diamondback Response Comp. I chose the 100mm-130mm because I have a HT. The on the fly switches rock, the easy flowing movement is awesome. I dont hear any weird sounds like everyone else has been stating. If you can fing this fork for as much as I did you should pick it up
Weaknesses: The instruction manual is a little tough to follow. Should clear it up a litle bit. Other than that no problems
Bike Setup: 18 inch frame avid juicy carbons chris king headset stock cranks, wheels, derailers, shifters
a Weekend Warrior
from Pullman, Washington, USA
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2006
Strengths: This fork is very smooth and plush through the full 150mm of travel. At five pounds , it is quite light considering all of the travel and bells and whistles. I have found it to be quite rigid too. On the fly adjustments like TST and ETA are so convenient to tune the fork to terrain and personal taste. As you approach a steep climb you can reduce the fork travel as you ride if you choose to. Simply flip ETA switch, bounce the fork, and it stays down while still providing 30mm of travel to absorb bumps during your climb. When you reach the top of the hill you can return the fork to full travel as you ride with a flip of the ETA switch. TST provides five levels of compression damping with the twist of a dial ranging from a downhill setting to lockout. The coil/air spring combo offers the best features of both worlds. No need to change springs, just change air pressure for rider weight and preference.
Weaknesses: In order to use TAS for travel adjustment, you need to bleed out all air then refill. Not on the fly. Maybe offering a 20mm thru axel version would be nice for some folks.
Buy this fork if you can get a good deal on it, and you want 150mm of super plush travel and on the fly travel decrease for climbing. If you are really clever, you might be able to get a black one like I did.
Bike Setup: '05 Giant Reign. Stock except for the AM 1 fork.
a Weekend Warrior
from Winnipeg, MB
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2006
Strengths: - damned smooth fork - hyper adjustability - looks slick - most controls very easy to use
Weaknesses: - compression adjustment could have more fine tuning - weird clicking noise in fork if rebound is set slow - if you care, the very abundant stickers don't last long - travel adjust system (TAS) is a bit of a nuisance to use - no anti-bob system
First, the good:
This fork is so incredibly adjustable and so smooth riding that my 4 year old FR/AM bike feels brand new. Adjustable preload, compression and rebound ,plus ETA, and they all actually work! Some fork manufacturers could learn a lesson from this.
It looks beautiful, despite the stickers for all the controls starting to peel off. I have the 5" travel version, which is black on black, as opposed to that hideous tan colour.
The ETA is a fantastic idea, and does help on those long steep climbs, especially as this fork has a rather long crown to dropout measurement.
The fork has performed admirably in conditions ranging from light cross country to freeride to DH'ing at a resort.
And the not so good... Mostly, these are minor details, and don't really bother me much. However, some folks might care, so they deserve to know:
The most irritating thing is the bizarre clicking noise that the fork makes as it "tops out". Especially noticeable when riding over small bumps, like rocks and roots. Speeding up the rebound a few notches has pretty much made it disappear.
The compression control could have more than five settings (one of which is a lockout). 8 or 10 clicks of adjustment would give just about everyone the control they need.
The TAS, if you are inclined to use it, takes a hellish long time to change the fork from 5 to 4 inches. I don't really bother with it, but some people might like that option. Hint - engage the ETA and push down on the fork - it makes the TAS that much easier to change.
As for the lack of stable platform -well, it doesn't bother me much. Still, considering the price of the fork, I am a bit surprised by the lack of that option.
Overall rating: 4 chilis (the weird noise knocks off 1 chili off an otherwise great fork)
Value rating: 4 chilis - it was kind of pricy, and that was after getting a deal from the lbs.
Would I recommend the fork to others? Yes. It ain't the highest tech, but it makes up for it in buttery ride quality.
Similar Products Used: Black Elite 100/120, all others I have used far from this Marz's level (Judy, SID 100).
Bike Setup: 6" travel, all mountain / freeride bike
a Cross Country Rider
from Nashville, TN
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2006
Strengths: Once I got it dialed in, PERFECT. It's very plush and smooth and after reading the manual, easy to set up. The ETA travel adjust is the envy of all the local bike geeks around here. Love this fork, and the color goes great with a Red Intense Uzzi Slx.
Weaknesses: Beautiful Gold KNOBS FALL OFF - I have not contaced Marzocchi yet, but from what I've read above, I doubt I'll get any love. If that is the case, I'll be very upset. Also - there is an annoying CHIRPING noise after a decent hit. What is that? Air blow off and should I be hearing that?
Great fork, plenty of deals since it's last years model and if you are thinking should I go from 5 to 6? The answer is YES you will notice a big difference.
Bike Setup: Intense Uzzi Slx, Progressive 5th Element rear shock, Saint Cranks, XTR rear derailleur, WTB hubs with Single track rims..that covers it.
a Weekend Warrior
from twin falls id usa
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2006
Strengths: super adjustable, really gives a good ride, very plush, really like the oversized tst & eta knobs makes it super easy to adjust on the fly
Weaknesses: (both minor complaints)little confusing to set up the first time, reading the instructions twice slowly helps a ton, have to really push a jolt of pressure on the handle bars to get the eta to get the fork to compress.
build this bike in my garage this december, just took it on it's madain voyage, did a quickie seven mile loop. Rode every thing, fireroad, down hill tech stuff, snow, mud, rock gardens, etc. I really gave this fork a beating and it handled bueatiful, loved the eta; could definatly feel a differance in the geometry when climbing the steep stuff. Once compressed the fork preformed perfect. I was riding down one foot stairs and this fork handled awesome. Soaked up vibrations very well. Not sticky at all. Not really any thing major to complain about, this fork does what it is supposed to. Very much holds it's own against some high end fox forks I have ridden. All the riding I do is both up hill and down hill single track. This fork gives the best of both worlds, would not have bought a different fork if I had to do it over again. Would recomend this fork to ANYONE who wants long travel, and wants a good up hill and down hill ride with out compermising anything. Not for a true cross country feller or die hard down hill rider. Read the instructions very carfully, once you know what all the knobs do, setup is pretty simple. Remember to compress your fork before you start a steep section of trail, otherwise it is pretty tricky to put a jolt of pressure on the handle bars to get the fork to compress while you are holding a tricky uphill line. I do plan on racing with this fork later on this season, will keep posted if any problems arise.
Similar Products Used: fox float, rock shock judy 120mm
Bike Setup: kona dawg primo 2003 4" rear suspension, lx componets, crankbros stainless, avid mecanical disc, easton carbon straight bar,
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 17, 2006
Strengths: Solid fork offering from a solid fork company.
Weaknesses: Bottom adjust knobs may fall off if you don't locktite them. Sooo, now you know -- quit wining and locktite them.
This is a smooth, stiff, fantastically adjustable, lite for it's class fork. All the adjustments work. If you don't like the clunk some of the forks seem to develop lower the TAS adjust about three turns. My fork weighs 5lbs on the money with cut steerer and starfangled nut on my digital scale. While I was waiting for my new 66RC I actually used this fork on my stinky for a few rides... and it worked! It is an awsome reliable product -- at a very reasonable weight for a bigboy. BTW - my experience over ten years of useing and abusing Marzocchi products is that their service department personel are professional, friendly, helpful and turn the product around in record time. You won't find a better 130-150mm fork.
Similar Products Used: Practically, every fork built by or known to man
Bike Setup: Couple of wheels - shifters and brakes - on a Coilair
a Cross Country Rider
from walnut creek
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2006
Strengths: looks, performance. COLOR (i have the gray one which matches my frame)AM 1 SL
Weaknesses: nothing so far, i will post again in a week
im impressed from my first trail ride out, cant be anymore happier, had a problem setting it up at first but after calling Marzocchi (great customer service)and got couple of recommendations, off to the trail i go and WOW, this thing is way better than the one i had before (night and day)i will post again in a week. MY overall rating is 4 chilis for now, but im sure it will get 5 chilis from me, just waiting til i get the perfect setting, thats 4 chilis with my improper setting because i have a high volume pump and cannot get the exact reading yet. BUY THIS FORK!!!!!!
Bike Setup: nomad xt hayes thomson etc etc am 1 SL
a Cross Country Rider
from walnut creek, ca.
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2006
Strengths: I DONT KNOW
Weaknesses: I DONT KNOW
CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO SET THIS FORK UP (AIR WISE)IM CONFUSED, FOLLOWED THE MANUAL BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK RIGHT, DOES NOT GIVE ME THE TRAVEL, ITS PRETTY STIFF, TRUST ME I TRIED EVERYTHING IM A BIKE NUT JUST LIKE YOU. ANYWAYS, IM 180 LBS HELP HELP HELP I STILL BELIEVE THIS IS A NICE FORK EMAIL ME AT LETSRIDEEEEEEE@AOL.COM PLEASE I APPRECIATE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS
Strengths: Marzocchi quality and stiffness. Sensitivity to bumps great and small. adjustability, ease of use
Weaknesses: Well yeah it did come in theat ugly color, but I got a black one
Best fork for me. I road the TALAS for a while but it never felt right. almost had it Pushed, but found a deal in this so I took it. Night and day difference on my Yeti. Yes, the A-2-C is taller, no it did not adversly effect my ride. ETA just makes so much sense, the TAS is easy to use, Rebound adjust is simple and effective. TST is a cool feature that I'm sure I'll play with more in the future. Altogether this made my bike feel right, like it was indeed my bike. I charge faster, hit roots and rocks harder and never flinch. Hey it's a Marzocchi! What do you expect?
a Cross Country Rider
from Princeton, NJ
Date Reviewed: December 26, 2005
Strengths: Solid construction, responsive, versatile, soaks up anything.
Weaknesses: Color - I have the tan/cream edition.
A great fork all around. Works well with my current set up. Plush as anything for not being broken in yet. Getting used to the extra weight and height on the climbs, but the ETA makes up for the height. Still working the learning curve as I have never used such a tall fork with so much adjustability, but glad I went with this one. Great response from small to large bumps, rock gardens to log piles. You can immediately notice the changes in behavior with each turn of the knob, whether tst, tas or rebound. I'll update review as I log in more riding time.
Similar Products Used: Manatou Black, Rock Shox Judy, Atom Race, Lefty (not really similar).
Bike Setup: Ellsworth ID
Nick Soo Hoo
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2005
Strengths: * Adjustable from 110-130mm *highly adjustable fork * nice metal knobs that turn easily * Works great * light for what it is about 5lb * Strong * Looks different (yellow color)
Weaknesses: retail cost
This is a great fork there is not comparison between this and any of the forks I've used in the past. This shock absorbs bumps alot better in 30 degree weather than the fork on a 2005 prophet 600 in 80 degree weather.I just got this shock so it is not even broken in I have put only 2hours of riding on it today and its performed better in cold weather (oil gets thick) than any of the other forks ive used or tried. eta and tst are awsome they are truely on the fly ajustable. The knobs are easy to turn and have audible click to them. Even though this fork doesnt have a remote I'd consider this just as good since it is very easy to touch the top of the fork and its easy to turn. Tas is alright but requires that you let the air out of the fork to make the fork lower again. This fork is a air/coil hydrid which makes it very adjustable. The stictions are I belive 30mm which should make it a strong fork. If i knew it was this good I would have even paid retail price for it