a Weekend Warrior
from Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2008
Strengths: plush, stiff, adjustable (PAR and RC2 particularly), light
Weaknesses: I would say none... I'd rather have post-mount tabs over 20mmIS, oh and not have to use an air adapter
It's the best fork I've ever used, especially considering the weight. Before installing this fork I used a 66rc2x on my uzzi, so the Z1 sl had some serious plushness to live up to.
The key to making the Z.1 FR SL feel like a coil-sprung fork is to pump up the negative air. Like the manual says, it reduces the static load, which reduces the feeling of stiction and allows the fork to be super sensitive.
I ride rocky technical trails that have the odd drop. I need a sensitive fork to handle the rough stuff and maintain traction, which doesn't bottom easily, and has damping adjustments so that I can use a small amount of compression damping to prevent diving, and enough rebound damping to prevent a springy feel off drops.
I would say, use less positive air than you think you need (by feel), crank up the negative air pressure, use the upper range of recommended pressure for the PAR (30psi), and then fine tune your compression and rebound for your riding style.
After some experimentation what I've got is a laterally stiff, sensitive fork with great damping for trails. And the PAR gives a nice progressive end of stroke ramp so it doesn't bottom harshly when hitting drops. Perfect.
Weaknesses: lack of on the fly travel adjust, but kinda hard to do with a full air fork.
this is the best single crown fork i've ever used at/under 150mm travel. i do everything on it from drops to jumps to xc rides. my bike is setup for fr and the fork completes the package perfectly. i have as much confidence with this fork as i do with my super t on my dualie.
Similar Products Used: manitou stance, manitou sherman flick plus
Bike Setup: azonic fiend, z.1, '07 x7 drive train, '07 howitzer/hozfeller 2.2, mag30 wheelset, misc dh components to complete the bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2007
Strengths: Very tough fork that has taken everything I've thrown at it. I'm a bigger guy at 220+lbs and have done 6-8 foot drops on it plus done downhill out at Panorama in BC and it worked flawlessly. Tons of adjustability and very low maintenance
Weaknesses: A little heavier than its competition and didn't have any travel adjust. Considering how bomb-proof this fork appears to be and since its not really meant for cross country I really can't complain either about the weight or the lack of travel adjust.
Excellent bomb-proof 150mm freeride fork with tons of adjustability. Can probably handle most anything unless your some crazy daredevil doing 30 foot gap jumps or psychotic cliff drops in which case you'd want an 8" fork anyways.
Similar Products Used: All Mountain 1, Fox 36 rc2, Manitou Nixon
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Moment
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2007
Strengths: relatively light, single crown, stiffness, 150mm of travel, and it looks pretty darn good too
Weaknesses: ease of setup maybe, the seemingly infinite adjustments that can be make on this thing were a bit confusing in the beginning
this fork is flat out better than the manitou. aside from balancing the front at 6 inches with rear, it's stiffer, tracks better and is more plush. also adjustments actually can be felt when made, even minor ones. doesn't bob much when i stand up to pedal, even when setup plush. overall a nice package, inpires confidence. i'm happy with it actually which is somewhat suprising cause i'm quite the preeminent fault finder. if your style is aggressive/light freeride find one. and at the price i paid worth every penny.
Similar Products Used: manitou nixon super air (145mm, came on the bike)
Bike Setup: giant reign 2, thompson stem, ea70 bars, raceface evolve xc cranks, raceface post, wtb saddle and rims (can't wait to replace these, kenda nevengal rubber
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2007
Strengths: 20mm axle, no flex, lots of adjustments for compression and spring rates, plush, low weight for a 6 inch fork
Weaknesses: A little complicated -there are 4 places to put in air and each does someothing different. I'm still trying to get it wired
I cannot beleive how plush this fork is and still has decent compression. I'm still figuring out the optimal settings since i've only been on two rides on the fork but its much better than my old Vanilla. It came dow top this fork and a new 07 Vannilla R. I could get both for the same price but ZI want to try thru axle and the Foxes were a bit pricey to get with that option (36R=$600+). So I bought the Z1 fork and put on my heckler. I was a little concerned at first because putting this fork on raised my front about an inch and probably picky up my bottom braket by about a half inch( a good thing on the heckler). Also concerned becuase I had some issues previously with the older style of air forks. Despite, looking a little chopperish, the bike hadnles pretty well still. This is partially becuase you end up runnnig quite a bit of sag (I run about 1.5 inches of sag) but its also its a testament to the heckler's flexibility. Keep this in mind though, this fork has a pretty big axle to crown ratio and some frames may not take well to it Anyway performance is sooo nice, very plush but I don't get the wicked brake dive I got on the Vanilla. The crown is huge and the fork noticeably stiffer than what I'm used to. My biek may weight a bit more but you don't notice it and although its an air fork, it still feel plush like a coil fork. I don't really notice the thru axle, but maybe that's a good thing. It;s a great comprise for someone looking for a big travel fork but doesn't want a DH style or weighing fork. I am super impressed wit the quality of the air travel and although the adjustment seem confusing, I'm starting to figure out how to dial it in. The compression and rebound settings actually make a noticeable difference! 5 flaming turd cause it perofrms great and looks pretty bad azz
Similar Products Used: Fox vanillar 125R, Old Zokes Z1 and Z2, lots of others
Bike Setup: Heckler kind of set up all mountain- about 32 lbs
from powell river, bc, canada
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2007
Strengths: pretty light, smooth, lots of adjustments, looks good
Weaknesses: cant get the fork to stay down at 130mm, even if i could i probly wouldnt use it much anyways
not sure id pay $1340 for the fork regular price, but i got it on sale so it was a pretty good deal. probably a bit overkill on my hustler but its works awesome with the bike, super smooth. the compression and rebound actually do something on this fork, u can actually feel the change with 1 or 2 turns. doesnt bob much when climbing but is super plush when descending. i can get the fork down to 130mm from 150mm but it wont stay there for very long, but id rather keep it in 150mm anyways so it doesnt really bother me. 5 and 5 flamin chilis cus i got it on sale, and its the nicest fork ive owned
Similar Products Used: dj3, stance kingpin, splice
Bike Setup: 2005 cove hustler, z1fr sl, supra bh pro wheels, etc...
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2006
Strengths: LIGHT, WIDE RANGE OF ADJUSTMENTS, STIFF, SUPER SUPPLE AND TAKES HITS WITH NO PROBLEM.
Weaknesses: TAKE TIME TO SET UP PROPERLY AND THE MARZOCCHI MANUAL ISN'T MUCH HELP IN EXPLAINING THE FUNCTIONS AND CORRECT AIR PRESSURES. AN ECC LOCKOUT WOULD BE NICE.
I WAS A BIT SKEPTICAL OF AIR FORKS FOR DOWNHILL STUFF BUT I THINK I'M LIKING THE AIR VS. THE COIL. SO FAR I HAVE ONLY DONE 3-4 FOOT DROPS AND IT FEELS AMAZINGLY PLUSH. I'M KIND OF MISSING THE ECC LOCK OUT FEATURE OF OTHER MARZOCCHIS BUT THE LIGHT WEIGHT MAKES UP FOR THIS SOMEWHAT. THE MARZOCCHI MANUAL SUCKS BALLS AND I STILL HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT WHAT THE HELL THE NEGATIVE AIR TRAVEL IS FOR. IF SOMEONE CAN EDUCATE ME ON THE USE OF NEGATIVE AIR TRAVEL I WOULD APPRECIATE IT. ALSO IT SAYS IT IS ADJUSTABLE FROM 130 TO 150MM BUT I HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO THAT YET? BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT!
Date Reviewed: February 26, 2006
Strengths: Good weight for a 150mm travel fork. (sub 4.5lbs with cut down steerer) Stiffness, zocchi reliabilty. Tuning possibilty
Weaknesses: Knobs falling off. Faffy to set up. Naff plastic positive air cover on damping side and plastic bung for the PAR.
Ok, I've been wanting a fork that is around 130mm of travel, light, strong and has a 20mm through axle, but never really found one that was a good compromise of that lot. The Z.1 Freerides I had were probably the favourite forks I owned, I never had any issues with these, they just got on with eating bumps, and I hardly ever touched them. Mega stiff, ETA was good. Then moved on to Vanillas cos I wanted summat lighter, they were awesome, but started creaking after a little too much abuse. Got Shermans, they sucked, just kept breaking inside. So I chose these. A little cheaper than the Z1 lights, also a little lighter. Looks really good, but as the other guy mentioned, not much in the scheme of things, but they do look mean as hell on my bike. The new 20mm dropout system is a real improvement over the old QR20 system, no, it isn't QR, but it's much more reliable.
At first it was a little frustrating setting them up, I found when setting the negative chamber, the air pressure reading went down each time I reengaged the pump... However, I got the hang of the adjustments and really appreciated them. The rebound adjuster really makes a hell of a difference, and there is a massive range of adjustment there. The compression adjuster also makes a noticeable difference... although I haven't been able to actually adjust this out on the trail yet, as the knob fell off!
The plastic coverings on the PAR and Positive chambers are also a little cheap looking, and just asking to be lost.
Having said that, the PAR is a really neat little feature. I've done a lot of dropping, Jumping and landed a few dodgey ones, and it's felt solid up front. Dealt with all kinds of terrain and not felt any spiking as yet.
If you want a light, long travel fork that can take the knocks, and still be pedalled up hill, look no further. Check the bolt on the Compression adjuster though
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Chameleon, full X.0, Saint brakes/cranks Hope bulbs on EX721. Diabolus OS Stem, Pro taper bars. e13 DRS Chris King. I've got my forks at 130ish mm.
from norman,oklahoma. usa
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2006
Strengths: light and plush
Weaknesses: bushing play
Got this fork from zokes as part of crash replacement program. Wanted something w/single crown that was relatively light. Weighed in at app 4.5 lbs. Have never used an air fork before, so in theory all of the settings on this fork were daunting. After going with all of the reccomended settings, i found myself adding air here,subtracting air there. Great thing about air forks is how you can custom tailor the setup for yourself. Aesthetically pleasing design, in the big picture that means little. Now have 5 rides on this fork and am quite pleased with how it feels. Nice and stiff, rebound and compression adjusters seem to work really well, the new 20mm thru axle is a big improvement over the old style. The only thing i hate is the amount of bushing play, when i lock the front brake and rock the fork back and forth, i can see the stantions moving several mm's in the lowers. Called Marzocchi and asked about this and they said it is normal. Ok guys, if you say so. I have taken several drops now that are well overhead,and heard no protesting from my fork. So if you are an all around rider who wants something light that can handle big hits, this is a good fork for you! P.S. Dont skid