Strengths: Perfectly smooth, very sensitive, perfect for Dual slalom, full use of travel. Very good all round fork, but not for going up hills - suck the energy out of you! freeriding, 4X, although todays forks come with more travel. Oil + dust seals last forever! Dust seals work to perfection! An exremely well made fork! Up there with todays Marzocchis.
Weaknesses: There is a compatibility issue for disc brakes, I just tried putting some new shimano XT Discs on mine. The IS standard mount changed after these forks were released, therefore todays IS mount adapters do not fit on the forks. Unless you have some Hope disc breaks or an IS mount from 1997/1998 then you will have to use V- brakes.
At the end of the day, these forks made history! I see young lads up at the course riding new 2006 Z1s, dirt jumper forks etc...Z1 97's do everything you need them to do, except XC! I have had these forks for 10 years now, and they still work better, smoother and more sensitive than todays ones. I feel that with marzocchi forks today you cant really be sure with what you are getting, but 9/10 years ago, everybody new that the Z1s were the best, and that you new they would be almost indestructable, even the pros admit that very few forks over the last decade can compare to the 97 Z1s! If marzocchi re-released these forks, with the updated disc mount, then the Z1s would set the standard again, like they did so brilliantly 10 years ago. So dont waste £500 on a set of brand new bombers, get hold of some 1997 Z1s for £100 and you will be laughing your head off all the way down the course!
a Weekend Warrior
from the continent
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2006
Strengths: Smooth response, reliable
Weaknesses: I changed to heavy springs a few years ago and over the course of one summer, the ETA quit working.
Excellent fork. Mine never leaks oil, works almost flawlessly (see ETA problem above), and feels great. I don't mind the eta problem because I climb better with suspension anyway. Fork occasionally bottoms out (I'm ~170lbs.), but I have to be doing something X-country stupid to reach its travel limit. Fork is a little flexy, but any fork that isn't probably doesn't belong on a xc bike.
I completely recommend this fork to anyone that rides trails, even with the occasional natural drop.
Bike Setup: Single speed with trail riding components
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2006
Strengths: It's 9 years old and it works great.
Weaknesses: Can't really find any. It's 9 years old and it works great.
I needed a fork for a low-budget singlespeed, so I picked up a '97 Z1 Bomber with leaky seals for 40 clams on eBay. Changed the oil, put in some Enduro seals. Total expenditure 65 bucks. Also I had to scrape out the gummi-bear-like remains of the top-out elastomers and replace them with some random springs from another old Marzocchi. I think that maybe one of the damping cartridges is still clogged with the gummi stuff, but boy, this is a nice fork. It's not exactly light, but it's super responsive and has a nice soft landing towards the end of the travel. Not many adjustments, but I don't need to adjust anything, it works great with the stock springs. Conclusion: mountain bike fork technology was pretty much perfected by 1997. Buy an old Z1 and save your money for some nice disc brakes. By the way, this fork has two disc mounts, one on each side. It looks like you're supposed to run dual discs. Is this normal? Where the hell do you get a mirror-image caliper for the right leg? What about a hub that takes two rotors? How do you not kill yourself as soon as you hit the brakes? It's not like you've got 800 pounds of Honda Goldwing here to hold you down. What were they thinking?
Similar Products Used: Variety of Marzocchi, RS, and Fox forks
Bike Setup: IRO Highlander singlespeed
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2006
Strengths: durable, stiff, metallic ETA lever, dual coil
Weaknesses: 5.7#(?), does not use all 130mm of travel, even ever a 3~4' jump. initally had 105mm of travel, sent the Z1 to factory for warrenty work ($70 for shipping, four weeks), came back at 135mm travel.
I use the ETA lever on road climbs toward end of an exhausting ride, where the reduced travel and increased stiffness helps (psychologically, more or less) to sprint over the hills. on dirt, i leave the ETA open for a full range. It's like having two forks in one... in performance wise and in weight wise...
I wanted a plush fork for all around xc trail riding that i can rely on...and my Z1 ETA QR delivers.
And when the going gets rough, the tough fork gets going, big time.
I like to climb, but I love the descends, fast and rough: 5" Z1, 8" M4 disk, and 2.5" WTB tires are fun and assuring combination.
The 2006 Z1 versions may be a tab lighter, if that matters to you.
130mm~150mm Z1 forks are among the best xc forks. As long as you're not a serious xc racer that may wish to have a Sid or a Fox 100, Z1s are the "bomb."
a Cross Country Rider
from South Jersey
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2002
Strengths: Plush, ECC is nice a feature
Weaknesses: Creaking sound comes from the crown. Rides low in its travel. Has excessive amount of stiction after 6 months.
This fork is great. I like it except it rides low in its travel. I have a Psylo that is on another bike. It ramps up nicer than the Psylo but is not a plush as the Z1. The Z1 shows alot of stiction which cannot be smoothed out(Teflon spray and such). I am 200lbs and 5'11" and ride aggresive fast single track.
Similar Products Used: Rock shock jetts I know they are not the same, and bunch of bad ones crappy tire bikes lol
a Weekend Warrior
from Aberdeen South Dakota
Date Reviewed: November 23, 2001
Strengths: Stiff,Plush,Tracks Well,ECC Rocks,nice range of adjustments
Weaknesses: The Cryofit crown started makeing noise, but that can be fixed by poaring lock tight in between the stanchions and the crown
This fork kicks ass for what it was made for. It can handel some of the roughest trails and come back asking for more. If your looking for quality 5" trave fork that will take beatting. This is a good choice.
I just wouldn't sugest this fork to someone that is worried about saving weight on their bike or someone that races. But other then that Its a great all around fork
Similar Products Used: shivers, monster t's, judy- xc's c and races, stratos s7, super t's physlo's (pieces o' junk)
Bike Setup: Rocky mountain reaper frame, hayes 8 inch discs, sram 9.o sl drive train, THE fender, double wide rims, other big stuff
from Newbury Park, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2001
Strengths: Stiff, real springs, real damping controls, ECC
Weaknesses: Price (only had to buy it once) and weight (I couldn't care less)
Update to my past eview, where I had the fork installed on a Giant NRS. When I finally got my Orange frame I added the 5" springs to the fork, and put in an ECC cartridge as well. The ECC locks out the rebound, so the fork stays at the bottom of it's travel when you flip the switch. This is easily worth at least one gear while climbing, and gives tons of steering precision on really steep climbs. The whole bike goes down hills like no "cross country" bike has a right to, covers miles efortlessly, and still weighs 29 lbs. with a Pazzazz downhill bar and stem. That's with 5" travel on both ends and hydraulic discs, mind you.
As for the ECC-other brands are doing variable travel forks, and my buddy that owns a shop has gotten about half returned that he's sold, with stripped or broken bits inside the adjustment mechanism. He say he's NEVER had a Marzocchi warranty claim. And unlike compression lockouts, big hits are acting against the springs themselves, not the valving in the compression damping circuit. There's a special bottom-out spring in the Bomber, so it don't blow up if you forget to flip the lever back.
Bike Setup: Orange Sub-5, CrossRoc UST wheels, XT/XTR
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 3, 2001
Strengths: plush 5 inches of travel - absolutely silky smooth and irons out everything in your way. nice and stiff - tracks really well. also have had zero maintenance and trouble from this fork
Weaknesses: my z1 mcr is the 2001 model with the lockout on the travel - great for hillclimbs and road sprints etc BUT i find when locked out, the rim is bent towards the opposite side to the lockout (which is only on the left side of the fork) making it impossible to run the brakes (xt v's) nice and close to the rim (ie it rubs when locked out. i've even had some huge washers made up for the hub (equivalent to 20mm axle) to try and make it stiffer but still to no avail. i'd really be interested to hear from anyone who has had or overcome this problem.
awesome freeride fork. perhaps a little heavy for cross country racing. watch out for movement of the rim when using the lockout.
Bike Setup: dodsun frame (firepower), xt components, rhynolite rims.
a Cross Country Rider
from Flagstaff, Arizona USA
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2001
Strengths: Plush travel, super stiff. I have yet to bottom it out.
Weaknesses: The lockout on mine leaks off but it's no big deal.
This isn't the fork for the gram-counting cc riders on the steel frame hardtails. No this fork is for hucking, for fast sections where you need your fork to track right without flexing all over, for pushing you into trying things you never knew you had the skills to do. It's consistent in ride and always asking for more. If this fork was a female, I'd ask her out.
Bike Setup: GT I-drive, Z1 MCR, Race Face cranks, Shimano xt everything else. Odi grips
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2001
Strengths: super stiff, super plush, ECC is dope for technical climbs, 5.1 inches, SO MUCH FUN
this fork is dope, prefectly balances my 4.6 inches of rear travel, so if you're looking for a relatively light, long travel fork, this is it. You may think climbing with 130mm of travel is difficult, but when you're able to lock out the rebound and decrease the travel to 2 inches, there's no problem at all. The absolute BEST single crown fork out there...no complaints here.
Bike Setup: GT XCR-1000, XTR/XT w/ LX shifters, Sun Rhyno Lite Rims laced to XTR hubs, Thomson stem and post, Easton Monkey Bar, CK headset, 2.4 WTB Motoraptor tires, and of course a Z-1 MCR
from Montreal, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2001
Strengths: Stiff, looks good, PLUSH, MCR lockout is sweet.
Weaknesses: I weigh 180lbs and the medium springs suck. I bottom this fork out on anything higher than 3'.
The medium springs suck, royally! And it sucks to not be able to buy them with heavy springs already installed. Now I have to spend more money to get new springs so I don't ruin the fork. You should be able to order the fork with the necessary springs. Anyway other than that it is super plush, stiff, and great tracking. The guy who has 200mm (8") rotors on his fork should never have put them on anything other than a 20mm axle. Duh the crown can't handle the forces. A 6" rotor will be fine on the standard dropouts. It sounds like there is a defect in the stauncions pressed into the crown of his fork. I ride with a couple of guys who ride 6" rotors on standard dropouts and they have nothing but praise for the fork! The 130mm of travel is sweet and rolls over everything.
I only give this fork full rating when it is DIALED IN. If the travel is too stiff or too soft the fork sucks (as will any fork!) I highly recommend everyone saving up for the 2001 Z1 MCR. It is the best single crown on the market!
Bike Setup: Kona Explosif 853, full XT, Azonic Shorty, Race Face Low Riser, Avid Arch Rivals, Salsa QR, XT Disc Hubs on Rhynolytes, Race Face Turbine LP's, big ol 2001 Z1 MCR
a Cross Country Rider
from santa cruz
Date Reviewed: May 26, 2001
Strengths: Great plush travel makes me more than I am. Feels solid. 3 inch lock out point is great for the long climbs; road sprints.
Weaknesses: Servcie. Marzocchi sucks on this front. An O=ring went out on my for during month two so I went in for repair. Somehow the fork was lost in being shipped back to the bike shop. Marzocchi would not issue a new fork until they figured out what to do. Its been about 6 weeks now and I'm still w\o my basically new $600 fork. I called them on a Friday and was told they'd be getting a check from UPS and would probably ship a new replacment out on the following Monday as if somehow I should have to wait (forkless) while this mess gets worked out. The week passed and nothing ever showed up. The bike shop is a confused and dissapointed as I am. I guess you would have thought I'd have leaned with my 1st Z1 being shipped \ built by Marzocchi without the topout springs installed on my four inch build Z1. Everything I read about the Psylo and the service of RockShox has me looking in that direction because this really sucks!
A good product is more than the sum total of its performance and cool factor. We ride and we ride hard so things do fail and then we are at the mercy of the customer servcie department and I'm not convinced Marzocchi has one.
from Muenster, Germany
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2001
Strengths: long travel since it's a single crown fork; perfect suspension performance; price
OK, the rating needs to be explained: The performance of this fork is fantastic. No comparison to the Judy100! Rebound-adjustment works pretty good. So if you're not going THAT big, take this fork. But after 6 months of riding and only 2 months using a Hayes with the 200mm-rotor the fork is scrap... :( The whole unit of the crown needs to be replaced including the stanchions since the stanchions cause noise in the crown because of a material defect when braking (I'm sorry I don't know the correct english terms for that). This fork definitly does not like tough braking and especially nose wheelies...
Important: I recommend to take only the QR 20-version if you want to use a disc brake! Not only because of the durability but also because of the stiffness!
The rating is for the normal Quick-Release model only. 5 chilis for beeing the best looking single-crown fork on the market.
Before everyone starts flaming I have been looking for about a month for info, parts, adapters, etc. I actually dug up quite a bit. First there was the hammerhead adapter sold over in the UK....then I think I've found another source for them on a vintage MTB forum in the UK, and I was just reading a ... Read More »
Hey guys - I'm new to the forums and actually joined for this very problem. This is an awesome site with tons of riders and was hoping somebody out there can help me out.
The part that broke on my bike is the steel butterfly looking lever clamp that secures the axle to the fork on the right side ... Read More »
I found an old Marzocchi bomber Z1 for sale locally. I know nothing about Marzocchi forks. Seems like it's in good condition. The year is unknown. This will be going on my trusty 99 Spec Stumpjumper hardtail and will replace the Manitou SX that came stock.
Is this Marzocchi fork any good? Wa ... Read More »
I have an old bike with these on it. The bike dates back to 2000. Each leg is individually bolted to the crown and the travel is maybe 70 to 80mm. They still function OK, but my interest is that I heard the Z1 was a sort of revolutionary fork in downhill racing. Must have been an awful long time ... Read More »
I have some questions about this front fork. It is on an 03 Trek Liquid that I just got 3 months ago. Love the bike, But looking at doing some maintenance on the front and haven't been able to find the answer through all my searches. I have down loaded the manual.
How much oil do I put in each le ... Read More »