Weaknesses: external rebound adjustment, but you cant have everything.
I have ridden since racing my Quadangle at the age of 13 in 1982. I have ridden MTN since 1990. Wrenched through college for 3 years at a local shop.
This is, hands down, best fork I have ever tried. I will NEVER go back to a flexy RockShox or unreliable Manitou. I rebuilt each one of my Manitous countless times and the RockShoxs flexed like a pretzel.
I am 6'3", 260lbs and ride hard, I have the hard springs in and 25wt oil and have NEVER bottomed the fork, yes I use all the travel but no bottoming. The Fork is stiction-free and active over small bumps as well as big hits. Add to the fack that it is beautiful and you have a landslide decision. My only regret is that I waited so long to get one.
Bike Setup: 2000 GT Zaskar, full XTR, Race Face prodigy cranks, XT hubs w/ Sun Rhyno lite rims, Syncros stem and post, Titec Hellbent bar, Chris King NoThreadSet, Shimano 636's, OTI lockjaws, WTB Tires.
from SLC UT
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2001
Strengths: This is the strongest single crown you can get.
Weaknesses: I am only dissapointed with this fork because everyone (Bike shops/reviewers) claim it's "So Burly". I ride a hard tail and after 3 months the stanction snapped, the spring shot into the air and missed my eye by about 2 inches.
To all you Dirt jump and Urban riders if you can stand not being able to turn the bars in the air, you must step up to a double clamp. Otherwise the Z series forks are temporary and may let you down at any unexpected moment. I'm not even going that big, 6 ft. drop is pushing it for me. Do not take bike product advice from a person who wears spandex.
from BayShore NY
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2001
Strengths: "PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH""PLUSH".....You can play with the compretion on the fork externaly...however...if you change the oil in it...you can make it that much beter for the type of riding that you do!...i love the fork...always have always will~~
Weaknesses: it is a lil ugly with the black break arch...but thats the only weakness!
its a good fork for the price....and it can be tuned ...it just takes a bit more work than some other forks out there!
Bike Setup: 2001 Kona Chute, thinking of putting JR.T's instead of these
from Las Vegas
Date Reviewed: February 5, 2001
Weaknesses: Terrible seals, no rebound adjustment, heavy, ugly, has disc brake mounts on both sliders?, ugh..I wanna puke.
Don't waste your money on this product! Go with an X-Vert, or even the new Pyslo's. It does eat up the little bumps and even some bigger ones but not a value. I've had to have the seals and oil changed three times now...that adds up quick.
Bike Setup: 98 Big Sur, XT 8-spd throughout, Sun Ryno Lites with LX hubs, Marz Z.3 long travel.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2001
Strengths: Plush progessive damping, low maintainance, good looking
Weaknesses: No rebound damping
A great freeride fork that soaks up anything thrown at it. Only complaint here is that there is no rebound damping adjustment, was able to slow down rebound with 20wt oil(7.5 is stock).In two years have only had fork apart twice to change fork oil to adjustment rebound.
Bike Setup: DBRX2,Mavic 517 w/XT Hubs, UN72 BB, Panaracer Fire XC Pro,
from Warrensburg, Mo. USA
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2001
Strengths: Looks Good, 105mm of travel
Weaknesses: This fork has to be one of the worst forks that I have ever used. I can bottom this fork out on anything. I mean literally anything. I used this fork for the last half of circuit. I blew this fork in half. I was on the trail and the fork came apart. The male end of the stanction legs came out of the lower leg assembly, completely out. The only thing that saved my a## was the fact that I had not put my disk on the front yet. The cable housing on my v-brakes was too short for the front to fall completely off while I was in the air. THANK GOD!
In my opinion, the Z3LT in a total waste of money. I have had nothing but bad luck with this fork from the very first ride with it. I can NOT get marzocchi to deal with me on it either to get it fixed. The shop said they would help my if I needed they to, but that has yet to go anywhere. The fork is a total loss. I would not suggest to anyone that they get one, unless they have extra money to throw away. To the one's who do like their fork, more power to you all. To the riders who use Answer products, ride on!
Similar Products Used: Answer (THE BOMB) EVERT-R dual crown TPC Trek Mogule (bad idea also)
Bike Setup: 1998 FSR Elite-Large(red) Grip shift, teflon cables XT brakes, levers, cranks, BB, Super Shuttle chain, XT der's front and rear and an XT cassette. The suspension consists of the Answer (THE BOMB) XVERT-R on the front with the Fox Vanilla coil over in the rear. The wheels are: Spin on the front, very unforgiving, with the CrossMax on the rear. I run the VelociRaptor 2.1 on the Spin with matching VelociRaptor on the rear. Various other parts complete the bike.
from moraga ca, 94556
Date Reviewed: October 1, 2000
Strengths: Very bombproof, lots of smooth travel, low cost, doesn't break down
Great fork, soaks up all the bumps, no problems at all. It has been working great for as long as I've had it. Works well on big drops.
Bike Setup: dbr x2, race face, xtr hubs, rhyno lites
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2000
Strengths: Travel, steering, beefy
Weaknesses: Lil' heavy, get over it
Although I have only ridden on this fork several times, it rocks! Rock Shox should take some notes from Marzocchi. Its so plush...! Awesome intermediate freeride fork. For $250 dollar, you can't beat it. I will give it many flaming hemmoroids!!!!! BTW-I weigh 200lbs, haven't bottomed it yet.
Bike Setup: FSR Enduro w/ 4 inches rear travel to match Z3's 4".
a Cross Country Rider
from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2000
I've owned a pair of Marzocchi shocks for approximately 2 years. I recently took them apart for their annual oil change and seal inspection/replacement. When I removed the Hydraulic Cartridge, I discovered it was cracked up the side. I was not surprised to hear that my forks are out of warrantee and that the replacement part costs almost $300.
I would not recommend Marzocchi shocks to anyone. I recommend everyone with Marzocchi shocks to inspect them carefully (inside & out) prior to the end of the one year warrantee.
a Weekend Warrior
from Oxfordshire, England
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2000
Strengths: Solid construction, quite light, plush and progressive travel.
Weaknesses: Crown bolts
This fork is extremely good especially for the money. It comes with quite soft springs but they are the ProWind springs and are very progressive. This is a Good Thing. I weigh 90Kg (apx. 14 stone) and I have not bottomed them out as such, just neared the end of the travel. The preload adjustment helps a little.
A word of advice to anyone with these forks: the crown bolts. They come loose easily. What you should look for is the fork going "clunk" when you lift it into the air and then hit the ground with your weight on it (eg. riding off a kerb). If this happens to you, don't panic. Just press each side of the crown and look carefully at the stantions (gold bits). One (or both if you are unlucky) will come a tiny bit out the crown. Just take out the bolts, use threadlocker and screw it back in, making sure the top of the stantion is plush (or as close as you can) to the crown. Tighten the bolts up as equally as possible.
Who should buy this product? If you are a cross-country rider who is concerned with weight and "bobbing", try elsewhere. You will lose a bit of power through the fork as it is has soft springs. You could try harder springs but there are lighter forks out there. If you are into downhill or dual, you might want to look for something a bit more solid. Not that these aren't strong forks because they are, but they won't be able to stand up to repetitive huge drop-offs or massive jumps. If you are a freerider then these are good forks - plenty travel, just enough damping and a lot of strength.
Overall, these are good forks. They are solid, good looking (especially with blue FSA kit) and have very nice travel. The crown bolts are nothing to worry about, just tighten them with threadlocker and they won't bother you again. If you can, try before you buy to be sure but if you are looking for a decent set of forks these are hard to beat.