a Weekend Warrior
from Suffolk UK
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2010
Strengths: Plush, stiff, simple.
I got these forks cheap, second hand, as a stop-gap for my hardtail. Mine had about 2" of usable travel. I checked the oil level in the right leg and it was way too high. I dropped it to 45mm from the top at full compression and got the full travel. Mine were 80mm forks. I altered the travel to 100mm by trimming the black plastic spacer on the damping piston shaft. I also removed the coil spring. Thanks to the previous reviewer for this top tip. In use the forks are fine, not far off my Menjas in feel. You can adjust the ramp up by altering the oil level in the right leg. They are fairly plush and stiff - confidence inspiring compared to the Skarebs and SIDs. I've only used them locally on moderate trails and dont yet know how they will fare in more rugged terrain.
Mine now weigh in at 1875g. Great forks for the price.
Similar Products Used: Magura Menja, Skareb Elite, SIDs
Bike Setup: BH Fluid Carbon
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2009
Strengths: Dampenging adjustability, Lock out, Aluminim Steerer, Plush (when you tweak it) Travel adjustable internally. Can also adjust travel when in lock out mode (great for long skinny tire rides for a more race geometry)
Weaknesses: Poor Quality Control in Taiwan. Coil spring seems to be redundant. Have to trim (or add) a plastic internal spacer to adjust travel.
This fork was sent to me without a footnut. I contacted Blue Sky Cycling (vendor) and they wanted me to ship it back to them, then ship it to Marzocchi, then ship it back to me. (I am not impressed with their service at all) I really wasn't feeling being without my bike for a month and a half so I figured I would call the source. Called Mike (Tech) at Marzocchi and asked him if he would send me a foot nut and a diagram of the internals. He did and gave me a picture of the spacer that I needed to trim to make my 80 (measured 90) mm model into a 100 (measured 105) mm model. (Could not find the 100 mm's on sale for Christmas). In doing so, I also found that the coil spring in the drive side leg is redundant. You can pressure the air side to 50 psi, which is plenty for my 200 lbs of rubber rolling goodness. Taking the spring out is super easy (let out the air pressure, unscrew the air top cap with a hex socket, stick your pinky finger in and pull it out, then screw back in the air top cap.) Takes it down to 4.3 lbs with a cut steerer for a $180 fork. The travel adjustment is a little more complicated (make sure you have a deep well 12 mm hex socket for those foot nuts) The air side is remarkably similar to most MX service manuals that you can find on the internet, and the LO side is very similar to Marzicchi's other Lock out Internals. Not really a hard fork to service at all. Just remember that on the air side it is 45 MM of oil from the top of the gold sanction tube with the fork compressed (use a zip tie to keep it that way) and level. If you are moderatley mechanically inclined, I would highly recommend this fork for it's tweakablility.
a Cross Country Rider
from Issaquah, WA
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2009
Strengths: Value. Versatility to fit older bikes. Disc and V-brake compatible. Balance of weight, stiffness, air/coil springs. Smooth damping.
Weaknesses: Wish it had better setup instructions.
Thanks to the previous reviewers for helping make the selection. Hard to find decent modern fork that will fit an old HT frame and be V-brake compatible and at a good price point. I did have to order the V-brake bosses separately.
I love having damping again. Awesome. Just didn't know what I was missing as my Judy XC aged.
The taller fork can provide a slightly different "falling" into corner feel. However, the stiffer fork makes up for it once you're in the turn.
I had to play with preload a bit to get things right. Thanks to another reviewer that got me in the right range of 18-22psi rather than the 42psi advertised on Marz website. At 165# dry, I found 18-19psi to work pretty well. I'm not using the entire 80mm of travel, more like 65mm or so. Until I was coming down a long hill and I think I finally got close to 75mm. Also, with a bit more sag, the bike handles better through transitions.
So with about 6hrs of riding on the new fork, plus the mud specific tires and brake pads, I'm out there riding with the pack (mostly newer FS) and keeping up pretty good until I can afford a modern bike (with disc brakes!)
Bike Setup: '96 Stumpjumper FS. XT-V-brake upgrade. SPD 540 pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2008
Strengths: Looks eye-catching great, looks beefy, has lockout and preload adjustment
Weaknesses: Paint job missed in some areas (almost unnoticeable though), a little bit of creaking
I'm a little dissapointed that I'm getting only about 1.5 inches of travel with these shocks. If i let out all the air pressure, then i'll get about 2 inches max (i measured it). It's supposed to have 4 inches of travel! Talk about false advertising. However, it does soak up bumps and gives me more confidence in any terrain.
Also, the fork has some creaking sounds when i hit most bumps or undulations on the road. It's not the headset cuz i got that checked out.
I'll only give it 3 chilis since the 4 inches of travel is bogus; and it makes creaking sounds.
I'm a little dissapointed this came with my 1500$ bike. Even my 10 year old rock shox mag 21's didn't creak and had more travel than this!
Great fork for the money. I have come to believe that there are two price points for mtn bike forks, around a 100 bucks and around $700. Everything in between only provides minor performance improvement. This fork is worth the 300 dollar bike shop price as long as it holds up over the long term. It's kinda flexy but that has never really bothered me much. It is pretty plush but with the lock out feature you can turn it up a bit and that will stiffen it up; i use this almost like a compression adjustment. The rebound works, it will slow down the up stroke as advertised and it is on the outside of the fork which is great. The seals seem to work well, no blow by yet. It does what it should and is predictable. I just hope it lasts.
I haven't used a Fox Fork so I can't compare it to a 700 dollar fork nor will i bolt a 700 dollar fork on the front of my bike, I'm a weekend warrior not a sponsored racer; it cracks me up to see a flabby guy on his super plush mint condition boutique bike, get real man; you haven't earned it. don't turn mtn. biking into skiing.
Similar Products Used: RST Gila, MX Comp 04, Rock Shox Judy/Reba/SID, Manitou SX?, etc.
Bike Setup: Klein Palomino, Maverick shock, Maxxis tires.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2008
Strengths: Very nicely built, quite siff for a xc fork, looks better than the newer models, it works fairly well.
Weaknesses: Not the lightest fork on the market but the price tag more than makes up for it. Not as responsive as an air fork, small bump absortion is non existent so if you are looking for a really plush fork you must look at something more expensive. On the other hand everybody says that Marzocchi forks have a decent break in period so it might get better in time. I did notice a improvment in performance but that might be from the fact that I got used with the fork and the way it handels. It gets dirty instantly and because is black you can see every speck of dust on it so I ended up carrying a cleaning cloth.
I bought this fork because of all the great reviews I found on the NET. The fact that I paid half the price of a Rock Shox Reba is also great. You get really decent performance once you set it up right. When I first saw the fork i belived that it was an air fork (actualy just the compression is air assisted) and I inflated the cartridge at the pressure specified in the manual for positive air(pumped 35 psi into it) Of course the fork was totaly stiff. Once I realised my mistake and set it up corectly (maximum recomended is 15 psi!!!!) the fork started working very nice. Keeping the stanchions clean and lubricated with a Teflon oil also helps greatly. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to take it and test it under mountain conditions (only city riding but considering the putholes in Romania's streets it is like going off road)but I'll a new review soon. In the end you get a fork who is cheaper then a Reba, better looking then a Tora and more reliabel then a Manitou.
Similar Products Used: Rst Gila T6, Rock Shox Dart, J3 and Pike 409.
Bike Setup: Magellan Pyxis frame, deore LX cranks (hollowtech 1), SRAM X 7 drivetrain, race face evolve stem and handelbars, Hayes MX2 brakes, Sun rims DS2XC with Novatec hubs, Avid Fr5 brake levers.
a Cross Country Rider
from Phoenix AZ US
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2008
Strengths: lock out
Weaknesses: It started leaking after the first couple of rides out of the rebound side. I think the cartridge is bent. I also think the seals have a leak on lock out side.
Very unhappy with marzocchi. I've only had this fork for a month and it's already leaking. This shouldn't be happening after the first couple of rides. This is the second time this happened with marzocchi. Going to get it rebuilt to be more beefy.
Similar Products Used: Marzocchi Gran Fondo 1, this fork didn't hold up either, it started leaking after couple of weeks out of the same side.
Bike Setup: 06 kona explosif, hayes nine, maxxis high roller super tacky r kenda nevegal f, 2.35's
a Cross Country Rider
from Bridport, Dorset
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2008
Strengths: Lovely smooth feel, lockout facility
Weaknesses: None so far
These forks are fantastic. I've got the MX LO model, which is just like the Pro LO fork except rebound adjust is internal (i.e. you have to stick an allen key into one of the stanchions).
First ride out, I explored my local trail (fire road type thing) and first impressions were good - smooth shock absorption, and handled bumps and little jumps nicely.
After a couple of miles I got to the uphill part, so I thought I would turn on the lockout (using a bar-mounted lever). I then realised they were already locked out! The lockout function leaves a little bit of travel in play so you're not bouncing around while you're climbing - this seems like the ETA function that other Marzocchis have, except this isn't labelled as ETA. Weird.
Anyway, the ride with full travel is fantastic. It soaks up all the bumps of XC with a buttery smooth action, and really lets you ride the ruts and ridges of rougher singletrack with ease and flair. I found myself being more aggressive on the trail, jumping off things I wouldn't have dared try with my old fork.
These forks will make you a faster, better and more confident rider.
I can't think of what else you could ask from a fork.