Marzocchi Marathon S 2003 Front Shocks

Marathon S

- 105mm Travel (85mm optional)
- Open Bath HSCV Cartridge
- Dual Coil Springs
- NEW! Cryofit Boltless ’M’ Crown
- NEW! 1-Piece Mg MonoLite Sliders
- NEW! [ETA] External Travel Adjuster
- External Preload & Rebound Control
- 30mm Aluminum Stanchions

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Ian   Racer [Jun 17, 2003]
Strength:

Much better lockout than 2002 marathon. More plush and just an all around nicer ride than the air version.

Weakness:

Heavy for Marz's "racing" line. Oil wasnt filled to correct level when purchased.

This is a great fork. I love to ride and race it although its a tad on the heavy side for a racing fork. I wouldnt recommend this (or the marathon SL) to a hardcore racer because of the weight, but if you arent too worried about the weight go for it. The lockout is a great improvement from the 2002 version although rock shox has a remote lockout on their top of the line forks and reaching down to disengage the lockout while racing is a royal pain in the ass.

Similar Products Used: 2002 marathon, 2001 Z2, 1999z4
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Dave   Cross Country Rider [Jun 10, 2003]
Strength:

Supple, Stiff, Great Looks, Marzocchi Quality

Weakness:

None so far

If you want a plush and durable all-purpose fork this is it! It's not too heavy, it's stiff, and its a Marzocchi, so it's built to last. The ETA is awesome when you have a long climb or fire road, though I must admit that in Miami that does'nt really exist. Spend your hard earned money on this fork, don't bother with the Fox Forx, they are promising but haven't seemed to sort it out yet. Marzocchi has been making high quality suspension for a long time, they know what they are doing. I've ridden many types and levels of forks on my bikes and my friend's bikes, and I have nothing but praise for Marzocchi COIL sprung forks. Their air forks are not as smooth.

Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Judy, Marzocchi '02 MXC w/ECC, Manitou X-Vert, Marzocchi Z2 Atom 80
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Nicholson   Cross Country Rider [Nov 18, 2003]
Strength:

Stiff, smooth, ETA is the best lockout I have tried, Subtle looks once decals are removed

Weakness:

Polished crown doesn’t look very good after it tarnishes, if sweat collects on the top caps adjustment controls can corrode and not work.

I chose this fork for Marz. Durability, coil smoothness, and the ETA lockout and was not disappointed. I have found it to be the perfect fork for my Single Speed. The ETA works far better than other manufacturer’s lockouts dropping the front end and still giving a little action. I can’t tell much difference in action or stiffness between this fork or the Foxes on my other bikes. I have had problems with both the rebound control and the eta control seizing up from salt deposits caused by my sweat collecting between the shafts and the top caps. I really like the tune-ability of this fork with varying oil heights. My Fox forks only work with 1 oil height where as the Marz you can play with for different feels. The polished crown has developed a pitted dull look over time, I have tried to polish it up again but ran out of elbow grease.

Similar Products Used: Manitou 2, R.S. Juddy SL, Marz. Z2, Marz Z1, Marz. X-Fly, Fox Vannilla, Fox Float
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Chris Herraghty   Cross Country Rider [Apr 16, 2003]
Strength:

Super Plush, stiff compared to other cross country forks, look sweet. Lockout is great for climbing.

Weakness:

Lockout has become really stiff, lever screw comes undone!

The action is sooooo sweet, super plush and stiffer than any RockShox I've tried. Rebound control is easy to adjust, don't need to constantly pump them up!! Only thing I found was the lockout lever came loose, so I tightened it up quite hard, but now the lever is very stiff to move.
Still, I'm not too bothered, absolutely amazing fork.
I would recommend this for lightweight (ish) bikes that still want sweet performance without too much added weight.

Similar Products Used: RS Judy XC 1996, Manitou Magnum
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bikerx40   Cross Country Rider [Jan 29, 2004]
Strength:

Smooth consistent damping, ETA is great for super steep climbs or road climbs, Reliable design, HSCV is nice on bigger hits.

Weakness:

ETA knob broke (I replaced with a modified chain link), Poor instruction manual doesn't include rebuild instructions or other critical info., Wish that the cartridge was user servicable / tunable (I'd like to adjust the shim stacks like Manitou TPC style), Disc tabs could be better formed - less paint and less interference with Avid Mech adaptors (doesn't sit flush without a little work with a file).

I really am impressed with my '03 Marzocchi Marathon S. I've owned quite a few suspension forks over the years, but this one tops them all. The damping performance is one of the best I've come across, right up there with the Fox Forx Vanilla series. That being said, it doesn't have the same stiffness as the Fox Forx due to the Marzocchi's smaller 30mm stanchions. The only time that I even notice any deflection is during hard braking (I have discs) on pavement I can see just the slightest movement backwards- but it's very slight. If you're a bigger rider, then you might opt for either the Fox Forx Vanilla or a Marzocchi Z-1 SL or something.

I was pretty bummed by the lack of descent information about this fork. Marzocchi doesn't have an instruction manual for rebuilding the fork or doing routine maintenance. I would up making my own web site with oil-change instructions and FAQ's to help out other riders who have encountered this lack of info. I'm not promoting or selling anything, just an enthusiast who appreciates nice equipment. For my tuning information, check out: http://myweb.cableone.net/rkindig/marz_marathon_s.html

I wasn't getting full travel from my fork out of the box. Apparently, Marzocchi Marathons now come with Heavy weight springs for riders in the 180-220 range. I only weigh around 165, so I wound up buying the Medium springs. The fork is far more responsive now, and I am getting all of the travel.

I'm a bit disappointed that Marzocchi doesn't allow access into their cartridges. I'd like to mess around with the damper's shim stacks inside to better match the damping to my rear suspension. My wish list would be to have user-serviceable shim stacks like my Manitou TPC fork had.

I recommend this fork for aggressive trail riders needing a reliable coil-sprung fork. However, Riders over 200 pounds might opt for a Marzocchi Z1 SL (same weight).

Similar Products Used: Scott Unishock, Manitou 1, 1994 Cannondale Headshock,97 Rock Shox Judy XC,95-97 Rock Shox Judy SL
Noleen Expert Aluminum (Girvin Style), White Brothers SC-70UL, Marzocchi Z-1 BAM, Manitou SX-Carbon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
b dog   Cross Country Rider [Apr 19, 2004]
Strength:

stiff, plush and adjustable. the ETC is great for climbing. you don't have to get off the bike and spin dials, just flip a swith, push down and voila, you're good to go....very cool!

Weakness:

not superplush (i guess that could be a word) on very small bumps--so what.....

very nice fork. steers well, and takes bumps well, especially at speed. I am faster downhill than on my old fork. I am a bit fresher after riding because i am less beat up because my ride is now smoother. This fork is way better than anything i have ever owned before. marzocchis are sweet! Five chilis.

Similar Products Used: manitou super six, rock shox judy c, rock shox psylo
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Cross Country Rider [Apr 03, 2003]
Strength:

Rigidity,Smoothness,and appearance. The paint job does no justice until you see it in person.

Weakness:

weight

This fork not only looks excellent, but I didn't realize what I was missing out on. The marathon completly blows the rockshox out of the water! The travel is buttery smooth, the fork doesn't flex like the RS. The adjustablity is out of this world (there is actually rebound control)and the action makes the RS feel like a kid's toy. Anyone who rides a RS and has never tried a Marzocchi is missing out on a completly different ride! Your local trails will become like new again. You will actually look for things to run over just to feel the fork do it's work!

Similar Products Used: Too many rockshox judy SL's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom Boardman   Cross Country Rider [Oct 01, 2003]
Strength:

White-pearl with blue letters looks good with my orange/blue frame; once I dialed it in it handles very well; range of adjustability makes big changes in riding style; easy to turn on lock out feature; very plush landings off baby jumps; holds corners well; feels solid.

Weakness:

Way heavy (4 lb, 8 oz out of the box), in fact a lot heavier than I expected even though its a coil fork; when lock out is on, the fork rattles when climbing off road. No rattle on asphalt climbs, but on long fire trail climbs a constant rattle drives you bonkers; stickers already look like they may come off; when you turn the quick release it also turns the spring stiffness adjustment.

I just built up my dream bike and wanted an all around fork that I could ride bumps and rocks with, but also race on from time to time. This bike is fast, but the fork is definitely not for short, fast XC races. It would be perfect for the Downievile Classic (2 to 3 hour, 30 mile classic MTB race) or any of the new Euro-endurance events that will eventually make their way to the US. In fact, the fork is named Marathon after these long point-to-point races. For the price ($379) and the sweet plush ride I give it 5 value rating. For the weight and rattling lock out, I give it 4 overall rating.

Similar Products Used: Rock Shox Judy SL, Manitou.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Glen Padgham   Cross Country Rider [Jan 26, 2003]
Strength:

Lovely build quality, nice Italian styling, coil for plushness and reliability, ETA is great.

Weakness:

On the heavy side, not that that makes much difference.

The business. Great. They really eat up the rough stuff with such a smooth action. The ETA is a great innovation - flick it on and the rebound is effectively locked-out - so then the fork compresses but doesn't rebound, settling down to a lower height. You still get at least 30mm of suspension even when ETA is on. Flick the switch at the top of the hill (whilst riding, no problem) and you instantly get you 105mm back ready for the next down.

Similar Products Used: Original Z2 Bombers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark Overby   Cross Country Rider [Jan 29, 2003]
Strength:

Steers great, super plush, ETA lockout works great, low maintenance, sweet looks

Weakness:

a little heavy-much more than claimed weight

This by far the best cross country fork I have ever ridden -and I've ridden a bunch. This fork tracks like it is on rails, the travel feels bottomless, and I would take the extra weight any day over a whippy super-light fork. I would recommend this fork to nay rider who is looking for a solid performing, easy to maintain cross country fork.

Similar Products Used: Z2Atom 80, Manitou Black Elite, Manitou SX Ti
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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