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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some clarification...
what is the difference between a marathon S '04 and SL?

I'm looking to replace a SID race, and one of these seems like a likely candidate, thanks

formica
 

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The "04 marathon S os a coil spring fork and has ETA which when reduces the ride hieght by locking out rebound when switched on, but preserves 30mm of travle at the end.

The "04 Marathon sl is air sprung and has ECC5 which is a 5 position rebound control. It essentially does the same thing, however you don't get the prserved 30 mm of travel.

These forks are awsome, both ETA and ECC are incredible for climbing. I had a Marathon SL, and still consider it my favorite fork to date. Simple to maintain and set up. the major differences between the 2 are weight (coil vs. air) abd that 30 mm of boing when eta is in lock down.

BTW you'll be impressed with the lateral stiffness of either coming from a SID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
battlescars said:
The "04 marathon S os a coil spring fork and has ETA which when reduces the ride hieght by locking out rebound when switched on, but preserves 30mm of travle at the end.

The "04 Marathon sl is air sprung and has ECC5 which is a 5 position rebound control. It essentially does the same thing, however you don't get the prserved 30 mm of travel.

These forks are awsome, both ETA and ECC are incredible for climbing. I had a Marathon SL, and still consider it my favorite fork to date. Simple to maintain and set up. the major differences between the 2 are weight (coil vs. air) abd that 30 mm of boing when eta is in lock down.

BTW you'll be impressed with the lateral stiffness of either coming from a SID.
pardon my ignorance, just trying to learn: ETA gives you 30mm when locked out, for example if you locked out on a climb... and the ECC5 does not reserve travel, correct?

next, I couldnt' find weights on these. I'm a little thing, small female (#130) is that going to be too light for thse forks? My riding style is XC "on the verge" ( ie I like technical)

any other differences between air/coil I should be aware of? Or just let the best deal between these two on the web be my guide at this point?

thanks for helping.
 

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formica said:
pardon my ignorance, just trying to learn: ETA gives you 30mm when locked out, for example if you locked out on a climb... and the ECC5 does not reserve travel, correct?

next, I couldnt' find weights on these. I'm a little thing, small female (#130) is that going to be too light for thse forks? My riding style is XC "on the verge" ( ie I like technical)

any other differences between air/coil I should be aware of? Or just let the best deal between these two on the web be my guide at this point?

thanks for helping.
I think you could set up either fork to work well for you, but I would go with the air version (SL) since you really won't need the coil. The deal is that coils can be set up a little more linearly (sort of equal to being plusher) than air. However Marzocchi's dual air system makes the air forks very plush (doppi air). I would save the weight and go with all air.

As for weights, this is what I found. Some models aren't listed, but this is a good idea:
04 SL 1758g
03 S 1985g
05 XC (1/2 coil, 1/2 air) 1890g
05 Race (80mm all air) 1578g
from: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings/components.php?type=suspensionforks

I would look at the 04 SL, 05 SL or 05 Race. I have an 05 SL and love it. I came from riding a fox float RLC which was nice, but not great.

ECC5 does not reserve travel, ETA does, but ECC5 has 5 settings where ETA is on or off. The 05 line has TST instead which works more like a selectable lockout than a lockdown.

One note, the 04s are getting hard to come by and you should start to see the 05s drop in price. Places will be willing to make you deals on the 05s, I would try asking and don't recommend paying retail at this point since I'm sure you can do a lot better.
 

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robsetsfire said:
I think you could set up either fork to work well for you, but I would go with the air version (SL) since you really won't need the coil. The deal is that coils can be set up a little more linearly (sort of equal to being plusher) than air. However Marzocchi's dual air system makes the air forks very plush (doppi air). I would save the weight and go with all air.

I would look at the 04 SL, 05 SL or 05 Race. I have an 05 SL and love it. I came from riding a fox float RLC which was nice, but not great.

ECC5 does not reserve travel, ETA does, but ECC5 has 5 settings where ETA is on or off. The 05 line has TST instead which works more like a selectable lockout than a lockdown.

One note, the 04s are getting hard to come by and you should start to see the 05s drop in price. Places will be willing to make you deals on the 05s, I would try asking and don't recommend paying retail at this point since I'm sure you can do a lot better.
The only problem with the 05 SL is that it does not have the on the fly travel adjustment feature, which is essential for a 120 mm fork. I think there should be a 80-100 mm travel version of the SL: it would work much better. For a 120 mm fork, you need ETA and and coil in at least in one leg...

-b
 

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formica said:
I need some clarification...
what is the difference between a marathon S '04 and SL?

I'm looking to replace a SID race, and one of these seems like a likely candidate, thanks

formica
I think a light rider is better off with something like the Manitou Skareb Platinum. Infinite travel adjustment up to 100 mm, 1500 gr, should last for a long time and not so expensive. Stiffer than a SID, for sure. If you don't need travel adjustment, try the Skareb Super. Marzocchis are for big guys, who would need 150-200 psi in a Skareb to work properly...

-b
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, thanks, just trying to process all the info. I'm also concerned about going to too much travel/weight after the 80mm on the sid, bike is a Kona King Kikapu (01)
I asked earlier about a FAQ, maybe what I need is a dummie's guide to front suspension.
why would I need/want a travel adjustment? what is it about stiffness that's important?

I'll pay you guys back with technical fabric info if you ever need help, that's my area. :)

formica
 

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formica said:
OK, thanks, just trying to process all the info. I'm also concerned about going to too much travel/weight after the 80mm on the sid, bike is a Kona King Kikapu (01)
I asked earlier about a FAQ, maybe what I need is a dummie's guide to front suspension.
why would I need/want a travel adjustment? what is it about stiffness that's important?

I'll pay you guys back with technical fabric info if you ever need help, that's my area. :)

formica
If you are coming from the 80mm sid, I would very much consider the 80mm Marathon Race. Right now they are a bit expensive, but it is a great fork and should outperform you sid in many ways.

The extra travel will probably change your bikes handling, particularly the steering characteristics a bit. A 100mm fork probably wouldn't be terrible although it may take you a while to adjust. A 120+mm fork would be too much in my opinion. Remember that your King Kikapu was engineering for an 80mm fork.

As far as travel adjustments, I really see about 3 major types:
- In the garage: Marathon SL (requires some time and an air pump), Fox Float/Vanilla (this requires disassembly), some RS
- On the side of the trail: Marathon XC's TAS, Manitou black, some would argue the Talas
- On the fly: Marathon XC's ETA, Manitou's IT, RS poplock, some would argue the Talas

I don't use the travel ajustment on my SL much. I have it set between 105 and 110 mm and don't play with it. I want a 105mm fork all the time. Some people want to be able to futz with them on the trail to help them go downhill or uphill or whatever. The ETA is very effective for uphill. But, on a XC bike like my Blur I have a low enough bottom bracket as it is. If I had ETA turned on, the bottom bracket would be lower and I would have an even harder time climbing tech sections. The SL can be a 120mm fork all the time or a 100mm fork all the time. It is Marzocchi's current solution for a light all mt/enduro 100mm fork. It is also their solution for a light all mt/long travel xc 120mm fork. It just depends on the negative pressure.

My VPFree has a 150mm Z1 on it some of the time and that has ETA. My free has a tall bottom bracket and a slack head angle of about 67.5 or so. With the ETA the head angle gets steeper and it really helps with climbing.

The TST on the Marathon Race and Marathon SL act like a adjustable lockout. You can slow the fork down so that if you are on a rough fire road it will still absorb impacts, but will not suck up tons of pedalling energy. Then you can lock it out completely for road sections or open it up so it is very plush for downhills. (There are 5 total setting on it from full lockout/up and full plush).

My vote for your bike would be the 05 Marathon Race 80mm. At 80mm I think you don't have any use for travel adjustment. The lockout may be nice though. I'm going to pick one up for my single speed as soon as I see some price cuts on them. Probably be a month or two or three... but I will wait to save $200 or so.

There is a very similar thread running here:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=98078
 

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robsetsfire said:
If you are coming from the 80mm sid, I would very much consider the 80mm Marathon Race. Right now they are a bit expensive, but it is a great fork and should outperform you sid in many ways.
Let Formica see the whole range instead of just pointing out one possible fork! Undoubtably Manitou Skarebs work better for lighter riders, though the Marathon Race is a better functioning fork for someone like me, who weights 160 lbs.

robsetsfire said:
The extra travel will probably change your bikes handling, particularly the steering characteristics a bit. A 100mm fork probably wouldn't be terrible although it may take you a while to adjust. A 120+mm fork would be too much in my opinion. Remember that your King Kikapu was engineering for an 80mm fork.
True. Unless she chooses the Skareb Platinum, which has infinite travel adjustment from approx 20 mm to 100 mm...

robsetsfire said:
I don't use the travel ajustment on my SL much. I have it set between 105 and 110 mm and don't play with it.
The minimum travel I could get from the SL I tried was 108 mm. I never use the TAS feature of my XC since it has ETA. It's set at 120 mm which is perfect for the Specialized FSR 120. But it can be set as low as 97 mm with TAS, if I transfer it to another frame. That's 11 mm difference in adjustment range.

Travel adjustment on the fly is great, since climbing is best with short travel, descending needs more travel and shallower head tube angle. At the moment I have a 80 mm fork in my hardtail, but the next one will be one with travel adjustment. To me it's more important than weight since I go much faster both up and downhill with it. Those who say that the Marathon XC weights too much (almost 1900 gr), surely haven't tried it. It's not an ideal fork for a light rider with a short travel FS, so Formica should look elsewhere... At the moment only one fork maker has an on the fly travel adjust 100 mm fork for light riders: it's the Manitou Skareb Platinum. Maybe next year the R7 is going to be an even better fork, and RockShox might jump on the train with a similar model. We'll see...

-b
 

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If you had a 80mm SID on your Kona, even a 105mm Marzocchi SL will be too long and really mess up your climbing, and steering. Marzocchi seem to run about 10-15 mm longer than RS or Fox.
I'd recommend you do not change the Axle - crown length by more than 10-15mm compared to your current fork other wise you may not like the sloppy steering.

I've been riding an 105mm SL (03model). It is now replaced by a 115 mm Reba, which has a similar A-C length. I think the Reba Team is a better shock than the SL. You may want to consider the reba with U turn so that you can dial in the travel/ac length, you could drop it all the way to 85 mm and then increase as you experiment
The Reba is stiffer (feels like it at least ) and is about 150g lighter.
 

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macsi said:
Let Formica see the whole range instead of just pointing out one possible fork! Undoubtably Manitou Skarebs work better for lighter riders, though the Marathon Race is a better functioning fork for someone like me, who weights 160 lbs.
I don't think you can say that undoubtably Skarebs are better for lighter riders and Marathons are better for heavier riders. Better is pretty subjective. They may be lighter, but I see no reason that a Marathon/Reba/Fox can't be used and liked by a lighter rider.

I'm not discouraging looking at what else is out there, I'm just giving my input for a fork that I have had a good deal of experience with. Remember the original question was:

formica said:
I need some clarification...
what is the difference between a marathon S '04 and SL?
... although I'm not sure that I did a great job answering it because most of the discussion revolved around 05 forks that are undoubtably more available at this time, but also more expensive.

Definitely take a look at the other offerings. The front runners in my opinion would be the Skareb Super, the Float RLT80, the Marathon Race, Reba Race.

I still would recommend an 80mm fork to replace a sid. The 80mm Marzocchi will run a bit longer c-to-a and I believe the 80mm reba is slightly longer than the 80mm sid, but I could be wrong about that.
 

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heatstroke said:
If you had a 80mm SID on your Kona, even a 105mm Marzocchi SL will be too long and really mess up your climbing, and steering. Marzocchi seem to run about 10-15 mm longer than RS or Fox.
I'd recommend you do not change the Axle - crown length by more than 10-15mm compared to your current fork other wise you may not like the sloppy steering.

I've been riding an 105mm SL (03model). It is now replaced by a 115 mm Reba, which has a similar A-C length. I think the Reba Team is a better shock than the SL. You may want to consider the reba with U turn so that you can dial in the travel/ac length, you could drop it all the way to 85 mm and then increase as you experiment
The Reba is stiffer (feels like it at least ) and is about 150g lighter.
Yup, 105mm is tall for that frame. I had an '01 Mano with 100mm Z5, and it steered quite slow, I had to really lean over the bars in tight singletrack. Ideally get a fork in the ~80mm range, or will dial down to 80mm.
 

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Formica,

I think something like a Reba with U-turn would be ideal for you because you can adjust the spring for your weight or preference (dual air) and adjust the travel for your needs.

That said, if you know what you want and what you're going to do, Marzocchi is second to none and the Marathon lines are excellent perfromers with good, long term reliability. I actually traded my Reba for a Marathon. But I found that I didn't need or use all the adjustments of the Reba. I'm more of a set-it and forget-it type of person. For me, the Marathon S is perfect. I use the ETA on steep climbs, but other than that, I don't really play around with it. The Reba has travel adjust, Motion Control, compression adjust (which is basically what TST is on the Marathon SL), dual air and rebound adjust (and optional Pop Loc at the handlebar). You could spend a rainy Sunday playing around with that thing.

The S model can be modified to a coil/air option by removing a coil and adding up to 50 psi in one leg, which helps to reduce weight, increase progressiveness (like an all air fork) and/or change your spring (basically), so there is that option. Honestly, I feel that the Reba and the Marathon are equally still, despite the fact that the Marathon has 30mm stanchions while the Reba has 32mm.

You say you're on the "verge"...of what, "freeriding"? That could play a role in what you get. I, personally, wouldn't worry too much about adding height to the front end of your bike. 20mm is only going to change the HA by 1 degree and most people would find this more stable downhill anyway. With the ETA/ECC, you'll have no problem compensating for longer climbs.
 

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macsi said:
I really enjoyed the discussion with the head engineer, but I can still see other forks through the Marzo haze...

-b
Yeah... cool...

Someone wanted information about a particular fork which I tried to provide. I'll keep quiet in the future. Sorry to have offended you.
 

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Formica,

The Zoke Marathon S weighs close to 4 pounds. It can lower a bit of weight when you remove the spring on one of the legs which you would need to do to get it set properly for your weight (I'm 150 with full gear and I did some research on this particular fork). Tunability thru oil levelss is a plus but it's pretty much set and forget.

I would consider the Reba too. It has the U-turn which you can set anywhere between 80 and 115mm to match your needs on the fly. For a person like you who tavel some, it'd be nice to just turn a dial and set your fork to the long climb ahead of you or the unexpected DH trail. It's lighter I think and you should be familiarized with RS even if the Reba is a different animal than the SID. BTW... SID's will be replaced by Reba's on the race courses.

As Chad said, it might be more difficult to set-up, but once familiarized with it you should have a sweet fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok, I"m starting to get it. :) I think.

As for being an xc rider on the verge, it means I do stuff like this on occasion:

(that's a good day, not going to post my bad day pics...)
I don't really jump or do drops, but I go lift serve or shuttle run DH once in a while with my pals on thier big bikes..

I'll read that other thread closely, the reba has been recommend several times, but I have to get over my rock shox suck indoctrination and consider the options.

formica
 

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robsetsfire said:
Yeah... cool...

Someone wanted information about a particular fork which I tried to provide. I'll keep quiet in the future. Sorry to have offended you.
Re-reading my comment, it might have been a bit too strong. All I wanted to say is that there are other forks than Marzocchi - though I personally like their attitude to providing models that last several seasons instead of just one (RockShox) or maybe two (Manitou) for a normal sized rider (160 lbs).

-b
 
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