Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a RM Switch SL which came with a Marz Z1 FR1 on the front. The Z1 FR1 is coil/coil with a oil rebound and air preload (it also has ETA).

I weigh 170 with all my riding gear, the fork seems entirely too stiff. I have zero PSI in the preload. Marz says there aren't any lighter springs for the fork.

Will it get plusher after break in? Is there anything I can do to make it more appropriate for my weight?

TIA for any suggestions.
John
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Jisch said:
I just picked up a RM Switch SL which came with a Marz Z1 FR1 on the front. The Z1 FR1 is coil/coil with a oil rebound and air preload (it also has ETA).

I weigh 170 with all my riding gear, the fork seems entirely too stiff. I have zero PSI in the preload. Marz says there aren't any lighter springs for the fork.

Will it get plusher after break in? Is there anything I can do to make it more appropriate for my weight?

TIA for any suggestions.
John
I am pretty close to that weight on an 05 z1 fr1 w/ stock springs and just a tiny bit of air pressure and I feel it is the ideal setup for my weight. I would be hesitant to try replacing / removing springs.

Is the fork brand new? If so, the seals + bushings will be kind of sticky until it gets broken in.

Also if the oil level is too high, the travel with be very progressive. What exactly do you mean by "entirely too stiff"?

General recommendation for Marz forks.... beat on it hard for a few rides, change the oil (to ensure proper levels + that first oil change always has extra manufacturing debris), and it should feel better.

The z1fr1 is one of the "plushest" forks I have ever ridden, easy to service too.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stiff explained...

I have a Marz XC on my XC bike and I agree its very plush. With no air in the preload, I can jump on it and pretty much use up all the travel. I add preload air and get it to where it feels right.

With the Z1 FR1 even with no preload, I can jump on it and not get close to 6" of travel (maybe 4 or 4.5"). I brought it back to the LBS and had them look at it, they agreed that the fork wasn't right (though honestly the wrench was not all that familiar with the fork). Marz suggested it might be hydraulic lock out, maybe too much oil in the legs. I took the fork apart and found very little oil in the forks. After that the LBS sent it back to Marz for warranty repair. Marz took it apart, said nothing was wrong and sent the fork back to me.

I feel like I should be able to compress the fork almost to max travel with no preload air in it. When I ride even on the biggest hits, I'm not using close to all the travel. The travel I am getting is smooth, but its not what I would call "plush". Put it this way, if this were my XC fork and it felt like this, it would have too much air in the preload.

John
 

·
RIP Friendgirl
Joined
·
462 Posts
I have an 05 Z1FR1

and can tell you they are stiff spring wise. I'm 200lb with gear & i get 25% sag with no air preload. I understand marzocchi may have a lighter spring to replace one of the main's to allow lighter riders to set sag now,but you may need to talk to a "second level" tech to get helpful info.

Lots of lighter riders that bought these forks have since sold them to get another fork for this reason.Thats how i found mine used...

As far as oil heights for your weight i would start with 65mm height & no,they aren't that easy to service anymore.

Thx marzocchi
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Jisch said:
I feel like I should be able to compress the fork almost to max travel with no preload air in it
The forks are similar in concept but remember you are still comparing different forks with different intended purposes. The FR fork is designed to take much bigger hits than the XC fork ever should under the same rider, perhaps relative spring weight reflects this idea. Bouncing on it in my garage (as I ride it with a little air preload) with all my weight I can compress 90mm out of 150mm. Hard ride will use more travel. Maxxed out? I have never bottomed this fork out hard metal to metal, but this is on my xc bike and I am a wimp.

Jisch said:
When I ride even on the biggest hits, I'm not using close to all the travel.
Maybe you are too smooth of a rider? How does the fork ride overall for the travel that you do get out of it?
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks!

AW_ - thanks for taking the time to help me out, I appreciate it.

I've only had the bike 24 hours, and I've only ridden it on the trail out behind my house. I have done some 3-4 foot drops to flat, that I think I should use more than 4" of travel, but this is my first non-XC bike so perhaps, as you say, my expectations are wrong. It will get a better work out this weekend when I take it on a real ride. I was realizing at the end of the ride last night that this bike (and probably fork) are meant to be ridden harder than my XC bike. I gotta get used to that.

Thanks again, and I'll let you know how this weekend's rides go.

John
 

·
Just another FOC'er
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
A lot of lighter guys take one of the coils out and use air preload to get the sag set right. One of my friends did exactly that.

Personally, I like lots of bottom out resistance because I don't want it compressing all the way rolling steep, kinky drops or jumping.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Which leg?

.Danno. said:
A lot of lighter guys take one of the coils out and use air preload to get the sag set right. One of my friends did exactly that.

Personally, I like lots of bottom out resistance because I don't want it compressing all the way rolling steep, kinky drops or jumping.
I assume you take the coil out of the side with the air preload - that right?

I may take this step, I've heard of that somewhere before as well.

John
 

·
Just another FOC'er
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
Jisch said:
I assume you take the coil out of the side with the air preload - that right?

I may take this step, I've heard of that somewhere before as well.

John
Yes, we took the one out of the right leg, he likes the fork way better this way. Now it's actually a lot like the 06 Z1 Light ETA.

BTW, don't think he doesn't still ride it hard :thumbsup:
 

Attachments

·
Lookin for that extra can
Joined
·
214 Posts
I have the same fork and weight about the same (maybe 5lbs heavier). Over the first month or so, the thing just beat the hell out of me down the trail. I tried removing the spring (Marz recommends taking out the rebound leg's spring) and begged Marz to sell me some softer springs. As a last ditch, I changed the oil. It was black as tar by this point. I couldn't find the recommended Golden Spectro 125/150 so I picked up some BelRay 7wt Fork Oil. Now it is a completely different fork. This thing sucks up everthing on the trail. :yesnod: I did have to run 5cc more BelRay in each leg to keep from bottoming the fork on moderate drops to flat.

Don't give up on her... she's a great fork once you get that oil thing right...

--rip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Easy to service??????

I am a clydesdale rider at about 240lbs with gear. I also have a Z1FR1 on my Heckler and have found it to be the stiffist least plush Marzocchi I've ever owned. Now, I am a big guy and doing 5' drops I never use more than 4.5" of travel. That's to flat too! I decided to change the oil last night and found this fork is designed differently than the many other Marzocchi forks I've owned in the past. How do you get the nuts off the bottom of the lowers? There is not enough room to get a socket around those nuts and box rench does not fit either. Does Marzocchi have a special thin walled socket to fit those nuts? I had to settle for draining and flushing with fresh oil from the top of the fork. I really like to take everything out and thoroughly clean the inside of the lowers, cartridges, springs etc.... The ETA side looked virtually like fresh oil and the rebound side looked like Texas Tea. In other words it was thick and black. Both legs were short about 25-30cc's of oil which does not make sense to me. It would seem like that will cause less resistence to reaching full travel than more. I filled with the correct oil for my size which is 125cc's in the right leg and 140cc's in the left. The forks seems much more active and plush now by pushing up and down on it but it will be a couple of hours before I get to go ride. Waiting for the temperature to drop below 100. Another baffling thing. The rebound does not seem to work now after the oil change. The cartridges were left in the fork so nothing was disassembled other than loosening the top caps to allow oil to drain and oil to be added. Any suggestions on the rebound problem? Before loosening the top cap I turned the rebound nob all the way out to have the least amount of pressure on the sping to allow easier access.
 

·
Just another FOC'er
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
67degrees said:
I am a clydesdale rider at about 240lbs with gear. I also have a Z1FR1 on my Heckler and have found it to be the stiffist least plush Marzocchi I've ever owned. Now, I am a big guy and doing 5' drops I never use more than 4.5" of travel. That's to flat too! I decided to change the oil last night and found this fork is designed differently than the many other Marzocchi forks I've owned in the past. How do you get the nuts off the bottom of the lowers? There is not enough room to get a socket around those nuts and box rench does not fit either. Does Marzocchi have a special thin walled socket to fit those nuts? I had to settle for draining and flushing with fresh oil from the top of the fork. I really like to take everything out and thoroughly clean the inside of the lowers, cartridges, springs etc.... The ETA side looked virtually like fresh oil and the rebound side looked like Texas Tea. In other words it was thick and black. Both legs were short about 25-30cc's of oil which does not make sense to me. It would seem like that will cause less resistence to reaching full travel than more. I filled with the correct oil for my size which is 125cc's in the right leg and 140cc's in the left. The forks seems much more active and plush now by pushing up and down on it but it will be a couple of hours before I get to go ride. Waiting for the temperature to drop below 100. Another baffling thing. The rebound does not seem to work now after the oil change. The cartridges were left in the fork so nothing was disassembled other than loosening the top caps to allow oil to drain and oil to be added. Any suggestions on the rebound problem? Before loosening the top cap I turned the rebound nob all the way out to have the least amount of pressure on the sping to allow easier access.
Check out this post http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=2082924&postcount=6
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
67degrees said:
I am a clydesdale rider at about 240lbs with gear. I also have a Z1FR1 on my Heckler and have found it to be the stiffist least plush Marzocchi I've ever owned. Now, I am a big guy and doing 5' drops I never use more than 4.5" of travel. That's to flat too! I decided to change the oil last night and found this fork is designed differently than the many other Marzocchi forks I've owned in the past. How do you get the nuts off the bottom of the lowers? There is not enough room to get a socket around those nuts and box rench does not fit either. Does Marzocchi have a special thin walled socket to fit those nuts? I had to settle for draining and flushing with fresh oil from the top of the fork. I really like to take everything out and thoroughly clean the inside of the lowers, cartridges, springs etc.... The ETA side looked virtually like fresh oil and the rebound side looked like Texas Tea. In other words it was thick and black. Both legs were short about 25-30cc's of oil which does not make sense to me. It would seem like that will cause less resistence to reaching full travel than more. I filled with the correct oil for my size which is 125cc's in the right leg and 140cc's in the left. The forks seems much more active and plush now by pushing up and down on it but it will be a couple of hours before I get to go ride. Waiting for the temperature to drop below 100. Another baffling thing. The rebound does not seem to work now after the oil change. The cartridges were left in the fork so nothing was disassembled other than loosening the top caps to allow oil to drain and oil to be added. Any suggestions on the rebound problem? Before loosening the top cap I turned the rebound nob all the way out to have the least amount of pressure on the sping to allow easier access.
To remove the lowers, get a 12mm 6 point socket, grind down the outside diameter until it fits. Or pay big bucks for one with a M logo on it.

If you didn't cycle the cartridge when you changed the oil, you probably didn't get all of the oil out. Also there is probably some sludge in the bottom of the lowers that I would be willing to bet did not drain out by itself (too thick and sticky).

Have you ever done an oil change on this fork? If not, there is probably metal shavings (from manufacturing) and paint chips (which flaked off of the spring) in the remaining sludge that did not drain out, perhaps a chunk of this material is blocking the damper. I would recommend pulling the lowers, clean thoroughly, cycle and flush the damper cartidge, and add fresh oil.

I measured 125mm travel today from my fork, 05 z1fr1, 175lbs rider weight, hardtail, XC ride no hucks just a rocky & rooty descent. I am a fairly smooth rider too (not a basher). Travel determined via o-ring height on outside of stantion. At your weight doing 5' drops to flat and only getting 4.5" (114mm) travel you are either really smooth or something isn't right with your fork (too much oil?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
Oil changes

I've probably done about 20 oil changes over the last 3-4 years. I'm sure there is still gunk in the bottom of the lowers and there probably was someting blocking the oil holes in the cartridge. I did my best to flush it out without being able to take the fork apart. I did cycle the cartridges several times and refilled with fresh oil three times for the flushing. That is a damned expensive way to try cleaning out a fork I'll tell you. Fortunately, I had three full bottles of Golden Spectro that I picked up for 1/2 price when a moto shop was having a going out of business sale.

I'll try griding down a 12 6pt socket. I thought about doing that but did not want to ruin one of the sockets from my matching set. I'll pick up a cheap one at the auto parts store.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
37,946 Posts
67degrees said:
I

I'll try griding down a 12 6pt socket. I thought about doing that but did not want to ruin one of the sockets from my matching set. I'll pick up a cheap one at the auto parts store.
It doesn't ruin the socket.
 

Attachments

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top