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wow, what a negative review

http://www.azfreeride.com/?q=node/1422

2008 Marzocchi 888 RC3 Long Term Review
Submitted by sixsixtysix on July 7, 2008 - 9:07am.

For years, the name Marzocchi has been synonymous with bomb proof suspension products. Building arguably the heaviest duty forks on the downhill market with such beast's as the 9lb + Monster T and more recently the 888, has earned Marzocchi a reputation in the industry as the go to company for trouble free performance with the small penalty of heavier weights.

For the past 3 years (2004-2007) Marzocchi has been building the 888 on a very similar chassis of 35mm stanchions mated with the evolution of the R damping system (R, RC, RC2X and now RC3). 2008 marks the first year that the chassis of the 888 has been redesigned and made even beefier. It also marks the first year that Marzocchi has moved its product manufacturing to Taiwan via SR Sun Tour and has essentially created a product that delivers Italian performance with Chinese quality.

Chassis:
For 2008 Marzocchi has beefed up their chassis on just about every fork in their lineup. The 888 moves from 35mm stanchions to a beefy 38mm and the lowers have been completely redesigned as well. The first thing you notice is the new seemingly huge "M" arch. The arch was a common point of failure for the older 888's and from the looks of it, Marzocchi set out to rectify the situation by making the arch nearly twice as thick as the previous generation 888.

Also you will notice that the fork will only work with 8" brakes with its new built in post mount design, doing away for the need of brake adapters. The crowns on the new 888 chassis aren't flat like the 06-07 models and they aren't riser's like the 04-05, but rather somewhere in between. The fork doesn't feel tall in the slightest bit and the all important measurement of the axle to crown falls in at 567mm.

The apparent downside to the new chassis seems to be tolerances and general manufacturing issues related to Marzocchi's move in production to SR Sun Tour. There have been a large amount's of reports involving ìslopî in the lower bushings which cause's the lowers to have fore and aft ìplayî on the stanchions. Many rider's have been given replacement lowers, but now Marzocchi insists that the extra ìplayî is intentional but it seems like a likely explanation rather than having to warranty every 888 and 66 shipped in 2008 so far. On my 2008 888 RC3, no play has been noticed, either when riding or by doing the standing test of holding the front brake and rocking the bike forward and back.

The one major downside I have experienced with the new chassis is how thin the material of the lowers actually is. On the 3rd day of riding this brand new 888 I managed to snag a rock sticking out from the side of the trail. Not hard enough to throw me from the bike, and barely enough to put a small gouge in the new pretty white lowers but apparently hard enough to dent the lower right leg and push the bushing into the inner chamber which then prevented the stanchion from sliding past the point of the dent. With less than 50 miles on the fork, the lowers already needed to be replaced, a costly $200 "oops". Marzocchi was happy to send me out new lowers for the money and even offered me the choice of Black or White, of which I chose black to help me feel like I had not just made a $1200 mistake in order to ìupgradeî to the 2008 888 RC3 by selling my tried and tested 2006 888 RC2X. Its black with chrome stickers now, its just like a 2006 right? Right?

Spring and Damping:
For 2008 Marzocchi introduced the ìRC3î damping system, the next evolution in its R series of dampers. On the 2006-2007 RC2X model's, the forks contained both the RC2 cartridge as well as an additional X cartridge to provide low speed compression adjustment independently. While these 2 separate adjustments provided endless levels of tuning ability, it sometimes proved tricky to get both of them tuned together and working in tandem. You could either have the fork ramping up too quickly in the initial stroke, or to soft in the initial stroke and too stiff at the end of stroke and getting the fork to feel ìbalancedî was more of an art rather than a science. The RC3 damping system in the 2008 888 and 66 provide both high and low speed compression adjustments together on one knob at the bottom of the left leg which gives this fork an incredible feeling of balance throughout its stroke.

Other adjustments are a ìVirtual Oil Levelî adjustment on the left leg which allows the rider to shrink or expand the air chamber in the fork leg which in essence gives the same results as adding of subtracting oil from the leg, which as most know is a old tuning trick on Marzocchi forks. Also atop the left leg is the rebound adjustment providing 24 clicks of adjustability. On the right leg all you will find is a ìMechanical Preloadî knob which just adjusts the preload on the steel spring that is present in the right leg.

This brings up an interesting point, for the first time in a 888, the left leg contains only the damper and the right leg contains only a spring where previous models contained both in both legs. Also of note is the amount of oil the new 888 uses, a whopping 325cc's per leg over the RC2X's 220cc's. At this rate, I have considered taking the new fork to Jiffy Lube to get its oil changed rather than buying the 2 quart's of Golden Spectro needed to do an oil change. (kidding)

Quality:
The elephant in the room this year for Marzocchi is quality and unfortunately we have fallen victim to the cheap manufacturing of the new product line also. Right off the bat on the fork's inaugural ride, the main compression nut holding the right leg on came loose causing the fork to dump all 320cc's of oil on the ground. Marzocchi insisted that it was probably just over looked at that factory and that tightening the nut and refilling with oil would solve the problem. This was unfortunately not the case as the rod which that nut attaches too had actually cracked also. These were costly repairs right out of the box as Marzocchi would only do work on the fork as crash replacement, and not under warranty. So much for that "3 year" warranty sticker on the back of the lowers huh?

The next major issue which I mentioned above was the lowers. A seemingly innocent impact which caused a scratch I would not have thought twice about on previous 888's did in fact cause the bushings to push into the inner chamber and to interfere with the stanchions. Again, no warranty from Marzocchi, but $200 out of pocket for new lowers. Once the new lowers arrived, all was well for about 6 weeks until the right side seal started gushing oil like a harpooned whale. Upon asking a Marzocchi service tech how brand new seals could completely fail in a 6 week period, the answer was a disappointing ìThey were probably installed upside downî. Sure enough, the seal's were installed upside down from the factory. They did this time offer to warranty the problem, but 4-6 weeks of down time for a seal swap just isn't worth it when $20 for new seals fixes the problem.

Performance:
The new RC3 dampening system brings performance on par with the Works 888 RC2X it replaced. The fork is extremely lively and will plow over just about anything in the trail with little or no problem. There have been a few instances where impacting a square edge hit will produce a sharp spike in the fork and a very unpleasant "Clank" but for the most part it rides very well through extremely rocky terrain. There is a hint of brake dive that was not present in previous 888's, or if it was was correctable via the compression adjustment. With the RC3 you loose the ability to tune the high and low speed compression independently, so by trying to eliminate break dive, you are also effecting the forks end of stroke performance and while break dive is minimal, it is noticeable.

Overall:
Honestly, the 2008 888 RC3 is a fork I love to hate, when it works, it works, but the amount of problems with this fork has left a very bitter taste in my mouth for Marzocchi in general, both with their products and their service. As anyone who rides with me can attest to, it has become somewhat of a ride ritual to joke about what is going to break on the fork next. With the history I have had with this fork just in the last 5 months, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it just spontaneously combusted at some point and started shooting flames from it. Its that bad. Oh how the mighty "M" has fallen. My advice, for 2008 look someplace else for your suspension needs.
 

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Sounds like an "I rode it for 1 day and it sucks" review. Well I rode one for a day and it worked fine. Still wont buy one IMO though...
 

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RideRMB said:
Sounds like an "I rode it for 1 day and it sucks" review. Well I rode one for a day and it worked fine. Still wont buy one IMO though...
Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit eh?

This article comes as no surprise. Marz needs to pay those little Taiwanese kids a little more :p
 

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Good review. It's sad to hear that it's so poor, but sixsixtysix is a decently reliable source for information.

I wonder what Tom will think when he comes back from hiatus and sees what's written.

Additionally, Zoke says a lot of stuff on the forum about how they're taking care of their customers being inconvenienced, now even paying for return shipping. The reality for those who don't have public recourse by being members of mtbr is they get nothing. I've heard of a case back at home, and it's becoming increasingly likely that if you're not complaining on mtbr, you're not going to be taken care of.

PR and damage control, nothing more.
 

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check your six
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I have actually followed sixsixtysix's problems with his fork from the beginning. He has posted here on MTBR numerous times. From the timeframe of his posts compared to his problems, I assure you he rode this fork for more than one ride. I also completely agree with him on the latest quality of products offered from Zoke. I rock an 07' 888 RC2X and an 07' 66 RC2X. I have had many problems with the 888, but none with the 66 (knock on wood).

I can also assure you all that these are the last products I will purchase from Zoke. They have definately "fallen" and I see no signs of regaining the throne..... Sad to say....
 

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sodak06 said:
I have actually followed sixsixtysix's problems with his fork from the beginning. He has posted here on MTBR numerous times. From the timeframe of his posts compared to his problems, I assure you he rode this fork for more than one ride. I also completely agree with him on the latest quality of products offered from Zoke. I rock an 07' 888 RC2X and an 07' 66 RC2X. I have had many problems with the 888, but none with the 66 (knock on wood).

I can also assure you all that these are the last products I will purchase from Zoke. They have definately "fallen" and I see no signs of regaining the throne..... Sad to say....
Times have changed it seems. My 2002 80mm Zoke has been an amazingly reliable fork. I don't freeride on it obviously, but it has gotten a lot of use over the years.
 

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rkj__ said:
Times have changed it seems. My 2002 80mm Zoke has been an amazingly reliable fork. I don't freeride on it obviously, but it has gotten a lot of use over the years.
Started with a Z3 long travel
-Mx Pro ETA 2003 (just sold in perfect shape and original seals)
-2001 X-Fly 100 used (bought in 2006), dual air, dual coil. Brought over to Germany for a future project. Sticky at first because it wasn't even broken in. Offers incredible tuning options, springs, and bottom out options. Light...
-2006 AM1: Garbage performance, flexy. Sold after less than 12 rides and money used to buy a used:
-2006 Z1 Light used. I brought it to Germany with me. One of the best, in my opinion.
-2007 Z1 RC2 for the gf. Risking her safety wasn't a question.

Incidentally, Tom from Zoke blasted back at me telling me that if I hate Zoke so much, I should sell all my old Zokes and go to another company. How ludicrous! I love those forks and hate the people behind them. The crap they make now has nothing to do with how great their stuff was then. To his dismay, I won't sell them off.
 

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Yup, that just puts an official stamp on what I've been hearing all season. The new Marzocchi stuff isn't up to par with the products of old, and the word from the trail both here and in the BC forum I frequent supports it. I'm glad I got an '07 888 RC2X, when I'm in the market for a high quality FR/DH fork in the future I'll be looking around a lot more (it used to be a Marz slam dunk), and there will be one less option for me.
 
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Yes, I wrote the review, and honestly took as objective as an approach to it as I do all reviews. I don't think that anything I wrote was unwarranted considering how many problems this fork has had, it could have been a lot more negative.

The fork was purchased brand new in January 08 at full retail cost, so don't think I get some free swag to test out and then kiss the manufacturer's ass, all the products I ride, I pay for so that reviews are as neutral as if they were used by you or anybody else.

The fork has been ridden on average of 3-5 times a week every week since I bought it and probably has close to 700-800 miles on it. Its unfortunate, but it's been nothing but problems since day one. I will say that it feels good when it actually works, its just the keeping it in one piece that's been the issue. It is definitely a SR Suntour product in those regards.

I have been riding Zoke products for years and loved my 06 888RC2X to the point I kick myself everyday for selling it. It was the best DH fork Zoke has ever made. The 08 stuff just doesn't live up to the tradition of quality and performance that Marzocchi has established over the years.

I won't get into details, because I don't own their other 08 forks, but plenty of my friends do, and they have all had problems, from 66's with blown seals, bad bushings, improperly installed cartridges to 55's with bad and incorrectly installed bushings and blown TST cartridges. The problems are rampant and well documented across the 08 lineup, just look in the suspension forum.

Also, their level of customer service is taking a beating, and I really do feel for the U.S. service guys like Ronnie, Gideon and Mike, they are good guys who do go out of their way to hook people up as best they can, they are just getting their butts kicked this year with all the repairs coming in and the difficulty getting parts from Italy. It however does not excuse the fact that things should be repaired properly when they sit on the bench for 2 months waiting to get repaired.

I have LITERALLY had one of my 3 Roco's in the shop all but 3 weeks of 2008. Read that again. At one point or another, one of my 3 Roco's has been at Marzocchi getting repaired for all but 3 weeks out of the entire year to date. In fact, there is one there now, which has been there for 6 weeks waiting for parts. They come back, they are "repaired" and within a month or two, the same problem arises or something else blows on it. That to me is inexcusable for the amount of lost riding time and the money spent on the products.

So yes, in my eyes, the "Mighty M" has fallen from grace, and IMO are heading down the same slippery slope Manitou did in 2005-2006 before needing to be rescued by Hayes. Cheap Taiwanese manufacturing + overloaded customer service = bad customer satifaction. They need to start designing the same solid products they did before SR Suntour took over manufacturing and stand by their products in any way possible if they are to save their reputation.
 

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sixsixtysix said:
Also, their level of customer service is taking a beating, and I really do feel for the U.S. service guys like Ronnie, Gideon and Mike, they are good guys who do go out of their way to hook people up as best they can, they are just getting their butts kicked this year with all the repairs coming in and the difficulty getting parts from Italy. It however does not excuse the fact that things should be repaired properly when they sit on the bench for 2 months waiting to get repaired.

I have LITERALLY had one of my 3 Roco's in the shop all but 3 weeks of 2008. Read that again. At one point or another, one of my 3 Roco's has been at Marzocchi getting repaired for all but 3 weeks out of the entire year to date. In fact, there is one there now, which has been there for 6 weeks waiting for parts. They come back, they are "repaired" and within a month or two, the same problem arises or something else blows on it. That to me is inexcusable for the amount of lost riding time and the money spent on the products.
A greater and more accurate part of the parts problem they have is not that they aren't available, because frequently the EU distributors have them. The problem is Zoke USA won't order parts more than a few times a year. Within the EU, open commerce from Italy to whatever country is like sending stuff from another state, making things much easier.

I know the tech guys are getting beaten up and unfortunately, I think part of the problem is the bad face sales is putting on it with the consumer. It has been an issue for years, even with the new blood in sales, the attitude is the same.
 
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Mr.P said:
Were those air or coil Rocos? and what happened to each?

P
2 TST coil's ( I actually had to buy a spare TST so I could keep riding...) and 1 Roco R Air.

The TST's have both blown seals, and one lost its rebound.

The Air R blew its seal's, got repaired, came back and 3 weeks later blew its rebound, got repaired came back and blew the seals again...:madman: It has since been decommissioned for a Fox RP23.
 
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Jerk_Chicken said:
A greater and more accurate part of the parts problem they have is not that they aren't available, because frequently the EU distributors have them. The problem is Zoke USA won't order parts more than a few times a year. Within the EU, open commerce from Italy to whatever country is like sending stuff from another state, making things much easier.

I know the tech guys are getting beaten up and unfortunately, I think part of the problem is the bad face sales is putting on it with the consumer. It has been an issue for years, even with the new blood in sales, the attitude is the same.
I totally agree, and I don't want this to turn into a bash on Zoke fest, but Tom hasn't done much on here to make the bad face of sales any better with the "I'll hook you up if I feel like it" crap.

They need to be up front with their customers. Would it kill them to maybe give a customer a call if a product is going to take 2 months to repair so that we aren't just sitting waiting and wondering if it's ever going to get fixed, mean while you lose all your riding time.

I am fortunate to live in a area where I can ride year round, so its not as bad as someone who maybe gets 4-5 months of good weather to ride in and then loses 2 months of it because a product fails and takes forever to get repaired.
 
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