PressCamp 2013: From XC to DH, Marzocchi Lighten Up & Update Dampers

SONY DSC

Stop thinking about Marzocchi like a gravity oriented brand. Marzocchi is focused on pure performance, no matter the intended use. In Bologna we can go big also when we ride a Marathon or an XC race.

That mindset, in the words of Marzocchi 320 platform Project Leader Lissa Bassi, captures Marzocchi’s goal for their updated 2014 line: lighter weights without compromising handling or performance on rough terrain.  From the 3.66lb 320 LCR 29er fork to the 6.18lb 380 C2R2 Titanium 26in/650b downhill fork, Marzocchi look to have rebounded from a number of supplier issues to present a polished range of forks and shocks.  Hit the drop to find out more!

SONY DSCThe big news at the Italian company is temporary shift from long-time manufacturing partner Suntour to Hodaka as they work to bring their own manufacturing facility on line for the 2015 model year.  Supply and personnel issues nearly torpedoed the brand here in the States over the past couple of years and they are happy to be back on the scene with some exciting product for 2014.

Damper-wise, Marzocchi have cross-bred open bath and closed cartridge concepts with their Dynamic Bleed Cartridge.  Rather than choose one or another, the DBC design actually draws lubrication/damping fluid from a small bath at the bottom of the fork as needed, expelling any excess from the the top of the cartridge as it expands.  In effect, the cartridge is bleeding itself on the fly, improving overall lubrication while reducing fluid weight.  It’s an interesting idea that we’re excited to experience on the trail.

SONY DSCOn the 10th anniversary of the legendary 888 downhill fork, Marzocchi are presenting its spiritual successor: the  380 C2R2 Titanium.  SONY DSCFor their downhill flagship, the brand has pulled out all of the stops, making use of externally-tapered 38mm nickel-plated stanchions, externally-adjustable high and low speed compression and rebound damping, a hollow lower crown, an externally adjustable titanium main spring, titanium negative spring and hardware, and SKF seals.  The fork’s lowers are designed to accept both 26in and 650b wheels and make use of a lightweight Taperwall thru axle and  replaceable pinch bolt anchors.

For the suspension tweakers out there, the 380 C2R2′s shim stack is accessible from the top of the fork without disassembly, encouraging personalized suspension tuning (even between laps if you have a clean portable workspace).  An optional tapered steerer brings things up to date without precluding the use of adjustable headsets.  In person, all of the intricately machined adjusters appear well made, thought out, and worthy of the price tag.  The entire package comes to 2,795g (6.16lb) and will retail in the neighborhood of $1,700.

SONY DSC

Replacing the racy Corsa platform for 2014, Marzocchi have introduced the 32mm 320 series.  Shown above is the range-topping 320 LCR Carbon, complete with external lockout as well as compression and rebound adjustments.  The one-piece carbon crown/steerer assembly shaves weight while adding stiffness to the entire package.  SONY DSCAs with the 380, nickel plating reduces stiction while actually allowing for thinner stanchion walls.

The cross-country race fork is available for 29ers only and can be internally adjusted between 80mm, 100mm, and 120mm of travel.  The 1,660g claimed weight is with an uncut steerer tube- only the tallest riders are likely to come in above 3.6lb once the fork is trimmed.  Retail pricing is expected to be close to $1,000.

Looking to spend a bit less?  The 320 LR has external lockout and rebound adjustments, Gold Race stanchion plating, and an alloy crown-steerer assembly.  The 4.07lb/1,850g weight is downright reasonable at the $400 asking price.  Between the two sits the standard 320 LCR.  By swapping the 320 LCR Carbon’s crown-steerer assembly for aluminum and removing the remote lockout, weight increases to 3.86lb/1,750g and the price drops to $700.

SONY DSC

marzocchi.com

Comments

Igor - 06/23/13 - 9:27am

This is absolutely the kinda of thing I want to see. Been a Marzocchi fan forever and I guess it’s staying that way.

Mat M. - 06/23/13 - 1:07pm

Looking good !

Samuel J. Greear - 06/23/13 - 1:24pm

Still burnt about my high-dollar XC700ATA that I blew up on numerous occasions and had rebuilt numerous times. Marz acknowledged that the fork model was kind of a dud and offered a discount on a newer model. Discount on a fork that grenades every few months? No thanks.

KJR - 06/23/13 - 3:54pm

By this naming logic, I’m hoping to see an updated 55 called the 350 with revised sliders, SKF seals and a DBC cartridge. I’m excited.

Geeves - 06/23/13 - 4:54pm

The 55CR already has a DBC cartridge.
Looking fwd to the long travel 29er version of the 55 CR.

KJR - 06/23/13 - 5:53pm

I should have clarified: a C2R2 DBC cartridge. ;)

Segg - 06/23/13 - 6:45pm

It’s nice to see Marzocchi doing some progress but damn, these Walmart looking silver stanchions need to go. I wonder how many people decide to buy something else because of how ugly these forks look.

Alex K - 06/24/13 - 12:40am

Didn’t the brains of Marzocchi leave to form DVO?

Kirk - 06/24/13 - 12:52am

Dear Marzocchi, please bring us a 55 EVO ti for 27.5″ wheels with a 20mm axle. And please keep those nickel sliders as-is. You guys make absolutely the best forks…super excited for these new models.

Antipodean_G - 06/24/13 - 2:33am

Ya know, I have a set of 2011 55 TST2′s on a bike at the moment. Sure they are heavy, at least when you do the pickup test but man, they are awful good. Zero flex, super plush and being the last in the series, pretty much bomb proof as they’d worked it all out by then!

Most interesting, on the big bike, I did not notice them in the least riding up tight single track. I thought they’d be heavy, slow me down yadda yadda but it seems on a 6″ bike, it’s just not an issue at the end of the day and we kept a healthy pace all the way. At 6’3″, about 210 lbs fully loaded to ride, spending close to 1k more to save maybe a pound just seems pointless. I prefer something that I know will not flex and hold up to the stresses that the lump (ie. me) puts through the front end!

That all said, if I end up replacing them because I do want to loose a little weight, I’ll go X-Fusion. Faultless forks and shocks.

cx_monkey - 06/24/13 - 4:56am

Some of the guys at Marzocchi USA/US Distributor left to start DVO – probably out of frustration! But Marzocchi is Italian and their R&D is done there.

Slow Joe Crow - 06/24/13 - 12:54pm

If Marzocchi is having their forks made by Hodaka, does that mean we can we get a Combat Wombat model?

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.