The camp was very laid back and there was easy access to great riding. Ian Millar, formerly of Modest Bike and now of Mountain Biking, was there and we took lap after lap on the freshly cut freeride trail. Loamy dirt, tons of rocks and slippery roots littered the trail and made for terrific testing. All the big names were there to ride and shoot with journalists, including Lopes, Vanderham, Simmons and Schley. Even new school shredders Andreu and Lluis Lacondeguy, Rocky Mountain Shredders Alex Pro and Kyle McDonald and West Van racer Micayla Gatto were there to show just how far the suspension could be pushed. The Forks
Marzocchi launched a full line this year in 2008, but I’m going to focus only on the product that was available to me for testing. Perhaps later in the summer or at Interbike I’ll get a chance to whip the ultra light Marathon or jump with the new 4X World Cup, but in this piece I’m going to focus on the new gravity forks.55 ATA
- If you ride all-mountain then this is the fork that you’ve been dreaming of. It adjusts from 125 to 165 MM, covering quite a range of riding. The 55 has the same 36 MM stanchions as last year’s 66, but is amazingly light at 2100 grams. Basically it performs like the 66 but has XC weight. This will replace a 66 for anyone who is doing climbing on their bikes.
I didn’t get to climb much on the fork, but the little I did it performed perfectly. For a light freeride fork it feels like there’s nothing on the front of your bike at all. The air adjust is super easy to use and you can really dial in how you want your experience to be. This is the ultimate fork for a place like Moab, where you’re climbing in bursts, but want to enjoy the long technical downhill. Two thumbs up on this one.66 ATA
- Lightweight, long travel for the park. 888 performance with less weight and much more maneuverability. I’ve ridden 66’s before, but the new weight makes a huge difference. It’s only 2700 grams now and feels great in the air. The ride is supple and didn’t spike anywhere in the travel.
It’s adjustable from 140-180 MM and works terrific at all settings. Marzocchi really nailed the air concept and it shows, especially in this fork. The new 38 MM stanchions and nickel coating make this a smooth buttery ride the whole way down the hill. This would definitely be an optimal Whistler or Diablo fork for sure, especially if you enjoy the freedom of a single crown fork. The fork is also available in a 1.5” steer tube, which opens up all frame options for this fork.888 ATA
- 888 ATA
- The new 888 ATA World Cup is now the lightest 200 MM fork on the market. Gone are the days of Marzocchi being the, “great feeling, but too heavy,” fork. The 888 ATA WC feels awesome and is feather light for a downhill fork. I had a chance to rip one for a few runs on a Moondraker Kaiser (FSR 8.5” travel from Spain) and it was sweet. It feels exactly like the ‘06 888 I have at home, but so much lighter and flickable. This is the perfect DH race fork- light, stable and supple. I’m sure this will be the racefork for 2008.Shocks
:Roco Air RC World Cup
- This shock is truly amazing. The dual air chamber allows for infinite adjustment for rebound and compression. To be able trailside to change your shock settings is priceless. The nickel coated air canister means there is absolutely no stiction, which is common in most air shocks. The Air WC feels most similar to a coil shock than any air shock I’ve ever felt. The people at Marzocchi say that it’s the 2nd air chamber that gives the supple feel, but whatever it is, it makes for an awesome ride with heaps less weight than a coil set up. Marzocchi also says that this shock is extremely easy to work on and doesn’t require factory servicing. Final Words
Marzocchi’s 2008 product launch is one of the most extensive overhauls of any bike line this year- suspension company or not. They’ve listened to comsumers and given them what they want- lighter forks with no compromise on the amazing Marzocchi feel. The forks will now be made in Taiwan, but Marzocchi now will offer a 3 year warranty on their products. With this line Marzocchi has upped the anti in the suspension game. Keeping in mind the lightness, durability and great feel of the product, it will be a catch up game for other manufacturers for sure. www.marzocchi.com