Marzocchi 380 C2R2 Titanium - Review

Jan 7, 2015
by Mike Levy  
There were likely a lot of downhillers out there with sweaty palms when Marzocchi gave us the first-look at their brand new, 200mm travel 380 C2R2 Titanium fork during last year's Taipei trade show, and I can't blame them. After all, the fork's specs read like a graphic novel for any bike geek out there: a single titanium coil spring, a new four-way adjustable damper, and a revised fork chassis that does away with that silly M-arch design, all wrapped up in a 6lb package that looks like it could have riders reconsidering the Italian brand.

The 380's titanium spring and clamp hardware are trick, but it's the fork's new DBC damper that should be the hot topic, with it offering up enough adjustments to deserve Burger King's "Have It Your Way" slogan. Two concentric dials atop the right let allow for separate low and high-speed compression changes, while a similar setup at the opposite end of the fork gives you same options when it comes to rebound. Those who like to tinker won't be left wondering what to do with their fingers, that's for sure.

380 C2R2 Titanium Details

• Intended use: downhill
• Travel: 200mm
• Titanium coil spring
• 38mm nickel treated stanchions
• Tapered or straight steerer
• 'Dynamic Bleed Cartridge'
• Adjustments: separate low- and high-speed compression, low- and high-speed rebound
• Titanium hardware
• Compatible with 650B / 26'' wheels
• Weight: 6.12lb
• MSRP: $1,850 USD @Marzocchiusa

Inside the 380 C2R2 Titanium

Marzocchi's forks have used an open bath approach to damper design for many years, with a cartridge that fed on the same oil that acted as lubrication within the fork. This design made for exceptionally smooth performance due to there being enough oil to slosh about and lube the bushings, but it couldn't compete with how a closed or semi-closed damper performs when talking consistency because of that very same sloshing effect. Marzocchi says that the 380's Dynamic Bleed Cartridge is a hybrid of those three damper designs, with it requiring some internal trickery to make that happen. The DBC cartridge uses a one-way seal that lets damping oil enter as required, but the clever bit is a spring-loaded piston that acts as a compensator, just like an internal floating piston in a shock's piggyback, that keeps the cartridge full of oil without it hydraulically locking: the piston moves up to make room as the damper cartridge fills with oil, and also down in its travel to take up the lost displacement as oil rushes out.
Marzocchi 380 DBC cartridge

The DBC damper may be new to Marzocchi's lineup, but they aren't straying away from their open approach to giving consumers the ability to remove and tune vital damper components. Looking for a change that can't be done via the external low and high-speed compression dials? The entire compression assembly can be removed from the top of the fork to allow the garage tuners and pro mechanics to make alterations to the mid-speed compression circuit, and shim stack assemblies that will make the job easier are available from Marzocchi for aftermarket purchase, as well as the specific tools to get the job done.

Marzocchi 380 review test
  The silver dial atop the left leg adjusts spring preload, while the two concentric dials on the opposite side of the fork tune low- and high-speed compression. The same adjustments can be made to the return stroke via two dials at the bottom of the same leg.

The Chassis

A big reason for the 380's competitive weight, especially given that it has a coil spring inside of it, is Marzocchi's aggressive redesign of the fork chassis. The lack of the cheesy M-arch is a sign that it's all about go rather than show, just as it should be, and the new lowers alone are said to be 100 grams lighter than what was used for the 888. Two gram-saving measures aren't nearly as obvious, though, being that they're completely hidden from view. Rather than use the same crowns as on their 888 forks - the 38mm stanchions are the same size, after all - Marzocchi has gone ahead with a new design that looks slimmer, weighs less, and according to Marzocchi, increases rigidity. Post-forging machining is used to create a hollow lower crown - 888 lower crowns were solid - that adds up to 40 grams of weight loss, and they claim that the clamping bolts have now been moved to the side of the crowns to improve turning clearance and better distribute stress.

There's also a new 20mm thru-axle that's butted along its length, making it thinner in the middle where extra material isn't needed. The axle only requires a hex key on one side, with it fitting into a keyed section on the opposite side of the fork lowers to hold it from spinning while you snug down the cap. All told, Marzocchi says the axle itself is 30 grams lighter than the previous version, and while that might not sound like much, it does all add up, especially when you're trying to have your coil-sprung fork weigh in close to the air-sprung competition.

Marzocchi 380 C2R2 Titanium review test
  Slippery looking nickel treated stanchions slide through SKF seals (left), while a new axle design is said to shave 30 grams from the previous version.

The fork's name is an easy giveaway that Marzocchi didn't shy away from using titanium to save some more weight, with a single coil spring in the left leg being made from the stuff. That's not all, though, as the clamp bolts at both the lower and upper crown, as well as at the axle-clamp, are all titanium. The latter actually thread into aluminum barrel inserts that can be replaced, thereby keeping Marzocchi from having to machine threads into the lowers, something that always ends up being a bit fragile.

Setup - One of the best places in the world to evaluate a downhill bike, and especially suspension, has to be the Whistler Bike Park. So that's exactly where I spent most of my time with the 380 under me, doing countless runs on everything from the smoother jump filled tracks to the more downhill bike worthy lines higher up in the Garbanzo zone. I didn't find the setup process overly involved, despite there being four different knobs available to adjust the DBC damper's performance, although I could see a rider maybe out-thinking himself if he tended to get too wrapped up in tuning the fork. Each dial is quite effective through its range, especially when talking about the more noticeable low-speed rebound and compression, and it took a few days worth of riding until I found a setting that I'd be happy with almost everywhere - certainly longer than a fork with less adjustment possibilities. It's also worth noting that the anodized aluminum knobs, while looking great and having a high quality feel to them, are pretty stiff to turn. Small beans in the grand scheme of things, though.

Sensitivity and Coil Spring - Smooth and active doesn't even begin to describe how supple the 380 is, especially at the top of its stroke. It seriously has most other forks on the market feel like they're using cold Nutella as lubrication - it takes next to nothing to get the fork moving. Whatever the reason - the nickel treated stanchions, the SKF seals, or some tricky low-speed compression damping - the 380 is without a doubt the most active downhill fork on the market today. This means that it erases chatter, things like smaller rocks, roots, and ripples in the ground, in a way that the other options aren't able to do, and also that less of that chatter is transferred through to the riders' hands. That keeps the front tire glued to the ground very, very well, which is arguably more important than keeping your hands from getting beaten up given that it's meant to be used on the front of a downhill race bike. Keeping the tire on the deck has to add up to additional traction as well, which can only help you. Bottom line: the 380 is much more supple and active than a Dorado, a BoXXer, FOX's 40, an Emerald or anything else out there.

Marzocchi's decision to go with a coil spring for the new 380 is certainly a big factor in the fork's mega plush feel, as there are no air spring seals that could add friction into the system - those who have always preferred the personality of a coil-sprung fork won't be disappointed with the 380. The stock 6.5 N/mm titanium spring felt spot-on for my 170lb weight and riding abilities, even if the fork did feel a touch under-sprung at first. I was half expecting the under-damped and under-sprung feel of an old 888 given how compliant the fork is when you give it a push at a standstill, but it doesn't come close to gobbling up its travel as quickly as its predecessor. That said, the 380 does use more of its travel more often than other options on the market, with a much more linear stroke than an air-sprung fork that has more inherent ramp-up to it. I can't complain about ever clanging off of the bottom, however, and the spring rate felt great, but it's just that the fork tends to go deeper into its stroke than you would see a similarly sprung BoXXer or FOX 40 do.

Antidote Lifeline DH review test Photo by Mike Kazimer
bigquotesIt seriously has most other forks on the market feel like they're using cold Nutella as lubrication - it takes next to nothing to get the fork moving.

DBC Damper - The 380's general theme seems to be about being more active than the competition, and it's the same story when talking about the DBC cartridge's control over the fork's stroke. The feel is very much still Marzocchi, even after all these years, and fans of the 888 will likely be immediately won over by the Italian company's newest damper simply because it retains that lively stroke that they've long been known for. That said, it's far more controlled than the 888 could ever dream of being, and while the 380 certainly does tend to dive more under braking than a BoXXer or FOX 40, the sensation is much less pronounced than in the past. Yes, adding more damping does work to keep the fork up higher and the stroke calmer, but the action is still very forgiving regardless.

The four adjustments on hand - low-speed compression and rebound, high-speed compression and rebound - are all very effective throughout their range, and they really do allow you to tune the 380 to your liking. It's still four dials, though, in a time when arguably the most popular fork on the market, the BoXXer, has gone to a single external dial for low-speed rebound and one for low-speed compression. Who's right? Do more adjustments make for a better fork? That's totally going to depend on if you like to be able to make changes and be part of the tuning process, or if you're more likely to just put the fork on your bike and hit the mountain. That also raises the topic of being able to actually out-tune yourself and end up with a less than ideal setup, something that is more likely to happen with the 380's four-way adjustable DBC damper than if you were on a less adaptable fork. For example, backing out the low-speed compression nearly completely will allow it to gobble up its travel very quickly and make for a bike that doesn't handle predictably, while adding too much high-speed compression will have the fork feeling spikey and harsh on occasion. Of course, the flip-side to that is that you can get it exactly to your liking, so long as you have a basic understanding of what's going on and a desire to get the most out of the fork.

Rigidity and Reliability - The 380 receives top marks for both Rs. Chassis stiffness was never a question at any point during the test period, although that's to be expected for a right-side-up downhill fork these days, isn't it? It also never felt too torsionally rigid, which is arguably a bigger deal for many riders, with the fork not once feeling like it was deflecting strangely in any manner. And as for reliability, I can't complain about even a wisp of oil on the stanchions, let alone an actual mechanical issue that would require attention.

Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe new 380 isn't just a viable option when compared to the best from Marzocchi's competitors, it's arguably better when talking about small bump compliance and smoothness, while also offering more adjustments and a coil-sprung feel at a weight that's still extremely competitive. That makes it sound pretty damn good, doesn't it? And it is a top performer, no doubt about it, but the overall feel is still very unique compared to a BoXXer, 40, or anything else out there, and is still very much Marzocchi-esque. That's to say that it's quite active and isn't shy about using its stroke, but downhillers who are after that, and those who aren't afraid of knobs and know what to do with them, are going to love Marzocchi's new 380. - Mike Levy

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 357 2
 is the last picture moving to anyone else while scrolling down?!?!?
appears to zoom in/out.
  • 25 82
flag Zimmer68 (Jan 6, 2015 at 23:14) (Below Threshold)
 Nope, its not moving for anyone else. You must have a bad case of Trimethylaminuria.
  • 8 2
 right, i notice this on an another news, i can't remenber
  • 23 0
 I thought it was just my eyes and being awake for 10 mins
  • 11 0
 Yeah I'm getting the same 'zooming' in/out
  • 20 1
 I wish i was ): i wanna trip out too
  • 24 0
 I noticed it, but only after reading your post. It's more subtle than the first few times PB used this effect during the world cup coverage. I recall many positive comments about the new enhancements. I, for one, like to see websites evolving to enhance the content instead of cramming more ads around the edges. When widescreen monitors came out I couldn't wait to see how websites would adapt to the extra room. I was mostly disappointed by ads appearing at the top, bottom, sides, and anywhere else they can be fit. There are ads that chase you down the page as you scroll to get away! If it's all about making more money, make your ad space a premium and offer a more refined website, not more clutter. Pinkbike has been better about managing advertisement than most other sites and I appreciate that. I don't know what these new visual effects are called, but I think it's a great step in the right direction.
  • 1 0
 i see it
  • 1 0
 Yup, im using Opera (with Chrome engine)
  • 4 0
  • 7 3
 Maybe its a subtle way Marzocchi/PB are using for the image of the forks to ingrain themselves into our subconscious and knock out any dreams of purchasing a set of new Boxxers or 40's? Bit like the Japenese soapbox advert in the simpsons xD
  • 10 0
 It is called parallax scrolling, if not already mentioned.
  • 1 0
  • 1 3
 actually you are zooming that picture... cause that picture doesnt fit to given space. give picture on bottom of the screen and roll up and you can see how picture is zooming out
  • 9 0
 everyone that read this is now scrolling back up and down
  • 4 4
 It's all in your head. You might refrain from eating any more of those shrooms now.
  • 4 0
 I noticed it too, it was a crazy moment.
  • 1 0
 it zooms out just to give it some nice feel just scroll down slowly by draggin th ebar down and youll see its zoom ing out
  • 2 0
 Its been like that ever since they introduced the new format (but only on some Pictures). I first noticed it on some rampage news (I think that even was the first article with the new format)
  • 16 1
 thank you!! ! knew this weed isn't that strong
  • 5 0
 I want what he's smoking
  • 2 0
 Picture of the rider has a 'zoom' in effect as I'm scrolling down the page whether using internet explorer on windows, or chrome on android. Trippy but certainly grabsd the attention!
  • 2 0
 Yeah, that tripped me out hard.
  • 2 0
 Took me a while to figure out what was going on while scrolling through there. Thought I was a wee bit drunk but couldn't figure out from what!
  • 2 0
 Parallax scroll effect:

img class="news-photo" data-scrolleffect-scale="1.4" data-scrolleffect-type="parallax" style="top: -11.1%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1.14962); width: 1024px; height: 677px;" alt="Antidote Lifeline DH review test Photo by Mike Kazimer" src="" height="111.1%" width="100%">
  • 2 1
 If the last picture is zooming in or out for you, you have just entered the Vitalmtb site!
  • 132 4
 "Silly m arch"

  • 27 7

I'd say 'Merica too but I suppose that's not quite applicable.

f*ck it. 'MERICA!

Haha I'm drunk. cheers guys Smile
  • 25 5
 now im not the only person who hates to see the M goes
  • 41 0
 Drunk at 5 in the morning....on a Wednesday
  • 6 1
 I wanna be drunk too \o/
  • 5 0
 Beat me to it. Kinda sucks to not see the M arch. (Not the fork, just overall aesthetics)
  • 9 0
 For 2015, Fox looked to have picked up an arch similar to the M-arch with the Float 36. I have a friend with a new blacked out 36 and when he was riding up to me, from 20 feet away, I thought it was an Marz 55 CR. I've never had issues with my silly man sized M-arch.
  • 3 0
 @mnorris122 Why should Wednesday be any different? Wink
  • 3 0
 second top comment...yesssss
  • 58 9
 Bias point number two: Shit talking the adjust-ability. From the site that lauds every fart to come out of the Cane Creek suspension department as a ground breaking development, where do you get off suggesting that adjust-ability is a negative? The fact that it took 4 days to get the settings right doesnt say anything negative about the tune-ability... the tuner on the other hand... Also, did the writer consider that the Boxxer and the Idylle dont have adjustability for weight saving purposes, not for performance purposes? The 40, dorado, and emerald are all adjustable (and despite air springs, both heavier than the 380).

Bias point number three: The not so subtle implication that the fork dives. Suspension tuning 101 - If your fork is not running at a height you like, adjust spring rate. With a coil fork, this is done by changing coils. Damping (those awfully stiff dials) can also be used to compensate. I hope your fingers don't get too tired. Seriously. Way to talk trash about a product you didn't set up right. To offset their historic failure, marzocchi now places an emphasis on customer service. Try getting fox on the phone to talk about how to best dial in your fork.
  • 13 2
 I think the point is that most people don't really understand suspension tuning, and if you turn the knobs the wrong way you could end up with a really poor setup. I also thought it sounded like the excessive dive could be cured with a little more spring. I wonder how much a new spring costs for it or if Zoch will set it up for your weight out of the box.
  • 5 0
 it comes with a firm spring plus theres a fair bit of adjustment in the stock spring
  • 4 0
 there's also this: "The entire compression assembly can be removed from the top of the fork to allow the garage tuners and pro mechanics to make alterations to the mid-speed compression circuit, and shim stack assemblies"
  • 10 5
 "Who's right? Do more adjustments make for a better fork? That's totally going to depend on if you like to be able to make changes and be part of the tuning process, or if you're more likely to just put the fork on your bike and hit the mountain."

How is he shit talking adjustments. He was simply pointing out that if your not the type of person to fiddle with dials, or if you get overwhelmed with the different adjustments than having all of them might not be for you.
  • 4 1
 well if you buy a fork with no adjustments it will be just be stock that you'll never be able to dial in.. I'm on my 3rd shim stack config on my 888 evo's but they are soo nice zero arm pump in the morzine braking bumps... This is soo easy to tune compaired to my older 888's, starting saving now..
  • 6 4
 More adjustments aren't always better.

1) Sometimes the adjuster doesn't do much But, that doesn't seem to be the case as in years past.

2) Not everyone is a suspension expert. I had a customer with a CCDB on a Demo that he didn't grasp concept of small changes. He was all upset that the shock felt like crap. So I put it back to the baseline settings, made a few adjustments based on his feedback and he was happier last time I saw him..

So, yes.. Too much adjustability in the wrong hands can be a bad thing.
  • 3 1
 hahah I have no idea how you can get so mad at this review. everything he said in this review i've heard from alot of other people so i think he is pretty spot on. to me it sounded like he really liked the fork... not sure why that would upset you. lumpy873 knows whats up.
  • 2 1
 Well if you don't want the adjustments buy the cheaper simpler 380 cr. I also have a cc inline as couldn't work with adjustments on the cdt crap..
  • 2 0
 That's not really the case though. For example, a BoXXer RC is not the same as a the new BoXXer WC or team. The both have only one compression and rebound, but the quality of the WC or the team are far above the rc.
  • 2 1
 What in the world upset you so much? I think @pm148 summed it up pretty well. The review seems objective and covers exactly what I, and most people I know took away from riding that fork. I for one love having more adjustments on suspension, and I'm quite bummed RS and now Ohlins are trying to go the other way, but I don't feel insulted reading someone might like it that way.

It is clearly true there's people who can't set up a fork. I lost count of riders, and not only beginners, who complained about their (pick your least favourite fork) sucking and how they need a (pick your most hyped up) because (pick your most hyped up again) must be the awesomest(!!11!1eleventyone!!), just to find out they have fully open compressions and fully closed rebound "because I don't want it to kick me on a jump"...
  • 1 0
 I've ridden the 380 in the '14 YT Tues 2.0 and it was definitely a great fork, yet I have to disagree with the review.
Nothing ever was as plush as my 2010 Dorado. Nothing. Also I feel like some part of the 'plushness' is due to the super soft spring, which made the fork pretty much useless for me at my average 180lbs. Personally, I would not go back to coil since I got to know the Dorado... besides it's a pain in the ass to buy a stiffer spring (which isn't even available in Titanium is it?) and I'm not even heavy.
On the other hand the Dorado has its downsides as well.
  • 2 0
 MarzocchiMTB just answered this question for me below. There are 4 different spring options and they are all available both in TI and non. The inconvenience of having to change a spring once to get the fork setup properly for your weight, well i guess coil springs aren't for everyone
  • 1 0
 @mazze well from my experience, a Dorado isn't exactly a plush fork, but I may have had bad luck with all the ones I've tried. The 380 feels definitely a lot more supple. I do, however, agree with the air vs. coil thing. @friendlyfoe it's not just about the inconvenience of getting the right spring once, with air I can try different pressures quickly, not just 2 or three but actually increment by as much as I want to, which to me is actually a good selling point, as I often struggle between 2 increments in spring weight. But most importantly, I just like the more progressive feel of air, and from my experience, a properly serviced (that doesn't meen too often, as a lot of people seem to claim!) the sticktion in the air spring is not too significant.
  • 47 7
 Ok, another marginal PB review (Ahem... bias much).

Bias point number one:underselling the weight.
It is not almost the same weight as the competition, it is lighter than all other 27.5 forks on the market with the exception of the BOXXER WC. It is 100g heavier than the BOXXER and has a coil, not a high friction high maintenance air spring. It is lighter than the DVO, it is lighter than the 40, it is lighter than the Dorado, it is roughly the same weight as the BOS, however, the BOS is only 26". In what way is that "weigh(ing) in close to the competition". I call bullshit PB. It is the weight of the competition... WITH A COIL SPRING! If they ever attempt to ruin this fork with an air spring, it will kill the competition weight wise.
  • 10 1
 With over 7,5lbs (w/ CTA) DVO doesnt compete here Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I agree, i was surprised by that comment too
  • 5 9
flag EuanBisset145 (Jan 7, 2015 at 5:13) (Below Threshold)
 That weight is only with a titanium spring and unless things have changed they're almost impossible to get hold of in any weight other than the stock medium which instantly voids their claimed weight for anyone who wants firmer suspension.
  • 7 0
 i think to the best interest of everyone, when reviews are created, it'd be nice if they include a comparison, a table if you will that showcases the weight at least for each item there inparticular the competition like what dpreview does for the cameras when an old model comes in and bla bla and closest competitors. too much work i guess. i know for most weight doesn't matter but at the price point, you'd have to be asking yourself what else your getting side from the all that suspension high techiness.
  • 10 6
 100g? Just take a dump before riding, that'll more than help.
  • 1 0
 @bigbear Bike weight and rider weight have very little in common in how they affect the ride on a DH bike. @mgrantorser: You lost me at high maintenance, but other than that I quite agree, except for your clear anti-air bias in general. I'd be more likely to buy this fork in air than coil, if they made one.

I think the review is quite spot on, although my time on a 380 was quite limited. I felt like it performed amazing most of the time, just when it got seriously steep, I would have liked the fork to stay higher in travel. And that is what I like riding the most, actually..I believe I could possibly remedy or mitigate that by changing the shim stack, but when there's a fork that offers what I'm looking for, even though with a little worse small(est) bump compliance, it wins for me. And it's air, which to me is an advantage, as I usually struggle between spring weights.
  • 5 0
 @bigbear but if I want to ride with my poo all day long I need to shave weight somewhere else.
  • 3 8
flag russthedog FL (Jan 8, 2015 at 5:30) (Below Threshold)
 Air is generally more linear, spring us more progressive. This should sit up, maybe you were under sprung? Mine definitely sits higher than my old 888 and my boxxer wcs
  • 5 1
 It's actually the other way around an air spring is usually more progressive. 888s were divers, that along with the problems mine developed was enough to make me not want to take another chance with Marzocchi. Also to the guy who said it you only gained 100g between the ti and steel spring, it was more like 300g on the rc3 ti and that is substantial.
  • 1 0
 Oops I got it the wrong way round! The forks still sits higher than ny others though
  • 1 0
 @MrDuck: are you basically saying you want the fork with a higher spring rate?
  • 43 2
 Is it just me or does the last sentence of Pinkbike's take sound oddly suggestive?
  • 6 31
flag poozank (Jan 7, 2015 at 0:40) (Below Threshold)
 Gay riders only
  • 2 0
  • 40 1
 I believe they been back since 2010 Marzocchi are in my opinion the best feeling fork out their
  • 8 20
flag biker3335 (Jan 6, 2015 at 23:30) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah my dad has 2012 ti 888 and it's dialed but I do like my boxxer a bit better
  • 10 1
 agreed, they had a couple of bad years - i heard good things about their 2011 range and got the 888 RC3 EVO TI and its still going strong now, even with hardly any servicing hahaha bombproof!
  • 2 0
 Love the '11 66 RC3 Evo Ti on my VP-Free. Perfect big hit trail forks, track the ground like a laser. Crap all over 36 Van's for stiffness and feel, while being almost maintenance free.
  • 38 2
 Marzocchi is back!
  • 23 1
 +1. They closed any gap quickly indeed. And as petty as it feels to talk about aesthetics, I think their new Espresso coating makes Kashima look pedestrian. Maybe that'll help their market share with the young guns - questionable buyer motivation or not, that can only be a good thing. The more big players in the suspension game the better, so far as I'm concerned.
  • 27 1
 Rode 40+ days At the Whistler Bike Park as well as at least another 30 days Racing and riding my local trails on the new 380. This fork not only feels amazing but it still feels as good as it did when i first got it set up by Marzocchi. Hands down best fork I've ever run and wouldn't want to put another fork on my bike.
  • 27 0
 That picture had me questioning what I ate for supper earlier. That fork is sick.
  • 3 15
flag chyu (Jan 6, 2015 at 23:08) (Below Threshold)
 They paid quite a sum this time.
  • 4 8
flag jespinal (Jan 7, 2015 at 1:54) (Below Threshold)
 We could sum up the whole review in one ononatopeia Hhhnnnnnnnnnnnnng
  • 22 0
 am i the only one who seen the first picture of the fork bolted to the GT then the picture of the carbon headtube and had to have 2nd look?
  • 1 0
 Yep ! First picture is a GT and the rest is an Antidote.
  • 1 0
 different cockpits too.
  • 6 2
 Yeah - what is up with that " and a revised fork chassis that does away with that silly M-arch " comment? What is silly about that? Always was a cool feature of riding a Marzocchi. The arch is the defining feature of this fork?
  • 26 7
 Bias point number four:Posting a review of a year old product and not even hinting that there is a sexy new espresso coated fork available. The review even goes so far as to highlight the nickle stanchions (which were awesome ftr), but which everyone knows the public hated for looking 'cheap'.

Bias point number five: the summary/ "That makes it sound pretty damn good, doesn't it? And it is a top performer, no doubt about it, but the overall feel is still very unique compared to a BoXXer, 40, or anything else out there, and is still very much Marzocchi-esque. That's to say that it's quite active and isn't shy about using its stroke, but downhillers who are after that, and those who aren't afraid of knobs and know what to do with them, are going to love Marzocchi's new 380". Deconstructing this: it sounds like its good, but its different than every other product we call amazing, ground breaking and must have. It works in this way, and if you're a person who likes that (way that we have continually suggested is inferior), and aren't afraid of the scary nobs (that we laude on other products) you might just like this product (subtext, you probably wont).

Christ, I could go on, but I should probably get some work done. Another PB fail, christ knows I will never listen to your advice when it comes to buying anything, ever. Maybe next year Marz will pay the protection money and the cogfather will grace them with a decent review.
  • 9 1
 yeah i agree, then again all review ive ever read are biased. the only place that seems to write ones that are mostly legit is Dirt mag. I take them all with a grain of salt and ride them myself
  • 3 0
 @russthedog sadly true. most reviewers are biased to whomever is paying them out back. one place i get some of the best reviews of of stuff is blister gear review. then again they review tons of stuff and not just bikes.
  • 5 0
 WTF? Dirt mag reviews are worse than on here! They basically say whether they think it looks nice or not, write some esoteric uninteligable overly verbose crap about "poise", use some words like "big thumpers" etc as if they secretly wished they were really writing for a moto mag, complain that whatever product they review not being designed specifically for someone 7ft tall, then talk about the looks some more. Seriously. I was reading an old dirt whilst on the bog the other day. In a three page review of a trek remedy, they gave about half a paragraph to "its well balanced feel" and spent the next 2 & 3/4 pages saying how beautiful it was. And another was a review of the Orange 322, where the first 3/4 of the article went on and on about how ugly it was, then the end almost as an afterthought said, oh yeah, its pretty fast too. Didnt even say what made it fast, but they certainly went into fine detail about how the graphics worked better on some colours than others. No exxagerations I'm afraid.

I actually think Pinkbike reviews are pretty good. The odd slip up yeah. I do agree that saying the fork used too much travel AND was extremely active does sound a little like a simple lack of compression damping to me. But yeah, generally the layout and content of pinkbike reviews is a damn sight better than the competition.
  • 6 0
 @gabriel-mission9 ha! I thought it was only me that was noticing this in Dirt's reviews over the last few years.. You nailed it. EVERY bike reviewed by Steve Jones (in particular), no matter whether its AM or DH, comes down to it not being large enough for him. Almost all of their reviews conclude ''nice bike, just not quite big enough, shame'' its laughable. It's still my favourite mag but its becoming so hard to read a review written by Mr Jones because you just know without fail, that whatever £5/6/7000 bike is on test, just isn't big enough for him. Does my head in!
  • 1 0
 I may well have had a certain Mr. Jones in mind while I typed that. Haha.

As you say tho, I too still read it every month, cover to cover. I just now spend more time looking at the pictures and less time reading about how nice the bikes in the pictures look. I can tell that from the pictures funnily enough. I wish the reviews had more numbers in, more "its good on the roots, front wheel is a bit vague on off cambers" and less "It looks wonderfully arresting in the setting sun and has a real feeling of guile whilst pushing on in the utmost" or some similar meaningless guff.
  • 3 0
 Yup ha! Spot on about the review content there though too. Their content needs to go back to pure numbers, logic and far less of the fluff as you say. The over focussing on abstract terminology is such a distraction right enough. The recent rider interviews are (imo) pretty painful to read and I find it harder to actually understand what the f**k anyone is talking about- the Fabian Barel one recently in particular. Dirt has a great identity all of its own, and I'm all for a bit of pondering on bike tech now and then, but its got close to disappearing up its own ass recently. Anyway, sorry for the OT rant there.
  • 12 0
 i wonder since when giving customer the customization possibility is a bad don't want to mess around with the fork? you don't do that, you turn the knobs at the suggested starting positions and you ride. end of the story. i don't get it, i don't see this fuss about adjustability when talking about CaneCreek stuff.
  • 11 0
 380 rips. planning to replace my pike with a 350, same damping as the 380. The Pike is OK but the Marzocchi forks are special. The people that dislike Marz new forks have never ridden one, guaranteed. The Rock shox forks are good until things get really rowdy and they shit the bed.
  • 8 0
 I've been on rockshox for years and bought a 55CR last year as a budget option. What can I say? I love it. I'll get a 350ti when the 170 comes out. Just so good for real riding, a definite boost to traction and fatigue reduction. Unlike rockshox, they don't need servicing every five hours, and the adjustable compression damping actually changes when you twist the knob. Now Hart attack's on board it can only get better.
  • 3 0
 one thing i love about the marz is value for money. so much of a fork for such a good price.but that's just me.
  • 11 0
 Mike Levy - You obviously highlighted how the small-bump compliance essentially blows away everything on the market (including the emerald, which is surprising!) but can you comment on how the 380's initial sensitivity on small chatter compares to marzocchi's 888 evo v.2 ? For those of us "maturing" riders who feel the aches and pains more every year, seeking a cadillac-type feel over braking bumps (and not really worrying too much about weight savings), is it worth the upgrade from a high-end 888?
  • 3 1
 I would say yes, but I'm biased as well. The lighter fork helps a lot with control and compliance, granted my last 888 was an 09 rcv, but everything I hated about that fork is gone! And it's stiffer than my boxxers and its lighter and quieter than my 40s. I'm a fanboy to say the least, and here in the US you can pick up a 2014 for way below the msrp
  • 11 0
 I think that some real life times are required in these reviews rather than just pointing out key strengths. Have a test track and some matrix for results. Now that would be interesting. ...
  • 6 1
 I agree. Chainless runs with telemetry. Give us some graphs and tables!
  • 12 3
 This it obviously a great fork but the costs of these things is getting beyond a joke. These products are just evolution of previous products they sell and the price is unjustifiable. It's the same with carbon wheels, £2000 for a set of ENVE's but yet Superstar Components do a great set of AM carbon wheels which have been independently tested for £600 and have received great reviews. Think Superstar need to do their own forks to drive prices down.
  • 10 1
 OH LAWWWD!!!! but the price. i can't afford this... unless....

Buysell ad: One human kidney, $2,000, will accept trade for Zochi 380 C2R2 Titanium.
  • 9 0
 FYI Smile Chain Reaction got them From $1112.49usd
  • 4 0
 thank you kind sir
  • 5 0
 Chain reaction was actually selling them for $800 on cyber Monday. So glad I picked one up
  • 2 0
 There's a non Ti spring version with the same damper and no SKF seals... $50 cost... for much less. I'm REALLY considering that option. It's 6.5 lbs vs 6.something for the expensive Ti version.
  • 10 0
 we have 2014 models for sale direct here in the US for $1100 also. just email
  • 2 0
 I picked one up for $800 US through Chain Reaction. Tapered version was 800, straight was 1200 if I remember right. I just finished installing it, and I can say honestly, I've never had a fork feel so fugging awesome straight out of the box. I know this doesn't translate to actual trail time, but with snow covered trails here, it's giving me a boner nonetheless. And it's much much lighter than the 2014 888 RC3EVO V2 that I had on there. I cant wait for the snow to melt so I can give it a rip.
  • 2 0
 Weird. Took the words right out of my mouth. I also picked up a tapered version from CRC to replace a 888 rc3 evo V2 Ti. Also waiting for the snow to melt, just mounted, feels awesome, boner, rip, etc... But I'm wondering if anyone has had any trouble with stuck compression knobs. I read where a few people had stuck rebound knobs. I managed to free the HSC knob but the LSC is still stuck. It does spin, obviously, when I turn the larger HSC knob since it's fastened on top. Everything else is kool and the gang.
  • 2 0
 Actually, yes. My rebound adjuster is stuck. The smaller one. The big one moves both, but the smaller one doesn't move on its own. I only tried for a minute. Gonna give it another shot when my kids aren't hanging off my legs.
  • 3 0
 @schwaaa31 remove the red rebound knob and then the grey one under it. take a box wrench and use it to turn the knob. these can be stuck from the factory and just need to be broke free. don't use too much force on it and make sure you have full contact on the adjuster nut. if you have any questions call our office in the US: 1-800-227-5579
  • 2 0
 @MarzocchiMTB you're a bro.
  • 1 0
 thanks @TFreeman! I appreciate that!
  • 4 0
 FYI, I made the call to Marzocchi USA, and I'm glad I did. A bloke named Massi got me sorted in short order. If Marz ever had customer service troubles , I'm pleased to report that's no longer an issue, at least in North America. Stoked to be running the Italian on my stallion. It's a goddamned beauty. Cheers mates!
  • 7 0
 I know it's not very popular, but nickel is one of the hardest metals used in industry. It's also relatively heavy.

Does Marzocchi ever say how the nickel is applied to the stanchions? If the weight penalty is negligible, this type of coating would make kashima and anodizing seem silly when it comes to durability.

Is this type of coating only good on coil forks?
  • 5 0
 id imagine electrolysis like every other plating.
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure how it works, but anyways it seems that they switched to only espresso coating for the titanium, or natural anodizing for the classic 380 ( that review being based on a 2014 fork, and a bit late I'd say...).
As a few people had flaking problem, maybe it wasn't such a good solution ?
  • 2 0
 They've stopped doing it a-yway, apparently because people thought it looked cheap
  • 2 0
 nickel coating flakes off on the old 07 888, while my 05 black anodized 888 still going well
  • 2 1
 question tho, do they really make the forks better? kashima, nickel, etc?
  • 2 0
 My 2013 nickel 55's look pretty badly scratched from a rock which also scratched its way through the paintwork on the way up. Quick touch of sandpaper to get the little burrs off and its as smooth as it was before. Looks a little matte where it happened but the profile of the tube held up. Its impossible to tell if a Kashima stanchion would have stood up as well but a scratch into the nickel is not the forkpocalypse it used to be. No nicks, no lost metal; just lost 2cm of shiny.
  • 11 1
 it is a standard electrolysis plating process. we have gone away from it for 2015 because the new Espresso treatment which is a true anodize process, is actually lighter and as strong. under some conditions we saw the nickle plate chip and peal off, the new process doesn't allow this to happen
  • 5 0
 good to see Marzocchi comes here and get things straight
  • 7 0
 I've got a 380 and its sick! The reviewer is definitely right about it absorbing all the small bumps, I basically don't notice anything under 3 inches. I don't find it dives under braking at all though, but maybe I just like more slow speed compression than the reviewer does. I still don't understand how the 380 manages to be so plush yet so supportive. Best fork I've ever used 100%
  • 10 0
 Does the use of a Nevegal nullify this review?
  • 4 0
 I'm glad somebody else noticed...
  • 1 0
 @DaPeach: Those aren't Nevegals, they're the Bontrager G5 - a massively better tire.
  • 2 0
 hmm... Shows what I know, I guess.
  • 7 0
 "Super active off the top, but a touch more divey than the competition." Mike it sounds like you were undersprung. Sweet HTML with the zoom-in photo, though.
  • 4 0
 I have been dealing with this Certified Marzocchi Dealer for almost 4 years now...smgishot13, here on pb! Great guy.... gives riders better deals than most! One great incentive about Marzocchi now, is that their costomer service improved... Plus... their forks are warrantied! I've been beating on Zoke forks since their 2011 models and they are BOMBER! For sure! Their CR models have the DBC cartridge too! A very underrated fork!
  • 4 0
 Customer service has improved? Unless you want the slightest amount of information about fork service or setup. The article talks about the home mechanic being able to tweak internals but there is no information anywhere on even the basics of servicing this fork. Don't get me wrong. I've come off 40's and absolutely love my 380's. For the reduction in arm pump alone, they are worth every penny. But would love some basic info from Marzocchi.
  • 8 1
 thank God they didnt make it able to accept fat bike tires
  • 7 1
 like the horse on a Ferrari, I think the 'M' gives it soul... bring it back! oh wait Fox have now stolen that design.
  • 6 0
 The one review I've been waitng for ans it didn't disappointe. The big M is back!
  • 3 1
 I have one of these forks and its great. Something worth mentioning is in the box was a Firm spring in addition to the one that was in the fork. As I weigh around 90kgs I swapped it out and put the firm in. This was spot on and for me solved one of the main issues with a spring fork compared to air - getting the rate right. I run mine very stiff so its not very supple off the top but very controlled all the way through the stroke. I find other forks just too hard to get moving with the low sag I run. Plus it looks rad.
  • 3 1
 Is the extra spring they provide a Ti one also ?
  • 2 0
 nope... but you are talking about less than a quarter pound of weight when you get into heavier spring compared to the titanium springs
  • 14 0
 I did the weight test with my hands (carefully calibrated) and they felt very similar
  • 6 0
 "those who aren't afraid of knobs and know what to do with them" ಠ‿ಠ
  • 2 1
 For Downhill trails this is the best fork ever. A long time MZ are the best system for hard Downhill trails. The old models are just heavyweight, but these new are lighter. Now, if your trails are like Aline Whistler park, you can put the max air limit on air forks independent of rider weight and it will work good.
I already ride with Dorado, Boxxer WC and Fox 40 (air and coil version), Mz are the best. I recommend everybody try the new MZ 380. But you need choose the spring for your weight.
  • 2 0
 Good to know you can crank up the low/hi speed compression and make it feel less divey and get that familiar numb hand feeling at the end of the ride that all the other forks offer.
  • 3 0
 I like the way Pinkbike compared it with boxxer, fox 40, dvo saying something is plush or sensitive is a rather vague, we want to know which one is better at what aspect
  • 2 0
 If I am understanding this correctly, the offset on the lowers is set for 650b. Will there be any steering/handling compromise with a 26" wheel? I understand a lot about bikes but "offset" isn't one of themSmile .
  • 1 0
 To be honest I was already decided to buy this fork. It seemed absolutely pefrect for me. I wanted to wait for some time to check the reviews of others who had bought it earler and I found out that Marzocchi has the worst customer service possible in existance. It is easier to talk to Polish tax office and get possitive results than talk to Marzocchi and receive any anwear. This is why I decided no more Marzocchi in my life. Customer service is very important to me. As far as I am concerned the best service can be experienced talking to and when it comes to suspension, it is Avalanche. The contact is superb.
  • 1 0
 Hi All

Anyone know some good base settings? im 185 pounds and do a mixture of tech and bike park jumps, want to find a happy medium so I don't need to faff too much flicking between settings?

  • 3 0
 Got a 380 c2r2 a few weeks back haven't dialed it in yet but it's super smooth compared to my boxxer r2c2.
  • 25 0
 someone should make a fork and throw r2d2 at the end of the name just to see if anyone notices
  • 17 0
 then put dome shaped adjustment knobs that whistle when u spin them. ok im done
  • 4 0
 Have it and absolutely LOVE IT! Smile
  • 5 1
 Im lovin my 380 Smile
  • 3 0
 But where is the review of the C2R2 Ti 2015?
  • 6 3
 What same reveiw rehashed, wheres the Expresso 380! This is old news
  • 1 0
 a review of the Espresso will be coming soon I imagine, right @mikelevy?
  • 2 0
 MarzocchiMTB Any plans to release some very basic service info on these forks? Love mine but, unlike fox, rock shox there is no information available on even the most basic tuning let alone simple servicing like oil top ups...
  • 2 0
 @andytheaussie we are working on tuning tips and guidelines to be posted to our Youtube page and web site. I agree we need more information for set up out there.
  • 2 0
 @MarzocchiMTB Why are there only two spring options for the 380? The boxxer for instance offers 5 springs for the various weights. I'm no expert on suspension but what i do know tells me that this is a poor solution for riders who fall between, above or below those two springs.
  • 3 0
 There are four spring options for it actually:

we stock all the springs but the majority of riders out there just need the medium or the heavy (5.5 or 6.5).

we stock them all in Ti or steel.
  • 2 0
 That's great to know! It was sounding like there was only two options potentially leaving people lost in the middle. Loving my CR 350. Cheers.
  • 1 0
 no worries, thanks for asking, it was a great question that people need to know for sure. stoked you love your 350 also! cheers!
  • 4 5
 Well a friend of mine and I bought this fork and both of them had the same problem, the rebound was fully open and you couldn`t turn the rebound dial back...
( Italien quality ;D )
We had to send them back, after 3 weeks time of waiting we got em back.
Now they are working very good and smooth!
So if u can handle the Italien quality i totally can recommend this fork
  • 4 0
 mine were like this, removed the adjuster and got a socket on it and it freed off. still stiff though.
  • 1 0
 I had a similar problem with my 888.... And the knob just broke off the allen that turned the rebound!
  • 3 0
 This fork will be on my DH bike
  • 2 0
 Says it has the 6.5 spring
2014 forks came with the 5.5
was it upgraded to the 2015 spec of 6.5. ?
  • 2 0
 it must have been. 14 model forks came with the 5.5 installed and the 6.5 as upgrade in the box (non-ti) but the 15 model comes with a ti 6.5 installed and a non-ti 7.7 in the box
  • 2 0
 I have the 2014, upgraded to 2015.
my silver one, uses 5.5. I recently changed to the expresso coating is even more slippery that the med stroke is even faster. that might be the reason why my pals 2015 have 6.5.
it could also be that I lubbed quite a bit of honey on the SKF seals.
that said those with silver sanctions, a lot of them turned dark after a while.
so far I have 3 pals running 2014 (one of them is a white 2014 380 super rare), and 5 pals 2015.
  • 1 0
 My old 55,s are 6 pounds! Plusher than Fox 40,s plusher than Durados? .........Plusher than Emeralds? Plusher than my Shivers???
  • 2 0
 Dorados with skf seals are a good combo, it's amazing how much smoother having a combined dust/oil seal is vs separate dust/oil seals.
  • 1 0
 Mine is in for repair and would like to know if this fork actually has the 6.5 spring instead of the 5.5 2014 forks come with .
  • 1 0
 If I'm understanding this right, the offset on the lowers is set for 650b. Does this mean there is some compromise in steering/handling with a 26 inch wheel?
  • 2 0
 i love the feel of my 888ti and my 55ti, and in a few years ill love the feel of my 380ti. thanks marzocchi Smile
  • 2 0
 R2D2 signature fork... I'm in
  • 1 2
 SICK forks!!! Am I the only one who really dislikes the SKF seals color? I don't want to think about looking down at that while riding the whole time. Makes me wanna barf. But I'm hungover as f@ck so go figure!
  • 7 0
 Surely there are better things to worry about than the colour of your seals?
  • 2 0
 Too...damn...expensive Frown
  • 2 1
 2014 models are on sale at CRC and they ship worldwide
  • 2 0
 888 sl ata 2007 was 2600g... not that bad.
  • 1 0
 anyway, i'm dreaming about my new dh bike, i guess the M9 frame i have ready at home has just found its new fork Smile
  • 1 1
 Anybody is riding the 380CR, is it very different to ride compare to R2C2??
  • 3 4
 It just dawned on me that the pink bike team including Mike Levy, have the best job ever: testing out the latest and greatest. Very awesome.
  • 2 0
 awesome fork
  • 2 0
 really nice fork!!
  • 1 0
 Where can I find a Spring rates vs Body weight Table?
  • 1 6
flag friendlyfoe (Jan 8, 2015 at 13:27) (Below Threshold)
 they only offer two springs afaik. Kind of ridiculous.
  • 1 0
 Great write up! I'm drooling over these forks Drool
  • 2 2
 that enve dh stem looks sweet!
  • 1 3
 Really nice fork but too expensive. Even the Fox 40 Float is cheaper (second hand).
  • 7 1
 second hand everything is less expensive. you can't compare new to used products
  • 1 3
 I compare the both forks second hand. These day you can find a fox 40 float for about 800 euro, but the marzocchi - you can't buy it for less than 900 euro.
  • 4 0
 Chain Reaction is selling brand new 2014 model 380 forks for $800 USD
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