One of the most iconic mountain bike fork names has returned, and it’s doing so in a typically unapologetic fashion. Yes, after an absence of many years, the Marzocchi Z1 Bomber is coming back!
Now under the ownership of Fox Racing Shox, Marzocchi has been able to share much of the bigger company’s technology, while still being designed by a small team in Italy with a nod to the original heritage of the company.
The original metallic orange Bomber exploded onto the scene back in the mid-1990s, at at time when many suspension forks were designed with light weight as the main goal. The Bombers, with their open oil bath and chunky design were unapologetically burly and built for going big. Marzocchi have kept this spirit up in the redesigned Z1 Bomber, with 36mm stanchions, room for big tyres and a maximum rider weight limit of more than 100kgs.
Thanks to its Fox ownership, it has been able to use Fox’s well respected Fit Grip Sweep damper with adjustable compression and rebound damping, while also using an EVOL air spring with token-adjustable air volume.
So why has Fox decided to relaunch the Marzocchi brand at all? It caters to hard charging, big-hit riders already? The Marzocchi brand is hoping to be the fork of choice for riders who find the endless fine-tuning and fettling of more complicated forks to be more than they can be bothered with. Riders who get the bike out of the shed or the van, give the brakes and tyres a squeeze, the forks a squidge and then go and ride bikes. And while the new Bombers, at £749 aren’t going to be cheap, they’re a good 25% less than similar Fox forks.
There’s a weight penalty to pay for all of this burliness though, and our forks weigh in at 5lbs on the nose (2.3kg) which is a good few Mars Bars heavier than the Fox 36 (at 2.1kg). However, Marzocchi to be fair, have never particularly chased the low weight train and would rather make a reliable, simple to set up fork, than save a few grams. Saying that, we thought that the forks might come in a little lower than the initial £749 price tag, but it’s still £400 cheaper than the Fox 36 fork that’s being introduced today too.
2019 Marzocchi Z1 Specifications
- Long-travel trail & enduro fork
- 36mm tapered aluminium stanchions
- Tooled (Kabolt) or QR axle
- 27.5in and 29in chassis available
- Travel: 150mm-180mm (27.5in), 130mm-170mm (29in)
- Fox Float EVOL air spring
- GRIP Damper
- Adjustments: air pressure, air spring volume, low-speed rebound, Sweep Adjust Grip lever
- Max tyre width:
- One-piece magnesium lowers w/110x15mm Boost thru-axle
- Actual weight: 2.3kg / 5lb
- RRP: £749
- Available from Silverfish UK.
And downhillers will no doubt be delighted to hear that the 40mm stanchioned Bomber 58 will be coming out – 203mm travel, twin crown, 27.5in, Boost and all that good stuff.
What do you reckon? Is Marzocchi still the name to be reckoned with? Is the Z1 going to be on your shopping list? This 130mm 29er fork is going on a hardcore hardtail very soon and we’ll let you know how we get on.