Although the price has crept up over the year or two since it came out, the Marzocchi Bomber CR is the ‘affordable’ coil shock being pushed as the every(wo)man’s choice. Or, something you needn’t be worried about if you see it specced as original equipment on a potential bike purchase.
- Price: £349.00
- From: silverfish-uk.com
- Weight (w/o spring): 384g
- Adjustments: Low Speed Rebound, Low Speed Compression
Sure, you could claim that the Marzocchi Bomber CR is fundamentally a Fox Vanilla RC from about a decade ago. And you’d pretty much be correct. The thing is, so what if it is? The past decade of rear shock technology has pretty much been a Porsche 911-style exercise in reverse-solving an inherently bad engineering choice (for ‘engine in the rear’, see ‘using air as a spring medium’).
Out on the trail, the Bomber CR rides excellently. It’s very much a set-and-forget deal. This is for two reasons: there ain’t much to actually adjust, and the actual adjustment dials aren’t the best. They’re stiff and lack a positive clicky indexed feel/sound. This stiffness and lack of indexing only gets worse with filth ingress too. Hey-ho.
Still, once initially set-up, the Bomber CR is an excellently capable and predictable performer on the whole. You can use the Low Speed Compression dial to dial away any pedal bob but we found it just introduced a funny ‘knocky’ sensation to the ride character which was just very distracting. The shock really felt like it worked best with minimal compression damping dialled on. We tried quelling any bob with quick on-the-fly adjustment of the low speed rebound, which was a decent workaround unless we forgot to open up the rebound upon finishing the climb or traverse.
Ultimately we had the best performance from the Bomber CR by running a firm-ish weight spring and thus less sag. The lack of sag didn’t seem to unduly affect the amount of traction on offer. The shaft dances in and out with virtually no friction or delay to hoover up whatever it sucks on to. Not only did this seem to reduce the bob, but it also surprisingly aided things on bigger hits or on consistently rough terrain where the shock seemed to recover better from deeper parts of its travel, resulting in improved bump-absorption and more predictable bike handling to boot.
There is not a whole lot of adjustment on offer (and we didn’t really gel with anything other than ‘zero’ for the low speed compression) but the Bomber CR offers super supple ground-hugging grip and calmness. A no-frills budget brawler.
|Product:||Bomber CR coil shock|
|Tested:||by Benji for Issue 145|