Marzocchi 44 RC3 Ti fork£699.99

Plush Italian bounce

BikeRadar score3.5/5

This classic Italian coil-and-oil fork is the plushest available, but it’s not without hiccups. As long as you completely empty the air pressure preload feature to avoid notchiness, the lightweight titanium coil spring makes this fork so supple over small stuff you’ll think you’ve flatted the front tyre.

Traction is astonishing as a result and the 15mm quick-release axle structure helps reduce flex and make the most of it through corners or off-cambers. It melts straight-line rock strikes and stepped sections extremely well.

Our sample suffered clunking top-out, and accurate compression tuning (starting at the middle and working out) is vital to stop excess dive under braking and cornering. All the lubing/damping oil inside adds weight, but it has a three-year warranty.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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