Marzocchi 55 R fork£379.95

Simple, sturdy suspender

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Marzocchi’s base model 55 is reasonably cheap, simple and sturdy. The chassis is reassuringly chunky and reasonably stiff without being overweight.

Over less challenging terrain it’s got a typically smooth and succulent motion with wide range rebound adjust. But, as you’d expect for the cost, things are less convincing when the trail starts dropping away and impact speed and sizes increase.

Inconsistent damping can compromise control. The supplementary air spring feels notchy for heavier riders who need higher pressures too.

It’s still a workable fork for the money though and new production facilities should hopefully improve things in 2009.

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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