Marzocchi 66 RC3Ti fork £999.95

Big-hitting single-crown

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

After hammering Marzocchi’s vastly improved 2010 888 RC3 EVO Ti fork for some time, we thought it was about time we put its little brother, the 66 RC3Ti, through the same sort of punishment.

The 66 is crammed with all the essentials to make it into a hard hitting, freeride- or downhill-friendly single-crown. Damping is taken care of by the impressive open bath RC3 cartridge, which features both high and low speed compression adjusters and plenty of effective rebound adjustment. The titanium coil spring does a good job of keeping weight down and has air-assisted preload to aid tuning.

To give you some idea of where the 180mm-travel (7in) 66 is at in terms of weight, it sits slap bang in-between two other top-end performers – the new Fox 36 TALAS (2.45kg) and BOS N’Dee (2.95kg) – at 2.74kg. It’s light enough to be pedalled about between sessions in the bikepark or downhill runs.

The axle has changed for the better. It’s still a 20mm through-axle but is now far easier to operate with the quick-release lever mechanism – similar to that of the RockShox Maxle. No more tightening the axle to find the lever handle in a dangerous position when you’ve reached the correct tension.

As is synonymous with Marzocchi, the fork is ridiculously supple in action, partly thanks to the slippery 38mm nickel-plated stanchions. This sensitivity makes for a real ground-hugging ride where the wheel will track the ground well and keep traction on your side, even when the conditions are grim.

It doesn’t take much to get these burly grey beasts to move, which is great when you’re mixing it up on loose, choppy terrain. When it comes to taking the bigger hits, the 66 is more than happy to lap them up.The chassis maintains its poise and grace even through the ugliest terrain and the fork will take hit after hit with composure and control.

We’ve really given these a beating on a variety of different terrain ranging from rough downhill runs to big jumps and drops. Over long continuous stretches of bumps and roots they offer support and sit up well in their travel without making things unnecessarily harsh.

They were only once unsettled after a huge overshoot on a jump where we were met with a bottom-out clunk but this can be tamed with a few tweaks. If you’re looking for a big-hitting downhill or freeride fork, this stiction-free ground-hugger could be the one for you – but this quality comes at a price.

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