Marzocchi 888 VF2 review£569.95

Marzocchi's super plush 888s have become the benchmark heavy-use freeride/downhill forks, and this year's are the best yet. They have switched to post style disc mounts and fl at crowns which lowers the fork compared to previous versions.

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Marzocchi's super plush 888s have become the benchmark heavy-use freeride/downhill forks, and this year's are the best yet. They have switched to post style disc mounts and fl at crowns which lowers the fork compared to previous versions. This means they won't immediately jack up the geometry and slow your steering.

The VF2 also features wide ranging but finely tuneable and externally adjustable compression damping. This reduces the 888's tendency to plunge through its travel too easily and bottom out on big hits. You get the same broad-spread external rebound adjustment too, making this a very tuneable fork. It still tends to sit deep into the travel with lots of sag, but that gives fantastic small/braking bump absorption and steering traction. It's noticeably more controlled over big stuff too.

The 888 RC2X has adjustable bottom-out damping and, like most Marzocchis, there's relatively simple tuning potential if you play with oil levels and weights.

Each 888 we try seems to have a slightly different character and can take a while - and sometimes a strip and rebuild - to settle into consistent spike-free, clank-free performance. They're pretty weighty too and only available with 200mm of travel, but they're still a top performer and a classic of their kind.

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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