Marzocchi's lightweight Marathon family has been running quite happily for a few years now, but this evolved version is definitely the best yet. It still takes an age to balance the four different air springs and it clunks badly if blown down to 100mm. Get the settings right though, and it's the most fluid fork here, floating across trouble with Marzocchi's typically contented squelching and gurgling. Adjustable negative and bottom-out resistance air springs make its stroke character super adjustable, too.
Revamped TST 'Terrain Selection' control now means each click from lockout to full flow also gives useful changes in rebound and compression damping that are actually usable on the trail - particularly when climbing. Plus you get smart red alloy top caps and a slightly lighter skeleton, too. We still reckon it's a bit flexy considering its medium - rather than really light - weight, but reliability is proving great so far. The lighter, remote control equipped 80mm travel Race model is £543, while the £449 'XC' has ETA travel crush down and a coil spring on one side, but adds nearly half a pound of overall weight.