Marzocchi MX Pro Lo £180

Top budget fork

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Marzocchi MX Pro has been our top budget fork recommendation for as long as we can remember, and the 2008 version shows no sign of giving up the cheap-and-cheerful crown without a good fight.

For a start, this is the only fork here with a ‘Post’ style disc mount, which immediately simplifies set-up with most contemporary brakes on the market.

The combination of a coil spring and low-pressure auxiliary air spring gives an easily adjustable but still smooth spring rate range for riders weighing from 10 stone upwards. You’ll notice it gets notchier as you add more air pressure, but it never spikes, ramps up too badly or rushes through travel.

While the large amount of oil gurgling around can create audible indigestion, you’ll soon learn to appreciate the fluid feel of the fork however little love you give it. 

Damping can feel agricultural at times, but there’s loads of finer adjustment via the fork bottom adjuster, and it rarely gets caught out even when you’re working it hard on rough trails. 

The plastic blob lockout lever for the basic compression damping cartridge lets you stiffen the fork completely for muscling up smooth climbs, too. You can get a version with a remote lockout for £200.

As well as the Post mount advantage, the actual structure of the fork is usefully solid. Steering and braking flex of the 30mm legs is well within acceptable limits, and the MX Pro has a history of sturdy trail dependency under bigger riders. An alloy steerer helps to keep weight reasonable, too.

The MX Pro comes in 80mm, 100mm and 120mm versions – all for the same price – so finding the right fork is easy.

You can switch travel after you buy too, although you’ll need a new pumping rod to extend up to 120mm.

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