Marzocchi XC600 ATA2 £330

Stiffer and longer for 2008

BikeRadar score 4/5

This Italian fork was one of our favourite trail smoothers last year. Now, in 2008 form, it's stiffer and offers more travel.

A new lower assembly - including a chunky bridge - has improved trail stiffness noticeably, especially when running at full 140mm travel.

The mixture of coil and air spring produces an outstandingly plush and fluid feel for lighter riders, although the more air pressure you add, the more notchy in feel it becomes. Rebound is always beautifully succulent, if rather noisy.

The 'ATA2' wind-down travel adjust works reliably (so far) to pull the fork down to as low as 100mm for steep climbs, or just to alter the steering geometry. The low, stiff knob is hard to use while riding, though.

The ‘TST’ damping lever now gets a side lever that’s easier to grab, however, and while we rarely used intermediate compression damping settings, it serves as a useful lockout. Pricing is good considering all the features you get.

The coil spring and all the oil slopping around inside mean it’s too heavy for cross-country riders, so it’s a better bet for the all-mountain brigade. What’s more, it’ll only take 7in/180mm brake rotors.

Marzocchi’s usually excellent reliability reputation needs re-establishing after problems with 2007 XC series forks.

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