Marzocchi XC700 SL £429.95

Top dog of the new XC Retro Trailhound range, the XC700 drops a whole load of weight but still picks up some useful options. With twin air springs and everything fork top - not remote lever - controlled,

BikeRadar score 4/5

Top dog of the new XC Retro Trailhound range, the XC700 drops a whole load of weight but still picks up some useful options. With twin air springs and everything fork top - not remote lever - controlled, the 700 model is a whopping 350g lighter than the 600 (p71). This despite an ATA travel winder top cap (with super cute popup 'ears') that lets you click from 130mm to 90mm to suit terrain requirements.

The seals are tight for the first few rides, but once it's settled in it's outstandingly smooth and eager to suck up trail trauma for superb singletracking traction and control. It's stiff enough to work it hard through corners or techy sections without vagueness or wander, too.

It does take a while to balance the positive and negative springs (ignore Marzocchi's extremely high recommended pressures for a start) to get it plush without diving too much, though. The fi ve preset TST compression damping settings really do make a difference to ride character, so be prepared to play around to get to know your new fork.

Vocal oil bath internals and shiny nickel-plated sliders show all the usual Marzocchi contempt for lousy weather and lack of loving care, too.

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