Marzocchi Roco Air 3PL shock review£299.00

Calming influence for bob-prone bikes

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Marzocchi’s sturdy air shock is well worth a look if you want a tight feeling shock.

This is a sturdy unit that firms up soft bikes nicely and can be serviced at home. However, it's stiff in stock form, on the heavy side and not great value. The range of available sizes is a bit limited too. If it's available in your bike's size, though, this is worth looking at should you need a sturdy, stiff-feeling shock for a bob-prone bike.

In contrast to Marzocchi’s generally succulent forks, The Roco Air 3PL exhibits a definite initial stubbornness over small bumps, and it takes a fair old wallop to get the oily tide mark right up to full travel, too.

On the plus side, it makes it a natural calming influence on bikes which bob or squat in drive/braking situations. Three levels of additional low-speed compression can be flicked on via the 3PL lever, too. While it’s happily spike- or clang-free, a controlled mid-stroke means it never uses any more travel than it has to.

It feels stiff over smaller bumps, though, and at 368g (200mm version) it’s heavy for an air shock.

Marzocchi claims that this rear shock is easily serviceable at home if you’re a reasonable home mechanic, without the need to send it back to a main service centre or the manufacturer.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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