Marzocchi 29er, enduro, and downhill forks for 2014
By James Huang | Monday, June 24, 2013 11.43am
The hollowed-out lower legs of the Marzocchi 320 LCR Carbon fork save weight by decreasing the length of internal rods and shafts only to what's necessary. There's plenty of room to access the recessed rebound damping adjuster, too James Huang/Future Publishing
If Marzocchi's MY2014 preview is any indication, you can stop worrying about the storied nameplate going under any time soon. New offerings include lightweight 29er cross-country/trail forks, a collection of enduro offerings for 27.5in (650b) wheels, and a comprehensive redesign of its venerable 888 downhill fork.
29er range lightens up
Topping the company's shorter-travel 29er range is the new 320 LCR Carbon. It features nickel-plated, 32mm-diameter butted aluminum stanchions, cast magnesium lower legs with quick-release 15mm thru-axle dropouts, and a one-piece carbon fiber crown and steerer assembly that help it hit a 1,660g (3.66lb) claimed weight – with axle.
Marzocchi has filled the chassis with a new set of guts, too. There's a single air chamber and titanium negative spring on one side, plus a brand new 'hybrid cartridge' damper called DBC (Dynamic Bleed Cartridge). Marzocchi says this reduces oil volume to save weight like a fully sealed cartridge but without the associated durability issues.
Unlike a fully sealed cartridge damper, the DBC features two ports through which oil can flow: one at the top to bleed off excess oil when the pressure is too high, and a one-way system at the bottom to suck it back in and top off the chamber as needed.
According to Marzocchi, this setup maintains the ideal oil volume in the cartridge at all times, regardless of operating conditions, without having to resort to a fully sealed compensator chamber (these can be prone to failure and add stiction).
Oil from the damper is shared with the oil in the lower legs, too, making for a semi-bath setup that helps ensure the bushings are always lubricated. The 320 LCR Carbon also features a remote lockout lever, along with separately adjustable low-speed compression damping for a highly tunable feel.
The new Marzocchi 320 LCR Carbon fork
Marzocchi will ship the 320 LCR Carbon from the factory with 100mm of travel but it will be internally adjustable down to 80mm or up to 120mm with interchangeable spacers. The suggested retail price is a heady US$1,000.
Marzocchi will also introduce a mid-range 320 LCR, with the same features as the flagship model but without the carbon upper assembly, for US$699. An entry-level LR model with more conventionally anodized upper tubes and non-adjustable low-speed compression damping will be available for US$399.
All three 320 models will be available this fall.
All-new 380 to celebrate 888 anniversary
Replacing Marzocchi's well-liked 888 downhill fork is the 380 C2R2 Titanium, which supposedly sheds 255g (0.56lb) from the previous 888 RC3 Titanium model while increasing performance and tunability and including compatibility for 27.5in (650b) wheels.
Weight has been trimmed from virtually everywhere: 100g from the lower legs and externally and internally machined, 38mm-diameter, nickel-plated aluminum stanchions; 40g from the internally machined lower crown; 30g from the internally machined aluminum 20mm thru-axle; 30g from the new tapered steerer tube (a straight 1 1/8in steerer is also available); and 55g from the new DBC semi-bath damper cartridge.
Oil volume has been reduced dramatically with the new damper cartridge, too. Whereas the previous 888 required around 350ml of fluid, the new 380 C2R2 Titanium now needs just 100ml according to Marzocchi. Naturally, titanium hardware is used throughout.
Marzocchi also uses titanium for the coil main spring, which in theory should offer better sensitivity relative to an air spring while lessening the weight penalty compared to a steel coil. According to Marzocchi, a switch to SKF main oil seals and dust wipers reduces friction even further.
380 C2R2 Titanium
The 380 C2R2 Titanium will be impressively adjustable, too, with external low-speed and high-speed compression damping and rebound damping. Mid-speed compression damping is also tunable by swapping shims, which can be easily accessed up top without having to perform a full teardown.
All this technology will come at a steep price of US$1,700 when the fork becomes available later this fall. Marzocchi will continue to offer two 888 models, however, for downhillers on a more realistic budget.
35mm-diameter enduro chassis
Unfortunately, Marzocchi didn't have prototypes available to show us but did say that a new enduro-focused platform is on the way, too. The new forks will be built around 35mm-diameter, aluminum upper tubes and will be offered exclusively for use with 27.5in (650b) wheels.
Travel will range from 140mm to 160mm, and the DBC dampers will be set at the factory with a softer tune than the ones in Marzocchi's more cross-country oriented forks.
Target weight for the top model is around 1,800g (3.97lb) and pricing is expected to be about US$1,000.
All-new DH/XC rear shocks
Marzocchi has also revamped its line of rear shocks for 2014.
At a claimed 369g without coil spring, the new DH-focused Moto C2R is about 35 percent lighter than the previous Roco Coil RC World Cup thanks to aggressive external machining of the main body, cap, and reservoir. Marzocchi has increased the diameter of the aluminum piston shaft from 12mm to 14mm, too, and it's machined as one piece with the lower eyelet to further reduce weight and improve strength.
As with the 380 C2R2 Titanium, the new Moto C2R will be highly tunable, with separate external high-speed and low-speed compression damping adjustments, internally adjustable mid-speed compression damping (via shim stack changes), externally adjustable rebound damping, and optional adjustable air volume in the reservoir's ISP chamber to tweak the bottom-out characteristics.
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Moto C2R rear shock
Other niceties include a Delrin liner to protect the shock body from the spring and decrease noise, and a locking preload collar. Suggested retail price will be around US$560 (without a coil spring) when it goes on sale in September.
Finally, there's the new Roco Lite air shock, for the XC crowd, with a sub-200g claimed weight, adjustable rebound damping and external lockout, and a compact shape to reduce compatibility issues.
For more information on Marzocchi products see www.marzocchi.com.
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