Marzocchi Marathon SL review£439.95

Marzocchi's lightweight Marathon family has been running quite happily for a few years now, but this evolved version is definitely the best yet. It still takes an age to balance the four different air springs and it clunks badly if blown down to 100mm.

BikeRadar score4/5

Marzocchi's lightweight Marathon family has been running quite happily for a few years now, but this evolved version is definitely the best yet. It still takes an age to balance the four different air springs and it clunks badly if blown down to 100mm. Get the settings right though, and it's the most fluid fork here, floating across trouble with Marzocchi's typically contented squelching and gurgling. Adjustable negative and bottom-out resistance air springs make its stroke character super adjustable, too.

Revamped TST 'Terrain Selection' control now means each click from lockout to full flow also gives useful changes in rebound and compression damping that are actually usable on the trail - particularly when climbing. Plus you get smart red alloy top caps and a slightly lighter skeleton, too. We still reckon it's a bit flexy considering its medium - rather than really light - weight, but reliability is proving great so far. The lighter, remote control equipped 80mm travel Race model is £543, while the £449 'XC' has ETA travel crush down and a coil spring on one side, but adds nearly half a pound of overall weight.

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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