Marzocchi Marathon R suspension fork review£200.00

Bombproof bargain

BikeRadar score4/5

Marzocchi’s simple open-bath forks have been the go-to, ultra-reliable budget suspension choice for ages and the Marathon R carries on the top value tradition.

Post-mount brakes and bolted hose guides keep setup easy and neat while bulged lower legs keep stiffness good, even in the quick-release-only format. We mainly tested the fork in the 100mm setting, but a relatively simple internal spacer switch extends travel to 120mm.

Chromed legs and metal effect top caps hide the budget price aesthetically and once bedded in the suspension is far better than anything else we’ve tested at a similar price. It gets a bit squelchy and stutters if you slap it down long sets of steps or slam it down hard but there’s no harsh spiking.

Rebound stays reliable most of the time, too. Unlike most £200 forks that seize before they get into double figure riding hours, slotted bushings and plenty of oil sloshing around means the Marathon is always ready to go. It comes with a three-year warranty.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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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