Marzocchi’s entry-level 44 LR is relatively light, succulently smooth and simply reliable for the money. The lack of through-axle options leaves it flexy and the simple damping struggles with the big stuff though.
At under 1,800g the air sprung 44LR is reasonably light for the price and travel. The chunky lockout lever is easy to use and the Schrader valve air fill under the metal effect plastic cap makes it compatible with conventional air forks. It comes with a steerer plug and sticker kit to customize it and even gets V-brake bosses if you haven’t embraced discs yet.
The simple air spring internals get a coil negative spring to help initial movement, and once you’re past bedding-in notchiness it’s impressively smooth and squelchy in feel over small to medium sized lumps. It’s a pretty linear spring rate with a thumping bottom-out though, and rebound damping is rudimentary so it can get out of shape on extended, deep drop descents.
The quick-release-only format reduces accuracy and high load cornering confidence, and there are no screw-through or tapered steerer options. Oil rich reliability is excellent though and it’s relatively inexpensive.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.