The Marzocchi 55CR is a hard riding 26in bargain. The 35mm stanchions and big 20mm screw-through axle aren’t light but they hold the front wheel in an impressively solid grip.
The Teflon enriched Gold Race stanchion coating and coil negative spring mean a smooth and sensitive start, and the AER air spring gives a smoothly progressive stroke rather than blowing through its travel. Spacers to take the travel down to 150mm (5.9in) are included in the box.
One click of the small ‘flagged’ rebound knob makes a big difference so tuning needs care. The hybrid Dynamic Bleed Cartridge damping system works well.
There’s occasional rebound hiccup on really savage sustained sections or a hint of spike just before the blow-off valve in the cartridge triggers when you really slap it. But we never felt the fork was cramping our speed or style, which makes the Marzocchi a real bargain for the price.
The low-speed compression dial adds useful pedal bob and cornering stability if you need it. And if you don’t, there’s a coil-sprung, straight steerer version of the fork with rebound adjustment only available for just £399.95 (the 55 R).