Marzocchi 55 RC3 Ti Review

Forks Pro Reviews

Tuning
The 55 RC3 Ti has quite a few tunable settings, although any of the alterations (outside of the air preload), only make minor and subtle changes, at least in direct comparison to an air fork. The RC3 cartridge (right leg) has adjustments for rebound, air preload, and hi and low speed compression.The rebound adjuster is on top of the leg, and the air preload is in the middle of the rebound dial, while the high and low speed sits on the bottom, and one dial does the adjusting for the high and low speed, with both compression curves crossing in the middle for ease of set up. On the top of the left leg is the coil preload. I set the rebound in the middle (13 of 27 clicks), the compression half way to soft (3 of 11), and the coil preload all the way soft (1 of 28).

rc3_adj

As I stated earlier, the changes are fairly subtle, but they do allow some tunability for rider requirements, whether that is personal, terrain or bike specific. One huge gripe is that the dials are sharp and difficult to turn (2011 have different dials), and they have too many clicks. The air preload is really meant for big riders, although I did play with it to alter some fork dive when I was doing a trials type riding. Even small amounts of air, such as 5psi make a huge difference, but it really castrates and chokes the stroke, so be careful with its adjustment. It is also a pain to add the air, since a nefarious cap covers the air slot, and then a special adapter is required for your shock pump. The good part is that the fork really doesn’t need any tuning, and it runs just fine in all the default settings.

When the fork is out on the trail, sweetness abounds, as it rolls with the punches when it’s needed, and then sits quietly in the background, and I mean quiet, as this fork hardly makes a sound throughout its travel. The smoothness and linearity of the fork significantly reduce hand and arm fatigue, as you are not subjected to sudden impacts due to stroke ramp up. The titanium coil offered up a neutral gait, and I especially liked the feel in the mid stroke, which comes into play in my favorite rock gardens. The Nickel coated stanchions not only look good, but they are durable, scratch resistant, smooth and have low stiction. One of the deficits of a coil fork is that it weighs slightly more than its air counterparts, but the wonders of a coil certainly make up for that gap. I never felt nor noticed any flex in the fork, it was a stout master.

Measured Specs
Weight (uncut) – 2469.6 grams
QR20 – 122.9 grams
Crown to Axle – 547mm

rc3_4

The new QR20 axle system was easy to use after you got the hang of it. Just open the QR lever (which is free floating), and there is a notch in the 20mm axles end piece, in which you engage the lever to loosen or tighten as required, and like any QR, leave it slightly loose since the lever will do the last portion cinching it down tight. It reminds me of the way the DT Swiss RWS works. Once tightened down the QR20 offered plenty of security and stiffness, and I never had any issues with anything loosening up.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Westman says:

    Most zocchi open bath forks have always come with too much oil in them. If some was removed then full travel was achievable.

    Oh, also, why do you say it has High- and Low-speed compression if it only has one dial? If that is true then it only has a compression adjustment. (which in turn affects both at the same time, but they are not independently adjustable!)

  • Craigstr says:

    Wait till it starts creaking and leaking oil, then how much will you like it? The recent Marzocchi forks have horrible reliability.

  • Smash says:

    Why is that adjustments are really needed with a coil-sprung fork exactly?

    “The Marzocchi 55 RC3 Titanium has been durable and tough with the abuses, I have tossed it at, and it sure is quiet. ” What?

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Westman: If I get a chance, I will try checking the oil level, thks for the info. Yes it is a compression adjustment, but as far as I know it affects both the high speed and low speed circuits.
    Craigstr: Ask me in six months to a year on the long term reliability, so far it has been fine, and I can only judge my findings.
    Smash: Adjustments allow some subtle fine tuning, and it does cause a change, but I agree they are really needed. Not sure of your question on the last statement, but in regard to it being quiet, most forks make all sort of noises depending on the bump size, and the RC3 Ti was absolutely deadly silent?

  • Craigstr says:

    Mine lasted about 6 months then all the gremlins started coming out.

  • warp says:

    I didn’t know the new Zoke’s have the air preload on the damper side. Which is kinda dumb if you don’t have different spring weights offered for lighter and heavier riders. Point is, the damper side has the smaller of the air chambers in a Zoke and putting any air pressure in there will ramp up heavily by the end of the stroke. Why not do it like the older Z1′s with air valves on both?? That allows you to fine tune the fork AND fine tune for big hits. Yeah, it adds a little complication but it very well pays off.

  • mark merano says:

    Zoke sucks now. Sorry, but they’ve ripped me off and lots of others and it should not be an easy road back for them. At least when Rock Shox made their comeback, SRAM was offering them (and still does) for bargains to win over customers.

  • Ecogeek says:

    I agree with the others on reliability. Marzocchi are totally unreliable waste of time imo too.
    Would not advise anybody and I mean anybody to take a risk on any model for any price. I only used Marz for 10 years then got three bad 55s in a row last year. That’s it. Went to Rockshox who thanks to SRAM are now much much better.
    Lyrik blows the 55 away completely. Esp the 2-step. Dual compression independantly adjustable too. And if the 55 ramps anyway then the Lyrik air would really slay it.
    Until we start seeing Zoke forks with decent scores in the MTBR user reviews for a couple of years, they cannot be recommended. Just a headache and a false economy at any price. None should come from the factory with any issue. Travel range. Leaks. Spiking. Nothing. Knobs that don’t turn… But they all seem to have something not right from the start and a lot more soon enough. The 55 is particularly nasty imo and you’ll prob see catastrophic bushing play soon.

  • mo says:

    I have ridden fox and rock shox alot in a very abusive environment the only fork that does not leak oil is zocchi. The are a very reliable fork and if yours breaks in 6 months you still have 2 and half years to warranty it. the 2010 bushing system in the marzocchis is very similar to the 2005 marzocchis. The 55 is way lighter then any other trail fork. they also have been doing amazing deals for people in the industry. Go try a new marzocchi before you dismiss them.

  • humdinger says:

    Lyrik slays the 55???? Are you crazy? The Lyrik is a great fork, but ONLY the coil UT. Ecogeek, sorry you lost any credibility by saying the 2-step’s a great fork. The Lyrik 2-step is THE MOST reliably unreliable fork on the market, bar none. You evidently owned the 2009 55s which were indeed a heap of poo, fair comment, but they are fundementally completely different to the 2010/2011 models.
    Mo is on the money, this new 55 is absolutely superb. I have owned the Lyrik Coil, 2011 Float 36 Kashima, and numerous others, and this new Zocchi 55 rc3 Ti rules out top by a significant margin.
    Fair enough, Zocchi have had serious issues in recent years and lost a lot of loyalty, rightly so. But with the 3 year warranty and the fact the buttery Zocchi performance is back from the good old days means forget the last few years and start enjoying the mighty bomber again.

  • kovalDESIGN says:

    I did not try the new RC3 Ti but for the money I would choose the Lyrik/Fox 36 over the Marzocchi anytime.
    I tried however the first bunch of the 55′s released in 2008 – these were a big disappointment moving from the superb Z1 Light RC2.
    55′s adjustment knobs finish was really poor and they were falling off in your fingers – I sold my 55 ATA2 and ETA before they broke and for some extra cash I moved over to FOX 36.
    humdinger: if you say the RC3 Ti rules then I hope it does, it’s top of the shelf forks eventually.
    I only wish the cheaper 55′s (R, RV, TST, ATA) have the same reliability.

  • steadite says:

    how can someone who’s “never ridden a coil fork before” write a “pro review” on a coil fork??

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