Marzocchi Bomber Z1 is back

Legendary fork returns — dressed in Fox clothing

Forks
Marzocchi Bomber Z1

The new Marzocchi Bomber Z1 is being positioned as a great choice for trail/enduro riders on a budget.

Once upon a time, the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 was the fork to have. While other suspension makers were struggling to find the balance between performance and weight, the then-Italian company went all in on making a fork that featured oil, coils, and massive stanchions. And it actually worked — extra weight be damned. This earned Marzocchi revered status among the emerging “freerider” crowd who didn’t give a bleep about how much the fork weighed as long as it didn’t buckle under the force of big B.C. hits.

But…then the rest of the world caught up and Marzocchi slid out of favor, with the likes of RockShox and Fox all but drumming them out of business. So much so that in 2015, Fox actually bought what was left of Marzocchi.

Marzocchi Bomber Z1

Marzocchi is back — as part of the Fox family.

So why buy a company that you unceremoniously beat into submission? To bring back the Bomber, of course. At the recent Sea Otter Classic, Marzocchi made a reemergence of sorts, launching the 2019 version of Bomber Z1 along with the dual crown Bomber 58. This time, though, it was all done in the shadow of Fox, with the new Marzocchi goods occupying a small sliver of display real estate off to one side of their massive booth.

And unlike back in the day, the new Marzocchi Bomber Z1 isn’t necessarily the end all fork to have. Instead it’s being positioned as a great choice for trail/enduro riders on a budget. Indeed, the fork sells for $699, while the entry point for a Fox 36 is about $200 more. It’s a similar story with the DH-oriented Bomber 58, which comes in at $999, while bringing FIT GRIP and Float EVOL to DH riders in a 40mm chassis package with 203mm of travel for 27.5 wheels.

Marzocchi Bomber Z1

Travel options are 130-170mm for 29er/27.5+ and 150-180mm for 27.5.

Features of the Bomber Z1 include a stout 36mm chassis, plush air spring, and well-regarded FIT GRIP damper with adjustable compression and rebound. Colors are gloss red or matte black, with travel options of 130-170mm in 10 mm increments for 29er/27.5+, and 150-180mm in 10 mm increments for 27.5. Spacing is 15QR x 110 boost, and it uses the same Float EVOL (as in extra volume) air spring found on current Fox 34 and 36 forks.

And just like with the spring curves on those forks, the Z1 accepts clip-on air-volume spacers, where more spacers deliver a more progressive feel, and less spacers makes things more linear. And the FIT GRIP “sweep” is a closed cartridge style damper that can recirculate and purge a bath fluid, thus maintaining consistent cartridge fill and damping performance. The lever adjustment is a combined LSC/HSC compression adjustment knob at the top of the damper leg that ranges from open to lockout. It has no detents (thus the sweep terminology).

Marzocchi Bomber Z1

Adjustment is just the basics.

Along with the lessened amount of adjustment compared to a Fox 36, there’s a small weight penalty that’s about 180 grams depending on travel length. “We see this fork as perfect for the rider who likes to shred hard, but doesn’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time dialing in the set-up or doing maintenance,” explained Marzocchi PR spokesman Matt Pacocha. “It’s simpler to operate, so within the Fox line it basically prioritizes performance over weight and adjustability — and the price is lower.”

Marzocchi Bomber Z1

FIT GRIP is billed as a robust closed cartridge style damper with the ability to recirculate and purge a proprietary bath fluid to maintain consistent cartridge fill and damping performance over time.

To learn more, huck on over to www.marzocchi.com.


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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  • Sean says:

    What is the Fox “proprietary bath fluid” ?

  • Tracy says:

    Unfortunately, the more I read of “budget” items, the more I realize that this game is getting too expensive for me. When the “budget” shock is more expensive than my bike (which is completely serviceable for the riding that I do), it forces the realization that I probably shouldn’t play in the same playground that these articles are written for.

    • GTrider says:

      I fully agree with You. 15 years ago You could take an aluminium bike on Alivio/LX and fight in a marathon. And these bikes are among us till today! Today You need at least 1000$ for a trashbike with plastic pedals, heavy 27/29” wheels and poor geometry that falls apart after two years or 4000-5000km. I’m out of that business. I ride my 26 bikes though it ain’t easy. It is increasingly harder to buy a good 9-speed casette ;-(

  • Mitch says:

    Can get a set of motorcycle forks for just about same price as the high end mtb stuff. Street price on a set of Ohlins motorcycle forks is around 2k. That includes springs.

  • Todd says:

    Yah craziness with the marketing BS as well.
    Back from local demo daze testing SC 5010, Norco Sight & Giant Trance.
    Rode solid, fine yes trail, DH, jumps. NOT living up to internet uber hype and keyboard analysis.
    Each tech lent the bike with concrete aired tires (so as to not flat) yet industry spews about low air, amazing grip. I suspect 90% of demo’ers don’t even adjust.
    Also annoying SRAM shifting 11 or 12 speed. Feels “cheap”.

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