Marzocchi 55 RC3 Ti Review

Forks Pro Reviews

Reviewed by Brian Mullin

For the last several months, I have been bashing the new 2010 Marzocchi 55 RC3 Titanium through the wringer, and the titanium coil fork, with its shiny Nickel coated stanchions, has the legendary Zocchi buttery feel, and the fantastic linearity of a coil, and the apply named Bomber certainly fits the bill.

Marzocchi 55 RC3 Titanium
The 55 RC3 Ti has 160mm of travel, and uses their open bath RC3 cartridge damper, which offers excellent lubrication, cooling and damping properties, and uses slotted bushings for improved oil flow. The RC3 which resides on the right leg, has an MDU bottom out bumper for those big hits, and it has adjustments for rebound, air preload, and hi and low speed compression. The custom wound titanium spring, uses a high quality titanium, and has an adjustment for coil preload. The internally butted 35mm Nickel coated alloy stanchions, connect into beefy lower legs with a stout arch, in a nice speckled titanium gray color scheme. Their new QR20 system, works and feels like a normal thread on QR lever, but still offers the rigidity, strength and security of a bolt on axle.


For the entire testing period, I used the 55 RC3 Ti on my new loyal steed, the All Mountain Yeti ASR 7. It was hooked up to a Sun Ringlé Charger Pro front wheel, and the fantastic Continental 2.4 Rubber Queens tires. The Colorado terrain is predominantly rocky conditions, with many sections of long steep downhills, rock gardens, and ugly loose gravel.

I have to admit that I had never ridden a coil fork before the 55 RC3 Ti, and I was pretty amazed how wonderful it felt. It only took a short distance in a rock garden to appreciate the characteristics of a coil fork. The smooth linearity of the coil is something to perceive, and words like buttery and plush exemplify what is felt. Plenty of forks have nice small bump compliance, but the portion from small-medium through medium-large bumps, in which we spend a great deal of our riding time, seem to be haphazardly handled by most forks. The 55 RC3 Ti just acted exactly the same throughout that lengthy mid travel stroke section, and never had any sudden changes in its characteristics, it was always smooth as silk. When the big hits came the fork ramped up pretty quickly, and though it took the sucker punches without a whimper nor any harshness, I wasn’t able to extract the last vestiges of travel. I am beginning to think that the amount of usable travel of a fork is around 80-85% of it specification?

Next » Tuning & Impressions Continued

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, 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 articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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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.

    • Dan says:

      Only the 08/09 models, when they got bought out by Tenneco, and moved manufacturing to Taiwan. Marzocchi were back to form by 2010.

  • 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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