Every year mountain bike products tend to go through changes and suspension is often no different. With cycling there is a need for human power and as such the cycling industry always seems to be trying to find new ways for riders to go faster, traverse a wide range of terrain, and provide their customers with an improved product year after year.
Marzocchi is a company that has been around for some time now. Started by the brothers Stefano and Guglielmo Marzocchi their story is one that is quite enthralling if you get the chance to read more about them. Working for various companies like the Ducati Company and other technical companies helped fuel their passion for technology and design. The fun didn’t stop there as they started and grew the Marzocchi company by producing their first motorcycle front fork for the World Tour on a Ducati 175.
Beginning around 1990, Marzocchi entered the mountain bike market and the rest is history. With ~40 years in the suspension game at that time, they had a head start to say the least. With that said, things have come a long way from the Star Fork (1990) to the 2015 offerings.
But we digress… the point of this visit was to attend a tech seminar to learn how to work on Marzocchi products and see how some of the new Marzocchi products worked internally. Once a year Marzocchi invites suspension centers, QBP, BTI, dealers, and others to their facility to learn about their products and get some first hand training from Marzocchi. Their two tech ninjas Massi and John would take the attendees through numerous 2015 Marzocchi products and showed us how they worked as well as the best ways to service them.
The group was broken in half and each day was dedicated to shocks or front suspension. As suspension centers and other attendees often get forks in for service its important they have knowledge on how to fix and repair the products they help distribute or repair.
Massi took each group through a selection of four 2015 Marzocchi forks. He selected a range of products that covered the Marzocchi line well from low-end to high-end. Each product due to its price point had different benefits to it that could easily be appreciated.
Opening up the dual crown 380 C2R2 Titanium illustrated some of the advanced machining and weight savings that they’ve done. Massi was able to take them through the fork with ease, showing them tips and tricks along the way. In the picture below you can see the RC3 Evo V2 damper that uses an open bath system versus the Dynamic Bleed Cartridge of the 2015 380 R2C2.
For 2015, Marzocchi is equipping the 380 C2R2 with a stiffer titanium coil spring 6.5 vs 5.5 and to work optimally requires a shim update that he walked the team through along the way should any of their customers need to change spring rate from a different base setup.
The attendees were urged to ask questions and participate in each session to learn first hand how to do things from bleeding cartridges, changing travel settings on air forks, setting oil heights properly, lubricating seals / bushings with Molykote, as well as changing shim stacks for stiffer springs. Marzocchi uses Molykote as lube instead of slick honey as it works better without affecting their internals or performance.
As many of the newer Marzocchi forks are no longer their traditional open bath, correct oil volume and bleeding have become paramount to having their suspension work as engineered. Many of the top-end Marzocchi products are utilizing a dynamic bleed cartridge that attendees got first hand experience with servicing and working on.
Combining the excellent damping of the open bath technology with the light weight of a closed cartridge, the DBC is a unique feature that you can only find in the Marzocchi Systems. – Marzocchi
Marzocchi uses a lot of Maxima Suspension Clean. If you’ve never used this stuff, you’re missing out on something magical. It cleans up suspension very well with a nice finish without a lot of the negatives you often get from other products (drying seals, streaking, smearing, etc).
Marzocchi also showed the team a few tips with a light touch of the blow torch to help relieve the lock tite and move bubbles out of the system safely without damaging their products.
For day 2, John showed the team how to work on some of the 2015 rear suspension. The Roco and Moto C2R were chosen and attendees again were given the opportunity to learn first hand.
In 2014, we posted a video with Marzocchi on the 380 C2R2 and the Moto C2R shock that you can watch to learn about these products. For 2015, the Espresso Treatment is done to the stanchions.
2014 Marzocchi 380 C2R2 and Moto C2R
The new 053 S3C2R shock was also shown to us and is new for 2015 that Marzocchi has pegged at under $400 with a bevy of adjustments. S3 – (Up, Ride, Down switch) , C2 (Hi/Low Compression), R (Low Speed Rebound). You can see more shots of it in the gallery at the bottom.
Similar to day 1, oil heights, shims, IFP depth, disassembly tips, and vacuum bleeding were also illustrated. Marzocchi is moving into new territories with their new internals on suspension. The vacuum is going to be a big investment for some suspension centers to consider.
John patiently showed the group how well the vacuum tool was for some of their new products like the 350 NCR cartridge in the comparison to a few conventional ideas from the attendees. Needless to say most were in awe of how well it worked but some of these tools come at a premium that will need to be evaluated on and individual basis.
After the two days of training, the attendees took a test to certify their understanding of the steps that were outlined throughout the training. Each attendee passed and at the end of the day everyone wins when you have trained experts working on your products.
In addition to walking through many 2015 products, the Marzocchi staff also opened up for other questions on any of their products and we even saw an old shiver get a new steerer tube get installed for a retro fork. The Marzocchi tech seminar’s are a great way for those who are dedicated to service can expand their knowledge and expertise to provide better customer service. Having gone into many shops in the past many of them shy away from suspension work but there’s a lot of value in being able to do this for your customers when the need arrises.