If you need a solid but relatively affordable mountain bike fork, you should be excited about the Marzocchi Bomber Z2. The original Z2 that came out in the late 90s was a huge step forward with its coil springs and open oil bath system.
The reborn Bomber Z2 has travel options ranging from 100 to 150 millimeters and a price of $499. But none of that matters if it doesnâ€™t work well. And trust me, it will.
Why Iâ€™d bet on the Marzocchi Bomber Z2
A few years ago, I built a cool titanium hardtail. Itâ€™s a weird one with a singlespeed belt drive. So I had to be weird with the fork, too. I found a sweet deal on a Marzocchi 320 LR fork. That one leans a bit more cross-country in nature than the new Bomber Z-2.
But it was considerably better than the XFusion I used on a previous hardtail. It never bottoms out as harshly, it doesnâ€™t hiss when compressed, it steers just slightly better (possibly because of its thru-axle). It held up beautifully during my first six-hour singlespeed race.
From what I understand, the new Marzocchi forks are built by Fox. Thatâ€™s another point in its favor (though some people insist that Fox doesn’t make ’em like they used to).
Users on the MTBR forum also praise the 320 LR, which is a good sign for the Bomber Z2.
Wait for the Release Date
If youâ€™re putting a bike together, it would be worth waiting for this fork. My experience with Marzocchi 320 LR gives me confidence that youâ€™ll have a great fork for a good price. Youâ€™ll be able to choose between 27.5 and 29er versions, too.
Youâ€™ll also be able to get different fork rake options, so be sure you know your frameâ€™s geometry before you buy: Your local bike shop will be able to help. If youâ€™re a DIY type ordering online, you either know this or should at least ask a salesperson before you click â€œBUY.â€
What Other Options?
If you have about $500 to spend on a fork? What else can you get?
The Rock Shox Reba is always a competent option, especially if you prefer to stick with the bigger brands. If youâ€™re more adventurous, you have other possibilities: The SR Suntour Epixcon (sometimes known as an Axon â€¦ Suntour confuses me!) and the XFusion Slide are both easily available new in the price range. I havenâ€™t ridden the Epixcon or Axon, so I canâ€™t say much about them. You might also be able to dig up a Manitou Mattoc.
My X-Fusion Slide 29 is a good fork, but I like the Marzocchi 320 better. Again, my bet is on the Bomber Z2 to be a hit.
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