Marzocchi Bomber Z2

Marzocchi Bomber Z2

Words & Photos by Marcus Melhuish

This is the first of what we hope are many Patron-written reviews here on theloamwolf.com. For those unfamiliar we have a Patreon page, which you can check out here. We love interacting with our Patrons and thought it would be fun to give some of our supporters the opportunity to test and review products. Our first reviewer is Marcus Melhuish who’s been a dedicated fan and follower of ours for quite a while. We had an opportunity to send out a new Marzocchi Bomber fork for review and he happened to be the lucky test-mule. Read on to see what Marcus had to say.

First off I want to thank The Loam Wolf for giving me the chance to test this fork before it was on the market for purchase, it was a lot of fun unboxing a new product that so many had yet to see. The new Marzocchi Bomber Z2 was going to be replacing a trusty old Fox 34 Rhythm 130mm. My Stanton Switch9er hardtail is designed to run 150 to 160mm of travel up front. I absolutely love this bike and if you haven’t read up on them, you should, it’s a beast.

Marzocchi Bomber Z2

THE LAB
Marzocchi designed the Z2 to be their affordable do it all trail/ all mountain fork. Retailing at $499, less than their flagship Z1. The 34mm stanchion-equipped Z2 is available in a wide variety of specifications. Three rake options (37, 44, and 51mm), two wheel sizes (up to 27.5 x 2.8 or 29 x 2.6) and travel from 100 to 150mm mean the Z2 will work for almost anyone in the budget trail category.

In an effort to both keep costs down and “bring simple back,” Marzocchi has minimized knobs and levers to the bare essentials. Air pressure, external rebound, and low-speed compression are all you need to worry about with the Z2. Another cost saving measure is the use of 6000-series alloy upper tubes instead of lighter, more costly 7000-series alloy found on the Z1 and Fox’s high performance forks.

Some common parts do transfer over however. Fox’s EVOL air spring is identical to that used in the Marzocchi and volume reducing tokens are also interchangeable. Marzocchi also uses the same wiper seals and maintenance intervals as Fox’s 34.

The big difference comes from the Rail damper. How the Rail damper works is pretty interesting. The system works by separating rebound and compression piston assemblies, which also makes the fork easier to work on. Rather than being joined, the compression assembly sits under the top cap and the rebound assembly is at the bottom of the lower, attached by the foot nut. Separating the two piston units is a hefty serving of damping oil. No more damper bleeds and a simple draining of the oil and a refill gets you back on the trail!

Rimpact Sendnoodz Tire Inserts

THE DIRT
As I unboxed my new fork I was instantly impressed with the overall look, vibrant colors and finish. The plastic adjusters look nice for what they are and I was curious to see how they’d hold up. So far, so good!

After inspecting the tech and build I was surprised at how similar the systems feel. I’d wager most riders won’t notice the difference but discerning techies will notice it’s not quite as nice, and that’s to be expected for a product that’s half the price!

I am running four volume spacers currently and leave the Rail damper adjuster wide open. I ride a very wide range of trails from almost concrete-like flow trails to lift accessed bike parks. The small bump sensitivity is not on par with other semi entry level forks I have tried but the Z2 takes big hits much better than others. It definitely lives up to the Bomber name.

As an entry level fork it’s not designed to blow minds with performance, but what impressed me more was that it didn’t let me down anywhere either! Some small critiques focus on the plastic air cap, damper knob and rebound knob, but they’ve held up fine so far. Somehow the Bomber feels a bit stiffer than my 34, which is quite impressive and welcome on rowdier trails. The rebound adjustments don’t give me very much feedback. It seems that the clicks are not as effective on the Z2 as they are on other forks.

I normally run a mid to fast rebound, which this fork seems to be at no matter how many clicks I turn the adjuster in either direction. It worked fine for me as it was right in my sweet spot, but could be a problem for others.

Marzocchi Bomber Z2

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Marzocchi Z2 is definitely a set it and forget fork. If you aren’t super technical and want to get a product that just does what it needs to do, this could be right up your alley. Likewise if you’re on a budget and want to upgrade your entry to mid-level bike to something a bit nicer, this could be a great option. Overall I’m pretty happy with the performance offered by the Marzocchi Z2, especially considering it’s an entry level fork that costs hundreds less than competitors. It’s quite a testament that it has handled the rowdy hardtail riding that I have been pushing it through for the last six months. The price tag lets you know this isn’t your cream of the crop race-ready fork, which it doesn’t claim to be. It’s a solid and hard charging entry level fork that will get you down the trail no matter how rowdy you wanna get.

Price: $499
Weight: 1,995 grams
Website: Marzocchi.com

We Dig

It’s Under $500!
Looks Like it Costs More Than $500
Big Hit Performance
Easily Serviceable

We Don’t

Top of Stroke Stiction
Plastic Caps

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