If you’ve been riding mountain bikes since way back in the late 90’s and 2000’s, then it’s impossible to not have memories of the big red M. Marzocchi’s rock ‘n’ roll freeride image and buttery suspension could be found in every mountain bike video and on the front of the most popular mountain bikes on the showroom floor. Nothing felt quite as buttery as those early Italian forks, but sadly after some glory days they developed a reputation for failing in unique and frustrating ways.
Marzocchi’s history is long and varied but after being acquired by Fox, the brand has been rebuilding as the Toyota to Fox’s Lexus. They offer many of the same features and technologies perfected by the elite level brand but are trickled down and applied to products in a more affordable platform. Don’t take that to mean these forks aren’t good enough for you, as many pro athletes like Cameron Zink and Tyler McCaul will be sending these Marzocchi dampers higher, farther and faster than you’d ever dream of. So, let’s dig in to the Marzocchi Bomber 58 downhill mountain bike fork and see how it did.
Marzocchi’s Bomber 58 is the resurrection of the Marzocchi dual crown DH fork. Build options are limited to 27.5-inch specific wheel size, 203mm of travel, and a 52mm offset. The steerer is 1-1/8”, and it shares the 40mm stanchions and upper crown with Fox’s 40 and Marzocchi stuck with the old school DH standard 20×110 axle. It is available in in matte block or gloss red.
Internally the forks have some neat stuff going on with the damper and spring system. The damper is a Fox FIT GRIP system with a hybrid high/low speed compression system for simple adjustment by the end user. Damping adjustment is handled by a single compression knob with 13 total clicks of adjustment and rebound is an all in one unit with nine clicks available. From the factory, the air spring comes with four volume spacers but up to seven can be installed for maximum progressiveness. Suggested starting pressures are available from Marzocchi and felt right on for our riding at 20% sag.
We rode the 58 on a variety of downhill bikes and a Specialized Kenevo eMTB throughout our test period. One of the main benefits of the Bomber 58 is the versatility with very standardized sizing and ease of setup. And the savings! The main takeaway we had is how consistent and easy it is to set up the Bomber 58.
Setup is as simple as it gets while still maintaining a high level of performance. After two laps at the bike park, we had our settings dialed in and never had to touch them again unless we were going to hit some very different terrain or big drops.
All the testers ran right at 20% sag, which lined up nicely with the recommended pressures. Only on some bigger lines where we wanted to stay higher up in the suspension did add a few extra PSI. The included spacers are the sweet spot for progressiveness and offer a very comfortable ramp that is easy on the wrists and we rarely found the bottom out point.
The stiff 40mm stanchions are very similar in feeling to their Fox counterparts with what we perceived as slightly more stiction compared to a Factory Kashima-coated 40. But at speed, the difference is barely noticeable and small bump compliance is still surprisingly good, especially considering the price savings offered by the Marzocchi Bomber 58. We were regularly impressed by how well the fork tracked and absorbed fast chatter and big hits alike.
We did not have any seal failures or issues with our test forks during a long summer of beating on heavy bikes. The Marzocchi Bomber 58 was reliable and consistent, which is some of the biggest praise we can give. Whether on the front of our downhill bike or our Kenevo, the two forks we had both performed flawlessly.
The price difference between the Marzocchi Bomber 58 and the Fox 40 is vast but the performance is very close. If you aren’t racing at a very high level or running telemetry on your suspension, we doubt you are going to see the benefits of more adjustment knobs and would wager to say that a large majority of riders will not be any slower on a 58. In fact, if we’d wager that if you took the money saved and spent it on more lift tickets or road trips to your local DH trail, you’d probably progress as a rider, making you even faster AND have more awesome ride stories to share than a broke rider with a Factory 40! Ultimately, the Marzocchi Bomber 58 is reliable, easy to tune, and both forks we tested kept us lapping our local park all summer and hammering our long travel eMTB charge after charge. Although it doesn’t quite offer as refined of a feel as a Fox Factory 40 when it comes to mid-stroke support or fine-tuning, we doubt the stop watch would tell much of a difference when the 58 is on the front of your bike.