Marzocchi’s New 29er Fork: 140mm 29er fork.

by FatBob on September 28, 2009

Its been a long wait for this fork to be released. Marzocchi used to make a 29er fork but discontinued it a few years back. I was not impressed with the old one so the removal of it from the market place was not too heart breaking. Fast forward to 2010. With the introduction of the Niner WFO9 Marzocchi released a Niner Bikes  exclusive fork. That is how I ended up with  it.

mckinnly wfo mcr9 spec for sale 042 1024x576 Marzocchis New 29er Fork: 140mm 29er fork.

I believe the fork is dubbed the Marzocchi 44 tst micro. It has a 1.5- 1 1/8 inch tapered steer tube. A 15mm qr front axle helps out with the nice stiff feel of the fork. The crown is husky but not over built. It is an air shock.

The weight of the Marzocchi fork is 4 pounds 9 ounces. That isn’t bad for the travel and abuse this fork is rated for.

The appearance is nice. Nothing too crazy just good old fashion black with a little brown flake in it. It matches the WFO9 Milk Dud Ano finish nicely.

The fork is fairly easy to set up just put air in one chamber based on your body weight. The manual that came with the fork has the recommended air pressure buried in it, you just have to take the time to look for it.

mckinnly wfo mcr9 spec for sale 0451 576x1024 Marzocchis New 29er Fork: 140mm 29er fork.

sort of side view.

Things I did not like. First and foremost, The 15Qr axle was a little to long. On my first ride it came loose on me the whole time I was riding. Marzocchi is aware of the problem and has already sent the part out. The warranty tech’s were friendly and didn’t use the classic “that’s the first time we have heard of that” phrase that is all to common in the bike world’s warranty departments. I appreciated the responsibility of just fessing up to the problem and remedying it. Thanks Marzocchi.  If you shipped it on the day I spoke to you and not a week later(since I know you had the part) I would be really happy.

Second is that the rebound just doesn’t get fast enough on this fork. It does not feel nearly as lively as my yesteryear Marzocchi’s did.  I have owned about 6 Marzocchi’s in the past and have sold dozens of them(probably close to a hundred in 5 years). This does not feel like the Marzocchi’s that I used to love. I’ll spend more time playing with it when I get the bike back, hopefully I’ll get the fork to feel right. If I have to change the oil in the first month of owning this fork so that I can get it to feel right I will be really disappointed.

mckinnly wfo mcr9 spec for sale 017 576x1024 Marzocchis New 29er Fork: 140mm 29er fork.

Third, for a fork that is made to be on a burly bike, what’s up with the 15qr. Why not go with a 20mm qr. A 29er with 140mm travel is not the greatest application for a 15 qr. I cant even get a DT Hugi 440 hub with a 15 qr axle. I had to Franken wheel and not match my front hub to my rear hub. That is really tramatic! I am crying.  I almost went and bought Chris King hubs so I could match or Industry 9′s. That would have  ruined my street cred with my local shop. WHY!!! Just make a 20mm option please.

Ride report’s will follow .mckinnly wfo mcr9 spec for sale 018 576x1024 Marzocchis New 29er Fork: 140mm 29er fork.

Check out prices and some more user reviews on a bunch of different 29er forks here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

bruce brown October 11, 2009 at 7:25 am

Did you read this from Hellocook on mtbr.com?

“i remember 2 or 3 years ago reading in a german newspaper a technical comparison of headtube stiffness between different wheel fixing systems (QR, 20mm, Though-Bolt) as well headtubes (1 1/8, 1.5, tapered). The result was that the headtube improvement tapered vs. 1 1/8 in terms of stiffness was much higher than QR vs. 20mm. Also, there was hardly an improvement between 1.5 and tapered.”

If that is true, it appears the stiffness improvement gains come from the tapered addition and that going from say a 15mm QR to the 20mm may not be as significant.

FatBob October 13, 2009 at 5:20 am

Thank you. I agree with you. I think for me it’s just being bitter about 15qr. I have been riding the Marzocchi with 15qr and a 1/8- 1.5 taper steer tube. I am never complaining about stiffness. The 15mm qr works just fine. Marzocchi has been using a 20mm axle for quite a while. There are also more 20mm hubs out there. So why the switch?

Either way 15mm qr or 20mm qr the Marzocchi is plenty stiff and I believe you are correct when you say the improvement would be insignificant. For me it probably is just a mental block.

Donn O is riding 15mm qr and has never questioned it. Charlie Storm is riding the Marzoocchi 44 tst micro on the WFO9 and he has no complaints either. Probably no one will unless you have too mch time on your hands and previose prejudice. Both of these I have so, there is the problem.

DD October 26, 2009 at 9:57 am

Couple of things

1. Lively doesn’t mean good. Probably just means the rebound isn’t adapting to the terrain properly and bouncing around too much. Although I suppose you wouldn’t know for sure until you rode it hard if it packed down or lost front end grip.

2. 15mm axles make perfect sense. They’re there to make the clear distinction between a freeride and all mountain fork. Stick a 20mm axle on it and suddenly everyone’s using it as a DJ/4X/FR fork and they’re breaking left right and centre.

Also there are loads of very good hubs offering 15mm options with many being convertible from QR/15mm/20mm.

FatBob October 30, 2009 at 7:07 am

Thanks for your thoughts. I had not really thought of the 20mm axle thing as a ticket to use a fork as a “freeride” fork. You have a good point. You are also correct about the 15mm hubs. There is quite a selection. I personally don’t care for convertible front hubs. I don’t have a good reason, for some reason I don’t like the idea. This is of course 100% opinion and has no real basis. If you are unsure of your fork choice it is a cool option to be able to convert to whatever standard necessary.

Back to the 15mm axle. The problem I had with hub choice is, I wanted a Dt 440 fr rear hub with a 12mm Maxle axle. Then I wanted to use a matching Dt 440 front hub. DT only makes the 440 hub in 20mm or oddly enough in 9mm axle options. So I ended up having to use a DT240s hub. It was slightly annoying but ultimately unimportant. Your explanation explains why I can not use a “freeride” hub on what is supposed to be an “all mountain fork”. However this is supposed to be a burly fork, to be used with a burly frame(WFO9) It is rated to take quite a bit of abuse, and to be ridden hard. A 140mm 29er fork is categorized differently then a 140mm 26″ wheel fork. Right or wrong that is just how it is.

I would also like to say that Rock Shox is selling the Reba fork with a 20mm hub. Also Manitou is making 29er trail bike and XC forks with 20mm axles. It does not seem to be confusing the buying public as to the intended use of the forks. In the end it does not matter because the decision makers are telling us that they are making a 15mm axle fork. Good or bad it is what it is. I do have to note here the 15mm axle if far better the a 9mm axle aside from weight and I would gladly add the few grams for the noticeable improvement.

As far as the “lively” comment, it does not pack down when ridden hard. It has a wide range of tunability but I still can’t get it to feel right. I am not giving up yet but the first couple of months have been frustrating. The biggest complaint I have and Charlie also, is it does good(not great) on big hits and medium sized drops but has been terrible as far as small bump sensitivity. Charlie is a professional XC rider and he said on small bumps the fork was scary. When a XC guy feels a shock is not supple enough I am listening. He was running the fork at about 28 psi had a good 30% sag and had the compression setting in the softest setting available. I have to say here that this is not necessarily a rebound issue. I had also lathered the fork up with Buzzy’s shock nectar 7wt oil prior to him using it as per Marzocchi’s recommendation. So we will keep working on tuning. This is why reviews take us so long. We really try to give the product a fair try and I am willing to experiment based on rider feed back to see if we can tune the fork.

Are you employed by Marzocchi? If you are that is cool. Speak up and introduce yourself as we are interested in your thoughts. If not that’s cool to you comment has many good points. Thanks

Artnshel January 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I have the same fork, weigh 170lbs and am running 50psi, almost twice the previous posters pressure. What’s up?
I don’t have enough time on it yet but so far don’t agree that it is poor on small bumps. It is linear but I like that so far.

FatBob January 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Whats up art. I actually got the set up info from a certain Marzocchi tech. I will not give names, sorry. I was very frustrated with the fork. I called them again. I talked to another Marzocchi tech. He gave me some good ideas.

In short I rebuilt the Marzocchi 44micro ti. The Marzocchi tech recommended 2.5 weight moto fork oil to speed up the valving. Also he recommended a O-ring lube put on the seals. this is done to prevent stiction. Please note there is a difference between the black sliders and polished nickel sliders. The black sliders do not have near as much stiction as the Nickel sliders.I am speaking of the 44 micro ti with the nickel sliders. So far it feels better but I am waiting for a new frame to arrrive to test it fully.

I was also told on my 2nd call that this is not a low pressure fork. I figured this out on my third call. I inflated the fork to the about 50 PSI. I noticed that when I compressed it it did not extend all the way out to its 140mm travel. This is when the Marzocchi guy’s told me it needs at least 80psi. Sure enough when the fork hits about 80PSI it extends all the way out. Infact much harder then 80PSI I can get the fork to extend to 6 inches of slider showing.

For these reasons you have seen no updates on this fork. When we get some mileage on it we will update.

I am always interested in other peoples findings. Some people say this is the plushest fork ever. Others like us feel like it is the stickiest fork ever. I will see what happens with the rebuilt fork but so far at the very least the quality has been inconsistent. Or the posters leaving comments are riding a different fork.

carter1 September 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I am waiting on a Rip9 frame and am trying to decide on a fork. I want the 140mm (and the ability to drop it if need be) and the 15mm axle. The max travel Fox has is 120mm. Would you recommend the Marzocchi? I have had 2 Reba’s on 3 Sir9′s and like them fine, but Reba only has the 20mm axle and my CK’s will only adapt up to 15mm. Thanks!

FatBob September 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Carter, sorry to reply so late.

As far as the RIP9 with a 140mm fork. In my mind there is only one 140mm fork worth trying. The fork I would buy is the Rock Shox Reba 140 RLT. The Marzocchi just is not there.It feels very unrefined. The small bump compliance was terrible. I took the fork apart and ran 2.5 weight oil. I also ran o-ring grease on the sliders and rubbed it on the bushings. The coating on the Marzocchi 44 micro ti was just to sticky. Add to it a average ability on larger hits and it became a total miss for us.

I would love to try a improved version at some point as I do like Marzocchi forks in general. Actually I have liked them in the past.

I hear you about the Chris King hub and the compatibility issues with 20mm axles. I am in the same boat. I am trying to get a 140mm Reba RLT to run on the Intense Tracer. I have two 15qr front wheels and will unfortunately need to get another wheel so I can run a 20mm hub. Still the Marzocchi performs poorly enough that I would rather see you save and get a new front hub then the Marzocchi fork.

One thing to note. We have tested the Rock Shox Reba in 100 and 120mm modes but not in the 140mm mode. I cant completely recommend the Reba 140. We are however all sold on the Reba being a great performing fork and are completely divided as to whether the 2011 Fox is as good as the 2010 Reba’s we have on various personal bikes. I do feel it is worth the risk unless you can be patient enough to wait until we test it.

Sorry but I hope this helps ultimately in getting you a product that you will enjoy for multiple seasons.

FatBob

jacmac December 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Actually, you can get a 15mm conversion kit for your DT 440 hub. From BTI’s website:

BTI part #: DT-0522
vendor part #: HWGXXX00S2254S
converts to: 15x100mm T-A

FatBob December 26, 2010 at 6:41 am

Hey Jacmac, thanks for the update. At the time the article was written the 15qr reduction probably was not available. I check this stuff because i really do like to match especially my wheels.

Thanks for the part numbers and source info.

FatBob

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