DOWN THE TRAIL – Two products from the 1990s that are still running strong



Simple Simon: The internals of the Z.1 were very straightforward—an oil cartridge and a coil spring in each side. External preload adjusters on top of each leg could compress the spring for a little extra stiffness. Since the fork was entirely open bath, the oil was allowed to flow freely throughout the fork and provide the silky-smooth travel.

Proflex 856: Okay, the wrecking crew had mixed feelings about the Proflex; however, that didn’t stop these machines from gracing the trails for many years after this review hit the newsstands. The elastomer single-pivot design held up quite well over the years.

The Vector: Girvin’s Vector fork was a sight to behold with its multi-link system that delivered 2.5 inches of travel. The fork relied on a hidden hydraulic system that had a damper placed near the head tube of the bike.
Tell it to me straight: In 1996 we claimed that Marzocchi had developed “what could be the best conventional fork on the market.” Our testers could not find a single flaw in the performance and were only mildly concerned about the weight. We’re willing to bet there are still some of these floating around on die-hard old-schoolers’ rides.

Bulletproof: Sean McCoy gets spicy on the Marzocchi Z.1 fork which is probably the fork that actually made bicycle suspension stick. The coil-sprung 4-inch-travel fork was not only plush and forgiving, but also durable enough to last more than a season. You could probably run sand instead of fork oil in these things and they would still work fine.


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