MBA Product Test: Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Fork

Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Fork

With a bold product name like Bomber to live up to, Marzocchi has always had a history of durability. And now they’re back with the help of new owner Fox Shox ready to reclaim their reputation for products that can be used hard without worry. Marzocchi’s hallmark has always been to make bombproof equipment that simply works. Available at a competitive price of $499, we were excited to see if the new Bomber Z2 could be as good as the original.

Tech features: The 2020 Marzocchi Bomber Z2 isn’t a simple throwback. One of the few design features they do share is the classic M-shaped arch, which not only claims to increase lower leg stiffness, it also does a good job of increasing tire clearance while visually-enforcing the strong brand name. But the differences don’t stop there.

With the idea of set-it-and-forget-it, Marzocchi’s aim is to provide a low-cost fork that doesn’t require a lot of fiddling with adjustments. An all-new air-sprung damper called the Rail has been developed. There’s a rebound knob and low-speed compression knob to tune, but the motto “bring simple back” is Marzocchi’s mantra here.

Fans of nostalgia won’t find a 26-inch model. The new Z2 has been modernized to be available for 27.5×2.8- or 29×2.6-inch tire combos. Travel options range from cross-country to enduro with 34mm stanchions, and comes in 100, 120, 130, 140 and 150mm models, as well as 44mm and 51mm offset options. Marzocchi was also able to employ the smooth and secure action of the 15mm × 110mm quick-release axle design by Shimano.

Field test results: We chose to test the 150mm version, weighing in at 4.45 pounds (2018 grams), with aggressive riding on our agenda. With an all-new damper, we relied on Marzocchi’s recommended settings chart (printed on the back of the fork leg) and found it to be an accurate starting point. Suggesting appropriate air pressure for your weight, while also offering recommended rebound settings, was another nicety.

Right out of the box, initial sensitivity is good with very little stiction. On the trail, the Rail damper feels smooth and supple through the middle of its travel, and it does a great job of holding itself up in its travel during heavy braking. With minimal fork dive occurring, steering precision was predictable and controlled. “Flex” has never been a word used for a Marzocchi product, and the Z2 upholds that reputation.

Providing a supportive platform through mid-travel is where the Rail damper provided its most consistent performance. We found ourselves riding harder, and when features got bigger, that’s where our 150mm-travel version could really shine. The Rail damper’s ability to ramp up progressivity encouraged us to keep going bigger.

Most of the time we rode with the compression knob on Open, but we appreciated the ease of motion and its functionality. When rotating to Firm, the Z2 actually got firmer and performed as advertised. The rebound knob offers an extensive range of adjustability, providing for fine-tune adjustments.

With the Rail damper, Marzocchi’s reputation for “bomber” has returned in an affordable package that delivers the simple adjustments you really need. Simple is indeed back with the Bomber Z2, and it can be found in red or black at www.marzocchi.com.

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