Marzocchi is back! For the 2015 season the Italians have presented a real highlight: the Marzocchi 350 NCR. The fork has 160mm of travel and is available for 27.5″ wheels. With a weight of 1920g it makes a very good impression on paper. We had the chance to test the fork in detail and took it out on our home trails, the EWS stages in Finale Ligure and the Bike Park Lac Blanc to find out if the new 350 would also convince in terms of performance.
We recieved lots of emails from our readers, asking us if we could tell them something about the performance of the fork. After a thorough test, we can now present our impressions of the new Marzocchi 350 NCR.
At first glance the remote control which allows, the fork to be set firm for the uphill through the compression damping caught our eye. Marzocchi informs us that the new DBC-damping unit is a hybrid of an open oil bath and a closed damping cartridge. The rebound and low-speed compression can be adjusted externally in fine clicks. The High-Speed Compression is adjustable internally via the shim stack. In addition, the rider can reduce the travel internally from 160 mm to 140mm. The weight of 1920 g is very competitive.
We built the fork into the Rose Granite Chief of longterm test rider Benjamin. There it replaced a 160 mm RockShox Pike. After just a few meters the Italian impressed with its improved responsiveness that Marzocchi’s always been well known for. After it was adjusted to the riders body weight, it was out onto the home trails in the beautiful Pfalz.
On the climbs the fork remains very stable, only when strong pedaling did we have to activate the extra damping via the remote on the handlebar to maximize efficiency. On the downhill sections the Marzocchi is unstoppable. No matter how rough the terrain is and how much you miss your lines, it absorb any unevenness.
After mellow home trails, we pulled out the big guns: A Day in the Bike Park Lac Blanc would surely show whether the pretty Italian can cope with the fierce braking bumps, hard hits and challenging technical terrain. To have a reference, we packed a RockShox Pike too.
No matter what we rode with the Marzocchi 350 NCR, it devoured it with great pleasure and always remained high in travel. No sagging under hard braking or in steep sections was noted. In direct comparison to the Pike it did not give as much feedback, but offered more comfort so we had significantly later and less arm-pump in the forearms. Typical Marzocchi, the fork must be ridden a bit more actively, as it has a high absorption capacity and creamy sensitivity.
Conclusion: Marzocchi is Back! The 350 NCR provides everything that the name Marzocchi once stood for and much more. Blessed with an impressive absorption performance and very low weight, the Marzocchi 350 NCR is suitable for both for everyday riders and racers, who will appreciate the great adjust-ability and performance of the DBC cartridge.
For more information visit: www.marzocchi.com
Text: Sebastian Gierulski | Photos: Trevor Worsey