Home > bicycling, Review > Marzocchi Marathon LR Upgrade and Review

Marzocchi Marathon LR Upgrade and Review

Finding that my reviews are the most popular items here on the blog so trying to find ways to improve them and make them more informative. Have a number of these queued up. All these products are new to me so don’t expect informed results, but simply did it work for me.

Product: Marzocchi Marathon LR Front Forks

Cost: ~$350 CDN

Quick Hit: Nice medium weight replacement fork. As a first upgrade may end up being the last fork upgrade you do. Extremely competitive on price. Lots of adjustability.

Base Stats:

– Available colors: gloss black
» 150mm (130 w/spacer)
» (AER)
» (LR)
» 9mm DROP OUT
» 6″ PM D-BRAKE (MAX 203mm)

Weight 1.83 kg (4.03 pounds)

Great more info now at this link

When all this bike madness started my first purchase was a Devinci Cameleon 2 Mountain bike. I had not bought a bike in over 15 years so had no clue about the technology. I don’t think front forks really existed when I last looked at these things.

So the Cameleon 2 looked like a good buy at around $800. Certainly that was a major step up the ladder compared to the usual Canadian Tire offerings. The fork was a RockShox Dart 1 and it looked beefy and had some nice graphics. Doesn’t look like it is in RockShox’s catalog anymore but you could buy it new for under $100 if you looked around. So not the best fork around.

Two years later it was pretty shot, never really was all that good to start, and as far as I could tell didn’t do anything in the woods. Felt like a solid fork. Eventually it looked like this.


Paint peeled off, innards probably shot too!

I really wanted it to handle better in the woods so out with the old but what to replace it with.

There are beyond options for forks. This is certainly one area where you need to inform yourself. There are forks for racing, downhill, jumping, different Quick release sizes, different height and options. I needed something that was good for the basics, so trail seemed like the right choice. Also didn’t want to spend more than say $500.

I have been using my iPad to do a lot more magazine reading and one of the British mags (which always seem to me to be more informative and beefy) I read is “What Mountain Bike” which is great because it is all about educating the buyer. Some of the issues have over 150 pages! They always had a “Best 5” lists of things, including forks and the Marzocchi Marathon fork was always in the list. In the April 2012 edition they had a larger faceoff between a number of forks. The Marathon R was voted best value (and the LR, which adds a lockout was noted as basically the same for a wee bit more). Here is their overview “Simple but workable suspension with bombproof reliability at a bargain price”. I like simple and reliable for my bikes!

I double checked a lot of other reviews and they all said the same, great value and feels like forks 2-3x the cost. Since I like value I decided this was the fork for me. My LBS was mostly able to match he online prices I could find so I ordered it and it arrived within a couple of days.

My LBS installed it and a day later I was in the woods. Unlike my previous fork it works and it also doesn’t change over time, even after an hour or more of bashing over the exposed rocks that are common on the trails I do. Since then I have done a few more hour plus rides on some pretty gnarly trails and so far so good.

There are three “adjusters” on the fork.

My LBS set the Air Preload adjust and I haven’t had to change that. I assume it needs to be adjusted as it probably leaks over time so looking at getting a specific fork pump (yep, surprise, surprise somebody figured out we would be willing to shell out money just for that).

The Lock out is something that I was a bit dubious of at first but boy does it work. If I know the ground will be hard or if on pavement I just flick and it’s rock solid. Starts to get bumpy and flick, it’s back to being suspension.

The rebound is on the bottom of the right hand fork and I haven’t played with yet, but it regulates how quickly it “bounces” back from a rock or bump. May look at this in the future but for now it seems to be set correctly, it’s basically in the middle


Certainly Beefier than the Dart 1


The fork in the wild, the lockout is off so it’s bouncy at this point!

So there you have it, Marzocchi Marathon forks works for me, and probably for you too if you prize value and something that simply works. It’s not a fork a lot of folks have so have that unique factor and you save a pile of dough too!

Categories: bicycling, Review
  1. Checo
    August 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Excellent fork buddy but only two things:

    -Plastic dials
    -a little heavy

    • ducatifiend
      August 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      I’ll give you the plastic dials..would certainly like to see better.
      And yes, not the lightest out there at this price the weight seems better than most.

      You can pick this up at MEC for $275 for example

      Marzocchi Marathon LR = 1900g

      RockShox Recon Silver – 2235g
      Suntour Raidon X1 RL-R – 2020g
      Manitou Match – 2345g

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