1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
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  1. #1
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    Marzocchi Marathon LR "compression" adjusting

    I want to pull the trigger on buying this from from Bluesky, but something has me totally confused. When I look at the description on other sites, like pricepoint, it says in the spec sheet "compression - no", but in the wordy description is says "The coil-alike plushness combined with the air volume adjuster offers the ideal compression curve to any rider." So does this thing have a compression adjustment or not? WTF?

    Marzocchi Marathon LR Fork 2012 at Price Point
    They call me non-sequitur

  2. #2
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    You probably want to click the link to ask Pricepoint the question, but I would assume it doesn't have a compression damping adjustment knob. Any fork is going to have some kind of compression and rebound damping characteristics (the "curve" they're talking about). Whether or not there's an external adjustment knob is a totally different thing, and Pricepoint says nope, it doesn't have one.

  3. #3
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    So, preload (or air volume) is different from "damping", and "damping" is to down stroke as "rebound" is to upstroke of the fork? Am I getting close?

    And preload is the term for adjusting spring shocks, and air volume is the term for adjusting air shocks?

    At least that is what the lightbulb in my head is telling me....


    Gah! I just looked at what I typed and I still think I'm not putting it together... Or have terms turned around. I went ahead and ordered it. I'm sure it is plenty for my skill/age level for a while and probably a fine shock for my bike. It didn't make any sense to me to buy a Minute pro or Reba since they cost almost as much as my whole bike lol. I can save up for a better bike down the road.
    They call me non-sequitur

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    All suspension forks have a spring. Either a big honkin' coil or an air chamber. Preload or air pressure adjusts this. The description of the fork on Pricepoint confused the hell out of me, so I'm not going to try to say what kind of spring it has or how it's adjusted.

    All suspension forks worth owning have a rebound damper.

    Compression dampers, platform dampers and lockouts are all for more-or-less the same thing: to prevent rider input from making the bike bounce around, wasting energy. They work in different ways, and not all forks have them. I had a platform damper on my last fork, but I find I don't miss it as much as I thought I would now that I don't have one. They can be a bit finicky to adjust. Compression dampers are supposed to be easier. Lockouts have to be turned on and off during a ride. Some lockouts have some intermediate adjustments.

    Did you order the fork?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Yeah, kinda what he said.

    All decent suspension forks will have some kind of spring (air or coil) and some kind of compression and rebound damping. That just means a mechanism to slow down the compression of the fork when you hit a bump, and to slow down the rebound of the fork afterward. Usually it's oil flowing through the internal bits of the fork slowing everything down. Slowing down the action of the fork puts it in the right position for the next bump without a bunch of pogo'ing up and down.

    Spend some extra cash and you'll get an adjuster knob or two to be able to change that damping action to make the fork act how you like. An adjuster for rebound damping is most common, while other forks have adjusters for both rebound and compression damping. This is what people are saying when they talk about a fork having "compression" or "rebound." All decent (non Walmart) forks are going to have both kinds of damping mechanisms inside. It's the external adjuster knobs that you may or may not have.

    Preload is just loading the spring so that when you sit on the bike, your spring isn't too compressed or extended. All it does is get the suspension in the right position to get the best travel out of it. You increase preload on a coil spring by cranking down some adjuster and putting pressure on the spring. You increase preload on an air spring by adding more air.

    Don't worry about the air volume piece. The short answer is that changing the volume of an air spring changes the way it behaves. I doubt it's anything you'll find useful, but it sure sounds neat.

  6. #6
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    The "LR" tells you that the fork uses marzocchis lockout rebound damper system. The rebound adjustment is a plastic knob on the bottom of the right leg. I don't like the LR system but you may.
    marzocchis website gives an ok description of their fork models.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Did you order the fork?
    Yes, I ordered it. From the description, I think the rebound is adjustable, just not the compression (thought I do have preload adjustment). Once I get it, and see the adjustments, I might call them up. Bluesky will do returns so I got that going for me. I am a new rider, so I'm not sure I will exceed the capability of this fork anyway. My main goal is to get rid of this Suntour Pogo (at least that is what they should call it) currently on my bike.
    They call me non-sequitur

  8. #8
    rebmem rbtm
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  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't think compression damping and lockout are very important features on non-race forks. Actually, I don't think they're as important as I used to on race forks either.

    The volume adjust actually sounds kind of cool.

    Imagine a rider who's all about the descents. He does all his climbing in the saddle on fire roads, maybe gets off and pushes when the going gets tough. But he descends like a banshee. This guy's going to want a really plush suspension fork that does a great job keeping the front wheel on the ground. So he won't want a really high spring rate. Except that he's also going to be carrying a lot of speed for the bigger hits. Using a lower volume and lower pressure will make his fork's effective spring rate ramp up pretty quickly as it compresses, so it can work well for the smallish, high-frequency trail chatter and also not bottom out.

    Now imagine a XC racer. He knows that he spends two thirds of a race climbing, and really doesn't want to lose efficiency there. Sometimes he gets out of the saddle to develop some more power. This guy doesn't want his fork to accept pedal input, and runs it at a higher pressure. If he had a compression damper, he'd probably use that too. Since the fork's already at relatively high pressure, it really doesn't need to ramp up to avoid bottoming out. So high pressure/high volume would work for this guy.

    It's also possible to imagine riders who'd want one low and one high.

    Since it's not something I've got saddle time on, I don't know how it works. But there you go.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    I got my new fork installed and WOW it makes a world of difference! You are right, I do not need compression adjustment, but I am glad to have the rebound adjustment. I also see that I do not need the remote lockout, the lever is easy enough to get to, if I even decide to use it.

    I set the air volume just a hair on the stiff side (my weight is on the low point of the recommended pressure) and it seems to be right about where I want it. I only had the rebound set about 10% dampening. I will gradually increase it to test it out, but I do not think I need much more as there is not a lot of bouncing since I am only doing mostly non-technical singletrail.

    I was really confused about my Suntour. Being a noob, I did not know if what I was feeling was all in my head, or lack of experience or what. I really wanted to make sure that I got something decent without having to spend $400 and yall's posts helped me a lot. As far as that Suntour, that thing was too stiff and bouncy and making my hands numb from hanging on to it so hard. The preload adjustment did not seem to make any difference at all, I had it set all the way down. I am a bit ticked off that manufacturors are putting that piece of crap on bikes, it is a major comfort as well as a safety issue. Last I checked, carpal tunnel is an injury, and I was experiencing it even after riding while on my computer. A rigid fork would have been much better as it would only bounce me once. By the way, I do pull up, and make an attempt at bunnyhop (I am working on that skill) on larger roots, pipes and such, so it was not like I was just ramming into everything.

    Again, thanks for the help everyone. I learned a lot and got what I needed without going totally broke LOL.
    They call me non-sequitur

  11. #11
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    From time to time, one of the manufacturers, sometimes even one of the majors, will try to ship an entry-level mountain bike with a rigid. They always give up after a few years.

    I don't think they're trying to rip anyone off. I think they're finding that the market that knows rigid beats crappy suspension and the market that buys inexpensive mountain bikes are two different markets.

    It seems to stick a bit better with singlespeeds, though.

    Anyway, I'm glad you're liking the new fork.

    I remember when I replaced the RST that my bike came with. I went to one of the two riding spots I had reasonable access to and found that suddenly I could hold my line again. I hadn't remembered sucking as much on the bike I rode in college as I found I did when I bought my new bike. So I was happy to find out that I really was being messed up by gear, and I really didn't suck that much.

    For setup, there are a few ways to do it. I think for rebound damping, it just takes experimentation. For setting the air pressure in the first place, put a zip tie on one of your fork stanchions. The lowers will push it up when the fork compresses, and you can see how much travel you're using. There will probably always be a little bit that stays above the zip tie, but it should get pretty close to the top by the end of your more technical rides. I think my Marzocchi leaves about 6 mm of stanchion above the seal at full compression.

    No idea how to figure out the volume adjustment. With pretty much everything, though, taking notes and trying the extremes and then bracketing down to a "sweet spot" tends to work alright.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    So I was happy to find out that I really was being messed up by gear, and I really didn't suck that much.

    I know right! I mean, the trails I go on are not THAT much, I was having a major GAH! moment

    I agree with the manufacturor and new buyer tardness. I probably would not have picked rigid to start with, even thought it would have been the better choice. Consumers are drawn to shiny, techie looking stuff. I also notice 99% of all walmart bikes have FS. Can you imagine being pogo'd from the back as well as the front? Don't let that seat fall off!!!!
    They call me non-sequitur

  13. #13
    vmed_cha_gr
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    Good job! An alternative solution for a broken remote control lever.

    For those who have a broken remote control lever, you can use a Suntour familiar with the one in the photo. It is very cheap & 100% compatible. Works on my 2012 Marzocchi LR (that came without it).
    Vassilis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Marzocchi Marathon LR "compression" adjusting-suntour.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattcz View Post
    The "LR" tells you that the fork uses marzocchis lockout rebound damper system. The rebound adjustment is a plastic knob on the bottom of the right leg. I don't like the LR system but you may.
    marzocchis website gives an ok description of their fork models.
    Can you be more specific why you don't like the LR system? Is it because they compromised too much putting it in an inexpensive fork?
    Mike
    2011 Moto Fly Pro

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