Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,908

    Marzocchi Z1 Bomber

    I have an old bike with these on it. The bike dates back to 2000. Each leg is individually bolted to the crown and the travel is maybe 70 to 80mm. They still function OK, but my interest is that I heard the Z1 was a sort of revolutionary fork in downhill racing. Must have been an awful long time ago. Anyone know the story?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    121
    I have a Z1 Bomber on my old Rocky Mountain Element T.O frame. It's got 100mm of travel. It's an open bath coil spring fork. Basically, it's a shrunk down single-crown version of their MX forks. They're fairly heavy, but tough and have smooth travel. I bought mine around 1998. Here's a pic:



    I've only replaced that bike this year, and am keeping it around for a loaner.

    Triple clamp forks were already in the DH game. The Z-1 was more of an all-mountain or freeride fork.

    Back then, unless you were a weight weenie, they were THE fork to have. Mine has been rock solid dependable since I got it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    201
    My friend still rides 2000 Z1s without a problem. He wants to replace them but they just won't break. they are old and heavy but good.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dekes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    226
    That's cause marzocchi has been making freeride forks since 1997. Back then, less than 20 people in the world actually did freeriding.
    Last edited by Dekes; 10-11-2010 at 03:46 PM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    406
    My late 90's Z1 BAM(130mm) on my old Heckler(RIP)



    I had just rebuilt it too! It definitely was a great fork in it's day!
    Klein Attitude XX
    Santa Cruz Heckler 6.1
    Surly Karate Monkey
    Surly Moonlander

  6. #6
    sock skeleton
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,068
    i had one on my '98 heckler. they set the standard.


    still have both.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    201
    Quote Originally Posted by Dekes
    That's cause marzocchi has been making freeride forks since 1997. Back then, less than 20 people in the world actually did freeriding.
    I must have known all of them then. Tons of people rode freeride back then it just had a different name either "I can't be bothered to go to the trails but I want to ride somewhere" or "I need to ride but all my friends are riding BMX so I may as well go with them".

  8. #8
    Stucco Bucket
    Reputation: the_owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,530
    I still have mine. And I ride it


  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wickerman1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,272
    I've had a few... fasntastic fork evenwith 30mm stanchions. I had a brandnew 2002 Z1 freeride with ecc and 20mm axle,bought it in 06 was never mounted on a bike, 2002 Z1 wedge, still have this one, and a 2000 Atom 80... all fantastic forks.

  10. #10
    Unpredictable
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,908
    Those blue ones on the RM look like the one. I always thought they were 100mm, but these days they look like a shorter travel fork. They feel like a good DJ fork. Sort of odd having to pump up both sides.

  11. #11
    Nat
    Nat is offline
    Solo contendre
    Reputation: Nat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10,687
    I still have a Z1 from 1997 out in the garage. It was totally bad-ass back in the day. Prior to the Z1 you had choices from Rock Shox and Manitou with elastomers that barely moved. Enter a 4" travel fork with actual springs and oil in it and it changed everything.

  12. #12
    more carbon=more awesome
    Reputation: The Understater's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,389

    The fork that changed things.

    I remember the first time I saw the Bomber. For a while most people were riding either RockShox Mag 21s (air sprung and oil damped) or Manitous (elastomers) with the occasional Marzocchi thrown in to the mix. Early 'zokes had really narrow lowers which were drilled for light weight. My first fork was a Scott Unishock... coil spring in each leg, with teflon sleeves for damping. I went out in the rain and water got into them, turning them into pogo-sticks that bottomed out riding off a curb.. but I digress. RockShox were considered to have the best performance, but had maintenance issues... leaky seals etc. I had a set of Mag 10s and I had them long-traveled from 1.8" travel to 2.4 or something. Then Rockshox introduced the Judy line of forks. I always saw that as a backward step, as they went to elastomers. The biggest and baddest on the market was the Judy DH with a whopping 3 inches of travel. There had previously been the odd longer travel fork on the market. I may be wrong, but I think there was the Cross-track Sonoma, and I think Dan Hanebrink had probably come up with some air spring/air damped thing or other. Mert Lawill had also introduced a 4 inch travel linkage fork several years earlier but it hadn't really caught on.

    Then one day I got my new issue of Mountain Bike Action and there was the Bomber Z1 in all its tangerine-dream glory. It had an inch more travel than any other serious player's biggest fork, it was coil sprung, with open bath oil damping, and it was well over a pound heavier than any of its competition. MBA ran out of superlatives to describe the ride quality of the fork, but worried about the weight penalty. You have to understand that the benefits of suspension on a mountain bike was far from settled at this point in time. Retro-grouches claimed that suspension forks upset the delicate steering geometry of an mtb and 4 inches was seen as crazy. They also bemoaned the unbearable weight penalty of suspension on anything but a downhill race bike.
    I thought it was cool, but didn't see it catching on. Too heavy.... I was wrong. That summer just about every other bike (unfortunately except mine) I saw at the local downhill races was sporting a Z1. It was a turning point. Marzocchi caught the others napping, and it was several years before anyone really caught up.

    From there progression was exponential. Bikes with serious suspension that could handle really big terrain led to a whole new style of riding. Downhill racing ceased to be about bombing fire-roads with dinner-plate sized front chainrings, and eventually morphed into the sport we know and love today. Some guys in Vancouver got the idea to go over obstacles instead of around them, and Freeriding caught on. etc etc etc.


    Disclaimer: This is my recollection of events. I make no claim to absolute chronological accuracy and if you were free-riding before Shandro and the North Shore crew, then I didn't know about it. Feel free to correct me.

    b.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  13. #13
    Sup
    Reputation: Burnt-Orange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,219
    I got that 1997 orange z1 in my shop
    bought it new in 1997
    the local bike shop told me 100mm was way too much travel for a cross country bike

    still makes me laugh
    never trust anyone who rides on super balls and snot
    I am slow therefore I am

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •