2011 Marzocchi 55 Micro Ti settings and problems
Yes, I did do a search on here.
Most of the reviews for this fork are very positive, but one reviewer DID say this fork has bad small bump compliance.
My problem with this fork is that I am having a very hard time dialing it in. For my weight (195-200 lbs. geared up) the suggested air spring pressure is 80 psi. Wow. In order to get the proper 25-33% sag I need the air pressure to be at around 50-55 psi. That's a big difference. If I run the fork for correct sag, it rides too far into it's travel and feels like it's giving me a measly 100mm of usable travel. If I run the fork at 60 psi. to give me my full 160mm of travel, the small bump compliance is non-existent.
I've fiddled around with the volume adjust and screwed it all the way in to enable me to run a lower pressure, but that only affects the last 1/4 of travel with increased ramp-up, not the initial blow-through and the sensation of getting minimal total travel.
I've also fiddled around with the Micro compression switch, but that only seems to slow down the motion of the fork through the travel while doing nothing to address the "got only 100mm of travel" feeling, again.
I've put more than 20 hours on it, so I'd be surprised if break-in is an issue. I also emailed Marzocchi about this but never heard back.
I'd appreciate any advice. If any of you know the specs, I'd appreciate knowing what the oil levels for this thing are, too.
I have both the 2011 44 and 55 Micro Ti (was so impressed with the 44 that I picked up the 55 for another bike). I find both handle the small bumps well, especially the 44, but the 55 does well also. I originally set the pressures to get the recommended sag just sitting on the bikes, but adjusted it on the trail to what I felt best for me. I do not know the current sags, or the current air pressure in each. Once I initially set up a fork, it is all "feel" after that--how much travel I get, how often I bottom out, etc. And that could change depending on what type of trail I ride. I am not certain I have bottomed out yet, but I seem to use most of the travel (when I want to).
Not certain what you mean "I've fiddled around with the volume adjust and screwed it all the way in to enable me to run a lower pressure"? I set my air pressure, and then adjust the volume to get the action I want. I think this is the first time I have heard of adjusting the volume so that you can run lower pressure.
The Micro is a bit of a mystery to me still, other than knowing how to lock out the fork if I want to. My trails are very rocky, so I generally want open compression. I have some Rock Shox forks with Mission/Motion control also, and hardly mess with those controls. I am starting to fiddle around with it more just to see what happens, and I think it works similar to the RS controls. If I had trouble with brake dive or rode smoother trails, I think I would play around with those controls more.
You might check the oil like you mentioned. Incorrect oil volumes are pretty common in new factory forks (I think most of mine have been off). Now that I think both forks are "broken-in", I will be changing the oil in them soon. The Marzocchi site has all the specs for the forks. Also, give Marzocchi a call if you can. I think they are more responsive to the phone than e-mail.
Just for comparison, I am 260lbs in full dress, riding an On-one 456 (44) and a Blur LTc (55). Good luck.
Clydecrash, thanks for the reply. That you are 260 lbs. makes a huge difference, because more weight on the fork gets it moving when encountering bumps. That is, stiction is much more of a problem for light riders than heavy riders.
I will agree completely with you that getting the settings right really is a matter of making adjustments based on what the fork feels like on the trail. In my case, however, there seems to be an incredibly thin line between having the fork absorb trail chatter, albeit with reduced travel, and riding high enough to give me enough travel, albeit with non-existent small-bump compliance.
Concerning the volume adjust, here's a Pinkbike article on Fox's volume adjust kit for Fox's air shocks:
Tech Tuesday - How to Install a Fox Float Air-Volume Spacer - Pinkbike
The particular meat of the article is as follows: "Suspension tuners separate the sag and spring-rate functions of an air shock by changing the volume of its air can. Reducing the volume of the air chamber causes the air pressure to ramp up quickly, so the spring pressure can be set low, allowing more suspension sag without risking harsh bottoming. A larger-volume air can ramps up less at full compression, but the shock will sag less because more volume requires significantly higher starting pressures to prevent bottoming at full compression."
Understanding all this, I still have a huge question for Marzocchi, which is why the recommended psi for my weight will render me with a practically rigid fork? Could they really have been that far off on the air pressure?
So, two questions for you, Clydecrash:
1. Do you know what psi you're running in your 55 (I know you say you don't know, but would you be willing to take a reading next time you air your fork)?
2. You say you first set your sag, but then you adjusted it to suit your trail. Did you add or subtract air when you did this adjustment?
Tim, I checked my air pressure, and it seems to be about 80psi. And I have the volume adjuster at 3 clicks. I have no idea if I increased or decreased pressure, but I likely increased it a little from the original setup. I am not riding that much this time of year (not my prime biking season, 105 yesterday), but the Blur is my main ride, so will be playing around with it a bit more.
Interesting article from pinkbike, though I wonder how applicable it is to our fork. Again, except more strongly, I suggest to give Marzocchi a call to discuss.
If you are finding that you aren't getting the performance out of your fork that you expect, it could be a faulty fork or, as we discussed, the oil volumes are off.
If our forks are working properly, then it may be that you and I are looking for different performance out of our forks. I am less concerned about the very small bumps, and more concern about performance when I bash the medium size stuff. I remember people complaining about Manitou's SPV (SVP?). I used a Firefly with SPV for a few years, and thought it was fine--handled medium and big hits great. Others complained about its small bump compliance. I thought it was a little lacking there, but it was OK for me. The 55 handles the small bumps much better than the Firefly did.