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  1. #1
    They say I have a problem
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    99 Z2 Bam - Repair or Replace....

    I know, I know I should just deal with this myself, but a bit advice would never hurt...

    I've got a Marz. 99 Z2 Bam that has been on my Sugar for the last 3 years. The fork has been great and never really caused me any problems. I've had the regular maintenance thing done yearly, switching oil and seals (that was done once), but now I think the bushings are starting to go. I'm noticing some knocking and back and forth play when riding and the front wheel encounters objects on the travel. The front end just doesn't seem as tight as what it use to be. The headset is nice and snug so the only thing I can think of is fork bushings. I know my LBS can do the job and I'm confident they would do it right. My problem is do I want to repair this fork when for a few more hundred dollars I can get a brand spankin new Marzocchi fork. Actually I was looking at the MX Pro with ETA as a replacement. Part of my problem is my bike is 4 years old and is due to be replaced after next season or the year after. I know that the repaired Bam would serve me well for that time, so would the new MX Pro. Plus, I know the ETA would be an awesome added feature due to the XC riding I do.

    I guess it comes down to spend a few hundred dollars to fix the Bam and have a working fork that is dependable, but uses old technology. Or, spend a few hundred more and get the new technology.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

  2. #2
    Jm.
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    the MX doesn't have the high end damping cartridge that your 99 Z2 BAM has. The equivalent to the MX in 1999 was the Z3, which had the simple ported dampers. The fork that is going to most closely match your Z2 BAM's performance is the Marzocchi Marathon S.

    Compared to your Z2, the MX will feel much harsher at speed, and not respond nearly as well to a wide variety of speed and impacts.

    The bushings aren't that much money, and if that's the only thing wrong with your Z2, it would be worth it to replace them and keep it going. A full rebiuld (seals, bushings and oil) on those forks isn't too expensive, even if you have to get a new damping cartridge soon. It's going to be a heck of a lot cheaper than a $550 marathon S at least.

    The MX would be a big downgrade in terms of performance. It uses very "old technology", it doesn't work nearly as well as a cartridge-damped marzocchi, like a Z2 Bam or Marathon.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  3. #3
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    But...

    the 04 Marathon S is going around $340 right now (I just bought an Sl for $379).. so I could still be an uption if he really wants to update....

    just to bring the option to the table...

    Cris

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    the MX doesn't have the high end damping cartridge that your 99 Z2 BAM has. The equivalent to the MX in 1999 was the Z3, which had the simple ported dampers. The fork that is going to most closely match your Z2 BAM's performance is the Marzocchi Marathon S.

    Compared to your Z2, the MX will feel much harsher at speed, and not respond nearly as well to a wide variety of speed and impacts.

    The bushings aren't that much money, and if that's the only thing wrong with your Z2, it would be worth it to replace them and keep it going. A full rebiuld (seals, bushings and oil) on those forks isn't too expensive, even if you have to get a new damping cartridge soon. It's going to be a heck of a lot cheaper than a $550 marathon S at least.

    The MX would be a big downgrade in terms of performance. It uses very "old technology", it doesn't work nearly as well as a cartridge-damped marzocchi, like a Z2 Bam or Marathon.

  4. #4
    They say I have a problem
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    Ok, that helps with the decision then....

    Downgrading is not an option...Getting a Marathon would make sense, but now the price becomes a real issue...I'm in Canada so the cost of a Marathon gets pretty high compared to the work that the Bam requires...

    Rich
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"

  5. #5
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    I guess it comes down to spend a few hundred dollars to fix the Bam and have a working fork that is dependable, but uses old technology. Or, spend a few hundred more and get the new technology.

    Thanks,
    Rich[/QUOTE]

    I would say that you could have your old fork rebuilt for less than the new equivelant,but for the time the old fork has new life worked back in you could be riding the new one and enjoying.When you decide to upgrade to a new bike you can always transfer the new fork and keep the stocker as a backup,as long as the steerer is long enough,just another idea.

  6. #6
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamisxtrspeeder
    I guess it comes down to spend a few hundred dollars to fix the Bam and have a working fork that is dependable, but uses old technology. Or, spend a few hundred more and get the new technology.

    Thanks,
    Rich
    I would say that you could have your old fork rebuilt for less than the new equivelant,but for the time the old fork has new life worked back in you could be riding the new one and enjoying.When you decide to upgrade to a new bike you can always transfer the new fork and keep the stocker as a backup,as long as the steerer is long enough,just another idea.[/QUOTE]

    Your Z2 doesn't really use "old" technology. Modern day forks have more "gimmicks" travel adjustments and ETA type things, but those don't make the suspension perform any better, and when it comes down to it, suspension performance should be your number 1 concern with a suspension fork. The cartridge dampers in a Z2 are about 98% the same as the cartridge damper in a Marathon. The lighter weight, mono-cast lowers, and ETA adjustment are what the marathon has over the Z2, but when it comes down to what matters most, suspension performance, they're about the same. The cartridge damper that marzocchi uses is as valid today as it was back in 1997. It's not like motorbikes (that also happen to use cartridge dampers) use completely different damping systems every season, as some mountain-bike companies would like you to believe. Manitou's TPC is just a different arrangement of the same parts that are in a cartridge damper. The newer "SPV" stuff is harsh on low speed impacts, and it's "suspension performance" is debatable. Rockshox ripped off TPC from manitou and called it "pure" damping, and rockshox's lower fork lines that use the Hydracoil operate on the exact same principle as the old Z3s and current "dropoff/MX/Jr T" type of dampers, which are not exactly spectacular.

    My advice would be to send the fork to your marzocchi service center, I guess it's Norco for canada, and ask them to put new bushings in it and rebuild it. It shouldn't cost too much, and you'll still be left with a great performing fork.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  7. #7
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    I'm with Jm on this one. I've always liked the Z2 Bam, my buddy has one and I always said "just let me know when you want to get rid of it" and he STILL has it! It's a smooth fork and stable platform IS over-rated if you're not an XC racer IMHO. I'm finally happy with my recent Talas purchase but it's a heckuva lot higher ticket price too!

    Keep the Z2, screw the "latest greatest gotta have BS"!

    G MAN

  8. #8
    shut up and pedal
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    I really like my '99 bam. It has served me well, but has been demoted to back up bike duty mainly due to its short travel. Its a simple fork to overhaul, the dampener cartridge is the wear item. The rod that guides it wears out. Ever notice the metallic glitter in the oil? There are a lot choices for forks, I went with fox, by far a stiffer fork with even better dampening.
    The bam has served you well, but its time to move on, you won't look back.
    Last edited by Ridethebike; 09-18-2004 at 02:35 PM.

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