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  1. #1
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    New question here. Help with my MZ FR z.1

    I'm the type of person who can read something and generally understand it, but not be able to put it to practice without a specific example or through practice.
    I purchased a very lightly used 2005 MZ freeride z.1 160mm fork that has been working great for the past year. This is my first long travel fork, and it has been fine so far with my lack of experience. However, the more I progress the more I have realized that this fork is not working to its full potential.
    I need help tuning it properly, and even though I have read through the manual and understand suspension tuning basics, I'm not sure where to start.

    The way it is right now, I only have about 25-35psi in both legs. This gives me just enough firmness to not completely brake dive, but it blows through pretty quickly the first 3" of travel, then won't go any further. I am essentially only using half its potential. Even on big hits, It only uses 4" max. I weigh ~200lbs loaded up if this helps.
    I'm assuming new oil will help, but what would you guys suggest I start fiddling with next? My options are the air chambers, one in each leg, and an 8mm nut on the bottom of each leg - which I still can't figure out which to use.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    RIP Friendgirl
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    First off 05 Z1's were 150/130mm, so just to be clear it would help if you could post some pic's to be sure what fork you have?
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  3. #3
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    Does it look like this?

    Tenneco Marzocchi Suspension - 2005 Freeride forks - Z1 FR III

    If you hit the left and right arrows in that link you can see there were 3 Z-1 FR forks in 2005. The 150mm ETA model. The FR2 which was 130mm travel with HSCV cartridges, and the FR3 which was also 130mm but had SSV damping.

    It sounds like you have the FR3. That model only has adjustable preload. Beyond that you have to pull it apart. Read up on SSV damping to get some ideas on what to do with the oil and stuff. SSV is just a simple orifice damper. Also keep in mind that you have real coil springs in there. The air are for preload only. Not sure if its possible, but it may be beneficial to swap out to the proper weight of spring.

    So real quick, the problem with SSV damping is that its just oil rushing through a hole, so resistance to movement increases as a square to movement speed. In other words, if you push slowly on it there will be very little resistance. If you push quickly on it then you get a ton of resistance. All the expensive sophisticated dampers are trying to achieve the opposite. That's not to say that its worthless by any stretch. Just that if you do some research that's why you'll hear people ragging on SSV stuff. On the other hand, I am a believe in the "run what you brung" philosophy.

  4. #4
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    Judging from that link, I do indeed have the Z.III and not the Z.I.
    I thought I had the 150mm travel model because when I measure the exposed stantions, there is 150mm showing and not 130mm.

    Due to my beginners knowledge of suspension systems, and how you describe the SSV in my fork, I'm even more confused as to how to start tinkering. I want my fork to resist pedal bob and a tendency it has ATM to dive when I squeeze the front brake and try and send me otb. I would assume I should just pump some air into the legs to increase the preload, however if I do this all it does is make the fork almost squish-less and fully rigid because of the SSV damping.
    I did try and research SSV damping and how to adjust it, but haven't come up with anything helpful yet.

  5. #5
    RIP Friendgirl
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    If you have an FRIII the only tuning is through oil weight & height. Also you should limit the air to 20psi or less. It's not an air fork, just a air preload for the springs.
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  6. #6
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    Ahh.. well thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it

    Looks like I'll just keep saving for a new fork and ride it like it is until then.

  7. #7
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    One thing you can do if your not using much travel
    is remove one of the springs and use the air pre-load
    on that side to dial in for sag. Should beable to get
    most of your travel. Might need to add a little oil
    to that side to make up for the spring being gone.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't remove any of the springs as that would make it brake dive big time especially for your weight. Just experiment with dropping the oil height on both legs to make it more linear so as to use more travel.

    Might be good to find a fork suspension guy locally to get you started if none of this makes sense?
    SPD pedals are an absolute menace to the well-being of the world, and ought be banned immediately.

  9. #9
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    Lumber4j, check the oil level in the fork. Take off the top cap on
    one side (let air out 1st), remove the spring and shine a flashlight
    in there, Oil should be at least 1/4 in. above the plate that the
    spring rests on. Might just need a servicing and stock wt
    would be 7.5. Start there my man. As other have said it'll
    not the most sophiscated fork damping.

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