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  1. #1
    wuss
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    Marzocchi Z1 FR1 (2005) - spring too firm?

    I got a second hand Z1 FR1 and like the fork, but it feels like the spring is too firm. I'm really light (67KG) ~150 pounds and even without any air I hardly get sag.

    Do they sell softer springs, or is there just something I'm missing? The seller said he has used 5W oil for it, and is somebody who understands forks a lot better then me, so I would assume there is not too much oil in it...

  2. #2
    RIP Friendgirl
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    Welcome to the Z1 FR1 Club

    Most who bought that fork new & weighted under 170lbs has sense sold it because of the problem you describe. I bought one second hand & really like it, but I'm 200lbs geared up. I run no air & sag is about right.

    Last time i checked with Marzocchi there were no different springs to be had for that model. Changing oil levels will only change the progressiveness of the fork. Your sag will not change unless you can find a softer spring.

    If anyone has more current info I would love to hear it.

  3. #3
    wuss
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    So I need to start eating more pizza and burgers... I'm (188cm) 6'2" so I have potential to weigh more

  4. #4
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    Edit: Try removing one of the springs from one leg and using the air-preload to dial in the proper sag. The 5w oil should be perfect for your weight.

    This should fix your problem.
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a spring issue....

    the oil level won't affect sag unless the fork is completely full of oil. Your best bet here will be to contact Marzocchi USA and see if there were springs in various rates made for that year and model fork. Give them the year, model, travel, and the exact features that the fork has, i.e. eta, air preload etc. Zocch has been pretty spotty over the last few years with the forks that they make additional or optional springs for. Especially since the coil/air forks first started coming out. Apparently they figure an "average" spring rate combined with the air preload will work for the vast majority of riders. A good concept but in some cases like yours it just doesn't work. The Tech guys at Zocch should be able to tell you if optional springs are available for your Z1, or if not, if there are other springs for other medels that will work. Usually all you have to do is match the stanchion diameter and travel length in the rate that you want, soft, medium, firm etc. But sometimes the features of the fork dictate a specific spring configuration. Anyway, give em a call, they'll help you out if they can. Their number is 1 (661) 257-6630. I know, no 800 number, but it's worth the buck or two you'll spend to get the straight poop!

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  6. #6
    wuss
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    Thanks, I sent a question to Marzocchi asking for information on available springs.

  7. #7
    RIP Friendgirl
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    You CAN remove the spring from the right leg....

    but i wouldn't recommend it because that cartridge is made for a spring. Yes you will have much more adjustment for sag, but since there is no compression knob i don't think you will ever make the fork feel right. A coil spring fork like this one relies on the oil AND the COIL for compression damping.

    If you call Marzocchi they may tell you to remove the spring also, but i don't buy that that's a fix but rather a band aid.

  8. #8
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    05' Z1 FR 1 210 w/ gear and no air / 5wt. oil - good luck on getting that fork too work for a light rider.

  9. #9
    TNC
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    Let me throw out another option here. I used the HSCV cart leg's spring in a hybrid '04 Z150SL coil/air hybrid that I modified. I have two of these forks. One uses the '05 Z1FR1 spring, and one uses a 6" Manitou Sherman Firefly/Flick/Breakout spring. Surprisingly the Manitou spring is an almost perfect fit into the Z1 chassis like mine and your Z1FR1 when you "trim" the coil to a comparitive length to match the Z1 springs. Trimming the spring is easily done with a hand-held propane torch, then you "flatten" and grind the cut end of the modified spring on a simple bench grinder. I only had to remove a small piece of the end of the Sherman spring. The free length and compressed length of the spring is still compatible to the Z1...but of course the spring rate is different from the Z1 spring because these Sherman springs are made to run as a single unit. Now...this is a good thing when you consider that you'd remove one spring from the Z1 and just run the Sherman spring. Also Sherman springs come in ultrasoft, soft, medium, firm, extrafirm, and I think even an XXfirm. For whatever faults Manitou may have in the eyes of some, spring rate choices are not one of them in some applications. Their forks springs are also very inexpensive. Marz should be ashamed of not offering optional spring rates in some of their top line forks. This process may sound complicated, but it was actually quite easy to modify the Sherman spring. At least it gives you a workable option if you're a tinkerer.

  10. #10
    wuss
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    Thanks for the input. So if I was going to modify the Sherman spring I would go by Manitou's weight scales? Does the Manitou model year make any difference?

  11. #11
    TNC
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    The year/model isn't as important as making sure it's a 6" or 150mm fork spring to better match the Marz. Breakouts, Flicks, and Fireflys ranged from 5" to 7" on certain models, but you just restrict your spring selection to the 6"/150mm springs. As far as the weight scale, because of the possibility of different damping rates between Manitou and Marz, it may not be an exact match...but then, it seldom is even within the same brand of fork and springs. I'd certainly use it as a guide, though.

  12. #12
    wuss
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    Well I found a spring for the Manitou Sherman Slider from 2003. It has 152mm of travel and 32mm stanctions (like the Z1 FR1). Don't know if it matters that it's a dual crown fork?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=14559

    Also found one for the breakout, does it matter that this model apparently had travel adjustment?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=14550

    What I can't find is any kind of table giving indicators on what weights these different spring rates are recommended for. Do I want soft or medium?

    edit: soft I guess since medium is not available

  13. #13
    TNC
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    Ouch...I just looked on our shop's QBP online catalog, and Sherman springs are not even listed anymore. I'll bet you can get the spring from Manitou, but they are in flux right now until the 2nd or 3rd week in July because of the Hayes move. The travel adjust issue isn't a problem on any of those forks. I'm not sure on the Slider spring, as it is a dual crown fork. I don't know if Manitou just used a spaced "regular" Sherman spring or if the spring is actually longer in the Slider.

  14. #14
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    I have a 2005 Z1 FR 1 and a 2006 66 RC2X. I weigh 210 and run 0 air in both forks . 2 days ago I turned my 66 upside down for some wheel work. I uprighted the bike tonight and pushed down on the fork - it was really really soft until the damper filled. Made me think that these forks may have a lot of full range compression in the dampers ???

  15. #15
    wuss
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    So try taking out some oil? I think I might get a softer spring from a lbs... At least I'll call them today and ask. I have a friend who's done the modification TNC is talking about to car springs, and thinks it's a fairly simple job.

    edit:

    The local Manitou importer said he has hundreds of springs on his shelf. He recomended taking out the current spring, measuring the stanction diameter from the inside and coming to see if there is something that's even a better fit then the Sherman.
    Last edited by dropadrop; 06-21-2007 at 02:03 AM.

  16. #16
    wuss
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    I just had a ride and managed to get 40% travel, even from a 2' drop to flat

  17. #17
    Loser
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    What did you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    I just had a ride and managed to get 40% travel, even from a 2' drop to flat
    Dropadrop - what did you do to improve this? I have the same issue with mine - did you use a Manitou spring - if so - do you know which one - from which fork?

    Thanks,
    John
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  18. #18
    wuss
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    I fixed the situation by selling the fork

    I managed to verify that Marzocchi does not offer any softer springs, nor are there any softer ones that would fit (from other models). You might be able to replace the ETA side spring with a softer one though. This could work if you only need them to be a bit softer.

    I did find one solution which would probably have helped, but I just could not be bothered any more. There are companies who modify springs, mainly for cars. My neighbor had modded his cars springs so the rear springs where firmer and front ones where softer, I believe it's done with heat treatment. This might be a better option then the Manitou spring, as it might be hard to know exactly what firmness you will end up with after cutting an existing spring (it will change the springs firmness quite randomly).

    I would have tried, but then I found somebody who would pay quite a good price, and decided to move on.

  19. #19
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    If going with the remove a spring method, which leg should have the spring? The fork is a Z1 FR2, SSV/HSCV.

    Thanks!

  20. #20
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    If going with the remove a spring method, which leg should have the spring? The fork is a Z1 FR2, SSV/HSCV.

    Thanks!
    Whichever... Doesn't really matters. If you have an ETA cart, you NEED the spring in there, though.

    I run a hot-rodded AM1... ETA on the left leg and a HSCV cartridge with no spring on the right leg. Works really nice.

    In your case, AW, I'd keep the spring on the SSV side... for no particular reason than ease of service. Much easier to read levels without the spring in there for the HSCV.

    One thing... Unless you use a pneumatic wrench, the footnuts will be next to impossible to tighten down properly as the cartridge will turn without the spring in there. On the SSV side, you just push the fork a bit down and undo/do the nut.

    On the HSCV what I do, is that I start the footnut and then do the topcap before putting any oil in. Then, I put a few PSI in there with the air preload and do the foot nut completely.

    Then, proceed to pour oil in, etc...

    I weigh 140 (64kg) BC and so far, I've used like 110mm out of 130, but I'm afraid I loaded too much oil.

    Air preload to get proper sag is 10 strokes from the pump... no reading at all on the gauge.

    It feels much better than TST on the stock Zoke oil for my weight.

    Airwreck... The SSV side has very low oil (sounds to me like 40cc's like recommended is only for semibath, even though there's indeed a SSV pumping rod in there), which allows you for it not to affect too much spring rate progression. Run the HSCV with no spring and add air preload, I seem to recall you're also a light rider, so just a few strokes of the pump will do. Go for sag, not for pressure.
    Last edited by Warp; 07-11-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Compress the fork and while compressed, depress the air valve to allow the air to rush out, then release the fork. The vacuum will help reduce the overall spring rate and might allow you to get away. Basically acts as a negative chamber, but you have to determine how much negative to make.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp
    Whichever... Doesn't really matters.
    thanks, trying to set up this fork for the wife, she's looking for more fork than her pike and is not digging the 66SL at all.

    I tried one springing it on the Z150 back in the day at zoke techs suggestion but I thought it felt like crap. She's a good fork tuner so we'll see how it goes with this fork that has been sitting forgotten...

  23. #23
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    thanks, trying to set up this fork for the wife, she's looking for more fork than her pike and is not digging the 66SL at all.

    I tried one springing it on the Z150 back in the day at zoke techs suggestion but I thought it felt like crap. She's a good fork tuner so we'll see how it goes with this fork that has been sitting forgotten...
    Yeah, I remember some comments about too much stiction on some forks (Marathons, Z1's) when ran with one spring only... This may be the case for middle weight riders, but for lighter ones and the crazy low-low pressure used, I think it may work.

    At least my AM1 (which runs in this config) feels better once I went HSCV.

    Mind you, it'll be more finicky to set-up... more sensitive to levels and pressures.

    BTW.... I don't know which springs are in your Z1FR2, but the ones on my pal's fork were a black (no color actually) and yellow. I think they're way too stiff for my weight.
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  24. #24
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    Removing one spring

    maybe the only way to get anywhere close to a decent sag for a lighter rider,but all reports & threads that I've read report that the fork has WAY too much brake dive & never feels right.

    Jerk_Chicken's suggestion of compressing the fork & depressing the air valve to create a vacuum while in theory sounds interesting but in a quick real world test just pulls the fork down & you have less travel.

    Marzocchi really dropped the ball on this fork for you lighter riders.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bordershy
    maybe the only way to get anywhere close to a decent sag for a lighter rider,but all reports & threads that I've read report that the fork has WAY too much brake dive & never feels right.

    Jerk_Chicken's suggestion of compressing the fork & depressing the air valve to create a vacuum while in theory sounds interesting but in a quick real world test just pulls the fork down & you have less travel.

    Marzocchi really dropped the ball on this fork for you lighter riders.
    I am the one that has tried this in the real world on several zokes, from all coil, to coil/air and it does work, just depends on what the variance is between full travel and the weight of the rider.

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