What is the difference between Z1 FR & Z1 Drop Off (HSCV vs. SSVF)?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What is the difference between Z1 FR & Z1 Drop Off (HSCV vs. SSVF)?

    The '04 Z1 Drop Off II looks pretty appealing at $315. There is no ETA or externally adjustable rebound on the II (the Drop Off I has them though), and no QR 20 option. The only other obvious difference is the HSCV damping on the Z1 FR and the SSVF on the Drop Off. I believe this is also one of the primary differences between the Marathon and MX series, so apparently Marzocchi differentiates its forks this way across its lines. What do the different damping acronyms really mean, and how does it transfer to performance on the trail? And any other distinguishing features between the Drop Off and FR models of the Z1, specifically the '04 Drop Off and '03 FR (other than no air preload on the '03 Z1)?

  2. #2
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    I was considering the Z1 Drop-Off II, but went with an '03 Z1 FR. The FR is supposed to be more suitable for trail riding, because it's damping is more sensitive at high speeds. From what I read, the HSCV damping cartridge adjusts the oil flow depending on the speed of the compression, whereas the SSV damping isn't affected by compression speed, so it "packs up" at higher speeds. I believe that the Drop-Off models (with the SSV damping) are designed to take the big hits, as their name would suggest.

    In a nutshell, Z1 FR is a more versatile fork for trail riding than the Drop-Off series. Those are more for dirt jumping and hucking.

  3. #3

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    z1 drop off

    i have the 2003 Z1 drop off and out of the box it was definately intended for this use
    Found it too hard and not sensitive enough persisted for 3 months decided to change the oil to 10w and reset oil heights - well feels just like a Z1 FR

  4. #4
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    So the Drop Off just comes with more oil or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by davidjaxon
    i have the 2003 Z1 drop off and out of the box it was definately intended for this use
    Found it too hard and not sensitive enough persisted for 3 months decided to change the oil to 10w and reset oil heights - well feels just like a Z1 FR
    So you are saying the Drop Off is not valved any different from a Z1 FR (other than whatever the difference between SSVF and HSCV is), so setting it up like a Z1 FR in regards to oil weight and height should result in a similar ride?

  5. #5
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    So you are saying the Drop Off is not valved any different from a Z1 FR (other than whatever the difference between SSVF and HSCV is), so setting it up like a Z1 FR in regards to oil weight and height should result in a similar ride?
    Sorry, the Dropoff is valved absolutely NOTHING like the Z1 FR. The Z1 FR has an entirely different kind of damping system. As the more expensive fork, it has the nicer cartridge type damping system that has shims that flex when your fork goes through it's travel, depending on how hard the impact is, they will flex more or less, to let more or less oil through.

    The dropoff has a ported-damper design. In this design there is a tube, and it has a hole trough it. There is a certain speed range where the dropoff is going to work ok, but outside of that range there is going to be not enough damping(due to the fixed size of the hole) or too much damping (again due to the fixed size). This creates what is known as "spiking" at higher speeds. At 5mph the Z1 FR and the dropoff should feel about the same. At 10mph they will start to feel different. The faster you go, the more difference you will feel between the forks. To put it simply, the Z1 FR will work in a much wider speed range than the dropoff, but when I say "speed" i don't mean forward speed. I am talking about the speed at which the fork compresses. This is kind of independant of forward velocity and forks can have "high speed" hits at relatively low, or fast, forward velocities. One area where these "dropoff" forks work pretty well is for jumps or drops, when you land in either of these situations it is actually a "low speed" impact, and the fork absorbs it pretty well. This design is what marzocchi calls SSV or SSVF, both are pretty much the same, and SSVF is a little better, but it's just a variation of the same.

  6. #6

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    Idea! from the zoke site, here are explanations of dampers

    HSCV

    the High-Speed Compression Valve (HSCV) allows lighter damping for better trail sensitivity but still resists bottoming. It is the best way to provide a controlled damping environment for consistent and perfect damping. The moving valve on the shaft controls rebound and low-speed compression damping. The special valve in the bottom of the cartridge (HSCV), takes the edge of any hard hit to maintain control.

    SSV

    the Speed Sensitive Valve (SSV) uses 5 valve circuits to control damping rates based on the forkís compression and rebound speed as well as the forkís position in the travel.
    SSVF


    The latest version of our Speed Sensitive Valve has a new Floating valve and spring design. It incorporates a spring-loaded valve, which is more responsive and uses an external rebound adjuster.

    SO the drop off 1 has the SSVF, while DO 2 has the SSV, and the FR has HSCV. SSVF is absolutely sensitive to how fast things hit it...(i assume the damper will resist more to a 6ft drop than rocks on the trail) hence the Speed Sensitive Valve name But yes, the HSCV appears to be geared towards suppleness. I just ordered a DO 1, i'll let ya'll know how it feels on friday! (and after break in )
    Last edited by k2bikeman498; 03-16-2004 at 01:46 PM.

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    marz z1 drop off 1... wrong choice?

    I orderd a turner 5 spot and I wanted a fox talas rlc or vanilla rlc fork but the guy told me that because of my weight (260 lbs) I would be better off with the Z1 drop off 1. I reminded the guy that I will not be doing any kind of "free riding" or "Hucking" with this bike only trail riding and he insisted that I stick with the z1. After reading the posts here, I wonder if this fork is going to be responsive enough for the kind of riding I am going to be doing. was this guy full of ****?! please tell me your opinions. tony

  8. #8
    Jm.
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    He was full of sh*t. You can upgrade your fork to Z1 cartridges if you want later on, so you aren't "screwed" or anything, but there is no reason why a dropoff would be better for a heavier person.

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    that basssturd!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    He was full of sh*t. You can upgrade your fork to Z1 cartridges if you want later on, so you aren't "screwed" or anything, but there is no reason why a dropoff would be better for a heavier person.
    I ride a hard tail now with a 03 mx comp w/eta and it has the same SSVF as the D.O.1. besides the mxcomp being just a tad on the too soft side, I like the smooth ride...don't you think the D.O.1 should be just as sensitive? why or why wouldn't it be? If I wanted to change my internals to Z1 internals, Can you tell me the best place to start to look for the parts? how much does this usually cost? thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2bikeman498
    HSCV

    I just ordered a DO 1, i'll let ya'll know how it feels on friday! (and after break in )
    please do! Don't forget to tell us how much you weigh.

  11. #11
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    The Drop-Off I might be a better fork out of the box for you; my '03 Z1FR is just about right for me out of the box, but I'm only 150lbs. I could probably use a bit more oil in it, but for your weight, you'll need to get another set of springs. If your MX Comp worked well for you without any modifications, I don't see why the the Drop-Off I won't.

    Nevertheless, the Drop-Off I is a pretty pricey fork for such primitive technology.

  12. #12
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    ... and if we just ... Chiming in...

    Quote Originally Posted by miufahkiu
    The Drop-Off I might be a better fork out of the box for you; my '03 Z1FR is just about right for me out of the box, but I'm only 150lbs. I could probably use a bit more oil in it, but for your weight, you'll need to get another set of springs. If your MX Comp worked well for you without any modifications, I don't see why the the Drop-Off I won't.
    Whoever said the DO was better than the Z1 for heavier riders was flat out wrong.

    I have the MX Comp ETA on my hardtail and the Z1FR QR20 on my 5 Spot. I'm ~225 lbs.
    They are both great forks. The Air assist on the '03 MXC does a great job at letting me get the right spring rate. The '03 Z1 does not have that feature so I had to install stiffer springs.

    It was mentioned above that the Z1 has a very consistent feel, I concur. I ride on very rocky terrain at speeds that vary from a climbing crawl to a blind screaming point-n-pray... for the most part, the fork feels the same through the range and does an excellent job of masking bottoming.

    The MX Comp seems to do a very good job at behaving the same, but since it's on my HT I don't cary nearly as much speed through the rock gardens. Otherwise it's quite nice. The Z1 is much plusher. Smoother too.

    IMO Pass on the DJ unless that's what you're planning on doing. If the DO has the same valving as the MXC then it's a good choice to keep costs down...and the Z1FR is absolutely worth every extra penny... and then some.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  13. #13

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    ok, so I called the guy back

    I want to change my order for my turner 5 spot from the marz z1 do1 to the 125mm fox talas air shock! he advised against it because of my weight and I told him that I will not be doing any DH or freeriding or hucking with this bike and fork! he still gave me a hard time! Is this guy still full of it? is the talas a bad choice for my weigh (260 lbs and loosing weight target is 206lbs) for simple trail riding? I already have a 7 inch travel freeride bike so if I feel the urge to get crazy I already have a bike for that? guys please help me!

  14. #14
    Jm.
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    If you were 206lbs no problem, there are plenty of guys around that weight on TALAS forks and supposedly they dont work as well for lighter riders actually.

    As to if it can support you, I guess the best thing to do would be to call fox and see what they recommend. The TALAS forks are great, but a lot of force on an air fork will blow out seals like that, and being an air sprung fork, when it blows you are screwed and you cant ride out without destroying the fork. I am not saying that it wont work for you, but the best thing to do may be to call up fox and ask them, this guy has showed that he doesn't know what he is talking about on at least one account.

    Fox shox are pretty good, maybe even the vanilla would work for you with the heaviest springs? I don't really know beacuse I don't know anyone that heavy riding one, no offence. Usually coil forks are the way to go for the heavier guys, but even that doesn't work out great sometimes.

  15. #15
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    Big man, big fork...big smiles

    Quote Originally Posted by tony0643
    I want to change my order for my turner 5 spot from the marz z1 do1 to the 125mm fox talas air shock! he advised against it because of my weight and I told him that I will not be doing any DH or freeriding or hucking with this bike and fork! he still gave me a hard time! Is this guy still full of it? is the talas a bad choice for my weigh (260 lbs and loosing weight target is 206lbs) for simple trail riding? I already have a 7 inch travel freeride bike so if I feel the urge to get crazy I already have a bike for that? guys please help me!
    The Talas is a great fork. note: unless you plan on lots of long fire roads you'll probably never need the adjust feature on the 'Spot. The bike is extremely well balanced with a 5" fork. I rarely use my ETA. So whatever you choose, don't pay extra for an adjust feature. If it's already on the fork you like, then it's all gravy, but don't let it be the primary factor.

    (warning highly opinionated commentary)
    Spec'ing the 'Spot:
    Clydesdales like us have no need to shave ounces on a bike. Stiffness will be more appreciated if you ride technical rocky terrain. Also keep in mind the 'Spot will encourage you to ride agressively, so make sure to spec it such that the occasional chance encounters with more challenging terrain won't leave you wishing you brought your long-bike.

    Cheers 'n Good luck!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  16. #16
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    245# - TALAS works fine...

    ...feels better than my Vanilla RLC which is now a backup. Not as stout as the Z1FRQR20 I had on there - but a lot lighter, better steering angle, and more appropriate for my typical riding.

    Fox customer service told me their air shocks and forks were AOK for folks up to 275#.

    Sean

    Quote Originally Posted by tony0643
    I want to change my order for my turner 5 spot from the marz z1 do1 to the 125mm fox talas air shock! he advised against it because of my weight and I told him that I will not be doing any DH or freeriding or hucking with this bike and fork! he still gave me a hard time! Is this guy still full of it? is the talas a bad choice for my weigh (260 lbs and loosing weight target is 206lbs) for simple trail riding? I already have a 7 inch travel freeride bike so if I feel the urge to get crazy I already have a bike for that? guys please help me!
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