Marzocchi Suspension has the jump on RockShox and Fox. For 2009 (2010 model), Marzocchi released the 44 series suspension fork with the first, mainstream 140mm travel 29er fork on the market.
Until this point in time, those with big hoops looking for longer travel only really had the White Brothers to look towards. Now…with Marzocchi entering the ring, big time fork manufacturers are realizing the need for longer travel, front suspension forks for longer 29ers like Niners W.F.O. 9.
This Marzocchi 44 Mirco Ti came installed on the Niner W.F.O. 9 review bike, so we had the perfect platform to really put this new suspension fork through some rough terrain.
Specs: Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti 29er Suspension Fork
From Marzocchi Suspension:
The 44 is the best representation of the all mountain concept in the Marzocchi line. As a racing tool all the components are made by precious materials like magnesium, titanium and alloy to keep the weight down! From 100 to 140 mm of travel combined with the different hydraulic cartridges in order to offer the best product for the needs of each rider and style starting from the lightweight freak with the Micro to the descent maniac that wants an RC3 cartridge and titanium spring on all his bikes from xc to dh! Yes, in 2010 Marzocchi will feature the first cross country fork with a downhill cartridge and titanium spring: low maintenance and low weight for high performance and lots of fun: your ride deserves it!
- 140mm Travel*
- TST Micro (Lock Out, Micro Adjust Compression Threshold, Rebound)
- Air Preload (Titanium Negative Spring)
- Alloy Steer Tube and Crown
- 32mm Nickel Coated Alloy Tapered Stanchions
- New fitted and slotted bushing
- 6” Post Mount (Max Disc 8”)
- 15mm quick release axle
- Suitable for 29″ wheels
* Travel change to 140 or 100mm by spacer: 1 installed and 1 supplied in the box
Review: 2010 Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti 29er Fork
The Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti was on the perfect review bike, the Niner W.F.O. 9 with 140mm of rear, 29er travel. This monster of a bike was stiff and capable of hitting the rough stuff. To see the full review on the W.F.O. 9…click here.
General Use and Install
Using the Marzocchi 44 on a daily basis was a pretty easy task. Every knob and function on the fork is easy to use, self explanatory and works with gloves on while riding. The air spring chamber is found on the right fork leg. Also on that right fork leg, ou will find the dial for air volume control. According to Marzocchi, “By simply rotating the adjuster ring you can reduce the air volume, thus achieving an increased progressivity equivalent to an increase in the internal oil volume.” With a simple quarter turn or so, you can change how the fork reacts to the trail by increasing or decreasing the air volume.
On the left side, you will find the Micro Compression adjustment and lockout. The gold knob on the top controls your lockout threshold and the red dial gives you multiple, small click compression adjustments to dial the fork in to what you are riding at the time. Honestly, the system worked pretty well…for two days. On my second ride out with the 44, the Micro adjustment knob fell off (you can see it missing in the pictures) and…luckily…it was in the full, wide open position.
Rebound speed is adjusted under the left fork leg and I left that almost all the way wide open. Small adjustments clockwise really slowed down the rebound action on the fork.
Front axle duties were handled by an extremely easy to use 15mm thru axle. Much like the Maxle design, the Marzocchi front axle screws in and tightens shut. The only difference, you have to hold the nut on the opposite fork leg while threading the axle.
The Marzocchi 44 Mircro On The Trail
I really had hi hopes for this new entry into the 29r market. With a new series of bikes pushing what we consider normal in the 29er world, there is a specific need for this type of suspension fork on the market. Unfortunately…I do not think this 44 Micro Ti from Marzocchi is it.
The action on this fork was just not smooth and felt like there was a lot of stiction between the seals, components and stantions. Over the course of the test period, we could not get the fork dialed in correctly at all. If you set it up for small bump compliance, it blew through its travel. If you set it up for bigger hits, it hardly used any of the travel. It seemed like we were in a constant battle to find that perfect middle ground that just wasn’t there.
The volume adjust did little if anything to help the situation as I could not feel any difference in ride quality between the two settings. We ended up just keeping it wide open as well.
The 32mm stanchion platform was aided with the 15mm thru axle, but the fork still felt flexy in comparison to the stiff Niner frame. There were times in really rocky, technical, fast downhills that it felt like the bike was pushing past the capabilities of the fork. The Marzocchi 44 just seemed behind at all times as you kept expecting more.
Final Thoughts On The Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti 29er Fork
I really wasn’t impressed. For a fork in this travel category that is going to be bolted to bikes like the Niner W.F.O. 9, the 44 Micro Ti needs to be a plusher platform that is stiff enough to handle the bigger wheel size going through some rough terrain. This fork just wasn’t keeping up…
What I Liked About the Marzocchi 44
- First Mainstream 140mm Travel Suspension Fork for the 29er Market
- Easy To Use 15mm Thru Axle Design
- Micro Compression Adjustment Really Worked When Knob Was On
What I Didn’t Like About the Marzocchi 44
- Suspension Action Seemed Sticky and Not Plush
- Flexy Platform When Bolted Up To Stiff Frames
- Micro Knob Feel Off After Two Rides
Honestly…the fork just feels like it was rushed to market. Hopefully, Marzocchi can rework some of this stuff and hit it again next year with a revamp that feels more like their new 55 (which also had beginning problems but is now a nice riding fork).
Where Can I Buy A Marzocchi 44?
MARZOCCHI 44 TST2 29″ QR15 AXLE FORK ’10
MARZOCCHI 44 MICRO TI 29″ QR15 FORK ’10