- 160mm travel
- 4.97 lbs.
- 1 1/8” steer tested
- Compression, Rebound, and Air Preload Adjust
- Titanium negative spring
- Nickle Coated Stanctions
Intended Uses: All Mountain, Freeride
Tested with: 2011 Giant Reign X frame
Tested on: Utah and Colorado trails that ranged from rocky, sandy, loose, hard, dry and wet.
Duration of Test: ~40 days of riding
Marzocchi is typically recognized for its wonderfully plush and sensitive open-bath, coil-sprung, downhill-oriented forks (e.g., 888 RC3 evo, 66/55 RC3) and is a bit under the radar with its closed-bath XC and trail-bike-oriented forks. But I was pleasantly surprised by the 55 Micro Ti, which utilizes Marzocchi’s TST Micro cartridge, the same one found on the shorter-travel 44 (140mm travel) and Corsa Superleggera (80-120mm).
The TST Micro cartridge offers a multi-click compression/lockout switch, which ranges from full open to full closed, and a tunable blow-off valve, which controls how hard it is to release the compression/lockout feature. It took me a good bit of fiddling to really get this fork feeling super dialed in with this arrangement, as it’s a bit of a different setup than I’m used to.
I wound up setting the blow-off value to two clicks from max, and the lockout knob one click from open. As you add more clicks of compression/lockout, you add a more stable platform under hard braking and cornering, but lose suspension sensitivity. The blow-off should be used to tune the compression feel and add sensitivity to the fork.
My suggestion to riders is to start with the blow-off valve at max, and then cycle though the compression settings on a few rides. Then, once you settle in on where you like the compression to be set, micro-adjust this setting via the blow-off valve to add sensitivity to the fork.
I never did find the need to use the lockout side of the fork. I was happy running it open, even on longer fire road-style climbs. The compression valving works well enough to this end. Really, no massive bob.
The 55 Micro Ti is also an air-sprung fork, to save weight and add adjustability. (The 55 RC3 fork is the coil-sprung equivalent, and is about 0.4 pounds heavier.) I found the air spring to work well, and had no issues, but I should say that compared to the competition air forks on the market (RockShox Lyrik Solo-Air and X-Fusion Vengeance), the Marzocchi does have a little more stiction and gives up a bit of plush, smooth travel to the top dogs. I would say that it is comparable to a Fox Float in this regard.
According to Marshal Olson, "this is the best trail bike fork currently on the market, in all aspects of its construction." Well, then.
The Niner Bikes Carbon Rigid Fork steers great on hard-packed trails and climbs technical terrain incredibly well, but it didn’t offer the control or smoothness that reviewer Marshal Olson looks for when he decides to ride rigid.
Interbike! Day 2! Get your geek on.