It may only be July, but across the world, crystal balls are being pressed into action in order to bring you the skinny on what you can expect to see in the shops next year. We’ve already brought you details of Trek, RockShox, Shimano and Mavic’s 2003 produce, and now we can whet your appetite with a taster of things to come from the godfather of freeride forks; Marzocchi.
The Italian company’s fan base is strongest among the gravity set, so here goes with a few morsels from their Freeride range:
Externally, the Z1 series has been to the gym, getting bulked up around the stanchion area and receiving new castings for the crown and sliders. Marzocchi have followed the lead introduced by Fox last year with their Forx by going to 32mm diameter stanchions for all of their Freeride and DJ (Dirt Jumper) forks.
There’s a sleek new one-piece magnesium slider casting to further improve stiffness, and a matching forged and CNC’d crown that mates perfectly with a dedicated Acerbis fender (that’s mudguard to us Anglophiles).
Lower down, the QR20 system gets a major overhaul, with quick release flaps now holding the underside of the axle in place.
Internally, last year’s Extension Control Cartridge has developed into Extension Travel Adjustment. What’s the difference? Well, the new ETA system gives you the same rebound lockout for a lower front end on climbs, but now you’ll always get at least 30mm of travel no matter when the system is activated.
To cope with the higher spring rates demanded by dirt-jumpers, the DJ series becomes air-assisted for ’03. In conjunction with a steel coil spring, the air chamber gives the fork a much wider scope of spring rates without the need for disassembly.
UK importers Windwave have just confirmed prices on the new forks, with the Z1 QR20 coming in at £429.95, the air-sprung Z1 SL at £419.95, the Z1 ETA at £369.95 and finally the Z1 Dropoff ETA at £319.95.
The DJ range has three models: the DJ1 at £319.95, the DJ2 at £254.95 and the DJ3 at £214.95.
Moving up to the triple-clamps, the Super T Pro will set you back £564.95 and the Junior T £369.95.
Flick back next week for a glimpse at the extremes of Marzocchi’s range: the big travel downhill stuff and the svelte cross-country kit.