This much-loved marque packs plenty of performance into a great value package.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Marzocchi Bomber Z2


  • Simple to set up. Lots of grip. Stiff chassis. Great price-to-performance ratio.


  • Carrying some extra weight. Lacking a bit of support. Basic adjustments.


Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Rail fork review


Price as reviewed:


Legendary Italian suspension firm Marzocchi, pretty much built its entire reputation on simplicity, plushness and durability. It came into the same ownership structure as Fox a few years ago though, and products like this Z2 now share a mixture of its original philosophy with the American suspension brand’s design and technology expertise, making it one of the top suspension forks if you’re on a budget.

It means the Z2 uses essentially the same bigger-negative volume EVOL air spring as our test-winning, £1,000+ Fox Factory 34 inside a chassis with the familiar ‘M’ on the fork arch. Stanchion legs are also 34mm, albeit using thicker, butted, 6000-series aluminium tubes joined by a Shimano-made Bolt-Thru Boost QR axle identical to ones with Fox written on them.

Marzocchi Z2 fork

Compression dial ‘sweeps’ across from full open to firm. We found adding a 1/4 turn from full open helped improve support.

Inside, however, the Rail damper here represents a ground-up design. Simple adjustment includes a sweeping compression adjust lever going from fully open to almost locked out (by twisting of a simple, well-labelled firm/open dial) and a chunky rebound dial that’s indexed into increments.

Metal, rather than plastic, internal parts are used for extra durability, and the Z2 damping assembly lives inside the fork leg in a bath of oil, rather than sealed in a cartridge like most high-end forks. This has advantages and drawbacks: less parts reduces weight and it allows for more damper oil, but with no bladder or IFP design separating air from oil, small bubbles can develop in fluids and cause turbulent flow through shims and holes when absorbing impact energy.

Marzocchi Z2 fork

Plastic rebound adjuster saves a few pence.

In reality though, larger oil volumes and open bath dampers have been very successful in the past for Marzocchi and down at the base of the lowers where the rebound circuit resides, fluid should remain largely bubble-free compressed at the bottom of a long column of oil inside the whole stanchion.

The Z2 also shares its air piston with a Fox Rhythm, so travel can be adjusted anywhere between 100 and 150mm by swapping out a readily-available air shaft. It’s an easy job but the part costs £75.

Marzocchi Z2 fork

Marzocchi’s classic logo is referenced in the brace design.

So, this uses Fox technology and is developed by Fox suspension experts, but at £579, it’s way cheaper than equivalent bushy-tailed options and follows the Marzocchi ethos of easy set up. By accident or design, you simply set pressure to rider weight in kilos and it’s good to go with tons of grip and comfort and a well-judged balance between damper and spring.

Turning the sweeping ‘Rail’ dial clockwise props up the front end more on steeper tracks and the rebound dial controls the speed it bounces back at you after hitting bumps.

If you need to tweak spring support further, add plastic volume spacers à la Fox 34, but (obviously) there’s no option to add damping control across different shaft speeds via high or low-speed adjustments here. Tweakers who know what they’re doing can’t therefore fiddle to best handle body weight shifts, terrain specifics and the type of impacts being absorbed by the damper, but that will be a moot point for the majority of riders. If you just want minimal faff and maximum ride time, the Z2 is ideal. In this sense, Marzocchi has somewhat grabbed the mantle from RockShox.

Marzocchi Z2 fork

Bomber by name, bomber by nature.

Whether this Z2 was a particularly good example is hard to know – any suspension product at any price is affected by manufacturing tolerances – but the performance was more supple and fast-moving than we remember from previous experiences. Marzocchi has adjusted bushing tolerance in recent times to further reduce friction, and the Z2 is really stiff, twist-free and solid compared to rivals (probably thanks to the thicker walls on the upper legs), so it doesn’t feel worked-over or flimsy if you really hammer it.

This Z2 is a solid performer for more aggro riders then; tracking and grip is exceptionally good, there’s no harshness or clunking if you bottom out the fork, and the way it absorbs harsh impacts, like drops or longer jumps to flatter landings, is smooth and dull.


If you’re focussed on covering distances, the extra weight (it’s close to an enduro fork) and lower ride height (it’s not as supportive as something like the Pike) means it might not suit you perfectly. It’s also a hair off exhibiting the poise and calmness on continuously super steep tracks, or hammering through the roughest sections, of the Charger 3, OTX18 or GRIP2. But then it is almost half the price too.


Weight:2,010g (190mm cut steerer)
Travel:100 – 150mm