Weight: 4.21lb / Travel: 140-100mm / Air sprung / Aluminium steerer / Post Mount / Three-year warranty
Contact: Windwave 02392 521912
We wanted the more expensive Marzocchi XC700 for this test because, at £499.99, it’d be a fairer comparison to the other forks, but unfortunately one wasn’t available. The XC600 is £170 less but it shares a similar wind-down travel adjuster. This ATA2 is a mechanical system that limits the fork’s travel by moving a rod up and down inside the air cartridge.
Sag is the same regardless of the travel; so on the climbs in the 100mm setting the fork is more supple, but stand up and it dives through the travel. If you intend running the fork in the short setting it’d be worth getting the sag right, but if you’re going to dial the fork up and down you’ll have to compromise on set-up. Not that the ATA2 is quick or convenient on the move; about eight turns gets the 40mm of adjustment and means taking a hand off the bar for a prolonged period. Marzocchi says the travel adjustment feature is to stop wheel lift and stalling on long, steep climbs, rather than something that a rider could access constantly. That said, you could just lock this fork out using Marzocchi’s new TST2 (trail selection technology) compression adjuster on top of the right leg.
Despite the new brace the XC600 is the most flexible fork here, we had a moment when the front wheel stepped out suddenly on an off-camber root section. Some of this could be because the fork takes a good sized hit to get moving and, like all Marzocchis, needs a bedding period of several ‘hard’ rides.
Being the cheapest here, but with features similar to the £500 forks, the XC600 is great value. It’s also an ideal fork for a hardtail because it has all the fittings for cantilever brakes and the ATA2 can be used for precisely fine-tuning geometry. It’d also be good if you’re trying to balance the front and rear travel on a mid-travel suspension bike. The reason it gets an eight is because we feel the ATA2 doesn’t have the same convenience and usability as the Fox Talas II or Manitou IT.
MBR RATING: 8/10