130mm travel / Weight: 4.4lb / Coil with Air Assist spring / 32mm alloy stanchions / Post Mount / RV & ETA adjustability / Contact: www.windwave.co.uk
The Marzocchi XC600 takes the middle rung in Marzocchi’s Retro fork series. With 130mm of travel it gains 30mm over the XC500 but misses out on the ATA adjuster of the top-end XC700.
Instead the XC600 makes do with a useful handlebar-mounted ETA adjuster. When you depress the lever and put some weight on the forks the ride height of the forks is dropped, shifting your centre of gravity so steering’s more positive with less chance of the rear wheel spinning out on steep granny-gear grinds. When compressed the fork retains around 30mm of travel. After a few rides the cable on our ETA slipped and needed resetting, which was a two-minute task, made especially easy by the walk-through Marzocchi’s UK importer Windwave provides on its website.
The left leg of the XC600 houses a coil spring, which is air assisted — something we didn’t discover until we took the ETA adjuster off. Windwave reccomends leaving the left leg empty of air and using only the right leg’s air spring (using a genuine Schraeder valve!) to adjust the ride.
Marzocchi’s new RV rebound valve offers a large range of rebound adjustment and there’s no noticeable slack in the system — each click makes a difference. The rebound adjuster doubles as a large blanker for the hollow bottom of the right-hand leg: unfortunately ours came loose and fell off on a ride. It’s not a common problem but Windwave does carry replacements at £4.95 each.
With 32mm stanchions the XC600 is reasonably stiff and it comes as standard with a Post Mount, rated to cope with a 7in disc. We stuck with 6in discs and didn’t encounter any fore-aft flutter, even under heavy braking. As is often the case with Marzocchis, the XC600 is heavier than the competition — despite being nearly half a pound lighter than the ‘06 AM3 we tested last year. Our fork still feels plush and hasn’t lost any pressure despite being abused through the winter. If you’re looking for a fit-and-forget trail fork, the XC600 is a fine choice.
MBR rating: 8/10