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The 350 CR forks from Marzocchi are ideal for Enduro use, for skilled riders, steep, aggressive slopes, large obstacles, and moderate jumps. Performance is an attitude.
- Weight: 2030g/4.48lbs
- Damping: (L) – AER, (R) -CR
- Spring: Air
- Steerer: Tapered Aluminum
- Crown: Matching
- Stanchions: Ø35mm Natural Anodizing
- Brake System: 6“ post mount
- Axle: 15mm QR
- Maximum Rotor Size: 203mm
Marzocchi 350 CR Forks Review:
I purchased these forks in order to have something to compete with the giant in the field. The Pike. The 350 CR is classed as a mid-level fork.
I was intimidated by the fork and the need for a different head-set and a whole new upper assembly. It took me a long time, but I decided at the end of last season to make the investment. I am glad I did. The forks worked hard for me in the Enduro series I race in, had good years of use, and are now getting a solid workout.
I opted for the full air option, and found the fork would actually bottom out if too much air was put in them, so be careful. The sweet spot seemed to be 15 clicks out from full soft, so I was on the stiff side of the spring curve. This could be because of the way my bike is setup. There is a sixth, most difficult, grade in the race I race in, and with the extra weight of the front on my Foes Power F30 I was able to make it through the hardest grade in the race. I was also able to manage everything else in the race (although I left a lot of time on the side of the mountain) without the front end bottoming.
With the air valving, I was able to find the sweet spot and run the fork wide open. A tool for this is suggested, but a large flat head screwdriver will work to turn the adjustable knob on the lower mount for the brake caliper. The fork runs wide open without hassle, without any chatter, and responded well to all inputs. I am not sure if that is just the rigidity of the fork or the consistent feel of the damping (with the AER system).
The fork stood up well in the drops. I like to ride hard. After six hours of riding the night before a race…I like to hit the downhill at full steam. None of it seemed to faze the 352. The fork has an adjustable curve to it (described as “Roughness” by Marzocchi), which I was not able to fully understand, but I set it to the left of the sixth position.
If these pictures are any indication, the fork is plenty stiff. The front end stayed on the ground a lot in the super technical sections, and I was able to keep the front end down for the vast majority of the race. This fork is for aggressive riders, for those who are willing to push the limits of traction, and those who are aggressive on the gas. I would not recommend them for timid riders. The fork did not focus on itself, it was not a personal ego journey to the finish, they were the “Unsung Heroes” of my setup. They worked with what they had, and did their job, and they did it well. Other forks can have that same feeling, that same feel, but it is few and far between. It was an experience I have not had with other forks.
When I was in a rush, I missed a few corners, and ended up crunching a rock or bump, the fork itself handled the impact well, and I wasn’t bounced around. They handled the technical sections as well as they did the straight-aways.
It takes a bit of finesse to get the upper assembly reassembled after demounting the lower assembly. I have an extra pair of hands for the reassembly of my upper and it is the trickiest thing about the fork. I actually have an extra top assembly for the fork, that I would even be willing to sell with it.
I should add that the fork is almost too stiff. As I pushed myself to go faster, I often found the fork stuck under my cockpit while riding hard through turns. The fork communicated that it was there, but I struggled to get around. I yearned for a longer fork, but due to the aesthetics of my bike, and the need to preserve the geometry and fit of my bike, it could not be. I found that the least slither of 3mm was too much. I should have opted for the 35mm fork, but the 29er I am riding makes that less of an option.
Overall, I would rate the fork as 5 out of 5. It was a great value, great performance, rugged, and has held up to my more aggressive riding style over the years. The bumps are manageable.
- AER system
- Equal to other forks in $ range
- Handling of upper assembly
- Nice finish
- Lever for adjustment (note: this lever can break off)
Tough to reassemble the lower assembly
Fork is stiff, harder to turn
Is not necessarily the equal to other air forks in the same price range, but close. I would rate it as equal to Rock Shox, Fox.
I am extremely happy with this fork. After a full season, I do not have any regrets. The fork is a solid performer and can get the job done, no matter what you have.