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Marzocchi ATA 55??

dgoulddgould Posts: 66
edited January 2009 in MTB buying advice
Just a quick one - this fork any good. Heard mixed reviews, but spec looks right.


It\'s a bit steep for my liking


  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Haven't seen a good review yet - they're renowned for poor quality bushings and the new ones have nothing like enough control over compression damping by all accounts. Specification of 55s steered me away from a numebr of bikes in 2008, in favour of Fox Van Rs
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  • was waiting for dave to reply to this :)
    I steered clear from the 55's and got some Rockshox domains instead (which apart from the dodgy steerer batch, i haven't herd much bad about them at all, very good for the price).
  • ProwlusProwlus Posts: 539
    Well I'm buying them saturday next week I'm hoping as long as i keep the negative air chamber 30 psi higher than the positive , hopefully I won't have to ask evans for windwave's speedial number :lol:
    Having to play with 2 airchambers sounds as complicated as my own Ransom's equalizer shock , Hope i don't kill 3 pumps doing it
  • whats the speed dial number?
  • GrantyBoyGrantyBoy Posts: 166

    Mine turned into a bag of bolts after a few months of light use. Got a full refund.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Here's my thoughts on the 55s, and also on Pikes, as I've had the mispleasure of comparing them almost side by side.

    My 55 ATA2's are fantastic performing forks, they're incredibly plush, and have that lovely smooth marzocchi-ish response to small bumps, then the damping and spring rate ramps up to take the bigger hits as well.
    I've never seen any forks apart from zocchis that cope so well with small stutter bumps, general trail roughness, but also handle bigger hits with aplomb.


    they did die in Les Gets, they blew a seal, and went down, and stayed down. I got them fixed double-quick, however, by "Dert" in Morzine (only about a 5 minute ride from Les Gets).
    The problem, was a blown O-ring in the air spring cartridge. According to the mechanic, Nigel (IIRC - he was awesome by the way), it was a common problem on 55's 66's and 888s. He didn't have the actual 55 seals in stock, so he put some 888/66 seals in them instead.

    Anyway, since my 55s were in for repair (only took a few hours), I borrowed my mate's rock shox Pikes.
    I can't recall what model of Pike they were, but they were coil sprung, oil damped, and had adjustable travel from 100mm to 150mm IIRC. They were also a horribble 'baby diaorrhhea colour.

    I have never ridden such a censored fork in my many years of mountain biking. Even my ancient Manitou Vert-Xs used to be better than this censored .
    The main problem with the Pikes (which some have listed as one of their selling points) is their complete linearity through the entire stroke.
    What this means to the rider is that to stop the fork bottoming out on big hits, you have to stiffen it (either by adjusting compression damping, or by adjusting preload). Unfortunately, the linear stroke means that it also becomes stiffer for small bumps. So, your teeth get shaken loose on stutter bumps, but you rarely bottom out unless it's on big hits.
    If, however, you set them supple enough to cope with small stutter bumps, they're then incredibly easy to bottom out, as hitting a handful of small bumps in a row will push them down and down and THUMP.

    Another problem, which was massively apparent in Les Get's DH runs was that the linearity also means that they compress substantially under heavy braking.
    So, on something like 10% (very very steep section in morzine, followed by a flat out bermed left into right hander) I could either charge down fuul speed, then bottom out painfully on the bump between the left-right bend, or, alternatively, I could try to control my speed, which also fully compressed the forks, so by the time I came to the bump, I was basically riding a steep-head angled rigid fork.

    Words can not describe how much I hated the Pike.

    However, they were reliable, and were ridden very very hard, and to be honest well beyond their intended use.

    The 55s on the other hand, could handle any type of surface thrown at them, but have reliability issues.
    I don't know if the issues have been resolved, I can only hope it has, since a simple sealing upgrade could stop the problem outright.

    But it's worth noting, that in general UK trail duties, they haven't failed me (yet). They only died once in Les Gets last summer and have been fine since.
    It's also worth pointing out that in Les Gets, Morzine and Avoriaz, you will see broken forks everywhere, from all manufacturers. We saw plenty of dead 888s, 66s, 55s, Fox 40s, boxxxers, the really large fat rochshox (domain?!?) The place really is a bike killer.

    But, my final verdict is that if you're willing to accept that they may need fixing, and that kind of thing doesn't bother you too much, go for it. Otherwise look elsewhere.

    Hope that helps somehow.

    Oh yeah, our crowd also broke a GT I-drive DH, and wrecked the rear end on an Intense Socom. We also cooked Hope 6pots, went through a ton of brake pads, and had a hell of a laugh.
    Amusingly though, my completely outclassed in every other way Marin survived the ordeal just fine (although it was really bloody hard work!), and I didn't puncture once. :lol:
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