2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

For the 2014 model year, Marzocchi switched to a numeral-based naming scheme for their forks, with the hundred and ten digit places indicating the stanchion diameter. The new 320 (32mm stanchion) forks for the XC crowd carved off a respectable amount of weight of the prior model, but the 2015 versions cut even more fat and update the offset to work with modern bikes.

Beyond the weight savings, also new for 2015 is a 51mm offset 29er 320, which is better suited for full suspension bikes than the original 44mm offset versions, which are still available. The change in offset was made by adjusting both crown and dropouts, and Marzocchi used that redesign as an opportunity to reduce the weight of both parts by rethinking virtually every part of them. We touched on this at Sea Otter (along with internals, seals and other tech updates), but now we’ve got some great comparison pics showing just how extensive the trimming is…

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

The offset changes and weight savings start at the top. The old crown is shown in white, the new one sits on top of it unpainted.

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

Above and below, the newer crown is on the left. The overall shape is slimmer, but the outer section that’s bonded to the stanchions drops a bit lower to keep them stiff.

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

Note the indentation and shaping around the steerer tube.

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

At the top of the lowers, extra material was removed around the bulge where the upper bushings site. The arch is also slightly reshaped.

2015 Marzocchi XC 320 LCR 29er suspension forks get lighter and geometry optimized

The new dropouts (left) are sleeker with thinner reinforcing ribs. Even the thru axle is made more slender in the center to drop a couple grams.

Resulting claimed weight differences between the 44mm offset and 51mm offset forks are up to 185g:

OFFSET
44mm 51mm
LCR Carbon 1660g 1515g
LCR 1780g 1600g
LR 1880g 1695g

Why change the offset? The 44mm offset was originally designed around racier hardtails. But, with geometries becoming more versatile and “trail” oriented, and with the availability of so many extremely capable full suspension 29ers now that are spec’ing 51mm offset forks, the time came to offer it. By increasing the offset, the fork decreases the trail, too, which is the distance from the tire’s contact patch to the centerline steerer tube. A shorter trail figure can make the handling a bit snappier, which is good for bikes with the larger 29er wheels and modern, slightly slacker head angles. The downside is it can decrease stability at higher speeds and increase the wheelbase…but keep in mind, we’re only talking about 5mm. It’s really about fine tuning the ride.

The 320 forks are also available for 27.5 wheels and have a 44mm offset.

Marzocchi.com

11 comments

  1. chasejj on

    Wow. So Marzocch9i is now only 2 years behind. Keep going Zokes. Now you can just try and work on the pesky Customer Service problem.

    Reply
  2. Guy Smith on

    For whatever reason this made me think – Why can’t a smaller competitor like Manitou make a leap and try to make some nice and light xc forks like their competitor Marzoochi does??Although Marzoochi is not up to the big guys yet at least they are progressing with weight savings, cool looks and technology and carbon bits like on that LCR 650.

    Reply
  3. Guy on

    If you guys are saying Marzocchi is behind on the xc stuff…what is Manitou? At least Marzocchi is progressing and putting out cool products. Just to put in perspective of who their actual competition is.

    Reply
  4. Bluefire on

    @chasejj: Two years behind? Marzocchi’s too polite to correct you, so I’ll do it for them. Only two 29″ XC forks are lighter than a 320 LCR Carbon, and they’re the Lefty and and a freaking Lauf. A Fox 32 is about 45 grams heavier, a DT OPM is 55 grams heavier, and a SID XX WC is 57 grams heavier. Bikerumor weighed a 2013 SID XX WC two years ago, and it was 1565g – so if Marzocchi made this fork two years ago, they would have been ahead of the closest conventional competitor by 60 grams. Bonus: the Marzocchi’s MSRP is $200 less than that carbon-steerer WC, and it comes out $130 less in the real world (merlincycles.com).

    Reply
  5. Bluefire on

    I can only speak to weight (the topic of this article) as I’ve never ridden any Marzocchi suspenion before; for all I know their damper tech could be straight out of the 90’s. But I think they deserve cycling’s respect as a company. It takes nerve and dedication to try and push back into a market like suspension, where two players hold all the cards. So far as I can tell, Marzocchi’s playing their solitary joker quite skillfully indeed – I often see them engaging with the customer base in comment sections like this one, picking up ideas and doing their darndest to be relatable. As a community, cyclists could stand to be a little more open-minded about new products, for the sake of advancing our sport and its technology. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be taking a hard look at those pretty Espresso stanchions when it’s time for an upgrade.

    Reply
  6. jjkitt on

    I recently had a very pleasant customer service experience with Marzocchi USA…they went way above what the really needed to do. When I transition to 650b I will definitely consider the 350CR.

    Cheers,

    Reply

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