When historic Italian suspension brand Marzocchi was resurrected, the forks and shocks were launched under the tagline of “bring back simple.” In a world of dials, clicks and more dials, the modernised Marzocchi gear has distilled the damping and rebound controls down to the basics, using simple dampers to provide performance, easy servicing and reliability.
Up to this point, the brand has only offered a coil rear shock, but that all changes today with the Marzocchi Bomber Air.
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Offsetting the oil
Given Marzocchi’s current place in the market and its focus on gravity-oriented suspension, it’s no surprise to see the brand coming out with a DH shock, complete with a larger volume reservoir to maximise oil flow and manage heat buildup on sustained descents. Now that Marzocchi has air shocks for both ends of the bike, we would not be surprised to see Bombers becoming a more common OEM spec for new bikes.
The Bomber Air is available in eight metric and five trunnion mount sizes with 40-75mm stroke lengths. Even with the range of sizes available, Marzocchi includes travel reducing spacers in the box, and it’s compatible with Fox bearing mounts at both ends — excluding trunnion, because, well, duh.
There is no need to adjust your screen because the piggyback reservoir is intentionally mounted on the shock crooked. According to Marzocchi, this allows a better fit in a broader range of frames and makes the compression adjuster easier to reach.
The air valve is also positioned directly below the rebound adjuster, again in the name of access.
Keep the adjustments simple
Both the rebound and compression are externally adjustable without tools, and speaking of compression, Marzocchi has opted for a 2-position non-indexed sweep adjustment. Just like the forks, there are no clicks, and the level of damping will be determined by where the knob sits between firm and open. The sweep adjust is tuneable, meaning that you can tailor the stops at either end to allow for your preferred level of compression damping.
With all the dials, clickers, adjustability and controls, high-end suspension can feel a bit like a Formula 1 car. In the right hands, and set up to suit the conditions, it can be a laser-guided missile. But, in the wrong hands, with the dials in all the wrong places, it will end in a cloud of tyre smoke and a crumpled mess of carbon fibre.
Rear shocks often have all manner of controls, but it’s not always easy to detect the effect of a few clicks of this or that, especially compared to the same adjustments on a fork. Not everyone is a fiddler when it comes to suspension, and when presented with clickers galore, may be too intimidated to dive in, or set and forget in the wrong direction and end up with poor performance.
The Bomber isn’t the only air shock of its kind, but Marzocchi appears to have done well to distil the controls into a digestible form to even the most dial adverse. And based on our experience with the forks, this simplicity won’t come at the expense of quality, finish or performance.
Of course, being an air shock, Marzocchi offers volume spacers in 0.1-cubic-inch increments. But, according to the press materials, they will be ‘unique,’ which suggests these will be different to the Fox Float X spacers, to which the Bomber bears a striking resemblance.
Claimed to weigh 484g (205×65), the Bomber Air is about half the weight of the Bomber CR coil. If we look at similar offerings from Fox and RockShox, the Factory Float X (205×65) tipped our scales at 506g, and the Super Deluxe Select+ is claimed to weigh 453g — no size specified.
Set to be available in July, the Bomber Air is priced at $749 and comes in a hair cheaper than the Fox Float X Performance Elite ($799), while the RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, appears to be an OEM only product, so you’ll be up for the Super Deluxe Ultimate for an upgrade ($903).
Marzocchi Bomber Air Shock Specs and pricing
- 40 to 75 mm stroke
- Trunnion and standard eyelet options
- Adjustable compression and rebound
- All adjusters are tool-free
- Compatible with FOX bearing mounts on both ends (excluding trunnion)
- 484 grams (205×65)
- Metric: 190×45, 210×50, 210×52.5, 210×55, 230×57.5, 230×60, 230×65, 250×75
- Trunnion: 185×52.5, 185×55, 205×60, 205×62.5, 225×75
- RRP: $749.00 AUD