The industry's most deliberately casual rep, Kris 'Grom' Withington from Wide Open Distributors, dropped into Spoke Towers in his flash rental Toyota Yaris armed with a couple of new products to share with us. First up is the new top-of-the-line Marzocchi 350 NCR Ti, a 160mm travel, medium-wheel specific All-Duro™ fork with a titanium spring. This felt typically smooth as butter in the old push-down-on-the-floor test.
The gold knob handles compression, pretty much a lockout with a blow-off in the 'firm' setting. The Air Preload Adjust cap on the right hides a typical air valve, which stiffens or softens the initial part of the stroke. It's not an air spring, but affects when and how the Ti spring does its thing. The NCR damping cartridge is said to give the smooth feel and reliability of the legendary Marzocchi Open Bath system with the light weight of a cartridge. High speed rebound can be custom tuned by upgrading to a custom shim stack.
The 35mm stanchions are coated with Marzocchi's top-of-the-line Espresso coating. Hot like Italian coffee. Travel can be internally adjusted down to 150 or 140mm.
The 15QR lever is tidy and simple to use, with a positive locking action that feels pretty solid.
"Performance is an Attitude". The Italians know more about both than most, and it's reflected in the finish of this fork.
Rebound adjuster on the bottom of the left leg has "heaps" of clicks according to Kris, and Caleb couldn't reach the end of them before he gave up.
SKF seals and bushings are the duck's guts, offering longer service life and better protection from the elements. The 350 NCR is available now and goes for $1599 and we'll be reviewing a set soon.
The other bit of gear Kris was touting is the Gravity Gradient stem. It's a stem. Okay, it comes in new 50mm and 35mm lengths, for 31.8 bars.
Four-bolt faceplate is extra wide to spread out the clamping area of bars.
Lots of machining to keep the weight down and make it look rad. RRP is $109 and it's available now.