I'm currently equipped with a suntour xct v3 80mm fork (stock to 2011 norco mountaineer) with adjustable preload.
I have the oppourtunity to swap to a 100mm 2010 marzocchi dj3 FOR FREE.
The question is, is it an upgrade? The marz is a set preload (to my knowledge, no knobs or lockout switch) but preload isn't very useful on my suntour anyway.
I understand neither is a high end fork, nor is the upgrade worth paying for. But what I'm asking is, is the marz the better fork and if someone can explain why that would be super duper
Possibly, depending on year, Marzocchi lost a lot of their reputation a few years a go when they shifted production from Italy to the Far East, and it's only just recovering now, a lot of the they forks made in the late 2000's had lots of QC issues, although that behind them now.
The DJ is one of their lower end forks, meant for the freeride market, and it is very heavy; over the Suntour, it will be a lot easier to get service parts for it / get it serviced.
What sort of riding you do would make a difference to it being worth it, lots of jumping, then yes (year / condition dependant), if your XCT's are in good condition, and you don't jump, then possibly not, although if you plan on getting a better fork in the future, the Marzozzchi's should have a better re-sale value than the XCT's
^^ This. The DJ3s have what Marzocchi calls 'fixed damping' - - meaning it is not adjustable - - but at least it has rebound damping. This is key to suspension being of any use. Marz has always had pretty good damping even in their lower-end products.
FWIW, weight penalty may not be as severe as imagined. I found figures for the 80mm XCT V3 at 2,300g (5 lbs.). Don't know about the '10 but the current DJ3 is 2,730g (6 lbs.).