Teaser Issue #015 | Tested: Marin Rift Zone 8 Carbon
ENDURO Issue #015 is here and chock full of exciting tests, tips and adventures. One of the highlights is the big group test of seven New-School XC-Bikes, which we made a special trip to sunny California to complete. You’ll find the whole article in the (free!) magazine, here it’s time to take a first look at the bikes in the test – in this case the Marin Rift Zone 8 Carbon!
The Rift Zone has been totally redesigned for 2015. Marin wanted to create a playful trailbike that used the advantages of 29″ wheels. They started with balanced geometry that is roomy but still nimble.
The light, carbon frame features their Iso-Link suspension system that sees the removal of the rear link. Because the frame flex controls the initial stroke of the suspension, the FOX FLOAT CTD shock has been tuned with this in mind.
Rift Zone riders have the option of running their cables in the frame via the all-in-one headtube inlet or under the downtube cover for easy maintenance. Details like this show Marin‘s experience and attention to detail, hopefully that shows on the trail too!
The cockpit features Marin‘s own 720 mm flat handlebar and stem. Combined with the long top tube, it should provide a stable and roomy position especially when the KS dropper is down. The 120 mm fork compliments the 110 mm rear end, both of the FOX Performance line.
Marin definitely has the experience and the home field advantage to take on the challengers in this test. The new Rift Zone looks promising, read Issue #015 to find out how it rides!
About the test
Our request to the manufacturers was simple: send us a fast, light and potent XC bike for maximum fun on the fast, flowing southern California trails.
We let the manufacturers decide for themselves which exact models, wheel sizes and suspension-travel range this actually meant. The only fixed criteria was the price limit of € 5.500.
The bike makers were also allowed to improve the downhill performance of their bikes by making small spec changes, just like bike shops often do. This includes changes to the cockpit, tyres and retrofitting a dropper seatpost.
The test team, made up of ENDURO editors Robin Schmitt, Joe Parkin and several other experienced test riders carefully examined the bikes over multiple days. The team established the strengths and weaknesses of each model, and discussed in depth the verdict of every bike.
Words: Tyler Malcomson Photos: Abner Kingman