2018 bikes are starting to hit the ground now and although this Rift Zone from Marin isn't available until December this year, we've been lucky enough to get one in nice and early for test - will this 29er make a great UK trail bike?
Here at off-road.cc we are on the search for the best UK trail bikes and are adding the Marin Rift Zone 3 to the mix. There is a full gallery of images at the top of the page, whilst we take a 'first look' below.
The Rift Zone is a 29er 120mm trail bike, sitting in the Marin range between the plus wheeled B-17 and the 27.5" bike, the Hawk Hill. We chose to review the top spec model in the range, at just £2,300 you won't need to rob a bank to afford the Rift Zone 3, a bit of gentle saving should see you there in no time.
£2,300 gets you an aluminium 29er with a 120mm of rear travel via a RockShox Deluxe RT Debonair shock and Marin's MultiTrac Suspension Technolgy. Marin say MultiTrac is fine-tuned to supports balanced ride, capable of absorbing big hits whilst also providing an efficient pedalling platform. Up front, the forks provided are 130mm RockShox Revelations RC's which with their 35mm stanchions, a chassis from the Pike and a Motion Control damper provide much improved performance over Revelations of old.
Elsewhere the stopping and starting are dealt with by Shimano, using a 1x SLX drivetrain with FSA 30T chainring and an 11spd 11-46T cassette. Our bike is fitted with SLX brakes but the bike available to buy will have Deore brakes.
The cockpit includes Marin's own 780mm wide bars, a nice short 45mm stem, a WTB Volt saddle and a TransX 100mm dropper post with 'shifter style' under bar level. We are informed that the medium, large and extra large bikes will get 120mm droppers rather than this stubby 100mm job.
For 2018 Marin have shortened the head tube length by 5mm-10mm across the range, stretching out the reach by a few millimetres and also dropped the length of the seat tube by 12mm. The seat angle has got slightly steeper and notably, the head angle has been slackened by nearly 2 degrees to 67.5 degrees. Chainstays have shortened to 435mm (over 440mm of old) meaning the wheelbase sits 11m longer at 1156mm.
We are pretty taken with the straightforward and clean lines of the Rift Zone, the purposeful bike looks as it if represents a good option for a capable UK trail bike. We will get some more miles in and get back to you with a review soon!
For more information head along to www.marinbikes.com