Marin has just launched a new carbon Rift Zone and seeing as we were big fans of the alloy version, we were dead keen to get some more information. The carbon version sports identical geometry and comes in pricier spec configurations than other alloy options.
We tested the alloy version of this bike back in 2018 and gave it four stars, it proved to be a capable and lively bike that had shed some of its previous cross-country skin. Since then the bike has grown in travel, up from 120mm to 125mm, its got slacker, now sitting with a head angle of 65.5 degrees. It also gets a steeper effective seat angle at 76 degrees, all credentials that have been transferred to this new carbon version of the bike.
The new carbon bike sits at the top of the price range, with two new models, also called the Rift Zone 1 and Rift Zone 2 being bestowed with component which as Marin put it, are "for the discerning mountain biker". If you are the kind of discerning rider that likes a 139mm Marzocci Bomber and Shimano SLX then you'll be at home on the Rift Zone 1. On the other hand if your tastes lie with a 130mmm Fox 34 Performance Float fork, a Fox Float DPX2 and Shimano SLX 12 speed then you'd best look at the Rift Zone 2.
Whilst these parts aren't the blingiest you can buy it makes sense when you check out the price, the Rift Zone 1 comes in at £3,195 whilst its brother comes in at £3,995, not bad at all for a carbon bike with those spec choices.
Like the alloy bike, the carbon one gets the same linkage driven single pivot suspension with oversized bearings as per the Alpine Trail (the brands longer travel bike). Elsewhere there is internal cable routing, a downtube protector, room in the frame for a bottle and a threaded bottom bracket.
And, of course, there's a video to show just how hard this bike can shred...
You might also like: