Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
With the recent launch of the Fox 38, it was only a matter of time before RockShox countered with their own version. The RockShox ZEB is the biggest and beefiest enduro fork RockShox makes and it means business. In this review, our customer was looking to replace his Fox 36 and went with the ZEB. Check out what he had to say!
With the bike boom in full effect, it was a bit of a wait for availability on the 29er ZEB in the travel I wanted (kinda). I bought the Rockshox ZEB to replace a Fox 36 on my Santa Cruz Hightower 2 after my buddy got a 38 and was impressed with the increased stiffness. My plan was to keep the travel the same as the 36 at 160mm but the bike boom foiled my efforts and I ended up going with a 170mm travel version as I could get it sooner. So far I am very happy and it has made the bike feel more precise and inspires confidence even if I’m not as selective of my line as I should be. I did get the 160mm travel shaft and will swap it over the winter riding season for comparison.
As far as the setup I have been able to run lower pressure and the fork seems plusher than my 36 which I was not unhappy with. I just wanted to get a bit more stiffness from the beefier fork as I am a 215lb aggressive rider so the more support the better.
So far it’s meeting my expectations overriding it for the past most weeks. I have not felt like I need to increase the number of tokens so far and have hit medium-sized drops and jumps on my local trails without any bottom outs or harsh feeling compressions.
We have a lot of rocky, rooty sections and the fork does not seem to dive or fade with fast repeated impacts.
The Charger RC2 damper has great adjustability though I’m typically a set and forget kind of rider. I started with setting the rebound and air pressure according to the RockShox trail head app which seemed like a useful tool and to me, the recommendations seem to be good so far. I’m going to start playing with the compression settings as I get more ride time on it. The ability to change settings depending on what I’m riding would be cool if I can get to some uplift riding next season. Happy with my choice and look forward to sketchy lines and poor choices!
I was previously running a 180mm front rotor and with the ZEB only allowing for 200mm plus rotor had to switch this. Not a big deal, my only prior reservation was the warping of larger rotors especially on hard braking into corners but has not seemed to be an issue thus far. I really like the slate gray colorway as it goes well with the blue frame in my opinion. The last esthetic detail is the fork crown now matches the lower head tube diameter and make it look more seamless, small thing and has no effect on a function I’m sure but still a bonus to me!
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