specialized giant cube cannondale Mavic Castelli endura altura
Marin Rift Zone Range Review

Marin Rift Zone Review

Price:

£1,445.00 - £3,995.00

Finance from:

£77.50/month (0% APR)

Carbon and alloy frame options
29" wheels
Suspension travel
130mm front / 125mm rear
Dropper seat post on most models
One-by drivetrains with wide range cassettes
Rides like a bike that costs much more

Discipline:

Trail MTB

Usage:

Fast, fun trail riding

Weight:

Coming Soon


The new Marin Rift Zone is an excellent example of a short travel 29er.

Updated: 19th November 2019

Overview

The Rift Zone, Marin’s short travel 29er has had a complete revamp for 2020. The suspension and geometry have both been tweaked to make the bikes more capable on the trail without sacrificing any of the speed that this bike is known for. The range of full suspension mountain bikes has also been expanded with two carbon framed models now topping out the range.

The Rift Zone is a designed to be quick. Fast rolling over both rough and smooth terrain the 29” wheels allow this bike to carry speed incredibly well. Combined with long, low and slack trail geometry these bikes are a lot of fun to ride. We’ll look at the finer points of all the bikes as we dive into in this Marin Rift Zone review.

Marin Rift Zone

Frame

Carbon or aluminium alloy

There are two Rift Zone frame options, both share the same thoroughly modern trail bike geometry. The slack 65.5° head tube angle is combined with a short fork offset which makes the bike nice and stable speed while the short chainstays give you nimble handling in the tight. The riding position offers a great balance for both climbing and descending.

The alloy bikes, the Rift Zones 1, 2 and 3 all share the same Series 3 aluminium alloy frame. This is a high-quality frame made from 6061 aluminium alloy that has been butted and hydroformed for optimum strength and lightweight. The Rift Zone Carbon 1 and 2 are both built around a carbon front triangle that is made from high modulus, unidirectional fibres. This makes these bikes significantly lighter weight than the other models. All the bikes in the range get internal cable routing and there is room for a bottle inside the front triangle.

The long reach and relatively low bottom bracket make it stable at speed, while the balanced head angle and seat tube ensure it climbs well
- Bike Radar

Marin Rift Zone Geometry(Click to expand)

 

S

M

L

XL

Stack

602.6

607.15

611.7

616.25

Reach

430

455

480

515

Headtube angle

65.5°

65.5°

65.5°

65.5°

Headtube length

100

105

110

115

Seat tube angle (effective)

76°

76°

76°

76°

Seat tube length

390

400

425

430

Top tube (effective)

580.24

606.36

632.51

668.65

BB height

344

344

344

344

BB drop

34

34

34

34

Chainstay

425

425

425

425

Wheelbase

1158.92

1186

1213

1252

Standover

677.41

683.97

694.16

697.39

Fork offset

44

44

44

44

Seatpost diameter

30.9

30.9

30.9

30.9

Handlebar width

780

780

780

780

Stem length

35

35

35

35

Crank length

170

175

175

175


Marin Rift Zone

Suspension

125m of rear wheel travel

The suspension feel is as good as on some bikes costing double the price, thanks in part to the frame’s kinematics, but also the shock tune
– Bike Radar

The suspension travel on the Rift Zone has been extended to 125mm on the rear combined with a 130mm travel fork. The Multitrac suspension system that controls the rear wheel travel is a simple single pivot design with a rocker link for a progressive leverage ratio. This means that the suspension is nice and sensitive on the small bumps while keeping you covered on drops and bigger hits.

The quality of the suspension improves as you move up through the range. Starting with the Rift Zone 1 you get a functional but basic X Fusion shock, the 2 has a RockShox Deluxe shock while the rest of the bikes get Fox Float Shocks with adjustable compression damping alongside the rebound adjustment found on the others. The carbon framed bikes both get shocks with piggy-back reservoirs for more consistent performance on long tracks. The forks start with RockShox Recons, moving up to Marzocchi Z2s and then a Fox Float 34 on the top model.

Marin Rift Zone

Groupset

1x drivetrain on every bike

Shedding some of its cross-country skin the Rift Zone is now a capable and lively bike that is quite happy to push the limits out on the trails
off-road.cc

It is great to see such great component specs on bikes that are this reasonably priced. Apart from the entry level Rift Zone 1 which has 11 speed, all the bikes in the range get 12 speed drivetrains with ultra-wide range rear cassettes. This means that you get all the gears that you are ever likely to need in a nice easy to use package. Every bike is fitted with a clutch rear mech to keep your chain in place when riding the rough. You also get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes on every model for reliable stopping power.

Every bike gets wide 780mm handlebars with a short stem. This set up is great for trail riding and helps to give the bikes their confident feel. All the bikes apart from the entry level model come ready fitted with a dropper post. The drop is size specific so every rider will get the maximum benefit of being able to drop the saddle out of the way at a flick of a switch.

Marin Rift Zone

Wheels

Rapid rolling 29” hoops

If you want to ride fast then you can’t beat 29” wheels. These larger wheels carry speed very well and roll over bumps much more smoothly than smaller hoops. Whether it’s long distance cross-country rides or sessioning the tracks in your local woods you can’t beat the grin inducing speed of a 29er.

All the bikes are fitted with Marin double wall rims. The 29mm internal width of these wheels offers great support for the wide tyres. The wheels on the Rift Zone Carbon bikes are both shod with Maxxis Minion MaxxTerra, EXO+ rubber. Offering superb levels of grip MTB tyres don’t come much better than this. The Vee tyres on the alloy bikes don’t have the same pedigree but they are fast rolling and offer enough grip for cross-country riding. All the wheels and tyres are tubeless compatible, so it is easy to ditch the inner tubes and say goodbye to punctures.

The Rift Zone is a great all-rounder, this is a bike that will be equally happy on all day cross country adventures as it will razzing laps of your local and finding your limit
– off-road.cc

Marin Rift Zone

Best for

Rapid trail riding

Short travel full suspension mountain bikes with 29” wheels are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. These bikes carry speed very well, are capable on challenging terrain yet are lightweight and efficient enough for long distance cross-country rides. With modern geometry these bikes have a playful feel and are confidence inspiring at speed. Just what you need at the trail centre. Unless you spend a lot of time at the bike park riding very rough, steep and technical trails then a short travel 29er is ideal.

The new Marin Rift Zone is an excellent example of a short travel 29er. The entry level models are very affordable while still offering a capable component spec to go with the great frame geometry. As you move up through the range into the carbon models the performance of the bikes just gets better. Ideal as a first full suspension bike, the Rift Zone will also appeal to experienced riders who are looking for a fast fun and playful ride without breaking the bank.

Marin Rift Zone Marin Rift Zone
Marin Rift Zone Marin Rift Zone
Marin Rift Zone Marin Rift Zone

Marin Rift Zone range models

You may also be interested in