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  1. #1
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    Brodie Zealot Review - 2007

    Brodie Zealot

    Review by Sharon Bader with comments from Dan Gronross




    My first bike was a Brodie. The Brodie Espresso. It came with the elastomer Rock Shox Quadra,
    WOW suspension! Once I outworked this fork I upgraded to the Judy, DOUBLE WOW
    - Plushness! Eggplant I think was the colour. It still lives! However, Odie
    has been relegated to the life of Lee's commuter.




    Start of the Cheakamus Challenge 1994 - Sporting the MEC shorts,
    Fanny pack, purple bar ends and matching cotton T! Did it in 4:07. Some guy
    named Bruce Spicer won it this year.




    Brodie has
    come a long way since those days back in the 90's when a ride meant climbing
    up technical single track that is now a West Vancouver subdivision. With the
    trend of bigger is better it's nice to see the Brodie legacy of climbing ability
    coming back to the fore, but with the added bonus of downhill performance that
    my little Espresso couldn't quite match.




    Brodie grows up




    Frame


    I ride
    an 18inch frame so I chose this same size for the Zealot. It seemed a bit big
    at first glance. The standover is tight for me, I'm 5'9". It could be the
    160mm Rock Shox Lyric that set the front end pretty high and
    gave it more of a beefier look. The heavy gussets and pretty nice welds
    also lent to its beefy demeanor. At 37lbs it can't really be classified as svelte.
    It came with a 100mm, 10 degree riser stem. Swapping this out with a zero degree
    rise or shorter stem would easily shorten the cockpit. I would have liked a
    90mm stem on this puppy, but I adapted to the 100mm.




    Sporting full Syncros tires/wheels/handlebar/stem, fortunately
    they left the 90's era Syncros rigid fork off this bike..




    SRAM X-9 rear derailleur and Avid Juicy brakes




    Front
    end


    Front suspension is the Rock
    Shox Lyric Solo Air
    - 160mm Travel - 5.1 lbs -35mm upper stanchion - 20mm
    Maxel - Quick Release! This is the lightest of the Lyric line which includes
    the travel adjustable 2 Step and U-turn, respectively weighing in at 5.49 and
    5.73lbs. This fork is super stiff with lots of adjustability. I was also impressed
    with its plushness. The 'Floodgate' platform is easy to turn on and off with
    every turn of the knob where you can also adjust compression. I've found this
    feature to have little value and left the compression and rebound set up stiffer
    for a more all mountain (i.e. climbing) set up.



    It would be
    nice if the manual or website had a diagram of the shock to describe how to
    adjust the settings and explain how the technology works. As a visual person
    this is helpful for me. The Floodgate adjust on the right fork
    allows for bob free suspension. Pop it open and you don't bob, pop it closed
    and you activate your suspension. The Rebound adjustment knob
    is on the bottom right leg, turn to the turtle to slow it down, turn to the
    rabbit to speed it up! Compression adjustment is also available
    on the right fork leg under the Floodgate adjust. Increase it to stiffen your
    ride! Or decrease it to gushen it up! The knobs have arrows pointing to HARD
    so you don't have to think... hmmm was increasing compression harder or softer
    or was that decreased compression or??? Once you figure out what all the knobs
    do it's pretty easy to adjust. I'd prefer to have the rebound dampening more
    accessible since I play with this adjustment more then compression.


    There is no
    travel-height adjustment on the Lyric Air Solo. If you want adjustability you
    would have to go with the Lyric 2 - step or U-Turn which are slightly heavier
    forks. This fork had the bike sit rather high in the front making technical
    climbing more challenging. I think the travel adjustable fork would be better
    if you wanted to use this bike for more climbing applications then descending.


    The Maxel quick
    release is GREAT! It makes taking off the front wheel as easy as it used to
    be.


    Rear
    end


    Rock
    Shox Pearl 3.3
    - 3 way adjustable shock - Lock out, anti-bob and gush -
    that can be changed by moving a lever. Pretty simple, almost too simple since
    it sometimes moved from active to floodgate on its own! At least rear shocks
    are somewhat standard in that they all have an easy rebound damping adjusments,
    air valve for spring adjustability and the floodgate control near the 3 way
    lever. Again the Floodgate wasn't that noticable with this shock. I had the
    rebound set in the middle and even fully active it pedaled well. This shock
    was also very plush! Even set at my weight my friend who weighed 50lbs more
    didn't bottom it out!



    Miscellanous


    I shared this
    bike with Dan Gronross to give a 'she said, he said' review!






    Sharon says:

    A well spec'd bike
    where everything worked well together.


    The Syncros
    seat is larger then I'm used but didn't affect the taint in a negative
    way! The Syncros seat post had two bolts and a rocker shape that allowed
    for really easy adjusment of the seat front and back as well as rotating
    the nose down or up. This was a great feature since I shared this bike
    with Dan, who changed the seat position each time he rode it so I had
    to change it back.


    The Avid
    Juicy's are fantastic reliable brakes! They modulated really well and
    I could very comfortably use one finger breaking on most Shore trails.
    They were squeaky initially, which went away with wear.


    The Syncros
    Tires were sticky and performed well in wet conditions. The rear tire
    did slip on technical steep pitches that required a bit more grip ie -
    in the wet - which could be due to its higher durometer ( 55 vs 50 for
    the front). The rims are flashy and holding up well so far!


     






    Dan Says:

    A complete “turn key bike”, that was very well spec’d
    for my intended use.



    Sram X-9… I am a Saint guy, but these components were great. They
    shifted with ease and were very precise. Of course as the bike got use,
    they needed a bit of adjustment to keep them shifting properly. Oh yeah
    Sharon, they need to be adjusted!



    Yeah I changed the seat, but I weigh in more than Sharon and well I guess
    even when I had the seat cranked, it would move a bit. Plus I just plain
    neglected to change it back! Other than that the seat and adjustable seat
    post was really good, I did find that on the climb up Eagle the Syncros
    seat was a bit wide. As Sharon has noted, it was super easy to adjust
    the seat when I got it from her each weekend.



    The Avid Juicy's were better than great, they were amazing! They instilled
    confidence (while one finger braking) that when I got in over my head…
    I had the ability to stop! They had a squeak that I found would ramp up
    and then disappear on climbs. But I got use to it and I am guessing that
    with a little tech help, they would stop that.



    The Syncros Tires were sticky and performed well in wet conditions. I
    rode Eagle in a Biblical flood and they stayed true to the line that I
    choose. I did find however that when I dropped the pressure a bit, they
    tended to roll over very easily. But trusting the bike more and its abilities
    allowed me to forget about dropping the pressure and the tires continued
    to roll great. I loved the rims both for the way that they looked and
    the way that they held up. There were times when I landed or rolled over
    something that made a bit of a jar, and I could rely on that fact that
    they remained true and strong.











    About
    Sharon:


    I am
    5'9", weigh 150lbs. I have been riding for 15 years. As mentioned
    above I come from an XC hardtail background but have moved with technology
    and ride a Titus RacerX for XC, a Turner 6 pack for DH and Shore riding
    and a Norco Team Ti set up for more freeriding/shore/technical XC riding.
    My
    Bikes!






    About Dan:

    I am 6'1", weigh 185lbs. I have been riding for 9 years. I come from
    Ontario so XC was the first passion, with “Freeride” being the
    eventual outcome of moving here to British Columbia. I ride a 2004 Norco
    Shore and have a 2006 Devinci Coyote as a bike to ride around the streets
    on.


    Performance



    Shore:






    Sharon
    Says:

    As an old schooler my preference is to ride up. So I like a bike
    that is comfortable to climb and this bike is. The higher front end does
    offer challenges when the trail hits those steeper technical pitches,
    but overall this bike is a worthy climber. The technical descents are
    also easily tracked and when I have to slow down and make a move, the
    bike reacts predictably. The Lyric and Pearl are plush and again predictable
    offering a confident ride. Having riden the 'go to' shore trails - 7th,
    Corskcrew, Pingu, Pangor and Neds it was now time to go out on some more
    challenging terrain where I can open it up!


    The Lyric
    saved me a few times on the steep drops of the old school Cypress trails.


    A particular
    Kudo for this bike was how well it rode down Neds. To qualify, I have
    ridden the Shore for since 1992 so I know what Neds used to be like and
    I try to avoid this kind of chunder if I can. For a bike to make this
    trail bearable for me is an endorsement in my books and this bike did
    that.


     







    Dan Says:

    As a person that dislikes the crowds and feels that one must earn his/her
    lines I prefer to pedal up, making Fromme my favorite mountain. I took
    the Zealot down the standard Fromme and Seymour lines and it handled all
    the trails with ease. Riding up was no issue at all and I even enjoyed
    the ability to pedal and maintain a decent speed going up.


    The bike handled very
    well on the tight techy old school stuff such as Grannies. While you can
    feel the serious head down and hammer XC roots in the bike, the simple
    fact that I could still have "fun" on it made for an enjoyable
    ride. A buddy calls me a grasshopper when I am having a good day because
    I hop all over the place. The Zealot handled my springboard riding with
    ease and allowed me to ramp up into jumps and maintain the stylie composure
    in the air, and land without a sound. (Okay the without a sound bit might
    be a stretch!) At high speeds the bike tracked well and stayed true to
    my direction.


    I also Rode some
    more challenging high consequence trails offered at Eagle Mountain. As
    Sharon mentioned the higher fork in the front end made climbing the really
    steep stuff a little bit difficult, but getting off the bike on the likes
    of the Dentist is necessary anyways. AS was mentioned above when climbing
    I found the seat a bit wide so for long time in the saddle it was a bit
    uncomfortable.


    I found on the really
    technical descents the bike handled well. It started to get a bit squirrelly
    on the high speed descents, but only there. When I pointed it around a
    tree/log/root, the bike took it.



    When I first got on the bike and pointed her downhill, I found the stem
    ridiculously long. While I never went over the handlebars, there were
    a few very close calls. However after getting use to the geometry and
    the long stem I found the bike very precise in tracking and when I wanted
    it to go somewhere, it went when instructed. The Lyric and the Pearl are
    incredible. They both performed well without being to Technical.


    Overall the bike handled
    well and stayed true to what it was built for, a true Vancouver designed
    "All Mountain Bike!"



     


    Pemberton and Squamish Rock Face Riding






    Sharon
    says:

    Pemberton and Squamish offer different riding conditions
    and challenges then the technical trails on the North Shore. You can open
    it up on these trails which are punctuated by steeper rock faces that
    can be aired or rolled. The Zealot was really comfortable opening up and
    would soak up pretty much everything I pointed it down! This bike likes
    flowy trails.



    Cross Country






    Sharon
    Says:

    I didn't have a chance to take it out on a real XC ride. If
    you consider Bridle/Old Buck/Severed route XC then I'd say this bike rides
    well. It is a bit heavy for longer epic rides where you don't need the
    comfort of the increased suspension, but over all it rides comfortably
    and climbs well.



    Summary








    Sharon Says:


    Specs: 5/5

    Price: 4/5

    Ride: 4/5

    Overall: 4/5



    Pros:

    - Very responsive ride both climbing and descending

    - Very tuneable and plush suspension

    - Quality welds and paint job for a nice looking frame

    - Bike handles true on tight technical trails


    Cons:

    - Steep technical climbs were compromised by the high front end

    - Not a lot of top tube clearance

    - The bike fits big for an 18inch


    Rating Guide:



    4.0 Very Good - 4.0



    Dan Says:



    Specs: 5/5

    Price: 3.5/5

    Ride: 4/5

    Overall: 4/5


    Pros:

    Excellent climbing bike. Could get decent amount of laps in with the Zealot.
    Other than really steep climbs where a much lighter bike would have helped.
    The bike tracked at lower speeds well and climbed with the best of 'em.


    Cons:

    Still feels like a heavily spec'd XC bike. I would have liked one that
    tracked a bit better at high speeds.



    I don't know weather to put this in the Pro/Con area, but the only real
    issue that I had was the positioning. The bike rides down like an XC in
    the tight techy stuff. At first I found the long stem and the response
    of the bike as a hinderance, but as I got used to the bike riding like
    that and in the end I feel that it has made me a better technical rider.


    Rating
    Guide:



    4.0 Very Good - 4.0



     


     


    Detailed Specifications


    The source for this information is
    Brodie.
    Suggested Retail of this bike is $ 3699 CAN


    Specifications are as follows:


    Frame Set - Frame 7005 Aluminum,
    6" Travel

    Fork - Rock Shox Lyric Solo Air 160mm

    Shock - Rockshox Pearl 3.3

    Sizes - XS,S,M,L

    Color - Purple


    Wheelset - Syncros DS28 All Mountain
    ( 545 grams)

    Tires - Syncros BHT 2.6 Tires

    Stem - Syncros DH Race Stem - 100mm on 18inch frame

    Bar - Syncros Bulk 20mm Riser bar

    Post - Syncros Derived seatpost/ 'flip-flop' clamp

    Grips - Velo Dual Density DH style lock on grips

    Saddle - Syncros FRDH Race Leather with elliptical rails

    Headset - FSA No. 18 AHEADSET

    BrakeSet - AVID Juicy 5 with 8" Rotor

    Crankset - Truvativ Stylo 2.2AM 24-36T

    Pedals - Shimano PD-M545 with cage ( I used flat pedals)

    Chain - SRAM PC 971 Powerchain

    Front Derailleur - SRAM X-7 Top Pull

    Rear Derailleur
    - SRAM X-9 Med. Cage

    Shifters - SRAM X-9 Trigger Shifters


    Geometry for a medium Zealot is as
    follows


    Seat Tube Length -
    457mm/18"

    Head Tube Angle - 68.0°

    Seat Tube Angle - 73.0°

    Top Tube Length - 590mm

    Head Tube Length - 125mm

    Bottom Bracket Height - 20mm

    Chainstay - 440mm


    The Zealot in Action!


     




    Seeing whats on the slab in Pemberton




    Taking in the view on Tower of Power




    Zealot on the Rocks




    Suspension engaged?




    CHECK!










    Getting Technical




    Dan Zippin' on the Zealot!



  2. #2
    General Rabble-Rouser
    Reputation: Karupshun's Avatar
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    Stellar review BrodieGrrl

    very comprehensive review. that saddle does indeed look huuuuuge!

    It does seem to lean a little more towards the AM crowd than a gnarcore FR set up.

    The long stem & steep seat-tube would make it climb a lot better, but I wonder if it would feel too cramped with a stubby stem to make it a better jumper. That would also help it feel less squirrelly when it's time to shred

    The colour looks a lot different than on the website. Is it more grey than lavender?

    Overall I think it earned it's 4/5 it's in a very competitive group & price range. You have to have something incredible these days to really turn heads. thanks for not being biased either

    Very solid bike, but sounds like it needs a little refining to make it truly click

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