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.
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
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 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
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!
I shared this
bike with Dan Gronross to give a 'she said, he said' review!
A well spec'd bike
where everything worked well together.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
saved me a few times on the steep drops of the old school Cypress trails.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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
- Steep technical climbs were compromised by the high front end
- Not a lot of top tube clearance
- The bike fits big for an 18inch
4.0 Very Good - 4.0
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.
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.
4.0 Very Good - 4.0
The source for this information is
Suggested Retail of this bike is $ 3699 CAN
Specifications are as follows:
Frame Set - Frame 7005 Aluminum,
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
Seat Tube Length -
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
Dan Zippin' on the Zealot!
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Thread: Brodie Zealot Review - 2007