Zone FR-1 TC
I was looking for a bike that would be able to handle aggressive all mountain and free ride riding. It needed to have a decent component spec for a reasonable price. I also wanted dual ring front for climbing and be able to pedal around the woods. I’m 5’ 11” 215lbs, so I needed a bike that was built sturdy and that could take some abuse. This bike filled the ticket for me. Oh and just in case I forget - I’ll mention it now, IBEX customer service is excellent.
Packaging & Documentation
The bike was packaged well – frame wrapped with cardboard & parts tie-wrapped to prevent movement in the box. I would have liked to have seen some bubble-wrap, but I imagine most bikes are packaged this way. OEM manuals were included for the fork, brakes, seat post and stem. I’ve bought bikes before and never received all of this documentation – good job!
The only parts to install are the front wheel, handle, seat, and pedals. I tweaked the gears to get them to shift smoothly. The most time consuming part was adjusting the rotors to not rub the caliper. There is a very small clearance between the rotor and caliper. This is not a fault to IBEX, just the design of the Hayes HFX-9 HD hydraulic disc brakes. I adjusted them by tweaking the rotor with an adjustable wrench. The bike comes with multi-tool and touchup paint. However, I suggest using a torque wrench for proper assembly and to check the previously assembled parts.
The bike is spec’d with a good component set. I was more concerned with the frame quality and geometry since I could not actually see the bike. The frame appears to be very strong – check out the size of the down tube. It is painted with a clear coat – nice paint job. The frame welds look strong and are of the same quality as my Kona Dawg. This bike is spec’d similar to the Kona Stinky, but priced way less.
I bought the 17” model with the Marzocchi Drop Off Triple. I’ve only managed to get a couple of hours in so far, but here’s what I’ve found. The bike sits high in the travel and feels very firm. It also pedals excellent with virtually no bob due to the adjustable platform shock. I found an ATV track burned through some local woods with some small jumps. The jumps were only a couple of feet, but felt like nothing for this suspension. I got excellent traction on the hills (more than I expected) considering they were wet from snow and kind of slippery. The Kenda Kinetics hooked up fine. This bike isn’t bad for pedaling around the woods. I haven’t actually weighed it, but it’s supposed to be close to 39lbs. I also found some low concrete drops in a local parking lot – the suspension soaked up the hits fine. The Manitou Shock came with a 650lb.x2.75 spring and is perfect for my weight. If you are lighter than me, you may want a lighter spring. I’m very happy with the way the bike rides and handles. I can’t wait to hit some bigger drops.
This bike is perfect for me for the type of riding I do. I bought a 2005 year end clearance model for $1199. I don’t think this can be beat for the quality of the bike. The customer service is top notch. All of my e-mails were answered promptly with detail and phone calls answered. I was leery ordering a bike over the Internet without actually seeing it or riding it, but I’m very satisfied. I just need to get some more ride time to really test it. Eventually I may put a Boxxer Ride on it and some stronger pedals, but for now – I’ll just ride it.
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Thread: Zone FR-1 TC