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Thread: My Zion Review

  1. #1
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    My Zion Review

    I had this bike for a week or 2, and I just got a chance to ride mine today. Got in a good 2.5 hour ride on mixed conditions. The bike has a good feel to it, not nearly as springy as my SIR Niner but just feels nice and solid. BB are has very little flex. Handling was good felt nice at high speeds, Tight single track seemed a little better than my Rig, but not as quick steering as the Niner. I had NO problems hoisting the front end up. I like the playful feel of this bike kinda felt like a Inbred I demoed for a week . Geometry is pretty good by my standards. Cable guides leave a little to be desired and the downtube clearance is depressing. I still had to do a little filing on the tab to get it to clear with the BIG race. For $250.00 sheckles this is a nice frame with a good solid ride quality.I call it a good deal. I think it would seve big boys well also. I thought this build would come in a little lighter but I don't guess it is too bad.

    Sorry for the dirty pictures, We see way too many spotless bikes.

    Bike specs: 24.8lbs, Medium Frame
    Specialized Resolution Tires converted to Stans
    Bontrager Rims
    CHris King Hubs
    14/15 Dt spokes
    Alloy Nips
    Sram PC 68 Chain
    Boone 19 rear cog
    Surly 32 ring
    Old White Industries 5 arm cranks ( Great Find)
    Un 72 BB
    Hayes HFX 9 Brakes w/ Avid rotors
    Mary Bars
    Oury Grips
    King Headset w/ 7mm Ventanna race (4mm won't clear)
    Reba set @ 80 mm
    Salsa Clamp
    RaceFace Post
    WTB Laser She saddle Ti Rails
    Thompson 100 mm stem
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Enoch; 01-11-2007 at 06:16 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    Cable guides leave a little to be desired
    What did you use for inserts?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKullman
    What did you use for inserts?

    I used old inner tube, then I gave the guides a little squeeze with some non maring pliers. Another fine quality of steel.
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  5. #5
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    any noise from the eccentric? quality observations?
    carpe diem..........

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajbuilder
    any noise from the eccentric? quality observations?
    None, but then I have had 4 bikes w/ ebbs' and have NEVER had a problem noise.
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  7. #7
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    Enoch, do u have a regular, comprehensive preventive maintenance program for your bikes?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarPigs
    Enoch, do u have a regular, comprehensive preventive maintenance program for your bikes?
    Yes, he does.
    He gets a new frame every month, and then he inspects all the parts as he swaps them from frame to frame to frame.....


    Nice Zion Jerry. What's up with that funny looking boat anchor thing on the front?
    I put a PW EBB in my frame last night so maybe I can get that elusive 32 X18 gear that was beyond the reach of the stock EBB. I haven't tried it yet as I was getting dirty looks from the significant other last night for spending too much time with the "other woman". I also mounted up my IF fork. Going for a crack of dawn Wilson's ride Saturday.
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  9. #9
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    How you liking those middleburns? Other than the incredible wear marks from ONE real ride!
    Wondering if I gain anything going from Truvative SS cranks other than Bling?

  10. #10
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    Dicky, you mentioned that these frames were a smoking deal considering their weight and all, what does the eccentric frame weigh in your size? Enoch, in your size?
    carpe diem..........

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajbuilder
    Dicky, you mentioned that these frames were a smoking deal considering their weight and all, what does the eccentric frame weigh in your size? Enoch, in your size?
    The small came out to @ 5lbs, with the original EBB. I could have this bike down to under 23 lbs pretty easy with what I have parts-wise, but a practical rigid build would probably be closer to 24+. Best riding $249 frame I've ever been on (might have something to do with the big wheels/parts).
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by None
    How you liking those middleburns? Other than the incredible wear marks from ONE real ride!
    Wondering if I gain anything going from Truvative SS cranks other than Bling?
    As far as stiffness goes I can't tell the difference between the Middleburns and the Race Face X-Types I had on the Dean. I knew I'd be getting some wear marks on the black cranks, but no matter. I have a bit of an inward heel thing, and if you add a little mud you get a sanding block. At least it's not carbon.
    If your Truvativs are X-Type I would think you would lose the bearing drag. At the very least I know I don't have to carry chainring bolts when I go riding.
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  13. #13
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    Jerry,
    What's your a-c with the Reba and that King thing??
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    the downtube clearance is depressing. I still had to do a little filing on the tab to get it to clear with the BIG race.
    From the pics it appears that you are running a Reba SL (internal floodgate adjust). That is the lowest profile Reba out there, and you still needed the big headset race. Dang!

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=teamdicky].
    Nice Zion Jerry. What's up with that funny looking boat anchor thing on the front?
    .QUOTE]

    TD- I call my anchor a hand and back pain preventer.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Yes, he does.
    He gets a new frame every month, and then he inspects all the parts as he swaps them from frame to frame to frame.....
    That's a good maintenance program. A few years back I was swapping frames and found that my frame was cranked at the weld near the BB. I thought my BB was bad but it turned out to be the frame making all the noise. The best part was the frame was under warranty and Trek sent me a know one!

  17. #17
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    Nice ebb there TeamTwitchy. How much was that? I have allready priced some respectable cable guides ($2.52 a piece). I may cut these off and have a friend weld some new ones on and do a repaint since you just had to get one in the same color as me.

    The Ventanna race gives me 7mm extra A-C on the Reba, It helps me get the front up, maybe you need one since your such a weenie and can't wheelie yours.

    As far a maintenance goes, I use loads of Antiseeze on my Ebb. The stuff gets on everything, but it doesn't go away.

    I think with a set of Carbon Bars, Rigid Fork, and my other set of wheels and tires, I could have this thing in the low 23 lbs. range.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    Nice ebb there TeamTwitchy. How much was that? I have allready priced some respectable cable guides ($2.52 a piece). I may cut these off and have a friend weld some new ones on and do a repaint since you just had to get one in the same color as me.
    I wanted to do the cable guide thing. If you know somebody locally I would like to get in on that.
    The EBB was almost half as much as the frame. I got it back when I had too much money to spend on the Dean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    The Ventanna race gives me 7mm extra A-C on the Reba, It helps me get the front up, maybe you need one since your such a weenie and can't wheelie yours.
    With my 50mm stem I got no problem getting it up.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky

    With my 50mm stem I got no problem getting it up.

    Ahhh, I wouldn't be spreading that one around, something doesn't sound right about that statement.
    Last edited by Enoch; 01-10-2007 at 10:02 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    Ahhh, I would be spreading that one around, something doesn't sound right about that statement.
    The stem came with a warning label:
    "If your front end stays up for more than four hours consult a physician."
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  21. #21
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    Looks nice! Are the stickers on the frame easily removed? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DireWolf
    Looks nice! Are the stickers on the frame easily removed? Thanks.

    Under the clearcoat.
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  23. #23
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    Just got my Zion EBB frame.

    Medium weighs 5.35 lbs with headset and seatpost clamp...about the same as the Monkey it's replacing.

    I'm trying the Cane Creek extended lower cup..I'll let you know about Reba Clearance, but I am not hopeful.

  24. #24
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    Okay:

    The Reba/fork clearance is a total joke.

    Even with the tall Cane Creek lower cup, I had to remove the (non-poplock just like Enoch's) top cap to get it not to hit. There is no way I could grind enough to get it to fit. Even with the whole cap off, I still had to shave the plastic down a little bit.

    Luckily, the lockout still works, I just don't have the cool blue lever to turn.

    Rides nicely in my short demo in the front yard. Seems like a Monkey with dropouts that are a lot more disk friendly.

    Any idea how tight to torque the EBB set screws? Really tight, or just barely?

  25. #25
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    50 inch lbs.


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  26. #26
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    I use a little blue loctite on the bolts. Works both as an anti-seize and a lock. I have also got in the habit of using loctite on the chain ring bolts as soon as I buy a crankset.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    I used old inner tube, then I gave the guides a little squeeze with some non maring pliers. Another fine quality of steel.
    They make hose guide inserts for those brazeons...my Giant used them too.

    Enoch, do you mind if I ask how tall you are and what your inseam is? I am trying to decide between a small and a medium.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhound

    Enoch, do you mind if I ask how tall you are and what your inseam is? I am trying to decide between a small and a medium.
    6.0 foot and right @ 33inch inseam. These bikes have good bit of standover.
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  29. #29
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    All right, just got back from a 3 hour break in ride on this thing.

    Aside from the fork issue...this thing is awesome. I built the Zion as a loaner bike, but think I will be loaning the bling Ventana.

    Handling is the same as the Ventana, better than either the Monkey or Rig that I had (both of which were longer in ETT). It flies through the air better than the Ventana (which always seems light in the rear, and I want to land nose heavy for some reason). It is most reminiscent ride wise of an identically sized Inbred I demoed (and liked a lot), though not quite as springy.

    The ride is positively silky, definitely better than any of the above bikes (did not ride the Inbred enough to compare). I attribute this to the steel construction, and the massive amount of seatpost I need which is giving me a little cush. I do notice the cush as well when standing, however. I just seems like a lot of the trail chatter is just gone, but of course you feel the bigger hits.

    Verdict....29"er bargain of the year with serious crown interference issues.

    How hard would it have been to get it right? Sort of hard to complain at the price.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    All right, just got back from a 3 hour break in ride on this thing.

    Aside from the fork issue...this thing is awesome. I built the Zion as a loaner bike, but think I will be loaning the bling Ventana.

    Handling is _____ better than Rig

    It flies through the air ------- It is most reminiscent ride wise of an identically sized Inbred I demoed (and liked a lot), though not quite as springy.
    I got 3 good hours on it today @ another one of my favorite play spots. It is funny you compared it to the Inbred, same thing I stated in my original post,

    I also have a Rig that I mostly use for the Mtns. THe Zion handles much better.

    It jumps and flies better than any other 80 mm travel 29 I've ridden so far. ( The Inbred was the best, but it is 100mm geometry).

    I still say the Niner has a better ride quality, but it is alot more twitchy than the Zion.

    Enel did you notice how short the wheelbase is? I didn't untill I put in my truck this aftenoon. Its a shorty, but it is not nervous at all.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    6.0 foot and right @ 33inch inseam. These bikes have good bit of standover.
    And what length stem are you using on your Medium?

    I'm in the same boat as Rockhound.

    The small might make for a more nimble frame, but I wouldn't want it to be too short top tube wise, like my 16" Karate Monkey was.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    And what length stem are you using on your Medium?

    100 mm. Seat slid back on rails with a off set post. I might move it forward about 1/4 inch. I almost went with a Large (I like long TT), I'm glad I didn't now. I'm very comfy on this bike. If you are a couple of inches shorter, a medium would prolly be ok. but you may not be able to get your saddle and bars at the same height. Mine feel about level ( Hard to tell w/ Marys sweeping down). I have a 4 mm under the stem, and remember the BIG Ventanna race adds 7mm more. Look the picture over well.
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  33. #33
    mvi
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    Would duct taping a rubber bumper prevent all downtube denting in crashes?

  34. #34
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    Nope.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    100 mm. Seat slid back on rails with a off set post. I might move it forward about 1/4 inch. I almost went with a Large (I like long TT), I'm glad I didn't now. I'm very comfy on this bike. If you are a couple of inches shorter, a medium would prolly be ok. but you may not be able to get your saddle and bars at the same height. Mine feel about level ( Hard to tell w/ Marys sweeping down). I have a 4 mm under the stem, and remember the BIG Ventanna race adds 7mm more. Look the picture over well.
    I'm 5'9" tall. sort of in between sizes yet again.

    I rode a Medium Niner and that felt good with a short stem.

  36. #36
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    What about....

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Okay:

    The Reba/fork clearance is a total joke.
    Suggestion: I used a Victoria lower race that gave me 10 mm more space on my Intense 5.5 when using a Pike fork... I believe that Chris King also makes a headset with more standoff on the lower race. Is this enough??

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    I have allready priced some respectable cable guides ($2.52 a piece). I may cut these off and have a friend weld some new ones on and do a repaint since you just had to get one in the same color as me.
    Holy $h|t, are those gold plated? My shop just gave me some inserts.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    I also have a Rig that I mostly use for the Mtns. THe Zion handles much better.
    It blows the Rig away in the handling department

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    It jumps and flies better than any other 80 mm travel 29 I've ridden so far. ( The Inbred was the best, but it is 100mm geometry).
    It jumps so nice and neutral. I am running the fork at 100mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    I still say the Niner has a better ride quality, but it is alot more twitchy than the Zion.
    No experience on the Niner, and I could not fit their medium without about a 460mm post, and I don't think those are made. I've decided that any ETT longer than 24 is not going to do it for me any more, so that rules out a large. Pity because they are beautiful bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    Enel did you notice how short the wheelbase is? I didn't untill I put in my truck this aftenoon. Its a shorty, but it is not nervous at all.
    I noticed nothing but nearly flawless handling. I have no idea of the HTA, WB, etc. Again, this is the best handling of the 29"er hardtails I have lots of experience with...Monkey (20"), Rig (19"), El Comandante (20")...The El Comandante is close, but the Zion's shorter stays and smoother ride carry the day. Probably not a fair fight with the Monkey because in retrospect, I would have been happier on an 18". I hated the dropouts on that thing anyway for discs.

    I'm running an 80mm stem with the seat on a non-offset post all the way back on its rails. I probably have 12 inches of exposed seatpost, with 3 in the frame still.
    Last edited by Enel; 01-11-2007 at 08:42 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtber3737
    Suggestion: I used a Victoria lower race that gave me 10 mm more space on my Intense 5.5 when using a Pike fork... I believe that Chris King also makes a headset with more standoff on the lower race. Is this enough??

    OMR
    10mm would be the minimum IMO. It probably would squeak by.

  40. #40
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    I am wanting to pull the trigger on a Zion 29er and run it with a suspension fork - this fork clearance thing bugs me though - what 80mm travel 29er fork has the lowest a-c and the least sticky out knobs? I would be on a medium FWIW. Thanks.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilks
    I am wanting to pull the trigger on a Zion 29er and run it with a suspension fork - this fork clearance thing bugs me though - what 80mm travel 29er fork has the lowest a-c and the least sticky out knobs? I would be on a medium FWIW. Thanks.
    White Bros fork has a shorte AC and the controls are flush. I'm going to try my 100mm WB on this bike. It isn't much longer than a Reba @ 80.
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  42. #42
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    I am sure you will post the results - thanks for the info!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    White Bros fork has a shorte AC and the controls are flush. I'm going to try my 100mm WB on this bike. It isn't much longer than a Reba @ 80.
    Did you try your WB on your Zion yet? Just curious how it felt.

  44. #44
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    We put my 80mm Magic on my friends large frame Zion. He really likes the way it handles but unfortunately it still hits the down tube. The good news is it will clear with the small (4mm) Ventanna race opposed to the Reba which barely makes it with the 7mm.

    I have yet to Put my 100 on mine, but I can just about bet it will be a nice adition.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    We put my 80mm Magic on my friends large frame Zion. He really likes the way it handles but unfortunately it still hits the down tube. The good news is it will clear with the small (4mm) Ventanna race opposed to the Reba which barely makes it with the 7mm.

    I have yet to Put my 100 on mine, but I can just about bet it will be a nice adition.
    Does the 7mm helper race creak or add flex? I'm going to run an 80mm Reba SL with the lockout cap (no poploc) so the 7mm race along with a file to the cap should do it right?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Does the 7mm helper race creak or add flex? I'm going to run an 80mm Reba SL with the lockout cap (no poploc) so the 7mm race along with a file to the cap should do it right?
    That should do it. I don't think you wil notice a thing except a little higher hand position. I guess it does slacken out the head angle abit, but the bike is still just fine. As far as geometry and handling goes for the Zion, I personnally would not change one angle or tube length( Except the fork clearance problem).
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  47. #47
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    Enoch took my Niner One 9, and let me ride his Zion 737 gearie for about a mile or two of trail today. My Niner frame @ $750, Zion @ $250...best 29r deal on the planet as far as I'm concerned. Love my scandium Niner SS, but the Zion rode so good, if I had it to do over, I may have just bought two Zion SS frames, and saved myself the trouble of swapping out rear cogs

    I feel much better about my decision to order the geared 737 last week, sight unseen. Geometry is really close to the Niner...but for the money, the Zion wins handsdown. At $250, who cares if it comes in a pound and half or so more than Niner...I'll go on a little diet or something..

  48. #48
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    I'll add a little update as well.

    I have been going back and forth between the
    Ventana and Zion for SS rides. They each have their strong points. I have found only one flaw in the Zion that bugged me, and I noticed it only while riding rigid....frame flex.

    Riding the Zion and Ventana back to back with the same set up and same Zion fork, I found the Zion to be more comfortable, but more squirrelly, especially as the speeds and stress increased. The flex was most noticable when diving into fast downhill switchbacks under heavy braking at speed. Otherwise, at lower speeds and more casual riding situations, I prefer the comfort of the Zion.

    After going back to back a lot, I prefer the slacker steering of the Ventana over all.

    I now have the Ventana set up rigid with the Zion fork for smoother/faster rides with higher gearing, and the Zion set up with suspension fork, and lower gearing for rougher and more technical rides.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
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