Zion 853 EBB review w/pics- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Zion 853 EBB review w/pics

    I said I'd put up something about the new bike so here it is. The frame feels pretty good, though I think I need to mess with the stem length. All I bought for this was the frame, Surly 32t steel ring ($40), Gusset ss conversion kit ($20, includes a 16t and 18t cog), chain ($15). grips ($17), Spot bash guard ($27), seat post ($20) and clamp ($9). EVERYTHING else was off my old beater or lying around as spare parts. I was psyched that everything turned out to be black (except the fork). I did not mean for that to happen, but once I saw it put together, I decided to paint the brake boosters black as well.

    Rear tire clearance: Not much. A Conti Vert Pro 2.3 barely fits with a rim measuring 19mm internal width. I knocked the wheel out of true and the tire rubbed. I have switched to a wheelset with 17.6mm (again, internal) rims and I feel a little more comfortable with the clearance if the wheel goes a little out. I may look for a tire with a wider casing but similar tread width to maximize my cush back there, but if not this is as big as I really need to go for xc anyway.

    EBB: The eccentric bb was super easy to set up, but I am not so sure about how it tightens. There are two set screws than dig into the whole thing once you have it in position, but I fear that if at some point I need to move it just a hair that the screws will want to re-set themselves in the previous notch they made.

    I am curious why ss frames don't have shorter chain stays. It seems to me that with all the out-of-the-saddle riding you'd want some more weight on the rear wheel. I may try to work with the eccentric bb and position it as far back as I can, perhaps with the aid of a half link? Is this possible?

    The vertical dropouts were appreciated during the two tire patching sessions on the trail.

    One minor complaint I have is about the dropouts for the wheel. They are sort of recessed into the frame so that a bolt fits in there, but if you use a QR, the only position you can close it is straight down or even slightly forward. Maybe I can find a QR that closes the other way.

    So, here is the build:

    Zion 853 EBB 17" frame.
    2000 X-vert reduced to 93mm
    32t steel Surly ring
    Spot bash gaurd
    Gusset conversion kit (I'm using the 18t until the 16t stops scaring me)
    ......Oh, nevermind, it's just a buch of random old parts, nothing to get excited about. Heck, my left and right cranks don't even match.

    Kapusta

  2. #2
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    Let me try those pics again...

    I was going to put a picture of the tire clearance and the dropout issue, but this is taking way to long to upload.
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  3. #3
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    had the same issue with tire clearence on mine. my 1.95 kenda nev had crap clearence on my 19" frame, least not enough for the mud here in ohio. BTW,I spoke to Jenson about this, they claimed there is no issue, I still disagree.

    FYI, just for reference, shiggy measures the Conti Vert 2.3 at 2.19. Just people to be clear how crappy the tire clearence is.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by red5
    had the same issue with tire clearence on mine. my 1.95 kenda nev had crap clearence on my 19" frame, least not enough for the mud here in ohio. BTW,I spoke to Jenson about this, they claimed there is no issue, I still disagree.

    FYI, just for reference, shiggy measures the Conti Vert 2.3 at 2.19. Just people to be clear how crappy the tire clearence is.
    Interesting about the 1.95 nevegal. I have a 2.1 nev and it is a hair smaller than the 2.3 conti vert, which is OK now that I'm using a more standard xc rim width. How close does the 1.95 nev come to your chainstays?

  5. #5
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    kapusta,

    I hear you on the CS length. remember that the Zion is a gearie that has a few tweaks for SS EBB use. if you're the frame builder making the Zion frames, it's a whole lot easier to swap BB shells from a std MTB BB to an EBB shell and merely cut your tubes a bit shorter at the BB junction.

    designing a shorter-chainstay SS specific version and building them separately would cost more $$ at every turn of mfre. that would mean the EBB version would cost a lot more.

    the Redline Monocog suffers from the same overlong CS trait that makes it a bit weird in out-of-saddle climb efforts where you have to lurch/lunge forward. that's what made me sell mine and get a custom SS with 16.75" CS length.

    as to the mud clearance, Jenson USA is in SoCal, how much mud do you think they ride in around there?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    kapusta,

    I hear you on the CS length. remember that the Zion is a gearie that has a few tweaks for SS EBB use. if you're the frame builder making the Zion frames, it's a whole lot easier to swap BB shells from a std MTB BB to an EBB shell and merely cut your tubes a bit shorter at the BB junction.

    designing a shorter-chainstay SS specific version and building them separately would cost more $$ at every turn of mfre. that would mean the EBB version would cost a lot more.

    the Redline Monocog suffers from the same overlong CS trait that makes it a bit weird in out-of-saddle climb efforts where you have to lurch/lunge forward. that's what made me sell mine and get a custom SS with 16.75" CS length.

    as to the mud clearance, Jenson USA is in SoCal, how much mud do you think they ride in around there?
    Luckily I live in the Tahoe area and the mud is not too bad here. We get some, but nothing like the east.

    Hmmm, the Zion has a 16.73" CS, so if that's what you got custom, perhaps it's not the chainstay but me instead :^>

    Kapusta

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Interesting about the 1.95 nevegal. I have a 2.1 nev and it is a hair smaller than the 2.3 conti vert, which is OK now that I'm using a more standard xc rim width. How close does the 1.95 nev come to your chainstays?
    I've heard through other sources that 19 & 21 frames both have worse tire clearence than the smaller sized frame, which in my case seems to make sense.

    my nev has about 1/4", maybe a bit less. Whatever it is it sux. Love my Surly 1x1, mad tire clearence.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    as to the mud clearance, Jenson USA is in SoCal, how much mud do you think they ride in around there?
    yeah that's what I said when I called them, having lived in socal for the past 11+ years, just recently moved to ohio. however, I was told that socal has been excetionally wet this year, lots of mud, and none of the "few guys" who have them at Jenson have had any problems. whatever, I'll know better in the future not to buy too cheap. seems a corner or two have to be cut somewhere to make the pricepoint low.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by red5
    I've heard through other sources that 19 & 21 frames both have worse tire clearence than the smaller sized frame, which in my case seems to make sense.

    my nev has about 1/4", maybe a bit less. Whatever it is it sux. Love my Surly 1x1, mad tire clearence.
    If that is so then I'm glad I went with the 17". I was up in the air between 17" and 19". I'd be ripped pissed if I could not even get a Conti Vert back there!

    Kapusta

  10. #10
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    Is that an old Specialized Crank on the Driveside?

    I got a pair of those on my geared MTB. The Q-Factor is really nice, but they flex more than anything i have ever seen, and i used to work in a wet noodle factory. Also, i'm only 155lb.

    I've been looking for a cheap low-Q replacement for months. I certainly wouldn't want them on a singlespeed.
    wanted: Cannondale Lefty w/ V-brake studs

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lelebebbel
    Is that an old Specialized Crank on the Driveside?

    I got a pair of those on my geared MTB. The Q-Factor is really nice, but they flex more than anything i have ever seen, and i used to work in a wet noodle factory. Also, i'm only 155lb.

    I've been looking for a cheap low-Q replacement for months. I certainly wouldn't want them on a singlespeed.
    Yes, that's what it is. Yep, they are a bit flexy, especially under my 185 lbs. What is Q-factor?

    The non drive side is a cheap shimano.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by red5
    yeah that's what I said when I called them, having lived in socal for the past 11+ years, just recently moved to ohio. however, I was told that socal has been excetionally wet this year, lots of mud, and none of the "few guys" who have them at Jenson have had any problems. whatever, I'll know better in the future not to buy too cheap. seems a corner or two have to be cut somewhere to make the pricepoint low.
    Few dealers would say "yeah, the tyre clearance is terrible, we've had all sorts of problems".

    And it's not that corners have been cut to make the price point low - the reason the price point is low is that they've probably got a bunch of these frames sat there, that someone didn't check the drawings on properly, and they've got to move them out. Tyre clearance (within limits) doesn't cost extra. You just bend the tube in a different place. I'm reasonably chainstay obsessed as late, and have been spending far too much time moving indents, removing indents, working on 2pc chainstay designs that cause my builders headaches (and hence cost more).

    The Zion EBB frame could have been a killer model. But unfortunately it seems that tyre clearance has somewhat lessened their impact. I'm sure they'll learn for V2, unless they've had their fingers burnt too bad this time around.

    I rarely comment on other companies products, but seeing as our first production frame, the Gimp, came with clearance so bad you could only run a 2.0in tyre RIGHT at the back of the dropout (down to the factory working off the wrong drawing), I think I'm OK in this case :-)

    As it happened we cleared them all out for £100 (RRP was £199) and lots of people found that the canti studs were a bit low too, so you could actually run a 24in rear wheel with a nice big tyre in there. So it wasn't all bad :-)

  13. #13
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    tire clearance

    using a wtb weirwolf ust 2.1" with mavic 819 rim

    edit:
    this is a 15" frame, I also have a 17" and the clearance is the same
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    Last edited by dabinche; 08-05-2005 at 10:57 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabinche
    using a wtb weirwolf ust 2.1" with mavic 819 rim
    what size frame?

  15. #15
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    last weekend's ride
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabinche
    last weekend's ride
    Guessing your frame is a 17, yes?

    Nice pics btw.

  17. #17
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    wheel clearance $uck$

    rides as good as any other bike I've owned
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Interesting about the 1.95 nevegal. I have a 2.1 nev and it is a hair smaller than the 2.3 conti vert, which is OK now that I'm using a more standard xc rim width. How close does the 1.95 nev come to your chainstays?
    I take that back, the Conti 2.3 is not going to work. If the tire or rim are even slightly out it just rubs. I put the Nevegal 2.1 back there and it would work if it were a consistant width, but as many other have found, these tires are not always perfectly round or consistent in width. It looks like I may have a use for that barely used Panaracer Fire XC 2.1 afterall. I guess I can live with that (it was my go-to rear tire for several years) but that is pretty sh!tty that they do not give you a heads up about the clearance issue.

    I am curious if other have found (like me) that the issue is with just one of the chainstays, not both. If so it would seem to point to a production error, not an intentional design.

    Either way, I am really enjoying the SS thing. It has also become my cruizer of choice.

    Kapusta

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