Mud, mud, more mud and wind on the Marin Riftzone XC8

I was going to go for a flat out blast on the Marin Riftzone. The plan was to ride hard using young Wil doing his first race (round 2 of the Gorrick) for inspiration. The memories of my own races would have helped me push hard to see just how good the Riftzone was.  However, nature intervened.

I put a lot of effort into setting the bike up the way I wanted to ride it. I fit my wheels (light and tubeless), a shorter 70mm stem and a 600mm flat bar. I finished it off with my seat post and saddle. I have actually had this seat post since 1990 – Joe Murray gave it to me. I had ridden 3 different prototypes 12 months ago so I was really excited to ride the production machine.

The spec is awesome. The Sun Ringle wheels are as light as mine and use No Tubes rims, Sram X0/X9 2 x 10 transmission, Formula RX brakes and Fox supplying the front and rear suspension. The only thing that you’d need to upgrade would be your contact points (saddle, bar & stem).

On the first single track I found myself dropping into the 26t ring, I’d usually expect to ride it in the 42. It was muddy. The ride just got slower as the mud got deeper. I can’t review the bike in these conditions. However, I still headed off to ride all the gnarly steep stuff that I had planned the day before. The one thing that I can report about the bike was the ease in which I was able to pick my line through the roots on the slow, steep and  technical climbs. The climb up from Mouse Lane to the South Downs way was a breeze despite the mud, that can only be down to the bike. On the steeps I just felt safe despite the bike sliding everywhere. I rode it all cross country styly with the saddle all the way up and never fell off once. I felt as safe as if I had 120mm suspension but the bike only has 100m. On the way back I had to pedal against the wind, it was tough even on the downhill sections. I’d usually ride the sheep track in the big ring, rounding the corner today into a gale I virtually stopped despite pushing hard in the small ring. Check out the ride here to see just how slow I was.

Wil was riding round 2 of the Gorrick. I thought that he would do well and so he did. He came second. Not bad at all. I can’t wait to see how he gets on. I hope that he gets addicted so that I can enjoy trying to help him. As I’m past it it’ll be nice to help a young’un. Well done Wil.

Full Marin Riftzone review to follow. It’ll be easy to get the rides in as I love this bike. For me, it is as perfect a design as you could get for hammering around the South Downs. It is long and has a relaxed head angle that will get you out of trouble on any descents. As for the ups, I’ve not ridden a bike that climbs better. No need for a “Brain” or Traction Control simply an efficient design.

About questadventure

Old git cyclist, road and mountain bike rider and racer, windsurfer, skier, snowboarder, husband, father, bike shop owner, fitness fanatic, cook, linguist.
This entry was posted in Bad weather, Marin, Mountain bike rides, New kit, Racing, Winter rides and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mud, mud, more mud and wind on the Marin Riftzone XC8

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