2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 first look

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If you wanted a carbon fibre Marin full-suspension bike ahead of today then you would be looking at one of the innovative looking Naild bikes with its sliding cylinder and clever linkage suspension.

Those bikes certainly look different, and by all accounts, they ride well too, but what about something a little more simple? What about one of those excellent Marin Rift Zone bikes, but with a flashy carbon frame, wouldn’t that be special?

Obviously yes it would, and for 2020 Marin has introduced 2 new carbon full-suspension models based on the Rift Zone platform. In front of us, we have the 2020 Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2, but there’s also another model available called the Rift Zone Carbon 1 which features a Marzocchi fork, and a Sunrace/SLX 1 x 12 drivetrain for riders not wanting to spend quite so much.

marin rift zone carbon 2
125mm is plenty.

Both of these new carbon Marin full-suspension frames use an all-new unidirectional carbon fibre front triangle bolted to an alloy rear end with 125mm of rear-wheel travel.

Both models use a Fox rear shock too, the more expensive Rift Zone 2 we’re looking at here packs a DPX2 shock with 3 position micro-adjust compression lever, coupled to a Fox Performance 34 fork upfront, rocking 130mm of flow inducing travel.

marin rift zone carbon 2
130mm up front, 29in wheels both ends.

The Rift Zone has quickly become known for its playful short travel nature, and impressive ability to hack it on enduro style trails, and when developing the carbon bike Marin wanted to retain those characteristics, so it uses the same Multitrac suspension system, 29in wheels and modern geometry as the original.

Geometry of the carbon bike follows the playful alloy bike too with a 65.5° head angle, 76° seat tube, short 425mm chainstay length and reach numbers ranging from 430-515mm running through sizes S, M, L and XL.

The new carbon frame features rubber frame protectors on the downtube, internal hose and cable routing, plus room in the main triangle for a full-size bottle and cage.

This top of the range spec bike comes fitted with good-quality and reliable kit, nothing too flashy but all very useable. In addition to the Fox, Performance level suspension the Rift Zone Carbon 2 is fitted with a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain including Microspline hubs, SLX cassette and KMC chain.

A forged Marin Stem clamps a set of Deity handlebars in place which in turn is dressed with Marin lock-on grips, Shimano SLX I-Spec brakes and a PNW dropper remote that controls an X-Fusion Manic post.

Ensuring this short travel bike can still hit big lines and keep up with longer travel bikes, Marin has fitted out the Rift Zone Carbon 2 with 29in double-wall, welded alloy rims, laced to Shimano hubs. Quality rubber from Maxxis keeps traction and grip in check, while it’s the job of a pair of 230mm rotors to keep speed controlled.

The Marin Rift Zone Carbon range pricing starts at £3195 ($3499) for the Rift Zone Carbon 1 rising to £3995 ($4399) for the Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 shown here. If you would like to see a full review of this short travel 29er leave us a comment below.

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Marin Rift Zone Carbon 2 Specifications

  • Frame: Unidirectional Carbon Fibre front triangle, 125mm travel, alloy rear.
  • Fork: Fox Performance 34 Float 130mm travel.
  • Shock: Fox Float DPX2 Performance.
  • Rear mech: Shimano XT 1×12.
  • Shifter: Shimano XT 1×12.
  • Crankset: FSA Gradient, 32t chainring.
  • Bottom Bracket: Threaded.
  • Chain: KMC X-12 silver and black.
  • Cassette: Shimano SLX M7100 10-51t 1×12.
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX 203mm rotors front and rear.
  • Hubs: Shimano Microspline 148 x 12mm rear, Shimano 110x15mm centre lock front.
  • Rims: Marin Aluminium double wall 29mm inner width.
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minon DHF 29×2.5WT 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ front, Maxxis Minon DHR II 29×2.4in WT 3C, Maxx Terra, ECO+.
  • Handlebar: Deity Skyline Bar 787mm, 25mm rise.
  • Stem: Marin 3D forged alloy, 35mm
  • Grips: Marin Single clamp lock-on.
  • Headset: FSA.
  • Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic with PNW lever.
  • Saddle: Marin Trail Speed Concept Pro.
  • From: Marin

Andi Sykes

Singletrack Editorial Staff

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

Comments (7)

    That’s not actually a bad looking bike. I like it.

    It’s a damn sight better looking than a lot of their other bikes.

    Interesting… Back to faux-bar system?

    Obviously can’t be that bad…

    Cheers!
    I.

    It’s still hideous. Just less hideous than their other uber-hideous offerings.

    “It’s still hideous. Just less hideous than their other uber-hideous offerings.”

    Seriously: https://www.specsavers.co.uk

    I quote like that. Very impressive for a Marin (as in it doesn’t look utterly horrible).

    Nice work with the crayons to take the boxiness aesthetic out of the seat mast assembly. Best looking Marin full-susser in quite a while. I think a review would be a good idea. On paper it looks like a good all-rounder that could serve a lot of riders very well.

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