Zeb ultimate vs fox 38 fore aft stiffness

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Zeb ultimate vs fox 38 fore aft stiffness
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Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 2:50 Quote
Hi everyone, I’ve been searching everywhere and can’t seem to find any useful info on this so I’m hoping someone here can shed some light

I can’t decide between a zeb ultimate or fox 38, my choice is going to be based on fore and aft stiffness (can’t stand the feeling of my front wheel trying to pull under me on heavy front breaking/ square edge front wheel hits)


Now,
I know the zeb is 20% more torsionally stiff, 17% more laterally stiff and 2% more fore and aft stiff. **compared to the lyrik**

And the 38s are 38% more torsionally stiff, 31% more laterally stiff and 17% more fore and aft stiff. **compared to the fox 36**

So my question is how does the fore and aft stiffness compare between the fox 38 and the zeb? I know by the numbers everything points to the 38, but from my understanding the lyrik is stiffer than the 36 to begin with so it’s impossible to go by numbers if what they are generated from and compared to are different.

Has anyone tested both, is there a noticeable difference in this between the two? I’ve visibly noticed the zeb to flex more in videos online but that’s also not an accurate assumption.

Any input would be great. Thanks ????

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 3:01 Quote
Kona1901 wrote:
Hi everyone, I’ve been searching everywhere and can’t seem to find any useful info on this so I’m hoping someone here can shed some light

I can’t decide between a zeb ultimate or fox 38, my choice is going to be based on fore and aft stiffness (can’t stand the feeling of my front wheel trying to pull under me on heavy front breaking/ square edge front wheel hits)


Now,
I know the zeb is 20% more torsionally stiff, 17% more laterally stiff and 2% more fore and aft stiff. **compared to the lyrik**

And the 38s are 38% more torsionally stiff, 31% more laterally stiff and 17% more fore and aft stiff. **compared to the fox 36**

So my question is how does the fore and aft stiffness compare between the fox 38 and the zeb? I know by the numbers everything points to the 38, but from my understanding the lyrik is stiffer than the 36 to begin with so it’s impossible to go by numbers if what they are generated from and compared to are different.

Has anyone tested both, is there a noticeable difference in this between the two? I’ve visibly noticed the zeb to flex more in videos online but that’s also not an accurate assumption.

Any input would be great. Thanks ????
Your decision should be more based on damper characteristic than stiffness - both are more than stiff enough for average joe Smile Take cheaper one or the one which damper you think will be better. Either way - in both cases you cannot go wrong, both are best what manufacturer can offer you currently and can be tuned to whatever need you have. Right tuning is way more important than numbers you look at - shitty setup fork will do shitty job, no matter the stiffness and premium pricing Big Grin

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 3:08 Quote
Your decision should be more based on damper characteristic than stiffness - both are more than stiff enough for average joe Smile Take cheaper one or the one which damper you think will be better. Either way - in both cases you cannot go wrong, both are best what manufacturer can offer you currently and can be tuned to whatever need you have. Right tuning is way more important than numbers you look at - shitty setup fork will do shitty job, no matter the stiffness and premium pricing Big Grin [/Quote]


Yeah both damper systems are more than adequate and have a huge amount of adjustability to get them right, for me it all comes down to stiffness as I’m a bigger dude and quite aggressive rider

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 3:52 Quote
I think in terms of fore aft there is really nothing in it, but torsionally the ZEB is stiffer, I've got a ZEB and it is more than stiff enough, lower leg wise you got to think it's actually stiffer than a Boxxer, but unlike the dual crown Boxxer the steerer tube / crown interface will still twist if you lock the front wheel between your legs and push on the ends of the bars, though some of that is the wheel and spokes itself bending.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 3:55 Quote
I weigh 100kgs and my Zebs are noticeably stiffer than the 2019 Lyriks I had previously. I used to get the same feeling of fore/aft flex on high speed impacts or hard braking.

I last had some 36’s in 2018 on a 29er and the Zebs feel a lot more substantial, haven’t tried the 38’s though as I couldn’t get hold of a set before they sold out in the UK.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 10:07 Quote
Thanks for your input it helps a lot. Keep it coming Smile

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 10:13 Quote
Oh yea I'm only light at 73kg but forks in the past I could get that judder of the front wheel when braking hard on the road ect, the ZEB doesn't do that but whether that is a good or bad thing idk. I will say with the ZEB it definitely seems easier to brake too hard locking up the front and losing traction. Instead of juddering and finding grip intermittently kind of like abs it will just go to a complete lock and hold it's line, so I definitely think too much stiffness is not the best if you want maximum grip. Consider that too.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 10:35 Quote
Yeah, there is definitely a thing as too stiff. I’m running an old 650b ENVE rim (which refuses to die) with the Zebs and it is too stiff really.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 17:39 Quote
Thanks for your replies. That’s interesting actually, something I completely overlooked

They both sound solid so guess I can’t really go wrong with either, I need to get the whole 2% stiffer thing out of my head lol.

Would still be great to hear from someone that’s ridden them both

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 18:06 Quote
My experience is tuck and shudder happens only under violent braking in big square edge rocks. The worst was when I was tired and ham handing descents in the dark. A 38/zeb in any variation is gonna be a burly ass fork. In those clutch moments where you are completely depending on the fork to save you while doing stupid stuff with no finesse, they will shine. That 1 in a hundred situation is a lot to buy a big snarly fork for. Iwould go lyrik in its highest level I could afford, and dammit, my finesse better settle the score in that rare instance. Too much weight, too much cost, and rebellion has its value as well. I think huge forks are a solution to a very rare problem. They are tools for ebikes or park junkies who refuse a dual crown.

Between the 2 options? Zeb. Easier service. Option include lyrik or pike ultimate, pike. I hate weight, and hate accepting future trends forced on me. But like telemark...no one cares what I think, and im ok w that.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 2:56 Quote
The Lyrik and 38 (yes, 38 not 36) are pretty much equal in torsion and fore and aft stiffness (somewhere around +/- 2%), so the Zeb will be stiffer all around.

The air spring in it is quite bad, a solid step back from the 2019 debonair, but the chassis is good.

As a comparison, I went from a 170 29er 36 ebike to a Zeb, and as much as the 36 felt like it was going under the bike while braking, nothing of the sort with the Zeb. The 36 was a real wet noodle with me on the bike (on the pretty heavy side of riders)

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 3:49 Quote
That’s what I wanted to hear Smile I had a chance to bounce around on a 38 performance then a zeb select back to back today and the zeb felt miles better to me. The 38 was 160mm 27.5 and the zeb was 170mm 29 so I was expecting the 38 to be better. I only rode around a car park but it sold me on the zeb straight away. Not to mention the looks, The 38 was lined up next to 5 bikes with 36s on them and I had to look hard at the 38 and actually get down to read the sticker to confirm it wasn’t a 36, it was all Matt black with black stickers not kashima obviously but yeah, nothing special there, didn’t like the crown either

Zeb it is

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 7:03 Quote
Kona1901 wrote:
That’s what I wanted to hear Smile I had a chance to bounce around on a 38 performance then a zeb select back to back today and the zeb felt miles better to me. The 38 was 160mm 27.5 and the zeb was 170mm 29 so I was expecting the 38 to be better. I only rode around a car park but it sold me on the zeb straight away. Not to mention the looks, The 38 was lined up next to 5 bikes with 36s on them and I had to look hard at the 38 and actually get down to read the sticker to confirm it wasn’t a 36, it was all Matt black with black stickers not kashima obviously but yeah, nothing special there, didn’t like the crown either

Zeb it is

Just beware if you are buying the Select and not the Ultimate the compression dial does f* all. From full open to closed you can barely tell the difference, others have reported the same on Youtube ect but then a couple on here said it isn't like that so maybe I got a dodgey batch. But given you say you are a larger rider and like will want to run more compression damping just be careful of the fact you may not be able to dial in as much as you want.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 7:31 Quote
The Select model is absolute cack. It's just the old motion control, packaged in a charger-like damper. It should work as a lockout when fully closed, like on the old Yari, but .. Maybe they prevented that and have a big bypass. In any way, I'd stay away from that one and look for a Select+ or Ultimate

The Select+ is better, as it's a real charger damper, but with simplified adjustments (only low speed, might act as a lock out but not sure at all). And the Ultimate adds the high/low speed compression.

That's for the Zeb and I think the Lyrik, but don't take my word for it, they might have changed the names and damper, because sram...

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 7:48 Quote
Ploutre wrote:
The Select model is absolute cack. It's just the old motion control, packaged in a charger-like damper. It should work as a lockout when fully closed, like on the old Yari, but .. Maybe they prevented that and have a big bypass. In any way, I'd stay away from that one and look for a Select+ or Ultimate

The Select+ is better, as it's a real charger damper, but with simplified adjustments (only low speed, might act as a lock out but not sure at all). And the Ultimate adds the high/low speed compression.

That's for the Zeb and I think the Lyrik, but don't take my word for it, they might have changed the names and damper, because sram...

Yeah Zeb and Lyrik Select+ use the Charger 2.1 damper and low friction seals which the Select model doesn't get.

Select+ is the one to go for, its the same as the ultimate but with no HSC adjustment, but I believe it is OEM only, so unless you pick one up 2nd hand then you are stuffed.

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