Marin is smashing preconceived notions that affordable trail bikes should be dumbed down in order to attract first time riders. Meet the 2020 Rift Zone 3. It costs $2,650 USD, it's built around 29 inch wheels and a 125-millimeter-travel aluminum chassis. The geometry numbers are up to date, with a 65.5-degree head tube angle, a steep, 76-degree (effective) seat tube angle and ample reaches that range from 430mm on the size small to 515mm on the X-large models.
Rift Zone 3 Details
• Travel: 125mm rear / 130mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Aluminum frame
• 65.5° head angle
• 425mm chainstays
• Price: $2,650 USD
You get a 12-speed drivetrain and four-piston brakes by Shimano, with a SunRace cassette. The Rift Zone's cockpit is capably endowed with a 150-millimeter-stroke X-Fusion dropper post and Marin's house brand items, including a nice looking 780-millimeter aluminum handlebar clamped by a short, 35-millimeter stem. The bike I photographed had WTB's fast rolling and grippy 2.4-inch Trail Boss tires, filled out by 29-millimeter inner width tires. That may be a running change, as the spec sheet calls out Vee's Flow Snap 2.35-inch rubber.
Marin is also on target with the emerging "downcountry" movement by paring capable geometry with a little less suspension travel and a lighter build to maximize the versatility of this promising shredder. Front suspension is a 130-millimeter-stroke Marzocchi Z2 fork (I've been testing one and it rocks), backed up by a Fox Float DPS shock.
Marin says all Rift Zone models share the same linkage-driven, single-pivot-swingarm chassis. The Rift Zone 3 we feature here is expected to land in bike stores later this fall. Until then, cheers to Marin for offering accomplished riders a capable, up to date trail bike with an attainable price tag.
Rift Zone Geometry