Review: 2021 Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb - Single Crown Standoff

Jan 26, 2021
by Dan Roberts  

Earlier this year we saw Fox and RockShox two new fork offerings in the form of the 38 and the Zeb. Both these offerings sit at the top of the travel tree for single crowns, with only the double crown 40 and Boxxer having more travel. Both are aimed at full on enduro racing and heavy hitting riding, and combined with their long travel stats there have been some changes needed, compared to the 36 and Lyrik, to cope with these demands. Both share the same stanchion diameter of 38mm and have travel options up at 180mm in the case of the 38, and a whopping 190mm for the Zeb, which for that lonely single crown is a hell of a lot.

With so many similarities in terms of dimensions, intentions and release timing, it was only fitting that we put them head to head to see how each one performs, and if there’s one that sticks its large diameter head in front of the other. This is the Fox 38 versus the RockShox Zeb.





Fox 38

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb

Chassis

Fox’s naming is pretty easy to follow, with the 38 referring to the diameter of the stanchions and this being the most noticeable change to the new fork. Slightly more hidden away, though, is an oval butted steerer tube, designed to place more material at the front and back of the tube to help boost the stiffness under hard riding.

There’s a return of the floating axle, something that the 40 always had and older 36s too.
Fox 38 Details

Wheel Sizes: 27.5" & 29"
Travel: 150mm - 180mm
Offset: 37mm or 44mm (27.5"), 44mm or 51mm (29")
Weight: 2458g (29" / Factory / 170mm / 44mm / Uncut Steerer / QR axle / 1 token)
Price: $949 - $1199 USD
More info: ridefox.com

With either the QR axle or bolt in Kabolt, the hub is clamped against the brake side lower leg, leaving the other leg free to float on the axle via a tube spacer to find its perfect alignment. The idea is that a fork's friction shouldn’t be at the mercy of hub tolerances, and allowing the fork legs to be correctly aligned gives them the path of least resistance when in use.

The Factory 38 we had for test came with the QR axle, which along with the tube spacer that it needs weighs 123g. If you choose the 46g Kabolt option, then you can drop the fork weight down to 2,381g, still with one token and an uncut steerer.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
As the name suggests, the Fox has 38mm diameter stanchions.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
There's a butted steerer tube to up the amount of meat resisting the flexing.

Fox also incorporated bleed valves on the back of the lowers to purge any built up air either through big changes in elevation or air ingress through riding. They also double up as two of the mount points for the Fox mudguard.

The lowers also have moulded in channels to give the lower leg oil a chance to recirculate up to the foam ring, sitting just under the wiper seals, and lubricate the seals and bushings.

With the onset of larger head tubes, either through design choices or the 1.8” lower headset standard, Fox offset the arch forwards to ensure it would clear the frame at full travel no matter the bike it’s fitted to. The 38 uses a 180mm post mount for the brake, with the option to go all the way up to 230mm rotors by using adapters.

Fork dimensions are easily available through the Fox Tech Help page on their website. But compared to the same travel 36 from 2021 you’re looking at a 3mm longer axle to crown. And compared to a 2020 36 it’s 7mm longer.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Bleed valves in the back of the lowers purge built up air and also act as two of the mount points for the 38 specific fender.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
A pinch bolt axle system returns to single crowns to help align the lower legs and reduce running friction.





Spring

The air spring of the 38 is a bit different to the rest of Fox’s single crown forks, with it using an inner tube inside the fork stanchion, which then uses a smaller diameter piston than the 38mm diameter leg would suggest. This changes the compression and expansion ratios while also increasing the air volume that the lower legs take up, reducing their ramp up effect in the fork’s overall performance.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
The Float air spring in the 38 uses an extra tube inside the stanchions which runs on a smaller piston diameter than that 38mm diameter stanchion would suggest.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
It's tunable via snap in plastic volume spacers.

The air spring is tunable with snap-in volume spacers with the maximum number varying on the travel of the fork, with shorter travel versions recommending more spacers to help the air spring ramp with the reduced travel. Max fork pressure is 140psi.





Damper

The 38 uses Fox’s latest damper unit, called Grip 2. It offers high and low speed adjustment for both the compression and rebound.

It also uses the newly designed adjusters to change the high-speed compression and rebound, dubbed VVC or Variable Valve Control. They use small propeller shaped plates that when turned via the adjuster adjust the fulcrum, or pivot point, changing the mechanical leverage and effectively stiffening up the entire shim stack or valve behind it. The system uses 7 clicks of adjustment to match Fox’s new generation shocks with the same system.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Fox's Grip 2 damper has adjustable high and low-speed compression and damping.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
It uses their new VVC, or Variable Valve Control, system to adjust the high-speed circuits and is the same system as in their new generation Float X2 and DHX2 shocks.

Low speed damping adjustments use a needle and orifice style arrangement to meter the oil flow through the valve and control the low speed compression and rebound.

The 38’s damper is somewhat open bath, circulating damping fluid through the damper and into the lowers, meaning that the two systems use the same oil for lubrication and damping. This negates any problems with a sealed damper possibly ingesting the bath oil, becoming plump and affecting the fork performance. It also means the lowers on the damper side are lubricated by a lot more oil.





RockShox Zeb

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb

Chassis

The name Zeb comes from the explorer Zebulon Pike, who is famous around the Colorado Springs area where RockShox has their headquarters. But it too has 38mm diameter stanchions.

RockShox uses a Torque End Cap fitment for the hubs. While the hub width remains the same, the end cap surface contact is upped considerably to help with overall fork stiffness. Although you need to use the end caps to get this benefit. Without and you have to wiggle the hub around a bit to line the axle up.
RockShox Zeb Details

Wheel Sizes: 27.5" & 29"
Travel: 150mm - 190mm
Offset: 38mm or 44mm (27.5"), 44mm or 51mm (29")
Weight: 2274g (29" / Ultimate / 180mm / 44mm / Uncut Steerer)
Price: $699 - $999 USD
More info: sram.com/rockshox

The Zeb uses a simpler bolt on axle with no floating system, although every set of RockShox forks I’ve had need you to splay the legs apart ever so slightly to get the hub to slide in, leaving me wondering if this is their method of mitigating a narrow hub width tolerance.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
The Zeb has a simple to use bolt in 15mm axle.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Tucked inside, though, they use the Torque End Caps to up the surface contact between the hub and fork to up stiffness. But you need to use the right end caps to take advantage of it.

The Zeb also offsets the arch, to clear the large head tubes and uses a 200mm post mount for the brake. Even though the Zeb can go as low as 150mm, it’s a bit more fitting to see the minimum rotor size as 200mm given the fork's stout intentions. Max rotor size is 220mm. There’s also a bolt-on fender available for the Zeb.

Compared to the same travel Lyrik from 2021 the Zeb has a 5mm longer axle to crown. And compared to a 2020 Lyrik it’s 4mm longer.





Spring

The Zeb uses a similar air spring design to the other RockShox forks, dubbed DebonAir, but again the system found in the Zeb is unique to it due to the piston diameter for the increased stanchion and a different negative volume defining part to adjust the positive to negative chamber ratio.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
A similar DebonAir system is employed in the Zeb, although the piston diameter is increased to size up to the 38mm diameter stanchions.

The air spring is also tunable with spacers, but on the Zeb, they screw in with the aid of an 8mm hex tool. There’s even a dual position air spring version available, allowing a quick change in fork travel on the fly. Max air pressure is 148psi.





Damper

The Zeb uses the Charger 2.1 sealed damper cartridge with adjustments for low speed rebound and high and low-speed compression.

Low speed adjustments use the same needle and orifice metering system with the high-speed compression adjuster preloading the compression shim stack with 4 clicks of adjustment.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
The latest Charger 2.1 damper has high and low-speed compression damping and low-speed rebound damping.
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
In its latest guise, RockShox say that the adjustment window should now be more useable and not have unusable extremes.

RockShox say they worked to bring the new Charger 2.1 damper adjustment window more aligned with what was needed in the real world, allowing people to potentially use the extremes of the clicks rather than have an extreme that would never be used by the public and racers alike.





Initial Setup

The 38 requires a few extra setup steps, coming from the floating axle. But once done it’s set for that hub width when using the QR axle. The Kabolt uses the pinch bolt each time you need to take the wheel in and out and forgoes the tube spacer.

Recommended settings are printed on the side of the fork outputting air pressure and rebound clicks for various rider weight ranges. At 75kg all kitted up, it suggested 93psi with 6 clicks of low speed rebound and 5 of high speed. All clicks being measured from fully closed with the first click you encounter coming back being counted as 1. The fork came with 1 volume spacer installed.

RockShox also prints the recommended pressures on the side of the fork. But their sag markings printed on the stanchions make initial setup a doddle.

They also have the online TrailHead setup tool, either on the website or via the app. Inputting the fork serial number on the back of the crown gives you access to fork information and documents, setup guides based on your weight and type of bike plus all applicable service and upgrade kits for that fork.

The fork sticker suggested 62psi while the TrailHead app suggested a slightly softer 59psi setup both with 9 clicks of rebound from fully closed. The fork came with 0 volume spacers installed and also suggested keeping it at that.





Performance

I’ve been out testing both forks for the past six months in terrain ranging from the demanding steeps of Champéry, Switzerland to the fast root filled forests of Reschen, Italy with everything in between being thrown the forks way. While two bikes were used for filming, my RAAW Madonna served as the test bike for the vast majority of the test period.

Out of the box the 38 took a few more times around the houses to get to a happy window, with it needing much more pressure than recommended, up at 105psi, some 12psi higher than the suggested settings. That up in pressure also needed a change to the rebound damping clicks to keep the bigger spring in check.

The Zeb ended up the closest to the recommended settings with me finding that happy window pretty quickly from those recommended settings.

Both forks exhibit fantastic sensitivity and have maintained that throughout a whole summer and autumn season of riding, although I might be in trouble for not servicing them earlier.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb

The Zeb feels like butter over small hits and chatter and left me removing it from my list of things to think about as I rode. The 38 matches this, but there’s a touch more information coming through to your hands. Not in a bad way, and definitely not harshness, just a gnat’s whisker more feeling than the Zeb.

When those hits get bigger and the going gets rougher is where the forks become more separated in feel. The 38 gives the impression of riding lower in its travel, almost like you’re missing a spacer from under your stem, whereas the Zeb keeps a higher ride height.

On the flip side, though, in these rough sections of trail is where the 38 then offers more composure than the Zeb, with it being efficient in its usage of travel with the repeated bigger impacts. The Zeb gives the feeling of more movement through the travel, which then needs a bit more body language from your arms to keep up with it.

I tried more pressure in the 38, up at 110 and 115psi, to try and help it ride higher. But was met with an increase in overall harshness even when reducing the amount of compression to account for the bigger spring. I also tried more compression with the same spring rate, but again the harshness increased and I found myself coming back again, eventually settling at 3 tokens and 5 HSR, 8 LSR , 3 HSC and 10 LSC.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb

With the Zeb I tried more tokens in the fork as an experiment but came back to the stock setting of zero, finding it to be the best balance of travel usage without hitting a wall of progression in the air spring. I eventually settled at 70psi in the air spring, which calmed the fork’s movement through its travel without bringing too much overall harshness into the equation.

I settled at 9 R, 9 LSC and 2 HSC on the Zeb giving me usable options in damping either way depending on the terrain or how hard I wanted to ride. When in that happy window I could ride hard and happy with the fork but just had to have the knowledge of more arm movement in the really rough sections of trail to help with the fork's character. For anyone with a Boxxer they might know the feeling, although with the Zeb that character trait is far less pronounced.

In steep trails, which are in abundance round this part of the Alps, both forks ride well and neither dives drastically while in the steeps or while grabbing a bunch of brakes from thinking you’re ten men and letting off for a touch too long. That is, though, with the 38 needing a higher bar height than the Zeb. But once the bar height is good then the fork does offer good support even though it might be riding lower in its travel.

I can appreciate some people will run the 38 with 180mm rotors, but given the intentions it is a little fiddly to have to use adapters on the brake mount. The Zeb is just a bolt on and go.

Another small point is that our 38 ended up having more than 7 clicks of adjustment, up at 9. With taking apart some of the rear shocks using the same VVC design it could actually be a dead click when you go from one turning direction to the opposite.

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb


Fox 38 Final Settings

Pressure: 105psi
Volume Spacers: 3
HSR: 5
LSR: 8
HSC: 3
LSC: 10
RockShox Zeb Final Settings

Pressure: 70psi
Volume Spacers: 0
LSR: 9
HSC: 2
LSC: 9





Serviceability

Fox recommends service intervals every 125 hours of use or yearly, whichever comes first. But if you ride in extreme conditions or give the fork some extreme use then the service interval is sooner.

There's a 4-digit code on the back of the fork leg than when entered on the tech page of the Fox website gives you all the service information, specifications and part drawing data.

It's a familiar scenario when working on the 38 to do a lower leg service when compared to the 36 or older Fox forks. Air spring swaps to change travel may be a bit different as you remove the entire inner tube, but it's no worse than a normal air spring swap. The 38 needs 40ml of the Fox 5wt Teflon infused oil in the damper lower leg and 20ml Fox 20wt Gold oil in the spring lower leg.

RockShox recommends service intervals every 50 hours of use for the lower legs and every 200 hours for the damper and spring service.

On the back of the fork crown is the serial number than can be used on the RockShox TrailHead page or app to return all service information, specification data along with recommended upgrade and service parts.

It's the same as nearly all other RockShox forks to service the lower legs and handle spring swaps. The Zeb needs 20ml of 0w-30 oil in both lower legs.





Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
It's not easy picking a winner, but with all the aspects in consideration, the RockShox Zeb sticks its nose slightly ahead of the, still fantastically performing, Fox 38.


Verdict

Picking a victor between the two forks is no easy task, with each fork having loveable traits in their character that I cherish. While neither fork is faultless, the ride arounds for each of the fork’s nuances is neither a hindrance or problematic. I’ve been switching back and forth between a favourite throughout the whole test, with it mostly aligning with which fork was bolted to the bike.

Both the 38 and the Zeb are brilliant offerings for this longer travel aggressive single crown category. But bringing in the factors of weight, price and setup alongside performance makes the Zeb stick its nose ahead of the 38.

It’s a cheaper and lighter package than the 38, with it getting me to a happy window so quickly and with such ease, which counts for a lot. Those recommended settings being pretty spot on and not far away from my prefered settings once testing had finished.

The performance of the 38 is certainly top notch and its composure on the trail while remaining supple and supportive is a gnat's whisker ahead of the Zeb. But not enough with all things considered, and it did take more tinkering to find that same happy window of operation, something that riders with less understanding of suspension and tuning might struggle to find. Especially with the final settings for the 38 being further away from the recommended ones.

There will always be diehard fans of either Fox or RockShox, and if you prefer a fork that is supple and feels like it’s doing its thing underneath you then the Zeb will be up your street. If you like your forks with a bit more of a stuck to the ground feeling and with more tinkering options then the 38 will provide you with what you’re after. All that said, with the editorial gun to my head it’s with the RockShox Zeb that I side.




Filming by: Ridgeline Studio




425 Comments

  • 521 5
 Choose your fork and be a dick about it.
  • 19 1
 Let the war begin
  • 82 2
 My personal thoughts on this at the highest level all these forks are great and it just comes down to a personal preference of how you like a fork to feel. I've always just like how Rockshox feels compared to Fox. Not saying it's better, it's just better for me.
  • 261 1
 Choose your dick and be a fork about it.
  • 40 4
 For FOX SAKE!!
  • 74 9
 Dick pound
  • 62 8
 Torque caps are souch a marketing scam! The old 20mm axle was best.
  • 19 0
 The great American fork off.
  • 63 2
 And the winner is,,,, anyone with a new freakin fork.
  • 2 3
 @Bonedog I’ll be a Dick Pound about it if it’s all the same
  • 9 1
 Choose your fork set your clicks on it.
  • 8 1
 Ill choose a spork thank you very much
  • 5 26
flag Rngspnr (Jan 26, 2021 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 @ReeferSouthrland: You mean anyone with a big advertising budget. Personally I think both companies suck.JMO.
  • 12 1
 For me, it comes down to I get to maintain 10 bikes and counting in our family. Staying with the same brand makes it way easier. For us, it's Fox. So unless there is some incredible difference, it ain't worth it to need different seals, oil, tools, and so on.
  • 24 2
 "Life is soup, and I am fork."
  • 20 0
 @jbravo: Are the 10 bikes all yours or do your wife and kids get to ride also?
  • 8 0
 @Marcencinitas: I'd guess they are all his kids and wives....
  • 4 7
 @jbravo: you and me. sameses. also other components. brakes, drivetrains, etc. I only have to maintain 9 bikes between my wife and myself, so I limit the choices to keep the shop more in line with the hobby that it is, instead of looking like a full service LBS. lol
  • 17 7
 @jbravo: Good luck trying to get parts for Fox products after they are 5 years old. They stop making parts so that bike you wanted to hand down to the kids will be obsolete. This just happened to me. I'm not sure if RockShox is any better. I heard DVO wont pull that shit so I might look into that next round.
  • 8 1
 They both give me a 38mm chubby
  • 2 0
 doesn't supple = stuck to the ground?
  • 4 0
 @duanehundley: i Just recieved a dhx hardano 0,5" shaft for old dhx with no problems. Rockshox does not offer shafts as replacement parts, do i have a customers's 2021 bike on service with warranty issue for more than a month.
  • 7 0
 I guess Fox is for rounded tyres,RS square edge
  • 3 0
 @duanehundley: I have no problems getting my 2009 fox 40 serviced..so spares must be available
  • 16 19
 @conoat: Aren't you that 'covid is a govt construct' dickhead from the Ask PB article? Get your ass outta here.
  • 5 0
 @jbravo: Pretty sure you're going to want different seals if you just bought a 38, but good luck either way.
  • 9 4
 @hucker03: As a full-time wheelbuilder who's worked with Caps on multiple hub brands for custom wheelbuilds, I politely and strenuously disagree. You're not wrong that 20 mm is stiffer - and may well be superior overall. But 15 mm is where we are, and given that reality I would take a Torque Capped 15 mm hub (and thus fork) over an un-capped 15 mm axle nearly any day of the week. Caps make a front wheel ride and feel stiffer on the trail, and they also makes fitting a wheel lightning quick. What I would love to see is Fox develop a non patent-infringing equivalent so that everyone may benefit from the technology on offer with oversized end caps.
  • 2 0
 @hucker03: I thought torque caps were a pain, as it's more fiddly to put the wheel in (wheel has to come off to fit in the car). So I bought the adaptors for my wheel and I could tell the difference. I'm quite light, so I'm not 100% convinced they're better for me, but probably useful for bigger guys
  • 3 2
 @mountainsofsussex: That's fair and reasonable feedback. Caps can be fiddlier at first on hubs with tight tolerances - namely with DT Swiss. This also occurs with DT because the Caps have some float on DT hubs when installed on the hub and until clamped between the legs on the fork (at which point they centre perfectly and freeze aligned with the axle holes on the fork legs). But once you get past inserting the hub, Caps just slot right into the dedicated notches on RS forks without needing to hover the hub over the axle openings, which I find extremely convenient and considerably faster overall. On SRAM hubs and with Hope, where there isn't pre-installation play with Torque Caps, the Caps go in easy between the fork legs as well as slotting in easy-breezy once emplaced.
  • 3 0
 @hucker03: Can also politely disagree. I've seen some testing done on hub surface contact and it showed to be one of the bigger factors in upping system stiffness.
  • 4 0
 @nordland071285: Did you ship it to Fox to have them perform the service? I called Fox about a 36 talus and dhx 5.0 air shock from a 1st gen nomad last year and that's when they said they don't have parts for anything over 5 years old. Maybe the 40 uses the same seals as the current model? What I was getting at is that 5 years old is not that old and there should still be oem parts available from the factory.
  • 2 0
 @Marcencinitas: Ha ha! For better or worse, they ride, too. And the kids kick my ass now...especially the 14 year old. Which is what we all want from our kids...
  • 2 1
 @hucker03: RockShox will tell you that the 20mm axle was better and they fought the 15mm adoption by the industry. Fox and Shimano were behind the 15mm axle standard and those two have much more pull with OEM's than SRAM did at the time.
  • 2 0
 @jbravo: can relate.
  • 3 0
 @jbravo: I am not sure about that. I have bikes with Fox, RockShox and Manitou forks that I maintain myself. Fox requires most special tools which are very expensive (but you can get away without them), while RockShox and Manitou are very straightforward. Also, Fox seals are more expensive than RockShox.
I would not base purchasing decision on brand loyality.
  • 3 0
 @duanehundley: OGC and Fox Canada has been amazing, I have been able to order any tiny part I've ever wanted from forks well over 15 years old (were talking OG Terralogic innertia valve parts). Sounds like you need to get the right contacts or your local shop you've been using doesn't wanna take the time to send emails.
  • 1 1
 @learningcycles: no sir, it’s not better for you.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: I hear if you just hammer the 40 seals with enough force they'll go into the 38
  • 2 0
 Zeb's dead baby, Zeb's dead!
  • 2 1
 @HogtownWheelsmith: Fox forks also have crows that the axle sits in. As do Marzocchi, Cane Creek to the best of my knowledge. Pretty sure Ohlins as well. None of these fork makers make it so you have to float a wheel and align an axle.

While torque caps may make things marginally stiffer, they only make it easier/quicker to fit a fork in a torque cap compatible fork. Everyone else has the same style crows in their forks for normal axles.
  • 2 0
 @seekanddestroy: in many ways it's a pretty dumb "standard", though with a torque cap hub, it's fine. I'm sure I saw someone making little u shaped adaptors to "fix" the float on torque cap forks
  • 2 0
 Found them - Newmen do them
  • 1 1
 @Shred-BC: that's enough Molson for you, eh?
  • 2 1
 @mountainsofsussex: I agree. It adds a nominal amount of stiffness at best, nothing ground breaking. Some people sure like to drink that RockShox Koolaid. If you think that torque caps make some monumental difference you may be delusional.
  • 1 0
 @seekanddestroy: how exactly does an axle sit in a crown????
  • 2 0
 @seekanddestroy: oh....”crow” my bad!
  • 1 0
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Crows, like a crow foot wrench. That's correct. Just about all forks have them these days. Your axle ends sit right in them, Don't know what world Hogtown lives in, but apparently in his only Rock Shock forks have crows.
  • 1 0
 @enis: Sir, I have one spork for sale. In 2017, I used to work in a bike shop where we were committed to try and sell that park tool spork... the winner would be considered the greatest salesmen of all time.
Unfortunately nobody ever purchased, or even realized the insane potential of that object,
I somehow now own that thing.
And it's for sale.
It's nice and I see you are in the market for one. Spoon, fork, why choose?
PM me if you're in. 10$ + shipping and that thing is yours.
  • 226 2
 Wow. A comparison with an actual chosen winner. Pinkbike’s getting ballsy!
  • 30 6
 end of fox dollars coming to pinkbike
  • 24 5
 @dolores: But also said pretty clearly that the Fox38 was the best single crown suspension fork available right now. The "his own money" comment had more to do with pricing and value. Where if you don't mind spending a couple hundred extra the Fox38 was the obvious choice.
  • 18 1
 @adrennan: nah, the way it's written, a fox fan could argue that, for performance, fox was the winner.
The piece is scribed carefully.
  • 11 1
 @Madfella: Yeah it's pretty clear from the review that the 38 is a better performing fork than the Zeb. However, it seems that's only the case for people who are knowledgable about suspension adjustments. If you're not someone that wants to spend the time or effort, the Zeb is lighter, cheaper, and easier to set up.
  • 6 0
 @dolores: From what I read Stott thinks the Fox 38 is the clear winner against the ZEB, but if "money was a concern", he would look at buying the 2020 RS Lyrik. "Money-no-object, he said he would take the Fox 38. "It’s the best-performing single crown fork I’ve tested so far."
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy:

No, thebesthehaseber tested, is the Ext Era in his first ride review ;-)
Hope the review out soon
  • 2 0
 @bansaiman: Yeah, everything with a grain of salt when reading review opinions. Gotta look at the big picture. Ext Era is an interesting fork with the hybrid system.
  • 200 4
 As soon as these came out my 36 became literally unrideable.
  • 88 2
 Unless... you just buy a set of 38 decals to put on your current forks. That instantly upgrades the performance.
  • 15 0
 @bigtim: if you put some of those old stanchion mud covers you can get that fox 36 up to a fox 40. its science
  • 16 1
 @bigtim: what's the mtb version of a ricer called?
  • 40 0
 @robomatic: pinker
  • 7 5
 @bigtim: Will this also work on my 34?
  • 3 0
 @bigtim: red decals if you really want that extra snappy goodness in your current fork
  • 1 0
 @robomatic: a loam chode
  • 1 0
 @robomatic: Fred? Dentist?
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: you can put them on your yeti stickerd Raleigh mustang !
  • 3 0
 @bigtim: this is how my yari became a zeb overnight
  • 2 0
 I was riding a 34 earlier this year and plenty happy with it before recently getting a new bike with a 36. I'm always so far behind the cool kids...
  • 134 1
 Stay tuned next year for a review of the 39 and the rockshox Flib
  • 5 0
 41.5!!
  • 16 1
 That'll pair well with my 40mm clamp bar that's 1000mm wide (cut down to 995, 1000mm is just a little too wide for me).
  • 9 1
 39.99!!
  • 3 0
 Next up is freedumb units again, kinda already happening with 1.8" steerer
  • 5 2
 Meanwhile, the Fox forks will STILL creak like they’re about to snap in half.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: tubes are all in SAE. thats why you have goofy converted numbers like 31.8.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: I was able to warranty mine with no issues.
  • 65 4
 Paying for the kashima also gives you the bonus of getting the right away on every trail
  • 74 2
 Do you mean 'Right of way' or do you mean your butler will fetch your expensive gold bling fork 'right away' from your lowered blacked out Range Rover?
  • 46 1
 bone apple tea y'all
  • 6 0
 Dang. I didn't even realize the right of way thing. Been yielding like a total noob. Thx for the heads up!
  • 13 18
flag A1990ToyotaHilux (Jan 26, 2021 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 Paying for Kashima gives you the bonus of a nice bike with ugly looking stanchions, that drag the overall looks of the bike down.
  • 6 0
 I like how the fancy kash fork doesn't even match the fancy bling shock, lookin like it was left in the microwave too long
  • 7 4
 @A1990ToyotaHilux: Kashima looks rad on an all black bike with gold Eagle drivetrain and Kashima rear shock.
  • 3 1
 @tacklingdummy: This is my exact setup. Gold i9 hydra hubs too. So fresh!
  • 58 5
 Might be an unpopular opinion, but these forks are starting to feel like the sun doublewides resurrected in a new form. For most average riders I don't think the gap between lyrik and boxxer is so big it needed to be filled. Much in the same way the doublewides were it all just seems a bit superfluous.
  • 14 2
 the thing is doublecrowns are a no no these days because "they can't climb"
  • 37 0
 But 38 fits perfect between 40 and 36
  • 24 4
 It's a gap that I'm amazed was left unfilled for so long. I have a Zeb and it's transformed how my 170mm bike feels. I now realise how overstretched the old Lyrik was. And it was way cheaper and lighter than a Boxxer would have been. It's a great product, honestly.
  • 7 3
 I went 36s to boxxers (briefly) to zebs, I see what you're getting at, but you're wrong. The difference is significant and totally noticeable between 36s and zebs, less so between boxxers and zebs, but I was worried about the upper stanchions smashing my frame, so zebs won. On the contrary I'd argue why wouldn't you go for the biggest diameter fork you can, other than a little extra weight, they out perform a smaller fork in every regard.
  • 3 0
 Back when the 36 was heavier and had 20mm axles, I'd probably agree with you. But not now. I went from a ~10 year old 36 to a 2019 36 last year. While the new 36 was a huge improvement in performance, the chassis stiffness feels less than the old 36. Of course I also went from 26 to 29 at the same time, so differences in traction under braking and wheel stiffness might partially account for the reduction in chassis stiffness that I felt. I'm perfectly happy with my 36, but it's on a 140/160 trailish bike. On a longer travel rig I can definitely see myself wanting something stiffer.
  • 5 0
 Went from a lyrik to a 38 and for a large rider the increase of control and composure the fork brought was eye opening. If your not 200+ lbs and riding hard it probably doesn't matter as much though.
  • 10 1
 Once you actually try one of these forks, you'll immediately understand why they were made. I was on a 2020 Fox36, then a 2021 Fox36 (pretty good differences between 2020 and 2021 dampers) and now a Fox38. I immediately felt more comfortable going faster everywhere (as one would think). What was more surprising was how much of a difference it made in slower speed tech... steering felt more direct and it's noticeable how more "on-line" the front end stays vs being deflected. I find difficult tech climbs easier to stay on line, as well as slow to medium speed downhill tech. Of course the biggest difference was the high speed gnar, big drops, g-outs and high speed cornering... everything just feels easier.

And I'm not a big guy (5'11", 180lbs)... or an especially hard charger. I'm ok, but lots of people wayyy faster than me. But even I noticed a significant difference.

My first ride, I took it to my local gnar trail that also features a couple 6 to 8 foot rock drops into more rock... After that first run I was laughing to myself at how much more "uneventful" so much of the trail felt, including those drops.

Short story - I was surprised by how much of a difference it made.
  • 4 2
 @islandforlife: I ran a Lyrik for a bit. Switched to Zeb and rode for a few months. Hoped on my friend's Lyrik again and I was like hehe, this Lyrik looks like a toy compared to the Zeb.
  • 6 0
 @islandforlife: Same experience here with the Zeb. I'd been missing that "power steering" feeling from my old Marz 66 RC3ti but the Zeb has probably surpassed it.
  • 9 4
 @islandforlife: Interesting. I rode back to back 36 and 38 and noticed almost no difference aside from the extra weight of the 38....The 36 was still super stiff and didn't deflect and will still be my #1 choice (although I think DVO or Formula might be a consideration moving forward as I've suffered too many Fox creaky crown issues to continue with them now) . Different strokes for different folks I guess. I'm a bit lighter than you (165lbs) so maybe that's it too..
  • 1 0
 Idk I had singlewides and doublewides. Both made of cheese but the doubles were more reliable and didn't break as often. Also fit gazzalodi 2.6's better. The doubletrack came out and for me was the golden standard. Shit to build a wheel with but indestructible and hard to bend or break. The went backwards with the mtx unfortunately. The first iteration was good then they got lighter and cheaper. Where I am, I'd happily take a Zeb but I do like some flex so I'll stick with my ohlins.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: yeh man my 2009 36 van rc2 was a beast. Could do anything with it. So solid and confidence inspiring.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: In 2014 I also upsized from a 150mm 26" to a 160mm 29". The additional deflection and flex in the wheel/rim was so unnerving that I initially remember it feeling like "riding sideways with marbles under my tire". Eventually, that feeling faded, and there was no question I was faster with the improved rollover and tire contact patch - but it took a little "getting used to" before I forgot about it.
  • 3 0
 @chakaping: I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to change my fork and you're not helping. I'm currently running a 180mm Lyrik Ultimate on the front of my Canfield, and keep telling myself I'm not that big of a guy, I won't need the extra stiffness, etc, but everything I read says it's a huge upgrade. I definitely notice the Lyrik is a bit lacking in small bump compliance and I wonder if that's not binding from stanchion flex...
  • 2 0
 @mtbman1980: Totally agree. It’s a game changer for us big boys and girls.
  • 5 0
 @BlackVR: I have a 2021 Lyrik Ultimate at 170mm and a Zeb Ultimate at 190mm - the Zeb is noticeably better at absorbing small bumps (but the Lyrik is still excellent).
The chassis stiffness is very noticeable too.
The Zeb is absolutely the right fork for my 170mm frame, but the Lyrik is right for my 150mm frame, if that makes sense?
I am 75kg and notice a big difference, FWIW.
  • 1 0
 On the same thinking, do they really need the Lyrik still, or can Rock Shox just go from Pike to Zeb?
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Good to know and that makes perfect sense. Is your 170mm bike a 29er or a 27.5? I'm on a Canfield Balance, so a 165mm 27.5 bike. Also 75kg is almost exactly how much I weigh without gear...
  • 4 0
 I still waiting for a double-crown XC fork.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: maverick did it. 2005? I'm old and can't remember lol it was inverted too. Specialized also made one for the enduro lol equally successful
  • 1 0
 @BlackVR: Radon Swoop 29er, it used to feel a bit awkward in some steep corners and lack confidence in bike park style trails. Now it holds a line much more easily and the Zeb also filters out a lot of unnecessary trail info.
Which you'd hope a 190mm fork would do TBH.
  • 3 1
 @Marky771: not surprising, you’d have to push really hard to make the 36 flex, so the 38 only makes sense if a 36 is too noodley.

I never really found the 36 yo be flexy, though the Z1 is stiffer, as is the Mezzer snd Helm.

If I rode big bikes, I’d choose a dual crown before I’d pick one of these forks.

Manitou Dorado
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: Lefty FTW!
  • 2 0
 @baca262: for the same travel you can adjust a lower crown to axle height with a dual crown
  • 3 0
 @2wls4ever: yeah, the only barrier to climbing with a doublecrown is psychological but it seems most people lack even rudimentary self awareness.

in their heads, climbing a 190mm zeb = legit, climbing a boxxer = crazy.
  • 43 1
 The real war is if clicks are counted from open or closed.
  • 10 0
 Always from closed, everything else is kindergarten. No BS. Dan, please tell me you did not eff up?
  • 11 0
 @ArturoBandini: For sure not! From closed every day.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: God bless you, I knew you know your shiit. Always liked your suspension reviews, although I am the opposite set up wise (digressive).
  • 6 0
 Always from open, just to annoy people.
  • 35 0
 Shoutout to Pinkbike for listening to the community and producing video and written content of the same article!
  • 3 0
 They realise lots PB commenters cant reed {or right}.
  • 20 1
 One of the things that was missed in the review is the difficulty servicing the air spring in the 38. You now need a bench vise and soft jaws to pull the tube in tube system before you can access the air spring. Not a huge deal, but still requires another $100-150 in tools to complete.

Also I would like to see these reviews tear down the forks out of the box to make sure they are at spec on oil levels and also make sure that the negative spring is not packed up with grease (looking at you Fox). Having 20-30% of the negative spring air volume taken up by grease that shouldn't be there can have a huge impact on ride quality.
  • 6 0
 Have they not worked out that goofy grease problem yet? My last fox fork, a 2016, rode like a wet log until I wiped all the grease out of the negative spring. Totally fixed it, but dang that was annoying.
  • 1 0
 @stanks: not in my 2021 36. Just got the tools to tear down my 38 so that is next on the list to check.
  • 21 0
 You should add real world euro prices aswell. Makes the zeb look even better.
  • 8 0
 I fell out of my office chair when i saw that you can get a 38 for 980 Euro instead of 1550 Euros we pay here oversea.
  • 8 0
 I never understood why the Fox forks are so much more expensive in Euroland.
  • 1 1
 @jonasstadler: where is that? US vs. Europe? Is it that much? How about the Bleb?
  • 2 1
 Pre brexit I got e-bike spec (beefier crown, no lock out) zeb for £550 shipped from bike discount.
  • 1 0
 @saladdodger: I compared prices from jensonusa.com to bike-components.de
  • 5 0
 @elmaar: I can't speak for the EU, but the UK importer seems to specialise in hefty profit margins (they also do Yeti, funnily enough).
  • 4 0
 @elmaar: Import. in the states Rockshox costs more than europe
  • 2 0
 @jonasstadler: I´m not totally sure about this but i think the prices from jenson and worldwidecyclery are without fees and taxes so you need to add them by yourself. But still these forks are quite a bit cheaper over there.

Maybe someone who is living in US can clear things up ?
  • 3 0
 @jonasstadler: Remember that Euro prices include tax, US prices you need to add tax to get the total price.
  • 4 0
 @coastal-dreamer: There is no federal (nation-wide) sales tax in the US. Sales taxes therefore vary from state to state (and even from city to city in some states). Therefore sales tax in the US cannot be calculated until a shipping address is entered.

To be fair, I don't know if websites generally pay city sales taxes on goods sold. I think below a certain amount of either items or money sales taxes are not due (they're paid by the retailer when filing taxes). So if a website does very little business in a certain state they could theoretically not demand sales taxes, but they'd have to make sure that they did very little business in that state/city for the entire year, which is a gamble I'm sure no business wants to take.
  • 1 0
 RRP for the Factory 38 in the UK is £1299 or $1780.....
  • 19 4
 All the fox fan boys crying that their 38 didn't take first. Who gives a shit, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer based on THEIR experience. Some of y'all comment more than you ride and it shows
  • 10 26
flag Bushmaster123 (Jan 26, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 Let me guess , you ride a RS...
  • 15 1
 If I put 105psi in my Fox 38, my arms would rattle off and I weigh 195lbs kitted up. With him being a 165lbs rider, I don't understand how he found 105psi to be suitable.
  • 4 1
 Could be many reasons but the grip2 damper has some tolerance issues if not assembled correctly. It could also be a air chamber issue with too much grease or too little oil and grease in the sanctions.
  • 1 9
flag Noeserd (Jan 26, 2021 at 8:00) (Below Threshold)
 I have 50 psi on my zeb and im kitted 220, still shakes my hands sometimes
  • 7 0
 I tried the recommended 93psi and it was simply more sag than I go for in an initial setup and it used too much of its travel just bounding around on it. When bikes and components are constantly coming in for test you can pretty quickly feel if something isn't in the right ball park when you set it up, and unfortunately that's how the 38 felt.
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: give it a service, my ZEB select wasn't the plushest when I bought is but I gave it a service and now it's broken in it's almoat as plush as my fox 36 with Smashpot was, and plusher than that over large hits.. I'm also running around 50 psi and I weigh 165lbs. So yea servicw it and see if it improves, buy some rsp slick kick and put it on the stanchions too, it's great stuff. Also a slight possibility is you are running too low pressure and are too deep in the travel or have too much compression and rebound damping.
  • 3 1
 Thinking the same thing? I weigh 160 kitted and run about 52 in my ZEB. He says he run’s 70?
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: Yeah i will give it a service, it feels sticky yet it has less than 50 hours.

select rc 28% sag full open compression and 2 tokens, i will try no tokens soon

My 2020with b1 shaft lyrik felt smoother especially on repeated hits like stairs tho, zeb gives too much vibration(?) maybe its related to stiffer chasis
  • 3 0
 Totally agree. I am 150lbs and my 38 is at 75psi (80psi recommended) and it feels awesome. I have around 23% sag but this thing won't bottom out at all so I keep it like that.
  • 3 0
 @Noeserd: The stiction will reduce after service and time, but this stuff helps a lot www.tftuned.com/rsp-hyper-wiper-fork-care-oil/p3729

Sorry I said slick kick before, that's the internal grease....this hyper wiper stuff you just reub it on your stanchions. I soaked my foam rings hyper wiper when I did a rebuild and then added slick kick grease on top of the o rings, then coated my stanchions in hyper wiper and rubbed it off with a cloth. Rebuilt the fork with new lower leg oil 20ml each leg and have no complaints about the forks performance other than the fact my shitty Select damper compression dial doesn't seem to work, it does nothing when turning, but luckily I've foumd that however it is setup damping wise suits me anyway, probably because I am in the typicak weight range...but as far as stickiness and suppleness I guarantee you can fix that just doing a service and giving it more time to bed in.
  • 5 0
 Hes riding champery! Are your trails as gnarly and steep? Could be why he prefers a stiffer setup
  • 2 1
 @Dini2k: I live in BC and ride the north Shore every week, pretty steep and rough!
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: I have good news for your charger damper, it's not broken! Big Grin it just takes time to apply those changes it's not instant
  • 2 1
 Had the same exact experience, same weight too. I settled on 80-90 psi. Still wasn't totally happy. Sold it.
  • 1 0
 @timcloutier: I'd be in for a steep off!
  • 1 0
 I was having the same thoughts as I run mine around there and I’m over 230.
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: I just did a lower leg, dust seals and damper side was dry. it is much smoother after the service
  • 26 11
 welcome to the age of ugly, under-axled forks.
  • 12 5
 Run torque-caps on a Zeb, 27mm interface from hub surface to fork!
  • 13 1
 I do miss the days of 20mm axles and full pinch bolts on big travel single crown forks. Secretly I'm still hauding two older 36s with the 20mm axle option, but shh.
  • 11 0
 No kidding! Bring back 20mm axles!
  • 5 1
 You can thank Shimano (and Fox who happily joined them), centerlock doesn’t work with 20mm axles. They came out with special saint rotors that had a larger centerlock to clear, but by then the manufactures had already gone 15mm.
  • 1 0
 @hit-n-run: only if you've got a time machine to stop us going to 15mm in the first place, too much hassle now.
  • 2 0
 You can convert the newer ones with the pinch bolt lowers, from 15 to 20. I did mine a while back. I've no desire for the 38 at all, especially with that arch.
  • 1 0
 Is it me or does the 38s dropout already have a crack?
I knew a 36 with that problem and most people don't know the correct way of tightening the axle with Fox pinch bolts.
  • 7 0
 What forks really need to increase stiffness:
Wider HT Bearings
Larger Axle

What we get:
Stanchion Diameter

This is the mistake of optimizing only the fork and not the bike as a system. I think Vorsprung Suspension made a video with similar conclusions.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Would it really be that much hassle to go back to 20mm? Most hub makers already have a 20mm hub available. Fork makers could do something similar to what Marzocchi did with their new DJ fork and make it 20mm but sell 15mm adapters as an option. DH forks are still 20mm so what would be the obstacle?
  • 2 0
 @shami: I'm sure all the manufacturers will swing back to 20mm in due time and all the marketing hype will say how necessary it is and every one will have to switch back.
  • 2 0
 6 bolt RT86's are awesome.
  • 25 10
 Guys, lets see some editing...you misspelled Mezzer Pro
  • 2 0
 I ride and love a Mezzer. But I am so sick of people harping on it. It has strengths, and it has weaknesses. I prefer it over the 36 it replaced, and over the 38 on my brother's bike. But not everyone has the head Canadian Manitou service tech living 3 blocks away like I do. Shout out to Smithtech, you do good work Zac
  • 2 0
 @cueTIP: Fully agree, and I wasn't harping on it. I was pointing out that a review of the 38 vs the zeb was second place heads up testing.
  • 1 1
 @hbar314: It is getting to be a bit of a broken record though. I'm not taking anything away from the performance of the Mezzer, but the defualt comment on every single suspension article, regardless of how clearly we state what's being reviewed, is tiring.

Were we to do a review of as many forks as possible then yeah, it would be included for sure. But this was focussing on comparing only the 38 and Zeb.
  • 12 3
 No offense to Dan but really looking forward to Seb's insights here. I found his comparison much more detailed, objective and insightful www.bikeradar.com/reviews/components/forks/suspension-forks/rockshox-zeb-vs-fox-38-fork
  • 25 0
 Yeah, Seb did a really good job on that one. Unfortunately I didn't have any data aquisition setups to use but tried to give both forks as much as a beating as possible and listen intently to their feedback.
  • 2 1
 The Lyrik won there lol
  • 13 1
 I did find Seb's review useful and appreciated his responses to questions, BUT personally I look for a bit of subjectivity in bike product reviews. I want to know what a fork feels like to the rider, not to a dyno or an acquistion widget. And @dan-roberts did a solid job of conveying that here.
  • 3 0
 @dan-roberts: Thought you did a commendable job qualitatively describing the performance of each bike. On-bike DAQ is one thing, but it would be awesome to lobby your feudal lord @brianpark for a suspension dyno and LabVIEW license.
  • 4 0
 @heissescheisse: For sure! I actually tried to organise a fork stiffness and dyno test but alas, it didn't work out. I'll keep trying though!
  • 6 0
 @heissescheisse: points for giving me a new job title. Until now we've struggled with shop/studio space, but the new office is coming together and I am very stoked to get some more nerdy tech in there. The ultimate goal is an objective mix of data and ride impressions.
  • 10 1
 WTF, the 38 factory costs 1200$ in the US??! it's 1600€ here in europe... that mark up is getting out of hand!
  • 11 10
 Mark up? I would think your taxes are the culprit of that.
  • 9 0
 @pipomax: then please enlighten me why the ZEB Ultimate is 999$ and 1089€ Wink
  • 13 0
 @striveCF15: because ZEB means Zero Euro Boost of course
  • 8 1
 Odd.. I found the 38 stays pretty supported in it's travel for me (at the recommended pressure settings too). Can't compare it to the Zeb but the Lyrik I had felt divey and dead in the mid-stroke.
  • 3 2
 I was thinking the exact same thing. I found the 38 to be very supportive at recommended pressures. I've ridden 3 different ones on steep stuff. Only ridden a cheap Zeb R so probably not relevant (it was absolutely terrible and super divey)
  • 2 0
 @rzalewski6: My Zeb Ultimate is very supportive, much more so than my old Lyrik RC2, but I haven't ridden the 38.
  • 4 0
 I thought the same thing. I find I can get the GRIP2 damper to be more supportive without feeling harsh vs. the Charger damper. I find the 38 very supportive in the steeps, and then on lower angle faster trails it rides tall, but isn't harsh. I'd be interested to know what the reviewer weight is, and what travel each fork was. I'm running a very similar air spring setup, but much more LSC and more rebound damping (he must like a very fast rebound). My settings on a 170 mm 38 are:

Air 105 psi with 3 tokens
LSC 6 clicks out
HSC 5 clicks out
LSR 4 clicks out
HSR 4 clicks out

His Zeb settings are closer to what I'd run, although I'm still a bit slower on the rebound, and running a bit more LSC, one click less HSC.
  • 1 0
 @timmigrant: I asked what travel he was running. The response was "With the 38 it was always 170mm and with the Zeb it was 180 and 170mm." The reviewer weighs 75 kg.
  • 2 0
 Maybe I should have been more clear in the distinction between support and ride height. The 38 was supportive, as mentioned, but just exhibited a lower all around ride height. Which is something that the Bike Radar review also pointed out.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: Did you try running additional pressure with or without the tokens in? In theory if the fork is riding low in its travel you would want less tokens + more pressure. More pressure with the tokens still in could certainly result in a harsh ride.
  • 1 0
 @DMal: 75kg and running 105 psi with 3 tokens! Wow that seems firm for someone that weight. I'm 15 kg heavier and running the same air spring setup. Then again I'm running quite a bit more damping on compression and rebound. Interesting take away though.
  • 1 0
 @timmigrant: his Zeb setup sounds about right, though. At 78 kg, I liked 63 psi and 0 tokens in the 170 Zeb (now running 160 at 68 psi with 1 token). The Fox and RS air springs are different, and I get the impression that the reviewer prefers a feel that is more supportive off the very top of the travel, which is why he found the Zeb easy to set up (the air spring rides that way by default) and ended up cranking the psi on the 38 (the negative spring design wants to push it into its travel).
  • 6 0
 Anyone else mildly concerned that a 80kg rider on a standard enduro bike has 105psi in the fork when it Max's out at 140psi? If a larger rider of 100kg bolts it onto an e bike they very easily could exceed the maximum fork pressure. That seems like a major design flaw of the 38... That's a totally reasonable scenario that should be able to happen.

There might be something off here but fox should really look into that and make sure it's right
  • 2 0
 I weigh 230 and run similar air pressure, really not sure why he felt it was necessary to run it that high.

I wouldn’t worry about maxing it out,
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: interesting. Reading the comments there's a fair few others that are running them with much more reasonable pressures. I'm wondering if Dan has a dodgy fork, or maybe just has an unusual fork tune preference to need that high pressure then
  • 10 1
 Wish PB would have included the Mezzer Pro in this review.
  • 2 0
 Or just generally non Fox or RS forks...
  • 9 2
 Wish someone would review the Manitou. Its very competitive on paper, but I hear their first run has QC issues.
  • 4 0
 Think they did: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-manitou-mezzer-pro-fork.html.

Sounded like it had bushing issues at the time, but I know a couple people who've said they were great and had no issues.
  • 4 0
 www.pinkbike.com/news/review-manitou-mezzer-pro-fork.html

I'm running the Mezzer at 160 on my sb130. My fork was built in Aug. 20. I haven't had any of the bushing issues that seem to be the chief complaint. I definitely like it.

I'd like to give the Zeb and 38 a go.
  • 7 3
 @Pedantic: I've been running a DVO Onyx, after lots of back and forth with the 36. I think the DVO might be the most underrated fork out there, I can't overstate how awesome the OTT is, and how easy it makes setting up your mid-stroke. People get hung up on weight, but I haven't noticed it vs. the Fox on the front of the same bike. The guys at DVO are so ahead of the game.
  • 2 1
 @SlodownU: If OTT on the Onyx is anything like the Diamond, I would agree. I forgot about the Onyx.
  • 3 2
 @SlodownU: My Diamond is the closest any air spring felt to a coil I've ever tried (except the fox 40). The issue I had with it was fork dive. It would blow through its travel unless I put way more air and ran way more compression than I wanted, which ruined its small bump sensitivity. Is this different on the Onyx?
  • 4 1
 I have two Manitou forks at the moment. Mezzer Pro and Mastadon Pro. I much prefer these to every other fork I've ridden. I've not ridden the 38 or Zeb, but have ridden multiple others. Very adjustable, easy to service, and perform wonderfully. I have another Mezzer Pro sitting here to mount on my new bike when it comes.
  • 1 0
 @euan91m @Pedantic so to sum up the PInkbike review, they got one of the early ones that had bad bushings, and (according to the comments) Mike didn't set up the damper right, so in the review there were some complaints about the damper. Otherwise at least on par with these offerings.

Is that right?
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: The Mezzer crowd commentary was pretty vociferous in the comments. I think your assessment is accurate. Prior to the Mezzer I had only ridden Fox and DVO (stuff that was OEM). The Mezzer feels different from both. If his ideal fork is the 36 or Lyrik, then I can see how the Mezzer would give him pause. That said, it works for me.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: The issue with the Onyx, and similarly with the Mezzer, is that it takes more fiddling to get initial setup correct. Every time you change one setting, you also need to change others, particularly with the OTT. With the OTT you also need to let all of the air out of the air chamber, set the OTT, then air up again to your desired pressure. It isn't an on the fly adjustment. It took me a few rides to find the right balance between pre-load, OTT, and high-speed compression. Initially I was going through all of my travel, now I've found a nice setup that is supportive yet supple (make sure you write down all your settings). DVO has also updated their instructions to say that high-speed compression should be adjusted counting rotations vs. clicks on the Onyx.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Another observation I had is that when working with the relatively low pressures required by the Onyx, a couple of PSI had a noticeable effect on performance when I was getting into the sweet spot.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: Mine was a first gen, non boost diamond, so I hope they tweaked things since then. I'm no suspension wizard, but I did spend a lot of time fiddling with it trying to get it set up correctly. I don't have it anymore, but maybe I'll give an Onyx a try. My current Lyrik feels smooth, but sits too far in its travel. I bought the airspring "upgrade" to fix it, but I haven't installed it yet. Peeps are saying it ruins the small bump compliance.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: In case you can't get an Onyx because availability these days sucks, try the Luftkappe from Vorsprung. For $90 it transformed my Pike. I was able to get the suppleness I was after while still having the mid-stroke.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: same here. My onyx is a beast. Unbelievable fork. Crazy sensitivity, very strong mid stroke and insane bottom out resistance. The chassis is very stiff and the weight is really a nonsence complaint. Cant believe i got mine for 600 euros brand new.
  • 10 2
 Manitou Mezzer the real champion
  • 8 0
 Need to put the Mezzer in that test.
  • 3 0
 Adding more high speed compression will help with ride height quite a bit. I am always surprised when I see forks run with several clicks of low speed and only a few to none of high speed compression damping. To me, adding low speed compression has a tendency to adding harshness in the small bump and doesn't do that much for overall ride quality. Even for brake dive it is not that helpful imho. Adding low speed for brake dive works well on smooth surfaces, but to me on the trail, you are moving the fork already by the terrain you are riding over, and most of those movements are going to be managed by the HSC. I would personally rather let the fork move more freely, and deal with a small amount of dive, than the fork feel harsher. I have found high speed adds a nice cushion to the mid-stroke, helps the fork not blow through its travel, and thus keeps the fork higher in its travel over repeated hits. I think this is the idea that Avalanche dampers are built around and it works well in my experience.
  • 1 0
 For my riding, I run just enough LSC (which is sometimes none, depending) to have integrity while pumping and the like, otherwise I just push through most of the travel. I usually keep HSC wide open to preserve as much plushness as possible. I'm also guilty of running less travel and a ton of progression.
  • 1 0
 @stanks: I have always felt dialing in HSC results in a plusher feel, since it helps the fork not pack up mid-stroke. It seems to allow the fork to respond to a hit higher up in its travel, where the spring is better able to compress more freely, than if it is already part way into its compression range. Just my two cents.
  • 1 0
 @seismicninja: I think everyone pretty good at dialing in what works for them, and there's so many variables that it's hard to say that doing X means Y for everyone riding. That said, I don't really follow the flow of how things are lining up in your situation, probably because I just approach it differently. I use HSC to adjust how fast hits feel, and rebound to control packing up vs. returning to sag appropriately. I've never really felt like HSC affects packing up on an appropriately-rebounding fork (but if your fork does pack up, and you add enough HSC damping so that you don't get far enough in your travel to pack up in the first place.. I guess that's one way?). I might be reading things totally wrong though.
  • 1 0
 @stanks: I get where you're coming from and I like expanding my thought process from listening to how other people do things. It is very true about lots of variables and adjusting based on your situation. Cool beans.
  • 7 1
 Speaking of Enduro fork reviews, I'll just leave this right here..

youtu.be/rlrkHZyWf8Y
  • 2 1
 \M/metal\M/
  • 2 1
 Holy crap
  • 4 0
 This is a very good review. Thanks for putting the hard work in to cover everything in detail. Very useful. However please give credit to Dorenaz as I am sure that’s where the video was filmed, not Champery
  • 6 0
 Great job on this review , sounds like they are both amazing forks.
  • 22 19
 I love these comparison videos where they compare one fork to another using completely different bikes, with completely different geometries, with completely different components.
  • 49 0
 That was only for filming. I used the Madonna as a test bike for the forks and did a lot of swapping and back to back riding.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: I had ( sold it as it was overkill for my local terrain ) a Madonna V2 with a 38 on it and the fork performed, but I couldn't get rid of the harshness on high speed chatter. I tried various psi and setting changes. That high speed harshness over repeated rocks, roots and drops was always present??
  • 4 0
 @Bushmaster123: apparently the ebike version has a softer compression shimstack which suits lighter riders more. Should be added to the review.
  • 2 0
 @Bushmaster123: Recently got my kid a bike with a 38 on it and he said it felt harsh in the chatter in the baseline settings. I ended up setting both compression knobs close to wide open and opened up the rebound quite a bit for him too and he says it feels really good now. He only weighs about 140 pounds.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: It's a good review thanks @dan-roberts - I did zone out a bit in the tech-waffle about features and setup, but I always do that and you make some clear and perceptive points about the ride feel of each. I know that is what I look for in reviews.
I have a Zeb (at 190mm) and the only thing I'd emphasise that perhaps isn't stressed too much here is the extra authority it offers cutting through rocks and roots - how there's more insulation from the trail compared to a Lyrik. But you were not comparing it to a Lyrik, so I'm adding that for my fellow commenters really.
  • 2 1
 @shami: I ran it open wide open as well and relatively low psi ( I can't recall exactly but I believe between 80-90 psi , I'm 190 lbs. for reference ). Could have been some unbelievably stiff Race Face Next R 35 mm bars too. I won't be running those again...

Super dad! Must be a good kid!
  • 1 2
 @Bushmaster123: That's actually incorrect. Next R bars have a lot of flex. Did you cut them way down or something?
  • 3 0
 @shami: this ^^^^^

Opening the rebound can drastically help take away the chattery feel on 36 and 38 forks.

You’d also be surprised that a slightly quicker fork tracks the trail better. We tend to like the overdamped feel because it works better in the parking lot test.
  • 1 0
 @bogey: Agreed, I almost always find myself backing off rebound on a new fork or shock as I get it set up.
  • 1 0
 @rzalewski6: oh is it now..How come every other carbon bar I've had and currently own doesn't hurt my elbows ( past injuries ) after a ride???
  • 2 0
 @Bushmaster123: Haha, Super dad, thanks. He is a good kid though and both my teenage boys are stoked on riding bikes with me so I figure it's a worthwhile investment. It's not cheap keeping all three of us on good bikes though but hoping this is the last bike I'll have to buy him for quite a while.
  • 3 0
 @shami: You adopting? I can send you my application
  • 4 0
 If we would have to pay as much as in the usa for Fox products I would only ride fox, but with the european prices it is a different story.
  • 6 0
 Still waiting for the EXT Era review to drop...
  • 1 0
 It's getting like Waiting for Godot.
  • 3 0
 Awful times when you have to choose between two great products. I would love to compare the rate of negative reviews to 10 years and 20 years ago. Bet things are getting better.
  • 2 0
 What should be the biggest take away is which of these two became more of the set and forget product.
~~
When spending this kind of money and we are at a point of splitting hairs in performance. The hope would be that once you narrow in your settings that the product is able to provide the most consitant feel across multiple terrain types, ride speeds and rider inputs.
~~
These are more or less Race ready products and anyone who has raced knows being in your head about your bikes setup can really f*ck up a day of racing.
  • 2 0
 Hey Dan, I posted a question in one of the forums. Along with people asking about a Mezzer comparison, how about one with MRP Bartlett too? Battle of the LT, 15mm axle forks...

www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=226874&pagenum=1#commentid6958738
  • 8 3
 Is manitou paying these mezzer shills to comment on every fork review? If so where do I sign up?
  • 8 2
 So cringy init, same ones generally. Mtbscotland will be along in 54321..
  • 2 1
 Return question; do Fox and RS pay reviewers to write 25 Fox or RS articles for every article about another fork manufacturer? Or do multi-fork comparisons with only those two brands?
(No I don't believe they are paying PB for reviews)

On a more serious note: Manitou doesn't have the money for paying internet trolls. Believe it or not, people like other things than Fox or RS and get upset when the brands they love get overlooked again.
  • 5 0
 Zebulon Pike died aged 34 in the Battle of York, not aged 38 in the Battle of Fork
  • 1 0
 and the scouts were wrong. There were 2,000 Stark bannermen, not 20,000
  • 2 0
 Has anyone ever tried one of these? Its very competitive weight wise with these new, thicc crown forks. www.crconception.com/ONLINE-STORE/fore297-fore-297-2020-precommande/#wbs1
  • 5 7
 Upside down forks are inherently less stiff and likely will never compete in that respect.
  • 1 0
 don't you wanna do a comparison between this one and the Intend USD fork? Looks interesting... One for the weirdos
  • 2 3
 @lefthandohvhater: I bet it will be far plusher
  • 3 1
 @Noeserd: For exactly what reason?
  • 4 4
 @lefthandohvhater: upside down design itself is the reason
  • 5 0
 @lefthandohvhater: oil sits on the stanchions
  • 3 3
 @Noeserd: Wow your understanding of suspension is exceptional. Keep it up.
  • 3 3
 @lefthandohvhater: do i have to explain it?

anyway. On upside down forks oil always sits on dust seals and keeps them lubricated because of that fork stays super plush
  • 2 0
 Appreciate how hard it is to come up with meaningful differences between two good products. Good review.
(From someone that will never own either - I'm not brave enough and my hills aren't steep or rocky enough)
  • 5 0
 I would have liked a blind test where they put a cover on the crown and then ask test riders if they knew what they were riding when they ended their runs. I doubt I could tell the difference and I would love either fork.
  • 6 0
 @jaame: I'd also be in for the ten spinning laps of a broom handle, down a beer and jump on and go test.
  • 1 0
 Huh, I was going to argue the final verdict for actual users based on service differences. But, the Zeb is able to use regular old motor oil, and the lowers I assume are a quick service. Maybe the special teflon oil is worth it, and keeps the fork supple thru the service life?
  • 5 5
 I'll pass on Fox's PTFE (Teflon) oil. In 2021, there's no reason why these guys shouldn't be able to figure out a less toxic and less carcinogenic fork oil for their consumers, mechanics, and the environment.
  • 2 0
 @portermoab: It's the worst part about the GRIP dampers, which are pretty solid otherwise. I know guys running 2.5WT motorex instead (one cartridge and bath, one cartridge only), and their forks have been working well as far as I can tell. Still, it's hard to veer away from manufacturer suggested spec and you can't expect most people to do it. PTFE sucks -- and how many people are actually recycling their fork oil?
  • 3 3
 @portermoab: PTFE isn't carcinogenic
  • 1 0
 @portermoab: I hear you. They say PTFE is not toxic until heated above 250C or so, but then people's birds die when they use a PTFE pan in the oven. No joke, they put that shit in food-safe grease and claim it's fine. I am all for believing in science, but sometimes they get that shit wrong and this is one it feels like we should avoid. I hope they all start using WPL's plant based lubes soon.
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: I'll try to keep my fork below 250°C then
  • 1 0
 @boozed: I guess that is fine if you aren't riding near any birds.
  • 1 0
 @stanks: uhhh, I hope most everyone is recycling it. It can be recycled with motor oil. It takes a bit of effort, but if you get a big oil jug it will be years before you have to drop it off at a recycling center.
Check out WPL's oils and grease for an environmetally friendly solution, but even that should get recycled.
  • 2 0
 @FatSanch: I mean yeah we hope people are recycling it, and it sounds like you and I recycle it, but my experience is that there are plenty of folks who don't even recycle their car's oil, and I doubt they'd feel compelled to recycle their fork oil. For all the kitchen-table or bike-only mechanics who don't deal with large quantities of oil, I would bet a lot of it goes straight to the trash can. I can't say for sure, it's just my impression, and it might be a uniquely 'american' and unfortunate phenomenon. In my state, oil-soaked rags and such are still allowed in landfills, even if liquid oil is not.
  • 1 0
 Nice review Dan, I was happily surprised you picked a winner in your books as well. I'd like to see if a Marzo Z1 coil came in a 38 chassis one day... but if Vorsprung makes a coil kit for the 38, I'd imagine the air spring design of the 38 might allow it to be converted back to air...?
  • 5 1
 There is no comparison in Europe ! 1300€ for 38 Float Factory VS 700€ for Zeb Ultimate...
  • 4 1
 Happy to see the final verdict / opinion, however, I wish they used the same bike for the forks to have similar geometry, weight, and overall feel.
  • 2 0
 100% True - to many variables to influence a components features on different set-ups.
  • 3 0
 I don't have two of the same bike for filming, unfortunately. I used the Madonna as a test bike for both forks.
  • 3 0
 This review and testing would have been a bit more reliable if he ws to ride both forks, on both bikes, under the same conditions and trails back-to-back.
  • 2 0
 Seems to be a common thought, but that was just for filming purposes and making an efficient day filming. I used the Madonna as the test bike for the forks with the Mega just so happening to turn up when we needed to film.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: ok, thanks for clarifying. Makes it more reliable then and maybe something you should have mentioned on the video. Good work tho and awesome trails.
  • 2 0
 anyone else watch these videos with the same viewing pattern as porn? watch the first 30 seconds, skip ahead to 10 seconds in the middle and then go straight for the the winner.
  • 1 0
 Slight tangent question.
What bb are you running on the Raaw with the hope cranks, and is there any clearance issue with the rear brake hose?
Does the hose just get a little squished between the bb shell and the chainstay/swing arm?
  • 2 1
 I didn't really have any issues setting up my 38, I learned along time ago to not go by fox's recommended setting as what I should be using, but as a decent starting point( yeti and norco are a bit better to use as a setupguide imho). The fox 38 to me feels better than my fox36 with vorsprung coil kit. Small bump sensitivity is better and the fork definitely tracks better over the rough stuff, doesn't get deflected off line. I am also a biggerer guy (especially with that extra covid 19 lbs) and ride fairly hard.
But the fork you have is always going to be the best fork right?
  • 1 0
 I think both are great, the winner comes down to what you prefer in terms of set up and feel on trail. I race XC so my opinion may be nothing but I ride Torque Caps on my SID and love them, I’ve used the fork without them and I can tell a difference in stiffness, as well (obviously) it being easier to install the front wheel. Just my two cents
  • 2 0
 What about a head to head zeb vs lyrik and 36 vs 38? That way the rest of us can decide if we need to jump on the bandwagon and increase the weight of our bike in the process.
  • 1 7
flag just6979 (Jan 26, 2021 at 19:33) (Below Threshold)
 You'll know if you need a 38/Zeb over a 36/Lyrik.

Hint: if you're worrying about weight, you'll likely be set with Lyrik or 36.

Hint 2: if you even have to ask which is good for you, you'll likely be good with a 36 or Lyrik.

Hint 3: here is that article in one line: "The ones with fatter legs are stiffer in pretty much every direction except the sliding direction." Done.
  • 1 0
 Awesome fork(s) review Dan! Lots of good info in considering the two big hit single crowns. I recently tested a Fox 38 on SC Bullit (dream bike) and some reason couldn’t get rebound fast enough for my preference or what I am used to with my Lyrik 2020. Probably why Fox feels a bit more planted to the ground as you said, whereas RS rides higher in the travel a bit easier. Great stuff nonetheless and thanks for the testing and review
  • 5 0
 Good review!
  • 3 0
 This seems like a choice of which supermodel to go on a date with. No real bad option. First world problems!
  • 1 1
 I have 2020 Fox 36 GRIP and FiT4's on a Fuse Hard Tail and a Knolly Fugitiv, and a ZEB on Meta AM 29 with a coil. They all feel great, but the ZEB smooths out the chunder a little better... but then again it could be the coil shock assisting. Gotta say... it doesn't matter... they are all great! Marz Z2/Z1, Pike, Lyrik, 34, 36, 38..... all amazing and better than me.
  • 1 1
 The fact they are both so close together in results shows a maturing in the fork technology across the board, nice to see. The differences are really a matter of preference and minutiae. I ride a 38 but I am sure I'd be fine on a Zeb as well...though saying Kashima makes me sound like a better rider.
  • 3 0
 Interesting. According many other reviews (bike radar mbr...) 38 is far superior.
  • 1 0
 "RockShox also prints the recommended pressures on the side of the fork. But their sag markings printed on the stanchions make initial setup a doddle." > me looking up what doddle is
  • 1 0
 The difference in stiffness between my 2019 36 Grip 2 and my 2021 38 Grip 2 made the purchase worth it. I’m sure the ZEB rides amazingly as well I just can’t get over the fact they didn’t call it a totem.
  • 3 1
 @dan-roberts

Your articles are always well written, and accurate. How do you feel about these to 38 forks vs an Ohlins RFX36?
  • 1 0
 Anyone who read this review should also read this one and then make a decision for themselves based off the information given:

www.bikeradar.com/reviews/components/forks/suspension-forks/rockshox-zeb-vs-fox-38-fork
  • 3 3
 Seems like the big difference is in the neg air spring. The fox still uses a strong one sucking the fork into the travel. Rockshox updated there's last year to be a lil less strong. Makes sense the reviewers fox felt plusher but riding lower opposed to the rockshox riding higher but less composed. Pick your poison. Oh and a 38 for anything less than a mini dh bike or a free ride bike is a bad decision. Too stiff can be an issue for trail riding and the extra weight means hard to loft front on command but I suppose if you're just a passenger not a pilot you will just run into things with no skills and will need the biggest and beefest fork to do so. Haaaaaacks
  • 4 0
 Here in Europe fox is almost double the price of rs
  • 3 1
 I rode the Zeb Ultimate and a 2021 36 grip2 and was able to really set it up for my liking. But the Mezzer Pro is the best of these forks.
  • 1 1
 I Think that the fox forks are a little bit more subtle in the begging of the stroke almost like 30 to 40% and then they start to that work even better,it’s like magic(not like a spring yet,what the f*ck is fox waiting for ??)the rock shox ones are more like a racing ones ,softer but not subtle in the begging stroke ,the middle just a little bit not as progressive as the begging stroke and the end not that bad ,but for the price difference the fox just doesn’t worth it ,unless you don’t mind paying more ,all in the mind and wallet,but yes that torque caps and the new fox system (I almost believe in that 80%),they are just so grabbing money from people ,new standards,when in just having a 20mm axle standard could be the best ,what are DH forks using ?why can’t we ?crazy world this is always thinking of profit ,make people expend money in things so stupid ,thinking only in money making ,killing others that sometimes have better solutions or material for the same thing ,and when they see that (let’s change the rules )STAY SAFE PEOPLE
  • 3 0
 Remember when marzocchi 66s had 38mm sanctions.... Fox and rs copies their homework.....
  • 3 0
 Can't believe they didn't keep the Zeb name for a coil fork or maybe that'll be the Zebedee!
  • 1 1
 please comment how each fork's rebound behaves on huge drops ie immediately following full compression. 38's 2-stage rebound in theory let's you keep it poppy/springy/playful on the small hits with less LSR while allowing you to dial up the HSR to soak up big hits so you don't get bucked.
does this work?
how does the zeb's single stage rebound damping compare on an identical drop, ie if you dial in the rebound enough to soak up a big hit does that make it too slow on the smaller hits to be poppy? does it get packed down in this case?
  • 2 0
 The Zeb doesn't have a "single stage rebound damping": it has an HSR circuit, it just isn't externally adjustable.

That said, RS has previously touted what they called "Rapid Recovery", aka an HSR on the fast side, so that might be a clue to how they tune their dampers... I don't see RR mentioned with the Zeb itself, but I did find a Charger 2.1 damper upgrade that mentions RR...
  • 1 1
 I have no clue how he could have ended up with these settings on the 38. Seems way oversprung, overdamped in rebound damping and generally not ideal with the kind of valve / adjuster design the 38 offers.

It is absolutely possible to use the 38s air spring and rebound circuit to 98% mimic the ZEBs behavior, combined with a better working compression unit where the HS adjuster acutally behaves like a HS adjuster should.

And in my opinion this sums up the 38 experience - near perfect fork but the setup can mislead even advanced users.
All those wheels are maybe not ideal for everyone.
  • 4 0
 The age old battle
  • 4 0
 Chevy vs Ford.
  • 3 0
 @dan-roberts
great review. How does it compare to the Öhlins M.2?
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: How did you feel both compared to their Lyric/36 little brothers? At what travel/weight range would you spring for the bigger fork?
  • 2 0
 Anyone else struggling to get the rebound on their 38 fast enough, with the correct sag?
  • 4 0
 Welcome to new ERA!
  • 2 0
 Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fu**ing big televis...ehm I mean FORK !
  • 1 1
 Goes against every other review out there currently, but then that editorial gun will force you to stay on the fence, cuz if you fall off too far either side you will be shot down.......
  • 1 0
 Sick review! Thanks for the depth in the spec department. New forks are insane! Anyone complaining about either wasn't around in the early 2000's breaking forks in half!
  • 2 2
 I’d rather have a 66RC with a 20 mm hub on an aluminum frame with a proper coil shock, 26” tires with DH tubes. How come everything has gone to shit and somehow costs twice as much?
  • 3 0
 I'd take the DVO Onyx SC over those two every day of the week.
  • 1 0
 But the Zeb doesn't make any sweet creaking noises that take your mind off the gnar that you're about to tackle. WIN

( I own a 38 and the creak annoys the shit out of me)
  • 1 0
 As a guy who's been riding for over 15 years, on the terrible bikes; at this point, it's basically pick your favourite colour and go shred. You can't go wrong with either.
  • 5 3
 Fox 38 Damper in the Zeb Chassis would be a winner
  • 2 1
 Yeah, for fatties like me, HSR control is important
  • 1 0
 But why?! I mean I get it that Grip2 is exceptional ... but I'd pick the 38 chassis over the Zeb. Maybe use the air spring from the Zeb in the 38 if that's your thing ...
  • 1 0
 @timmigrant: purely for looks lol. I like the square edges of the Zeb more. The 38 does have the floating axle and bleed ports but I can't help it if I'm a material girl living in a material world.
  • 1 0
 I'm expecting rockshox to change their debonair design again this year, new c1 shaft lost that ultra sensitive feel
  • 2 0
 Just slap it, wax it & tax it.
  • 2 0
 Maybe I missed it, but what travel were you testing the forks at?
  • 2 0
 With the 38 it was always 170mm and with the Zeb it was 180 and 170mm.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: thanks a lot. did your Zeb settings change going between 170 and 180? I ask because I've gone between 160 and 170 on my Zeb, and the 170 Zeb runs about 5 psi less than 160 for a similar feel. The Rockshox settings app reflects this.

Any idea why the 160 would run more pressure than 170? Is it because the negative spring is proportionally larger?
  • 1 0
 @DMal: Shorter travel always requires a firmer spring rate. Spring force at bottom out should pretty much be the same, regardless of travel.
  • 2 0
 Hey just idea. Fock torque caps !!! Just re introduce a 20 mm axle.
  • 2 0
 ZEB fits perfect between SID and BOXXER
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts how heavy are you? It's possible that the stock tunes on the 38 were not ideal for your weight.
  • 2 0
 75kg with all me kit on. So almost bang on in the middle of their tuning guide weights!
  • 3 0
 Totem
  • 3 1
 They were stiff, but that was it. Crap damper, air sprung models were horribly sticky and coil ones only a little less sticky.
  • 1 0
 I’m still rocking my 180mm on an ‘07 Demo 7.
  • 1 0
 @stinkball: I've got mine on a 2015 Saracen, They are dope
  • 1 0
 So, Fox stuck a Thompson Elite seat tube in the CSU and used it as steer tube?
  • 2 0
 Lyrik with push hc97 damper upgrade vs Zeb
  • 3 1
 Welcome @dan-roberts and nicely done. Clear and informative.
  • 1 0
 What is this l read? The 38 loses?!?! How can this be? The 38 wins everything... Good for you Zeb!
  • 2 1
 You all should do a modern freeride bike shootout! Norco shore vs banshee darkside vs commencal furious etc..
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure the banshee darkside hasn't been updated since like 2014. I'd hardly call a 438mm reach in a large "modern". Still a sick bike though
  • 3 0
 @tlchlct: didn't realize that. Guess something like the rocky mountain slayer would probably be a better comparison. Maybe even throw dual crown forks on some of the big 170mm+ enduro bikes and call it "down-duro".. Either way it'd be entertaining. Bet it would be easier logistically too, cause efficiency and climbing performance would be a side note instead of a measured test
  • 4 6
 Good comparison with lots of detail but surely this test was flawed from the off when you put the forks onto two very different bikes rather than swapping them into the same bike..... it doesn't really help aid the comparison process (like bolting carbon wheels onto a steel frame and an aluminium frame and expecting the outcome to be the same)
  • 6 0
 Testing took place with the forks on the Raaw Madonna. The two different bikes were used to make filming easier.
  • 3 0
 DVO
  • 2 1
 Everyone hating on these forks has a 26” tire, qr9mm axle, cantilever brake dinosaur!! Haha
  • 2 1
 Zebs axle to crown longer than 38, not everyone will appreciate their raked out ha getting slacker
  • 3 1
 It's only 2.3mm longer. That's a .0039 difference in total axle-to-crown length and maybe .1degree hta change. I can't imagine that is going to be noticeable for many people.
  • 3 1
 Who’s Zeb? Zeb’s dead baby....Zeb’s dead
  • 2 1
 105 PSI with 75Kg ??? Must have been an Academy fork !
I have a hard time to believe that. Did that result in 5% sag ?
  • 1 0
 Can anyone even read the ATC measurements from the drawings on the fox site? Maybe it's user error...
  • 4 1
 If you click the small square drawing to the right of the drawing you're trying to read, it brings it up in high quality full screen. I was doing the exact same thing.
  • 3 3
 Air??? What about coil? No chance an air fork could be the best on the market. People put a push coil conversion in a fox fork for a reason.
  • 1 0
 100% agree
  • 1 0
 I would like to see a comparison of these forks to same travel 40 and Boxxer.
  • 1 1
 Can we take a second and congratulate RS on this? I mean, their fork just beat the competing fox fork. Has that ever happened?
  • 1 2
 Review is personal. They beat each other all the time depending on the reviewer. Most people that pick the zeb it’s usually mostly because it’s cheaper.
  • 1 0
 It's 2021 and I still ride my Totem waiting for it to break. No luck since 2012Frown
  • 1 0
 Where are these 150mm Zebs...i don't see them for sale anywhere?
  • 4 1
 While you might not be able to buy it like that, you can drop the travel down with a 150mm air piston kit.
  • 8 1
 @dan-roberts: just make it simple like the Mezzer. No stupid air shafts to buy. Just good ole spacers and the fork comes with enough to go from 180 to 140. Plus comes with a fender.
  • 6 1
 Mezzer for the win. Comes with all you need and easy to lower.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: are there 140 air springs?
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: Interesting. CAn we see a Zeb vs. Lyrik and 36 vs. 38 comparison? Are the commenters right...these 38m are overkill...
  • 1 0
 I'll choose the one with the less plastic flimsy parts internals.
  • 1 0
 Great video, loving it mate @dan-roberts !
  • 1 0
 Koen! Cheers mate! Still got a smile from the memories of New Zealand.
  • 1 0
 Great review with lots of information. Keep it up.
  • 2 3
 The Zeb is obviously better, unless you still live with you parents and like the feeling off a mushy sausage waping you in the face as you go down the trail.
  • 1 1
 Really cool vid, thanks. Both too much fork for my riding but I'd go with the zeb too if I was in the market
  • 3 3
 Small bump compliance will always be better on a rockshox fork, and I’ll never leave them because of that
  • 1 1
 I’ve got a 36 and a 38 with the updated grip2. Small bump is incredible and that’s a huge factor for me because I broke the hell out of my hand.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts Which Outdoor Research jacket is that?
  • 1 0
 You're not @mikekazimer. How can we trust you?!?!
  • 1 0
 Do they have more tire clearance than Lyrik/36?
  • 2 0
 Zibity ZEB
  • 1 0
 Fox should have just made a 40 single crown
  • 1 0
 Forget the forks, gimme the Madonna Smile !
  • 1 0
 Forgot about dvo 38,intend 38 forks
  • 1 0
 I prefer to FOX always ,but I hate new FOX's arc arch
  • 1 0
 Whats the bike frame that the Zebs on?
  • 1 0
 Time for a new head tube standard? Maybe 2" to 3" taper...
  • 1 0
 Zeb for me, the 38 is great too.
  • 1 0
 weird. a fork with more adjustments took more adjustments to ride good.
  • 1 0
 Great review . Zeb it is for me thx !
  • 1 1
 I've heard that the Zeb is harder to bottom out?
  • 3 3
 All those Rockshox homepage ads are paying off....
  • 1 1
 38. Just cos the zed isn't a Totem. Such a wasted opportunity
  • 3 2
 38 > zeb imo
  • 1 1
 @danroberts: Any creaking CSUs to report?
  • 1 2
 I love all these people that are mind blown on these new forks. I had a 66 in 09 lol.
  • 1 0
 Italian made was plush! Rc2x
  • 1 0
 I had a 69 in 06. Those were the good ol' days.
  • 1 3
 Out of interest, why don't they use carbon crowns and steerer tubes on these forks?
  • 2 0
 unfavourable cost/benefit ratio I'd assume
  • 1 4
 @chakaping: Nothing to do with metal is stronger than carbon perhaps?
  • 1 0
 @MattP76: Don't open that can of worms.
  • 2 0
 Your obsessed bro, let it go
  • 1 3
 @foespower: 'You're'
  • 1 2
 FOX, six days of the week and twice on Sunday !
  • 4 5
 Fox for me
  • 1 3
 Fox forks are always harsh. Whats the deal Fox?
  • 3 0
 So, what did the Fox say?
  • 2 0
 @Staktup: Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding
Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding
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