MTB News Mix is a weekly update of all things mountain biking where we cover new products, pro race results, trail news, and more.
Marzocchi gives the Bomber Z1 fork the coil it deserves
When Fox bought Marzocchi a few years ago, the angry M resurrected the historic Z1 fork, known for its durability and performance. That fork was, for the most part, a stripped down, heavier version of the Fox 36 with a Grip 1 damper, although the price and performance (and that little red M branding) gave the 36 a run for its money. While it was a laudable resurrection, Fox initially missed out on some of the soul of the original Z1.
Now, we are closer than ever to that soul, with a new option of the Bomber Z1 coil available as a whole fork, or conversion kit for air-sprung Z1s. The Z1 coil fork reduces breakaway force and gives the front end the desired “buttery” and sensitive feel for riders over choppy trails.
The Z1 coil uses the 36mm chassis, and the same Grip damper, but swaps out the air spring assembly for a coil spring system. The new coil is a lightweight tempered silicon-chromium steel spring, available in four different spring rates, which Marzocchi says will suit a wide range of riders, though a quick look at other coil-equipped forks shows it’s not the widest offering. The Z1 coil also has a noise management system and an air-assist to help with a more progressive rate. The travel can be changed in 10mm increments with internal spacers that are included with the fork or kit.
These features lead the fork to a 125 hour service interval, which is “industry leading,” according to Marzocchi. This doesn’t extend the service life compared to the Z1 air sprung fork however, as a full service is also recommended at 125 hours. Either way, anyone who was a fan of the original Z1 will be excited to have this as an option as well. The coil conversion kit retails for $175 and the full coil fork retails for $750.
Demo Crankbrothers Carbon Synthesis wheels from home
Carbon wheels are the priciest upgrade a mountain biker can make, and most of the time, riders aren’t able to demo them before a purchase without traveling to a demo festival. This week Crankbrothers launched a demo program along with Continental Tires to increase confidence with the pricey purchase.
Crankbrothers will ship the wheels to consumers’ homes, with Continental Tires installed, to ride for a two-week period. Riders will need to make a $500 fully refundable deposit and the program is only available in the US for its XCT, Enduro, or DH11 wheel models.
Kali Protectives launches full-face trail helmet
Want the added protection and confidence from a full-face helmet without the buckets of sweat? (Who doesn’t?) Kali Protectives now has riders covered with the Invader helmet, a lightweight, uber-ventilated helmet that surrounds heads from jaw to crown.
With a unibody construction, the Invader passes motorcycle chin bar testing. It has an adjustable visor and a Fidlock magnetic buckle, along with Kali proprietary concussion reduction system, and a low density layer (LDL). The Invader is only available in two sizes, XS – M, and a L-XXL, which hopefully will fit all riders appropriately. MSRP: $225.
Kyle Warner, Syd Schulz, and Macky Franklin join Niner team
At the end of 2019, Rebecca Rusch announced that she would be leaving Niner. Although she hasn’t announced what she’ll be riding next, Niner has brought on three new athletes.
Kyle Warner, who has chops as an EWS and national enduro racer, will be representing the Fort Collins, Colorado company, but it doesn’t sound like it will be in a racing capacity. A statement from Niner and Warner indicate that he will be representing the brand at demo festivals and events all over.
Partners in adventure Syd Schulz and Macky Franklin will also be joining Niner. The two left Jamis Bikes at the end of 2019. Schulz and Franklin race and travel regularly in their van and run a YouTube channel with regular videos, sharing their travels and more.
Commencal Enduro Team add three new riders
Cedric Ravanel manages the Commencal Enduro Team and he and Cecile Ravanel are always looking for new talent to shape the squad. For 2020, they are adding three new riders, Alex Rudeau, Laura Charles, and Alexis Icardo. Rudeau, Charles, and Icardo are 23, 24, and 16 respectively and all have strong results in the EWS or in their home countries’ enduros.
Cecile Ravanel still hasn’t been cleared to race this year, after a huge crash in 2019, so she will continue to help the newly formed team in other ways for the 2020 season.