Not long ago, Fox debuted the 38, a single-crown air fork built for the bike park, free ride, and hard-hitting enduro races. RockShox now has their answer, the ZEB – short for Zebulon Pike, the American explorer who is said to be the first to attempt to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.
RockShox says that the ZEB is built for ‘the world’s toughest enduro tracks,” and it’s not just the brawny riders out there who will benefit from the added stanchion diameter and stiffness. The 38mm tubes have increased sensitivity, and greater steering precision. The ZEB bridges the gap between the 37mm Lyrik and the 35mm dual-crown BoXXer.
In fact, RockShox says that the ZEB is 21.5% stiffer torsionally than the Lyrik, it is 7% stiffer when it comes to side bends, and 2% stiffer in fore and aft bending. Torsional stiffness seems too be the priority here, as it should help riders stay more planted through their lines.
RockShox built the ZEB with an aluminum crown to save weight and the lower leg arch optimizes stiffness as well. There’s even a 3-bolt fender mount on the ZEB behind the arch. Stock, the ZEB can run a 200mm brake rotor. The fork can fit a max tire width of 2.8″ on both wheel diameters.
The ZEB Ultimate gets the new Charger 2.1 RC2 damper and the new DebonAir air spring, while the lower level ZEBs vary and get older Charger dampers or a Dual-Position air spring.
The ZEB base model has a two-position air spring, switching the fork from 150mm to 180mm of travel, which RockShox says will help eMTBers tackle hard climbs.
As far as fluid and hardware, the ZEB uses Maxima Plush Fluid for its suspension oil and low-friction SKF wiper seals.
The ZEB is available in 27.5 or 29-inch models, in 160, 170, 180, and 190mm of travel. The forks come mainly in in two offsets, 38mm (27.5) and 44mm (27.5/29) The fork will only have a reduced offset for smaller wheels.
Like other RockShox forks, the ZEB will be available at a few different levels; the Ultimate ($1,000 at Backcountry), Select+ (not available in aftermarket), and Select ($800, also available at Backcountry), and a new less expensive pricepoint, dubbed solely, ZEB ($700).