Review of the 2011 Rocky Mountain Slayer 70 by NSMB.com
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Marin Attack Trail 6.9 review by NSMB.com
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Marin Mount Vision XM7 review by SPIN Magazine
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Marin Rift Zone XCR8 by Bikemagic.com
Marin’s Rift Zone harks back to the day when the company used to reign supreme in the 100mm full suspension market, being the first company to really popularise the benefits of full suspension to XC racers and trail riders alike with its classic Mount Vision.
And so as the Mount Vision has slowly increased in travel over the years, so a gap has appeared in Marin’s range at the shorter travel end. So it was with some interest that the company finally plugged that gap when it launched the 100mm Rift Zone last year.
We’ve been blatting around on the Rift Zone for a while now, and have come away impressed. Read on to find out how we got on with Marin’s most exciting bike in a few years.
The Rift Zone name has been around for ages but for 2011 the guys at Marin decided to give it a total redesign, from the bottom bracket shell up. The bike now has a more determined focus with less travel and a less swoopy frame than the 2007 model ushered in. It gets 100mm (4in) of travel, is lighter than its predecessor and, as these photos show, looks fantastic.
Made from 6066 aluminium with hydroforming used throughout, the top tube is now straight and the downtube has a gentle curve where it leaves the headtube, with both tubes are square in profile. The result is much nicer looking bike, and if you’re not a fan of the increasingly curvy tube affairs on other company’s bikes, the Rift Zone is a nice change. The large does look ‘big’ when leant up against the side of the car, a result of the straight top tube and plenty of space inside the main triangle, with the Quad Link packed down low. There’s plenty of space for a large water bottle if you shun hydration packs.
And while the Quad Link 2.0 suspension system remains essentially unchanged, it’s been repackaged in a more compact and slim swingarm and downtube assembly. The Quad linkages are now ‘Y’ shaped which reduces weight but more importantly keeps everything narrower meaning there’s more clearance for those who pedal with their knees slightly inwards.
The shock still lives inside the linkage arrangement keeping it clear of mud splattered up by the wheels. Talking of mud clearance, there’s ample around the swingarm and with less metal in the new swingarm there’s less for the mud to cling too. All cables are routed on the underside of the downtube and there’s a bottle cage mount and a full-length seat tube.
I was fortunate to test the top of the range XC8, a bike which costs £2499 and comes with a healthy specification, as you would hope for this much cash. Up front is a Fox 32 100RL fork, which once dialled in with the correct air pressure was an excellent performer. Only the 9mm QR axle was a slight downer: are 100mm bikes ready for 15mm bolt-thru axles just yet? Soon, probably, yes.
The SUNRingle Black Flag Pro Tubeless Ready wheels are a departure from the company’s usual favouritism to Hope, but they’ve proved decent performers on the trail. On to the rims were fitted Maxxis Aspen 2.1in tyres, which are fine and fast on dry or slightly damp trails but give up grip easily on more squidgy stuff. Their round profile tyre features a shallow tread pattern with small evenly spaced knobs that does prevent them from clogging up in the mud, but they’re better suited to drying trails where they promise excellent traction (read our review of the tyres here).
It’s good to see Formula’s RX brakes getting some recognition, as their short lever is a good shape and fit and they provide stacks of power but with the right degree of modulation.
SRAM supplies most of the components on the shifting front, with a 2×10 setup courtesy of an X9 chainset and shifters and upgraded XO rear mech. I’ve really become of a fan of the simplicity of 2×10, offering all the gears you really need on most UK trails, but with less shifting required you can spend more time just riding. And there’s the extra clearance of the smaller large chainring for hopping over fallen trees in the woods too.
Before I could ride the Marin I had to make one change. I often sit between sizes, sometimes finding a medium the perfect fit and other times a large is better. With the Rift Zone I tried a large, which has a 24.25in top tube. For the bikes intention the 100mm FSA stem is fine, but I decided slap on a 60mm stem. The change proved a good one, while still keeping the stretch to the bars roomy but with the bars brought closer handling was sharper and more precise, and a lot more fun too.
Yes the Rift Zone has 100mm of travel, but it’s not pitched at XC racers. Instead, a 69 degree head angle suggests Marin have aimed this bike at trail riders who want to enjoy the ride back down the hill and through technical sections, as well as flying up the climbs. It maintains a planted vibe through long stretches of singletrack and over rough terrain, with the geometry giving a sharp but not twitchy feel. It ebbs and flows from corner to corner with real joy. Direction changes come quickly with the Rift Zone, mid-corner corrections a cinch.
On the trail suspension performance is impressive. I’ve always liked Marin’s Quad design. It has a rising rate so it ramps up towards the end of the suspension stroke quite a lot, but I still got full travel as noticed by the position of the O-ring at the end of my first ride. The progressive feel gives great confidence, and it offers up tons of traction, the bike managing to scrabble up loose rocky climbs that would normally unsettle other bikes.
It’s a delight to thread through narrow singletrack, the front wheel easily hopped over rocks and the sprightly feeling endowing the rider with a sense of confidence few bikes can match. It’ll appeal to the rider wanting a surefooted lightweight XC bike with the durability that bikes in this travel category can often fail to match.
The Quad Link suspension doesn’t squat down nor get too wallowy, staying firm and responsive and never gets flustered with more demanding situations. While the Fox RP23 shock has a ProPedal lever I found the bike coped just fine with it switched to open most of the time, evidence of just how balanced the Quad Link is that it doesn’t need to rely on fancy shock tuning to make it ride well.
A great handling short travel and lightweight package that is well suited to a vast range of UK trails, with a solid package of components and an inspiring ride. One of the nicest trail bikes I’ve ridden so far this year.
Polygon Collosus CRX XTR 2011 by SPIN Asia Magazine
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Polygon Collosus FR2.0
To bring you an inside scoop of Polygon Collosus FR2.0 , Eric Toh of Rodalink Jurong Kechil spare his time to share his own personal experiences.
Q: What were your first thoughts of the Polygon Collosus FR 2.0 when you first laid eyes on it?
A: I am attracted by the floating suspension linkage and the curvy hydroformed tubings and of course the bright green colour!
Q: How long have you had the Collosus for?
A: I’m trashing it on the trails for more than 2 months now.
Q: Where do you usually ride it to and from? How do you feel at the end of each journey on the bike?
A: You will usually find me at Bukit Timah Mountain bike trails throughout the whole week. Always felt amazed by the way it handles throughout the whole ride, especially going through the rough sections. It feels really comfortable on the road too, so I also commute to work on the FR.
Q: I understand that you’re pretty active in the racing circuit. What are some of the races that you have participated in with the Collosus?
A: Yes, I had been racing for a couple of years right now and still going… the most exciting one with the FR was the Downhill race at KL mount Kiara, pretty steep and technical.
Q: Tell us how that experience was.
A: I was amazed on how ell the bike handle over the rock sections, carrying more speed fron section to section and I just hang on to it and the suspension underneath me is doing all the absorptions. Down to the last big drop, I knew I had a smooth final run. I’m pretty stoked!
Q: Why do you choose to race with the Collosus?
A: With a low leverage suspension ratio and a floating rear linkage, I’m confident that it can track over the rough with excellent control. It reduces pedal feedbacks and brakejack and gives you the control you needed in the roughs. That’s why it’s my first choice!
Q: Polygon classified the Collosus FR 2.0 as a freeride bike. Could you provide more insight of what a freeride bike is made up of, and how different it is from a mountain bike or downhill bike?
A: Freeride rigs do have a shorter wheelbase, steeper headangle and slightly higher BB height than the DH rigs. It is designed to take huge drops and gaps without breaking. You need more effort if you are using it for longer rides.
Q: What do you personally think are the advantages and disadvantages of such a bike?
A: It bring your riding to another different level where you no longer fear the rock sections, those drops that going to break your wrists. Just carry speed over the rough and you appreciate what you can actually do on the FR. The downside would be you are going to ride like a madman in the trails with blinding speed!
Q: Freeriding and freeride bikes are increasingly becoming more popular in the cycling scene, and more people are starting to pick it up. Why do you think that is so?
A: Recent years there’s a huge improvement over suspensions and linkages, shocks and forks are so tunable while the linkages on bikes now make riding so much enjoyable. Manufacturer’s are making hydroforming tubings which increases the overall strength while reducing weight! Freeride bikes no longer weights around 20+ kg but close or less than 17kg now. With so many races in the region, riders could enjoy the events without getting a specific bike just for racing and still able to do variety of riding with Freeride bikes. The main reason is it is not so sluggish as the DH rigs on gentle terrains but still able to climb like a All Mountain rig.
Q: What do you think the Polygon Collosus FR 2.0 has that no other freeride bike currently in the market has?
A: Polygon Collosus FR using a special linkage with is patented (FSS- floating suspension system) which is the only one available in the market.
Q: Stability, maneuverability, toughness, speed: rank them in ascending priority on this bike, and why.
A: Toughness, maneuverability, speed and stability. The stiffness of the bike is top notch follow closely with the rest of the 3. Its pretty agile and rails corners extremely fast and stick to the trails as if unreal.
Q: Any last words for people out there who are interested in getting into freeride biking?
A: Freeriders!! See you at Rodalink Jurong Kechil. Come and test the FR 2.0 yourself. Cheers!!
Polygon Helios F300
Known for its good quality, competitive prices and a full range of bicycles to cater to every rider, Polygon is no stranger to most. The Indonesia manufacturer has achieved various milestones over the past few years, and has gained acclaim as the OCBC racing teams’ sponsor.
Polygon Cozmic RX 2.0
Do you want a race-ready ride that is light and will not burn a hole in your pocket? A ride that makes you want to push your limits and is equipped with components that are crisps and more than just reliable?