Rockshox launches Zeb: Brand new enduro forks

Rockshox launches Zeb: Brand new enduro forks
Zeb is a burly single crown fork for extreme riding (Image credit: Rockshox)

Rockshox’s new Zeb is a heavy-duty single crown fork, aimed at answering the question of what are the best mountain bike forks for enduro riders.

This latest addition to the Rockshox range positions above its traditional enduro forks (Pike and Lyrik). It also becomes the brand’s rival to Fox’s 38, launched earlier this year.

As enduro bikes have become more capable, riders are venturing onto steeper trails with more technical features. The requirements of a single crown enduro fork have become immense and Rockshox’s desire to provide a more stable steering and front-wheel terrain rolling platform triggered product development of the all-new Zeb forks.

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Although the Lyrik would be ample to most riding requirements, Rockshox’s engineers calculated that a larger diameter fork leg structure would yield benefits to those riders with prodigious technical skills.

The most significant difference between Rockshox’s Lyrik and the new Zeb, are the larger stanchions. According to Rockshox, increasing the Zeb’s stanchions to 38mm in diameter has helped to deliver 21 per cent greater torsional stiffness, compared to a Lyrik.

Beyond the notable improvement in tracking accuracy through rock gardens, thanks to the stiffer structure, Rockshox have also ensured the Zeb is adequately plush when rolling over challenging terrain and the new fork has a larger negative air chamber, facilitated by its 38mm chassis, compared to the Lyrik.

Available in both 27.5- and 29in wheel size, the Zeb can be ordered in 160-, 170-, 180- and 190mm stroke lengths. The 27.5in Zebs have a 38mm offset, whilst the 44mm offset, which is standard on the 29in version, is optional for the smaller wheel size forks.

Zeb Ultimate offers lots of adjustment

Zeb Ultimate offers lots of adjustment (Image credit: Rockshox)

Broad choice of dampers

An array of dampers are on offer with the new fork. Riders who desire obsessive tuneability can choose those derivatives with the Charger 2.1 damper, which has externally adjustable rebound and both high- and low-speed compression dials. This configuration is present in the Zeb Ultimate.

The mid-range Zeb Select+ version retains a Charger 2.1 damper but foregoes externally adjustable high-speed compression. There is also a Zeb Select, which replaces the Charger 2.1 internals with an RC damper.

For enduro riders on a budget, there is a base model which uses an R specification damper, featuring only adjustable rebound. This version of the Zeb is primarily aimed at e-bike riders, where compression firmness for steep climbs, can be less of an issue.

Rockshox is claiming a 2281g median weight for the new Zeb, using its 170mm 29in version as a reference. One of the fork’s cleverer design details is an integrated fender mount, whilst Rockshox has also selected SKF low-friction seals as factory fitment on all Zebs.

In terms of standards and component convergence, the Zeb will accept a tyre up to 2.8in wide, but will not run a brake rotor smaller than 200mm in diameter.

Rockshox is offering three of its new Zebs as standalone fork purchase options. The Select+ will only enter the market as a factory fitment, by various frame brands.

The base version retails for $699, a Select specification increases the price to $799, whilst the range peaks at $999 with the Zeb Ultimate.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.