Built for the roughest enduro stages and the biggest e-mountain bikes, the new Rockshox ZEB is their biggest single crown fork yet. Boasting 38mm stanchions, a sharp new crown and arch design, and oversized details, it’s designed for riders who want to push the limit without pushing around extra pounds.

Indeed, for its size, the new ZEB is relatively lightweight. Coming in just a couple hundred grams (less than half a pound on average) heavier than a comparable Lyrik or Yari, it gains stiffness without gaining much weight.

With 160mm to 190mm of travel, an angular design, and multiple crown- and steerer diameters to fit oversized eMTB designs and more, the ZEB is their answer to long travel, single crown forks for the biggest, baddest trails. And, you know, that new Fox 38 fork…

But why “ZEB”?

new rockshox zeb long travel single crown mountain bike suspension fork for enduro mtb racing

Based in Colorado Springs, Pike’s Peak is in Rockshox’s backyard. American explorer Zebulon Pike first attempted to summit it in 1806, and, well, they’d already used the name Pike. So, ZEB got the nod as the fork that could tackle Pike’s Peak’s rocky, high-speed, death-defying 7,690-foot singletrack descent.

OK, how does it compare to Lyrik?

2021 rockshox ZEB enduro fork tech details

The Lyrik, Yari and Pike forks all use 35mm stanchion diameters, but the ZEB gets 38mm alloy upper tubes. These, along with the design of the crown and lowers, gives the ZEB:

  • 21.5% more torsional stiffness
  • 7% stiffer side bending stiffness
  • 2% stiffer fore/aft bending stiffness

If some of those differences seem less than dramatic, that’s be design. Rockshox says the most important number was torsional stiffness, which improves steering precision. The others were reigned in so that the fork wouldn’t feel too harsh.

Internally, the seals and bushings were all designed to deliver enough overlap without adding undue drag…an important consideration anytime you’re adding surface area by increasing tube diameters.

Rockshox ZEB tech features & details

2021 rockshox ZEB enduro fork tech details

The crown has a bit more drop than the Lyrik and Yari, giving it a 5mmm taller axle to crown measurement. So, for a 180mm fork, axle to crown measurements would be 592mm (Lyrik), 591mm (Yari) and 597mm (ZEB). This gives it just a bit more tire clearance at bottom out.

2021 rockshox ZEB enduro fork tech details

The arch juts out slightly more, which helps it clear larger diameter headtubes. That’s good for e-bikes and more robust enduro bikes that are getting bigger tube sections to handle the extra stresses riders are placing on them. It also provides more clearance when using their bolt-on fender.

debonair air spring internals for new rockshox zeb mountain bike fork

The larger 38mm stanchions create more air volume inside them, so Rockshox says you can run lower air pressures. That also means that smaller changes will have a more pronounced effect on its performance.

It uses a model-specific version of their new Debonair air spring, but shares the same gray Bottomless Tokens air volume adjusters as their 35mm stanchion forks (Pike, Lyrik, Yari, etc.).

2021 rockshox ZEB enduro fork tech details

The lowers are designed around a 200mm rotor minimum, but will work with 203mm and 220mm rotors with the appropriate spacers between the caliper and post mounts. They stuck with a 110x15mm thru axle to maximize wheel compatibility, with the option to run Rockshox’s Torque Cap hub endcaps on compatible wheels.

Four models will be offered, including Ultimate, Select+, Select and a new base model called, simply, ZEB. Except as noted in the individual descriptions that follow, shared specs for all models include:

  • 38mm stanchions
  • New DebonAir air springs
  • Ultra-low friction SKF wiper seals
  • Maxima Plush damping fluid
  • Rockshox Short fender compatible
  • 2.8″ max tire clearance (29er & 27.5″ models)
  • 160 / 170 / 180 / 190mm travel options
  • 1-1/8″ to 1.5 tapered steerer AND straight 1.5″ steerer tubes
  • Oversize crown option to aesthetically match various head tubes

2021 Rockshox ZEB Ultimate specs

All models use the latest DebonAir air spring, which maintains a higher ride height than before thanks to an updated design inside. Check out our video explanation of how that works for more details. You’ll find it on the 2021 Lyrik, Pike and other forks, too.

The ZEB Ultimate gets the Charger 2.1 RC2 damper, with independent high and low speed compression with rebound adjustment.

Available in the Signature Colorway Slab Grey or Ultimate High Gloss Black with foil graphics.

TRAVEL: 160mm, 170mm, 180mm, 190mm
DAMPER: Charger 2.1 RC2
OFFSET: 38mm (27.5″), 44mm (27.5″, 29″)
WEIGHT: 2281g (29” / 170mm / Maxle Stealth / Uncut Steerer)
MSRP: $999 | €1,089* | £969* | *INCLUDES VAT

2021 Rockshox ZEB Select+ specs

2021 rockshox ZEB select plus enduro mountain bike fork

Looking for “Ultimate” performance but don’t care about the signature colors? The ZEB Select+ has the same feature set as the ZEB Ultimate, but only comes as a stock fork on high end bikes, and only in all black.

TRAVEL: 160mm, 170mm, 180mm, 190mm
DAMPER: Charger 2.1 RC
OFFSET: 38mm (27.5″), 44mm (27.5″, 29″)
WEIGHT: 2281g
MSRP: OEM only

2021 Rockshox ZEB Select specs

2021 rockshox ZEB select enduro mountain bike fork

New 38mm chassis for increased stiffness and rider confidence
Highly-tunable DebonAir™ air spring offers a buttery smooth feel off the top and maintains a higher ride height for increased confidence in steep terrain
Charger Technology – The Charger™ RC damper features easy to adjust low speed compression and rebound

TRAVEL: 160mm, 170mm, 180mm, 190mm
DAMPER: Charger RC
OFFSET: 38mm (27.5″), 44mm (27.5″, 29″)
WEIGHT: 2270g
MSRP: $799 | €869* | £779* | *INCLUDES VAT

2021 Rockshox ZEB Base specs

2021 rockshox ZEB base model dual air adjustable travel enduro mountain bike fork

The base level model gets the same 38mm chassis, but drops down to the Charger R damper with non-adjustable factory tuned compression, but keeps an external rebound adjustment. It keeps the SKF wiper seals and Maxima Plush damping fluid, but is the only one that has their Dual Position Air spring, letting you turn a knob to go from 180mm down to 150mm for climbing, then back to 180mm for the descents.

This is mainly intended for e-bike applications, but if you really wanted a big ol’ adjustable fork, this is it. Or go for the DebonAir version in one of four travel lengths.

TRAVEL (DEBONAIR): 150mm, 160mm, 170mm, 180mm
TRAVEL (DUAL AIR): 150-180mm
DAMPER: Charger R
OFFSET: 44mm (27.5″, 29″)
WEIGHT (DEBONAIR): 2279g
WEIGHT (DUAL AIR): n/a
MSRP (DEBONAIR): $699 | €759* | £679* | *INCLUDES VAT
MSRP (DUAL AIR): $799 | €869* | £779* | *INCLUDES VAT

Changing ZEB’s travel, adding a fender…

Let’s say you get the new ZEB and want to change its travel…that’s a simple air spring parts swap. All models (except the Dual Air version) can run any of the five air springs: 150/160/170/180/190mm travel. So, yes, even though most of them state 160 to 190mm of travel, that’s the intended use. You could drop them down to 150mm if you wanted, though it’s probably overkill for anything other than an e-bike. Replacement DebonAir Air Springs are $42 (€47/£42).

The fender, which attaches with three bolts, is $20 (€23/£20), and comes in black. All models start shipping in July 2020, and you’ll be seeing OEM spec pop up immediately, too.

Stay tuned for our video review of the new ZEB fork, coming later today!

SRAM.com/rockshox

10 COMMENTS

  1. It would be really cool if they had a coil option. Thankfully Vorsprung has people covered.. at least soon they will with the Zeb.

  2. The name is terrible, Zeb is a character in Star Wars. Zebulon would have been better, or Totem, since it’s clearly the new Totem. Unless they have a new, 40mm stanchion Totem in the wings to cover every possible market segment.

      • Having done some reading, it turns out SRAM/Rockshox let the copyright on the Totem name and branding expire and someone else holds it now. I’ve also discovered that Zeb is French slang for penis. Quite how they failed to discover that over months of design and branding will have to remain a mystery.

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