The 2023 Marin Rift Zone alloy mountain bikes are all-new from the ground up, but they call it an evolution, not a revolution. The goal was to simply take one of their most popular models and make it more capable without changing its playful character.
Travel is bumped up 5mm to 130mm in the rear, with longer 140mm forks on all full-size bikes, and 130mm forks on junior bikes. The geometry was modernized with a 1º steeper seat tube and 0.5º slacker head angle, and 430mm chainstays across the board.
This aligns the model across 29er, 27.5, and Junior (24/26) models…giving them each the same kinematics, look, and feel for all wheel sizes. It makes for great “adult” bikes, and even better kids’ bikes.
The new “Rifty” has a slightly higher initial leverage ratio and larger volume canister for good small bump compliance. A very linear overall curve keeps it predictable throughout the travel. Anti-squat is about 112% at 30% sag, with virtually flat anti-rise to avoid brake jack.
It all adds up to suspension good enough fro Martha Gill to take the win at the 2022 Crankworx Rotorua Dual Slalom on this bike.
The Series 3 aluminum frame gets new, more shapely tubing and forgings for a sleek modern look.
Internal routing and good cable management with smooth, braze-in cable ports not only look good, they eliminate cable rattle.
Chainstay and seatstay protectors also help keep it quiet, and even the forged rear dropouts have cleanly integrated exit ports. Other features and updates include a SRAM UDH hanger and ISCG tabs around a threaded bottom bracket shell.
The bikes fit up to 2.5″ tires, shown here with the Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ that come stock on the top model.
What about the carbon models?
For now, the carbon Rift Zone bikes, which were added to the line in 2019, carry over unchanged, still with 125mm rear travel and 130mm forks. But you can probably see where this is headed.
29er & 27.5″ models & pricing
Rift Zone XR – stands for Extra Rad, gets even better suspension, drivetrain, Maxxis Assegai 2.5″ MAXX TERRA tires with EXO casing, Shimano dropper lever that mounts directly to the brake lever clamp for a cleaner cockpit. A Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain with M420 4-piston brakes, Fox FLOAT X rear shock, and Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork complete the package. MSRP is $3499 (€3,499).
All three adult models come in S/M/L/XL frame sizes with your choice of 29er or 27.5″ wheels and tires.
Rift Zone 2 – Gets Vee Flow Snap 2.35″ tires with stickier compound, FSA Comet cranks, a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork and Rockshox Deluxe Select RT Debonair rear shock, with a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain. One colorway for $2399 (€2,599).
Rift Zone 1 – The base model gets X-Fusion forks, which let them spec a fork with an alloy stanchion and closed cartridge damper at the lowest price point. Has a rigid seatpost and a QR rear axle. MSRP is $1,799 (€1,999), available in two colors and an XS size.
All come with Marin’s new lock-on grips, which have a thumb indent and grippy, siped texture that worked well.
And they all get Marin’s own wheels, pre-taped for tubeless, with tubeless-ready tires. Just add valve stems and sealant and you can go tubeless.
Shimano 200-series hubs on 1/2, Deore non-series hubs on XR. Pinned rims on lower two, sleeved alloy rims on XR, all are 29mm internal width. Overall a very upgrade-worthy frame.
Upgraded Junior models for the kids
Geometry is a bit different for the smaller bikes, with a 65.5º head angle, 76º seat angle, and 425mm chainstays.
The Junior and base level “1” come with a proprietary bolt-in 9mm rear axle to keep costs low, but both are upgradeable to a standard Boost 148×12 boost thru axle on both, too. Yes, Boost on a kids bike, which makes it easier to find parts since non-boost MTB hubs are getting harder to find.
26” and Junior (24″) bikes’ X-Fusion Velvet forks get a damper that’s tuned for lighter riders so it’s more compliant and actually works for smaller riders. The JR gets 155mm cranks, 26” gets 170mm cranks. MSRP is $1799 for both.