Zen Bicycle Fabrication has until now helped other bike brands bring their designs to fruition, building on demand for others and remaining behind the scenes. Now, they’re hitting the road (and trail) with their own models for everything from road to cyclocross to gravel roads to backcountry mountain bike adventures.
The bikes will be made from either 6061 aluminum tubes or one of various premium steels like Reynolds HSS Spirit and True Temper, and you’ll have options for adding features like stealth dropper post or Di2 routing, etc.
Above, the Cross is their cyclocross model, which is one of two alloy frames. Claimed frame weight is just 1,300g with a tapered headtube, ovalized top tube and multiple axle options. It’s disc brake only, as are all the other models…
Frame retail is $1,299 and comes in six frame sizes from 48 to 62. Add an ENVE fork and the frameset’s $1,699.
If you want something a little less racy and a little more capable all around, the AR45 is the bike.
The model name stands for All Road with 45mm tire clearance. Frame is oversized True Temper tubing with a machined chainstay yoke to help keep the chainstays reasonably short while still offering plenty of tire clearance. It uses a 44mm headtube, letting you run straight or tapered forks, and it’s got a 3rd bottle mount, rack and fender mounts and full length cable housing guides. Retail is $1,399 for frame and Zen carbon fork.
Both the AR45 and Cross use their MOD dropouts that allow for standard QR or 12×142 axles.
The Zen Road is made of Columbus HSS Spirit tubing and has a proper tapered headtube with massive 44mm downtube, giving it a modern aesthetic and, they say, a very modern ride that’s a far cry from steel bikes of the past. Frame weight is 1,700g.
Other modern touches include internal rear brake cable routing, optional Di2 routing and MOD dropouts. Retail is $1,399 for frame only. Both the Road and Cross models use Pressfit bottom bracket shells, all others get threaded BB interfaces.
The Trail is their steel 29er mountain bike built around a 120mm fork. Dropper post routing and head angles between 68º and 69º depending on frame size (with 120mm fork at 20% sag) should provide plenty of license to get busy on the downhills.
The MOD dropouts let you swap in pieces depending on what type of hubs you’ve got…and help future proof them a little. Frame retail is $1,299.
For the really big, way out there days, there’s the EXP. It’s an alloy frame that’ll run 29er wheels with standard tires or 27.5 with “plus” tires up to 3.25″ wide! The raw alloy finish means you won’t sweat a few scratches, and it’s corrosion resistant.
The frame design goes beyond its geometry. The tube shaping was developed in collaboration with J-Paks, a frame bag company based in Colorado, such that they help hold the bags in the proper shape once installed. Bolt-in mounts let the bags stay stable on the frame without a bunch of straps, too. It’s got a 68º head angle across all four frame sizes, but that’s with an 80mm travel 29er fork or 470mm rigid fork. Retail is $1,250.