Marin offers their Rift Zone Carbon in sizes small to extra-large, so fit riders from 5’3” to 6’4”. The geometry of the Rift Zone Carbon is relatively progressive amongst the shorter travel market, taking some inspiration from the enduro sector with a 65.1° head tube, 76° seat tube, 475mm reach, and 614mm stack in a size Large. The bottom bracket sits low at 31mm of drop, and the chainstays are quite tight at 425mm. Wheelbase then totals a compact 1219mm, which should retain the fun element that Marin seeks to offer with the Rift Zone.
The MultiTrac linkage driven single pivot suspension is designed to offer good big-hit capabilities and efficient pedaling. Being a “regular” single pivot design, the axle path only has a tiny 1.5mm of rearwards travel, before arcing round to around 8mm at bottom out – this should retain a snappy feeling to the handling, at the expense of stability in large compressions. There’s around 21% of progression to ensure coil compatibility. Anti-squat at sag increases from 120% to 145% as you move down the cassette, which should offer a good level of pedaling support in all gears. Anti-rise is high at 114% at sag, dropping to only 100% at bottom out, which should give a slight compression of the suspension when braking and maintain the geometry well in steep terrain, at the expense of compliance.
Marin offers the Rift Zone Carbon in a choice of three build specs ranging beginning with the $3,799 Rift Zone 1 and moving through the $4,379 Rift Zone 2 to the top-spec Rift Zone Carbon XR model tested. Marin also offers the Rift Zone Carbon as a frame-only with the XR-spec Fox Factory coil shock. The XR build spec retails for $4,859 and gets you a well-appointed build kit that requires no immediate upgrades. With an XT/SLX drivetrain, 4-piston XT brakes, and Shimano-hub wheels, things are decidedly name brand where it counts. This is the same case on the suspension front, where you get a Fox Performance Elite 36 with a Grip2 damper, as well as a Factory series coil out back. Touchpoints are all Marin branded, but leave little to be desired, as they all work quite well and match the character of the bike nicely. One somewhat unusual spec choice is the Vee Tire Co. Attack HPL tires in an Enduro casing. These are the same ones developed with Aaron Gwin over the past couple years, and they certainly make the intentions of this bike known – this is no cross-country rig.