Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

2003 Marin Rift Zone

Posted by Matt | February 2, 2006 | 7 comments so far

Matt's Marin Rift Zone

In January 2003 I decided it was time to find out what the fuss was all about with full suspension bikes and turned naturally enough to Marin.

I fancied a full suspension bike really to iron out the trail buzz that seemed to be giving me horrendous headaches after longish outings. So far it’s helped but it hasn’t stopped them.

Another plus for me was the opportunity to have a bike that climbed well, had a decent front fork and the chance to add disc brakes. Although I could have achieved some of this with the old Muirwoods frame I had, having done the sums it seemed cheaper and more fun to buy a new bike.

As with most people, the original spec of the bike was the starting point for tweaking the bike to suit me. Early tweaks included Hope Mini disc brakes (I specced them from new), new riser bars, wheels, tyres and handgrips. In addition, Marin upgraded the original pivot linkages to one piece efforts which stiffened up the swingarm nicely. See Trigger’s broom for a more recent update.

So, how does it ride? Well that’s a tricky one. At the time I didn’t have the experience of full sus to make direct comparisons but it was certainly smoother and faster than anything else I had ridden. It took me ages to ‘dial myself in’ to the RZ but after the first summer I managed to reach a point where I was relatively happy. These days, I ride it almost exclusively and can honestly say it is essentially foolproof. It may now be a bit limited in travel but for my kind of riding (cross country with some decent sized lumpy bits) it’s fine.

The fact remains that it’s me that needs to improve, rather than the bike.

Rift Zone specification (as at Feb 06)
Component Spec Component Spec
Frame 2003 Marin QUAD Rift Zone 17.5″ Headset WTB Momentum
Forks Manitou Skareb Elite Bars Easton EA50 2″
Front mech Deore LX Stem Marin 120mm
Rear mech Deore LX Seatpost Easton EA50
Shifters Deore Saddle WTB Speed V Sport
Front brake Hope Mini Pedals WTB 310
Rear brake Hope Mini Rims Mavic 317
Chain SRAM Hubs XT (front) Hope (rear)
Cassette SRAM PG950 Rear Shock Fox Float R
Chainset Truvativ Stylo XR Tyres Continental Vertical 2.3

Filed under Bikes in February 2006


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 7 comments on ‘2003 Marin Rift Zone’

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  1. Muddymoles says:

    On-one Inbred review – a humpin’ an a bumpin’ an a rollin’ an a rattlin’

    I’ve had my On-one Inbred frame sitting around my garage for about a year now. It’s the old style, pre – 456 geared frame in classic white and I’ve built it up into a nice utilitarian bike that I intended…

  2. Muddymoles says:

    2007 Orange Five

    After what seems an eternity waiting, and with a few mishaps along the way, it’s time to announce that I have now taken delivery of my new 2007 Orange Five SE from Cycleworks in Leatherhead. Thank God for that I…

  3. Muddymoles says:

    Two bikes to watch for 2009

    Bikes just keep getting better and better, and the Cannondale Moto and Commencal 5.5 look like being popular choices for 2009.

  4. Muddymoles says:

    How to improve a classic?

    Upgrading is the oil that lubricates the bike industry and Matt’s ready to play his part.

  5. Related: On-one Inbred review - a humpin' an a bumpin' an a rollin' an a rattlin' | Reviews, Bikes | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  6. Related: Two bikes to watch for 2009 | News, 2008 | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  7. Related: How to improve a classic? | Mutterings, Stuff & nonsense | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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