2022+ Turbo Levo Fox 38 or Zeb ultimate??

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
Looking to replace the Fox 36 Rhythm on my Levo.

Not sure which way to go, either Fox 38 or Zeb.

I had a 38 performance elite on my Levo expert and whilst it was a good fork to get it feeling good I had pretty much all the setting backed off.

No experience of the Zeb ultimate but had a Lyrik ultimate and found it nice and supportive but again had most of the settings backed off.

It there any point in getting a fork with the better dampers?

Thoughts?
 

Growmac

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 4, 2020
264
263
Wilts, UK
Unless you're a very large or very aggressive rider, I'd upgrade the damper in your 36s. Martin Maes, not a man known for being slow or timid, runs the 36 despite being contractually obliged to run the 38. It's lighter and works better (less stiction according to my buddy Fin who runs Full Factory Suspension).
 

yorkshire89

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
327
498
North Yorkshire
Unless you're a very large or very aggressive rider, I'd upgrade the damper in your 36s. Martin Maes, not a man known for being slow or timid, runs the 36 despite being contractually obliged to run the 38. It's lighter and works better (less stiction according to my buddy Fin who runs Full Factory Suspension).

Does he? I guess it could be stickered up as a 38...

1654515361211.png
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
Lets just say that I'm on the heavier side and that the 36 feels a bit of a noodle under my weight !!
 

Shjay

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
564
308
Kent
Manitou Mezzer Pro stiff as the 38s & lighter & currently cheap on CRC/Wiggle
 

Growmac

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Dec 4, 2020
264
263
Wilts, UK
I'm not convinced, Maes lowers look like 38's to me.

it was my professional suspension tuner riding buddy who told me, so I can’t vouch for it 100%. I did find this German language article confirming he switched back from 38 to 36 last season though:

 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
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It's not unheard of for lighter Enduro riders to run a lighter fork. Last year Nico Vouilloz swapped back to a Lyrik from a Zeb on his Emtb for EWS racing.
Pinkbike asked him about it in a recent bikecheck article (He's on the new Zeb now):

"
pb-small-dark_48x34.png
So the Lyrik was for harshness more than weight?

NV - The Lyrik was not for the weight it was just less physical to ride. It was not for the 200 g. In some sections, you can really feel the benefit of the bigger fork like if it's more downhill bike terrain. But when it's slow speed with the stiffness sometimes it's harder to ride, you maybe do more mistakes. But I have the feeling that with the Buttercups, the new air side, less friction and the hydraulic, the stiffness of the fork is less of an issue.

pb-small-dark_48x34.png
So you said it was the slow-speed stuff where you noticed the downside of the old Zeb (compared to the Lyrik). That surprises me because I thought it would be the fast, high-frequency stuff where the Zeb might feel harsher.

NV - A Lyrik when it's a slow track, really tight and slow, maybe it's a bit better because it's more flexy when there's no speed. As soon as you carry speed, the Zeb is better because it's stiffer, and more stable, it makes you feel more planted when you carry speed. The flex of the Lyrik helps a bit on slow rooty things. Grip on roots. You lose a bit when it's fast "

Full article here:

@Renton
From what you've said it doesn't sound like anything was wrong with the Lyrik or 36 you had. and there's nothing wrong with running compression almost open so long as you're still happy with performance and support is still there. it's just personal pref. I run all my forkks with very little compression damping too.
Unless you're really heavy, ride a lot of DH or an absolute pinner you may not benefit from a bigger fork upfront. And if you do then it begs the question. Why on earth are you riding a Levo? ie. fairly average trail bike rather than something far more suitable
To me, a 35/36mm stnchion fork would seem a better match for a Levo than a Zeb or 38. But don't let my view influence you.
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
It's not unheard of for lighter Enduro riders to run a lighter fork. Last year Nico Vouilloz swapped back to a Lyrik from a Zeb on his Emtb for EWS racing.
Pinkbike asked him about it in a recent bikecheck article (He's on the new Zeb now):

"
pb-small-dark_48x34.png
So the Lyrik was for harshness more than weight?

NV - The Lyrik was not for the weight it was just less physical to ride. It was not for the 200 g. In some sections, you can really feel the benefit of the bigger fork like if it's more downhill bike terrain. But when it's slow speed with the stiffness sometimes it's harder to ride, you maybe do more mistakes. But I have the feeling that with the Buttercups, the new air side, less friction and the hydraulic, the stiffness of the fork is less of an issue.

pb-small-dark_48x34.png
So you said it was the slow-speed stuff where you noticed the downside of the old Zeb (compared to the Lyrik). That surprises me because I thought it would be the fast, high-frequency stuff where the Zeb might feel harsher.

NV - A Lyrik when it's a slow track, really tight and slow, maybe it's a bit better because it's more flexy when there's no speed. As soon as you carry speed, the Zeb is better because it's stiffer, and more stable, it makes you feel more planted when you carry speed. The flex of the Lyrik helps a bit on slow rooty things. Grip on roots. You lose a bit when it's fast "

Full article here:

@Renton
From what you've said it doesn't sound like anything was wrong with the Lyrik or 36 you had. and there's nothing wrong with running compression almost open so long as you're still happy with performance and support is still there. it's just personal pref. I run all my forkks with very little compression damping too.
Unless you're really heavy, ride a lot of DH or an absolute pinner you may not benefit from a bigger fork upfront. And if you do then it begs the question. Why on earth are you riding a Levo? ie. fairly average trail bike rather than something far more suitable
To me, a 35/36mm stnchion fork would seem a better match for a Levo than a Zeb or 38. But don't let my view influence you.


I understand what you are saying but disagree with you saying I'm on the wrong bike if I need a Zeb or 38. Most of the higher spec levos come fitted with a 38, near enough all the trek rails come with a Zeb. A lot of trail bikes are now coming with the 38mm forks.

I am heavy .... Jist under 120kgs
 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
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The trek rail has a stiffer, heavier, more robust frame and geometry far more suited to harder faster riding.
I wouldn't recommend a Levo for someone of your weight at all unless for pretty tame riding. In which case a Zeb would still be overkill.
Just because some trail Ebikes come with massive forks and DH tyres doesn't mean they're the most suitable for the trail riding everyone actually does.
"Trail riding" seems to encompass everything from trail centre blue routes, XC singletrack and bridleways all the way to EWS enduro stages these days. So just be honest with what riding you actually do and to what level
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
The trek rail has a stiffer, heavier, more robust frame and geometry far more suited to harder faster riding.
I wouldn't recommend a Levo for someone of your weight at all unless for pretty tame riding. In which case a Zeb would still be overkill.
Just because some trail Ebikes come with massive forks and DH tyres doesn't mean they're the most suitable for the trail riding everyone actually does.
"Trail riding" seems to encompass everything from trail centre blue routes, XC singletrack and bridleways all the way to EWS enduro stages these days. So just be honest with what riding you actually do and to what level

The rail and levo are both in the same bike catagory: trail MTB. Both have same the same travel 160/150 with the same sort of geometry and both weigh around the same. Not sure where you have got your information from ?

The max rider and cargo weight for the alloy frame is 150kg so I'm under that.

I can ride pretty hard at times.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
5,052
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Weymouth
I would opt for the 38s but maybe the new 2023 ZEB Ultimate is comparable. On the other hand the existing range of RS forks are being discounted quite heavilly so if budget is an issue..............
 

Gary

Old Tartan Bollocks
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The rail and levo are both in the same bike catagory
That was my point bruv

They may have the same travel but they don't share the same geometry and their weights are quite different
 
Last edited:

#lazy

E*POWAH BOSS
Oct 1, 2019
1,128
1,193
Surrey
Could just go with a basic zeb select , cheap , only one compression dial and when set up well they’re as good as ! Best fork I’ve had , fox can do one ☺️
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
97
48
Droitwich
That was my point bruv

They may have the same travel but they don't share the same geometry and their weights are quite different

Again, I'm not sure what bikes you are comparing but the new rail and levo both shar the same head angle and are within half a degree on the seat angle. Weight wise they are within a pound or so depending on which model you go for. Reach and stack are almost the same too.

Again I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? The top three levos all come with a 38 fitted. Most of the rails come with a zeb.

Whyte has gone onto a Zeb for its 29er and a 38 for its 27.5 bikes.
 

Mike640

Member
Dec 10, 2021
67
52
Portugal - Sintra
I have a Levo comp 2022 that comes with a 36 Rhytm. I run it for 2 rides and immediately change for a Zeb ultimate with 170mm. its like a new bike.... I have 75kg and do a lot of Dh tracks.
 

Christian

PRIME TIME
Subscriber
Jan 1, 2019
1,579
2,264
Melbourne australia
Looking to replace the Fox 36 Rhythm on my Levo.

Not sure which way to go, either Fox 38 or Zeb.

I had a 38 performance elite on my Levo expert and whilst it was a good fork to get it feeling good I had pretty much all the setting backed off.

No experience of the Zeb ultimate but had a Lyrik ultimate and found it nice and supportive but again had most of the settings backed off.

It there any point in getting a fork with the better dampers?

Thoughts?
If you want a fork for for basic trail riding stick with a 35/36 fork.
If you want a fork for hard charging to DH trails then get a 38 all the way.
My suggestion regardless of which way you go is to get it serviced and set up to your weight/riding style as the factory build quality is shithouse.
 

militantmandy

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
231
181
Scotland
"If you want a fork for for basic trail riding stick with a 35/36 fork."

Better tell all the local shredders they're using the wrong forks! :ROFLMAO:
 

Murch

Active member
Aug 9, 2019
202
172
United States
I am lucky in that I have a Levo with the Factory 38 and a Rail with a Zeb Select +. I wanted to hate the Zeb but to be honest it felt just as good as the 38 does. I do like the fact that the 38 has both HSC/LSC & HSR/LSR adjustments but so far the Zeb with fewer adjustments feels pretty damn good and I wouldn't complain if it was my main fork.
 

Growmac

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 4, 2020
264
263
Wilts, UK
This thread has been really informative. I've found that I "ride like an old woman" and have bikes only suitable for "basic trail riding". Lucky I found out before heading off to the Alps again in a couple of weeks time! Could have been nasty! 😂
 

Bones

Well-known member
Subscriber
Apr 3, 2020
278
282
Harrogate
This thread has been really informative. I've found that I "ride like an old woman" and have bikes only suitable for "basic trail riding". Lucky I found out before heading off to the Alps again in a couple of weeks time! Could have been nasty! 😂
You can borrow my 38's because they are no good to me on my balance bike 👍
 

Murch

Active member
Aug 9, 2019
202
172
United States
This thread has been really informative. I've found that I "ride like an old woman" and have bikes only suitable for "basic trail riding". Lucky I found out before heading off to the Alps again in a couple of weeks time! Could have been nasty! 😂
Never can understand why people say crap like you have to be big or ride hard in order to use XYZ product or have X inches of travel. If you have the desire and the means, go for it and buy what you like and ride it however you like, none of them are going to be riding it for you.
 

Christian

PRIME TIME
Subscriber
Jan 1, 2019
1,579
2,264
Melbourne australia
"If you want a fork for for basic trail riding stick with a 35/36 fork."

Better tell all the local shredders they're using the wrong forks! :ROFLMAO:

😂 They probably are if they’re still on a baby 35/36 and an actual shredder.
In all seriousness though, there are so many variables to consider. I can only speak from my own experiences, hence my 2cents but I have found a 38 fork to be a much better performer/feel at 180mm/29er at 85kg rider weight.
My old Lyric got down the same trails fine but the 38 just does it without any fuss and for me that’s what I desire.
I wonder how many proper shredders here have actually rode a well sorted/tuned 38 for comparison vs just guessing. I’m guessing not many.
 

Rusty

E*POWAH BOSS
Jul 17, 2019
1,519
1,677
New Zealand
I am heavy .... Jist under 120kgs

I have slimmed down a lot since my 118kg weight, but even then I found 38s overkill. They are so rigid they made a lot of riding unenjoyable. 36s work prety well at my current weight and agressive riding.
Saying that, my temporary aquisition of an Avanti Hammer eLT2 has Rockshox ZEB Charger R, which are38s and they are pretty plush.
 

militantmandy

Active member
Jan 18, 2022
231
181
Scotland
😂 They probably are if they’re still on a baby 35/36 and an actual shredder.
In all seriousness though, there are so many variables to consider. I can only speak from my own experiences, hence my 2cents but I have found a 38 fork to be a much better performer/feel at 180mm/29er at 85kg rider weight.
My old Lyric got down the same trails fine but the 38 just does it without any fuss and for me that’s what I desire.
I wonder how many proper shredders here have actually rode a well sorted/tuned 38 for comparison vs just guessing. I’m guessing not many.

My local shredders just did pretty well in the EWS Tweed Valley. All I'm trying to say is that you can go every bit as fast on a 35 or 36 mm fork as you can on a 38mm. Personal preference is a whole different thing.
 

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