Levo Gen 3 ZEB or Fox 38 upgrde for my LEVO Carbon Comp - help me decide!

marlon83

New Member
Nov 5, 2022
5
2
san clemente
Finding the limits of the 36 Rhythm - both the ZEB and 38 sound like great options. I'm 230lbs and ride on the more aggressive side. Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks
 

marlon83

New Member
Nov 5, 2022
5
2
san clemente
What limit of the 36 are you hitting? Smashpot is a decent upgrade if you are open to that?
Thank you for the response - I should've been more clear. The chasis has noticeable flex - especially on sustained steeps or in hard braking zones. My weight plus TRPs on 220 rotors all being isolated into a 36 chaisis might be a bit much!
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
706
483
Australia
How are you noticing this flex?

I'm just trying to ascertain if it's marketing flex you are feeling or actual chassis flex causing problems (and what are they?).
 

KnollyBro

E*POWAH Elite
Dec 3, 2020
894
2,219
Vancouver
Thank you for the response - I should've been more clear. The chasis has noticeable flex - especially on sustained steeps or in hard braking zones. My weight plus TRPs on 220 rotors all being isolated into a 36 chaisis might be a bit much!
Flex is flex and if you are unsettled using an XC/Trail fork to ride DH then buy a Fox 38 Grip 2 if you like to fiddle with dials. Buy an Ohlins RXF38 M.2 AIR if you want the best fork with the least fuss as setting up ramp up/bottoming out is much easier as it done with air pressure instead of volume spacers.
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
706
483
Australia
Flex is flex and if you are unsettled using an XC/Trail fork to ride DH then buy a Fox 38 Grip 2 if you like to fiddle with dials. Buy an Ohlins RXF38 M.2 AIR if you want the best fork with the least fuss as setting up ramp up/bottoming out is much easier as it done with air pressure instead of volume spacers.
Wasn't long ago that a 36 chassis was stiff enough for everything now the marketing says otherwise and you believe them lol.

Yes an Ohlins 38 is sweet. Way better than a Fox anything.
 

paquo

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2018
463
283
usa
i am riding with a 2021 zeb select plus 160 (second level down) so no buttercups or high end damper and a 2022 fox 38 factory 170. The fox is the bomb. I didnt expect that because my old bike with the fox 36 grip was harsh. The 38 is so supple off the top and you can tune it anyway you want from there
 

Durrti

Active member
Aug 22, 2021
148
152
California
I have both a 38 and the new Zeb, and both are are super nice. Blindfolded I’m not sure I could tell you the difference. The old zeb was hot garbage though!
 

Privateerjon

Member
Jul 24, 2022
28
35
Bristol
I notice the flex on the 36 and I’m only 175 lbs so not surprised to read this, came from a lyrik ultimate previously and felt a fair bit stiffer.

An upgrades on the list in the future for me.
 

KnollyBro

E*POWAH Elite
Dec 3, 2020
894
2,219
Vancouver
Wasn't long ago that a 36 chassis was stiff enough for everything now the marketing says otherwise and you believe them lol.

Yes an Ohlins 38 is sweet. Way better than a Fox anything.
Wasn't long ago I was riding a Fox 40 200mm fork to ride real DH trails at Whistler. I can ride most of the same trails on a Fox 36 180 mm single crown fork but there was a noticable difference. I rode Whistler last summer on a Kenevo SL with a Fox 38 180mm and it seems to feel quite similar to the Fox 40. I have an Ohlins 36 170mm on my Levo SL which I have ridden at Whistler. Both my SLs are similar in weight but I prefer the stability I feel of the Fox 38 over the Ohlins 36.
What is your experience when comparing a Fox 36 and a Fox 38 or Zeb 38? If a Fox 36 was stiff enough for everything, why did they make a Fox 40 and not stick with the Fox Totem?
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
706
483
Australia
Wasn't long ago I was riding a Fox 40 200mm fork to ride real DH trails at Whistler. I can ride most of the same trails on a Fox 36 180 mm single crown fork but there was a noticable difference. I rode Whistler last summer on a Kenevo SL with a Fox 38 180mm and it seems to feel quite similar to the Fox 40. I have an Ohlins 36 170mm on my Levo SL which I have ridden at Whistler. Both my SLs are similar in weight but I prefer the stability I feel of the Fox 38 over the Ohlins 36.
What is your experience when comparing a Fox 36 and a Fox 38 or Zeb 38? If a Fox 36 was stiff enough for everything, why did they make a Fox 40 and not stick with the Fox Totem?
My experience with Fox 36 forks are that I generally don't like them because I make them creak at the sight of a downhill and they are very sensitive to bushing size tolerance which can lead to them feeling a little like noodles because of the stanchions slapping around in the bushings. I'm just asking questions of the OP to get an idea of what sort of rider they are and how hard they ride. Flex could be felt whilst seated and paddling down a hill with brakes locked on (I had a guy tell me his fork flexed like fuck and he needed a 38 because of it.....then I rode with him and I discovered how he rode....felt sorry for that bike lol he had no idea).

Fox 38 has a reasonable air spring but the grip2 damper is a roll of the dice due to manufacturing tolerance variations and can need mods to get the VVC working within range and have some meaningful damping. Then there's the usual bushing tolerance variations. Plus it's a Fox...

Haven't ridden an RXF38. Did have an RXF36 briefly and that was great until the bushings opened up and it rattled like a sausage in a tunnel.

Have only limited experience with a Zeb.

Currently running a Manitou Mezzer, an Intend Flash and a Suntour Durolux. The Durolux was bought as a back up fork because I generally make single crown forks creak quickly and these just don't creak ime and bang for buck these are sensational.

The Intend is super supple and totally consistent. It is stiff fore and aft like a dual crown but the lateral flex allows for incredible tracking and really helps with an area I think the 38 forks suffer from, body fatigue. I am definitely less fatigued after a big day of riding with the Intend fitted than with the Fox 38.

To answer the OP question straight away and having only a Zeb and a 38 to choose from I would say get a Zeb. Then fit a Secus to fix the air spring and get the bushings sized. Fox can eat a big bag of d......
 

KnollyBro

E*POWAH Elite
Dec 3, 2020
894
2,219
Vancouver
My experience with Fox 36 forks are that I generally don't like them because I make them creak at the sight of a downhill and they are very sensitive to bushing size tolerance which can lead to them feeling a little like noodles because of the stanchions slapping around in the bushings. I'm just asking questions of the OP to get an idea of what sort of rider they are and how hard they ride. Flex could be felt whilst seated and paddling down a hill with brakes locked on (I had a guy tell me his fork flexed like fuck and he needed a 38 because of it.....then I rode with him and I discovered how he rode....felt sorry for that bike lol he had no idea).

Fox 38 has a reasonable air spring but the grip2 damper is a roll of the dice due to manufacturing tolerance variations and can need mods to get the VVC working within range and have some meaningful damping. Then there's the usual bushing tolerance variations. Plus it's a Fox...

Haven't ridden an RXF38. Did have an RXF36 briefly and that was great until the bushings opened up and it rattled like a sausage in a tunnel.

Have only limited experience with a Zeb.

Currently running a Manitou Mezzer, an Intend Flash and a Suntour Durolux. The Durolux was bought as a back up fork because I generally make single crown forks creak quickly and these just don't creak ime and bang for buck these are sensational.

The Intend is super supple and totally consistent. It is stiff fore and aft like a dual crown but the lateral flex allows for incredible tracking and really helps with an area I think the 38 forks suffer from, body fatigue. I am definitely less fatigued after a big day of riding with the Intend fitted than with the Fox 38.

To answer the OP question straight away and having only a Zeb and a 38 to choose from I would say get a Zeb. Then fit a Secus to fix the air spring and get the bushings sized. Fox can eat a big bag of d......
My experience is limited to several Fox 40s, Fox 36s, a couple of Rockshox Boxxers🤮 and more recently a couple of Fox 38s and a couple of Ohlins RXF 36s. The OP lists San Clemente as their home base which is possibly closer to Australian style trails (Thredbo much?) than where I ride, from what my Aussie friends tell me. When the OP said " I'm 230lbs and ride on the more aggressive side." my mind went to my bro who weighs in a little heavier and the chunky gnar we have around here. My friend breaks everything given enough time. He did have a Manitou Dorado that held up to his abuse for a several seasons. For everything else, timely maintenance seems to hold my bike suspension together. So far, Fox forks have been solid on my bikes but I would pay extra for Ohlins if they were available. I also liked Cane Creek air shocks but got fed up with the cost of the maintenance as I was always wearing something out on them.
 

upperoso

New Member
Nov 5, 2022
36
9
USA
Finding the limits of the 36 Rhythm - both the ZEB and 38 sound like great options. I'm 230lbs and ride on the more aggressive side. Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks
Similar in weight. I substituted a Fox 38 for the Rhythm on my new Turbo Levo Comp from the get-go. It was a good move! I fight my Fox 36 on my Ripmo more than the the Fox 38 on the Turbo Levo. I ride aggressively and favor technical terrain. I point the Levo most anywhere and the handling/feedback does not surprise me.

Honestly, I did not spend any time looking at the options. The local bike shop managed the swap at a fair price. I do wonder about the other forks mentioned here. Not too much though. I figure to spend more time considering and investing in a coil shock which is what seems to be the limiting factor to more mischief.
 

hainman

Member
Apr 8, 2021
72
42
Glasgow
I’m on my second set of Zebs on my second bike
Orbea wild Fs came with factory 36’s and to be honest all the settings were beyond me,Not a rider I could be if it from the top end
Went for Zeb select on my Orb and they were great!
Bought a whyte E-160 and it came with Zeb R which I thought would be underwhelming but nope,nice supple great forks
In terms of the Zebs I reckon the 38 performance or similar would do me fine,To many settings for grip2 damper
 

Renton

Member
Aug 4, 2021
124
68
Droitwich
SO Ive had both forks mentioned so in a good place to comment.

The Fox 38 performance elite I had on my expert was great, I really liked it. I found it sat high in its travel and was very composed over stuff.

The 2023 Zeb Ultimate I currently have is the polar opposite (ITs in for warranty at the moment) Its harsh, spiky and sinks into its travel. I have to pull on the bars constantly to get it to return to its proper travel.

The shop said they could feel it wasnt right straight away and have sent it off to RS to have a look. Fingers crossed it comes back sweet.

For info Im 17 stone so quite heavy.
 

mtbbiker

Active member
Sep 15, 2018
111
114
Murrieta
220lbs & ride aggressively just across the Ortega hwy from you and Greer is my main area to ride. My latest forks are: Mezzer, Dorodo, 2021 Fox 38 factory with coil springs and my latest 2022 Fox 38 Factory 180mm grip 2. Really close to Fox’s recommended settings and pretty darn happy with this fork. Routinely go to Woods and hit the crazy steep trails there and all the forks felt good there this latest 2022 Fox 38 feels really good there. I haven’t tried the Zeb, no comment there. But you can’t go wrong with the 38.

My reasoning for all the different forks, I have two ebikes: Gen 2 Levo and 2021 Kenevo mullet. The Levo has the Mezzer on it. The Kenevo had the Dorodo and that fork is pretty awesome when pointed downhill, not bad for climbing. I wanted to make my Kenevo a better all around ebike. My brother had a spare 2021 Fox 38 Factory at 180mm with Vor spring kit. Nice fork, pretty close to the Dorodo, made the bike lighter and easier to turn. Goes uphill better, but yet still kills the downs.

Since this was my brother’s fork, I bought my own 2022 Fox 38 Factory at 180mm. Surprised at how good it felt stock vs my brother’s with the coil spring upgrade. I had already bought the Avalanche hybrid spring kit, before riding the stock 38, thinking I needed the coil spring. Honestly it rides pretty darn good stock, had I tried it before, I probably wouldn’t have ordered up the hybrid spring kit from Avalanche. Since I already bought it, the hybrid kit will be here in about 2 weeks. I’ll update my post after a few rides on the hybrid spring kit. I also am sending out to Avalanche a Marz coil over shock to get his special work over: steel shaft upgrade, new internals and upgraded bottom out mcu!
 

Jag009

New Member
Sep 9, 2022
106
57
Loch lomond
My experience with Fox 36 forks are that I generally don't like them because I make them creak at the sight of a downhill and they are very sensitive to bushing size tolerance which can lead to them feeling a little like noodles because of the stanchions slapping around in the bushings. I'm just asking questions of the OP to get an idea of what sort of rider they are and how hard they ride. Flex could be felt whilst seated and paddling down a hill with brakes locked on (I had a guy tell me his fork flexed like fuck and he needed a 38 because of it.....then I rode with him and I discovered how he rode....felt sorry for that bike lol he had no idea).

Fox 38 has a reasonable air spring but the grip2 damper is a roll of the dice due to manufacturing tolerance variations and can need mods to get the VVC working within range and have some meaningful damping. Then there's the usual bushing tolerance variations. Plus it's a Fox...

Haven't ridden an RXF38. Did have an RXF36 briefly and that was great until the bushings opened up and it rattled like a sausage in a tunnel.

Have only limited experience with a Zeb.

Currently running a Manitou Mezzer, an Intend Flash and a Suntour Durolux. The Durolux was bought as a back up fork because I generally make single crown forks creak quickly and these just don't creak ime and bang for buck these are sensational.

The Intend is super supple and totally consistent. It is stiff fore and aft like a dual crown but the lateral flex allows for incredible tracking and really helps with an area I think the 38 forks suffer from, body fatigue. I am definitely less fatigued after a big day of riding with the Intend fitted than with the Fox 38.

To answer the OP question straight away and having only a Zeb and a 38 to choose from I would say get a Zeb. Then fit a Secus to fix the air spring and get the bushings sized. Fox can eat a big bag of d......
Did Fox bully you as a kid ? :ROFLMAO:
 

stage 4 steve

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
3
1
Lincoln
Finding the limits of the 36 Rhythm - both the ZEB and 38 sound like great options. I'm 230lbs and ride on the more aggressive side. Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks
I rode a 38 on my e160 whyte, but changed to a zeb 29r. I found the zeb gave me a pusher ride.. both are capable forks , just horses for courses, I am 120kg in bike kit.
 

Lee Dove

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2018
304
273
Scotland
I would say if you are having flex issues with a 36 then a 38 will give a Levo chassis a real hard time. Are you sure it is the fork not the frame or wheels?
 
Last edited:

Jimmy22

Member
Dec 25, 2021
12
4
Calgary
Finding the limits of the 36 Rhythm - both the ZEB and 38 sound like great options. I'm 230lbs and ride on the more aggressive side. Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks
Had the same issue (210 lbs), went with 170mm factory 38’s on my comp and they are fantastic - far more rigid and supple than the 36’s! On the rear I went for an x2, regretting not getting the cascade long shock kit as a more progressive linkage would be an upgrade.
 

Robstyle

Active member
Nov 17, 2021
110
129
New Zealand
I totally get where you're coming from OP, I was in a similar position myself recently.
I was actually going to get a mezzer pro, but none in stock! So I went with a '23 zeb instead. Availability and serviceability were a huge drawcard. You can buy them everywhere!
The best thing about the zeb for me once installed was how fast it was to setup, recommend settings are pretty bang on.
It was exceptionally good out of the box, I've had a bit of time setting suspension up with telemetry so I'd like to think I know what I'm doing now lol.
It's a super stiff chassis too, feels 99% like a dual crown.
I took it to the bike park earlier this week and did all the usual tracks, it was bloody phenomenal! I only missed the dual crown on one fast section of roots. Blew my mind! So much so that I don't think I'll put a dual crown on my bike any more.
 

NewLifeLevo

Member
Sep 23, 2019
21
34
Victoria, BC, Canada
My 0.2 cents. Everyone's mileage differs (Rider skills, Setup, trails ridden, etc.). 19 Levo comp stock fork = crap + flex = unsafe The real shock and (combined) setup is critical to get suspension kinematics working right and this means feeling / function / comfort of the fork. The biggest single change was the Ohlins rear shock, just saying.
1. Fork #1 Fox 36 was much better but setup a challenge ( upgraded Fox air shock)
2. Fork #2 Fox 36 Factory e-bike version = level of magnitude increase in feel and comfort and setup was much easier (now with Ohlins shock) - such a great balance with the suspension just working so well - then I get greedy (Yup, should have stopped here!) and believed a Fox 38 is the next best thing (keep in mind I'm not the most aggressive rider nor big jumps, ride challenging trails here in BC, about 210 ready to ride)
3. Fork #3 Fox 38 Performance Elite (like Factory - Kashima); Noticeable strength difference increasing comfort and even more fun. Never managed to get the seamless balance and smoothness as with the Fox 36 (#2). So many adjustments later, it improved but never great.
4. Fork #4 2023 RS Zeb ULtimate (sidebar: having ridden only Fox since departing the original Lyric), going back to "my roots"? Rode Cumberland (Vancouver Island) 1st time and with standard factory settings, the fork felt so much better than the Fox 38, I couldn't believe it. Nothing is perfect and it needed more time to break in. So buttery (pun intended) smooth. No stiction, progressive and yes rides more in the middle of the stroke (like other current RS's I'm told) provides more control, comfort and fun which means I go faster! Okay, wait a minute. Too early to tell, right? Wrong. Same impression and better after another 100km of BC trails and fast downhills. Remember. a session I learned on the Levo was how critical it is to have the rear suspension and front working together.
 
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cappuccino34

Active member
Nov 24, 2020
530
329
Helmshore
EXT ERA V2.
I've got various Foxs on different bikes and Zeb unlimates RC2 on another bike and none come close to the EXTs.
Plus you don't get the steerer tube creaks because it's the fork crown taking the forces directly into the lower bearing, not the steerer tube via the joint between the two.
 

gapago

Member
Apr 21, 2022
12
2
california
I have both a 38 and the new Zeb, and both are are super nice. Blindfolded I’m not sure I could tell you the difference. The old zeb was hot garbage though!
On the trail what did not like about the old Zeb? Thanks I like mine but is inconstant with neg air build up.
 

upperoso

New Member
Nov 5, 2022
36
9
USA
I would say if you are having flex issues with a 36 then a 38 will give a Levo chassis a real hard time. Are you sure it is the form not the frame or wheels?
There is of course some relationship b/w the frame, wheels and fork. The Fox 38 is more than a little beefier than the Fox 36.
From a distance, both of these forks look identical. But closer up, you’ll notice that the 38 just looks a bit more robust with it’s thicker stanchions and chassis. The names say everything: The Fox 36 has 36mm diameter stanchions and the Fox 38 has, you guessed it, 38mm diameter stanchions. Also the 38 has an elliptical steer tube with more material on the front and rear of the inside of the steer tube, whereas the 36 has a standard round steer tube. These factors mean the 38 is 17% stiffer fore aft and 38% stiffer torsionally compared to the 36.
Best guess is that most people posting here, esp. those that are 220lbs+/100kg+ or heavier, will benefit from more fork.
 

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