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When Ibis introduced the Szazbo, it set a new standard for long-travel trail bikes. It was Castellano's first design, and Mountain Bike Action called it “the best of the genre” for its plush-yet-snappy feel. But that was back in the day of 63mm forks, V-brakes, and 26” wheels. We've come a long way baby! So we crossbred the Szazbo with the 29er strain, and added a gene for disc brakes. We now proudly unveil the genetically enhanced offspring.
Behold Zorro, son of Szazbo! Evolution of the Species
Big Travel + Big Wheels = Big Fun: This puppy's got even more travel than its pappy: 130mm in front and 6” out back. Add the rollability of 29” wheels and you begin to feel unstoppable. The big wheel's higher axle lifts you up and over, and the extra momentum carries you through. It's a recipe for big fun, but Zorro's also got a few more new-school tricks that Daddy-O Szazbo never learned.
Singlespeed-friendly Suspension: The Zorro is the planet's only singlespeed friendly long-travel bike. We spliced in a little DNA from Paragon's Slider Dropouts to the Fully Floating Drivetrain for a clean and pure singlespeed setup. No tensioner is required, despite 6” of travel! This was not possible without genetic engineering. The interchangeable dropouts let you set it up with gears, singlespeed, or a Rohloff hub. You sicko's can even run it as a fixie. Also the Zorro's SweetSpot® Suspension doesn't sap your power, whether you're sitting and spinning, mashing up a hill in a 32/16, or anywhere in-between.
WARNING: Riding a singlespeed is addictive. It will either kill you or make you stronger. The choice is yours. Use under adult supervision.
Bi-Curious? Perhaps you're thinking about a 69er: you might like the lighter weight and maneuverability of a 26” rear wheel. Or maybe a full 29er would be more to your liking. The Zorro lets you try both options. To switch from a 29” rear wheel to a 26”, just slide the dropouts forward to shorten the chainstays, and drop the shock bolt down one hole on the Multi-Position shock mount. In 69er mode, you can run a bigger rear tire too--like a 2.5"—giving you a setup proven on just about every dirt motorcycle on the planet. A 26 x 2.5 is actually 27” in diameter, so that makes it more like a 79er. Kind of kinky, no?
Adjustable Suspension--Different strokes for different folks: You can use either a 7.5" shock with 2” stroke, or a 6.5" shock with 1.5” stroke. The Multi-Position shock mount has holes for both lengths of shock. Rear wheel travel is 6" with the long shock and 4.5" with the short shock.
SweetSpot® Suspension--More Plush with Less Mush: The Zorro's patented long-travel suspension responds to the terrain, not pedaling input. It offers superior balancing of suspension forces, allowing big travel without robbing you of precious pedaling power. This translates into more speed. The Zorro just motors through the rough stuff, soaking up every little bump for a less fatiguing and more efficient ride. The unique combination of mega-travel with maxi-power excels in technical situations. You'll be climbing things you never could before, and feeling fresher after the ride. It's a great suspension if you suffer from back pain or bad knees.
More Plush: Zorro, son of Szazbo offers gobs of travel for traction, control and a fast, smooth ride. The patented action of the SweetSpot Suspension gives you increased travel and plushness where you need it most--in the saddle. The soft spring rate lets you sit and spin, while gobbling up roots rocks and ruts. That's one reason it works so well as a singlespeed. The Zorro's long-travel suspension tracks the terrain, getting your power to the ground. It's active over a wide speed and RPM range, from climbing nasty singletracks to powering through rock gardens, all without a hint of power loss.
Less Mush: When it's time to get out of the saddle and hammer, Zorro charges forward! The suspension automatically firms up by a controlled amount, just by shifting your weight. And that's a good thing, because it reduces bobbing. Other long-travel bikes feel heavy and sluggish when you stand to pedal. The more travel they have, the mushier they are. Reminds me of stepping on a warm marshmallow. But the Zorro never feels mushy. Each lunge at the pedal propels you forward and upward. That's another thing for singlespeeders to love. This suspension is tuned to climb as well as it descends. It remains super-efficient all the time, regardless of gear ratio or riding position.
How mush is too mush? First-generation SweetSpot bikes were designed to stiffen dramatically when out of the saddle. For example, the Schwinn Homegrown bikes were set up as tight, short-travel race bikes. Schwinn wanted them to be ultra stiff when out of the saddle, to gain time on the climbs. They had less than 2” of travel when standing. The stiffening effect was so dramatic that some people called it a “lockout”. It was a bit too much of a good thing. They worked great on a buff race course, but I thought they were a bit stiff for all around riding. But that's not what the Zorro is like either. It's tuned to be much more active, with more than twice the travel. It's not too soft, not too stiff…
This porridge is just right! With the new Zorro, the travel has been increased front and rear, and there's a more subtle difference between sitting and standing. No locking out here, amigo. It's far more plush and active, yet the super-hi efficiency that SweetSpot bikes are known for is maintained! How is this possible? Thanks to the evolution of shock design. The Zorro's suspension has been completely retuned to take advantage of platform shock technology. Everything--shock stroke, leverage ratios, travel ratios, even the geometry--has been tweaked and updated to take advantage of shock technology. It makes the Zorro even more plush, with even less mush. It's the best of both worlds, and you can fine-tune the suspension to your liking—you can set it soft and buttery, or crank in more platform to get that snappy feel. Did I mention that it's plush?
If you really like all this techno mumbo jumbo and want to dig even deeper, you can read the patent here.
Bred to Perfection: As you can see, this handmade big-wheel big-travel trail bike offers unmatched versatility--Singlespeed or gears, 29er or 69er, short or long travel--but that's not all. There are a few more hidden treasures in the Zorro's lineage:
Handmade right here in Northern California
Premium US made True Temper OX Platinum air-hardening steel
Everything's butted—Headtube, BB, and tubeset
Stiff and light thanks to the double-tetrahedron swingarm
Bomber pivot inherited from the Szazbo
Front can be built in 26" or 29" configurations
We're tooling up and figuring out our costs, and will announce the frame and complete bike pricing when available.
Yes, you can have it all--and on a Zorro, son of Szazbo, you can have it all in one bike!
Revenge of the Nerds: The Double-Tetrahedron swingarm offers the highest torsional stiffness for optimum handling and power transfer.
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