Zealous Division MK1
Thanks to Chris of Yap Bicycle Compania, we’re putting the Zealous Division MK1 “Classic” through a long-term test. Components for the build were selected based on a “budget-performance” criteria.
Zealous Division MKI “Classic” features
(taken from http://zealousbikeco.com/)
- Patent Pending ‘Eclipse’ split seat-tube design, allowing one of the industry’s shortest 29er chainstay lengths at 415 mm, coupled with a ‘normal’ seat tube angle
- 31.6 mm dropper post compatible, includes TT & DT hose routing and Reverb Stealth capability. Triple slotted clamp area to avoid point loading and give a more secure clamp force
- Infinite mud clearance – there’s nowhere for mud to get trapped – genuinely this frame will not clog!
- Clearance for up to 29 x 2.4 tyres (tested with Maxxis Ardent 2.4)
- DMR Swopout Dropouts – interchangeable dropouts allow any type of rear wheel to be used – 135mm QR, 142 bolt-thru and even horizontals if you want to singlespeed action! (Supplied as standard with 135mm QR dropouts)
- IS slotted rear disc mounts, mounted on the chainstay for maximum braking response and clean looks
- CNC BB shell – Shimano PF BB91 – for super wide and stiff BB area
- Single ring specific design
- ISCG 05 chain guide mounts
- 44 mm headtube gives the ability to run any type of fork steerer (tapered, 1 1/8″ or 1.5″)
- Designed for 110—130 mm 29er forks. Running with a 120mm fork produces a 68° head angle
Headset: Brand-X – 44IETS (Sealed, 1-1/8″—1.5″, Tapered)
Handlebar: Brand-X (740 mm, ∅ 31.8 mm, 15 mm rise, 9° backsweep, 5° upsweep)
Grips: DMR Brendog Death Grip (Thin)
Stem: Renthal Apex Stem (40 mm, ∅ 31.8 mm)
Fork: Fox 32 Float CTD Evolution Forks 2015 (120 mm, 1-1/8″—1.5″, Tapered)
Saddle: WTB Volt Race Saddle (Narrow, 135 mm)
Seat post: Brand-X Ascend Dropper Seatpost (120 mm, ∅ 31.6 mm )
Tires and wheels
Schwalbe Hans Dampf Evo – SnakeSkin (29″, 2.35″, Folding Bead, PaceStar) Specialized S-Works Ground Control 29″ x 2.3″
Schwalbe Rock Razor Evo – SnakeSkin (29″, 2.35″, Folding Bead, Pacestar) Replaced with Specialized S-Works Ground Control 29″ x 2.1″ because the 2.35″ Schwalbes rubbed against the seat stays.
Rims: WTB Asym i-29 TCS (32-hole, 29 mm inner rim width)
Hubs: DT Swiss 350s (Front: 15/100 TA, Rear: 12/142 TA)
Spokes: Sapim – 3-cross lacing (Front: 291 mm (L), 291 mm (R), Rear: 290 mm (L), 292 mm (R))
Nipples: 14 mm Sapim Polyax Brass
Pedals: DMR Vault Flat Pedals
Groupset: Shimano XT M8000
Cassette: 11-speed, 11—42t
Derailleur: GS cage with clutch
Cables: Shimano OPTISLICK
Brakes: M8000 calipers and levers (Servo Wave / Integrated master cylinder)
Rotors: Shimano Ice-Tech (180 mm front, 160 mm rear)
With all components in, its time to build up a bike!
Fortunately, the process of building the bike was mostly uneventful, so here’s the completed bike.
There were some concerns regarding tire clearance between the stays, so the 2.35″ Schwalbes were replaced by some Specialized S-Works Ground Control tires in 2.3″ and 2.1″.
Our testing grounds for the Zealous Division MK1 was the rural Hoàng Su Phì district of Hà Giang province in the hilly and mountainous northeastern region of Vietnam, near the Chinese border. A 7-hour bus ride from Hanoi, this spectacular area sees very little tourism. Its rice-terraced mountainsides are full of untouched narrow singletracks that until now have only existed to connect villages and villagers.
Having resisted 29″ “wagon wheels” for the longest time, I was keen to experience how this “new generation” 29er would perform.
For those interested in this sort of thing, here are the maps and elevation profiles of the trails we rode.
Some snaps from the rides and of the picturesque views we hardly had a chance to enjoy because we were going so fast!
Why were we in Vietnam?
We took part in a test run for future community-based tourism activities in Hoàng Su Phì, planned by the NGOs Helvetas Vietnam and CRED under the umbrella of the destination management organisation, Vietnam Responsible Tourism (VRT) to promote community-based tourism (CBT) that directly benefits disadvantaged people in rural areas of Vietnam. Hoàng Su Phì and nearby Cao Bằng are home to many ethnic minorities that have kept their unique traditions but are also one of the poorest people in Vietnam. In addition to riding awesome trails, we also rolled up our sleeves and helped the local ethnic minority village build a sealed concrete road – part of which you can see under the blue tarp in the first picture above. The event took place from 18 to 21 May 2017.
The next event is scheduled to run in October 2017, and will take place in scenic Cao Bằng. Stay tuned!