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May 26, 2022, 9:56 p.m. -  Pete Roggeman

Rider weight, style, aggression, terrain... Mandell told us that Isabeau Coudurier uses a ZEB despite having the option to run a Lyrik at 160 or (last year at least) 170mm. She's very short (I think not much more than 5'1 or 2) and certainly a lot lighter than 160lbs. Certainly aggressive and rises gnarly terrain at a high level though.  I'm not here to tell you what you should run - or want to run - but I went from what seemed like a perfectly stiff and capable Fox 36 (that I never felt was flexy) on my Enduro to a 38 and the added stiffness was immediately noticeable and translated to performance gains. All of a sudden line choices in off-camber sections stuck and were more precise and the bottom of chutes and g-outs were smoother and easier to manage. It's not that a 36 can't handle it, but the 38 is just better. If you're riding terrain that necessitates 170mm of travel, that ZEB will handle better whether you're 160 lbs or 200 (or 110). If you can, grab a bike equipped with 38mm stanchions and give it a try so you can feel it for yourself.

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