a Weekend Warrior
from Lilburn, GA
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2010
Strengths: Can be evenly coated with an inch or two of mud, and still function well. The seat was pretty nice, but I always have it dropped for the tricky stuff so it never gets used... but nonetheless. Disc brakes were very good- never, ever had a problem with them. Wheels- strong as all get-out!
Weaknesses: Front derailleur, ick! Easily bent. This might be due to my dumb riding style (trying to use an entry-level hardtail as an all mountain bike), but by the end of 5 years it was so mangled and bent I could pull it off with one hand. Didn't mind too much, only used the 3rd chainring anyway (1st and 2nd were bent :( )
I owe my love of mountain biking in equal parts to my father and this bike. The entry-levelness of this bike made it very affordable, but it had decent quality components stock (most of which still work, at least). The frame was actually pretty decent- I've abused it for 5 years, taking it on everything from smooth-rolling hardpack to 4' drops and dirt jumps. Now, I'm not saying you should do all of these things with this bike- I am a fairly light guy- but this frame can definitely take some punishment. Not as light as one a' them fancy pants cannondales ( I think the bike was somewhere in the ballpark of 30 pounds) but it held up. The front fork- well, it wasn't a great fork, but it NEVER busted on me. Never maintained it in 5 years of riding, with the aforementioned drops, jumps, etc. Not even a hose-off. Stiction is terrible now but doesn't matter on jumps or drops. The wheels- I forgot what wheels came on the bike, but they never pretzeled or bent ( besides a smallish dent in the wall which never affected anything)! Given, for years I rode with the tires inflated to around 35 PSI until I realized (sort of) all the energy I was losing and inflated them to a still floppy 45 psi. So maybe if you're a hardcore cross country rider you'll inflate them to like 60 psi or something and bend them playing all mountain or urban assault. In which case you wouldn't really be a hardcore cross country rider. So you should be pretty set on rims! Hot damn.
Pedals are cheap plastic, I hammered on them so much that the fantastiplastic spikes wore down and they fell apart around the bearing structure. Whee. Get BMX pedals or SPDs or something if you actually care about upgrading something like this bike.
This bike is a shining example of just how much you can dish out to a decently constructed hardtail:
-Obviously, it handled my first bits of biking on a full size mountain bike.
-It also handled numerous times smashing the rear into curbs when I was trying to learn to bunnyhop. I learned to bunnyhop and never squared or prizzled my rim.
- It handled my first forays into racing including the Tsali Challenge- rough, jittery downhills (with jumps) where I was amazed at how this hardtail could stack up against full sussers- the ZED passed over a dozen of them on the downhills alone. I will never underestimate a trail racer with a hardtail.
-Sounds kind of dumb, but this bike made me a better biker through doing what cheap components do best: falling apart. The front derailleur was always slipping, chain falling off... before I finally stopped riding it and took it apart, the chain would fall off if you went over a technical section or even dropped off a curb. This made me get used to adjusting it and, most importantly (and this is a very handy skill to have) made me put the chain back on a dozen times per ride. Sounds trivial, but imagine a make-or-break XC or race situation where your chain falls off. Since it used to happen all the time on your old bike, you can guide it back on there and hop on your bike again in about 5 seconds, as opposed to struggling with it for 20 seconds and having as many people pass you.
I've learned everything I know about biking from A. My dad and B. this bike. The first being a strong supporter and knowledge base, and the second being a source of real-world experience and adversity to conquer.
As an afterthought- I know this is a more qualitative review than quantitative, but it you want that you can probably look at any number of other reviews for individual parts. Whatevs. I highly suggest an entry-level hardtail like this before entering the realm of full-sussers. They [full sussers] make you faster and have more fun only to the extent that a nice bike can make you faster. A hardtail's simplicity and responsiveness, however, will keep you learning and improving, learning to counteract any of hundreds of tiny obstacles subconsciously. Go for an entry-level hardtail if you are joining this sport! Please! They're engaging and fun and a great learning experience, which is half the fun anyway.
RIP K2 ZED 2.0 ( it got taken apart, because I need a new bike. Yet another learning experience!)
Favorite Trail: Anything technical with tons of ups and downs. Yellow River. Horse trails in my neighborhood.
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: REI
Similar Products Used: None. This was my first fullsize mountain bike. Finally moving on to full suss after 15 years of hardtails (counting that lil' red tricycle I got when I was 2)
Bike Setup: Stock besides some new grips and tires, the old ones were seriously worn down. The rear tire is a panaracer I bought a couple years ago to replace the old flat kenda (yes, I skidded the hell out of it like any respectable 12 year old) forgot which model...
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2007
Strengths: The bike is overall well built
Weaknesses: front fork, derailleurs
Like stated before, this is a good beginner bike. It allows you a wide range of abuse but is just not intended to withstand serious cross country riding. If you intend to do any off road riding for more than a few months, buy a better bike. If your trying out mt biking for the first time and dont want to drop your whole piggy bank, pick up the k2 zed and see how it feels. The compenonts could definatly use an upgrade. The fork just sucks and at this time on mtbr.com it is rated about a 1.36. I have many a scars for a non-rebounding fork accident.
OVERALL good bike for beginner, bad bike for experienced rider. Save your money and buy a real mountain bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bellingham, WA
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2005
Strengths: Very good beginner bike. I have the 2005 model, It was my first mt. bike, and it has thought me many things, If i knew just how hard and how much I was going to be riding I would have spent more money. When I took it in for the warrenty tune up the guy told me that he would rather see someone spend 300 dollars and wear the bike out in three months which I pretty much did, than spend 1200 dollars and have a wall ornament in their garage.
Weaknesses: Cheap components, very good beginner bike, not meant for serious off road, or heavy trail use like here in the pacific north west, but I have logged many miles, on this bike, and don't regret any of them.
Don't buy this bike if you plan on doing any kind of serious trail riding. Spend a few extra dollers and get a better bike.
Similar Products Used: first mt bike ever, bought is because my friend had one, and it looked like a good bike, I have ridden my bro's spec. hardrock, and my roommates Iron Horse.
Bike Setup: Sun Rhyno Lite wheels, deore drive train, and a brand new, very comfortable WTB speed Laser saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from plano, tx, usa
Date Reviewed: June 12, 2005
Strengths: Great beginner bike.. When i first purchased it the sale person was like. you might want to spend a little more $$. cause you'll end up wanting to upgrade in less than a year. which i did want to, but noticed that this bike can withstand alot. and has run it's course with me as a rider time to upgrade.
Weaknesses: I've never had a problem with this bike. Besides the weaker fork that wasn't meant to take the beating that i give it.
I've had my k2 zed 2.0 for a little over 3 yrs. I have to say it's a great beginner bike for the price. I ride about 4-6 times a week (weather permitting) For the past 3 yrs never had one flat on this bike god knows i abuse it to the point that this bike is not meant to take, and yet like a faithful side kick i've never had problems with it.
Well, after many months of research, I finally broke down and had a new fork installed.
I decided to go with a 2008 Magura Menja 100mm. My LBS offered me an awesome deal, that I just couldn't pass up.
Here's a couple pics:
... Read More »
Well, it's been a little slow over here in the K2 forum, so I thought I'd post some pictures of a few of the upgrades I've done. There is still a lot to be done, but I'm extremely happy so far.
Just after I joined the forums, I posted up this picture of my stock Zed:
[IMG]http://i100.photobuck ... Read More »
I'm thinking about grabbing an extra one or 2 to keep in my pack for possible emergencies.
Since their site hasn't been updated with my model listed, I'm really not sure which one I need. I believe the bike is an 07, maybe an 06. I haven't taken the installed one off to compare profiles as of ... Read More »
I'm considering upgrading my front fork. Came stock with a Rock Shox Dart 1. Nothing special, but it works.
Couple things to consider though:
1. I ride on the street a lot, and would like something I can lock out.
2. I'm a clyde, and around 280 lbs.
3. When I do ride off road, it's m ... Read More »
is this bike any good????
here are the specs:
Frame Aluminum 6061-series, Reflex Mountain
Fork SR Suntour XCM suspensioin/ 100mm travel
Crankset SR Suntour XCC-250 22/32/42t
Shifters SRAM SX4 Trigger
Brakes ... Read More »