Mountain Cycle Zen XC Full Suspension

4.42/5 (19 Reviews)
Weight : 5.9 lbs


Product Description

  • TT length 22.3"
  • Wheelbase 41.6"
  • HT angle 71°
  • ST angle 73.5°
  • Chainstay length 16.875"
  • BB height 12.5"


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Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by fselker a Cross Country Rider from Portland, OR

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2011

Strengths:    Nice cross-country bike, looks cool.

Weaknesses:    Broke chain stay on two rear triangles, but was riding pretty rough (e.g., jumping stairs) and I'm 185lbs. I reinforced my third triangle and it's been good for years. Main pivot can develop play due to poor bolt choice in their design - you can fix it if you're mechanical.

Bottom Line:   
Nice bike but a heavy guy riding technical stuff can break it.

I got spare stuff when they stopped making them - still have a new rear triangle, replacement suspension bearings, and derailleur hangers, in case anyone needs them (f selker at g mail dot com).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Similar Products Used:   Stumpjumper

Bike Setup:   I got it with nice very components due to a twist of fate.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by MarlinAbuser a Weekend Warrior from Santa Clara, CA USA

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2011

Strengths:    Made in USA, lightweight, art like welds

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This bike is a smooth and quick. I know my set up has a lot to do with how good the bike rides but I bought a frame that looked new for half the price of what a beat up Santa Cruz would've cost me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   eBay.com

Similar Products Used:   Niner Rip9, 20 years of hard tails/rigids

Bike Setup:   Fox FloatR, Fox F100RLT, Zion seat post (I believe this was Cracker69s bike), WTB Pure V saddle, Race Face Dues Bars & stem, SRAM x-9 grip shifters, X-9 RD, SLX Crank & FD, Avid BB7s, WTB SX24 rims with XT Hubs, WTB Velociraptors.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark Audette a Weekend Warrior from Auburndale, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2011

Strengths:    No suprises, agile, smooth on bumps, climbs well.

Weaknesses:    None discovered in 5+ years.

Bottom Line:   
Much to my dismay, my first MOHO I purchased in 1999 broke in 2005. I wrangled with MC for a warranty replacement. They had no MOHOs in stock anymore. First they wanted $800 for a new frame... after some violin playing they reduced it to $500. I got it the last week MC was in business in Oregon. The front derailleur is apparently specific to the Zen and no longer in production (?), so I bought the last two I could find from a shop in Michigan. The rest of the parts swapped over. I've been casual riding for 5 years but ran my first 6hr race in Lakeland, FL this past weekend. All day in the saddle and it handled like a champ. Would love to upgrade to disc brakes, but that's costly as the Marzocci is too old... would need to be replaced. If you have access to good parts for cheap and come across a blank frame, go for it. Awesome bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Carter Rd, Lakeland FL

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   MC

Similar Products Used:   Mountaincycle MOHO CXS R-series

Bike Setup:   Old parts from my broken 98 moho. Full XT drivetrain, WTB tires, Marzocci bomber/bam, shimano DH clipless

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cracker69 a Cross Country Rider from Whitefish Bay WI USA

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2008

Strengths:    Nice well designed single pivot. Unbelievably durable paint, exclusive - you don't see these in Wisconsin. Nice welds

Weaknesses:    I think constraining the placement of the front derailleur with the suspension swing link mount could have been reconsidered. Setting it up is a fiddle requiring a shortened Alan key and much patience.

Bottom Line:   
Despite being enamored with my Zen from the outset, I have waited to submit a review until I'd been riding the bike for a while. I'm 215 lbs 5'11" and ride mostly tight single track, some longish climbs, some bumpy descents. The Zen can handle all that I do very well. The frame is quite light and despite some reports to the contrary is solid in the rear end - just keep an eye on your main pivot and make sure it is snug. I have come to know how this bike will behave more quickly than my other bikes as it hands me no surprises, tracks great and climbs very well (in the saddle). On the downhills it responds to very minor body input, but is far from twitchy. The rear end will only accommodate 2.1-2.2 inch tires but I do not consider this a limitation as I have no desire or need to go larger. I have found that the handling improved with more air pressure than I normally carry in the rear shock (250 psi) and maximal rebound damping. Overall it just a cool and somewhat rare bike. The new Jamis Dakar has a design that is almost an exact copy but can carry none of the mystique of MC and will not match the customer service which is fabulous at MC.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Adrenaline Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Haro VL 120 (cool but quirky), Motobecane fantom comp (thoroughly cool-I really miss my fantom).

Bike Setup:   2006 MC Zen frame (white), Rock Shox Recon 35, Mavic 717 rims tied to XT hubs, Fox float shock, Zion seat post ($7 and the best post I've owned),WTB speed V saddle
Bontrager sport 80 mm stem, Truvative handle bars
Sram X9 8 speed twist shifter, Race face DH crank
Truvative giga bottom bracket Sram X-7 rear derailleur
Shimano deore front derailleur Avid BB7 and BB5 brakes with Avid levers, Sram 851 cassette, Continental explorer tires (which do everything well)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jrcxu a Cross Country Rider from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: July 4, 2008

Strengths:    Lightweight, great design, climbs awesome, minimal pedal bob, continuous cable housing, oh and it looks sweet

Weaknesses:    rear tire clearance, not an issue in dry CO

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, too bad they dont make these anymore...oh wait, you can still buy them, but they call it the Jamis Dakar XCR now (they're not as cool looking as the Zen though). I highly recommend getting your hands on one on these and racing it, or hanging it on the wall. Or better yet, sell it to me.

Mountain Cycle is the best bike company in the world, and yes, they're still in business. Send them an email telling them to bring back an XC bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Mountain Cycle Moho STS, Trek 6500 & 7000, Kona AA

Bike Setup:   XT/XTR, RS Reba Race

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick Coyne a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2008

Strengths:    Strong. Looks good. Rare - always attracts some comments.

Weaknesses:    Could be a little lighter.

Bottom Line:   
I've had this bike almost 3 years now. Its done short XC races, a lot of 50-100k marathon races, and has just done a 3 day 250k stage-race. It has all-day comfort and really can't be improved much. Every time I see some fancy new bike and start thinking "that would be nice", I get on my Zen and realise it doesn't actually get much better. After-sales service is good too - I recently got new shock bushings.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sani2C

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Kona hardtail, Giant NRS, Specialized Epic

Bike Setup:   Skareb Platinum 100mm '05 forks, XO shifters & r/der, Marta SL brakes, XT cranks, Shimano SPDs, USE carbon s/post, Ritchey WCS stem, Ritchey Pro bars, SLR Gelflow saddle. American Classic Disc wheels, Bontrager Revolt tyres.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Waterat Pat a Weekend Warrior from Morgan Hill, CA

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2008

Strengths:    Climbs extremely well. Nice workmanship welds are clean all cartridge bearing pivots and the rear droput has
a living hinge style design which means no maintenance. Strong looking with big headtube gussets and forged bottom bracket/pivot.


Weaknesses:    Rear Wheel Clearance is tight due to the V-Brake seat stay brace which comes within 1/8" of the tire. 5TH air shock was defective.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great XC frame. Strong agile perfect for Midwest style trail riding nothing too extreme but hey its an XC bike.
I got a smokin' deal on Ebay and found out why later. The 5th Air shock had valve cores which were too short which made filling the air chambers very difficult. Forget about getting an accurate pressure reading. Trial and error. Anyway it only lasted 8 months before it blew. With the right shock (Fox) this bike would be wonderful.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kick In The Pants

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Sugar, Yeti 575

Bike Setup:   XT gruppo with a Fox Talas up front.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Timur a Weekend Warrior from Kazakhstan

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2007

Strengths:    1. Good price for frame+shock
2. Strong frame
3. Nice painting (black ano)


Weaknesses:    1. Very little mud clearance in the rear
2. Very little room for bottle/lighting accu.
3. Cabling mounts locations are not yet perfect...


Bottom Line:   
Frame-shock does work good (oh, shock stuck in the beginning).
And God is in details: nor mud clearance, nor bottle mount location allow to call this frame "perfect".

P.S. MC does not produce XC bikes anymore.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Greenfishsports.com

Similar Products Used:   Jekyll, Gemini, FSR

Bike Setup:   Reba fork, Crossmax wheels, Truvativ Stylo cranks, LX disk brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ANDY DODSWORTH a Weekend Warrior from LEEDS, UK

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2007

Strengths:    Build quality is fantastic, top welds and features. Climbs like nothing I have ever ridden. Goes down well too.

Weaknesses:    Mud clearence is not good for UK trails, 2.1 is really the max you can use on this bike in the UK

Bottom Line:   
Amazing bike for the money, great quality, rides perfectly, most of all its fun and trustworthy, no nasty suprises. Only draw back is it is deffinatly a UK summer bike due to mud problem.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CBC NORTH VAN

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   EBAY

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Heckler.

Bike Setup:   SRAM GROUP, MAGURA ASGARD, 5TH AIR, MAVIC, HOPE, AVID

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tricky Dicky a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2006

Strengths:    Wow - stiff frame, medium size with shock & headset cups in place weighed in at 6lb 5oz (painted version). OK in the mud too surprisingly as there aren't any small gaps or holes for the mud to get into - just a big shelf behind the BB where it all collects and falls off! Top quality build. Linkages all tucked nicely out of the way and plenty of adjustment for the seatpost to be useful too. Good BB clearance & standover height. Amazing to ride but amazingly simple too!

Weaknesses:    Linkage bolts come loose on 3rd ride. Now loctited up and checked regularly. Parts of frame (gusset for seat post) are mud & water traps plus I get a lot of water retained near the BB. Decals are utter rubbish! Front mech is a pain to set up but fit and forget I suppose.

Bottom Line:   
I can't believe how nice it has been to jump on bike (210 lbs; guessed at 150psi/115psi shock pressure) and just ride and not have to faff about with settings. Bargain 2nd hand as no-one knows what they are :o)
I took a chance on this one as there weren't many reviews around last year - and I got a much better bike than I was anticipating. Go and buy one if you're a proper rider who wants an all day bike.
You'll also get noticed a lot as people have no idea what these things are!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Marin

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   2nd Hand

Similar Products Used:   I-drive. Test ridden plenty of other stuff too.

Bike Setup:   MX Pro ETA TAS, LX, Formula 4-pots, bit weighty but I am skint! Probably comes in at 30lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Axel Kiebooms a Cross Country Rider from Weelde ( Belgium )

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2006

Strengths:    You don't have to be an engineer to see the building quality is top notch. Simple suspension design and can handle a lot of situations.

Weaknesses:    Had a problem with the 5th element shock in the beginning ( it lost air when sitting on the bike ) but one phonecall to barracuda was enough to gett a new one, witch is working fine now.

Bottom Line:   
I ride this bike for a year now and everytime I like it more, if you want a well build , simple FS bike this is it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine rim ( Moab )

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Barracuda

Similar Products Used:   Litespeed Hiwassee

Bike Setup:   MX comp ETA , SRAM XO,X9 , Mavic crossmax enduro , FSA V-drive Mega-exo , Magura Louise disc brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2006

Strengths:    Quick up hill, stable downhill. Solid bike yet light weight. Overall great XC bike!

Weaknesses:    Nervous about reported problems with 5th element shock but no problems thus far.

Bottom Line:   
Compared to other bikes ridden, a great value for a bike that well out performs all bikes tested.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   The Peak, Olympia WA

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur, Cannondale Phrophet 2000, Specialized Stump Jumper FSR Expert Disc.

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT components, Marzocci Marathon XC fork, Hayes brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Wim Bosmans a Cross Country Rider from Zoutleeuw

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2005

Strengths:    It does the trick: great for endurance, a bite of downhill, long XC-rides,.... And the Vth element shock is great!

Weaknesses:    Maybe the lower mounting of the rear-suspension. It came loos 1 time, and made the bike feel very twitchy.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent bike for it's money. I hope to enjoy this one for years.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Aywaille

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Barracuda, Wavre (frame only)

Similar Products Used:   My first fully.

Bike Setup:   Mountain Cycle Zen, vth element shock, Manitou Black super Air, Hayes Nine brakes, Mavic Crossland, XT rear, LX front.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric Aldinger a Cross Country Rider from portland, OR

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2005

Strengths:    Design and quality of build.
Climbing agility. Stability. Strength. Bottom bracket clearance. Cool head tube and gussets


Weaknesses:    Front der. positioning, 5th Element.
graghics and color choices
Cable guides - fixed in 2005 model


Bottom Line:   
I like the frame a lot. I does better on technical climbs than my Schwinn (which had a Swinger shock), and feels almost as stable on smooth climbs. I would like to try a Fox Septune on the Zen!

The frame build is good and that means a lot to me. I think it sprints out of the saddle better than the Blur, but feels similiar othewise. It corners well, although the brakes and rear sus design cause more skidding than I like. This can be adjusted with the IPF volume or with better modulating brakes (like Magura Martas). I feel like I am a little too high and forward on steep decents; I think I just need to change my seat position. I swear my large frame only weighed in at 5.5 pounds.

Mountain Cycle customer service is great. They set me up with a free cable guide upgrade for my 2004 Zen, and a free sticker kit. They are also total bike freaks, so it is fun to just squander their time rambling on about bike trivia.

I think this frame will have some new coolness in 2006/7.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   That one over there

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Rocket 88, Blur, Enduro, Epic, FSR

Bike Setup:   Black Super Air 100mm
Hayes HFX Brakes, XT hubs w 317 rims
Shimano, Race Face, SRAM mixed drive train

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick a Cross Country Rider from Cape Town, South Africa

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2005

Strengths:    Plush, sexy, beefy, stands out from the crowd. Descends like a demon!

Weaknesses:    A little heavier than some XC full-sussers. But no heavier than a Specialized Epic though, and rides a whole lot better than that.

Bottom Line:   
What a machine! Rear suspension is so plush my descending has improved by 50% at least! Platform effect of shocks is good and there is no bob climbing in the saddle. Out of the saddle there is a little, I'm still playing with the settings - Currently running 110psi main, 110psi IFP with body weight of 132lbs.

The whole bike is very solidly built. One can see where the weight is - big gussets round the head tube, and very sturdy chainstays.

Will be using this bike for XC racing, mostly enduro and longer stuff. Only had the bike a few days, but I'll post a followup once I've got some serious miles on her - doing a 900km stage race in a few weeks time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Majik Forest

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4200.00

Purchased At:   Bike Hut

Similar Products Used:   Kona hardtail. Giant NRS1.

Bike Setup:   Skareb Platinum 100mm '05 forks, XO shifters & r/der, Marta SL brakes, XT cranks, SS Eggbeaters, USE carbon s/post, Ritchey WCS stem, Ritchey Pro bars, SLR Gelflow saddle. Mavic 517 rims, XTR disc hubs, WTB EpicWolf tyres.

Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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