2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (2024)

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Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Mar 20, 2023
  • #1

Hi guys. Do you think that it is worth upgrading from 2022 Zeb Ultimate to 2023? I am quite happy with the 2022 but no matter how I set it up there is always something missing in mid stroke support which seems to be the biggest improvement of the 2023 Zeb based on reviews.

Shjay

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2019
835
491
Kent
  • Mar 20, 2023
  • #2

I would fit a vorsprung Secus over the 23 version. Aftermarket upgrades work so well. I have run a Smashpot on a fork, Yari up & Novy Splug all have performed very well improving the forks handling considerably

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Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Mar 20, 2023
  • Thread starter
  • #3

Shjay said:

I would fit a vorsprung Secus over the 23 version. Aftermarket upgrades work so well. I have run a Smashpot on a fork, Yari up & Novy Splug all have performed very well improving the forks handling considerably

I am considering a Smashpot or a Secus but I have some issues finding them available in Europe.

RustyIron

E*POWAH Elite World Champion

Subscriber

Jun 5, 2021
1,615
2,516
La Habra, California
  • Mar 20, 2023
  • #4

Paris Doo said:

Hi guys. Do you think that it is worth upgrading from 2022 Zeb Ultimate to 2023? I am quite happy with the 2022 but no matter how I set it up there is always something missing in mid stroke support which seems to be the biggest improvement of the 2023 Zeb based on reviews.

As you know, the entire damper is completely different on the 2023. For that reason, I'd prefer the new one rather than an old one with some add-on parts that are intended to remedy deficiencies. I considered the new Zeb Ultimate to be a pretty bit expense. But when I subtracted the amount I was able to get for my old fork, the cost wasn't so great. Go with the 2023; you know you wanna.

Emailsucks98

Active member
Nov 12, 2020
311
364
Bellingham Wa
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • #5

Paris Doo said:

Hi guys. Do you think that it is worth upgrading from 2022 Zeb Ultimate to 2023? I am quite happy with the 2022 but no matter how I set it up there is always something missing in mid stroke support which seems to be the biggest improvement of the 2023 Zeb based on reviews.

I've got a 2023 Zeb Ultimate and I am very very impressed with it. I've got a fox factory 38 on my meat bike for comparison, and have had several lyriks too. The main noticeable advantages of the 2023 Rockshox stuff;
Amazing mid-stroke support. The buttercups make it feel almost underspring on trail chatter, but it only uses full travel on biggest hits, rides high otherwise. I added one token. It's also amazingly quiet.
If I was going to do it again, I might get the Lyrik Ultimate since I'm on a fuel EXE. The extra weight of the zeb probably takes my range down 2%.

volts

Active member
May 15, 2018
342
262
DK
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • #6

Newer is not always better. I think the 2.1 damper is better, but I like the 2023 spring better. However it is so much more progressive that if you are a lighter rider and need 180mm it may be too progressive for you.
I'd also 100% get a 2022 with secus over 2023, but if you have a 2022 and are on a budget, get a 2023 spring instead.
I don't think the buttercups do a whole lot.
Chassis on 2023 is better though. Bleed ports are kind of meh for me, but the extra long bushings on the lower legs is a very nice addition overlooked by most.
That being said, I think Manitou Mezzer Pro is the superior fork, better than both Zeb 2022 and 2023.

Gyre

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2021
629
420
Pasadena, CA
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • #7

RustyIron said:

As you know, the entire damper is completely different on the 2023. For that reason, I'd prefer the new one rather than an old one with some add-on parts that are intended to remedy deficiencies. I considered the new Zeb Ultimate to be a pretty bit expense. But when I subtracted the amount I was able to get for my old fork, the cost wasn't so great. Go with the 2023; you know you wanna.

Subjective experience here with Zeb/Secus - Secus in general never really blew me away. The one exception was one amazing day right after a lower service and full Secus rebuild, but by the second day it was back to normal. I'm hoping to get a chance to test back-to-back with a 2023 Zeb later in the year and will report back if it happens.

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Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • Thread starter
  • #8

Thanks for the feedback guys. I have a the Zeb with 2.1 damper so I wonder if it would make sense just to change the air spring and get the mid stroke support benefits since I usually have both low & high speed compression open.

volts

Active member
May 15, 2018
342
262
DK
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • #9

Paris Doo said:

Thanks for the feedback guys. I have a the Zeb with 2.1 damper so I wonder if it would make sense just to change the air spring and get the mid stroke support benefits since I usually have both low & high speed compression open.

You will definitely get more midstroke and also ride higher. If you still is unhappy with the fork after getting the spring, you didn't lose a whole lot of money so very low risk and potentially saves you a lot of cash.

Emailsucks98

Active member
Nov 12, 2020
311
364
Bellingham Wa
  • Mar 21, 2023
  • #10

Paris Doo said:

Thanks for the feedback guys. I have a the Zeb with 2.1 damper so I wonder if it would make sense just to change the air spring and get the mid stroke support benefits since I usually have both low & high speed compression open.

FYI- I don't believe the 2023 air spring & damper will be backwards compatible, because they have the buttercups which have a different footnut assembly. I know for a fact that you can't put an older air spring assembly in 2023 forks.

Will also add, I went from a 2023 lyrik select+ (hard rubber spacers within the buttercup hardware) to the Zeb Ultimate with full buttercups, and the difference was very significant in the first 20mm of travel.

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Ushtang

Active member
Sep 14, 2020
111
138
USA
  • Mar 24, 2023
  • #11

Emailsucks98 said:

FYI- I don't believe the 2023 air spring & damper will be backwards compatible, because they have the buttercups which have a different footnut assembly. I know for a fact that you can't put an older air spring assembly in 2023 forks.

Will also add, I went from a 2023 lyrik select+ (hard rubber spacers within the buttercup hardware) to the Zeb Ultimate with full buttercups, and the difference was very significant in the first 20mm of travel.

I've upgraded my 2022 Zeb Ultimate to the 2023 air spring and damper with buttercups.

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Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Mar 24, 2023
  • Thread starter
  • #12

Thanks everyone for the feedback. In the end I have decided to order the new Zeb so once I get it I will report back with my comparison findings vs. the 2022 model. To be fair I was thinking about just upgrading the air spring & damper for a bit more than 300€ (which is the wise option) but since we only live once 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (8) and the wife also said yes 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (9) I went for the full package.

darvd29

Member
Dec 17, 2022
23
16
Poland
  • Mar 25, 2023
  • #13

Emailsucks98 said:

FYI- I don't believe the 2023 air spring & damper will be backwards compatible, because they have the buttercups which have a different footnut assembly. I know for a fact that you can't put an older air spring assembly in 2023 forks.

Will also add, I went from a 2023 lyrik select+ (hard rubber spacers within the buttercup hardware) to the Zeb Ultimate with full buttercups, and the difference was very significant in the first 20mm of travel.

New Zeb internals are backward compatible with Zeb 2021+. Lyrik and Pike are not.

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cappuccino34

Active member
Nov 24, 2020
530
328
Helmshore
  • Mar 25, 2023
  • #14

Paris Doo said:

Thanks everyone for the feedback. In the end I have decided to order the new Zeb so once I get it I will report back with my comparison findings vs. the 2022 model. To be fair I was thinking about just upgrading the air spring & damper for a bit more than 300€ (which is the wise option) but since we only live once 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (12) and the wife also said yes 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (13) I went for the full package.

That's a shame, because the EXT Era V2 is on another level to anything from Fox, Rockshox or Ohlins.

I've got several bikes with every different make and I'm gradually replacing with EXT as each comes up due for service.

Mojo Rising are the UK dealer for them and their support and service is golden.

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion

Subscriber

May 2, 2022
2,199
2,141
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
  • Mar 25, 2023
  • #15

cappuccino34 said:

That's a shame, because the EXT Era V2 is on another level to anything from Fox, Rockshox or Ohlins.

I've got several bikes with every different make and I'm gradually replacing with EXT as each comes up due for service.

Mojo Rising are the UK dealer for them and their support and service is golden.

Given the price of the EXT Era V2 it certainly should be "on another level to anything from Fox, Rockshox or Ohlins"!

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Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Mar 25, 2023
  • Thread starter
  • #16

cappuccino34 said:

That's a shame, because the EXT Era V2 is on another level to anything from Fox, Rockshox or Ohlins.

I've got several bikes with every different make and I'm gradually replacing with EXT as each comes up due for service.

Mojo Rising are the UK dealer for them and their support and service is golden.

The EXT wasn't an option for me due to the price difference plus the lack of local service.

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cappuccino34

Active member
Nov 24, 2020
530
328
Helmshore
  • Mar 25, 2023
  • #17

Paris Doo said:

The EXT wasn't an option for me due to the price difference plus the lack of local service.

Shame

Emailsucks98

Active member
Nov 12, 2020
311
364
Bellingham Wa
  • Mar 26, 2023
  • #18

Best shock depends on the bikes kinematics. With only ~140mm of fairly linear travel on the Fuel I like the air spring tunability & progressivity of an air shock. Ohlins Ttx1 is pretty close to perfect for me.

My propain tyee felt too firm with a float x2, even with no volume spacers. That bike is so progressive it really works best with a coil shock.

Last edited:

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cappuccino34

Active member
Nov 24, 2020
530
328
Helmshore
  • Mar 26, 2023
  • #19

Emailsucks98 said:

Best shock depends on the bikes kinematics. With only ~140mm of fairly linear travel on the Fuel I like the air spring tunability & progressivity of an air shock. Ohlins Ttx1 is pretty close to perfect for me.

My propain tyee felt too firm with a float x2, even with no volume spacers. That bike is so progressive it really works best with a coil shock.

I'm surprised that with the accessibility of rapid prototyping and low volume manufacturing these days that there aren't more companies making 'conversion' linkages to alter the progression.

I'm fitting an EXT coil shock to my GLP-2 and fortunately for me there's enough material in the rocker to move where the shock yoke pivots on the rocker to a different location and bond in new threaded inserts. Doing so makes an already slightly progressive linkage into nicely progressive to suit the coil, and it also creates space above the coil where it would have otherwise rubbed on the bottom of the top tube.

Lee c

Active member
Jan 31, 2022
259
202
Uk
  • Aug 18, 2023
  • #20

Paris Doo said:

Thanks everyone for the feedback. In the end I have decided to order the new Zeb so once I get it I will report back with my comparison findings vs. the 2022 model. To be fair I was thinking about just upgrading the air spring & damper for a bit more than 300€ (which is the wise option) but since we only live once 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (17) and the wife also said yes 2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (18) I went for the full package.

How did you find the new zeb mate ?

P

Paris Doo

Member
Jun 20, 2022
58
61
Greece
  • Aug 19, 2023
  • Thread starter
  • #21

I bought the new Zeb but I had to return it due to some manufacturing issues (tight bushings leaving marks on the stations). Instead of ordering it again I upgraded the spring with the new one and I am quite happy but it isn't day & night difference. It seems to stay higher in the travel as most reviews say but that's it.

Having seen the new Boxxer I would most probably wait for the next (3rd) generation of the Zeb in order to upgrade or I would even consider a coil convertion.

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2023 Zeb Ultimate vs. 2022 (2024)

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