After chatting at Eurobike with the Zoom guys, when they launched their new mtb line, among which I found an attractive stem and a similar handlebar, my eyes got caught by a suspension fork. This was unlikely, since I knew they were falling behind in this regard and I still remember all those bikes equipped with poor suspension forks.
Therefore, I expected to receive a mediocre at best product when they sent me the Zoom Drift 32 and soon pictures of Suntour top models came to mind. This made it clear to me that whoever builds forks can come up with something surprising, in the positive sense of things.
As far as looks are concerned, Zoom’s new fork scores big, and concerning finishing touches it also shows nice features. Relatively low weight (1.81 kilograms for 140mm) works in its favour as well, but all these would mean nothing if functioning would not be proper. This was another chapter that left me stunned for the following reasons. When testing a high-end fork, I expect it to work awesomely. I soon realise what I am riding, and expectations meet reality. From time to time, a model that turns your world upside-down shows up, like the Pike, but the most recent name on this list is the Drift.
From small to big bumps, the fork works well and eats all the uneven terrain just like an expensive top-brand model would. I still don’t know how Zoom did it, but they surely pulled it off. I mounted the fork on a frame that requires 160mm travel, which doesn’t do the fork justice, still it doesn’t cancel its perks. Tested throughout an extensive time period, all the good things came to light – no oil leaks, no pressure loss, no reduced performances. Truth is that Zoom managed to create something without too much compromise, after two years of testing prototypes. Hats off for them, given that building something from scratch is a huge endeavour.
Featuring a 6061 alloy crown, 7075 alloy stanchions, an alloy steerer as well, the build-up is completed by magnesium lower arms. The damper features IDC (Individual Damping Circuit System), which reffers to separating the compression and lock-out mechanisms, the two having separate hydraulical circuits.
Compression is butter-smooth and if you don’t fell the same, you can also easily adjust it. At the top of the right arm there is a little turn button that sets compression. Underneath the same arm, you can find a 21-click rebound setting. Also, the lock-out doesn’t completely shut off the travel, leaving about 2 centimeters that allow smooth climbing over rocky paths. As for downhill, it worked like a dream, despite its 140mm of travel.
During 3 months of riding, the Zoom Drift 32 impressed me every day. From how it looks to how it works, it leaves little room for objections. The version tested here is a 27.5 inch one, post mount places, tapered headtube and QR15 system. I already mentioned the weight of 1,81 kilograms, and I feel just as happy about it. Bound to be released are 100mm and 120mm versions of the Drift 32, which will tempt all-mountain and cross-country fans. Also the price range is more than adequate, since it can best more expensive rivals like Rock Shox entry level models or anything from Suntour.