Bike Check: Morewood Zula LT prototype

After a bit of time lost in the wilderness, Morewood Bikes is back. The first new model they will be releasing is the Zula LT. The original Zula was a trail capable marathon racer which many riders ended up riding as a local trail bike. The new Zula LT keeps the 27.5" wheel platform but comes with more travel and a greater focus on trail riding. We chatted to Sam Bull at Crank Chaos about the prototype Zula LT.

Morewood Zula LT 1.jpg

 

The Zula LT's single pivot suspension is good for 130 mm of rear wheel travel up from 100 mm on the previous Zula. Morewood have designed the Zula LT with a more progressive suspension curve to better suit modern trail riding. The Zula LT is designed to be used with a 140 mm fork.

 

Morewood Zula LT 9.jpg

 

The Zula LT will use a Cane Creek C-Quent shock. Sam is currently using Cane Creek's highly adjustable DB-Inline shock to set the bike's tune on the prototype. Once Morewood have that dialled, they will send the tune to Cane Creek to setup the C-Quent for the bike.

 

Morewood Zula LT 2.jpg
Morewood Zula LT 10.jpg

 

On the prototype frame, Morewood have reduced the head angle of the Zula LT to 68 degrees. While many modern bikes are going slacker, Morewood want the Zula LT to remain playful and poppy with good trail feedback. Morewood see it as a versatile local trail bike with which you can still go out and do loads of miles. The top tube is also a bit lower down while the spacing in the rear triangle is a bit wider to fit a burlier tyre.

 

A few more geometry numbers: the effective top tube length is 620 mm; the seat tube angle is 71.23 degrees; chainstay length is 430 mm; and reach on a large frame is 445 with a wheelbase of 1154 mm.

 


Morewood Zula LT 4.jpg

Morewood Zula LT 8.jpg


The Zula LT keeps things simple: there is no boost spacing and the bottom bracket is threaded. There is internal routing in the seatpost for a dropper post but the remainder of the cable runs externally on the underside of the down tube and chainstays. The Zula LT is a 1x exclusive affair with no mount for a front derailleur.

 

Pricing has yet to be confirmed but Morewood have indicated that they are hoping to make the Zula LT competitively priced.

 

Morewood Zula LT 5.jpg

Morewood Zula LT 7.jpg

Morewood Zula LT 6.jpg
Morewood Zula LT 3.jpg




46 Comments

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 03:03

68° head angle with a 71° seat tube angle on a 130mm frame.

 

Seeing as they are in the testing phase, they should rather drop the head angle and steepen the seat angle.

 

We'll probably see a production version of this bike somewhere in 2018.

Headshot, Nov 07 2016 03:14

68° head angle with a 71° seat tube angle on a 130mm frame.

 

Seeing as they are in the testing phase, they should rather drop the head angle and steepen the seat angle.

 

We'll probably see a production version of this bike somewhere in 2018.

I like the idea of this bike. I think you are spot on re the seat tube angle. i'd like to see it at 140mm rear, 150mm fork, 67 degree HTA and 75 STA. If its not available in an XL then I'm not interested either.

Nick, Nov 07 2016 03:18

If its not available in an XL then I'm not interested either.

 

Currently, there are plans for an XL frame option.

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 03:18

I've always wanted to smash trails on a raw prototype. Looks good.

But I agree with the hammer wielding expat. Slack the head to a respectable 67. 

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 03:23

I think the Cane Creek is a bit of an odd choice.

 

If they wanted a specific tune out of the shock, why not go with a metric sized RS Deluxe/Super Deluxe that has less adjustment than the CC? You thereby minimise the risk of the customer bodging the tune you need to get decent performance from a single pivot.

 

Oh and Morewood Bikes, if you need someone to put in some laps on a prototype in European conditions, I'll send you my shipping details. :thumbup:

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 03:24

Some interesting reading on the subject of geometry: http://enduro-mtb.co...e-better-rider/

Hairy, Nov 07 2016 03:29

so essentially a tamed down version of what the Shova should be.

ALLMTB, Nov 07 2016 03:33

I think the Cane Creek is a bit of an odd choice.

 

If they wanted a specific tune out of the shock, why not go with a metric sized RS Deluxe/Super Deluxe that has less adjustment than the CC? You thereby minimise the risk of the customer bodging the tune you need to get decent performance from a single pivot.

 

Oh and Morewood Bikes, if you need someone to put in some laps on a prototype in European conditions, I'll send you my shipping details. :thumbup:

They will be using the C-Quent, which is the 'user friendly' version of the Inline. Hopefully it will be more reliable. 

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 03:37

They will be using the C-Quent, which is the 'user friendly' version of the Inline. Hopefully it will be more reliable. 

 

True, but it's still a more "involving" shock than what is found with most of RS and FOX's offerings.

 

Let's all wait and see for the launch in 2018.

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 03:39

I like the idea of this bike. I think you are spot on re the seat tube angle. i'd like to see it at 140mm rear, 150mm fork, 67 degree HTA and 75 STA. If its not available in an XL then I'm not interested either.

 

 

I think the Cane Creek is a bit of an odd choice.

 

If they wanted a specific tune out of the shock, why not go with a metric sized RS Deluxe/Super Deluxe that has less adjustment than the CC? You thereby minimise the risk of the customer bodging the tune you need to get decent performance from a single pivot.

 

Oh and Morewood Bikes, if you need someone to put in some laps on a prototype in European conditions, I'll send you my shipping details. :thumbup:

 

ccs-62657-0-32594200-1478416826.jpg

 

I'm assuming a 130mm rear squish means using a shock which has an i2i between 180 and 190mm. If this is true considering the amount of available room around the swingarm's shock mounting point. A 185mm i2i trunion mounted rear metric shock could squeez up to 150mm of rear travel out of this frame.

 

full_Metric_Shock_Sizing_711223.jpg

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 03:44

so essentially a tamed down version of what the Shova should be.

 

If they slapped the Shova name on this thing I would have had my pitchfork sharpened already.

Lets assume the Zula LT is a tribute to its predecessor with a playful twist.

Hairy, Nov 07 2016 03:48

If they slapped the Shova name on this thing I would have had my pitchfork sharpened already.

Lets assume the Zula LT is a tribute to its predecessor with a playful twist.

comments RE geo, and blah blah aside, the Zula LT frame does look rather sexy still!

BaGearA, Nov 07 2016 03:50

This is super tempting to me , BUT and this is A big BUT 

 

I feel manufactures are going to fu*k us with boost in a few years trying to force everyone onto it and then what.

Maybe I'm being paranoid , but I don't want to but i bike like this ( I like the simplicity,especially the threaded BB) and then get screwed cause no one makes boost hubs anymore.

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 03:53

comments RE geo, and blah blah aside, the Zula LT frame does look rather sexy still!

 

After their hiatus Morewood could make a frame out of solid lead and I'd still think its pretty.

Sidewinder., Nov 07 2016 03:53

This is super tempting to me , BUT and this is A big BUT 

 

I feel manufactures are going to fu*k us with boost in a few years trying to force everyone onto it and then what.

Maybe I'm being paranoid , but I don't want to but i bike like this ( I like the simplicity,especially the threaded BB) and then get screwed cause no one makes boost hubs anymore.

huh? This isn't boost...

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Nov 07 2016 03:53

After their hiatus Morewood could make a frame out of solid lead and I'd still think its pretty.

Like your Azonic?

 

:ph34r:

Bizkit031, Nov 07 2016 03:56

True, but it's still a more "involving" shock than what is found with most of RS and FOX's offerings.

Let's all wait and see for the launch in 2018.

No its not its less involved then your RS and Fox shocks there is only one external adjustment and that is low speed rebound and it has a lock out lever. Infact it has less adjustability then the Fox DPS shock.

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 03:57

Like your Azonic?

 

:ph34r:

 

You take that back Myles.

She is voluptuous! Not heavy.

You know...

Like Ashley Graham

BaGearA, Nov 07 2016 04:01

huh? This isn't boost...

I know , I ment in a few years companies are going to try to get everyone o boost and off standard spacing (like 26ers vs. 29ers) 

 

And that is what is making me a little cautious  

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Nov 07 2016 04:01

You take that back Myles.

She is voluptuous! Not heavy.

You know...

Like Ashley Graham

Nothing wrong for a bit of cushion for the pushin'

popcorn_skollie, Nov 07 2016 04:02

This is super tempting to me , BUT and this is A big BUT 

 

I feel manufactures are going to fu*k us with boost in a few years trying to force everyone onto it and then what.

Maybe I'm being paranoid , but I don't want to but i bike like this ( I like the simplicity,especially the threaded BB) and then get screwed cause no one makes boost hubs anymore.

 

Lets assume every major bike manufacturer adopts boost withing the next year. Which won't happen. There's still a plethora of 142 x 12 hubs out there and all the manufacturers aren't going to stop making them anytime soon. 

Skott5, Nov 07 2016 04:21

I dont get the point of Boost in SA to be honest.

 

Most of the trails are hardpack. Why the hell would you want a fatter tyre on hardpack.

Watch Conner Fearon corner with a standard size tyre ... It's all you need.

 

This new offering from Morewood is no earth shattering, mike dropping revelation, that's for sure ... But Single Pivot bikes so have a certain unmistakeable Je ne sais quoi 

 

I miss my Yeti ASR5 .. 

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 04:25

I don't think anyone should be too concerned regarding Boost.

 

142mm and 100mm will be around for a long time. Just look at how readily available 9-speed drivetrain components are. The only difference is that they are no longer being subjected to R&D. Perhaps in the future there will be a shift in that higher end wheels/hubs will be Boost exclusive.

 

Time will tell.

Hairy, Nov 07 2016 04:39

but why not make the step now with a boost rear end given that they are doing a new bike, or are they just using old jigs, etc to build up the new bikes rear?

Odinson, Nov 07 2016 04:49

but why not make the step now with a boost rear end given that they are doing a new bike, or are they just using old jigs, etc to build up the new bikes rear?

 

Perhaps a non-Boost rear end will help them spec cheaper OEM rims.