E Bikes Reviewed

Marin Rift Zone E2 electric mountain bike review

Recently, I had the opportunity to test the Marin Rift Zone E2 electric mountain bike, and I must say, it has left a lasting impression on me.

The Marin Rift Zone E2 is a really great bike, from its design and performance to its value for money. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.


The Marin Rift Zone E2 is a versatile and fun eMTB designed for trail riders who demand a balance between power, performance, and efficiency. This bike is well-suited for a wide range of terrains and riding styles, thanks to its modern geometry, impressive suspension kinematics, and well-thought-out componentry. With its 140mm of travel, 29-inch wheels, and Shimano EP801 electric bike motor, the Rift Zone E2 promises to deliver an exciting and thrilling ride for both seasoned and novice mountain bikers.

Design and Frame

The Marin Rift Zone E2 features a sleek and robust aluminum frame with clean lines and smooth welds, giving it an attractive and sturdy appearance. The frame is equipped with Marin’s Series 4 hydroformed aluminum tubes, which provide excellent strength and durability. In addition to its robust construction, the Rift Zone E2 boasts a modern geometry that includes a 65-degree head tube angle, a steep 77-degree seat tube angle, and a long reach, ensuring a comfortable and efficient riding experience.

The bike’s internal cable routing gives it a clean and clutter-free look, while the bump stops on the underside of the down tube prevent the fork from causing any damage when turning. Furthermore, the Rift Zone E2 comes with chunky chain-slap protection on the driveside chainstay and uses the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger, making it compatible with SRAM’s Eagle Transmission.

Suspension and Motor

The Marin Rift Zone E2 is equipped with a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork and Float X Performance Elite shock, offering 140mm of travel at both ends. This suspension setup allows the bike to tackle a variety of terrains with ease, providing a smooth and responsive ride. The MultiTrac suspension design used by Marin delivers a progressive leverage rate, making it well-suited for both air and coil shocks, as well as the extra weight of e-bikes.

The E2 is powered by Shimano’s latest EP801 motor, which offers a maximum power output of 600W and 85Nm of torque. This motor provides smooth and natural assistance, allowing you to tackle challenging climbs and maintain higher speeds with ease. The bike is also fitted with Shimano’s 630Wh BT-EN806 battery, which is only compatible with the newest generation of EP801 and EP600 motors. This powerful battery ensures a long-lasting and enjoyable ride, without any range anxiety or lack of power.


The Marin Rift Zone E2 boasts a modern geometry that places it firmly in the trail bike category. With a 65-degree head tube angle and a steep 77-degree seat tube angle, this bike offers a stable and comfortable riding experience on both descents and climbs. The Rift Zone E2 is available in four sizes, from small to extra-large, with reach figures ranging from 445mm to 515mm.

Low standover heights and short seat tube lengths ensure that riders of all sizes can find their perfect fit, while the bike’s wheelbase and chainstay lengths provide a balanced and agile ride. The bottom bracket height remains relatively low, giving you a centered and grounded feeling while riding.

Specifications and Components

The Marin Rift Zone E2 comes with a well-thought-out and functional component selection that enhances its overall performance on the trails. Key components include Shimano’s XT M8130 11-speed Linkglide drivetrain, SLX M7120 four-piston brakes, and Fox’s Performance Elite air-sprung 36 fork and Float X rear shock, which offer plenty of adjustment options.

Marin’s own-brand rims are wrapped in either Vee Tire or Maxxis rubber, providing excellent grip and traction on various surfaces. Additionally, the Rift Zone E1 and E2 models come with CushCore inserts and Marin’s latex-free tubeless sealant as standard, ensuring a puncture-free and reliable ride.

The cockpit is adorned with Marin’s Trail Bar, CNC stem, Grizzly lock-on grip, and Marin saddle, providing a comfortable and ergonomic riding experience. The TranzX dropper post offers 170mm of travel, ensuring quick and easy saddle adjustments on the go.

Ride Impressions

During my test ride on the Marin Rift Zone E2, I was incredibly impressed with its performance across a range of terrains and conditions. The bike’s modern geometry and suspension setup provided a comfortable and stable ride, allowing me to tackle both smooth and technical trails with confidence.

Climbing Performance

The Rift Zone E2’s geometry, combined with the powerful EP801 motor, made climbing a breeze. The bike’s supportive suspension ensured excellent traction and control on steep and challenging climbs, while the Shimano motor provided smooth and consistent assistance throughout the ride.

Descending Performance

The Rift Zone E2 truly shone on the descents, with its modern geometry and capable suspension setup allowing for aggressive and confident riding. The bike’s handling was intuitive and responsive, making it easy to navigate tight turns and technical terrain. Its 140mm of travel proved more than capable of handling rough and rocky sections, while the progressive suspension design ensured a smooth and controlled ride.

Value for Money

At its price point, the Marin Rift Zone E2 offers excellent value for money. Its modern geometry, capable suspension setup, and powerful motor make it a fantastic option for riders looking for a versatile and fun eMTB. While there may be other bikes on the market with more travel or lighter frames, the Rift Zone E2 provides a well-rounded and enjoyable riding experience that is hard to beat.

Final Thoughts

The Marin Rift Zone E2 is a fantastic option for riders seeking a versatile, fun, and capable eMTB. Its modern geometry, impressive suspension kinematics, and well-thought-out componentry make it a great choice for tackling a wide range of terrains and riding styles. While it may not be the lightest or fastest climber, its overall performance and value for money make it an excellent choice for those looking to invest in a reliable and enjoyable eMTB.

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Richard Alvin

Managing Editor of EV Powered who has a passion for electric converted classic cars - currently converting Lottie the Landy a 1965 Series II ex RAF Land Rover to electric power and the person responsible for two wheel reviews at EV Powered.