|Testimonials for Zinn bikes and cranks from actual customers.
|Hey Lennard, Chris and Nick –
In one sense I could be long overdue in expressing my gratitude for the Dolomite that I received back in January, but now having ridden it some 2000 miles, my overall satisfaction with not only the bike but the entire custom order process through Zinn Cycles is that much more certain.The frame design is spot on. With the seat rails centered fore and aft in the post clamp, together with the top tube length, stem length, and brake hood placement on the handlebars, the cockpit size has been perfect as is, but still leaves room for future adjustment if desired. The handlebar height is just right with the 2cm spacer between the headset and the stem – I’m ready to finally cut the excess steer tube and not look back. For the first time in more than 20 years, I’m on a bike that actually rides hands-off easily. It handles well all around, and is noticeably more stable than my old bike – I’m already more confident on a fast ( 30mph) downhill than I was on my old bike, on which due to several “death wobble” experiences, I was not comfortable going more than 25.
The overall appearance and assembly details of the frame are as good as or better than I have seen on any Ti frame. Please pass along my sincere appreciation to your frame builder, whose name I once read but can’t now place, for the fine work he did in assembling my frame.
The mechanical assembly was flawless. The shifting and brake adjustments have been perfect from day one, with no need for any adjustment due to settling in or cable stretch. At about 1000 miles I developed a creak, which I swore was coming from the chainrings/bottom bracket, but which turned out to be a stem pinch bolt that needed to be reset, which had been part of my assembly, not yours.
And the long cranks – which after spending my whole life on 180’s I had some real concerns about – the long cranks are absolutely brilliant. I’m not going to say that they’ve made me suddenly so much faster, but I do feel so much less constrained, more stretched out, more natural, more comfortable, and I believe more enduring and less fatigued on long rides as a result. No knee problems, no thighs bouncing off your chest when on the drops, none of the other issues that detractors warned about. I am very glad I took the plunge on these and there is no way I would ever go back to shorter cranks. If you have any tall customers with concerns or hesitation about switching to dramatically longer cranks, feel free to have them contact me for a first hand testimonial.
The whole process – from the initial exposure to the website and the measurement instructions, the waiting for the wheels from another builder, the component selection, billing, shipping – was all made easier for me by the patience, professionalism and commitment to customer service that I got from each of you.
It was not easy for me to arrive at the point where I was willing to spend that much money on a bicycle. Once there, it takes a leap of faith to send all that money to people you’ve never seen or spoken with face to face. Thanks for living up to my expectations in every way and making this a decision I’m very glad I made.
When you’re very tall, stuff just doesn’t fit. It’s that way all your life; you modify and adjust what you can, and get used to putting up with what you can’t. Lennard, I’m genuinely grateful to you for devoting the necessary time, research and effort so that tall guys can ride bikes that really feel like they fit.
|Hey LennardThe fit session with Boulder Center for Sports Medicine was pretty cool. The upshot was replacing the 120mm with a 100mm one. Otherwise, you had it pretty dialed-in.He said my left IT band was too tight and my right medial glute was too weak. The result is a “wind swept” effect on the legs with the right falling in from over the pedal and the left falling out. He gave me some exercises to do.
I flew home US Airways and they charged me $200 to ship the bike. It did not quite fit in the bag I bought so I had to take the handlebars off. Otherwise there were no problems.
I took a 50 mile spin on the Blue Ridge Parkway out here. About 6500 feet of climb. The bike was buttery smooth. Lots of variables changed: materials, geometry, ride position. Not sure what percentages to allocate to each change but I can tell you it was the smoothest ride I have had on a bike.
It is very responsive. The shifting was flawless even when out of the saddle climbing hills while up or down shifting. The brake pads were pretty quiet. I had no concerns even coming down of the ridge at 45+mph. I had no problem with the seat though I did not spend a long time on it, so the jury is still out on that.
Overall, Love it.
Dear Lennard,I wanted to ride for a couple weeks before I gave you my initial impression, as there is so much new I’m trying to get clear on how the ride quality is affected by all the changes.The frame is great. I’m already totally confident in descending as fast as I want, riding hard through corners, etc.-the stability of the bike is just great! The bike really does just spring forward with each pedal stroke. The crank arms are so much longer than what I had (210’s vs. 180’s) I am still adjusting, but really liking the change. I’m so confident with the top end speed I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have gone with a standard chain ring vs. the compact, but of course there are trade-offs there too when climbing.I’m still tweaking at the saddle height and “fore-aft” position, but I’m getting closer. Also, the saddle seemed a little firm at first, which I consider to be a good thing, but I’ve rapidly adapted to it and I think it’s going to be great.
Overall I’m thrilled with the bike! Once I’m really back in shape and more adapted I’ll check in with you again.
The bike arrived on Thursday and I was able to put it together Friday.
I’m unfit, having been injured about 10 weeks ago and having done little in terms of fitness.
The 205mm cranks and gearing ratios generally are going to take some getting used to. I’m immediately aware that my stroke is much smoother and that much more of my thigh is being utilised. This is a great thing in terms of remembering how I used to use my legs to their fullist in a previous life as a rower, and a scary thing knowing how much I used to be able to hurt myself. Hopefully I have become older and wiser and will not punish myself senselessly, but not too likely.
Really impresed with the DI2, when pushing up hills, don’t have to negotiate the gears, just keep focused on the legs and keeping the cadence smooth.
Down hill, the bike is solid, no wobbles, feels really really set. Corner handling is excellent too.
So I’ve got to get my head around the gearing ratios, figure out what the balance is between cadence and gear ratio with the new crank length. My only big disadvantage is drafting, the bike as it is set up is very comfortable but sits higher, I can’t get as low and hide as well as I used to. Let’s face it, I never was able to hide, I’ve got to decide whether to lower the front handle bars and sacrifice comfort in order to get lower. Will leave it for now and think about taking a spacer or too out when I get fitter.
Thanks alot for a good piece of work.
I have been meaning to write you a quick note for a while now. Good job guys! Love the bike!! I have been riding the Terra 3.0 at least a few times a week since I got it. The bike climbs awesome! Loving the full suspension and the custom cranks. The longer cranks are big help, it took just a little while to find a little form on bike and get used to the longer cranks but after a few rides I was feeling good.
I really appreciate the way the bike rides. There is a 50mph descent here where I tend to get blown off the bike when the winds are up – lots of swirling side winds. I took the ‘cross bike down that road in a full gale and felt like I could take my hands off the bars. I couldn’t imagine feeling that stable.
Wow. What a big difference this bike makes. I took the new Dolomite on its inaugural ride yesterday morning to Deep Cove on the North Shore of Vancouver. I went with a training buddy who usually leaves me way behind on the big hills and I was able to stay with him much longer on the climbs. Afterwards, I actually thought he was dogging it on the ride, but he claims he put in a tough effort.
One huge thing for me is that I did not get a sore lower back at all on this first ride. On a good day on my old bike when my pelvis/lower back was perfectly aligned, I would usually get sore and stiff in my lower back within the first hour. If all my subsequent rides are like this – it will be worth it just for this reason alone!
The ride position is much more upright than I’m used to, especially when riding on the hoods. Riding in the drops was actually comfortable – imagine that! Never had that feeling before.
The cranks, now there’s another game changer for me. I feel like I’m sitting on top of the bike and can really push down with more power – especially while climbing and on the flats in a big gear. Standing on the pedals feels very different: you go up much higher. I had deja-vu of being about 12 years old riding on my first oversized 10 speed. I also noticed that my quads were getting much more tired and sore in the upper half. Ahh, so this is what it’s like to use your entire quad muscle when riding I went on an early morning training ride the other day and then switched over to my old mountain bike to commute to work – wow what a shock – pedaling the mountain bike felt like I was riding a kids’ bike.
Thanks again for the special shipping arrangements and packing this beautiful bike so well. Also, thanks for the installation and ride position set-up support after I received the bike. I get lots of comments from friends who think the bike is awesome looking and I can’t disagree with them.
Thanks so much for the new bike. I have only ridden it twice but
I wanted to acknowledge how much I TOTALLY love my new bike which I received at Christmas. This embarrasses me quite a lot, as I should have written right away to tell you how marvelous the bike is. The truth is that because of the weather here, I’ve only ridden my new bike a few times, and I still don’t consider I’ve really taken it on a maiden voyage. I’ve ridden more than that, but usually on the mountain bike or on my old road bike, as the roads are so gritty that I don’t want to get my new bike all dirty! Anyway, I’ve ridden it enough to know that it is a totally awesome machine, and I love having such a work of art from a maestro that I know and love. And you and Bob were great to make it the same red color as the original. When we finally see the sun I’ll send you some pictures.
You built me a magnesium bike last year, and first I would just like to say it is the best money I have ever spent! I’ve had it for just over a year and it is a fabulous machine! Thank you very much!!! I hope you don’t mind, I know you are very busy, but I have worn out the brake pads on my SRAM Force brakes…any favorite aftermarket (or market, for that matter) pads to replace the old ones? Thank you so much, in advance!
I’ve now had a few weeks to spend riding my new bike. Mostly as expected this has been on commutes (35 miles roundtrip), but I’ve done a few rides for fun as well. With 300 or so miles on the books, I feel I can safely give a fair review of the bike now. Additionally, since it’s Bike To Work Day here in San Diego, I figured today is a very appropriate day for me to pass along my thoughts.
The bike fits better than I really knew a bike could fit someone my size. Despite the dropped stem, which I am still deciding on flipping up, I feel a comfort level that just feels “right”. I’m stretched out, but not too stretched out. The bike is comfortable, takes bumps and cracks in the road well, and despite the sturdy build and heavier components I was surprised how nice and quickly the bike can accelerate when I want it to.
The second major eye-opener for me was the longer cranks. I was never a skeptic of the issues I heard many people raise about longer cranks. That they hurt your knees, that you will hit your knees on your chest when you ride, it forces you to mash the pedals, etc. I just wasn’t sure how much I believed that the cranks would feel more natural for a taller rider like myself with longer legs, and that they really could be that much more efficient. We’re talking about 30mm difference(with 205′s), and I just wasn’t sure how much difference that could really make. Wow was I surprised! On the first ride I could feel the efficiency change and increase in natural leverage that I had which was absent before. I also have no problem spinning at cadences I was spinning at before. I do however notice that I get more power per stroke, which means I’m in slightly different gears when climbing or on flats than I used to me. I’m certainly not one of your more performance minded customers as I don’t race or ride in clubs, but I have been an athlete all my life and played volleyball at a Division 1 school, so I certainly appreciate and enjoy when I’m suddenly a bit stronger and faster than I was on my old bike.
The bike works great for my purposes, I’ve got an Ortlieb pannier that I use to carry my stuff to work and back, and the weight hangs low enough that I barely even notice the sway in the back. All in all, it’s really been an eye opener and wonderful experience for me. I know I’ll have this bike for years and years, and I’m confident I made the right decision when I first contacted you.
Thanks again for what you and your guys do, it’s made a huge difference for me!
I’ve ridden it every day since picking it up on Thursday. Today I took my new Megabike for a 60-mile ride from my house to Waterton Canyon and up to the Colorado Trail. It rides GREAT… everything about this bike is GREAT!!! It’s smooth, it’s responsive, it roles over things so well and the 29er difference is amazing. I feel like I’m finally on a bike that fits me and my size is an advantage on this bike whereas before, I felt like I was at a big disadvantage on a 26. I can’t thank you, Nick, and J.P. enough. I will send those photos and try and take a few more with some better lighting. I think the bike ROCKS!!! Thanks again and good-luck with finishing your book.
When I got my first job at a bike shop, my boss handed me a copy of Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and said “read this by next week.” Lennard has been making bicycle maintenance instruction manuals for 11 years and has perfected teaching in a way that we can all understand. His latest teaching tool comes on DVD.
Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance (DVD) is a fully comprehensive manual for mountain bike maintenance, repair, and component installation. The material is presented in a manner that is clear and easy to understand in even in the most intricate procedures. This DVD is a wonderful introduction for the would be mechanic, acts as powerful reference tool before starting more complicated repairs, and is great way for solid mechanics to learn some of Lennard’s many tricks.
If you ride frequently you have undoubtedly realized how expensive and inconvenient it is to bring your bike to a shop every time it needs servicing, which is arguably before every ride. For this reason many bike enthusiasts also become a do-it-yourself bike mechanic. There is no better way to familiarize yourself with the basics on how to keep your beloved steed running perfectly than to watch to Lennard explain it on this informative DVD.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this instruction manual is how Lennard breaks down even the most complicated repairs into step-by-step procedures that we can all understand. This enables intermediate mechanics to be confident with advanced procedures. Zinn overhauls a Shimano and Mavic hub, several different style headsets, and even a complicated Fox fork. I found the section on disc brakes quite helpful; Lennard bleeds a Shimano XT, Avid Juicy 7, Hayes El Camino, and Hayes Nine hydraulic disk brake. He also talks about how the job differs with other popular models. These are just a few of the repairs Lennard explains as the DVD does a very thorough job of covering every part of a mountain bike. In some sections there are even multiple explanations of the same job: one using basic tools and one that explains how to use the cool really ones that make life easy.
Zinn’s new DVD doesn’t replace or outdate his books, but instead complements them. Lennard suggests watching the relevant video sections before attempting unfamiliar repairs, then keeping the book handy for reference while you are working. In this way Lennard has created a multimedia-learning tool that is particularly effective for reaching people of all different learning styles.
I have been a professional mechanic for several years and still I learned a few things from Zinn’s DVD. I liked it so much that I have lent it to several other mechanics at the shop; it gets two big thumbs up from me! My only question is: what’s next? Maybe Zinn and The Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance, book on CD?!
Here is my take on the two bikes you have provided.
First the big cranks, although they take some getting use to with the larger rotational diameter, they soon feel “correct” for my body and alloy me to put down much more power in a more efficient manner.
Both my new Zinn mountain bike and Zinn road bike are the best all-around bikes I have owned. They perform as designed. Decending is confidence inspriing, even when pushing the limit. Climbing is much improved with the larger cranks and more rigid (yet still comfortable) frames. On the flats is where I have noticed the biggest immediate difference, the stiff yet comfortable Mg frame and big cranks on the road bike allow me to efficiently pump out at least an additional 5mph at the same effort level.
One of the best non-advertised things about working with Lennard on a new bike is his expertise and personal experience with almost every component out on the market. Depending on what you want, he will steer you in the right direction.
Got the bike! The frame fit is perfect! I went for a 60 mile ride on Sunday, I was quite surprised how “springy” the magnesium frame felt. It doesn’t beat you up like my Orbea xl8r or has dead feeling like my Calfee. It rides more like my Litespeed but fits so much better and a bit lighter. I’m not sure why more manufacturers wouldn’t want to use it as a frame material. The only question is, if I crash and sparks fly, will the bike combust? It’s been the debate amongst my riding buddies.
The custom cranks are a godsend! I don’t think I’ll go back to the standard sizes. I was able to maintain a higher cadence and did not feel any knee aches I normally feel after a couple of hours hard riding.
The bike Lennard built for me has truly changed my life. I can ride long distances with virtually no joint pain and wake up the next morning feeling great. As a result, I’ve decided to cycle across country this summer with my son. The prime motivation for this was actually the last presidential election, which left me feeling that a lot of things are going wrong in this country and wanting to do something that would make a difference right now. I decided to try to raise $100,000 for my favorite charity–Partners In Health–an organization that is doing truly incredible things in Haiti and elsewhere. I figured that cycling would be a good way to get people to pledge a lot–a dollar a mile on this trip comes to $3,600; 10 cents is $360. But this fundraising scheme would have been infeasible before I got my Zinn, because my joints would not have survived.
I bought from first handmade bike from Lennard in 1989. At that time he was working out of his basement. I have worn out two gruppos, but the frame is still perfect, and even the paint looks good. I have over 15,000 miles on that bike.
A few years, later he made me a titanium bike over the phone with the same measurements as the steel bike. I now have over 10,000 miles on that bike. Last year I bought another rather expensive bike from a national competitor that I never have liked. It hangs in the garage. Mr. Zinn is a wonderful source of information, and by the way, I am not tall at all. He is a consummate professional.
I’m 6’6″, I’ve had my Zinn custom road bike for about a year and a half, and every time I get on the thing I am still giddy about riding a bike that fits and works so well. My old bike was an 80′s vintage road bike with a frame that barely fit, had small crank arms, not enough gears, marginal brakes, and wheels that frequently went out of true or spokes that broke on nearly every ride.
In contrast, the new Zinn custom has perfect fit of the frame, the 210 mm crank arm length is just right, and I’ve put several thousand miles on wheels that have never gone out of true. If you are tall, and every time you look at a bike in a standard bike shop and the store employee scratches his chin and says, “you know, you are a good candidate for a custom bike” I’d recommend getting a bike from Lennard Zinn without reservation.
I am very happy with my bike. After about 2 years of riding the only thing that I have had to do is make some spoke tension adjustments to keep the wheel straight. This, of course, is an expected thing and every spoked wheel will need this attention periodically.
Basically I would say that the bike is flawless. It is literally impossible for me to buy a bike off of the shelf that fits because of my body size. I didn’t realize how poorly my old bike fit me until I first rode my Zinn.It took about two weeks to get used to the feel of the Zinn and now I cannot imagine riding any other bike.
The most amazing thing of all is that there were pieces of tape on the bars and the seat post to be used by me as guides for where I should place everything initially when I first put the bike together from the box it was shipped in. I have never had to adjust anything from those initial settings. It is really neat that Lennard is able to do such a good fitting job from 1000 miles away with a few measurements.
My bike really is perfect for me and I will always consult Lennard if I am thinking about doing any component upgrades in the future.
I cannot imagine buying anything other than a Zinn in the future.
Stephen M. Boone
The fit is fantastic. It really makes a huge difference. I ride a lot more now because it is such a great experience. The long cranks in particular make hills easier to grind up. I guess the best testimonial is that I like my road bike so much that I bought a Zinn mountain bike this spring. Now my only problem is deciding which one to ride. He really puts out a fantastic product and is really a great guy. He even helped another builder who was making a tandem for my wife and me. He is really great about equipment selection as well. Everything that he has spec-ed has worked really well.
I count my blessings every day for you Lennard. How in the world could I possibly enjoy my life without the great bikes and expertise that you provide. I’ve lost over forty pounds biking the last year, and I’m humbly in the best shape of my life at 45. Think about this; as you know I played on a Final Four National Championship Basketball team at University of Kentucky in college, and yet thanks to you; I have been able to take my fitness to an entirely new level riding my Zinn. I have investigated every frame builder over the past few years; nobody can compare to you.
I look back nostalgically now remembering my first visit to your house in Lafayette many, many years ago. Is it possible that it was twenty or twenty-five years ago? You had frames hanging in the garage and the basement, and everywhere. I thought at the time; “what a dream come true for someone tall.”
I’m looking forward to the titanium frame fitting later this month. Titanium is going to be the furthermost evolution in bike design for me, my friends are telling me that I’ll not believe how nice the ride and performance is going to be.
|Hi JP, Lennard, and Nick,I wanted to let you know how fantastic it was to have the new bike for the trip to Italy. It was a pleasure to ride, especially climbing, and there was plenty of that: not only in the area around Monte Grappa and the Asiago Plateau where we spent the majority of our time, but also on a side trip to the Dolomites to do some of the passes. It surprised me how much lighter and more responsive it feels than my old bike, how much easier the climbs were, and how much faster it accelerates; I didn’t think the difference would be quite so huge.One really amazing thing was that for the first time since I can remember, I was able to do long rides and big climbs without getting the low back pain that in the past made me have to stop occasionally. I am not sure if that was due to the low gears (29 cog), or a slight difference in fit, or what; it was just something I never though would happen.It’s also a great-looking bike, beautifully welded, and I LOVE the color!Thank you so much for designing and building this bike. I had thought about it for a very long time and am so glad I finally did it. I really appreciate all the work and skill that went into making it!Barbara Haney
Greetings and good afternoon gentleman,
I wanted to give you some feedback in regards to the new bike. To keep things simple, bravo. Its unbelievable, I couldnt be happier. Lennard the bike is amazing, biomechanically it feels so efficient that riding it can be best described as a level of precision like a surgeon operating with a scalpel. Responsive, light, smooth and effortless come to mind when trying to describe the quality of the ride and it absolutely flies, jumping forward with every pedal stroke like it is just attacking the road and waiting to be unleashed. I will keep in touch and to be honest I kind of feel like a part of the extended Zinn family in owning this work of truly great craftmanship. This is an exciting new chapter of my life and you guys are really a huge part of it.
My best regards,
I’ve had my new bike for almost 2 months and just wanted to let you know how much it has changed my riding experience for the better. I have ridden distances and terrain that I would not have been able to get to before. Hills that I either would not have attempted or had to walk up are now no longer an issue. I’ve done some metric centuries and I think I’m going to ride in the local ‘Hilly Hundred’ in October. The bike rides great and is very responsive. Thanks so much for designing and making bikes for the tall rider.
After training hard all summer, I think my body has finally fully adapted to the longer cranks and I am seeing a benefit. I’m starting to embarrass much younger guys. Now, when I go out riding, I pass far more people than pass me, which hasn’t been the case for quite a while. It has taken me a long time, but I think someone with a more highly developed cardio system would adapt quicker. I think the longer cranks stress ones cardiovascular system more, and this needs time to develop. For me, it took a few months. If I’d had a highly developed cardio system to begin with, it probably wouldn’t have taken as long.
Hi Lennard, Nick
Wow. What a big difference this bike makes. I took the new Dolomite on its inaugural ride yesterday morning to Deep Cove on the North Shore. I went with a training buddy who usually leaves me way behind on the big hills and I was able to stay with him much longer on the climbs. Afterwards, I actually thought he was dogging it on the ride, but he claims he put in a tough effort.
One huge thing for me is that I did not get a sore lower back at all on this first ride. On a good day on my old bike when my pelvis/lower back was perfectly aligned, I would usually get sore and stiff in my lower back within the first hour. If all my subsequent rides are like this – it will be worth it just for this.
The ride position is much more upright than I’m used to, especially when riding on the hoods. Riding in the drops was actually comfortable – imagine that. The cranks, now there’s another game changer for me. I feel like I’m sitting on top of the bike and can really push down with more power – especially while climbing and on the flats in a big gear. Standing on the pedals feels very different: you go up much higher. I had deja-vue of being about 12 years old riding on my first oversized 10 speed. I also noticed that my quads were getting much more tired and sore in the upper half. Ahh, so this is what it’s like to use your entire quad muscle when riding
So obviously I did manage to get the crank arm mounted so there was no play across the BB. I was able to buy a 8mm hex key socket that I used with a 12″ driver I had to get a snug fit. Whew! Really wanted to get out on the new machine as soon as possible. Using a combination of your book (thanks again btw for throwing that in!), You Tube, and the component manuals I was able to assemble the head set (never had done that before) and the cranks; the rest of the bike assembly was pretty straight forward.