The Good: Perfect all around geo - not too steep, not too slack. Fun bike!
Versatility - run it with 2 chainrings and a singlecrown fork for FR/AM/DH, or with a straight up DH build for a playful mini-DH bike.
Predictable suspension feel.
Frame build quality (hugely improved for 2011)!
Postmount brakemounts on the frame.
Now available in 3 sizes.
The Bad: 150mm dropouts with 73mm BB - bit of a strange combo.
Should ship with the XPi adjustable main pivot of the Izimu - what's the point of a $50 frame upgrade?
I built this bike up as a do-it-all, running 2 chainrings but also a Boxxer up front, the goal being one bike to pretty much do everything with, from trail riding to DH. The frame replaces the Zuza in the Morewood lineup, although it leans much more towards DH as opposed to the Zuza which was a pure FR frame.
Out of the box the frame quality is amazing, with neat welds and stickers now under the clearcoat, it really feels classy. The build was pretty smooth, just the BB needed rethreading on one side. With pretty average components (Boxxer, Saint cranks, X7/X9, dual-ply DHF/DHS Minions), the weight came out at 17.5kg - very respectable.
The ride quality is everything you'd expect from a classic Morewood singlepivot - well-sorted geo, the bike feels stable at all times, yet with lots of "pop". It is truly a mini-DH bike - much of the DH character of it's bigger brother the Izimu, but also more playful. It's obviously no plow bike, but at the same time, it does have 180mm of rear travel available, and it makes good use of it when required. It ships with a 350 fox spring, I went up to 400 (I weigh about 90kgs dry). The shock (2011 Van RC) is basic but gets the job done. Good range of adjustment, easy to set up.
I've had the bike out on everything from XC/AM group rides to racing DH - the bike has been excellent throughout. It obviously doesn't climb like an AM rig, but if you have the patience, it'll spin up anything. It moves out well under power, no pedalbob worth mentioning (in the middle ring), and as soon as the trails points downwards, you are in the bike's perfect element. Confidence inspiring and fun! Rails corners, very easy to jump, deals with drops very well too. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the XPI adjustable pivot (have ordered the upgrade), with the ability to adjust the BB height and chainstay length the frame will become even more versatile.
Time will tell with regards to durability, but hopefully we can expect it to be up to Morewood's usual standards (i.e. almost maintenance free and bullet-proof).
Truly good value this frame - modern mini-DH geo, great looks, and offering very versatile build options, all at a very attractive price. If you are a pure racer, look to the Izimu (or the Makulu), other than that - the Zama should satisfy any gravity rider. To conclude, here's a little video clip of the bike in action (going both up and down):
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