A full 1.5in head tube, big main tubes plus sharp and shapely shock and drop-out furniture make the RZ mainframe a tight and twist-free structure.
The massive oversized stem and stiff mid-width bars transfer accurate control into your palms even with the QR-tipped fork. The long wheelbase and low-slung ride height, plus a tendency to sit back into its rear travel, feels really stable and we were pushing it harder on rougher, rockier trails than most other 120mm bikes.
While equipment levels are reasonable, weight is high and the Schwalbe tyres are slow and slippery. Despite decent pedalling manners and front and rear lockout this left it feeling harder work – particularly on climbs – than we’d hope for a 120mm bike and overall agility was stifled too.
Limited pedal clearance can catch it out on technical climbs or rocky/rooty sections. The lighter, Lefty fork-equipped £2,499 RZ1 looks a livelier candidate, but unfortunately none were ready in time for the test.