Our Singletrack US Special Agent Marc B reports…
In the first new line since last winter’s acquisition by a private investment firm, the venerable Marin Bikes look to be making good use of the resources now available to them. Under a new president, the brand are charging into 2014 with a new wheel size (surprise!), a new suspension design, and a long-travel application of their QUAD-Link design. Designed by a small group of riders and inspired by their namesake county’s legendary trails, Marin are aiming to significantly up their game.
We gave you a peek from Sea Otter here, and not much has changed since then- but the bikes sure do look better in their production colours. Only proper trail time will tell if the bikes are to succeed, but the redesigned head badge and graphics aren’t a bad start.
For all-mountain riders, the 150mm travel (160mm fork’d) Attack Trail features a carbon rear end at all three price points (£2999 -£4250) and the top two models are made entirely of the magic stuff. All three also sport 27.5in wheels, dropper posts (with internal routing at the top end), and versions of RockShox’s well-recieved 34mm Pike fork.
Attack Trail cables can be run either inside or outside of the frame- leading to much rejoicing among home mechanics. The head angle on Marin’s burliest full-susser in some time is a very-nearly-evil 66.5 degrees. Evolved significantly since its early days, the QUAD-Link 3.0 suspension platform is a dual short link affair that attempts to isolate suspension action from braking and drivetrain forces. The tune is intended to provide good small bump compliance, a firm pedaling platform, and good bottom-out resistance. As in years past, all bearings come with a lifetime warranty attached.
Marin have the trail and Enduro rider covered with the thoroughly revised Mount Vision series. Running from £2799 -£4999, the new IsoTrac suspension is a rocker-driven single pivot design, taking advantage of the carbon fibre rear end’s engineered flex to allow the seatstays to follow the rocker’s path. When dressed in the top “Pro” kit (full SRAM XX1, Reverb Stralth, and Formula Engineering carbon wheels), the Mount Vision’s 25lb weight won’t make for very good post-climb excuses. Three all-carbon models will be available, two in alloy/carbon, and a full-carbon Women’s Fit Geometry (WFG) model.
Interestingly, the WFG model is built around the same frame as the men’s models but with a tweaked build that swaps Avid Elixir 7 Trail brakes for an arguably preferable Shimano SLX set. Boys, how do you feel about eggplant?
Elsewhere in the range, 29er wheels live on under the Rift Zone marathon bike, which can be had with SRAM’s new XO1 11-speed group. In a move seemingly intended to inspire magazine shootout features, the carbon fibre Team CXR race hardtail is being offered inboth 27.5in and 29in wheel sizes. The Pro model (both wheel sizes) features Formula Engineering carbon wheels, Easton finishing kit, and SRAM’s XX1 group. A chain guide is also included, but our experience suggests that it won’t be necessary. Prices run from $3,132–$5,500, UK availability and pricing TBC.
At the far end of the spectrum, suspension-averse trail and bike park riders are catered for with a pair of burly aluminum Rocky Ridge hardtails. Wheels on both models are of the 27.5in variety and both come fitted with 130mm forks, pricing is from £1399 – £1999.
Being a full line manufacturer, Marin have some spiffy looking road and ‘cross bikes- if you’re into that sort of thing.
While full specs are absent, the entire 2014 range now looks to be on the website. Availability has not been set, but autumn deliveries of some models wouldn’t surprise.