Steel has been the choice of many frame makers over the years, but over the past 12 months, we’ve seen the popularity of this traditional material surge. Steel hardtails especially seem to be in vogue at the moment, with old favourites opening up their doors once again (see Fat Chance) and established brands becoming more mainstream. Just look at the number of Cotic, Stanton and Production Privee frames on the trails.
So what do you do if you want a steel frame that’s a little different from the norm? Perhaps you want to spec your own wheelbase, headtube length, maybe even custom airbrush graphics too?
Well, you could go to a traditional frame builder and spend upwards of £1000, or you could look further afield to Peru and see what Marino Bikes could do for you.
Marino Bikes is based in Lima, Peru, and according to its ‘About Us’ page on their website has 10 years of experience building frames.
The range currently consists of trials bikes, BMXs, and street/dirt jump bikes, but they are also adding a new Enduro frame to the range.
There doesn’t appear to be a model name to the Marino Enduro, but a post on the company’s Facebook page confirmed that the double butted 4130 frames with custom colours start from just $280! That’s an extremely attractive price for an off the shelf price never mind a custom bike.
Of course, there are options that can increase the price, such as a triple triangle design for an extra $20, wishbone rear stays for $15 or airbrushed logos at $20, but pricing is still very competitive. Even with shipping to the UK, the cost would hit just $380.
If you like your steel to have a bit of bounce to it then Marino is also working on a full suspension downhill bike, which basically looks like a steel Santa Cruz V10. No specs or pricing details on this just yet.
So what do you think? Would you be willing to spend a little money on a custom Marino from Peru, or would you prefer to spend more on an established frame maker based in the UK? Let us know in the comments below.