Hidden (in plain sight) at the Marin booth at this year’s Sea Otter was a muddy-looking Marin adventure bike. Look closer though and it proved to be an e-bike hardtail. Look even closer and it was obviously made from steel.
We’ve not seen too many (or any?) steel e-bikes, but there’s no particular reason why not too. The slightly heavier tubeset over an alloy one doesn’t make that much difference compared to the weight of the motor. (though the motor plate is going to be a fair bit chunkier). But who cares? You have a motor…
The Marin steel e-bike was set up as a sort of backwoods adventure bike, with luggage (that held a spare battery and a charger…) and some Marin-logo klunker-style handlebars that not only look the part, but which allow a ton of space for your GPS, lights, bell and other accessories.
Even with some Vee Tire Crown Gem plus tyres, at 27.5 x 2.8in, there was a ton of room, suggesting that running a chunky 29in set up would also be possible. The bike itself runs a mix of SRAM NX off the Shimano motor up front. There are Revelation forks and an X-Fusion dropper, so it suggests that the bike won’t be stupid-expensive. Perhaps it’ll appeal to riders who want an affordable steel hardtail, but who have aspirations of some backcountry adventure.
A quiet word with one of the Marin employees confirmed that this isn’t just a one-off and so we can definitely expect to see production versions of this quirky machine, though they wouldn’t confirm when. There were a couple of other bikes hidden around the stand too, so stay tuned to grit.cx and Singletrack for those.
What do you think? A good help for a bit of loaded bikepacking? Or is Marin missing the point of all this self-propelled wilderness adventuring?