Marin Hawk Hill - Review

Jan 2, 2017
by Paul Aston  




Marin Bicycles is one of the few brands that carries a weight of heritage in its name. Marin County, after all, is arguably the place modern mountain biking was born. Fast forwarding four decades and change brings us right here to this bike: the 2017 Hawk Hill. The Hawk Hill model has been hanging around the Marin Bicycles stable for years, but for 2017 the bike comes in a different guise. This latest machine is a full-suspension, trail bike on a budget. Marin, however, promises that its price doesn't undercut the Hawk Hill's performance.

The Hawk Hill lives up to most modern standards, features a solid build kit (including an easily-adjustable air suspension) and offers the potential for upgrades... all for a measly $1,499 USD from your local dealer.


Images for Marin Hawk Hill
Details:
• Intended use: Trail, budget shredding
• Travel: 120mm front and rear
• Series 3, 6061 butted and hydroformed aluminum frame
• MultiTrac suspension
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• XS - XL sizing
• 135mm Open Dropout (upgradeable to 142x12mm Thru-Axle)
• Weight: 31.11lbs / 14.37kgs, (XL with tubes)
• MSRP: $1,499 USD / £1200 GBP
www.marinbikes.com / @MarinBikes


Frame Details

The Hawk Hill is constructed from Series 3 6061, butted and hydroformed aluminum tubes. The bike also features a tapered headtube, 73mm, threaded bottom bracket and 30.9mm seat tube. Rear dropouts begin life with inserts to create 135mm quick-release spacing to match the supplied wheel. These inserts, however, can be removed to upgrade to a 142mm x 12mm bolt-thru hub.

The rear brake is routed externally and the rear derailleur routing is internal. Though the bike doesn't come with a dropper post, there's provision here to run one. And, yes, there are water-bottle cage mounts...blessedly located on top of the down tube.

Images for Marin Hawk Hill

Images for Marin Hawk Hill
Images for Marin Hawk Hill


Build

Marin offers exactly one version of the Hawk Hill, which probably helped them keep the price under control. Many of the parts are in-house branded affairs, but they are also more contemporary than many 'cheap' offerings that get lumbered with junk from a previous generation of bikes.

At the top, Marin's dual-compound grips push onto a wide, 780mm handlebar with a 31.8mm clamping stem in 60mm length – a good start.

Images for Marin Hawk Hill

The wheelset is comprised of a rim with a 27mm internal width, combined with sealed-bearing hubs. Front spacing is 100mm x 15mm bolt-thru and the rear is 135mm quick release. Chunky Hans Dampf tires from Schwalbe are specced in a 2.35" size. The raw wheelset weighs in at 2,050g, so if you are a weight weenie, this could be your first port of call to speed up acceleration.

Images for Marin Hawk Hill

The crankset is another burly Marin component, equipped with a single, steel, narrow/wide ring – currently one of the most popular upgrades in mountain biking already fitted to this budget machine – good work.

10-speed drivetrain duties are shifted by a Shimano Deore Shadow Plus derailleur that slides the chain up and down a wide-range, 11-42t Sunrace cassette. Braking duties are also handled by Shimano Deore brakes, biting against 180/160mm Centre Lock rotors.


Geometry and Sizing

The Hawk Hill is offered in five sizes, from XS through XL. Geometry is on the trail bike side of the agenda, which compliments the 120mm of travel. A size Medium bike sports 67.5º head tube angle, 69º seat angle, 430mm chainstay and 437mm reach.


Images for Marin Hawk Hill
Images for Marin Hawk Hill


Suspension

A single-pivot chainstay connects above the rear-wheel axle to drive the seat stay and short rocker link to the shock. Marin has coined the system 'MultiTrac', which they say provides similar characteristics to the 'IsoTrac' system found on the company's higher tier Rift Zone and Mount Vision bikes.


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It's great to see the use of air-sprung suspension on a low-end bike; hopefully, this means that consumers will leave the shop with a great start on their suspension setup, rather than leaving that shop with a coil spring in their fork that is either over or undersprung for their weight and which will likely stick with them for the duration of ownership.


Images for Marin Hawk Hill
Images for Marin Hawk Hill


Images for Marin Hawk Hill


Specifications
Specifications
Release Date September 2016
Price $1499
Travel 120mm
Rear Shock X Fusion O2 Pro R, 190mm x 50mm, Tube-B
Fork RockShox Recon Silver RL 27.5
Headset FSA Orbit, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8
Cassette Sunrace 10-Speed, 11-42T
Crankarms Marin Forged Alloy 1x10, Hollow Spindle, Steel Narrow-Wide 32T Chainring, 76mm BCD
Bottom Bracket External Sealed Cartridge Bearings
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore Shadow Plus Direct Mount
Chain KMC X10
Shifter Pods Shimano Deore 1x10-Speed
Handlebar Marin Mini-Riser, 6061 Double Butted Aluminum, 15mm rise, 780mm width, 4º up, 9º back
Stem Marin 3D Forged Alloy
Grips Marin Dual Density
Brakes Shimano BR-M315 Hydraulic Disc, 180mm Rotor
Hubs Front: Formula, 100x15mm, Centerlock Disc, 32H / Rear: Joytech, 135mm, Quad Sealed Bearings, Centerlock Disc, 32H
Rim Marin, Double Wall Alloy, 27mm Inner
Tires Schwalbe Hans Dampf, 27.5
Seat Marin Speed Concept
Seatpost Marin, Two Bolt Alloy

Images for Marin Hawk Hill








Setup

Preparing the bike for its first ride was a cinch and simply required setting the air pressure setting and adding a few clicks of suspension damping. X-Fusion recommends starting with 80 percent of your weight in pounds, RockShox's air pressure guide is located on the back of the fork leg. I found I had to drop from the advised 132 psi in the rear shock down to 115 psi, and add an extra 10 psi in the fork (up to 100 psi) to get the sag and balance I preferred.

Dialing the rebound into the X-Fusion shock is simple, as it features a wide range of adjustment over its ten clicks. The clicks aren't very pronounced, but after finding a base you are happy with, you should never need to move more than one click either way. The same is true for the fork, which has five clicks of rebound over a wide range, and five clicks of low-speed compression, which takes it from open to near lockout. That said, both of these adjusters stayed wide open for all of my riding.


On The Trail

It's hard to judge a $1,500 bike against carbon superbikes costing four to five times as much...the kind of bikes we test riders are often fortunate enough to test. The Hawk Hill is fairly efficient considering the weight and does a good job of munching up the miles. I found that my tall seat height, combined with the slack seat angle and short chainstays, added up to a compromised, seated-climbing position and front wheel wander when compared to some modern, forward-geometry bikes I am used to. Sliding the seat to the front of the rails helped, but for the L/XL sizes, I feel this could be sharpened up with a steeper seat angle.

The weight isn't a hindrance if you put it out of your mind and get on with the job. I spend most of my time riding long travel bikes over the 30-pound mark, so that wasn't an issue; just don't expect this thing to race out of the blocks like some kind of sub 20-pound XC whippet.


Images for Marin Hawk Hill


The first thing that had to go was the 60mm stem. I'm a sub-50mm stem kind of guy, on any bike, and don't like heading into corners or steeper drops and chutes with my hands so far over the front axle. I swapped to a 45mm stem, and rolled the handlebars back which helped with balance and moved my hands further behind the front axle, a change that allowed me to weight the front wheel more in turns and when braking with less of an over-the-bars sensation.

The suspension has an easy-to-find balance, front to rear. The fork is supple, reactive and holds itself well in the mid stroke. The rear suspension has more stiction and less sensitivity. Coming, as I do, from riding longer-travel bikes, I had to remind myself to dial in my expectations a bit--this is a shorter-travel, 120-millimeter travel bike with an inclination towards trail riding and it rides like one. The Hawk Hill, however, seems to get on with everything in hand. It has no standout features--good or bad--when it comes to its handling. It's a very neutral bike.

Marin has brought the Hawk Hill up to a fairly modern standard with the wide bar, one-by drivetrain, and chunky wheelset. In fact, the capability of the componentry outperforms the trail-orientated geometry. To align these two, and put this bike in line with growing trends, I would like to see Marin slacken the head angle a degree or add a longer-travel fork. While they're at it, the seat angle can be steepened a couple of degrees, even if this is only for the larger sizes. Adjusting these numbers would ease climbing, settle descending and increase stability – factors important for beginner or novice riders who are probably most attracted to this model, given its price tag. Sizing isn't far off, but like many current bikes, I think a bigger difference per size is needed – S, M and L sizes are in the ballpark but the XS and XL need adjusting. Other bikes use extra stem length with each size, but if Marin continue to spec a 60mm stem on all sizes, the frames need to compensate with their measurements.


Images for Marin Hawk Hill

Should I Buy a Hawk Hill?

$1,500 is still a large chunk of cash, even though this bike could be called a bargain. Should a beginner buy this over a new hardtail? For people interested in upping their game from hardtail hooning, the Hawk Hill would be a positive move. Spending the same number of dollars on a hardtail would only net you a few upgrades in componentry with no real ride improvement.

Is the Hawk Hill better than a used bike? There are some amazing deals to be found in the classifieds. A 3/4-year-old, well maintained, high-end trail bike would share a similar shape, but higher-quality suspension, components and lighter weight. Then again, buying used requires some level of expertise to choose the right steed. That kind of expertise will hopefully be given to you free on your local Marin dealer's shop floor. And there's always the joy of collecting your own brand new bike, warranty, and even financing, organized through the shop.

Is the Hawk Hill better than its direct-sale competition? Yes and no, depending on which bike you choose. Buying online will achieve 'better' components in terms of dollar value, not necessarily performance, and could fall foul to some of the same downsides as buying a used bike. Buying these types of bikes direct may still leave you with long stems, narrow handlebars, clunky front derailleurs and feeble wheelsets that will quickly be due for a pricy upgrade – all pieces of the puzzle nailed here by Marin.



Images for Marin Hawk Hill


Technical Report

• Shimano Deore Brakes: The Deore brakes are surprisingly good, though the resin pads and pressed steel discs don't quite have the bite and friction found on higher end brakes. The inclusion of Centre Lock adaptors with the bike would be a great help for people changing rotors or wheelsets in the future.

• Marin Components: Fair play to Marin, all of their products did a great job. These items may not be the most refined or flashy, but they set a standard that makes me question if we need to spend small fortunes on high-end componentry. I'm glad to see them erring on the side of strength and caution, especially with the cranks and wheelset, over low weight. The Hawk Hill is ready to take a pounding out of the box.
Images for Marin Hawk Hill


• Dropper Dismay: Dropper posts can be taken for granted when you have the joy of using them for years and years. Jump on a bike without one, and you're constantly hassled by the fact that the saddle is always up when you want it down or vice versa. Or even worse, when you set it in a middle position, leaving you stuck in no-mans land. A quick release clamp on the production bike lessened the blow. Easily the most important upgrade to make to the Hawk Hill.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesMarin has played a strong set of cards in the budget-bike battle. The in-house componentry saves money, but gains performance and durability. Air-sprung suspension makes set-up a breeze. The geometry is rounded for general trail riding, but I would like to see it modernised on future models to really let this bike push novice riders on to their next level. - Paul Aston



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About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 30 • Height: 6'1” • Ape Index: +4" • Weight: 73kg • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: astonator
Paul Aston is a racer and dirt-jumper at heart. Previously adding to the list of non-qualifiers at World Cup DH events, now he's attacking enduro and has been since before it was fashionable. Based in the UK, but often found residing between mainland Europe and New Zealand allows him to experience a huge variety of terrains and trails.


Must Read This Week

136 Comments

  • + 177
 I like it, there's nothing glaringly bad in my opinion, and it feels good to see a non-space age, sub bazillion dollar bicycle, because I was beginning to wonder if there was such a thing as a non-professional mountain biker.
  • + 79
 You can thank YT and Canyon for starting to bring other manufacturers price back down to reality.
  • + 96
 Yeah, with a $1500 price tag, 2017 is hitting home. I would have never expected PB to review a bike under $5k.
I'm glad 2016 ended. Hopefully 2017 is the year of one hub size standardizing.
  • + 38
 An entire bike, for what some people would not think twice about spending on a wheel upgrade. I love it, I hope they sell out of them!
  • + 27
 @Boardlife69: YT? lol they are now more expensive than brand that are sale by lbs.
  • + 7
 @Mathhhh: maybe in Canada, here the baseline jeffsy, components better in every way, arguably more capable (depends on what riding you do and what you want your bike to do though I have to admit) is €1500
  • + 2
 @Mathhhh: eh where are you looking two friends got them and paid substantially less then lbs with the same spec here in BC.
  • + 16
 @Jokesterwild: The cheapest YT full suspension on their website, in Canadian dollars, is $3000. That's the most entry level Jeffsy.

I work for a shop that sells Marin and we have a few of the Hawk Hill bikes and we're selling it at $1800 Canadian, which is about $1340 American according to google.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69:
Not really - I was riding a Marin East Peak way back in 1998 that was *brilliant* for the money...
  • + 0
 @Mathhhh: In europe they are a bargain and also VERY well equipped! Cayon, YT, Commencal are the first place i look when thinking of a new bike to be honest. Why pay more for the same or less?
  • + 2
 @scotty1212: Same. We're selling them for$1859, a great deal.
  • + 1
 @abzillah: Im not onboard with one hub sizing. 135, 142, and 150. All have there places in the mtb world Boost 148 is just silly to me though, I mean just make 150 work, seriously. Same with 100 and 110 in a fork. my 29er wheel would be flexy as shit if it wasn't for 110.
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: how? YT and Canyon have done zilch for the industry apart from crippling the bike shop. YT and Caynon have huge mark ups on their bikes and because they sell direct they are making even more mark up on each bike rather than distributing dollars through bike shops
  • + 3
 @tomgibson: most people, me included, would rather save a massive amount of money than let someone else take a cut of it. I'm sorry it's not the best situation for the community but I can't justify 30-40% more on a multi thousand pound/dollar bike. I'll happily buy parts and pay for work at a local shop but the savings on a bike are too great. Also most local bike shops seem to be part of a massive chain like Evans cycles in the U.K. Even buying from stores like the specialized and giant stores you still pay massive increases over direct sales companies. Either way if it's cheaper then I will put that over most other things. Especially since commencal are making some of the best enduro bikes around and yt made a World Cup winning bike it's not like you're not getting performance for your money!
  • + 1
 @stoats: Hey Stoats you sell many attack trails over the last couple seasons? Just interested to know how many of them have cracked
  • + 0
 Too bad Marins frame quality is garbage and their customer service is even worse!
  • + 99
 Wow. I'm impressed Pinkbike. Not often you get to see good write ups on cheaper products but you knocked this out of the park. Everyone likes reading about 8k bikes but reading about a bike that mere mortals can buy is refreshing. Keep it up!
  • + 14
 It's not pinkbikes fault that cheaper bikes don't get write ups. Blame the industry that doesn't make the cheap bikes for pb to review lol
  • + 8
 I wouldn't be surprised if this was bought by PB rather than given by Marin: There was quite a few of us calling on them to review this bike. a $1500 full suspension that doesn't suck has the potential to revolutionize the sport.
  • + 9
 Articles like this bring back the aura of Pinkbike of years past.
  • + 10
 @sevensixtwo: I don't really even like to read those 8k bike reviews knowing what 95% of the content will be and that I'll never buy the bike. PB is usually like Top Gear with their supercars sans the funny stuff so bargain products like this are refreshing to see.
  • + 9
 @kanioni: But Top Gear did the occasional cheap car review. Usually something sporty like a fiesta or golf GTI. They also weren't afraid to be critical of a car, they've called 200k calls pointless and rubbish. Its hard to find a bike review anywhere that is critical.
  • + 6
 This makes me think about being 23yo back in Colorado on a $1400 Trek Fuel. Smoked it to the filter and never thought wether or not my bike was nice enough.
  • - 2
 @groghunter: These Marins are good for all our spoiled kids who see daddy's YT and won't ride anything that aint full suspension.....
  • + 0
 @endlessblockades: These Marins are good if you want to crack your frame and then be forced to wait six months for a replacement.
  • + 61
 Anything that gets people out on the trail for cheaper is a plus in my books!
  • + 41
 I'm liking what I see here! The geo isn't inferior what it is, is comfortable. For those who want to be a part of the sport but aren't looking to be KOM or even know what the fuck a KOM is the trails can still be fun and will only be more fun on a full suspension. Not everyone wants to be all leaned over and or would rather have a more up right feel for that reason or maybe they have a bad back. A lot of people who are 50 and over are still in great shape and always looking for new activities and not all want to be roadies and if we carried Marin at my shop this is the ideal bike for these folks. I'm not saying it should be limited to older riders but it's deffinitly the bike I would suggest to them. Nice work Marin.
  • + 24
 Looks like a darn good deal, and a decent x fusion dropper is a fairly cheap upgrade
  • + 4
 DMN makes a dropper for about $140. Its pretty good.
  • + 20
 Deore brakes 'surprisingly good' . . . . Really, aren't we past the point now where it is even vaguely surprising that they are good. We all know they are.
  • + 1
 you can pick up a set of deores on chain reaction for around these same price as two sets of brake pads, and they are a super capable set of stoppers. slx and even xt aren't even that much better considering the price difference.
  • + 0
 You wouldn't believe the difference between the deore and the SLX models. There is a crispness and a power in the SLX brakes that the deores just don't seem to have. The deores were great for my dirt jumper but I had to put ZEE's on new yeti. (Deores came on the yeti)
  • + 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Given I had xt after my Deore and am on Zee now I can't state with such matter of factness that there is a 'crispness' and that I wouldn't believe the difference.

More expensive brakes feel a bit better, it isn't a shock really is it.

Everyone knows Deore are excellent brakes and frequently review as such.
  • + 12
 That is not specc'd that badly even. I thnk the basic Kona Process 134 with the rekon fork and not much upgrades elsewhere was 2500ish? That is a big savings for a couple degrees of angles here and there.
Nice to see this come out on a day when gas jumped 20Cents a litre. At least one company isn't lying about 'having to pass increased costs to the consumer". Shimanos prices are better than they have ever been and everything is made cheaply overseas so it is good to see a bike actually reflecting that. Now, if that can translate to some pricing wars and we can save that money to work less hours to ride more hours all will be well.
  • + 12
 I've seen pricier bikes that are not as good to look at and not as well spec'ed. I agree with the "neutral" comments above and I bet this is what the product managers were aiming for. Everything but the seat angle looks spot on, and even this is not to be judged unless ridden.
  • + 4
 the seat tube is offset forward, it's too bad the effective seat angle was left blank in the chart
  • + 2
 I get a ~73* seat angle using screen protractor on the manufacturer's photo.
  • + 4
 @scottzg: Yeah, many brands stick with only stating effective seat tube angles, without even mentioning at what saddle height this is measured. Marin in this case are too honest for their own good.
  • + 10
 Thank you for reviewing a sub $2,000 bike PB. It's nice to see a review on the bikes that the general buying public can actually afford. The high end reviews have their place as well, but it's nice to see the spectrum of availability! This bike looks like it's a pretty capable bike. I also like that you are honest through out the article about the bike and it's capabilities. Cheers for that!
  • + 11
 A bike I could actually afford!? Is Pinkbike sick?
  • + 10
 I think "made for fun" should be engraved on every bike
  • + 5
 For years I have had friends and family ask for guidance on good entry level bikes for their kids that have suspension and they most always respond with a shocked look on their face, even at well-used prices. That just changed.
  • + 4
 Thank you pink bike for doing a review on a bike the average person can afford, though in some ways you're not able to take the credit because it seems Marin came out with a good bike for the price. Please try to make this a trend somehow for the year though!
  • + 4
 Sat on one of these in the shop last week. They actually LOOK good in person too. Simple, clean lines, internal routing for a dropper. You can jump on it and go. Geometry reminded me of a 2014 Kona Process of a buddy that I rode around.

This bike puts you out on the trails instantly and when the fork wears out, quick upgrade. There are a lot of bikes that hit a higher price point, but yet are still considered "starter" bikes that you upgrade the components of.

This one makes sense to upgrade. You get into it cheaper than most, you can upgrade as you either get cash or learn more about the sport and it's not too much or too little travel.
  • + 4
 If you like those cheap and cappable bikes have a look at the focus vice pro
www.focus-bikes.com/de_en/24356-vice-pro.html
1600€ nice geometire and it comes with a dropper post and a 11x drivetrain.
Hope theres coming a review too.
  • + 3
 Why would you change the stem, which is picked by the manufacturer to match the bike's geo and intended use, but not add a dropper for the duration of the test? Swapping in a dropper is a much more likely up-sell for a bike of this level, and just lets you either get rowdier or climb more efficiently, as opposed to a different stem actually making the bike ride quite differently.

I think the only change you should make to a test bike is your preferred pedals, perhaps go tubeless, and also perhaps grips, seat, and eventually tires on long-termers
  • + 3
 Aaaaah I want some carbon bike tests. Preferably with Di2 and graphene wrapped Enves. With Ultimate pedals. This is so cheap that if you can't afford it, you must be so poor that you wear Crankworx Air-DH marshalls vest on your sisters wedding. Aaaaaah, Gawd kill me now
  • + 3
 I built one of these last week. For fun I tested to see if there was frame/fork clearance for a 2.6'' Nobby Nic, It fit COMFORTABLY both front and rear with around 10mm of room for mud clearance. I can also attest to the elegance of the rear conversion to a 142mm thru-axle... you literally unthread (no tools required) an adaptor that is fitted on the frame and it is good to go... but honestly the wheels are decent enough to not bother with unless the freehub broke, the factory Marin rims have great width (27mm internal), and an OK tubeless profile (although a little difficult to seat a tire tubeless). The value for money looks great on paper, but frankly it's insane in person
  • + 1
 Man that sounds sweet!! Can not wait to throw a leg over one.
  • + 7
 funny because this is the least ugly bike marin have ever made
  • + 4
 A 60mm stem and a 780 bar on a budget bike...??? (along with good reach, decent tires, wider rims, serviceable suspension and brakes that work)

surely the apocalypse has come...
  • + 3
 PB please continue to focus on bikes for masses. Mountain bikes are extremely overpriced at present. Considering few bikes and components are made by hand in North America or Western Europe. Labor rates and factory efficiency in Asia particularly China means we should get great bikes at Walmart prices. There is nothing overly complicated or proprietary in the modern bike design. The fact that E-MTB is offered at a close price point to standard mountain bikes with alike suspension and drive train means we are clearly getting ripped off.

Consumer should be able to get a decent rig for cheap. A new bike manufacturer should spring up forgoing conventional advertising and sponsorships with a key theme on reducing consumer cost through viral advertising. I dare the industry to release a bike that sellls direct where manufacturing, material and components cost a show to the consumer. The manufacturer would state that their margin is 10-20% to cover design and administrative expenses.

If you are a American or European bike company who builds and sources your bike components from the 1st world be proud of it. If your rest of industry who has moved your manufacturing overseas we await the antidote to your short sightedness.
  • + 3
 Comfortable geometry, neutral handling, sensible components. In this day and age,$2000? It's a great bike for beginners and casual riders that doesn't require a big investment. Hell, I bet it'll get ridden harder than most of the $5000+ units out there.
  • + 3
 Thanks for this review! I like reading reviews of the 4000-6000 dollar carbon frame high-end bikes, but this Hawk Hill is in the price range I'm actually interested in buying. Seems like it does a solid job for the price. Could very well be my next bike after my current hardtail.
  • + 4
 Sorry for not reading the article beyond the beginning but ... it says frame MSRP is 1500 and above that it says frame + kit is 1500. Safe to assume its the good deal here right?
  • + 5
 That's a mistake in the article. I googled the bike and saw shops sell it for 1499 USD as a complete bike
  • + 2
 Funny thing is that is a decent price for a gram too...
  • + 1
 *Frame
  • + 8
 @bridgermurray: hahahhaha i was like damn son you are getting ripped off, come to colorado
  • + 1
 @adrennan: hahahahaha
  • + 2
 nice to see marin gaining more popularity....always liked the brand and have owned several aggro hardtail models and one of the early fs designs from 1999. nice to see bikes at this price point getting attention and will be recommending this to friends who aren't keen to drop several grand on the latest exotic bike. oh and yay threaded bb too Smile
  • + 2
 Also really nice to see a pretty solid sub-$2000 bike reviewed here. And a prettt decent review at that. just like the bike itself, no frills. From what i was told buy a shop owner and Marin dealer , they make some pretty top notch bikes and have a loyal following.
  • + 2
 With all due respect i've had a Joytech rear hub on my Norco Range. It lasted about 5 light rides forcing me to change wheel because after the maintenance me and my mechanic both agreed that it was very very poor quality.
Nothing to say about other equipment. I've used those brakes and are ok (I don't reccomend them for enduro)

In my opinion, for the target customer wich is a "sunday rider" who buys, uses sometimes and doesn't want any major issue like a failing rear hub, is not the right option. 200$ more to have a better wheelset!
  • + 2
 I have just taken delivery of this bike today. I live in Lincoln in the UK and have wanted this bike since September 2016. This is my second Marin bike and I have to say it has completely exceeded my expectations...... I have tried a range of bikes up to 3 times the price and this has blown the socks of 90%. I feel like I am 10 again one minute and a pro rider the next..... such a good responsive agile bike that makes me realise what riding a mountain bike is all about..... having fun and big smiles.... looking forward to riding again tomorrow. Thank you from the UK Marin.
  • + 2
 Will be interesting to see what these go for during end of year closeouts. Intense Tracer foundations drop from 3k to 2k at the end of the year. If this bike goes down to 1k at the end of the year, that will make it an amazing bargain.
  • + 3
 That's assuming there's any Hawk Hills left at the end of the year...
  • + 2
 I can't help but feel that this review lacked a little depth compared to other bike reviews. It's almost like it was ridden once. I've heard great things about this bike. Especially if you upgrade the suspension a bit.
  • + 3
 If those are Schwalbes cheaper "performance" tires they're gonna suck balls in the wet. Other than that spec looks very nice for the price.
  • + 2
 My Marin Hawk Hill circa 1994 (purple / silver hardtail) was the first mountain bike I ever bought. Upgraded the brakes and put Rockshox forks on it. This new one will never be as cool as the original! Smile
  • + 2
 Can someone please explain why inferior geometry was used, when I'm assuming Marin knows better? Is this to make their pricier bikes more appealing? Seems to me there shouldn't be much if any added manufacturing cost
  • + 18
 That's what I told myself at first but let's not kid ourselves, no rider worth their salt looking at a 3k$+ bike would be willing to settle for the spec of a 1.5k$ bike. The reason is most likely that somebody at marin felt the kind of person willing to buy a 1.5k$ mtb would be most happy with that kind of geo.
  • + 25
 I'd say geometry looks spot on for a 120mm neutral mannered trail bike, hold maybe a degree in the seat angle like the review said. Usually brands cheap models have digressive, uninspiring numbers, but was actually pleasantly surprised these numbers aren't far off from, for example, a fuel ex
  • + 3
 Like someone said above, this geo is supposedly more comfortable and easier to ride for a beginner.
  • + 5
 Geometry table is confusing, as the virtual STA fields are left blank. Does this bike really have an effective seat tube angle of 69.5 degrees? I'm guessing 6' 1" reviewer tested a Large, though he only mentions the dimensions of a Medium. Impossible to assess geo without more convincing and detailed info. Looks pretty nice for $1500.
  • + 11
 also, of course the front end wandered, the reviewer stuck a tiny stem on there.
  • + 0
 @PLC07: makes sense. I guess I had these new short travel bikes like the evil calling in mind when I said "inferior" geo, I suppose a beginner might not be needing the slack ha and what not. From my perspective, I would want a bike that was inspiring on the downhills no matter how little I paid
  • + 6
 @princecolby: I think it is safe to assume that someone paying 1.5k for a 120mm bike will probably not be throwing it down gnarly decent lines so I don't feel this is an important factor.

Anyway, everybody goes berserk when trailbikes dont have a 65.5HA or whatever these days and I'm sitting at like 66.7 and never found myself wishing for more even on steeper DH trails so sometimes I have a hard time understanding pinkbikers' grief.
  • + 1
 Man, i was throwing myself down black diamond runs at Powers Creek, Gillard, Big Ed, Dewdney, and that other one around Christina Lake in the interior of BC, and that was on the old geo of the 2008 Mount Vision and those supposedly flexy 32mm fox forks. I didn't know any better so I didn't notice that I was having a horrible time and was dumb enough to think I was enjoying myself. Better geo would surely have improved the experience, but I suspect that me nine years ago is the target demographic for this bike.
  • + 3
 How was the shifting with the sun tour cassette? I need a new 10-speed cassette and 10-42 sounds good.
  • + 1
 I'm running the Sunrace MX3 for about 3mo now as a 1x10 setup with a Goatlink on an XT derailleur. After a little initial fiddling it shifts as well as the 11-36 shimano cassette ever did and I'm not considering a move to 1x11 anytime soon. Initially there was some backpedaling issue with 3/4 rotation on the 42t, but as the system "wore in" that's become less of an issue. I had similar problems on a demo bike with a Shimano 1x11 setup so don't consider this a problem with my solution.

No idea how it does on this bike, but no reason to think it's not rock solid as it is on my tracer.
  • + 0
 Hmm looks pretty good but as a European I'd buy a YT Jeffsy if I had to choose a new bike in this range.
Its 100€ cheaper and comes with a dropper and full RS Suspension.
But if you want to testride it at a local Dealer and doesn't like the online Brands without Stores you'd be fine with this bike...Well balanced components and of course a kind of historic Brand/Name.
  • + 2
 The Jeffsy does look nice...
  • + 3
 I agree. Most people in this price range probably are better off with the support of a decent Bike Shop (notice that I said decent!). Easy warranty, free first service, buying/upgrade advice.

But for those that have a few years more experiance online stores are great.
  • + 1
 The price of the Jeffsy is 2000 euro but their price dropped at the end of the year (and it has been sold out).
  • + 4
 I hope they sell tons of these!!! good on ya Marin!
  • + 0
 Looks 100% better without the ugly Marin 'gusset' at the top tub / seat tube join. Something might be wrong Marin when your budget alloy frame looks better than your free form carbon frames.
And yes I am talking aesthetics not performance, I admit I buy a bike as much with my eyes as with my brain, if it don't look good so I want to get out and ride it all the time then its not working for me.
  • + 5
 nice cranks too
  • + 2
 This bike is all good except for the fact Hawk Hill is the name of the most well known road cycling segment in Marin county...
  • + 4
 I'd go with dropper posts over rear suspension if it was a choice.
  • + 3
 I like this bike a lot and I like when they make a review with cheaper bikes.
  • + 4
 Give us some haro reviews
  • + 2
 Thi bike looks like it was made fore dealers like REI and Eastern Mountain Sports, which is a good thing for everyday people/shoppers looking to get into the sport.
  • + 0
 Funny how you say you'd need to upgrade a used or factory direct bike and make it sound like this bike doesn't need upgrades lol If I purchased this bike I'd be upgrading, rear shock, front shock, bar, stem, brakes, It's a decent starting point but I'd still buy used any day over this build.
  • + 8
 You obviously don't get it
  • + 1
 Kudos to Marin for a well built bike, kudos to Pinkbike for a good review! I'm one of the "On The Budget" riders and I'll swap my beloved up to date upgraded 2010 FSR for that piece of kit!
  • + 3
 Will this bike sell me propane and propane accessories?
  • + 1
 Aren't those also the same bcd as the non-direct mount sram gxp rings?
  • + 3
 A full squish for under 2 grand? I like it!
  • + 1
 Great stuff! We needed a nice bike like this to sit next to our Transition and Yeti at the shop. Way to go @MarinBikes thank you! Great looking bike too!
  • + 1
 I was beginning to wonder if Marin had blinked from existence, hardly ever see one nowadays. I like it but then i started off on an East peak.
  • + 1
 That looks like a lot of bike for your money. If only it would have had a normal seat tube angle...
  • + 2
 Throw a six inch fork up front and you get a slacker HT angle.
  • + 2
 even if the geometry isn't on point it looks hella sick
  • + 17
 For a neutral mannered 120mm trail bike head angle, reach and cs numbers seem spot on to me.
  • - 7
flag passwordpinkbike (Jan 3, 2017 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 @ibishreddin: Oh stop that condescending shit, for anyone but a beginner this bike would feel very limiting. You need little understanding of bikes to clearly see that.
  • + 1
 A used Canfield Nimble 9 or Yelli would be lower maintenance and more fun even if they are hardtails for the same $.
  • + 1
 I have a soft spot for Marin. Bike looks good. But if you don't have a dually budget, don't buy a dually.
  • + 3
 True. I made that mistake a few years ago- instead of getting a good hardtail I bought a FS for same $ and ended up with rubbish fork and brakes etc. Shoulda saved longer or got quality HT.
  • + 2
 so nice !! change the fork maybe and this bike is so cool!
  • + 1
 Id go with a META V3 Commie for 2 bills extra
  • + 1
 My bike has a 150mm stem. What a bunch of wusses
  • + 1
 what are the shoes that the tester is wearing?
  • + 1
 5.10 Danny MacAskills (sp?) I have some.....they're a little clompy off the bike in their own understated way, but grip the pedals like hell.
  • + 1
 What??! A Bicycle that cost less than my 2016 CBR 600! It can't be.
  • + 2
 good review
  • + 1
 I love watching Paul's suspension action videos!
  • + 1
 Available at @billygoatbikes
  • + 1
 Doh. That's @billygoatbikes1
  • + 0
 Giant Stance 2 has better spec for same money or Giant Trance 3 for a little more...
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