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Marin's Refreshed Alpine Trail E Comes With CushCore Tire Inserts

Mar 20, 2023
by Seb Stott  
16.02.23. Marin Bikes. Rift Zone E Alpine Trail E PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder



Marin's first eMTB, the Alpine Trail E, launched a couple of years ago and has proven a popular choice thanks to well-chosen parts for the money and solid ride quality. The bike has mullet wheels, 150 / 160 mm of suspension travel, and an alloy frame with a linkage-driven single-pivot suspension design.

Now it's been updated with fresh specs. Marin have upgraded from Shimano E7000 and EP8 (depending on price) to the newer EP6 and EP801 drive units. They've also added a third model (simply called the Alpine Trail E) which makes use of Vee tires and X-Fusion suspension.
2023 Marin Alpine Trail E Details

• Wheel size: 29" front 27.5" rear
• Suspension ravel: 150mm rear, 160 mm front
• Shimano EP6 or EP801 drive system
• 504-630Wh removable battery
• 63º head angle
• Aluminum frame
• Size: S - XL
• Price:$4499 to $6299 USD
marinbikes.com
Perhaps the most interesting spec choice is that all three models will ship with CushCore tire inserts fitted. We're not used to seeing these used by OEMs - they've usually only fitted aftermarket - and at $150 a set, they're definitely not something we'd expect to see on more affordable bikes. But on e-MTBs especially - and ones with plus-size tires in particular - I think they make a lot of sense.



photo



Here are the key specs and prices of the three new models. More detailed component information can be found here. Note the below images show Maxxis tires, but the spec sheet says Vee rubber.

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Alpine Trail E

• Shimano STEPs EP6 drive unit, 504Wh internal battery
• X-Fusion Trace 36 RC fork, 160mm travel
• X-Fusion O2 Pro RXC shock
• Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain
• Shimano MT420 4-piston brakes
• Vee Tire Co. Attack HPL 29x2.5” front & Crown Gem 27.5x2.8” rear tires
• $4499 US/$5649 CAD/£4355 GBP/4999€

photo

Alpine Trail E1

• Shimano STEPs EP6 drive unit, 630Wh internal battery
• X-Fusion Trace 36 RC fork, 160mm travel
• RockShox Super Deluxe Coil R shock
• Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain
• Shimano MT420 4-piston brakes
• $4899 US/$6149 CAD/£4795 GBP/5599€

photo

Alpine Trail E2

• Shimano STEPs EP801 drive unit
• Fox Performance Elite fork
• Fox Float DHX2 coil shock
• Shimano SLX/XT 12-speed drivetrain
• Shimano SLX 4-piston brakes
• $6299 US/$7899 CAD/£5895 GBP/6899€



Marin says all models will be available by March/April 2023

17.02.23. Marin Bikes. Rift Zone E Alpine Trail E PIC Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography andylloyder


Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
312 articles

100 Comments
  • 108 0
 The poor fellas at the assembly line mounting cush core all day long..
  • 3 0
 How much do you think we can save if they don’t mount them from the factory?
  • 6 3
 I'm MORE than happy to have someone else do it. Huge props to Marin for taking on that task. I bashed my brothers rear wheel on his Levo the first lap around the parking lot because I didn't account for the added weight when going up a curb. Didn't quite hop up enough and BANG dented the S#*^ out of his rim. Cush core might have helped on that one. just maybe. Same kind of non-thinking goes for rocks on the trail.
  • 3 0
 @Evo6: What kinda air pressure does he run?
  • 5 0
 @Endurbruh: Not enough lol
Well that or one brother likes pie a bit more than the other.....
  • 6 0
 @Endurbruh: 5 psi apparently
  • 7 0
 I bet each finger has its own sculpted six pack.
  • 5 0
 Owners: "We're pretty far off our covid numbers. Demand slowing down pretty significantly. Going to need to let a few bike assembly staff go."

Manager: "No need to fire them. I've got an idea."
  • 1 0
 Just a heads up to anyone that the base model does not come w/ Cush (as Seb notes up here). Absent. Not a make or break thing, just not true.
  • 54 1
 Never ridden Marin, yet have nothing but respect for their specs and generally grounded attitude.

Who knows, maybe more of “smaller” (not as big as S, Canyon, etc.) bike companies soon understand that appreciating ordinary riders is not only “good” but is also a key to stay in the game.
  • 6 0
 I'm definitely a mid-spec buyer and this sort of bike appeals. I've had a few rides on the 2022 E2 and thought it handled really well, quite heavy, so a very planted feel but once you get them moving they fly, feel very responsive, the suspension works great.
I think it's a great bike for the money, the E2 spec was on offer in the UK for under £5k earlier this year.

The Crown Gem rear tyre that comes with them appears to have been taken off a tractor mower though.
  • 5 1
 @Steventux: 25kg+ is a little too planted for me
  • 6 0
 $4500 is a very respectable intro price point. 10-speed drivetrain is all you need with an eMTB (I find my 12 speed on my Levo is overkill).
  • 3 0
 @KalkhoffKiller: Yeah definitely a workout, I'm not a regular ebike rider but I was surprised at the difference in that dead weight of 25kg and the feel of the bike when it was put to use. FWIW I love jumps and moving the bike around and I didn't feel like weight was an issue once it was going.

If I was weighing it up (yep!) I'd rather pay £5k for a 25kg machine than spend a whole lot more on a 22/23kg machine.
  • 4 2
 These bikes look really good. I am hoping Shimano is going to come out with a bigger battery though - 630W doesn’t give me the range that those with >750W batteries are getting. Case in point - I demo’d a Repeater last week (Shimano powered) and zapped the battery, while my buddy with Bosch-powered Rail had 40% showing when we were done. (17mi, 3,000’ vert) Now I do weigh 45+lbs more than him, but that’s just more evidence for me eventually picking a full power bike with the biggest possible battery.
  • 3 0
 Marin bikes are a fantastic value. I've had a few of them, and they were all terrific bikes.
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: My experience of a hire Bosch powered Canondale vs the Marin/Shimano combo was the same, the Bosch seemed to eek out the power for much longer.
I think the trail setting on the Marin was a bit too perky and a huge power step from eco. I'd be interested to know what a reasonably fit rider using a tweaked Shimano trail mode (ie. less assistance) sees in terms of battery life.
  • 30 0
 Marin are the masters of bang for buck spec.
  • 4 0
 Yea very low price increase over last year too. Unlike other companies which have put prices up 10-20%
  • 18 1
 Big round of applause for no headset cable routing.
  • 15 1
 Great, Cushcore is so needed as the curbstone at our local beergarden is hell! Also makes it unnecessary to ever inflate the tires again.
  • 3 1
 this will be great for the methbikers
  • 1 0
 Crush Core'ing it to the coffee shop and back with no worries
  • 10 0
 Marin is my favorurite brand. They seem to learn from their mistakes real fast, they listen to the customers....and they design products for real riders. Personally, I'm not after some of the ultra short seat tubes in some of their models as the new san quentin but in general, the brand is on top of my hypothetical next bike list. Maybe this is because I don't like any other big manufacturer nowadays and smaller ones i like, have ridicoulous prices.
  • 10 0
 I always find it weird that no mainstream ebikes are available as just a frame/motor/battery combo as many potential customers have either got loads of bike parts kicking about or eccentric taste in components.
  • 3 0
 I think Specialized are starting to but only with their top end frames.
  • 5 0
 Pole Voima frame for an non-mainstream build and not much else. Maybe the dollars don’t add up for most brands to sell ebike frames? I’ve built up all my bikes from frames forever - love the craft, almost as fun as the riding! But now an all ebike stable means that won’t work. Solution is expensive (but so are most mtb frames in 23) - I buy the least expensive model in the ebike range and swap out most of the parts (mainly with good bits from heavy duty enduro mtb builds that are just sitting around, that’ll handle ebike abuse). Just finished an Orbea Rise build and couldn’t be sweeter.
  • 5 4
 Should say I’ve installed the alternative Pinkbike ebike filter so now I only have to read about mopeds and enjoy the educated and thoughtful comments attached to these wonderful stories.
  • 1 0
 @bobjumpd: I’m similar, i generally like to hunt ebay for quality bargains and build things up myself. My ebike was different as id had my eye on it for a while and the vendor dropped the price so i snapped it up (one fat owner, 26 miles) and pimped it.
Eventually i killed the motor but using the receipt and pretending to be original owner i got a new motor but it was a right faff putting it all back as standard before i took it in to the shop.
Thought It probably best as I’ve read loads about manufacturers being slippery sods with warranty if bikes are modded.
It’d be nice not faffing with cables n hoses etc when the motor inevitably dies.
  • 7 0
 Fezzari's new Timp Peak is available as a frame kit. Looks like a decent bike too.
  • 2 0
 I've got the impression from the small amount of ebike content I've seen that they upspec ebike parts to increase durability (hence cush core as standard). It could just be marketing though. It would however explain the lack of frame only options.
  • 3 0
 Most people who buy high end bikes are usually those that would keep the build stock, because they either want the bike to keep their value, or they don't realize bikes are lego-able.
  • 8 0
 Bike looks nice. Just curious, does it even matter for e-bike riders whether you'd get a Deore 10sp or 11sp drivetrain if you already have pedal assist? It even seems to me you're better off with the 10sp version as you'd get less (rotating) unsprung weight with one less sprocket on the cassette. The rear shock would be the selling point for the E1 over the regular E version, probably.
  • 3 0
 I got a hardtail ebike with deore 10 speed that i use for shifting tools, firewood and all manner of heavy loads through mud and slop and the drivetrain is still going strong after about 2k miles so personally not bothered by how many gears, its the range that counts. 11-46 10sp would get you pretty much anywhere 10-52 would
  • 3 0
 @Kebabroll: Yeah, after replacing another 25 euro 10sp chain (at 0.5% strain) and three 6 euro cassette sprockets (Deore XT) I finally took the plunge and ordered the kids' Microshift drivetrain. At least the wear parts are cheaper and I feel that the wider spacing between sprockets will also make it less finicky. The Microshift cassette actually has a wider range (11-38 vs 11-36 for Deore XT which is the max range for my Zee rear mech) though I'll also be trying an 11-32 Shimano cassette which is even cheaper. Once my current 10sp chain is due for replacement, I'm going to swap everything and see how it works out for me. The good thing about Deore XT was that after replacing a chain I could just replace the sprockets that would skip and never needed a new cassette. I don't think Microshift sells individual sprockets (nor does Shimano for 8sp drivetrains) so I'll have to replace the entire cassette when a single sprocket is worn. But I also recall the further spaced 9sp drivetrains I had previously weren't that likely to skip after a timely chain replacement.
  • 2 0
 It seems stupid at first, and you only use the last cog a few times, but clearing "impossible" climbs is actually amazing. I went from 11-42 to 11-51 and noticed a big difference.
  • 3 0
 @Antoncor: Does that also matter on a bike with pedal assist? I honestly have no idea as I haven't ridden with assistance.
  • 6 0
 I have the E2 and it has been nothing short of amazing. Had a few small issues with it early on but the warranty covered it and customer service was so quick and went above and beyond. I did add cushcore to the rear and have had zero flats since. Good call Marin!
  • 2 0
 How much range can you get out of the 630 battery? Ive been looking at getting an E2 but aot of other bikes are now coming with bigger batteries.
  • 3 0
 @y2todd: last ride I rode in mostly Trail mode and got 21 miles with 3200 ft of climbing. For reference, I weigh 200 lbs and was riding in some fairly soft dirt as it's been raining a lot in SoCal.
  • 2 0
 I picked up the E1 on sale last year. Upgraded the fork, brakes, cassette, derailleur and shifter. Into the bike for a total of $5,300. Thing absently rips. The 504w battery on the smaller motor gets me around 20mi on trail mode.
  • 1 0
 @GrantMcJ: Get about 2mi less on the E1 with the 504w at 200lbs too. Less power though.
  • 3 0
 I have an e2 as well. Absolutely love the bike. My other bike is a norco optic, and in the past have owned hightowers, nomad, etc. The e2 is super fun to ride pretty much everywhere, from local trails to chairlift parks (sorry to the guy who has to lift it on every run!). The suspension feels dialed. This is the first bike I've bought brand new at the store and walked away feeling like I got a killer deal.
  • 5 0
 I would so love it if some bike companies would do some retro paint job homages.... Like the old 90's Marin bikes that had the luminous front end and battleship grey frame. That would look sick!
  • 3 0
 It would be cool, but do you think the world is ready for neon MTBs again yet?
  • 1 0
 I feel we must take it upon ourselves to make neon great again.I saw an early 90’s Marin on Craigslist not too long ago that was neon pink, white and green. It was amazing. If it would have fit me I’d have bought it.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: xbiking has entered the chat. www.reddit.com/r/xbiking
  • 3 0
 I'm glad Marin fired that crappy dealer BikesOnline.com they sucked to deal with and were dragging the brands reputation down in the mud with their terrible online marketing tactics.
  • 1 0
 Bikes online.com is where I bought my E2.who do I deal with now?
  • 2 0
 @Smoothy55: Jenson? I bought my son's from a LBS.
  • 2 0
 IMO - their suspension design, while looks simple is actually suuppper nice to ride.
When i had my XR and people on their "botique" bikes rode it they couldnt believe it.

I didnt even sell the bike, it got Warrantied for a different bike because there wasnt anther frame available for me.
If canyon didnt have such a good Riding spectral id 100% be back on a Marin Alpine.
  • 2 0
 It doesn't look like the geo has changed much, if at all. I demoed the XL last summer for a week and while I had a riot on the bike and loved it, at 6'2" I really felt like I was maxing out the XL. I liked the bike A LOT, but the can feel a little small in my humble opinion.
(My xl Sentinel felt much bigger, in a good way, for comparison sake)
  • 1 0
 Ah, I didn't even notice that until you mentioned it. It kinda looks like it might be cramped in length. I'm 6'1" and ride XL bikes, but I like a longer reach on my trail bikes. That would be a good DH bike for me, but not a good "everything" bike.
  • 6 0
 Marin is an underrated bike company.
  • 2 0
 I see some are specced with X Fusion forks. What ever happened to that company? They used to seemingly have more of a presence and now I rarely see them. I always read good things about their long travel forks.
  • 2 0
 Shockingly the X-F Trace 36 is solid. I am shocked...or am I forked? Either way, I've got a Manitou Mezzer I plan to swap out later, but this thing is actually baller, feels beefy & solid, and honestly I can't tell any difference in it and my 160mm Lyrik. BTW Marin said you could run up to 180mm (single crown) front on this bike too - so that makes for an even better park day.
  • 1 0
 With Cushcore installed I bet 90% of beginner / enthusiast riders have ZERO chance in hell of fixing a flat on the trail, it was probably pushing their skill to just fix a std. flat....no disrespect, I was there at one point way back when...
  • 1 0
 I don’t know… it’s getting the inserts in that kills me. Pulling out isn’t bad… getting it back to car not in your tire is another story if you don’t have some zip ties on you.
  • 2 0
 @deez-nucks: the old tour de france unsupported riders used to carry spare tubulars - fold the insert so it looks like an infinity symbol and put one arm through each hole with the cross on your back

cdn1.creativecirclemedia.com/sportshistory/original/20180706-075700-tour%20de%20france.jpg
  • 1 0
 At least you can ride it out with a insert installed
  • 1 0
 @boozed: Maybe - depending on how far you gotta ride, in the middle of 30 mile loop without bailout options good luck. Who wouldn't wanna stop and fix a flat so they could enjoy the rest of their ride?
  • 1 0
 +n
  • 1 0
 Bought one to help recover from a harsh knee injury and this is the only thing keeping me pedaling right now (other than lift or truck-up / park riding). Its rad, surprisingly playful, jumpy / poppy, whippy and my buds who are better jumpers and jibbers wanna bum it all the time.

Only con for me is that its not 720 or 900wH which would make this thing ideal - I think it'll only go up to 630 unless Marin can somehow make a 720/900 battery that will fit in this same size (the downtube is massive for being only 504wH) but I plan to buy a 630 to swap out w/ the 504 and have 1134 wH days...that aint bad.

In western NC / Pisgah area and in boost-mode I'm getting about 32-3500 vert and 20-25 miles (less on steeper trails & climbs) which is about 1.5-2 hrs riding or so. You can also ride boost but pedal more gently & less battery *seems to be used...not totally sure on that yet. You will get even more miles & elevation (and time) in trail-mode. I don't even bother w/ eco-mode b/c it doesn't do very much, even when pushing.

For all the non-stop bitching about Shimano motor, this thing is solid so far (250 miles) but - maybe it'll eff up later. I'm sure the e8000, or a bosch, TQ or other motor may be better but given that I can't even pedal uphill w/o a motor right now and this thing literally tows me up - I'm stoked. Perspective.
  • 2 0
 I've had several Marin bikes. They've all been great. Still have my old Eldridge grade for a knock around.
  • 2 1
 Not attached seatstays in between, straight to the rocker with a Trunnion shock system... issues. At least is that happen to a mate, twice... leaking, bolts broken...
  • 2 0
 Ask Marin about the rocker link alignment - they sent me a new link under warranty after I blew through a bolt and I've had no issues since!
  • 1 0
 @ms-dos: Thanks! I will tell him.
  • 1 0
 @ms-dos: I blew up the rocker, snapped the bolt on my Haw Hill. Didn’t have quite the best experience getting the parts, but to be fair it was during the height of the lockdowns and supply chain issues and they did come through eventually. Also rode the hell out of a $1500 bike well beyond its intended purpose.
  • 1 0
 Terrible tire choices there.
Attack trail is a great rear tire, so they put it on the front and then chucked an XC tread pattern on the rear of a 150-160mm travel bike.
#Fail
  • 3 1
 Good thing tires are so easily changed.
#overreact
  • 1 0
 My base model didn't even come with Vees - an Assegai 2.5 exo+ front and DHRII exo+ rear. I added cush for yucks (its not actually included in the base) and it balls. This is in rough, rocky Pisgah / bike park terrain too. One of the caveats w/ bikes is that they may not come w/ all the listed components. Mine showed TRP Slate brakes - came w/ Shimanos which strangely are sharp & work very well (and I say that having Dominions on my enduro & DH bikes)...the "shit" brakes are just as sharp on a 52 lb bike as my badass brakes on on the others. Most riders plan to upgrade parts & consumables often anyway so - not a biggie whatsoever.
  • 1 0
 Shipping a new bike as already tubeless is pretty unusual, as far as I know. I wonder what sealant, if any, they're putting in there.
  • 1 0
 They ship with a bottle of sealant. I don’t remember what brand it was.
  • 3 1
 Geo looks pretty dialled. 435mm chainstays could be fun...
  • 3 4
 435 is only good up until a medium. Its just to short when you got above 485 reach, even if you want a fun back end. Should be 440 for L and 445+ for XL with a 27 at the rear.
  • 6 1
 @Jordmackay: I guess my bike is unreadable.
  • 5 0
 @RonSauce: depends on the lettering Wink
  • 5 0
 @RonSauce: Is it an Ellsworth? They did use an awkward font.
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: yeah bro. Sorry for your loss.
  • 9 1
 @RonSauce: I love a PB geo nerd pretending that 5mm of chainstay is going to totally unlock his full riding potential.
  • 1 0
 Hope it includes a free bead dropper too because you ain't changing the tyre in a hurry without one.
  • 2 1
 Including Cushcore is pretty sweet. Now you can sell them along with the Maxxis tyres and fully fund a decent set of boots!
  • 1 0
 Its because the rims are made of cheese…
  • 2 0
 So the Trail-E is now Cush-E too? Groundbreaking work Marin
  • 2 0
 Those poor bike shop employees having to install even more cushcore haha.
  • 1 0
 Great company and bikes...rocking a marin rift zone 27,5 v2 and its been solid...no issues!
  • 1 0
 So the downtube has rubber bumpers to keep the fork crown from bashing it? They couldn't have tucked that up any better?
  • 1 0
 So happy to hear this! Motivation Monday! LFG!
  • 1 0
 It´s an e-bike, make it self inflating
  • 1 0
 Forget cushcore on ebikes Just put DD on regular bikes ffs.
  • 1 0
 Or on an E, DD with cush... even better.
  • 1 0
 Way to go Marin Bikes, no 35mm or less stanchion fork on the base modelSmile
  • 3 3
 At first I thought oh great value then saw that it has Shimano motor...
  • 1 0
 2.8 rear and 2.5 front?
  • 1 2
 1600 more because Canada?
  • 4 0
 Go ahead and plug that USD price into a currency converter. You can always take a trip over the border if you think they're getting a hot deal.
  • 5 0
 @farkinoath: Damn, Its cheaper in CAD!
  • 3 0
 @enduroelite: nearly there, it's actually cheapEST in Canada out of all the prices listed and by quite a decent amount. I can understand why this shocks you though!
  • 2 0
 @farkinoath: It does surprise me. simple as that.
  • 1 3
 are marin bikes ugly from grip to pedal?... Cant understand why







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