Review: Marin Mount Vision - Strange Looks, Intriguing Performance

Sep 23, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  



Marin claims that the Mount Vision is one of the most unique trail bikes the market has seen, and there's no denying that it stands out from the crowd. The Mount Vision has 150 millimeter of rear travel, 27.5" wheels, and is built around the Naild R3act suspension system. Its construction, spec, and numbers target all-mountain riding and enduro racing.

The Mount Vision expands upon what the team at Marin learned in the development of their Wolf Ridge, which was the first model that used the Naild R3act suspension platform. It's available in three different builds, the 8, 9, and Pro.
Mount Vision 9 Details
• Full carbon fiber frame
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Travel: 150mm front and rear
• 65° head angle, 75.3° seat angle, 420mm chainstays
• Small - XL sizes
• Weight: 32.8 lbs(14.9kg)
• MSRP: $6,400 USD
• Contact: Marin Bikes

The 8 has a SRAM NX/GX/Rockshox suspension build and is priced at $5,299 USD, the model 9 that's tested here with a SRAM X01 Eagle/Fox suspension build sells for $6,699 USD, and the Pro model, decked out with Shimano XTR, e*thirteen, and Fox Factory suspension sells for $8,899 USD .


Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.
There's a lot going on with this design.

bigquotesThe first time I rode the Mount Vision with a crew of friends, several of them thought I was on an e-bike until most of the way through the ride. Although this was demoralizing given that we all pushed the same steep section of a climb that I should have no doubt cleaned with a few more watts, it goes to show just how different this bike is from almost anything else on the market.Daniel Sapp




Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.


Construction and Features

So, what makes this bike unique and how does it work? Let's dig in.

There are six links on the Mount Vision, and if you want the in-depth story, PB's Dan Roberts investigated the design in the Behind the Numbers. There is clearly a ton going on.

Acting upon knowledge gained with the debut of the Wolf Ridge, Marin shored up the Mount Vision's links and added a rocker to the top tube in to stiffen everything up. In addition to the links, the central feature to this suspension design is a large slider that alters the linkage kinematics, helps generate the Marin's excellent pedaling dynamics, and creates one of the most polarizing profiles in the brief history of long-travel trail bikes.

The Mount Vision has a full carbon frame that conceals some secrets. The down tube has a vertical rib that reinforces the bottom bracket area and affords some serious bash protection. Similarly, the swingarm is double-chambered to boost its stiffness. The slider has a bleed valve (similar to DH fork lowers) to allow the rider to equalize air pressures between its internals and the atmosphere outside. Large bearings at each pivot point are double sealed and have additional external shields to keep dust and grit out. The head tube area is also reinforced with a box-section. A top tube mounted shock and its accompanying rocker link address the need for a full-sized bottle mount and provide additional lateral stiffness.

Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.
Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.



Geometry & Sizing

The Mount Vision's head tube angle sits at 65-degrees for all sizes. The reach numbers are in line with modern trends, with a medium checking in at 453mm.

On paper, the effective seat tube angle is a fairly modern 75.3 degrees for the size medium (and its size-specific geometry stays close to that number in all the other options) The actual seat tube angle, however, is a a super slack, 63.1-degrees.

Marin acknowledges that its dramatically angled seat tube could cause some confusion between the bike's actual and effective seat tube angles. Marin claim they take the measurement slightly higher than the average saddle height for the correct rider of each sized bike. This, in their eyes, assures most customers will be at or very close to the Mount Vision's stated seat angle.

The design of the suspension limits Marin's option to use a more conventional seat tube configuration.There has to be clearance for that massive swingarm and its sliding element, which is why the actual seat tube angle is so slack. The further a rider is from the saddle height that Marin used for its average, the larger the change in top tube measurements and effective seat tube angle will become. Riders with longer or shorter inseams than average do need to take this into consideration.


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Suspension Design

The Marin's geometry is very interesting indeed, but the uniqueness of the Mount Vision more lies in its suspension design and the way it works.The Mount Vision uses Naild's "R3act-2play" suspension system. The goal of this design is to deliver supple, full-time suspension action with near 100 percent pedaling efficiency. Most riders will likely agree that its design does not lend itself to an intuitive explanation. It's a bit of a curiosity, but it's not quite as complicated as it looks.

The R3act-2play suspension design is the brainchild of Darrell Voss, who spent the better part of the last 15 years developing it and it's based upon the notion that contemporary suspension is dependent upon excessive levels of hydraulic damping - which is basically friction - and while that friction may play a beneficial role within the confines of a narrow speed range, it also wastes pedaling energy and robs forward momentum. His suspension design was crafted to operate with extremely low compression damping, while the suspension kinematics were configured to produce efficient pedaling across the entire gearing range.
Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.
More of the different: Marin's second-generation R3act suspension has seen a number of improvements, but its looks are still a left turn for the sport's traditionalists.

Voss says his design balances acceleration and mass lag with what most refer to as anti-squat, and in the opposite direction, creates an opposing force just strong enough allow the rear suspension to overwhelm those forces in response to impacts to the rear wheel that are essentially rearward accelerations trying to impede the forward momentum of the bike. Voss says it's simply using Newton's 3rd law, (that's the "3" in the R3act 2play moniker) "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

As any vehicle accelerates, the mass above the wheels wants to stay put. That phenomenon tends to squash the rear suspension - your mass appears to be moving backward as the bike accelerates forward. Naild's linkage counters that "mass lag" with a large dose of anti-squat geometry that builds up seamlessly, so it doesn't destabilize the feel of the suspension. When the rear wheel hits a bump, however, that odd-looking slider tube instantly decouples the anti-squat forces and sets the suspension free. So, it facilitates two actions that are most desireable: good pedaling when we need it and free acting rear suspension when the bike encounters an impact - without levers or electronics - and without massive shock damping and a stack of air volume spacers to rob your forward progress.

Pipe dream? Probably not. With few exceptions, almost every rider's first impression of the R3act suspension is that it seems to accelerate on the backside of bumps. It doesn't, but it slows significantly less, and because our minds and muscle memories are so conditioned to the deceleration created by our over-rigid suspensions, for a brief period, we are fooled by the new sensation and it feels like a slight acceleration.

bigquotesFriction is friction - if you add damping friction to the level bike designers have done, it's stealing your forward momentum. The less damping friction you can use, the faster it is across rough ground.Darryl Voss


Specifications
Price $6400
Travel 150mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 Performance, 205x50mm,
Fork Fox Performance Elite 36 27.5", 150mm
Headset FSA Orbit
Cassette SRAM XG-1295 12-Speed, 10-50T
Crankarms SRAM Descendant Carbon, 170mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle,12-Speed
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar Deity Skyline, 787mm Width, 25mm Rise
Stem Deity Copperhead
Brakes Shimano XT 4 Piston
Wheelset Stan's NoTubes Sentry MK3
Tires WTB Trail Boss 27.5x2.6
Seat WTB Volt Race
Seatpost KS LEV Integra Dropper Post, 30.9mm




Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.








Test Bike Setup

Setting up the Mount Vision is not all that tricky if you follow Marin's set up directions rather than following what you think you know about suspension set up. Running the compression fully open may seem counterintuitive, but that's what Marin recommends as a starting point. I ran no compression damping and minimal rebound damping on the back of the bike with the Fox Float X2, and in the fork I did the same thing. If you're going to simply bounce around and push on the bike in the parking lot, the suspension feels a bit quick and a lot smooth. I wanted to add some damping and slow the rebound a touch but I refrained.

I ran 162psi in the shock with the compression fully open, and 63 psi and one click of LSC on the fork.

I ran the seat at 73cm. This put me a good bit above where Marin measures their actual seat angle from and pretty far back over the rear end of the bike. With my long legs, I could have also fit on a large but, my reach is most comfortable with the size medium.


2018 Pinkbike Field Test
Daniel Sapp
Location: Brevard, NC, USA
Age: 32
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 150 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @d_sapp1

I ran the stock set-up on the bike for a month or two and the only thing I ended up swapping out were the tires, going from the 2.6" WTB Trail Boss to a 2.5" Maxxis Aggressor WT in the back and the new Tioga Edge22 up front.

Testing took place in western North Carolina in a variety of wet and dry conditions.

Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.


Climbing

The Mount Vision's marketing claims tout the bike's tremendous amounts of anti-squat and great pedaling efficiency. The bike does indeed pedal well and it sits up in its travel when you get on the gas. The relatively high level of anti-squat makes it feel firm climbing up and over roots and square edges, keeping the suspension high in its stroke.

The seat tube angle feels noticeably slack...really slack. With the seat at the height I needed, which isn't all that ridiculous, I was sitting a ways over the back end of the bike, even with the seat pushed forward on the rails. On mellower climbs this was fine, but when things got slower and more technical, my weight was far enough back that while seated I would sink into the suspension a decent amount. This compounded the slack seat tube angle and put me in a position where the front end of the bike was more challenging to control on technical bits of trail. Lurching over roots I usually cruise up was, at times, difficult and frustrating.

Standing up and getting off of the seat in these bits of trail was helpful as the bike can climb up almost anything if your weight is in the right spot. Standing up for prolonged periods of time on overly steep terrain, however, isn't all that viable.

My other qualm is that the bike is a bit of a tank. For the "9" level build, it's still not light, at almost 33 lbs (15 kg) for a $6,400 150mm travel trail bike. The tires spec'd - 2.6" WTB Trail Boss' are slow and make the bike feel a bit lethargic. While they offer up a ton of grip, swapping over to lighter and faster rolling tires made the Mount Vision more pleasant to get to the top of any climb.


Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.


Descending

The Mount Vision is a comfortable and capable descender, with a smooth, supple suspension feel. Running minimal amounts of compression damping creates a huge contrast between the way the bike rides to almost any other bike out right now. It takes a little getting used to as you do feel less hung up on certain sections of trail.

There's a very unique bottomless feel to the bike. It does feel as if you're going through more of the travel and riding a much bigger bike than you actually are at times. The ramp up at the end of the stroke does feel slightly abrupt - the lack of compression damping seems to get you there sooner and more smoothly, but as you get to the end of the road things firm up fast.

Traction on the Mount Vision is remarkable. The bike feels as if you're on a sled on rails in high speed roots and chatter. Slower, larger impacts felt smooth, but also a bit bigger than normal with how fast everything ramps up at the end of the bikes' travel. It's not a bad thing, but rather something that requires a little getting used to and a slightly different riding style. Square edge hits are smoothly absorbed and the rear end of the bike doesn't easily become choked up.

There's no hiding that the Mount Vision wants to go downhill fast. It does a great job of maintaining composure and traction in choppy sections of trail. It also doesn't hesitate to get in the air. Out of the box, it certainly wasn't the most nimble descender and felt a bit portly at times, but swapping tires for a lighter set-up helped make it a little more playful in all respects. Overall, the amount of traction and "locked-in" trail feel that the bike offers is very impressive.




Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.
Mount Vision

Santa Cruz Bronson
Santa Cruz Bronson

How does it compare?

The Mount Vision is no doubt an outlier, but if we're going to stack it up next to another bike, the Santa Cruz Bronson sports the same size wheels and 150mm of rear travel. The Mount Vision 8, Marin's most affordable build is pricier than the Bronson's R build - their most value oriented carbon frame kit, but it's also a bit nicer than the R and right in line with the S option from Santa Cruz. There are three different build options with the Mount Vision spanning a smaller range than the Bronson's near endless option of builds to pick from, but they hit what matters to most riders with three competitive build kits.

Ride wise, the Mount Vision is quite different. With its very supple suspension platform, it soaks up small bumps better and holds traction through quick chop a bit better than the Bronson while still managing larger hits with equal composure. It's not that the Bronson isn't supple, the Marin just feels as if it's using more of its suspension more quickly and staying more active in the first half of its travel. The geometry of the two bikes overlaps in a few spots, but when you get down to it, it's pretty different. The Bronson sports a steeper climbing position and shorter reach than the Mount Vision. The Mount Vision has shorter chainstays, by 10mm, and a lower bottom bracket. Both bikes have the same measured standover.

Another point worth noting is the weight. The Mount Vision 9 tips the scale at 32.8 lbs (14.9kg) which is heavier than the most affordable carbon framed Bronson build.



Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.
Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.

Technical Report


WTB Trail Boss Tires: The 2.6" wide WTB Trail Boss tires ride well and offer gobs of traction and durability but that comes at a cost...weight. It's easy to swap to a lighter and narrower tire to shed a solid pound (.45kg) off of the bike, which I ended up doing about midway through my time on the bike.

Fox Suspension: The Fox 36 fork and X2 rear shock are both great values and top performers. The rear shock is notably missing a lockout lever, as with the suspension properly set up Marin believes riders shouldn't feel the need to be reaching for it on every climb.

SRAM Eagle Drivetrain: SRAM's Eagle X01 drivetrain is reliable and light weight, and the wide range of gearing helps the Mount Vision feel comfortable a range of pitches.

Deity Bar and Stem: The 787mm wide aluminum handlebar and stem from Deity are nice additions to the build as well as solid components. It's refreshing to see a company spec smaller brands on a bike.

Daniel Sapp in Pisgah National Forest.

Pros

+ Excellent small-bump sensitivity
+ Great pedaling efficiency
+ Excellent parts spec

Cons

- Very slack actual seat tube angle
- On the heavier side
- Looks like an e-bike




Pinkbike's Take

bigquotes
The Mount Vision is a truly unique bike. It's not the lightest option out there, nor the best climber, but when it comes to absorbing small bumps, square edge hits, or chatter, there aren't many bikes that do a better job of managing the terrain. The Mount Vision is an enjoyable bike to descend on and the Nail'd R3act suspension system works very well.
Daniel Sapp







223 Comments

  • 369 13
 PB comment: "All modern bikes are the same. Where's the innovation?"

Marin: "Take a look at this..."

PB comment: "It's ugly, take it away. Why can't you make bikes that look like everyone else's?"
  • 17 5
 Sorry unwanted downvote! Since its first release the r3act design don't disgust me, I almost like it or pretty indifferent actually. ST angle, price, weight, kickback are a lot bigger problems to me.
  • 40 15
 You know you can have innovation and has awesome aesthetics and not look like it's about to give birth to a deformed baby lovechild of an e-bike and a pogo stick.
  • 18 1
 The funny thing is, the reviewer wasn't really blown away (at least that's the impression I got). Suspension bikes are so good these days (I'm old and have been in the game for a while) that it'd be pretty hard to make really good more better. That's why for me, the design and subsequent function of this bike just isn't enough to move me away from the good old horsty. If they guaranteed 500% more chicks, well then I'd give it some thought.
  • 10 1
 Marin probably needs to follow GT in they way they changed their bikes appearance. There's no way I'd pay $6400 for a bike that looks like that, doesn't seem to stand out in any category that a bike $2k cheaper couldn't do. Oh, and the resale doesn't look too hot either.

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2642304
  • 5 4
 @bigtim: Right?! That's one of the big reasons I'd never ride a Trust Perf fork. They are ugly AF and look terrible on any bike.
  • 6 2
 its ugly in my opinion but id rather see a company come out with an original linkage design, even though it seems to be related to the polygon xquarone
  • 12 0
 @spencebwell: It's not just related to the Polygon, both rear suspensions are licensed from the same company
  • 15 20
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 23, 2019 at 10:05) (Below Threshold)
 @Gazzamatazzzz - with this logic you can justify dropper stem or self inflatable tires.

On the other hand I have a hard time
thinking of more boring looking bikes than the latest Santa Cruzes... they even managed to mess up the V10. Especially this sand paint job, ugh... it’s going down since 2012 for them.
  • 5 0
 Look at all the comments...in case anyone thought MTB technology was not just a fashion choice.
My issue is not the aesthetics, I think it looks cool, but that money for a 33lb bike seems to be an increasing trend.
As with PB, I have a small pile of 2.6/2.8 tires from 'downgrading' to 2.4.
  • 13 7
 @WAKIdesigns: are you kidding me, Santa Cruz bikes sell because they are well engineered and reliable. They have done nothing but get better since 2012
  • 11 6
 @senorbanana: no, they are pretty boring. The new nomad is crap, the megatower gets half hearted reviews and the new bronson is a marginal improvement. The only santa cruz I've really liked in recent years is the 5010.

Apologies for any butts hurt.
  • 9 0
 Can't see the bike when you're riding it. Would love to demo one.
  • 3 1
 @fatduke: Maybe boring is good, it checks all my boxes. No pressfit garbage, amazing wedge pivots, lifetime bearing warranty, lifetime frame warranty, good geo, looks stout and smooth. Only negative IMO is the hit or miss colors, I like my blue bronson though. I have tried both bronsons and the new one is a very different bike, so marginal is an understatement. I have a lot of friends that ride big shit on their nomads and they love it, what makes you think its crap?
  • 1 3
 @spencebwell: this is not an original linkage design, at least not to Marin. They've just licensed Polygon's
  • 1 0
 @senorbanana: In fairness you are both right; They've definitely gotten a lot better and a lot more expensive.About the time they launched the Nomad with dedicated 1x drivetrain (2014-ish?) they also started commanding the SC premium. Rocky Mtn did this in the early 2000's and it cost them a lot of dedicated riders (like me).
  • 2 0
 @senorbanana: Santa Cruz? One of the biggest bike companies in the world pretending to be boutique, so they can charge boutique prices? The company that changes its bikes every other year to keep up with latest in geometry fashion, and not always for the better?
  • 4 1
 Yeah but it looks like a shitting dog.
  • 258 10
 How did I r3act when I first saw this bike? I vom1t3d a little bit.
  • 98 1
 Naild it.
  • 17 24
flag barbarosza (Sep 23, 2019 at 4:47) (Below Threshold)
 Correct.Plus to compare the hideous with my marvellous Bronson ? Get the hell out of here
  • 9 5
 It sucks because I could get a good corporate discount on any Marin and was looking at this a few months ago. Would rather pay full price for a ton of other brands, that thing hurts my eyes and brain.
  • 9 1
 @jorgeposada: They're really good bikes. The Hawk Hill, Rift Zone and Alpine Trail are good looking bikes imo. The San Quentin is a pretty nice HT too.
  • 3 3
 @DangerDavez: Ya have risen them all except this contraption. I would consider the Alcatraz if I needed a 3rd DJ /street bike.
  • 1 0
 @DangerDavez:

And the latest alpine trail has better geo than this and a couple good price points.
  • 3 1
 @DangerDavez:
Good looking = looks like all other bikes.
We can only wonder what advances we are missing for the sake of a conservative sense of aesthetics.
  • 2 0
 I ha6 a simila7 re3action. Nasty spit/vomit tast3 in my mouth.
  • 3 3
 Out performs the Bronson. Arguably this bike just beat the top performer. Everyone should be blown away. This should spur a new race in suspension linkage development. a new era of mountain bike development could be beginning. Do we get a lot of excitement? No. Instead we get jokes about barf.
  • 2 2
 @taletotell: Welcome to pink bike comments, where it’s all about racing to the bottom.
  • 73 2
 I got nothing...never been at the top before...
  • 4 0
 its a bike...
  • 15 1
 @fssphotography: are you sure?
  • 13 2
 I’d struggle to get to the top with that slack actual seat angle, those uber short chainstays and my long legs.
  • 2 0
 @f00bar: it has slidy things on it and wheels...
  • 5 1
 dat seat tube tho
  • 8 20
flag endurocat (Sep 23, 2019 at 1:45) (Below Threshold)
 It's clearly advertising . Pinkbike's longest review of a bike that hasn't sold well or won any races.
  • 2 0
 i've been there, i share your pain...
  • 1 1
 @Richt2000: Then stand up, improve your technique, get stronger...
  • 2 0
 @mtbikeaddict:
Thanks for the advice. So glad there are people like you out there.
  • 71 11
 There are ebikes that look better, and that's a big problem
  • 25 61
flag beerandbikes (Sep 23, 2019 at 0:19) (Below Threshold)
 Ebikes are great. Decoy looks better than most bikes.
  • 33 5
 @beerandbikes: nice looking women are still nice looking even while they are pregnant, i agree
  • 21 3
 There are e-mtb's that are cheaper too...
  • 9 1
 Marin have always been about substance over style. Some of their early full sussers were hideous but in their time were brilliant. I'd love to try one of these, but could only ride it at night.
  • 5 4
 agree, but you should called then e-moped
  • 48 2
 I think Polygon / Marin are at the point where they need a purely aesthetic redesign - R3ACT could be a fantastic suspension system, but no one is paying attention because they're all memeing about the appearance of the thing.

Figure out how to have a BB area that doesn't look like it's got a motor stuck in there, fix that seat-tube angle, and use a more normal shaped swingarm / rear triangle.

People are shallow and don't like change - this is a world of horst-links, you can't come in with an alien spaceship. People will freak out about the aesthetic and miss everything about how the bike actually works.
  • 13 6
 I was at a race this year and asked a guy riding one of these if they allowed e-bikes at that race. And then he pointed out it was just an ugly Marin...
  • 14 0
 I don’t know. You’re probably right.
but I miss all the crazy, experimental bikes of the 90’s. I think that it’s cool that they are stepping out of the box. Would I spend that much on it over a Santa Cruz, Yeti, whatever? Hmmmm, not sure.
  • 5 0
 You can come in with an alien spaceship, but it has to look at least somewhat sexy. Think of the time that Ibis introduced the first Mojo, or Pole's machined alu bikes.
  • 3 3
 @Ttimer: Agreed! That's one of the big reasons I would never ride a Trust Performance fork (besides the stupid price). It's ugly AF and ruins the look of any sick bike.
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Have to be careful around Marins... it's like asking a woman if she's pregant..
  • 46 1
 I wish NX eagle had never been invented. Now companies are trying to hide heavy-as-a-boat-anchor NX components with a GX derailleur and the 6K crank so customers don't know, and still charging 5k for a complete. NX should never go near a 5K bike. Full GX builds used to cost less than that. I think it's quite ridiculous that GX was supposed to be the OEM answer for eagle shifting at a fraction of the price of X01 and XX1, but some of these expensive builds are coming out with NX now and charging the same. I weighed the components once, and there is a HUGE weight difference between NX and GX. It's nothing to scoff at. Plus that means you have a non-XD driver freehub body, so a lot of times you're stuck with the boat anchor NX cassettes unless you upgrade your rear wheel or your hub body (if it's even interchangeable).
  • 23 0
 There’s even SX Eagle now, even worse if you can believe it.
  • 8 6
 Santa Cruz is the worst for this. Spend £5K on a bike and get NX. I would actually laugh in the face of anyone who actually spent money on a Santa Cruz with Enve wheels: "Well done lad, you played yourself and lost".
  • 7 1
 @thomaspearson: Agreed. Santa Cruz is out of their minds in general. They're trying to be Yeti, who is also crazy. $7000 USD, and you still can't get Fox Factory w/ Kashima coating! WTF? You can get an Intense for $5500 dripping in Kashima.
  • 3 0
 Bravo! Best comment on this review. Companies have also done this with Shimano in the past, but with microspline there is no Shimano 12 speed cassette that fits on the older freehub design.
  • 8 0
 Hope to see a lot of SLX and XT next year...
  • 6 3
 @mybaben: well to be honest, only the dumbest people will buy the top tier Santa Cruz stuff. Personally I'm of the opinion that whilst Enduro is a thing and it's good, it's the proving ground for the latest kit. Now, I would be willing to bet a testicle that the top tier teams don't pay full price for their silly plastic bikes, which means little old you and I are subsidising them. I'm OK with that so long as I see some of that tech on my mid range spec bike, you know - that £3500 to £4000 bracket that most people buy in. All you get from Santa Cruz for £5500 is the carbon frame and a load of cheap ass kit which you know won't last. I would much prefer to go and buy something from a UK brand like Cotic or Stanton where you can see they're designed for riding by the average weekend warrior and priced as such. Long live the hardcore steel hardtail.
  • 2 3
 @Alexh1983: I can confirm the new XT kit is so nice. The shifting is just so precise with no sram vagueness you get on the GX (and lower) specs. How on earth GX is the money it is I don't know. Rip off.
  • 2 0
 @thomaspearson: I can swing a little more money, so I'm looking in the $5000 US, range. I love Nukeproof and Intense bikes. Very good bikes and very solid value for the build kits! I also am a Shimano guy and a 27.5 guy. I agree, Santa Cruz is crap in the $5K range, and below.
  • 2 0
 @thomaspearson: SC is cheaper and more competitively priced in the US, plus SC doesn't break and they have a good warranty if they do.
  • 2 0
 @dthomp325: Fair point, if it's more competitively priced over there then I guess why not. The difference is probably the export/import duties and taxes that get added on for sale in the UK and Europe.
  • 38 0
 I have a friend who was given a pro deal on a Devinci Spartan, when he picked it up, his jaw dropped... Purple and yellow WTF. Nice bike, ugly paint. He felt embarrassed by the garish colours, but he rode it... And no one cared, ever. And after awhile... He joked he didn't have to look at the bike while riding, we did... And that would only matter if we can catch him. You don't need an fancy kit, 510 shoes or a flashy paint job... All we need is a bike that performs, so we get more trail time, more smiles, and more laughter. Form follows function, any good designer knows that. I'd try this bike or any bike before I give my opinion.
  • 27 0
 Your common sense and positive attitude has no place here, son. Now GET OUT!
  • 4 0
 Best comment ever!!!! Always ride first before whining about how it looks or what your friends think of it.
  • 41 3
 the pt cruiser of bikes
  • 13 0
 More like a Fiat Multipla.
  • 30 0
 @excavator666: pontiac aztec
  • 17 0
 Ahh the unholy trinity of ugly cars
  • 7 8
 Tesla Model X is the best comparison. Innovative, next gen, but ugly AF.
  • 4 1
 @BCtrailrider: Honorable mention to the Nissan Cube
  • 3 0
 @DangerDavez: Nissan Juke is bad too
  • 2 0
 @DangerDavez: Nissan Juke Nismo
  • 13 0
 @notfast: I heard that Nissan is coming out with a fusion of those designs called the Nissan Jismo
  • 4 0
 @Sayer1987x: @Sayer1987x: Supposedly driving the Jismo is 100% hands free, so you're free to use your hands for more important matters.
  • 1 0
 @skycripp: Yes, the Tesla Model X is a $100k dopey bar of soap on wheels. I laugh hysterically every time I drive by a Tesla Model X.
  • 1 0
 @will-burr: Tesla Model X is the Pontiac Aztec reincarnated.
  • 19 3
 Having a great performing suspension, but compromising saddle position for anyone who isn't the optimal height for the frame size, doesn't sound like a winner. Seat tube angle is a deal breaker. Also, if it has to look like an ebike, it may as well have a motor.
  • 6 0
 I think the test rider is actually ideal size for the bike...and its still a problem. How did someone not know this during the design phase and come up with an innovative solution? If a 5-10 guy is struggling...imagine what my 6-4 frame will do. Unridable!?
  • 5 1
 @Svinyard: Keep in mind you'll be on a larger size frame however, it's still a big consideration depending on where your saddle height lands.
  • 4 0
 @danielsapp: Eh...maybe if the chainstays grew but yeah, it's only worse for us tall guys dude. The front end grows but the backend doesn't. You are literally the ideal size for MTB and the STA sucks for you. I'd be a boss at seated manuals on this tho. (thanks for keeping it real on this btw...I'm not buying the bike but I like to see objective reviews). There are just too many good bikes out there without design flaws. Compromises sure...but not flaws like this. And I think it looks rather cool...like a bike straight out of Popular Mechanics or something lol.
  • 2 2
 Seat tube angle is much less of a thing than people make it seem. If you have a 32" inseam with the respective seat height, you get about 14mm of seat movement per degree change in the seat tube angle. This is not that much - you have leeway in forward/back location of the saddle, and as long as you set the seat position with the knee-over-spindle method, you should be good. The actual seat position in relation to the BB doesn't have to be exact - if you have a road bike, the pedaling position is different than on your mountain bike, but as long as the seat positions are set correctly on both, they both should feel efficient to pedal.

If you have the rest of the bike designed around the steeper seat tube (a la Nicolai or Pole for enduro, or super short XC bikes with longer slammed stems), then you get the benefits of a more central weight distribution. But all these recent 1-2 degree slacker seat tube 2019 models from popular manufactures aren't doing shit for you. They are just hopping on the recent trend to get you to upgrade.
  • 5 0
 @phops: You're addressing pedaling efficiency, which is fine. IMO, the more important aspect is during climbing, especially technical climbing. A seat angle that is too slack will put you too far over the back wheel and will make it very hard for climbing, esp tech. I've experienced this issue on recent Pivot bikes too.
  • 2 0
 @phops: you sound like you never had the pleasure of riding one of the older Specialized Enduros with the seat angle that left you manualing when seated going uphill if you raised the seatpost at all. Smile
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: I have a few of those. A 2004 SX. Anytime you pointed it up, it was wheelie city. Plus it weighed a lot. But still fun every now and then when I'm nostalgic.
  • 2 0
 @bizutch:

I definitely rode bikes with 73 degree seat tube angles that did that. I also rode modern bikes with 75 degree seat tube angles that did that as well. Only my Pole Machine, which has a very long wheelbase and a very steep seat angle doesn't do that, but the bike is way less agile on tight singletrack.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben:

Yes, but that doesn't change my point - the bike has to be designed around a steep seat tube angle. If you have a short chainstays and a slack head angle, which a lot of people like, its impossible to have a steep enough seat tube angle to make it good at climbing tech (unless you want to run a +50 mm stem with lower bars). Simply changing the seat tube angle by a few degrees on this bike would not do anything.

This bike is fine as it is for what it does.
  • 1 0
 @phops: STA is tricky. At a hieight for shorter people with a 32in inseam, it might be fine. But when its a 35in inseam, the actual angle matters for two big reasons:

It needs to support a long dropper and ideally the seat is still in a decent position and not super far back over the axle. Two bikes with the same STA can be screwy.
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard:

If you are at a 35m inseam, you are likely running a XL frame, which has a longer wheelbase and a longer reach, equalizing the weight.
  • 1 1
 @phops: yeah that's just the front end you are talking about. Longer reach has zero effect on where my ass is at tho. Smile hence the problem
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: 2nd best comment. I'm tall too
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I don't know. . .5'10" on a medium. . .
  • 1 1
 @Svinyard:

Yes, but you do carry some weight through your arms when seated, and you need that weight on any bike to be able to climb without wheelies. A taller person will move the CG more forward when he leans more due to longer reach.
  • 1 0
 I own the medium Mt Vision and also 5’10” like the reviewer. I measured the actual seat angle at 75 degrees in full up position center of seat clamp area / center of BB. It feels great to me on climbing.

Speaking of climbing it is amazing. Especially noticeable on rocky roots climbs. Best bike I’ve ever owned.
  • 19 1
 Think it needs a Trust linkage fork to make it complete
  • 2 0
 @acali: thanks! Just avoided seizures
  • 2 1
 LMAO! Right?! Those Trust things are literally the ugliest thing to ever be bolted onto a bike.
  • 1 0
 @acali: I'd rock that! Assuming I'm rewarded handsomely of course.
  • 1 0
 LOL! Best dry humor comment on this post.
  • 15 5
 I had the chance to demo the bike and it rides very very well.. A lot of the conservative fashionista police is missing on the fun and the performance.
  • 9 0
 It looks like the love child of an F-22 Raptor and a Pontiac Aztek. So much going on there, my tricks are playing eyes on me.
  • 7 0
 Having worked on a few of the Marin Wolf Ridges I can say that this design is not durable and has a lot of rear end flex. One customer is on his third rear swingarm and fourth set of bearings. Check out the bike radar review to see an example of the rear end flex/play that develops with this design. The Mount Vision may have mitigated some of this by adding the extra link from the top tube but nearly all the sideways forces that act on the rear triangle get put on the shock yoke and those thin side links. They are simply too thin to resist the twisting forces in the rear and in the case of the Wolf Ridge it flexes so much the shock yoke will rub against the seat tube and cause damage. I definitely agree that the bikes do pedal well but as you get in the larger sizes L and XL a lot of your weight ends up on the rear axle which can cause some difficulties while climbing over roots and rocks. I know bike radar may not be the most impartial when it comes to Marin but check out their review of the Wolf Ridge and while this may be a small improvement the inherent issues are still there.
  • 3 0
 Yes, I take notice of those thin little side links too. They look super cheap and those aren't going to minimize lateral flex on an aggressive mountain bike. Not good.
  • 3 0
 Not suprising, the Trek Full Stache has a similar swingarm design, engineers beefed it up and it still flexes (butis heavy as hell). I think we've been donw this road in the past ... and it didn't work out. It does sound like it rides well, so maybe the flex issues are resolved??
  • 1 0
 the 27.5 bikes with the naild design haven't had the same issues as the 29er Wolf Ridge...the Polygons, the Mount Visions, they seem to have been okay. The extra supports on this version say a lot. This design is absolutely fast when it's just coasting along, crazy fast. Not sure if it's as fun, but it's fast. fast.
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: Yes, but the full stache has to make room for 29+ tires, and with such large tires frame flex isn't a big deal. This is make for traditional 27.5 tires and is also way too heavy, so no excuses at all.
  • 9 0
 Could have the shortest chainstays of any 493mm reach bike ever.
  • 1 0
 Makes you wonder doesn't it ? For a size L with a normal 460/470mm Reach I find that 440mm CS is good and anything shorter doesn't work as well, haven't had a chance to try longer to see where the upper limit is tho, or maybe even the actual sweet-spot. Nevertheless, 420mm is far too short, going with longer CS would probably help with the Seat-tube packaging to get a less ridiculous actual ST angle.

I tend to like complicated designs, but Cs and ST are a no go so far with the bikes they released.
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: i agree but we have to keep in mind that the (virtual) pivot on this thing is so high that it actually has the often claimed "rearward axlepath" (for the most part) - if i recall it correctly chainstays lengthen by 12 mm, so its actually not as short as one might think -but still too short as you said.

concerning the upper limit, i once had a bike with 460 reach and 450 stays -for me that was too much. my current one has 445mm stays and i like it.
  • 2 1
 @Balgaroth: I think it‘s not really possible to isolate one figure and compare different bikes based solely on that, there might not be an ideal chainstay length across different suspension systems.

That said, I liked every Canfield I‘ve ridden so far, so chainstay length might also have to do with personal preference.
  • 7 0
 I find it strange that nobody mention pedal kickback in their reviews of this suspension design. Is pedal kickback something we just do not have to worry about?
  • 2 0
 In my experience, it's only a big deal on low speed, hard compressions with a fast engagement hub.
  • 2 0
 No, it probably should have been mentioned as it is mentioned in the Behind the Numbers on the bike linked in the article. IMO it is important, especially when reviewing a bike with such a new/different suspension design.
  • 1 0
 @tgent: Lots of people claim pedal kickback makes it harsh on the small chatter, like why people didn't really get along with the last-gen Rocky Mountain Slayer, and why bike suspension feels so much better without a chain.

This is one of the reasons why I'm so skeptical of this suspension design- "reviews" of it never mention it, but they do on other bikes with more similar kinematics. Norcos from a few years ago had tons of anti-squat and pedal kickback- so much that they would bob "up" out of the sag point when pedaling, rather than "down" from the sag point, and they had less chain growth than this design does.
  • 1 0
 Cause most people don't send it deep into a rock garden landing on these bikes.
  • 2 0
 Pedal kickback is most noticeable when climbing, usually when negative kickback occurs during extension of the suspension AFTER hitting a bump and the pedal drops away from under your foot due to the sudden release of chain slack. It can also be noticeable on certain bikes if you lock the rear wheel up braking into a corner for example.
  • 1 0
 The Ridge Wolf has a total of 28deg pedal kickback, and the Polygon Xquare one has 34!! according to the linkagedesign blog.
  • 1 0
 @Socket: Pedal kickback is not necessarily most notable when climbing. You do notice it when climbing if a bike has excessive amounts, as when you are on the pedals, any amount of pedal kickback will be transmitted to the rider, but generally you aren't using much suspension travel so therefore aren't getting much kickback. It's most noticeable when going downhill and using lots of travel, as that's when you'll go through 80%+ of your suspension and get 20 deg of pedal kickback.
  • 2 0
 @tgent: no, not if you're coasting. When you're coasting, the freehub is not engaged, and able to unload chain slack very quickly, the wheel has to move EXTREMELY fast at a very low forwards velocity for it to be able to actually pull on the pedals. Think wheelie drop to flat kind of speed. It can happen when the wheel is locked and not unloading chain slack however.
  • 5 0
 @danielsapp " I ran no compression damping and minimal rebound damping on the back of the bike with the Fox Float X2, and in the fork I did the same thing. "

Wait, did i read that right that you removed all compression damping on the fox 36 up front?
  • 4 0
 Yeah I don’t think that was the point....that baffled me as well
  • 5 1
 I dialed it all the way out - that was the point. Getting the suspension on the bike to feel consistent front to back is, according to the team at Marin, important in making the bike ride well overall. I would agree with their recommendations after tinkering with various settings. It's a bit counter-intuitive but running a lot less damping than normal does make the suspension feel balanced.
  • 2 0
 @danielsapp: Wow. That's super interesting. I have a Polygon Squareone and run no compression damping in the rear and just a click or two of rebound.

I hadn't thought that the front should follow suit. I'll give that a try and see how it feels.
  • 1 1
 @hbar314: Definitely give it a go. It'll change the ride feel quite a bit - you may end up adding some back in but out is a good place to start on this bike. Don't be afraid to speed the rebound up a touch or change air pressures/volume spacers as well.
  • 11 1
 @Jaystey: Minimal damping is a core element of Voss' design philosophy.

"
Less damping, Voss says, means less resistance and in turn less loss of energy. While “others rely on damping to compensate for poor kinematics,” the R3ACT design comes paired with FOX Float X2 shock featuring “40% less damping” than a typical light tune – something Marin had to convince FOX to create specially for the Wolf Ridge. Because it’s designed to be so efficient, there’s also no need for a lockout or quick compression adjustment. When pointed downhill this has benefits claimed by Voss as well: “If you run a system wide open going down a hill, you’re going to be hellaciously faster on a system that has zero hydraulic damping.”
"
mountainbikegateway.com/first-ride-2018-marin-wolf-ridge-pro-and-naild-r3act-suspension

Yes, it's faster in situations where the rider is seated and simply coasting down bumpy terrain. It's not faster when the rider's speed is limited by the ability to remain in control.

He's simply wrong.
  • 1 2
 @R-M-R: So, you have ridden the R3ACT platform?
  • 1 5
flag TheMadHaderer (Sep 23, 2019 at 11:02) (Below Threshold)
 @R-M-R:

What do you think give a rider that level of control?

Could it be the most consistent level of traction with the least amount of mass transfer?

That’s exactly what this system is designed to do. Seated or descending is the same concept on this design. You don’t have to compromise one for the other.
  • 10 0
 @Hyakian: I've noticed many of your comments are to attack anyone with an opinion and to espouse a "keep an open mind" attitude. I agree with you about things like the CeramicSpeed drivetrain having potential

While I agree a person shouldn't have unfounded prejudices, we must also build on existing knowledge; if we didn't, we would all be apes trying to rediscover fire over and over. Instead, we can discover things as exotic as the presence of water on planets orbiting other stars without having left our solar system, let alone visited these foreign stars and planets. Physics can tell us many things.

Kinematic properties don't care what system generated the properties. If you created a Horst bike and a VPP bike with the same pedaling anti-squat, brake squat, motion ratio curve, damper, frame geometry, stiffness curves, etc., then they will ride the same. EXACTLY the same. Same for a R3act-2Play. There isn't some magic at work that's beyond the laws of physics.

Bike suspension is pretty simple in the context of machine design; if a supersonic airplane can exist, bikes don't have to be a mystery. That's not to say we can determine the one perfect design, but we can zero in on a narrow range of optimal properties by understanding the physics that drive optimal results - and we've done exactly that in recent years. If you plot the kinematic properties of every bike on the market - as I have, because it's part of my job to do so - you'll see things have really begun to converge. The days of crazy and terrible suspension and geometry are coming to an end; there are few bad bikes left out there, though many have considerable room for fine-tuning.

Many elements of the R3act-2Play design philosophy are in line with the established physics, but some are not. As I said, Voss' statements about damping being wasted energy and slowing you down are correct, at literal level, and are equally true for other vehicles. You don't see F1 cars or Baja trucks without damping, though. Voss has expressed an incomplete understanding of the situation. Yes, energy dissipation can slow you down, but it's necessary for faster overall riding - if energy dissipation was unnecessary and harmful, we would do away with the ultimate source of it: brakes!

I agree with Voss that pedaling anti-squat is the efficient way to stabilize a bike when pedaling and low-speed compression damping is the inefficient way to do it. I also agree an undamped vehicle can ROLL faster downhill, under certain circumstances, but I don't agree it can be RIDDEN faster in real-world circumstances. Damping exists for a reason. If you want to test Voss's philosophy of damping being harmful, you can remove the damping from any bike with high pedaling anti-squat and achieve the same results. There's nothing about the kinematics of R3act-2Play that make it uniquely suited to this set-up.
  • 6 0
 @TheMadHaderer: Every system is designed to do that. Interesting that every other bike on the market - and every other suspended, ground-based vehicle - uses a different approach, involving significantly more damping.

Can you please help me understand why you are on board with the one design that is different from all others? When an entire industry - and other, related industries - do things a certain way and one man says they're all wrong, the burden of proof is on that one man - and you, it seems - to explain why we're all wrong.

So, I'm listening ...
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R:
"I've noticed many of your comments are to attack anyone with an opinion and to espouse a "keep an open mind" attitude. I agree with you about things like the CeramicSpeed drivetrain having potential"

your observation...

My intent is not to attack anyone with an opinion, everyone has one, and they entitled to it. However, it is my intent to challenge some opinions (and possibly to agitate just a little). Opinions are not fact, however, some people get confused by this from time to time and state things as absolutes. When I see something that feels like that I respond. You'll notice that I am also pretty careful to qualify any opinion I may express as just that (and only worth the 1's and 0's it took to express it).

Still, I notice that dodged my original question.

The balance of your response is interesting though and I will give it more thought...
  • 5 0
 @R-M-R: Preach it!

When they first announced the Naild platform a few years ago, I was completely turned off by the marketing nonsense. However, when the inventor said that they asked Fox for a custom tuned shock with no damping at all, but had to settle for an X2 with extremely light damping I knew it was all a sham.

Its also nearly impossible to have high antisquat and low pedal kickback, a claim they frequently make. Most of the force of antisquat comes from chain growth, which is pedal kickback.
  • 5 0
 @Hyakian: I dodged it because it's not relevant. Maybe I have, maybe I haven't. I've ridden more bikes than many professional reviewers - again, because it's part of my job to do so. This is an interesting bike and I certainly would be keen to ride it, wouldn't you think?

Still, if I claim to have ridden this one, that would be an attempt to add credibility when I would prefer for the science to speak for itself. Or if I claim I haven't ridden it, that's a easy way for those who are ignorant and/or contrarian to dismiss me.

So, have I or haven't I? Does it matter? Does it change the science? Does it change where the burden of proof lies when one person challenges essentially every person in multiple industries, including those with vastly higher R&D budgets?
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: so, Schrodinger's cat? Wink
  • 5 0
 @Hyakian: If only I could kill Voss' marketing simply by opening a box! Razz
  • 1 4
 @R-M-R:

Firstly, Not every system is designed to do this. Almost every one on the planet uses an scale to balance efficiencies in one area compared to another (ie climbing in the big cog compared to descending in the middle of the cassette). The biggest difference between all of these systems and the Marin is that all of these operate on one axis (rotational pivots), and by doing so are limited in how they can deal with different situations. The closest system out there would be the Yeti Switch Infinity system and they still approach it differently with a lot of the traditional hardships of conventional pivot systems.
When trying to define ride characteristics of a bike strictly by looking at kinematic charts and being compared to conventional designs, its really like comparing apples to oranges.

If you want proof of concept, why do motocross and supercross race bikes have a linkage for the rear shock? you could accomplish a stronger, more consistent, and more progressive damping curve using a non-linkage, direct to swingarm system.
They use linkage be able to run a softer, more linear suspension setup to increase traction and decrease rider feedback throughout more of the travel. To make it feel more like the front end and increase overall stability.

Extremely light damping is not the same and riding on a spring which is what most people miss about the arm chair engineering of this bike. I would encourage you to get one in your proper size (im 5'10 and chose the large) and take it out on your favorite 2 hour loop.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: "Its also nearly impossible to have high antisquat and low pedal kickback, a claim they frequently make. Most of the force of antisquat comes from chain growth, which is pedal kickback."

This is on the right track. If the front and rear sprockets are directly connected (i.e. no idler), for a given sprocket combination, the anti-squat is best thought of as a function of the *rate* of kickback. The *total* kickback can be minimized by having the anti-squat drop off a cliff at a certain point, when it's assumed the rider is unlikely to be pedaling. For example, no one is putting down the power while also absorbing a 100% travel hit!

Some bikes do a great job of this. Achieving a fancy pedaling anti-squat curve while also hitting your targets on other kinematic properties is an impressive feat - that's where the real magic happens, not by using an exotic configuration to achieve unspectacular kinematics, which is what we see here. The biggest downfall of this design - aside from geometry, weight, damper tune, cost, and aesthetics - is the flat to *rising* rate of kickback, depending on the sprocket combination. That's indefensible.
  • 4 0
 @TheMadHaderer: "Firstly, Not every system is designed to do this [the most consistent level of traction with the least amount of mass transfer]."

Yeah? Would you care to name a few suspension designs that don't want to maximize traction and reduce pedal bob? Maybe you just phrased it oddly. The closest I can think of is Knolly, who likes to absolutely max out pedaling traction and minimize kickback, even if it means squishy pedaling.

"When trying to define ride characteristics of a bike strictly by looking at kinematic charts and being compared to conventional designs, its really like comparing apples to oranges."

No, it's not. Another bike with the same kinematic charts would have the same suspension properties. The main differences would then be the geometry, shock tune, and frame stiffness.

"If you want proof of concept, why do motocross and supercross race bikes have a linkage for the rear shock? you could accomplish a stronger, more consistent, and more progressive damping curve using a non-linkage, direct to swingarm system."

This doesn't even make sense. Linkages are used to tune the motion ratio and, to a lesser degree, make the rear end stiffer. What do you mean by a "more consistent, and more progressive damping curve"? How do you define "consistent"? Please clarify your terminology before we can proceed. Also, a linkage always has more flexibility in the curves it can achieve, whether more or less progressive.

"Extremely light damping is not the same and riding on a spring"

Yes, it is. Not exactly the same, as there's still some damping, but the less damping there is, the closer it is to an undamped spring.

"arm chair engineering"

Wink
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: Yes! We agree nearly 100%.

Something that most charts don't take into account, however, is frame flex from pedaling. Just because your suspension doesn't appear to bob doesn't mean its being efficient. I had the first gen magic link ten years ago, and while it didn't bob it flexed sideways like a fish with every downstroke, robbing you of your energy. By several reports this design has the same flaw.

Also, with all this talk of fancy curves and damping tunes, we forget the most important part of efficient pedalling- tire choice. The reviewer kinda touched on this. Thats what really gets my goat with all this marketing nonsense. 95% of modern suspension designs (and even the humble single pivot) pedal really well, and your tires are going to make a bigger difference in actual watts required to reach the top of a trail than the number of pivots, linkages, and sliders your frame has.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: I agree with your points, but if we consider only the most important efficiency factors, we'll talk about nothing but hip angles and tire efficiency.

Totally agree that slow tires can consume dozens of watts more than fast tires, which is a greater difference than between almost any suspension designs. Still, kinematics are worthy of discussion, even if we should give more attention to other factors, especially when they're so significant.

The good news is, as I mentioned earlier, most bikes are quite good now, so we rarely need to discuss issues like one rear end having several times the deflection of another.
  • 3 0
 @danielsapp:

Yeah that makes sense.

However, I thought the point of this suspension design was to reduce the need for heavy damping because the design is inherently, for a lack of a better term, “controlled”. Given this, the fork would have to be similarly tuned to match and opening everything up doesn’t seem like that right idea.

I don’t think anyone can say that a fully opened damper in a fork is ideal in any situation, regardless of rear suspension.
  • 2 2
 @R-M-R: The only thing I will add here is based on something you posted earlier;

" I've ridden more bikes than many professional reviewers - again, because it's part of my job to do so."

Confirmation bias came to mind when I read that.
  • 5 1
 @Hyakian: How so? By mentioning that I work in the bike industry?

How about we look at this in another way:

I'm saying Voss is wrong on some things. You seem to be saying I should keep an open mind.

Alternative view:

Voss holds views that contradict the views of every suspension engineer in the bike industry, suspension engineers at damper manufacturers with decades of experience apiece, and, as far as I can tell, suspension engineers with every land-based racing team.

By contradicting me, you are not being neutral, you are contradicting all the aforementioned people. When Voss has to request a shock with half the damping of the lightest available tune, he's contradicting all the suspension engineers at Fox and the decades of R&D that led them to the current shock tunes. Are you going to tell dozens of bicycle suspension engineers, with hundreds of years of experience, that we're wrong? And countless more in other industries? I'm not; I'm one of them and I agree with my peers. Physics calculations and extensive empirical evidence support these view.

If Person A said the sky isn't blue and Person B on a forum said it is, it's not really a one vs. one argument. It's entirely possible Person A is the only person holding that opinion and many people disagree with Person A, and it's entirely possible there are good reasons for disagreeing with Person A.
  • 4 0
 i like the fact taht they compare it to a santa cruz bronson. one thing for sure, two or three year later you will sell your santa cruz bronson around 30-50 % less of the msrp, good luck trying to sell your marin mount vision
  • 5 0
 Even aside from the hideous looks, having a bike with lables like R3act and Naild is the final straw. Obviously the inventor came up with this, thinking it sounded cool, but was stuck in the past.
  • 4 0
 I don't care all that much about the looks, what gets me is that this is touted by the designers/manufacturers as the greatest suspension design in history. It's simply not. Nothing fancy is going on except for a bunch of stuff that is complicated for no reason. You could design a bike that weighs pounds less, and is more reliable because you don't have six (SIX!) linkages with something like a horst link or 4-bar linkage and accomplish very similar results. The only thing that is different (though it has been done many times is the past) is the extremely low leverage ratio that requires very little damping. The downsides are glossed over in the article, are the progression wall at the end, wallowing in the travel, and lack of midstroke support. Some of these are made up for by extremely high anti-squat, but that only matters while pedalling and also has downsides such as really high pedal kickback and an overly firm suspension platform under power.
  • 7 4
 Bike looks awesome and would love to feel how it rides. The only off putting thing for me is the amount of stupid acronyms and play on words adorning the system. People will be able to arrive at the conclusion that the system is funky without all the wordplay.
  • 4 0
 I wonder at what point Polygon and Marin will come to term with the idea that ugly bikes just don't sell. It's shallow but mankind likes pleasant looking things.
  • 1 0
 This Marin should be called “Trixquare2imf*ck3d”
  • 4 0
 Wow, the part of the bike protecting all that low hanging carbon from huge rocks is... uh, well, all that low hanging carbon. What could possibly go wrong?
  • 3 0
 I prefer Marin's lower end bikes over this offering.
It seems they were attempting to do what the Tantrum Bikes do, but with a lot more complication/ weight/ cost and probably not as effective.
  • 1 0
 Is tantrum still producing anything? Have not heard of anything for sale since the first batch of highly rated bikes went out well over a year ago.
  • 2 0
 I had the 2nd gen magic link Kona Coilair, and it really did work well. It not only pedaled great for a 190mm travel bike, but the magic link lowered the BB and slackened out the bike on the descents. If the tantrum, which really was the magic link v3, was an improvement, then maybe its worth resurrecting.
  • 2 0
 I'm sure it climbs well for a 32lb + bike. But I'll be it's not the fastest at the climbs. It looks like this bike shines more going down than up. I've never ridden it but again, it may climb well for a heavier trail bike with LONG travel but hop on a 26lbs 150mm travel bike with DW suspension etc etc and chances are you're going to have good climbing capabilities along with saving you more energy due to the lighter bike.

Yes, this bike does look like a tank or an e-bike which is going to be a turn off to most riders...esp for an asking price of $6k

Slap that suspension technology on a lighter sub 30lbs bike and you might change peoples minds.
  • 2 0
 From the posts I read and the comments I hear from lots of riders, a lot of them throw buzzwords like "anti-squat" and "linear curve" and "axle path" around as if they're suspension engineers, and then you ultimately find out that they ended up with the bike they have because "Dude, that paint job is amazing!"

So ... they talk the tech talk, but don't walk it.
  • 2 0
 I'm not usually much of a STA snob, but the ACTUAL STA on this one I can see being an issue, especially for the taller riders. You extend that thing and it is wayyy over the back of the rear tire. You can tell just from the pictures which says to me that it's pretty dramatic.
  • 11 6
 Probably the ugliest bike out there
  • 15 14
 I dislike bikes with this system from the bottom of my heart:

1.It looks ugly
2. when the suspension system came out they said its the best ever but we wont tell you why -you would not understand.
3. actually looking at linkage reveals that it has monstrous antisquat and kickback -no magic involved
4. i liked the old polygon dh platform, it had great kinematics, this system replaced it.
5. seatangle -meh

maybe i should try one one day, would be hard if i like it though
  • 10 1
 Seat angle is a total no go.
  • 3 3
 Sounds like the light compression tune is the 'innovation' here. It would be interesting to test the shock on a different bike
  • 8 2
 @emptybox: I think there is nothing new. Banshee had also high anti squat and light compression tune on his first generation spitfire for example.
  • 4 0
 @emptybox: light compression tune isn’t new. It’s the thing that Weagle was going for with DWLink and that was... 15 years ago?
  • 1 0
 @melanthius: yes that's why I wrote 'innovation' because it's no real innovation
  • 5 1
 Why doesn’t my e bike article filter work.... oh sorry it’s actually not an e-bike
  • 5 0
 " one of the most unique"

hurts my brain
  • 4 0
 If we're not using many shock adjustments, why the X2? How does this thing do with a dps or mcleod?
  • 2 0
 @danielsapp you went into what the Marin did better than the Bronson. How about the other way around (aside form the seating position which I assume you meant that you preferred on the SC)?
  • 3 0
 There is no way that is an (effective) 75' STA! Not if it starts at 63'! That's crazy. Maybe, if they mean it's 75' at FULL shock compression/travel....
  • 1 0
 Looks like a 50/50 mix of the old Trek VRX and the Rocky Mountain Instinct. It's almost like companies are waiting for what they think is JUST long enough that people won't remember the older attempts at innovation for the sake of sales.
  • 1 0
 I test rode one a few weeks back, just because it looked so different. I agree it does pedal up pretty well, but on the downs I'd still rather have my 2016 Reign. It was OK, didn't particularly impress, especially considering the cost. My alu Reign is also lighter.
  • 1 0
 Good on them for pushing the envelope of what can be squeezed out of MTB suspension. The top fuel of suspension design.

I wont be buying one though, for the same reason i wont be driving a top fuel car to work.

I'm sure it is better! but i dont feel the need for the extra seals and maintenance when a lumpy single pivot gets me down the hill with a smile on my face.
I didn't see a discussion of the service requirements of that sliding assembly?
  • 4 1
 Slack seat angles = rapid wear on dropper post bushes. Effective seat angle is a bad way to measure.
  • 3 3
 More importantly, they can't climb worth a F***!
  • 3 0
 while companies do their best to make their e bikes look like regular bikes, Marin does the opposite...
  • 1 1
 I f'n like this bike. That stretchy chainstay bit absorbing the impact then spitting the energy back out on the other side of the rock/berm/object. It's like a passive KERS for mountain bikes. Ya know, aside from... an actual ebike Big Grin
  • 4 1
 That's not how it works.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: What’s your take on it there bud? You’re saying it has no effect on pumping? I get that it’s taking the square edge hits a little better with a more rearward axle path. Not sure if that R3act thing is a spring, or damper, or both, though. That would help me understand it a bit better.
  • 3 0
 @iduckett: It's just a slider, same as a fork stanchion or Yeti's Switch Infinity sliders. Just slides, nothing more.

This allows it to shift the instant centre around. Again, same thing other suspension systems can do, just doing it with different hardware. Nothing magic - not even unique in what it does.

The axle path is more rearward than some, less than others. Again, it's not unique.

It really is just like any other bike, only with different hardware. It doesn't do anything that other systems can't do.
  • 1 0
 I had a 2013 mt vision that the frame snapped on just from regular cross country trails around me. Marin was radio silent when I reached out to them so I am no longer a customer.
  • 1 0
 With the fact that only a few seasons ago nearly every person that owned an attack trail cracked their rear triangle , I wouldn’t risk hopping aboard that seriously over complicated design.
  • 1 1
 I'm not sure if someone's already commented on this, but why is the dropper pushed all the way down in the main photo of the bike? I've noticed this on a few reviews and it always makes these bikes look wierdly out of proportion. (My guess is you're trying to highlight the seat post length)
  • 1 0
 Just because. Gotta mix it up, you know?
  • 1 0
 I don't believe in companies changing the cushioning system every year. Look at Giant ... They use the Maestro system for 12 years and improve it year after year and the bikes remain cheap. What more do you want?
  • 1 0
 So let me get this straight, it doesn’t climb well, it’s heavy, and there’s more than a couple of bikes that are better descenders...sounds like it’s pretty shit to me.
  • 3 0
 Damn, looks like xquare one.
  • 5 0
 They use the same suspension system under license.
  • 2 0
 I think Marin have been clever. One carbon frame design used for either their ebike or regular mountain bike.
  • 2 0
 CRC has the Wolf Ridge for $2,650 (50% off). It is the same suspension but with 160mm on 29.
  • 3 0
 No comment in the review about the massive amount of pedal kickback?
  • 1 0
 @danielsapp

We should buy the same bike and swap ends!

I'm same height with a mere 28.5" inseam. L reach, M standover... it would work!
  • 5 1
 Can't polish a turd.
  • 2 3
 So basically, ... this bike is freaking awesome and the suspension is amazing, but it's a tiny bit heavier than some, and it looks different. Oh, and seat angle is all the rage, so gotta beef that too. Obviously not worth buying. Rolleyes
Seriously guys... that's shallow. It's a mountain bike for crying out loud, and an AM one at that. A pound or two is almost insignificant, compared to body weight, and certainly won't kill you. Yeah, it sort of looks like an ebike, but if it performs drastically better... to be markedly different you've gotta be markedly different. You can't ask for change and progress and then complain about things being new and different. lol
  • 3 0
 It doesn't ride all that well, and its 2-3 pounds too heavy. That super slack STA will nuke the bushings on your dropper post much faster, and even with this new link the rear end is way too flexy, and that long link driving the rear shock will transmit a ton of side loading to the shock body. With so many moving parts and pivots, its also going to be a nightmare to maintain.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Did you read the review?
  • 1 0
 U G L Y you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly.
It’s like putting shreks head on Beyoncé’s body, it probably rides amazing but you wouldn’t want one.
  • 1 0
 Summary: Climbs like crap. People think it looks like crap. Very expensive. Eats up the chunder and remains stable at speed through it.
  • 1 0
 It’s innovative, yes. But CBF has been giving us this type of ride quality for years now.
  • 2 0
 When a Haro has sex with a GT.
  • 1 0
 When Marty McFly goes back to the future to get a mountain bike but can only fit the rear triangle in the DeLorean...
  • 1 0
 This bike looks like it should have a linkage fork up front as does not really work or look right with a standard sus fork?
  • 2 0
 Where is my M
  • 1 0
 Looks like a...... Polygon?
  • 3 2
 This comment section is gonna be great once everyone woke up.
  • 1 0
 That's a nice e-bik..... wait?
  • 2 0
 Thrash metal rules.
  • 1 0
 Municipal waste team bike!
  • 1 0
 Where can I find the battery and motor specs?
  • 2 0
 Kakka
  • 2 0
 damn it's ugly
  • 1 1
 Not sure why Marin hasn't figured out that you can't sell an ugly bike. It's pretty simple.
  • 2 1
 Made for fun alright. That thing shreds!
  • 1 0
 Is pronounced, Marin or Marin?
  • 1 0
 Same as Tommy Chong's friend's last name.
  • 1 0
 props just for the nice NC mtn scenery.
  • 2 0
 Doing my best for the home team.
  • 1 0
 Which bike is that in the "Squish Vid"?
  • 1 0
 Get high on the polygon potenuse!
  • 1 0
 Im coming Pisgah!
  • 1 0
 But couldn't they copy?
  • 1 0
 my eyes are bleeding!
  • 1 0
 E-bike

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