US based website Endurance, Cycling and Nutrition review the 2012 Marin Indian Fire Trail…also available now in the UK!
This review sees a female rider run through all the hi-lights of our light weight Alu hard tail with excellent speccing.
Dry trails, what a joy! The last time i went to this particular local wood for a thrash it was like the Somme. What a difference a couple of weeks makes, if anything i love the trusty Rocky Ridge even more in the dry(by my standards i was flying). Mechanicals due to gloop(none)/bits walked(none)/ smile(ear to ear). Bring on the shades weather as i am off to coed y brenin for 3 days next, let the good times role……….
Marin Man got to do a couple of rides with his dad recently. We rode some xc, some downhill and some on the road. I love all bike riding: the adrenalin of racing downhill, the will it takes and pride in climbing a tough hill, the thrill of discovering somewhere new. It is still pretty wet and muddy at the moment, but the Rocky Ridge can handle far more than I can throw at it. Thinking about it, the thing I love the most is the freedom a bike can give you, the freedom to forget about everything but the trail or road in front of you. Thank you dad!
The Rocky Ridge and I had a diverse morning. Went to the trails at Queen Elizabeth Country Park (gloopy mess), ventured out on the South Downs (got lost), and even played in a disused quarry (fell off!) Those of you who know the South Downs no doubt feel, as I do, that the name’s a bit of a misnomer (more like Hard Climbs!) Still, the Rocky Ridge and I had a great work out. I had thought my bike skills had improved, but it turns out I’ve been somewhat flattered by my full susser! Need more practice on the hardtail!
Not everyone has a trail centre on their doorstep; you don’t always have time to take the car, and often don’t want to. Marin Man hits up the local wood and foreshore for a blast this morning. Ten minutes from the house and a whole lot of fun! Manualing and hopping puddles, sliding around in the gloop – hog heaven! The Rocky Ridge; great hard-tail fun. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are best. Time to wipe off the mud from my smile.
Off to the South Downs tomorrow – watch this space…
Got to love the Marin Riftzone mud clearance.
Marin Rider in the Cotswold’s…
The excellent Marin San Quentin dirt jump bike has won the MBUK Wrecked & Rated bike test.
They say “Single-handed proof that you can buy a do-everything fun bike on a budget”.
Visit your local newsagent to pick up the latest copy or click here to see what they say.
Marin has only just released the White Line as a mid-season special edition and it was one of the last bikes to arrive for the test. However it got stuck straight into the trail with impressive enthusiasm to push itself right up in the performance-per-pound rankings.
“The £899 Marin White Line made a whole bunch of more expensive bikes look lazy and generic.”
Handling is an inspiring mix of confident stability and quick-witted agility with a contagiously enthusiastic character. Upgrade the average fork and brakes and you’ll create something special, making it our value winner for all the right reasons, and a great choice to grow with.
Read more about the Marin White Line here
Find your nearest Marin dealer here
The frameset follows the same curvy complex tube section format as on Marin’s suspension bikes. An inset headset keeps the front end low and gives more tube overlap while triple-butted top and down tubes share an extended weld seam. This all makes for an impressively stiff front end considering the low-slung nature of the White Line’s frame.
Marin is one of several brands using a slim 27.2mm seat post in a similarly skinny seat tube to add some spring and flex between saddle and bike, and the rear stays are double-butted to save your butt. There’s plenty of mud space and down tube gear cabling to keep you going through winter too. If the White Line looks too saintly for you, you can go over to the dark side with the identical but black framed Black Line.
Whichever colourway you choose, you get a colour-matched Tora fork with lockout and an air spring to keep overall weight totally acceptable for a £900 bike. The spec is on par with its peers but the TurnKey lockout is a potential choke point on testing descents.
Mavic rims are always a welcome sight though, and the WTB Prowler MX tyres are listed as a 2.1in but are generously sized for extra buoyancy. The Deore cranks put a healthy amount of stiffness underfoot, and clipless pedals are included too. The SLX Shadow rear mech is tucked under out of the harm’s way if your cutting things fine on the rocky/tree stump-riddled trails.
So what was it about the White Line that won our heat from the first ride? It wasn’t the fork which, when compared to the best sets here on test, rattled and bounced down ‘Stinky Steps’ like all TurnKey damped sets. It’s not extra wide bars or an extra short stem either, as Marin has fitted a relatively conservative cockpit. However the front end/rear end dimension split, keen but not too steep front and relaxed seat angle all create a superb ‘salt and pepper’ balance of stability and agility.
While you’ll naturally find yourself pushing the fork and front tyre harder and faster on descents than most bikes, you can still easily pop it up off drops and float thorough really rough sections. The back end can be whipped sideways or snapped though tight corners with ease when you’re out of the saddle, but stays impressively calm and connected when you’re sat in it which aims comfort.
When the tyres gripped they complemented the decent power delivery and reasonable weight to scurry us up technical climbs. When they slid, it was a great opportunity to show how well the White Line could tread a fine line between dumb-ass disaster and gung-ho glory.
The only thing we grumbled about were the brakes, which simply need a bigger rotor up front to aid chaos control at speed. Other than that, the overall package value and ride quality means we’re not going to get hung up over one easily changed component.
Marin vacillated about committing one of its bikes to such a big bike showdown, but it needn’t have worried. While it might not stand out much in terms of kit comparison it’s fair for the money with the parts it has, and where it counts – out on trail – the White Line made a whole bunch of more expensive bikes look lazy and generic.
Handling is an inspiring mix of confident stability and quick-witted agility with a contagiously enthusiastic character.. Upgrade the average fork and brakes and you’ll create something special, making it our value winner for all the right reasons, and a great choice to grow with.
WHAT MOUNTAIN BIKE ****
“Marin’s sweet singletrack handling and infectious enthusiasm create a killer ride for the price”.
Test ride the latest bikes on some awesome trails.
A 20 mile off-road ride from the Downend store is planned, heading up to Lansdown Hill via off-road tracks and country lanes, returning via the cyclepath. If you decide to purchase on the day, exclusive special offers will be available, but remember, special offers are on the day only!
Ride departs approx 10.30am Return to store approx 2pm
Special offers on bikes over £1000 purchased/ordered on the day only!
Please book a demo bike from the following list by calling 0117 9566719 (if you don’t fancy a 3 hour slog through the mud and gloop, tarmac test-rides around the local roads may be possible, depending on which bikes are still available – photo i.d. still required and disclaimer must be signed)
Attack Trail Large
Rocky Ridge Large
Mount Vision Large – sorry, booked