Introducing our latest long-term test bike – the 2016 Marin Attack Trail 9.
The Attack Trail is being tested by new recruit Juliet Elliott. Juliet will be riding the bike relentlessly throughout 2015 and 16 and bringing you an in depth, no holes barred review.
2016 Marin Attack Trail 9
27.5 wheel size
Carbon Frame w/ Aluminum Swingarm,
QUAD 3 Suspension Platform
The 2016 Marin Attack Trail 9 is the Californian brand’s all-mountain carbon machine, built around the 150mm Travel QUAD 3 Suspension Platform with 160mm of travel up front courtesy of the BOS Deville fork. Used by Marin’s Enduro World Series Team, the bike’s geometry is designed to eat up those lumps and bumps whilst still retaining a responsive feel.
The bike is spec’d with a SRAM XO1 drivetrain, SRAM Guide brakes, WTB Vigilante and Breakout tyres, 27.5″ DT Swiss E1700 wheels and a KS LEV Integra Dropper Post, then you’ve Deity Blacklabel bars and a Gamut Cillos stem to finish things off, which is a nice touch.
I’ve been in possession of the bike for a couple of weeks now, during which time we’ve been to the Flyup 417 Project, Triscombe, Haldon and the local trails at Scadson a few times, so I’ve ridden it on a variety of different terrain though it’s rained pretty much every time.
I’m 172cm tall and the geometry sheet had indicated that Medium was the size to go for, but straight out of the box my first impression was that it looked like a pretty big bike for me, despite the fact I’d checked the dimensions very carefully.
The chainstays are actually fairly short (425mm), and the reach is not massive either (412.5), but the wheelbase is a fair bit longer that my old bike thanks to a slacker headtube angle and longer fork.
Out my first run, it felt like I was helming a big ship, thanks to the size, the fact I hadn’t had time to chop down the handlebars and the suspension doing a fine job of ironing out any kinks in the trail. With the bars chopped and the three-way shock adjuster set to trail rather than descend I felt a lot more in charge, regaining a more nimble feel that I prefer, whilst still taking advantage of the Attack Trails ability to roll over everything in its path.
As we’re still just getting to know each other, my first impressions are limited but positive. I’m a relatively small, lightweight rider and the bike possesses just the right combination of confidence inspiring burliness – feeling smooth and very stable and great over jumps, but it’s also able to handy twisty, tricky descents and technical sections.
On the climbs, well we’ve done alright so far. Initially, I was confused as to why they’d chosen a fork that you can’t lock out on a bike designed for the Enduro market, but I’m reserving judgment on that for the time being. As long as I stay seated, I don’t experience too much too bob, but standing up is another matter so I wonder how I’d get on if I had to climb something really steep
Over the next year I’ll be taking the bike on a whole host of adventures to put it through its paces under a large variety of conditions. I’m exciting to get to know the bike and its strengths and weaknesses, so stay tuned for a mid-season update on how we’re doing as well as an ultra in-depth long term review at the end of the year. You can also check out what me and the bike are up to over on my Instagram.