The new 2018 Marin bikes range | the best bits

This week sees the launch of the new 2018 Marin Bikes range.

Marin Bikes have a long history in mountain biking. Starting in  the 80’s and born in California, USA they’ve created some genuinely iconic bikes.

The 2018 range is a fresh start for Marin and the product of new designers and new energy into the company. We were stoked to see a heap of brand new bikes that have been built to be fun, tough, reliable, simple and to answer the issues of previous years. Great news.

Here’s our highlights from the 2018 Marin Bikes range:

Wolf Ridge

  • Long travel trail and enduro bike
  • 29″ wheels
  • 160mm rear travel
  • Uses the new Naild suspension platform

We’ve already spent a fair bit of time talking about the wild looking Marin Wolf Ridge. We joined the Marin UK guys for a first look on the day the bike was launched and then sent Rich out to Italy for a first ride on gnarly Garda trails. We’re also going to be riding the bike at the Mega Avalanche next weekend to see just how well the bike can live up to the hype.

The Wolf Ridge is a long travel 29″ built for big mountain riding. It’s not an out and out enduro race bike – more of a do-it-all bike that packs loads of travel and big wheels.

The Wolf Ridge uses the new NailD suspension platform that works to create a bike that packs in 160mm rear travel, needs very little compression on the shock and can both climb and descend very well indeed. If you want to understand it better, you can read Rich’s first ride story here.

There are three models in the Wolf Ridge range. The mighty Pro version is a not inconsiderable £7750 and comes with SRAM Eagle XX1, Fox 36 Performance Elite and Float X2 suspension and an Ethirteen TRS Carbon wheelset.

Rift Zone

  • Short travel trail bike
  • 29″ wheels
  • 120mm rear travel
  • Uses the MultiTrac suspension platform

The Marin Rift Zone has been around for a few years but sees a complete redesign for 2018.

The bike is now a 120mm, aluminium trail bike with 29″ wheels. The bike has been built to be fast, fun and stable and to sit alongside the Attack Trail as Marin’s bike of choice for attacking singletrack.

We were lucky enough to get the exclusive first ride on the Rift Zone up in North Wales and on loose, sketchy, slaty Welsh trails it was heaps of fun. The geometry adds up to create a very simple to ride bike that benefits from all the monster-truck roll-over speed carrying of big wheels whilst feel light, easy to throw around and very alert.

There’s no big slack angles or long travel which makes for a very fun bike without feeling sketchy or uncomfortable. We’re looking forward to some big rides on the bike in the next few months.

There are three models in the Rift Zone range ranging from £1350 to £2300.

Attack Trail

  • Long(ish) travel, do-it-all full suspension
  • 27.5″ wheels
  • 150mm rear travel
  • Uses the Quad3 suspension platform

The Attack Trail is Marin’s work horse 27.5″ full suspension bike. With 150mm travel, 460mm reach on a large and a 66d head angle it’s the bike most people will choose (we think anyway!) for enduro racing, bike parks, trail centres and blasting round the woods having fun with their mates.

The old Attack trail suffered with slightly out dated geometry and got a lot of stick for its looks. The new bike tackles all of that head on – the size is very up to date without being crazy (on par with the likes of Santa Cruz, Nukeproof and Canyon), the frame is now aluminium rather than carbon and the classic ‘enduro sandwich holder’ (the triangle at the point where the top tube meets the seat tube) has been fixed. Fans of very modern geometry might sniff a little at the head angle … but we’re waiting for a ride to make a judgement for ourselves.

There are three options for the new Marin Attack Trail with the poshest version you see here costing just £3,000. With a Rock Shox Lyric fork, Monarch Plus RCT3 shock and Deity finishing kit that feels like awesome value for money.

Hawk Hill Junior

  • Full suspension bike for groms
  • 24″ wheels and can upgrade to 26″
  • 120mm rear travel
  • Like a full size Marin Hawk Hill … just little

How rad is this little bike? The Marin Attack Trail Junior is a serious bike for young guns. It’s designed to be a heavy hitting full suspension … built for kids that fit 24″ wheels and a 13″ frame.

The bike is every bit a proper mountain bike just made little. It has an XFusion fork and shock, Shimano Deore brakes and shifting and Vee tires. A really cool feature is that when the grom out grows 24″ wheels the Hawk Hill Junior can take 26″ wheels, so they can keep growing with the bike.

B-17

  • Full suspension trail bike
  • 27.5+ wheels
  • 120mm rear travel
  • Uses the MultiTrac suspension platform (similar to the Hawk Hill and Rift Zone)

Back in the 90’s the Marin B17 was a much loved, much abused downhill bike that was seen on muddy hillsides throughout the UK. They were one of the top privateer bikes of choice and graced many a national podium over the years.

Skip forward to 2018 and the B17 is now a very different beast. It’s a short travel, 27.5+ trail bike that’s built as a plus sized version of the Marin Hawkhill. Marin say that the bike is designed for “riders looking to take the edge off”, meaning anyone that likes the idea of the extra grip, confidence and cushioning you can get from bigger tires.

We’ve spent a fair bit of time on plus size tires now but we’re still not 100% sold. On surfaced trails and fairly mellow singletrack they do grip beautifully. In the mud, on steep trails and on loose trails they’re a bit less confidence inspiring. For less experienced riders on more basic trails … they’re spot on, beyond that we’re yet to be convinced.

Alcatraz

  • Dirt jump bike designed for Matt Jones
  • Available as frame only
  • 26″ wheels
  • 135 x 110mm horizontal drop outs for geared or SS setup

The Marin Alcatraz was designed with the help of British dirt jump legend Matt Jones.

Matt and the Marin crew started with a blank sheet and made a bike that could be razzed round your local pump track or (as Matt just did) ridden at events like Crankworx.

The frame is super simple – it’s small, it’s steep, it’s made from alu and it’s only available in one size. You can read our interview with Matt all about the design of the bike here.

… And some other bits and bobs:

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