Marin’s new 2019 Mount Vision takes the keyboard warrior’s favourite, the NailD R3act System, and creates a brand new long-travel, 27.5’er.
Jamie dropped in to Marin’s new HQ for a first ride on the 2019 Mount Vision.
- The brand new 2019 Marin Mount Vision
- Old name, brand new bike
- 27.5″ wheels
- 150mm travel front and rear
- Uses the Naild R3act 2 Play suspension platform
- MV8 £5200, MV9 £6500, MV Pro £8700
A quick recap on Marin
It’s been really interesting to see Marin develop. In the last 5 years they’ve completely redesigned their mountain bike and gravel range, working hard to reinvent themselves and create a brand that has fast, fun, affordable bikes.
We’ve also followed Marin’s development of the Naild React system, used first on their Wolf Ridge which we raced that the Megavalanche.
And the new Marin Mount Vision
A new bike for the new season is the 2019 Marin Mount Vision.
The bike shares the same name as plenty of predecessors but any similarities stop there. The bike is brand new, taking the Naild R3act 2 Play system that was used on the Wolf Ridge and refining it to create an altogether different beast.
Let’s start with the basics. The new Marin Mount Vision has 27.5″ wheels, 150mm travel at both ends and a full carbon fibre frame and injection carbon links. The suspension is built around the Naild R3act 2 Play system.
There are three versions of the bike, the lowest spec Mount Vision 8 which comes with Rock Shox suspension and SRAM GX Eagle, the Mount Vision 9 which comes with Fox shocks and a SRAM XO1 drive train and the Mount Vision Pro which has a Fox and Shimano XTR combo.
You might expect the bike to be a big hitting, enduro race bike. You’d be wrong. Marin are straight up that the bike is designed to be a “playful, fun, capable, poppy, all-mountain trail bike that’ll blow your socks off”. That quote comes straight from designer Matt Cipes who has spent 5 years working on the bike.
For dudes that want to lap out Bike Park Wales
Chatting about the bike to Marin’s UK marketing guy John, he explanation is that the Mount Vision is for “the guys that are out there wanting to ride a little more aggressively and a be a little bit more playful than perhaps the Wolf Ridge catered for”.
The Wolf Ridge, John explained didn’t quite fit the bill for every rider “obviously with the Wolf Ridge there’s quite a lot of engineered compliance in it. Which is amazing if you’re riding off-piste trails or you’re out on all day epics which is what the Wolf Ridge is aimed at”.
John went on to say “The Mount Vision is aimed at someone who’s going to want to go to Bike Park Wales and lap it out. So when you’re going into that berm you’re not looking for that level of compliance”.
The big difference is the inclusion of a new rocker link to add some stiffness to the bike and gives the bike a little more progression through it’s travel.
The change of position of the shock from down to top tube also means that on larger frames you can mount two water bottle cages. Nice touch.
Naild R3act 2 Play, what?
The heart of the bike is the Naild R3act-2-Play system, designed by Darrell Voss.
The system tries to reduce suspension bob (caused by stamping on the pedals and moving your weight around on the bike) and the effects of chain tension on the performance of the bike’s suspension.
The system uses a conventional rear shock (a Fox Float X2 or a RockShox Delux R depending on the model), a slider inside the swing arm and a rocker link. Those elements all work together to reduce the ‘bob’ when you climb and help the suspension to be more sensitive to rough terrain.
The aim is to make a bike that descends as well as it climbs and doesn’t need any lock-outs on the suspension.
Size and Shape
Marin traditionally get a bit of jip for their sizes and shapes but they’re working hard to shrug that with new school geometry.
The Marin Alpine Trail was really nice surprise in particular, bringing together a really nicely shaped push bike. The Alpine was a very different bike to the Mount Vision though, designed to be (according to Designer Matt Cipes) “more wide open and flat out”.
According to the marketing blurb, the bike has been designed using biometric data to match specific frame sizes to specific rider sizes. The different sizes have, we’re told, been designed to perform differently to better match the ideal size and shape of rider that’ll pilot them.
There’s no variation in shock tunes or carbon layup between sizes but the small and medium bikes and the large and XL bikes get their own suspension designs. The changes are, Cipes told us, to the anti-rise and anti-squat values of the bikes.
I rode a size large Mount Vision 8, which offers up a 75.1° virtual seat angle, a 471.5mm reach and a 65° head angle. I’m 175cm and a curvy, beer fuelled 85ish kg.
Digging deeper into those numbers
The geometry of the bike is interesting.
If you just look at the 470mm reach on the large, you’d expect a pretty lofty bike. Sitting on the bike, you’d probably be surprised at how different it feels.
The wheel base, chain stay and top tube numbers are actually pretty short. The actual seat angle is also fairly slack, shortening the feel of the bike when you’re in the saddle. The stand over is the lowest I’ve ridden in a size large.
Designer Matt Cipes told me that they spent a lot of time looking at the bike’s geometry under sag, recommending 25% for the Mount Vision.
He reminded me that ‘static’ geometry numbers don’t tell you much. It’s under sag and when the bike is moving that you should start to pay attention.
An example is the bike’s chain stay length which grows from 420mm to 435mm at 25% sag. Cipes wanted to build a bike that takes on a shape at 25% sag that is fast and stable but doesn’t loose that fun and poppy feeling.
A ride up the local
I’m sad to say that we only managed a quick ride on the Marin Mount Vision 8, as part of a visit to the new Marin Bikes HQ.
We nipped up to Box Woods near Bath, accompanied by photographer Sam, her hound Trigger and Marin’s new-guy Jon Ashelford. Less of a ‘ride’ and more of a piss-about in the woods, we got stuck in to sessioning a few jumps and corners for Sam’s lens.
Built for Fun
Throwing the bike around feels very easy, a symptom of the bike’s geometry. Short, sharp, sprinty climbs are a breeze and in the saddle it’s easy to keep the front wheel down whilst maintaining grip on the rear wheel. There’s no vast movements fore and aft required to maintain the bike’s balance. That’s a good thing in my book.
Marin’s mantra (it’s even printed on the bike) is “Built for Fun” and that comes across instantly. Marin’s marketing guy John told me, speaking about geometry and their bikes “we try to keep them a little bit playful, a little bit poppy on the geometry side”.
It’s obvious straight away that it’s not a big, fast, composed race bike. It’s sprightly, compact, easy to chuck about and doesn’t offer the rider any challenges in getting it up to speed and hitting that ‘I’m having a blast’ pace. Our test ride wasn’t enough to give any comment on the bike’s performance on fast, rough, gnarly trails I’m afraid.
As with all bikes, you’re best getting yourself a demo-ride to decide if the Mount Vision is for you. If you like your bikes fun, fast, easy to ride and easy to enjoy you might just be a perfect match.
And the Naild R3act system?
It’s hard to comment on the Naild system from such a short test ride. Our previous experience on the Marin Wolf Ridge as a comparison was super positive.
We rode the Naild equipped Wolf Ridge at the 2017 Megavalanche and test-pilot Rich had a great week, loved every minute of riding the Marin and placed 26th in the main event. We had no mechanical problems of any kind with the bike.
You can read Rich’s Marin Wolf Ridge review here and watch him riding the Enduro 9 trail in Alp D’Huez below on the bike (Don’t miss the crash at the start!).
You can learn more about the 2019 Marin Mount Vision over Marin’s website here.
Look out for a complete interview with the new team behind Marin Bikes UK coming in the next few days.