Although Marin Bikes have been on the bicycle market for around more than 30 years, they haven’t had a good reason lately. However, Marin is back in the bicycle industry with premium carbon bikes that are trusted by lots of used by elite cyclists who won competitions riding their bikes. They also offer better entry-level and mid-range bikes of different styles and models for you to choose from. Let’s find out what Marin bikes are suitable for your riding style and needs. But first, let’s take a look at the overview of Marin Bike Company.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Marin Bike Company
- Marin Bike Categories
- Most Popular Marin Bikes
- Marin Bike Price Range
- Are Marin Bikes Any Good?
- Marin VS. Trek
- Marin Mountain Bikes
- Marin Gravel/Drop Bar Bikes
- Marin Fitness/Transit Bikes
- Marin E-Bikes
- Marin Kids’ Bikes
Overview of Marin Bike Company
As you might or might not know, Marin has been specializing in the production of pioneering hardtail and full-suspension bikes since the foundation of the company.
Even though Marin knows about the latest bike trends, this still happens a lot. So, the company also provides quite a few All-Road, Gravel, and E-bikes.
What’s more, Marin offers various types of urban, hybrid, and fitness bikes that are relatively popular among riders. Hence, those who want to commute daily, stay fit, or just enjoy leisure rides can have more options.
You can also see lots of Marin bikes in first-class mountain bikes and gravel competitions. Here, many successful athletes, such as Juliet Ellioyy, Matt Jones, Nikki Whiles, Marthe Gill, Mark Matthews, etc., ride Marin bikes.
History of Marin Bike Company
Marin is named after Marin County, California. And this is considered the birthplace of the Marin Bike Company and also the mecca of mountain biking.
Marin Bikes was established in 1986 by Rober Buckly. He was mountain biking in the early days of the sport when mountain bikes were not really common.
At that time, Rober Buckley faced the difficulty of lacking bikes that were suitable for his riding styles and could help him improve his riding skills. Therefore, he decided to work with a group of local enthusiasts to design and produce their own bikes that were better than the old and available ones.
Their first mountain bike, the Madrone Trail model, was really successful and eventually established Marin as one of the leading bike companies in the growing mountain bike segment.
This was followed by tons of full-suspension and hardtail mountain bikes and other popular bike types, including all-road bikes, road and hybrid bikes, and gravel bikes.
However, Marin’s growth slowed until 2013, when the bike company was sold and got new management. This acquisition entirely overhauled the company’s product lineup and once again put Marin at the top of the bicycle market.
Where Are Marin Bikes Made?
Since 1986, Marin Bikes has been designing and manufacturing a wide array of different bike models and styles in its manufacturing plant located in Novato, Marin County. Some of these models have won prizes in various cycling competitions. Even though the Marin bikes are now produced in Asia, they are still created in Petaluma, California, also the Marin headquarters.
The Technologies of Marin Bikes
The most innovative technology of Marin bikes would be the MultiTrac suspension. The main hypothesis behind models equipped with this technology is very easy. That will be achieving the best suspension performance via a balance between mild crash compliance and pedaling effectiveness. At the same time, it helps you keep excellent support and great bottom-up control, no matter the terrain you are riding on.
One of the best things about Marin’s MultiTrac suspension system is that it uses various leverage curves, depending on different suspension travel and bike model or style. This way, you will get the best system with optimum balance and stability between control and efficiency levels.
In addition, the MultiTrac suspension will offer a smaller bump on rough terrains because it uses a low starting leverage curve. Besides, anti-vibration values in the range of 90-110% are also utilized over the whole gear range.
The current, advanced shock-absorbing technology also offers excellent mid-stroke support, and anti-roll gears ensure that suitable bike shape is maintained on ramps.
And the last benefit of Marin’s MultiTrac suspension is the bottom-out control. A “backward hook” is used during the final stages of travel, creating a mechanical force that slows the wheel and counteracts strong bottom-up impacts. At the same time, it can maintain stress on the rear shock absorber to a minimum when the impact is greater.
Performance of Marin Mountain Bikes
Mountain bikes are considered the best bike category of Marin Bikes. Among various MTB models, the Alpine Trail seems to be the most popular one. This lineup is a kind of full-suspension mountain bike and typically designed for all-day enduro cyclists who love to have fun pedaling downhill.
All Alpine Trail mountain bike models are made from advanced Series 4 aluminum frames. They are also equipped with detailed forgings, carefully handcrafted tubes, and a full inner cable routing system. This design provides riders with the most premium alloy frame that Marin has been offering.
Another unique, great feature about the Alpine Trail models is the integrated forged one-piece rocker link in the heart of the innovative MultiTrac suspension system. It is the rigidity and strength of the rocker that holds the bike’s rear straight, allowing the suspension to operate smoothly even if you are riding your bike in the toughest road conditions.
What’s more, the hardness of the rocker link provides a bridgeless seat design without damaging rigidity. Simultaneously, it allows the tires to have maximum clearance and short travel.
The Alpine Trail mountain bikes will bring the best modern trail bike riding experience thanks to the combination of the 63.5º top angle and a 78º saddle angle that offers a longer reach. These bicycles will help you pedal up hills better than ever and provide you with more confidence when going downhill.
Marin Bike Categories
Marin is best known for its hardtail and full-suspension bikes from the very beginning of their foundation. However, the company also offers quite various types of bikes, such as urban, fitness, and hybrid bicycles. Let’s take a look at the bike range of Marin Bike Company:
- Mountain Bikes
- XC Trail
- Dirt Jump
- Drop Bar Bikes
- Gravel/Beyond Road
- Fitness/Transit Bikes
- Dual Sport
- Electric Assist
- Youth/Kids Bikes
- Full-suspension Jr.
- Trail 24
- Trail 20
- Donkey Jr.
Most Popular Marin Bikes
Marin has been designing and producing bikes for over 30 years. And while it’s been a relatively prominent bike brand lately, a series of exciting new bike launches have enhanced the company’s reputation. And across its route, from city to road and mountain bikes, I’m sure you will find some cool, fun, and gorgeous options. Now, let’s see some of the most popular Marin bikes available to purchase:
- Trail Bikes: Marin Rift Zone 2
- Bikepacking Bikes: Marin Four Corners
- Urban Bikes: Marin Presidio 1
- Gravel Bikes: Marin Gestalt X11
- Enduro/All-Mountain Bikes: Marin Alpine Trail 8
Marin Bike Price Range
If you love any of those models, you will want to know how much it costs. Well, let’s get into it right now:
- Trail Bikes: $999.00 – $4,299.00
- Bikepacking Bikes: $1,199.00 – $4,199.00
- Urban Bikes: $539.00 – $2,889.00
- Gravel Bikes: $879.00 – $3,049.00
- Enduro/All-Mountain Bikes: $999.00 – $6,299.00
As you can see, Marin bikes are not cheap, and even a bit more expensive than some of their counterparts. However, you get high-quality bikes that are made of superior material.
Are Marin Bikes Any Good?
The answer would be yes. Marin bikes are made from high-quality, and of course, they will last for very long. Accordingly, Marin only uses premium materials, including steel, carbon, and aluminum, to manufacture their bike frames. What’s more, the components are also of very great quality. All are trustworthy components from famous and popular brands, including SRAM, Shimano, etc., no matter if you buy an entry-level, average, or high-quality bike, all Marin models are built to last.
Marin VS. Trek
If you usually ride around the neighborhood or along a clear path, Marin and Trek bikes will be two of the best bikes you should consider. In this part, I will give you an in-depth analysis of Trek and Marin bikes to see which one is more suitable for you.
You can see a monocoque unidirectional fiber at the Marin Bikes’ front. Trek, on the other hand, features a beautiful and light frame. This will also offer much better cushioning when you ride your bike on bumpy, rough roads.
When it comes to controlling, Marin bikes seem to be a little bit better than their counterparts. For example, Trek offers the travel of only 1200mm, while this number in Marin bikes is 125mm, allowing you to control your bike more easily.
The third main difference between Marin and Trek bikes is the used components. Trek models feature a four-axle suspension fork that significantly reduces anti-rise impact, and this is a great fit for the Marin bike.
Marin Bike Review
Marin Bikes provides riders with a wide array of different types of bikes, including cruiser, road, track, and triathlon bikes. Not only perform excellently while riding in windy conditions, but Marin Aero bikes also offer great aerodynamic capabilities.
Endurance bikes are designed in different models and styles, while Race bicycles focus on lightweight and stiffness. Primarily made of carbon frames, these bicycles allow for smooth handling, even on rough trails.
Marin also integrates an additional anti-vibration cushion into the carbon fork and front triangle. This design will substantially lessen fatigue during long rides.
The threaded bottom rack is typically designed for quieter operation and also helps you maintain the bike much more easily. Integrated with a premium SRAM drivetrain, you can quickly adjust the Felt bikes to go faster or slower as you want.
- Offer excellent chassis
- Great tires from Maxxis Ardent-Ready
- High-quality suspension fork
- Threaded bottom rack design
- The design is not really appealing
Trek Bike Review
Just like Marin Bikes, Trek also manufactures a wide range of bicycle models, such as road, triathlon, and mountain bikes. What’s more, Trek offers models that are particularly designed to fit women with certain accessories.
Two popular tires options when you are looking for Trek mountain bikes are 27.5’’ and 29’’. No matter what type you pick, it allows you to travel through different types of terrain. Besides, you can choose between hardtail or full-suspension mountain bikes, depending on your riding styles and preferences.
Trek road bikes are also popular because of their great flexibility. You can ride them on almost all terrains with different conditions, whether it is long-distance riding or in a race. Again, Trek offers various types of road bikes that suit a wide array of riding styles.
Almost all Trek bikes are designed with either H1 or H2 geometry. Both types provide riders with a longer and lower riding potion, making it easier for them to ride longer distances easily.
- Feature hydraulic lockout
- Easy to access
- Offer a wide range of gear
- Great inner cable routing
- Doesn’t come with a kickstand
- Paint gets scratched quite simple if ridden on gravel roads
Generally speaking, Marin bikes offer a smooth and stable feeling. Their geometries seem to be slightly shorter than Trek bikes, which makes it easier to handle and control in corners. Endurance bikes come in various styles and designs, while race bicycles offer excellent stiffness and lightweight. In general, Marin bikes provide you with great smoothness even if riding on rough terrains.
Trek bikes, on the other hand, tend to focus more on designs and presentation. That’s why they always come up with new models that can be compatible with other famous brands. Trek road bikes are very popular and allow you to perform well in any situation. What’s more, it is a unique style that makes Trek bikes very common and fits specific riding styles. See also Trek vs. Giant vs. Specialized vs. Cannondale review.
Marin Mountain Bikes
If you are looking for a high-quality mountain bike, Marin is one of the best bike brands you should try. Their hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes are designed for riders of all riding styles. First, let’s take a look at the MTB bike category.
In general, Marin offers a large amount of full-suspension mountain bicycles, and all of their models are relatively good-quality. The manufacturer incorporates different models to make sure that every mountain bike is suitable for most mountain biking categories, including all-mountain, trail, downhill, and enduro.
Marin full-suspension bikes are produced at every price point so that any rider can have a suitable choice in terms of bike type and price. Currently, Marin offers 3 separate models as follows:
- Alpine Trail
- Hawk Hill
- Rift Zone
As mentioned above, each model lineup is designed for a specific purpose. For instance, if you are a beginning rider and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, you can opt for the Rift Zone 1 bike. This model costs around $1,600.00, features 130mm of suspension travel, a Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain system, and hydraulic disc brakes for powerful stopping.
Hardtail bikes from Marin can be equipped with either 27.5’’ or 29’’’tires, and they come in 8 different models for you to choose from. Three major models available right now are XC Race, Trail, and Dirt Jump bikes.
- San Quentin
- Team Marin
- El Roy
- Wildcat Trail WFG
- Bobcat Trail
- Pine Mountain
- Bolinas Ridge
All the bicycles on this current list are made of aluminum frames. Therefore, they will be the best option for beginning and mid-range riders. Having said that, it doesn’t mean some of those models can not be used in racing or competitions.
Let’s take the Bolinas Ridge model, for example. This is an entry-level XC model that is typically designed for recreational or leisure ridings. These bikes are perfect for exploring local singletracks or paths. However, sometimes they might be used in some areas in the real competition. You can check the top list of 18 beginner mountain bike here.
Marin Gravel/Drop Bar Bikes
Gravel and all-road bikes with great drop bars are just the new additions to the innovative product lineups of Marin. It could be said that gravel riding is the latest trend in the bicycling industry, and time has proven it is not just a fad; it is here to last.
Currently, Marin’s gravel or drop bar bikes’ categories include the following models:
- Four Corners
- Gestalt X
These models come with different bikes that are designed for different terrains, such as commuting, touring, gravel grinding, and even a mix of dirt and pavement.
You can see the used materials, tire and wheel sizes, mounting options, and frame geometry to know that these bikes really perform well on such trails. In other words, a gravel bike can be made from an aluminum, carbon, or steel frame, and it could have a front and/or rear rack, its tires might be flexible enough for off-road riding.
Let’s take Nicasio 1 as an example. This is one of the most popular Marin’s gravel bikes for beginning riders. This model is a great option for commuting and can be ridden in any weather. What’s more, if you are an adventure rider and want to enjoy both on and off-road rides, you can consider this bike too.
Marin Fitness/Transit Bikes
Marin started to design and manufacture their bikes in the early 90s. That’s when they decided to branch out their types of bikes, which had only consisted of mountain bikes up until that point.
This became a step in the right direction and they never stopped since then. Nowadays, they produce dozens of perfect hybrid bikes in various ranges, such as urban, fitness, commuter, etc. Let’s see the list of current Marin hybrid bikes:
- Dual Sport
- Urban CrMo
Among these bike models, the two fitness models, Terra Linda and Fairfax are considered the two most popular and attractive ones. These bikes are made of aluminum frames, making them much more affordable than other materials. What’s more, they are equipped with powerful disc brakes, pretty tires, and endurance road geometry that brings optimum comfort. If you are looking for a fitness bike for male riders, Fairfax will be a perfect option, while Terra Linda is an ideal choice for women.
Generally speaking, the huge success of Marin’s hybrid bikes is because of the reasonable price and unique appearance, both in the context of frame designs and colors.
Electric bikes are considered one of among various types of bikes that have been sweeping the bicycling market in recent years. Even though Marin’s collection of electric bikes is not really diverse and impressive like other popular bike brands, such as Cannondale’s or Trek’s e-bikes, it is really far from limited.
There are only a few models of urban e-bikes and hardtail mountain e-bikes that Marin offers, including:
- Pine Mountain E
Marin’s Sausalito e-bikes are geared toward skilled riders who want to spend more time riding their bikes, despite old age, injury, or rough and difficult trails. This model is great for cruising, commuting, and exploring different terrains. In addition, Marin offers both step-through and step-over models, making it perfect for those who have difficulty in dismounting and mounting.
Pine Mountain E comes in two series, Pine Mountain E1 and E2. These models are designed to help you get a few more rounds on your terrains with ease. They also let you go downhill while not satisfying your hopes of pedaling up hills. The secret behind this is the 120/130mm of travel in the suspension fork and large 27.5+ tires with 2.8’’ wide.
Marin Kids’ Bikes
The correct answer to the question about the right time to start riding a bike is the sooner, the better. Fortunately, Marin also produces quite a large number of bikes for kids, for not only recreational but also serious riding purposes. Check out the available Marin’s Kids’ Bikes:
- Bayview Trail
- Hawk Hill JR
- Hidden Canyon
- San Quentin 24/20
For instance, the Hawk Hill JR is a complete full-suspension bike that is ideal for your kids to start learning to ride a bike and become a future pro cyclist. This model is available in 2 wheel options – 24’’ or 26’’. Therefore, it is suitable for school-age children and teens. Made of a lightweight aluminum frame, wide knobby tires, and 120mm of travel, this bike is more than any young cyclist will need.
Marin also offers other types and models for kids, which are available in 20’’ and 24’’ wheels. All of them are geared for leisure and recreation riding purposes. They will definitely make your kids love and start to hit the trail.
When it comes to Marin Bikes, it is impossible not to mention mountain bikes. The company started with mountain bikes and has had a lot of success since then. The secret to their success lies in the MultiTrac suspension technology that offers excellent cushioning for riders, typically when they are riding on rugged terrains. Other types of bikes, such as road, gravel, e-bikes, and kid bikes, are also relatively popular.