Interbike 2011: Marin Mount Vision XM8 first look (video)

Brand new Quad Link 3 suspension platform for 2012

With a brand new suspension platform for 2012, the latest incarnation of Marin’s popular Mount Vision is a nifty little number.

The older Quad Link 2.0 suspension platform has been around for about five years now and was due an overhaul. Quad Link 3.0 is a completely different looking kettle of fish. For starters, gone is the huge elevated seat and chain stay combination that drove the rear shock via their Quad link system. This huge part of the frame, despite being light weight, was an eyesore to some - as well as in the way for water bottle fans out there.

The new system uses a triangulated back end with a lower linkage, and an upper rocker to connect the front end and drive the shock. From afar, the double-diamond layout looks neat and tidy, but up close is a little busy, and makes us realise how much we used to like the old layout.

However, once on the trail, the supple yet progressive action feels really good. Rear end grip is ace, and combined with a good lengthy front centre and a fairly slack head angle, the Mount Vision rails. It’s got a lively ride and wants to skip around on the trail, popping off rocks and booters, but it does feel different to last year's set up.

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On paper, the axle path is virtually the same, but it doesn’t feel quite the same - it feels more purposeful, and less playful. This is probably due in part to the new layout. The rear end is slightly lighter and stiffer than before, and doesn’t have the feel we’ve become acquainted with over the years. That's not a criticism, it’s just a different ride. And we do really like it - it’s a great package.

The UK specced bike will differ slightly from the Shimano XT triple ring set up we rode. It’s likely to come with a double set up front, plus one or two other changes. A full review will follow in MBUK soon. For more on our Interbike 2011 coverage, click here.

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