Marin have made some major changes to their full-suspension range for 2010, as well as introducing some new hardtails and jumping on the fixie bandwagon. Here are some of the highlights of their range. Click on the thumbnails on the right for more images.
The top-rated 120mm-travel Mount Vision series has been revised for 2010, with a slacker head tube (68.5°), lower bottom bracket and slightly lower front end for increased stability at speed, and a steeper seat tube for improved pedalling.
Based around Marin's Quad Link 2.0 suspension system, it also features a 200g lighter and more aerodynamic swingarm than last year (inherited from the ill-fated Alchemist project), with narrower linkages.
Modular dropouts can be switched for use with quick-release skewers or through-axles, and there is top tube routing for an adjustable seatpost. Pivot bearings still have a lifetime warranty, and internal headset bearings are now used for increased strength.
Prices range from £2,150 for the Mount Vision 5.7 with RockShox Reba SL fork, Fox Float R shock, SRAM X-5 and X-7 shifting gear, and Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, to £3,499 for the top-end 5.9 model with Fox 32 F120 RLC FIT fork and RP23 shock, Shimano XT drivetrain, Avid Elixir CR brakes and Fulcrum Red Metal 3 wheels.
We've already reviewed the new Marin Mount Vision 5.8 and if that's anything to go by, first impressions of the 2010 range are promising.
Launched last year, the Attack Trail promised to offer “pocket downhill bike" style handling. That's still the aim for 2010 but it's now shed some weight (the 6.9 and 6.8 weigh less than 30lb), gained 10mm of travel and become more trail-friendly.
The new bike has been designed around Truvativ's HammerSchmidt planetary gearing system, which appears on the top-end Avalanche and 6.9 models, and features a reconfigured version of Marin's Quad Link 2.0 suspension system plus updated geometry.
Features include a one-piece forged bottom bracket shell with ISCG-05 mounts (for the Hammerschmidt), oversized head tube (1.125-1.5in tapered on the top two models and 1.5in on the 6.8 and 6.7), longer stroke shock, Maxle-compatible modular dropouts and top tube cable routing for an adjustable seatpost.
Prices range from £1,999 for the Attack Trail 6.7 with RockShox Revelation SL fork and Monarch 2.1 shock, SRAM X-5 and X-7 gearing,and Avid Juicy 3.5 brakes, to £3,750 for the top-of-the-line Avalanche model with RockShox Lyrik U-Turn fork and Monarch 4.2 shock, HammerSchmidt, Mavic SX wheels, SRAM X-0 and Avid Elixir CR brakes.
The freeride-inspired Quad XLT range has been tested on the trails of Whistler Mountain Bike Park in British Columbia and boasts a totally redesigned, hydroformed frame.
Features include a one-piece forged bottom bracket shell with HammerSchmidt-compatible ISCG-05 mounts, internal bearing 1.5in head tube and replaceable modular dropouts.
The 180mm of suspension travel, courtesy of a longer stroke RockShox Vivid coil shock, has been retuned to give it a more linear feel and improve pedalling.
There are two models: the Quad XLT 7.8 with RockShox Domain 318 fork and Vivid 4.1 shock, SRAM X-5, X-7 and X-9 gearing, an e*thirteen dual ring device and Avid Code 5 brakes, and the £3,999 XLT 7.9 with RockShox Totem fork and Vivid shock, and a mix of Shimano Saint and SLX.
CXR Team SLX
When it comes to hardtails, one of the most eye-catching models in Marin's range is the swoopy CXR Team SLX, described as a "flat-out, balls-to-the-wall cross-country weapon".
With a monocoque frame made of high modulus uni-directional carbon, it's specced with a 100mm-travel RockShox Reba SL fork and, interestingly for a carbon race bike, mainly kit from Shimano's tough mid-range SLX groupset. RRP is £2,299.
Indian Fire Trail
The Indian Fire Trail, launched last year, is another key bike in Marin's hardtail lineup. It's made from high-spec 7000 series alloy and is aimed at cross-country and endurance racers.
For £1,950 you get an upgraded spec for 2010 including a 100mm-travel Fox 32 F100RL fork, a mix of SRAM X-0, X-9 and X-7, Hayes Stroker Carbon brakes and Fulcrum Red Metal 5 wheels.
There isn't space here to list details of all Marin's 2010 hardtails – see www.marin.co.uk for that (the international site, www.marin.com, didn't have 2010 models at time of publication) – but here are a few that caught out eye...
The Alcatraz is team rider Andrew Taylor's signature singlespeed dirt jump bike. It's made of 4130 chromoly steel and comes with a Marzocchi Dirt Jumper III fork, FSA Gap MegaExo DH chainset and Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes. RRP is £999.
The Rocky Ridge trail bike gets 140mm-travel RockShox Revelation SLs for 2010, along with a through-axle to beef up steering. At £1,299 it comes with a mix of SRAM X-9, X-7 and X-5, and Hayes Stroker Trail discs.
The B-17 is more of a playbike, and now comes with a RockShox Tora XC fork with 20mm Maxle through-axle, SRAM X-5 (X-7 rear mech) and Avid Juicy 3.5 brakes. RRP is £999.
For those on a tighter budget, the Madrone Trail boasts similar looks and an award-winning ride for just £575. Costs have been cut with the speccing of a 120mm-travel Spinner 300 fork, a mix of basic SRAM and Shimano shifting kit, and Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes.
Marin may have made their name as a mountain bike brand – their name comes from the area of California where the sport was born – but they've now branched out into tarmac riding. There were loads of flat-bar hybrids at their 2010 launch but the models that caught our eye were the fixies/singlespeeds and drop-bar commuters.
The classy-looking £899 drop-bar Ignacio is made of 4130 chromoly and comes with a triple butted fork, Alex-rimmed wheelset, Vittoria Zaffiro tyres, Sugino Track chainset and Tektro R-720 brakes. A flip-flop rear hub means you can run it freewheel or fixed.
Dominican is new for 2010 and has a 4130 chromoly frame, chromoly fork, Alex-rimmed wheelset, Vittoria Zaffiro tyres, Sturmey-Archer track chainset, flip-flop hub and unbranded dual-pivot brakes. RRP is £525.
Inverness is made of double butted 6061 aluminium and has an identical parts spec to Dominican, except with bright orange rims instead of lurid green. RRP is £475.
Marin also have two drop-bar geared commuters, the Toscana and Lombard, which both come with disc brakes and mudguard eyelets.
The £999 Toscana has a 6061 aluminium frame and comes with an RFE carbon fork, Maxxis Overdrive tyres, a mix of Shimano Sora and Tiagra, an FSA Vero Triple crankset and Avid BB5 mechanical discs.
Lombard is £250 cheaper (£750) and comes with an alloy fork, Maxxis Overdrive tyres, Shimano 2300, a Truvativ Touro crankset and Tektro Lyra brakes.
For full details of these and all other Marin bikes, check out www.marin.co.uk.