Marin's modern looking, beefier feeling 07 Mount Vision was a real shift away from the lightweight XC roots of this classic bike. The 08 bike loses weight and gains impact control to create a superb tough trail all-rounder.
Frame: Less weight, new replaceable dropouts
The frame might not look much different from last year's purposeful curved and multi shaped structure, but there are significant changes. For a start, blanket 6061 alloy use changes to a tube specific 6066/6069/6061 alloy mix, with extra butting in most tubes dropping weight by 200g on production frames, despite the back end getting sexy new replaceable modular cold forged dropouts.
These dropoutss are held in by standard chainring bolts (easier to replace than a specific gear hanger) and are cross compatible with the Maxle dropouts of the 140mm bikes.
The notched top tube/head tube junction is also dropped (at least on medium sizes) this year and a new size XL is introduced. Marin's massive mud clearance and lifetime warrantied bearings are all present and correct too.
Ride: Fast, agile, accurate - you won't want to get off
Those Lock On grips are a big giveaway to the tougher trail attitude of the MV. As one of our test team commented, "It's like a downhill trail bike."
Body weight is naturally firmly on the front for cornering and climbing traction but front end lift is easy thanks to the squishy start stroke. Using a bigger air sleeve on the shock has given a more linear feel on the big stuff too.
Thanks to the massive stays,short linkages and chunky dropouts, cornering accuracy is inspiring
Thanks to the massive stays, short linkages and chunky dropouts, cornering accuracy is inspiring, whether sliding through a fast, dusty turn or ramming the front wheel into the belly of a tight switchback. Some bikes are natural brakers, but the MV is still asking for more pedal strokes so you can really nail it properly.
While it's not that light (although claimed weights of 08 competition are TBC) the MV is no slouch on the climbs. The suspension action bites down for responsive traction and drive, sucking up the lumps beautifully as long as you stay in the saddle.
The MV is the first 08 bike we've previewed abroad that we've also ridden at home so we can't make comparisons yet. Its toughness and agility make it an outstanding ride for those who love to push the pace. Add invaluable UK-proof features and great kit value, and it's setting a very high benchmark already.
Equipment: lighter fork and crisp-shifting XT
More weight is dropped for 08 thanks to the new Fox F120 fork up front. Despite being lighter, overall control is boosted by better damping consistency.
Mount Visions have always been Shimano XT bikes, and still are, with the new dropouts adding extra crispness to the shifts and a Shadow rear mech reducing damage potential. Ever powerful Avid Juicy Carbon brakes do the stopping while Mavic rims on Hope Pro 2 hubs create a durable trail wheel with easy Maxle upgrading if you go for the dropout switch option. FSA/ Easton finishing kit is spot-on for size