First ride: Marin Mount Vision 5.8 (2010)£2,499.00

Fourth generation singletrack machine

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Marin’s Mount Vision has matured slightly and lost some weight in its fourth year, but it’s still plenty of fun on the singletrack.

Ride & handling: Right up there in the tough trail bike running order

The small changes make a big difference in ride feel. The suspension is still more rider/pedal influenced than most bikes, but the new Boost Valved shock calms some of its squishiness, and there’s ProPedal platform damping if you need it.

The Mount Vision's relatively high overall weight and wallowy feel in the granny ring still make it a bike for powerful riders though.

Marin have lengthened the front end by 20mm and steepened the seat tube by nearly a full degree, keeping the front wheel much better anchored on climbs.

A shorter head tube and lower bottom bracket height drop the centre of gravity, and the head angle slackens half a degree to 68.5 for a more planted, carving feel, enhanced by the stiffer head tube, 15QR fork and firmer shock feel.

The 2010 mount vision has many subtle, but effective tweaks: the 2010 mount vision has many subtle, but effective tweaks

New Fox FIT fork damping, lower stance and rear shock tune make it a bike you’ll naturally punch straight through stuff on. The lower bottom bracket means more toe tapping in rocks, but it’s still higher than most of its competition.

The only limiting factor is the skinny Maxxis High Roller tyres when the rear suspension ramps up suddenly, but they’re certainly light and capable in the wet.

The fact the Mount Vision isn’t the instant wheelie-fiend it used to be on singletrack and descents reduces the risk slightly, although we’d still recommend high pressures in the rear tyre if you ride rocks a lot.

Typically for Marin, mud clearance isn’t an issue and while the high levels of traction feedback don’t suit everyone, they will help you torque through winter while others get bogged down.

Like most 2010 bikes it takes a hit on kit value, but the latest Mount Vision is light enough to be competitive, takes hits better and is more secure in corners and on climbs. It’s right up there in the tough trail bike running order.

Maxle through-axle dropouts are now  available as an upgrade: maxle through-axle dropouts are now  available as an upgrade

Frame & equipment: Trail-friendly geometry, with great Fox shock and fork

A new integrated head tube adds stiffness and lowers the bars. Welds are now filled then filed smooth. New swingarm tubes borrowed from the scrapped Alchemist 100mm (3.9in) bike and narrower, calf-friendly links drop 250g from the frame weight.

The quick-release or Maxle modular dropouts and lifetime warrantied bearings stay, but curved linkages now mean easier – but still not easy – shock access.

Marin have switched from full Shimano to a Shimano/SRAM mix this year. The new Truvativ chainrings shift well and Shimano’s XT hubs should last well if you look after them.

Despite a £250 price hike, the Easton bar and carbon levered Hayes brakes have been replaced with basic but excellent Avid Elixir brakes and Marin riser bars.

An integrated headset drops the front end to make it more of a racey climber: an integrated headset drops the front end to make it more of a racey climber

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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