Marin Quake AL7 review

|

£2995

Marin Quake AL7

BikeRadar verdict

85.0 out of 5 stars

"A fantastic freerider, despite the air shock niggles"

Thursday, August 31, 2006 11.00pm By

At the end of last year we rode the prototype of Marin's Quake AL7 freeride bike and we were mightily impressed. Now we've got the eagerly awaited production version to thrash.

The frame

The Quake AL7 is surprisingly light (18.1kg/39.9lb) for a bigtravel rig with so much metal on the frame. The front end features a 1.5in head tube, a roomy top tube and an uninterrupted seat tube - handy for keeping the long, climbing-friendly seatpost out of the way on the downs.

The AL7 uses the same Quad- Link suspension system as the other bikes in the Quad range but the design is slightly different to make the bike more freeride orientated. The pivots are inboard on the mainframe to keep them out of harm's way and, as on the prototype, there are removable pivot caps that can be filled with grease to protect the pivots from the elements. There's also plenty of mud clearance, so this is a great bike for UK conditions. The swingarm area has been slimmed down too.

The rear end features two shock mounting positions, which alter both the bottom bracket height and the head angle. Just like on the prototype, the action of the rear suspension is slick and, combined with the great spec, this makes for a fun bike.

The detail

The build is based around the air suspension platform of a Fox DHX Air 5.0 shock controlling 175mm (6.9in) travel and a 2007 Fox 36 TALAS fork with 120-150mm (4.7-5.9in) travel. The cranks and chain guide come courtesy of Truvativ and the brakes are awesome Avid Juicy 7 models. The gearing is no-nonsense Shimano XT kit while the Crank Brothers 5050 pedals and WTB finishing parts are also worthy of a mention.

The ride

The AL7 has a slack head angle so it's instantly capable of hitting the hardest terrain and tanking down hills. It's also good through turns thanks to its low centre of gravity and bottom bracket.

The AL7 isn't as much fun on the ups though - it will get you up the hills fine, but don't expect XC-level climbing from a bike with such slack and low angles; it's made for hard, fast riding.

There were problems with our Fox DHX Air shock though - we had a case of 'suck down', with all the air escaping, so it had to be stripped down and retuned. We also had a few scary moments where the rebound stopped working and turned the rear into a catapult. Running a coil shock instead transforms the bike so it corners and takes hits better and the damping stays consistent.

As an all-out freeriding tool the AL7 is great, although we'd be inclined to run a coil shock.

What's the score with BikeRadar reviews? You can find a full explanation of our ratings here.

User Comments

Submit Your Review:

Specification

Name:
Quake AL7
Brand:
Marin
Price:
£2995

Spokes Brand:
DT Swiss
Bottom Bracket:
Howitzer
Brakes:
El Camino Trail
Cassette:
SRAM PG-980 Power Glide II 9-Speed 11-32
Chain:
Shimano HG-73
Chainstays (in):
17.3
Fork:
TALAS 36 RC2
Frame Material:
6061 Aluminium
Front Derailleur:
Shimano XT
Front Hub:
Laserdisc Super Duty
Grips/Tape:
WTB Weirwolf
Handlebar:
Holzfeller
Headset Type:
1 1/8 Inch Threadless
Pedals:
Crank Bros 50/50
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano XT
Rear Hub:
Laserdisc Lite
Rear Shock:
DHX 5.0
Saddle:
Pure V Race
Seat Tube (in):
16.9
Shifters:
Shimano XT
Stem:
FR200
Available Colours:
Black Anodised
Available Sizes:
M S
Front Tyre:
Timberwolf
Front Tyre Size:
26x2.3
Rear Tyre:
Timberwolf
Rear Tyre Size:
26x2.3
Min. Fork Travel:
120mm
Max. Fork Travel:
150mm

Latest questions

Related links