Marin’s long-running Mount Vision has been a hit with UK trail riders for well over a decade. This is a mild refresh of the company’s Quad Link 3.0 rear suspension system, now with a 142mm rear axle for added rigidity. Can the Mount Vision still cut it?
Ride & handling: Easygoing enough to flatter all abilities
The Mount Vision’s status as a UK trail favourite means there’s plenty of pressure to deliver. The good news is that Marin have mostly got it right.
Combining a roomy top tube with slack front end and short stem has given plenty of room to stretch out and get the power down on the one hand, but also provided enough flickability up front to make the Mount Vision more fun to ride in the rough than you might expect.
At low to middling speeds the rear end’s initial rearwards axle path gives it excellent small bump response, sucking up momentum-robbing ripples and undulations and leaving the rider to get on with powering the bike forward.
Quad Link systems have always had a steeply rising rate in the latter part of their travel, giving a firmer shock feel on bigger hits. The rising rate isn’t quite as steep on this third incarnation, although it’s still possible to get caught out by big, square-edged hits.
A lower price would put the Mount Vision ahead of some of its competitors, but it’s still a thoroughly thought-out trail machine.
Frame & equipment: Remote dropper post plus Quad Link suspension
Marin’s original Quad Link system made use of a long swingarm and short links clustered around the shock mount inside the main triangle. Although it had its fans, the lack of anywhere to put a bottle always niggled – and the system proved too unwieldy for 29er use too.
So last year the whole lot was rethought, keeping exactly the same linkage characteristics but putting everything in a different place. The result is a lighter and more conventional-looking rear end that actually behaves much as the original Quad Link did.
The addition of a 142mm through-axle cures one of our gripes of the original redesign, which was that the offset, asymmetric swingarm was too flexy for our liking. Marin claim 15 percent better rigidity with the new design.
The pivots have a lifetime warranty – Marin will replace them free of charge should they ever fail – and it’s all tidily finished. The inboard rear brake calliper mount is especially neat.
While most of its competitors feature cable routing for a remote dropper post, the XM7 goes one better and throws the post in to the mix. It’s a nice touch and goes some way towards justifying the price, although the XT rear mech upgrade is just a fig leaf disguising the predominantly SLX-based transmission.
Fox’s excellent Float CTD rear shock holds up the back wheel, while the front is pointed down the trail by RockShox’s Revelation fork in 140mm (5.5in) travel trim. It’s a decent fork and is a match for the Fox alternative in most respects, although the adjustable compression damping doesn’t feel quite as easy to use as Fox’s CTD setup.