Marin's 2019 range highlights

Covering gravel, urban and mountain, we pick our highlights

Having just spent an afternoon nosing around Marin's 2019 range of bikes, it looks like the US-based brand has a rather comprehensive selection on offer. And other than full-on road bikes, I've seen everything from super-trick kids' mountain bikes all the way to elegant urban cruisers, via gravel and mountain.

Marin Pine Mountain 2

  • £2,300 / US$ TBC
Lairy colours on the new Pine Mountain
Lairy colours on the new Pine Mountain

This rather bright bike definitely stood out from the crowd. My first 'real' mountain bike was a Pine Mountain back in 2002, so I have an affinity with their steel-tubed trail hardtail. It certainly looks like Marin are on the money with this one.

This is an all-new tubeset, and therefore frame, for Marin this year. It's called Series 3, and is being used on this higher-end hardtail (other Pine Mountains come with lower grade tubing). It has increased butting for stiffness where needed, and a lighter weight.

Shimano XT brakes provide the stopping power
Shimano XT brakes provide the stopping power

The plus-width tyres sit inside a 120mm Fox 34 Performance fork, while the bike is driven along by a predominantly Shimano XT drivetrain. This, though, is paired with an e*thirteen TRS+ cassette, with a huge 9-46t range. Shimano's XT brakes bring the bike to a halt, while there's a KS Lev Integra dropper and largely Marin-branded finishing-kit.

Marin Nicasio RC 

  • £800 / US$ TBC

The Nicasio RC looks like a super-classy urban bike, ready for chilled commutes
The Nicasio RC looks like a super-classy urban bike, ready for chilled commutes

There's a definite split in the urban bike market — some are designed to get you there as fast as possible, while some are designed for a more relaxed ride. The Nicasio RC sits in the second camp.

The steel frame holds 650b wheels, shod with 47c WTB Horizon tyres for a refined ride, while regular derailleurs are shunned for an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub gear.

I rather like this space-inspired logo!
I rather like this space-inspired logo!

Raked back bars suggest a relaxed, upright attitude, but there's still hydraulic brakes for up-to-date stopping.

Marin Hawk Hill JR 

  • £1,350 / US$ TBC

Marin Hawk Hill JR — kids bikes done right, with wide-ranging cassette and air suspension
Marin Hawk Hill JR — kids bikes done right, with wide-ranging cassette and air suspension

This isn't cheap as such, but the Hawk Hill Junior should last a little longer than you might think. The 24in-wheel bike is compatible with 26in wheels too, so the bike should grow with the kid.

It's also a bike clearly aimed at getting kids serious about riding. Shimano hydraulic brakes should be friendlier to smaller, less powerful hands, while the air suspension front and rear will mean lighter weight riders can still get suspension that works properly.

The X-Fusion shock should be tuneable to lighter riders
The X-Fusion shock should be tuneable to lighter riders

2.25in tyres are mounted to nice wide 27mm internal-width rims, so we reckon little rippers won't have any issues finding grip.

Marin San Quentin 1 

  • £650 / US$ TBC

Marin proves that decent geometry costs nothing, with the pocket-friendly San Quentin 1
Marin proves that decent geometry costs nothing, with the pocket-friendly San Quentin 1

Cheaper bikes used to suffer from overly traditional geometry, for reasons we couldn't fathom — if a longer, slacker bike is easier to ride on technical terrain, why not make bikes in a friendlier shape, aimed towards those less experienced?

Marin got the memo though, and the San Quentin range of hardtails look pretty sorted. 

The San Quentin 1 costs £650, and while the spec won't blow you away, we reckon the shape of it will make it ride far better than many bikes in that price bracket.

It might not be the fancier version, but Schwalbe Hans Dampf on a £650 bike is a great sight
It might not be the fancier version, but Schwalbe Hans Dampf on a £650 bike is a great sight

There's a reach of 464mm, paired with a slack 65 degree head angle. The seat angle is up at 75 degrees, while the back end is short at 425mm and the bottom bracket low at 317mm — all in all, pretty cool.

Marin Pine Mountain 

  • £900 / US$ TBC

Marin's Pine Mountain has been in and out of the range for decades — it's still here, in a range of formats including this rigid, plus-tyre exploration bike
Marin's Pine Mountain has been in and out of the range for decades — it's still here, in a range of formats including this rigid, plus-tyre exploration bike

If adventure is calling, reliability is probably something  you're on the lookout for. The Pine Mountain probably wouldn't be my first choice for a trail bike (I rather like the comfort and performance benefits of suspension), but there will be many folk who want a bike with fewer moving parts that could go wrong in the middle of nowhere.

The plated chainstay maintains mud-room around the chubby tyre
The plated chainstay maintains mud-room around the chubby tyre

Plus tyres on wide rims will add an element of comfort, while the plethora of mounting points mean it should be possible to carry pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink, with you.

Marin Nicasio Ridge 

  • £2,000 / US$ TBC

This Nicasio Ridge was recently used in the Grinduro event on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, and still sports its dirt
This Nicasio Ridge was recently used in the Grinduro event on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, and still sports its dirt

Gravel racing is the next big thing here in the BikeRadar office, and Marin has a bike for such (mis)adventures — the Nicasio Ridge.

There's a steel frame, paired with Marin's new carbon fork, all of which rolls on 650+ wheels. SRAM's Rival 1x11 groupset gives a decent range and less things to go wrong drivetrain wise. Interestingly, this is one of the first production bikes I've seen where a left-hand Rival lever is used to control the TransX dropper post.

650b WTB Byway tyres give ample cushioning
650b WTB Byway tyres give ample cushioning

This particular bike was used recently in the Grinduro event up in Scotland, and still featured plenty of Scottish dirt.

Marin Alpine Trail 8 

  • £3,000 / US$ TBC

The Alpine Trail 8 is new this summer. 150mm of rear wheel and 160mm of fork travel control the 29er chassis
The Alpine Trail 8 is new this summer. 150mm of rear wheel and 160mm of fork travel control the 29er chassis

The Alpine Trail 8 is a new bike for Marin this year, and it looks like it could be really competitive. It's a long-travel 29er, with 150mm of rear wheel travel and 160mm of fork travel.

The Large has a 465mm reach and a 65 degree head angle, 430mm stays and a 35mm bottom-bracket drop -— these are pretty decent figures, so assuming the MultiTrac Suspension works as well as on previous Marins, this should be a pretty decent bike, and is certainly one I'm excited to get on.

Vee Tire Flow Snap rubber isn't often seen, but this is clearly an aggressive front tyre for enduro use
Vee Tire Flow Snap rubber isn't often seen, but this is clearly an aggressive front tyre for enduro use

The 8 comes with a Fox 36 Performance fork and Fox Float DPX2 shock, and is driven by a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain.

Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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