Marin’s big-travel freeride frame – the Quake XLT – has been revised for 2010, and it’s a slick-looking machine. With travel increased to 180mm (7.1in), a relaxed 64.5-degree head angle and half a pound dropped off the frame weight, it could be a capable downhill bike, but is equally happy as a freerider.
Ride & handling: Descends like a demon and climbs well too
Setting up the suspension on the Quake was a bit of a pain – the beginning stroke rebound adjuster on the RockShox Vivid shock was barely useable due to its position inside the linkages. But the new slimmer rear end is a much better design and we didn’t foul our knees half as much as the previous setup.
With 33 percent sag dialled in, we liked the feel of the linear suspension with slightly rearward axle path – it helps the bike lurch forward on smaller square bumps. The Quake wants to pull away – it doesn’t feel sluggish like its freeride tag may suggest.
This Marin doesn’t just descend like a demon, it climbs well too. The roomy top tube and steep seat tube angle, combined with an uninterrupted seat tube, allow for a decent saddle position. And although very active, the rear end doesn’t bob when you put the hammer down.
We’ve always thought the Quake’s rear end looked a little long, but the proof is always in the pudding. The Quake carves along happily, letting you pick the front end up at will, and makes the most of a stable wheelbase.
Frame: Lighter and improved design for 2010
Up front, the 2010 Quake frame has a far more organic appearance and weight has been lost through the hydroformed tubes. The crude strut between the top and down tubes is a smoother shape, and the formed tubes are neat with large contact areas for welding. The 1.5in head tube can house 1.5in internal, tapered and 1.125in headsets, and offers scope for a super-low front end.
Out back, replaceable dropouts take a 150mm Maxle through-axle, and the whole rear end has been slimmed down to improve knee clearance. The Quad Link 2.0 linkages are also narrower and use ﬂush-ﬁt bearing caps to avoid catching your shorts and legs.
Equipment: Solid Saint groupset and plush RockShox suspension
We tested the ﬂagship model, which comes with a Shimano Saint drivetrain and RockShox suspension front and rear. Up front is the Totem coil fork, with a 1.5in steerer tube and 180mm (7.1in) of travel. Out back is a Vivid shock, which offers compression plus beginning and end stroke rebound adjustment, so you can get the ride just right.
Rolling it along are trusty Kenda Nevegal tyres on strong but light Mavic EX-325 rims, and the Saint hubs also proved reliable. Syncros bars, stem, seatpost and pedals serve well, and the WTB saddle is a welcome comfort. Obscenely powerful Shimano Saint brakes feel like having a stick rammed through the spokes and a trusty e.thirteen DRS chainguide does the job.
|Name||Quake XLT180 7.9 (10)|
|Available Sizes||L M S|
|Headset Type||FSA Orbit E 1.5" Internal, Cromo Cups, 1/8" Ball Bearing|
|Stem||Syncros FR, Threadless, with 31.8mm Bar Clamp|
|Shifters||Shimano Saint, 2 Way and Instant Release, 9 Speed|
|Seatpost||Syncros Derived, 25mm Offset, 2014, 31.6mm x 400mm|
|Saddle||WTB Pure V Race with Love Channel and Comfort Zone, Cromoly Rails|
|Rims||Mavic EX-325, 32 Hole Disc|
|Rear Tyre Size||26x2.5|
|Rear Shock||Rock Shox Vivid with Coil Spring Preload, Drop Stop Bottom Out System, External High Speed and Low Speed Rebound and Compression Damping Adjustment|
|Rear Hub||Shimano Saint, 32 Hole Disc with Centerlock|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Saint Shadow|
|Pedals||Syncros Meat Hook|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano with HollowTech II Arms Big Pipe Billet Integrated with Crankset|
|Handlebar||Syncros FR, Double Butted 2014 Alloy, OS-31.8, 20mm Rise|
|Grips/Tape||Marin Double Locking with Drop Guard End Cap|
|Front Tyre Size||26x2.5|
|Front Hub||Shimano Saint 20mm with Centerlock|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano SLX|
|Frame Material||6061 Aluminum with Edge II Plus Top Tube and Hydroformed Down Tube, 6061 QUAD-Link 2.0 180mm Suspension System, 150mm x 12mm Maxle Dropouts|
|Fork||RockShox Totem Coil, 180mm of Travel, with External Rebound and Compression Adjustment, Mission Control Damping, with Maxle 360 20mm Axle and 1.5" Steerer|
|Cranks||Shimano Saint, 36/22, with E-13 Shift Guide Dual Ring Security and Saint Bashguard|
|Cassette||Shimano SLX, 11-34, 9 Speed|
|Brakes||Shimano Saint Hydraulic Disc|
|Spoke Type||DT 14 Gauge Black Stainless|