First launched in 1986, Marin has been in the mountain bike industry a long time and celebrates its 25th birthday this year. It’s likely that many people will have owned, or at least ridden, a Marin bike somewhere in their mountain bike riding career.
We got the chance to take a sneak peek at the brands 2012 range earlier this week, with a short trip up to the state of the art Renault F1 facility, an apt setting for a brand that has strived to be at the forefront of bicycle design.
Quad 3.0 launched
It’s marked the occasion with a new version of its successful Quad Link suspension technology, Quad 3.0. Visually the new linkage design looks radically different, but the actual changes to the wheel path and shock rate are more subtle. The shock is now orientated in a vertical position with the lower linkage residing just behind and below the bottom bracket, and the short top linkage wrapping around a full length seat tube.
The major advantage of Quad 3.0 is that it’s more compact than the previous generation technology and keeps the weight lower for better weight distribution. Marin also say that because of the positioning of the linkages, the frame can be manufactured substantially lighter as there less need for reinforcing the pivot locations as before.
Changing the linkage layout also gave the designers the opportunity to improve the already good leverage ratio. It now feels more linear in the latter stage of the wheels travel resulting in less ‘ramp up’. The Quad 3.0 linkage still sees the rear wheel moving in a backwards direction in the first stage of shock compression leading to great small bump sensitivity. There’s now also space for a bottle cage inside the frame, ideal for those who don’t prefer a hydration pack.
New Rift Zone and Mount Vision
The new Quad 3.0 features on the 100mm Rift Zone (we tested the models predecessor earlier this year, read our review here), with a frame that is lighter and stiffer than the previous incarnation. Three models, including a new 29er (see more below) will be available with prices starting from £1799.
The 140mm Mount Vision also gets the Quad 3.0 suspension, with two models starting at £1899. The two Mount Vision bikes also get an improved Quad XM swingarm with a claimed 15% increase in stiffness.
Marin add a 100mm 29er to their range
There’s big news for 29er fans and converts too, Marin will now offer the 100mm Rift Zone in a big wheel build, alongside the regular 26in wheeled bike.
£1299 East Peak makes Marin’s more affordable
The East Peak XC 120 fills the gap between the Rift Zone and Mount Vision, with a 120mm of travel. To offer a more affordable bike, there’s just one model costing £1299, Marin employ a simple single pivot and rocker link suspension design, rather than the more expensive Quad 3.0.
Tune in next week for a look at the new hardtail range…