Marin’s Year 2000 bikes build on the success of the established FRS range, but feature a few subtle, and we think well thought out, changes.
The flagship lightweight FRS range, of the East Peak, Rift Zone, Mount Vision and Mount Vision Pro all feature new lighter, slimmed down frames built from Ovation 6000 series tubing with a new “mega” downtube – it’s squashed to an triangular section at the base. A new simpler
swingarm is stiffer yet lighter. Geometry remains the same and spec choices have focussed on performance gains with weight savings.
The Easy Rider series with five inches of rear travel get a new swingarm built from massive box section aluminium, that has embarrassed Marin designers. Despite its bulk and long travel it’s only fractionally heavier than the one fitted to the XC bike! The same main frame gives lightweight
with strength – and cost savings brought by it’s across-the-board fitment. Several of the Fox shocks fitted have an increase in travel for a given damper length, so gain a half inch or so of extra travel at the wheel, for no additional penalty. No disc brakes are fitted, as Marin’s spec team aren’t convinced that the generation of cable-disc brakes are worth the spec. Instead disc compatible hubs are fitted to all bikes.
At last Marin have a proper downhill bike – The Team Downhill has been developed around the pivot geometry of the FRS machines, but with a huge 6.3″ to 9.7″ of travel. Massive.
It’s compatible with the 24x3in tyre systems coming out, and has a mainframe made from a massive aluminium extrusion, bent to suit. The B17 is in the range again, this time at a remarkable £899, for a bike with a great spec and 6.7in of rear wheel travel, via a proper Fox shock.
Totally new for the new year are the Quake series bikes – Marin’s stab at dual slalom and stunty moves. They’re big, they’re beefy, but we reckon those back ends could be overbuilt by a tad.
Rigid frame lovers aren’t forgotten. In the corner of the dealer-display we attended sat a fantastic Pine Mountain – built from superlight Columbus Thron tubing. It’s lovely.