This isn’t Marin’s first 29er. The company added a couple of nice hardtails just a few years ago. All very nice, but it’s the company’s full suspension 29er that we’re really excited about, and we get a rare look at a prototype last week out on the trails.
The US brand has been working on 29er version of its Rift Zone, a 100mm full suspension bike, for some time. At the heart of the bike is the Quad Link 3 twin linkage suspension design that it has evolved steadily over the years.
It is, if you like, the spiritual successor to the original Mount Vision, a revolutionary mountain bike that converted many British mountain bikers to full suspension.
The bike carries over little of the style identity of the original Rift Zone (that we tested last year). The top tube is now curved, with a noticeable kink at the seat tube, compared to the very straight tune of the old Rift Zone. With the packaging issues with 29ers, the rear shock is now mounted in a vertical orientation, fixing to a bridge at the down tube and seat tube junction. This leaves the down tube free of the redundant second shock mount, and therefore can be a lighter design.
Different too is the swingarm, in the bin goes the elevated design and in its place and large rear triangle, with the skinny chainstays, asymmetric in design, dropping down to the below the bottom bracket where the lower linkage is hidden.
Marin will offer two models, the £1799 XC6 and the £2199 XC7. The latter will get a Fox 32 Float 29 RL fork with a tapered steerer paired with a Fox Float RP2 shock. SUNRingle wheels, Continental tyres, Shimano SLX 2×10 and Formula RX brakes complete the good looking package on that bike.
There is a 26in version of the Rift Zone if you’re not sold on 29ers…
Geometry for the Rift Zone is pegged at 69 degrees for the head angle, a 72.5 degree seat angle, a 12.8in bottom bracket height, 43.66in wheelbase and 16.73in chainstays.
Here’s a nice video of the Rift Zone XC7 29er put through its paces in Vancouver.