Marin, one of the bigger players in the UK market, often make up for more than their share of product development. 2002 sees the Marin range broken down into four groups: XC-FRS, cross country full suspension; TARA-FRS, all round full suspension bikes; Hardtails; City, sporty commuting bikes; and Alp, hybrids on steroids. We’ll have a look at key products in the full, and front suspension mountain bikes. Full suspension today, and front suspension next week.XC-FRS
The 6061 aluminium monocoque main-frame and single pivot rear suspension back bone of all the Marin full suspension bikes remains unchanged for 2002. The four bike XC-FRS range delivers with 4.2in rear travel controlled with super-smooth Fox shock units, Manitou forks to tame the front end, disc compatible hubs and disc brake upgrade options all round. The disc brake upgrades available for next year are Magura on lower and mid range bikes, and Hope on top end machines. The East Peak kicks the range off at £995 with 80mm travel Answer Manitou Super Six forks, Fox Float shock unit, a smattering of Deore level bits, and an option to upgrade to Magura Julies for £100, or Magura Enduras for £225. This year’s £1,350 Rift Zone has 80mm Mars Comp Coil forks and a Fox Float R shock with adjustable rebound damping.
The Mount Vision, arguably the most popular full suspension bike on the trails, is still £1799 . It’s basically an XT bike with XTR rear mech; DT Swiss Onyx disc compatible hubs. As the saying goes: “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. If you like long day rides, or live in a gritty part of the country, the extra £200 for the Hope Mini upgrade will be money well spent. Despite its exclusive £2695 price tag the ’02 Mount Vision Pro looks to be pretty good value: full XTR, with the exception of the superb Avid Singl Digit ti brakes, matching Speed Dial ti levers and DT Hugi hubs; Mars Supe forks; Fox Float RL shock – meaning Marin have used rear suspension lockout for the first time; and the whole performance feast is seasoned with sprinklings of carbon and titanium where it matters – handlebars, seatpost etc. We can’t wait to try one out…TARA
Debuted last year, Marin’s Travel And Ride-height Adjustment (TARA) design allows you to change the travel on the back-end between four, five and six inches at the flick of a quick release. When you change the position of the QR between the swing arm and the shock you also alter the head angle, and consequently the handling characteristics of the bike. The longer travel settings give you a slacker head angle , slower steering, and vice-versa. All four of the bikes in the range share the same flex-free 6061 monocoque construction as the XC-FRS bikes, but with a degree slacker geometry and beefed up and re-configured swingarm to cop with the 6″ swing. The daddy of the range is the £1,799 Attack Trail. Suspended on a Fox Float RL shock aft and visually impressive 100 / 120mm Answer Manitou Black Super Air forks upfront. As on all the other Marin’s there’s no compromise on spec, but you do have to fork out a little bit extra to get discs, £200 for Hope Minis in this case. Flat pedals belie its capable XC spec.
Wolf Ridge is priced around £1395 for 2002 and comes with 100 to 120mm Black Elite forks and rebound adjustable Float R rear shock. The Rock Springs, £1199, and Alpine Trail, £899, both get a creamy, pearlescent paint job and Magura disc brake upgrade options.
If you want to see information on the other products in the range check out
the Marin website.