Having ridden prototypes of Marin’s new 140mm-travel bikes in Maring County itself last year, we were keen to get hold of the real thing on home ground. And it’s to the credit of the new bike that it proved every bit as fun on a wet January Monday in Wales as it did in the Birthplace of Mountain Biking™.
We met up with the Marin chaps at Glyncorrwg for a lap of Whites Level on a production Marin Wolf Ridge. We brought this one home with us for the full testing treatment, but we thought we’d bash out some first impressions, er, first.
The Wolf Ridge is the middle of the three-bike range at £1,899. In an effort to distinguish it from the pricier Attack Trail in ways other than mere price, the Wolf Ridge has an intentionally beefier spec than the Attack Trail, with Syncros DP25 rims, 2.35in Kenda Nevegal tyres and an oversized Syncros bar/stem setup.
Compared to the prototype we rode, the head angle on the Wolf Ridge has come back a degree to 67°, the same as the big-hitting Quake. That’s lent the Wolf Ridge even more point-and-shoot authority than the proto, but thanks to well thought out weight distribution manages not to hinder it on Afan’s uphill switchbacks.
Cranking up steppy rock sections reveals no rhythm-breaking pedal kickback in the middle ring and bags of traction. It also shows up what is, by Marin standards, quite a low BB – it’s the same static height as the 120mm travel Mount Vision. This is very much on purpose – Marin wanted to imbue the 140mm bikes with downhill confidence, and if that means having to watch your pedals occasionally then so be it.
It’s a trade-off worth making in our book – the Wolf Ridge is a hoot on the descents. With Maxle through-axles at both ends it’s a super-stiff package, and the Quad-Link back end has a pleasing linearity that you may not associate with Marin bikes – it’s well balanced with the Pike up front and sucks up everything you throw it at, but without ever feeling like “too much bike”.
So far, so good, then. Full test soon…