Don't be put off by all those amazing Marin mountain bikes, we are here to make choosing your dream bike a breeze.
Buying a new mountain bike can be daunting. It is a bit like going to a restaurant where they have a hundred different dishes and you have never tried one.
But there is a reason for all that choice, and that is that the bike industry is made up of people trying to give you the best bike for you and your trails. In this piece, we will be your helpful waiter, navigating you through the menu of options to find something that suits you perfectly. Sorry though, no wine this time!
WHAT MAKES A MOUNTAIN BIKE?
First, what is a trail mountain bike? That's pretty simple. Trail mountain bikes are designed to do most things really well. They go up, along and down your favourite trails and are designed to do all those things as well as possible. Trail bikes are the all-rounders, the Swiss army knife of the mountain bike world... and we love them!
SO... WHICH TRAIL MOUNTAIN BIKE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Now that you've mastered the basics, let's find out which Marin mountain bike best suits you and your trails. Whether it's the Alpine Trail, which packs heavy punch, or the wallet-friendly Bobcat for beginners, the Marin range has something for you.
If you are a novice mountain biker just starting off-road riding, or returning to the sport after a break, a high-quality hardtail will allow you to hit the trails at minimal cost.
The Marin Bobcat Trail is our value-priced trail bike, with a lightweight aluminium frame, choice of 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, 120mm front suspension and modern geometry. It takes care of you when the going gets rough, and you can even mount a luggage rack to use it as a commuter or touring bike.
The Marin Bobcat Trail 3 is a great starting point, but if you can invest a little more in the Bobcat 4 or Bobcat 5, you will be rewarded with lighter and heavier components.
The Bobcat 5 in particular is a very economical, aggressive XC bike with trendy tan wall tyres, a 1X drivetrain and a super capable SR Suntour suspension fork that won't let you down.
FOR THE BIT OF EVERYTHING RIDER
Why limit yourself to just one type of trail, even if you only have one bike?
Designed to be fast, fun and easy to ride, the Marin Rift Zone combines XC bike travel with enduro bike geometry. It is an insanely capable mountain bike that can handle your local trail, your favourite bike park or your summer holiday to the mountains. Built around 125 mm rear suspension and a 130 mm suspension fork, the Marin Rift Zone is lively and engaging but has geometry aggressive enough to handle most trails, as Martha Gill showed when she won this year's UK 4X championship on her "Nifty Rifty".
We made the Rift Zone to be versatile and suitable for as many riders and trails as possible. The Rift Zone 27.5″ (with 27.5″ wheels) is for riders who like their bike to be easy to ride, quick to accelerate and easy to throw over the trail. The Rift Zone 29″ (with those bigger 29″ wheels) is for anyone who prefers a bigger 'feel' to their bike or who wants their speed to carry a bit better through rough, fast terrain.
The Rift Zone 1 is a perfect first 'real' mountain bike that has the feel of a high-end mountain bike without the high-end price tag. Upgrade to the Rift Zone 2 and you get a dropper post and improved suspension and then to the Rift Zone 3 for a kick-ass trail bike built to take on your favourite trails anywhere in the world.
For riders looking for something even more special, there is the Rift Zone Carbon, a world-class carbon mountain bike available in two versions. The Rifty 1 is built with everything you need to make it your dream bike, the Rifty 2 takes that to the next level with high-end Fox suspension, powerful 4-pot brakes and components from Maxxis, Deity and FSA. It's a true dream bike!
FOR THE ENDURO HERO
If you've decided you want to take it up a level, whether it's big mountains, bike parks or enduro competitions, the Marin Alpine Trail is calling your name. All models have 150 mm rear suspension travel and 160 mm front suspension from Rock Shox. A slack head angle means it can handle steep technical trails with ease, while the steep seat angle means you'll be pedalling back to the top for run after run. Take a look at Mark Matthews' Instagram account if you want to know what the Alpine Trail can do.
Like the Rift Zone, the Marin Alpine Trail is available in an aluminium or carbon version, both with components to suit a range of riders. Made to ride hard without hurting your wallet, the Alpine Trail 7 with aluminium frame combines heavy-duty components and a 1X drivetrain to create a bike that will impress even the most experienced riders. The Marin Alpine Trail XR is a dedicated bike built for pure speed on the most aggressive trails, equipped with top-performance coil suspension for riders who want that little bit extra. And yes, XR stands for 'eXtra Rad'!
The Marin Alpine Trail Carbon models are both beautifully light, incredible to ride and the perfect bikes for steep, technical mountain bike trails.
FOR THE CYCLIST WHO NEEDS AN EXTRA PUSH
Forget what you think you know, eBikes (or eMTBs) are not just great for older mountain bikers, or anyone with health problems. Marin's electric mountain bikes are perfect for riders who want to ride the most in the least amount of time or higher, go further and faster than their conventional bike allows.
The Marin Alpine Trail E series takes the geometry and performance of the Alpine Trail family and adds a Shimano STEPS motor, so you can double your descents. The bikes also have mixed wheel sizes, with a sturdy 27.5-inch rear wheel to help you on the climbs, while a 29″ front wheel keeps things on track. Both bikes come with heavy-duty coilover suspension and top-of-the-range components that give you the confidence to push yourself further and faster.
FOR THE SPEED DEMON
If you want to ride fast and cover long distances, an XC bike is the answer. The Team Marin has a lightweight alloy frame, fast-steering geometry, 120 mm front suspension and fast-rolling but comfortable 29er tyres. In its basic version, the Team Marin is both a great first mountain bike and a perfect N+1, great for anyone looking for a more affordable hardtail for rides that don't require full suspension.
The Team Marin 2 goes a step further with a dropper seatpost and Fox's acclaimed 34 StepCast fork. In this guise, the Team Marin is built to compete and is more than capable of everything from your local mountain bike trails to those big national XC race tracks.
FOR THE HARDTAIL HARDCORE FAN
If you ride a modern hardtail, you'll see why it's still in demand. The Marin San Quentin range is based on Marin's dirt jump and slopestyle bikes, with short chainstays, slack head angles and 27.5″ wheels for a bike that is fun, nimble and ready to take to the air. Check out one of Matt Jones' videos to see for yourself.
The Marin El Roy is the epitome of hardcore hardtails, designed by our British team and born out of Britain's obsession with steel bikes. The El Roy is big, floppy and long, designed to ride everything a full suspension bike can, with progressive geometry and 140 mm suspension travel from a Marzocchi Z1 fork.
And that's it! These are not the only bikes in the Marin range, but together they have your back on the singletrack.
And while you may not win if you take an enduro bike to an XC race, you will probably have fun. And fun is what mountain biking is all about. Pick one, and hit the road!