It’s been nearly two years since we last had a Marin mountain bike in for test at Flow. As some of you may recall, that bike was the utterly unique, and somewhat divisive Mount Vision, which featured some rather *ahem* challenging aesthetics due to its Nailed React suspension system. While the on-trail performance was genuinely impressive, it appears the concept may have just been too left-field for most. Indeed the Mount Vision has since vanished from the Marin lineup, and a quick glance at the 2021 range reveals a distinct absence of any overtly whacky suspension designs.
Instead, Marin’s focus has very much shifted towards more conventional suspension layouts, with an emphasis on progressive geometry and robust frame designs. The current lineup includes models such as the Rift Zone trail bike, San Quentin hardtail, the steel-framed Pine Mountain, and this bike right here – the Alpine Trail.
The Marin Alpine Trail
Sitting at the business end of the full suspension lineup, the Alpine Trail is Marin’s longest travel bike. Equipped with a 160mm fork and 150mm rear wheel travel, it’s a big and burly 29er enduro bike that’s on a similar tip to the Norco Sight, Commencal Meta TR, Canyon Spectral 29, and the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO.
Marin offers four models in the Alpine Trail lineup, with two alloy bikes and two carbon bikes. The Alpine Trail 7 we have on test here is the base model of the range with a RRP of $4,299 AUD, while the Alpine Trail Carbon 2 sits at the top with a RRP of $6,799 AUD. Nice to see a flagship model that doesn’t cost five figures eh?
All Alpine Trail models are built around the MultiTrac suspension design, which is essentially a linkage-driven single pivot platform. The rocker link drives a trunnion-mounted rear shock, which features a healthy 65mm stroke.
Regardless of material, Marin has built each frame with a threaded bottom bracket, bolt-up axles front and rear, and internal cable routing through the downtube. There’s also clearance for 29×2.6in rubber, and room for a bottle cage inside the front triangle.
What’s changed for 2021?
While the overall shape of the Alpine Trail hasn’t changed a whole lot from 2020, and the suspension travel and wheelsize is identical, Marin has added a new textured chainstay guard, and there’s a tidy bolt-on downtube protector too. However, the biggest change to this bike has been to the geometry.
Compared to last year’s bike, the Alpine Trail has a considerably slacker head angle, and the reach has been extended too. All frame sizes are now built around an itty-bitty 35mm stem and 780mm wide riser bars, and you’ll also find a shorter fork offset for more stable high-speed steering. The seat tube angle is also very steep at 78°, and it’s also quite a bit shorter in its length too.
For those after numbers, here are the main ones;
- Head angle: 63.5°
- Seat angle: 78°
- Reach: 455mm (Medium), 480mm (Large)
- Chainstay length: 430mm
- BB drop: 35mm
The bike we’ll be testing over the coming weeks is the entry-level Alpine Trail 7. Equipped with a RockShox Yari fork, Shimano Deore 1×12 shifting and sticky 2.6in tyres, it’s a heckuva lot of bike for the cash, and the overall build looks reassuringly solid. As to how it performs on the trail? Stay tuned for our full review coming soon!
2021 Marin Alpine Trail 7 Specs
- Frame | Series 4 6061 Alloy, MultiTrac Suspension Design, 150mm Travel
- Fork | RockShox Yari RC, DebonAir Spring, 42mm Offset, 160mm Travel
- Shock | RockShox Deluxe Select+, Trunnion Mount, 205×65mm
- Wheels | Shimano MT410 Hubs & Marin Alloy Rims, 29mm Inner Width
- Tyres | Vee Tire Flow Snap, Tackee Compound, 29×2.6in
- Drivetrain | Shimano Deore 1×12 w/FSA Comet 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
- Brakes | Shimano MT420 4-Piston w/203mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors
- Bar | Marin 6061 Alloy, 28mm Rise, 780mm Width
- Stem | Marin 3D Forged Alloy, 35mm Length
- Grips | Marin Lock-On
- Seatpost | TranzX Dropper, Travel: 125mm (S), 150mm (M-L), 175mm (XL)
- Saddle | Marin Speed Concept
- Available Sizes | Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
- RRP | $4,299 AUD