The Rift Zone sits firmly in the trail bike category, built for all-around riding with a confident and efficient nature.
There’s 120mm of stout travel out the back, 130mm travel RockShox Revelation up the front, 29” wheels and all those key ingredients we look for like a single ring drivetrain, dropper post and decent width rims.
Watch the bike in action in the video review here:
A new direction for Marin sees the aluminium tubing a lot cleaner than in years past, creating a hardy and low-fuss frame with a nice two-tone finish.
It’s a long and low feeling bike to ride, which gives it tremendous speed and cornering ability, we found ourselves holding great speed, often wondering was it the fast rolling 29er wheels or the planted geometry that let us milk the trails for all they are worth.
It’s a long and low feeling bike to ride, which gives it tremendous speed and cornering ability, we found ourselves holding great speed.
With many trail bikes growing in travel and size, it’s nice to see the Rift Zone keeping it level with the frame numbers. Chainstay length is a sensible 435mm, head angle a moderate 67.5 degrees. While they are not the only numbers that matter, they all convert to a bike that climbs and descents with equal ability and turns through the singletrack smoothly and very predictably.
On the suspension side of things, Marin has tuned the rear suspension to feel quite firm and supportive, which could be confused for choppy and insensitive at times over fast and rough terrain, but the flipside is a bike that pedals well.
Up the front the RockShox Revelation fork feels equally as stout, promoting a super aggressive low body position leaning over the front end in the corners and up pinch climbs out of the saddle.
For a $3K bike, the 14kg weight is relatively acceptable, considering the spec is well and truly up to the task of hard riding.
Sold in a box the bike arrived in our hands with very little assembly or extra adjustment before riding
We’d not waste any time converting it to tubeless, and perhaps try a more open tread front tyre if your trails are on the looser side of the spectrum. Other than that, the spec is dialled.
Sold in a box the bike arrived in our hands with very little assembly or extra adjustment before riding, check out their sales model here: How are these bikes sold?
With its direct-to-consumer sales model, the Marin is obviously going to be kick arse value – and it is – but it’s the way that the frame geometry and rear suspension feels absolutely spot on, with a very well thought out bunch of numbers resulting in a sensible, efficient and fun trail bike. A bike that doesn’t hold back when you want to let the brakes off.
It’s predictability, speed and fun are what would make this $3K bike a wonderful entry into the world of dual suspension mountain bikes, without leaving you wanting more.