Review: Marin Alpine Trail

Review: Marin Alpine Trail
Posted in: Buyer's Guides
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Review: Marin Alpine Trail

Righto! Who’s dreaming of a new big-wheel, long-travel full suspension enduro bike. You are? Then wake up and feast your eyes on the Alpine Trail platform from Marin, a bunch of riders who know a thing or two about creating fun off-road.

What is the Marin Alpine Trail?

A model that we were first introduced to at Eurobike, the Alpine Trail is a 160mm front / 150mm rear 29er. It’s a playful bike designed for riders who like to earn their corn riding uphill and gobble it right down their necks on the downhill.

For an aluminium, all-mountain model, the Alpine Trail will give other, more expensive carbon models a run for their money – certainly when it comes to the overall build weight and total price of the bike!  

Marin Alpine Trail 7

Marin Alpine Trail 7 vs Marin Alpine Trail 8

The Marin Alpine Trail is available in two builds. A much-more-than-entry-level 7 and the upgraded 8. Here’s a handy comparison table of the main features of each bike for you to cast your eye over.

 

Alpine Trail 7

Alpine Trail 8

Frame

Series 4 6061 Aluminum

Series 4 6061 Aluminum

Fork

RockShox Yari RC

Fox 36 Performance

Rear Shock

X-Fusion O2 PRO RXC

Fox Float DPX2

Gearing

Shimano SLX 1x11

SRAM NX Eagle 1x12

Brakes

Tektro Orion 203mm front/180mm rear

TRP Slate T4 203mm front, 180mm rear

Wheelset

Marin 29mm – tubeless compatible

Marin 29mm – tubeless compatible

Tyres

Vee Tire Flow Snap, 29x2.3

Vee Tire Flow Snap, 29x2.3

RRP

£2145

£3095

Sweating the details

The 8 in black and teal and the 7 in black and grey with contrast downtube logos, both offer up plenty of eye candy, but what of the tech that lies beneath?  

Marin Alpine Trail 8
Marin Alpine Trail 7

Geometry

As you’d expect, Marin’s bike designers have the Alpine Trail’s geometry on point. A 65° headtube angle, combined with generous reach figures across each frame size, deliver a confident ride downhill without leaving you wanting when taking on tight turns or switchbacks.

Marin Alpine Trail 7

Speaking of which a 76° seat tube angle will put you right over the bottom bracket when you’re in the saddle, great for pedalling efficiency when you’re sweating it up one of those climbs.

Marin Alpine Trail Bar Stem
Marin Alpine Trail with Tektro Orion brakes

MultiTrac Suspension

At the heart of both Alpine Trails is Marin’s MultiTrac suspension platform. A single-pivot suspension design, which through its one-piece rocker actuation, delivers smooth suspension feel and arrow-straight bike tracking, at the fraction of the price of a more complex system.

Comforting to know when you’re staring down the barrel at a root-ridden, technical section.

Marin Alpine Trail 7 leaning

And because that rocker has been manufactured in one piece, it’s extremely strong. That means the Alpine Trail doesn’t need a bridge between the seatstays, increasing the bike’s tyre clearance capability. You can fit a 2.6” tyre if you wish.

Marin  Alpine Trail7 Logo

Marin’s Multitrac suspension is supported up front by the RockShox Yari RC (Alpine Trail 7) and the Fox Performance 36 (Alpine Trail 8). The Yari is a dependable option commended by riders for its ability to soak up the hits, whilst the Fox fork is equally adept at the big stuff. And when it comes to that juddery rooty section, the Fox fork should really shine, working in harmony with the Multitrac suspension to deliver a planted, buttery smooth ride.

Canny component choices

e*Thirteen, Deity, Vee Tire – brands that might be unfamiliar to some – have been used to good effect on both Alpine Trail Builds.

The 9-46t e*Thirteen cassette on the Alpine Trail 7 laughs in the face of Shimano’s standard 11-40, 11-42, 11-46 mountain bike ratios. This e*Thirteen option, combined with the good-looking 30t FSA Comet chainset up front, offers a 1x11 setup with plenty spin when the going gets tough and enough top-end speed for when the trail tips downwards. Plump for the Alpine Trail 8 and you'll ride away with SRAM's 1x12 Eagle gearing for an even greater range.

FSA comet chainset on Marin Alpine Trail 7

Moving over to the Alpine Trail 8 and you’ll spot a 35mm stem and 800mm bar from Deity Components. The 100% rider owned American company tops off the build nicely and ensures your bike will stand out from other stock builds down at the trail park.

Deity’s stock has risen dramatically over recent years with the acquisition of maverick riders such as Brendan Fairclough.

The Alpine Trail 7's cockpit remains on trend with a stubby 35mm stem, locked into a 780mm bar.

Vee Tire Flow Snap

Both Alpine Trail builds have been specced with Vee Tire’s Flow Snap tyre. Multi-purpose rubber designed to roll well in most conditions offer confident cornering and, according to the team over at PinkBike, “they do a good job of clearing mud”– something you’ll be thankful for if you’re riding your Alpine Trail year round in the UK.

Buy a Marin Alpine Trail from Cycle Republic and enjoy a free uplift day at Cwmcarn

Free uplift day with Marin Alpine Trail

Need convincing that the Alpine Trail is your next enduro bike?

Buy a Marin Alpine Trail 7 or Alpine Trail 8 from Cycle Republic between January and March 2020 and you’ll bag a free uplift day with a Marin pro at the beautiful Cwmcarn trails in South Wales.

With free uplifts all day, space for you and a friend and the chance to learn from a Marin rider it’ll be the perfect testing ground for your new bike.

Sound good? Learn more at this link.

  1. Marin Alpine Trail 8 Men's Full Suspension Mountain Bike – 2020
    Marin Alpine Trail 8 Men's Full Suspension Mountain Bike – 2020
    £2,545.00
  2. Marin Alpine Trail 7 Mens Full Suspension Mountain Bike – 2020
    Marin Alpine Trail 7 Mens Full Suspension Mountain Bike – 2020
    £1,795.00

Lawrence Bywater

Lawrence Bywater

An avid road rider and occasional commuter, Lawrence has worked at Cycle Republic for three years. After splashing out on his first mountain bike, a Scott Scale, he’s been getting to grips with travel, sag and dropper posts as well as phrases like gnarly, pinned and shred!

16 January 2020
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