I had terrible trouble with this bike when I first got it. The previous owner left the rear dropout bolts on the brake side loose. When I tightened them up the frame was already deformed- there are tremendous forces on the brake side dropout, if both sides are not properly torqued and loctited it can do permanent damage to the rear triangle(probably why I got a good deal on it). I had to replace the whole rear triangle for about $200. The bike did fine on normal trails and medium hits but suffered on small bumps and bigger hits, the low speed compression was too high on the Monarch 4.2, it started to break in but I had already purchased a Marzocchi Roco TST Air to replace it. With the Monarch, I would get bumped off balance on techy climbs at low speed and feel harsh on repeated hits. The difference was amazing right away big hits, small bump and adjustability felt great- handling across the board was phenomenal. Last was the Revelation WC- it felt like a wet noodle and flexed all over the place on chunky downhills desptite (or because of) the carbon steer and 20mm thru axle. My old '07 Fox 32 TALAS was stiffer. I put a TALAS 36 on it and it was a dream- stiff, plush, travel adjust from 160-120mm. The 150mm of Revelation was too steep for techy climbs and the front end wandered bad or the rear wheel spun out. 160mm just feels right for decents and OK for trail use. It would be nice if the TALAS had the old 3 position switch. It has the routing for a dropper post- the Rockshox reverb has been very nice. Last mod I made was a 50mm stem from the 90mm one. Feels great all around, stiffens up the steering, allows you to pull your body more forward on steep climbs and get farther back on decents. After adding about $1500 of upgrades and at least two pounds to the bike it absolutely rips up and down. It would be nice if it were a little lighter but the tradeoff in performance is worth it.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Nomad, Trek Remedy 8
Bike Setup: All XT parts except for SLX crank.
a Weekend Warrior
from austin, texas
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2011
Strengths: Awesome geometry. Solid, stiff frame, suspension is killer. Climbs extremely well, stable at high speeds, carves, drops.
Weaknesses: Make sure you have the correct shock on the back, it makes all the difference in the world.
First thing's first. Make sure you have the correct shock on this bike. I tried a standard Float on it, and the ride was really harsh. I recently put a Float with the Boost Valve, specially tuned for this bike, and it's like a whole new bike! It's awesome! I gave up nothing on the climbing, in fact, it's smoother now. On the downhill, everything is smoothed out, and the drops are a pleasure. FYI, the correct setting for the shock is 175psi in the boostvalve, medium tune, medium rebound.
It's obvious that this bike is designed to go down hill, but what's great about this bike is how well it goes UPhill. Marin really put some thought into making this bike a do everything bike. The head angle is slack as hell, but the seat angle is really steep, so that puts you over the pedals and gives you lots of power for the climbs, and it's climbs extremely well! It also lets you get behind the seat easier.
Downhill is obviously a blast on this bike. I have a Revelation up front, and between tires, air pressure, and the tunability of the fork, I'm still getting the bike dialed in, but I truly enjoy riding this bike all the time, everywhere.
It does have a long wheel base, so the front end is a bit hard to lift up, FYI. If you can get your hands on one of these bikes, ride it. You'll like it.
This is easily one of the best bikes i have owned and ridden for that matter. Like i mentioned above the geometry is killer! Its low, slack (66 deg) but has a fairly steep seat angle to it really puts your weight over the front wheel for climbing. It comes with 720mm wide bars which just tops it off for me. Its a mini DH bike that comes in on the scales at a bit over 14 kg.
Does have a downside. The monarch shock that comes stock is pretty average. Do yourself a favour and swap this out and you will have a killer bike. Went with Marzocchi because the bike has a degree of chain growth pedaling is pretty sick so didnt need a platform. Overall rating not highest simply because of the shock. New revelation though is one of the smoothest forks i have owned. (has the same mission control dampening as the previous model Rock Shox World cups)
This is a massive change from my Giant hardtail. I couldn't believe how easily this bike changes direction, off camber rocky corners, no problems at all, the handling is brilliant. Point it down the hill and it flies, literally, talk about "Red Bull gives you wings". I'm completely in awe of the Marin. I've always riden Maxxis tires and out of habit I will change them although the current Kenda's seem OK for now. There is much debate over Fox RP23 vs Rockshox Monarch 4.2 although at this point I'm very happy with the RSM 4.2, great over rock gardens and ruts and hasn't bottomed out yet. Front forks hold you in the corners and are very responsive. With a slack head angle of 66 degrees & wide low bars, the cockpit position is outstanding and climbing is good enough for me, I don't like going up hills much, the only purpose is for the fun on the way back down, although I made some pinches last week that I haven't been able to make before, that says something. There are some great reviews in the FEB edition of MBUK mag.
If you are an aggressive all mountain rider that likes to stay off the brakes, rail corners and take to the skies, I'd recommend you test ride the Marin Attack Trail 6.8, you will buy one given the chance.
Bike Setup: rockshox revelation race 6" forks and rockshox monarch 4.2 rear, straight out of the box, kenda nevagal tires although will change to Maxxis Ignitor on the front and a less aggressive Maxxis on the rear