Marin Bear Valley XC Hardtail

4.43/5 (7 Reviews)
MSRP : $529.99

Product Description

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Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by troutchaser a Weekend Warrior from carmichael calif. usa

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2010

Strengths:    all but seat is a liitle hard iam 65 years old need new seat

Weaknesses:    n/a

Bottom Line:   
i love to my bear vally marin very EZ to ride for old guy of 65 years old i ride about 3 miles day two to three a week

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Favorite Trail:   streets

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   given to me by grand

Similar Products Used:   to many

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Klauser a Cross Country Rider from Feldafing

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2007

Strengths:    A Marin Bear Valley Limited edition 2007 - Steel!!. Perfect workmanship. Colour (slate grey matt, simply wonderful)

Weaknesses:    You won't squeeze anything wider than a 2,1er into the rear triangle. Weight, for some. No race geometry (steerer tube 15cm!), for some

Bottom Line:   
Simply the best ride ever. I can now support the myth of the uniqueness of a steel ride. Forget Carbon, or Alum except if you are a weight weeny or a racer. When I took this out of the box, I was disappoited first. Looked like a 15 years old steel rigid newly painted. But: the extra long steerer tube has a steep enough angle to take a 10cm fork without getting lazy. 58cm top tube. Disk mounts. I built it up last Friday, aired it on Sunday. It is heaven. It is smooth, responsive, but solid and sure-footed. It is difficult to understand why steel went out of fashion so completely. A heavenly ride. The big steerer tube obviates a riser bar; you can use a flat bar, adding bar ends. Many thanks to the wise guys at Marin for producing frames like this still. This is no race bike, for geometry reason alone. This is a very very serious mountain bike. And for the price, it's practically a present from Santa clus. And I am sure he rides one himself.

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Favorite Trail:   yes

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Marin Indian Fire Trail, TREK 9900 OCLV Carbon 1996 (comfy, but scaring at high speeds), Hit Chili Zymotic Alum Hardtail (keeping the line, but kicking like a mule), TREK 8500 1996

Bike Setup:   Mavic Crossmax XL, Marzocchi Fork, Chris Kong Head Set, Moots Titanium Seat Post, an old Concept steel stem exactly the same colour like the seat post. Yeti silver flat bar, Race face cranks, grey Michelin XCR Mud tubeless, XTR derall.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Trevor a Cross Country Rider from Nowhere, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2006

Strengths:    Great base bike, deore components work great. The fork has great travel for what I need it for, it's not too soft or hard. The rims held up well and haven't been damaged yet. I love the seat as well, it's very cofortable to road and trail riding, but like all saddles your butt gets sore after a long ride. The WTb headset is really solid and has taken quite a beating where a cheaper one got busted up.

Weaknesses:    The rear hub really started making noise after how long I've ridden it and I had to have it replaced with an LX hub which works great now. The paint chips easily, esepcially from chain slap, but it really doesn't bug me much. On my model I also cannot mount a rear disc break which is kind of a let down. The pedals stripped the threads of the crank after not much riding, and were heck to get put back on.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike for doing all types of XC trails and a real solid ride on and off the road. Some components are great and some not so, but in the end the pros really outweigh the cons. I would reccomend this bike for starting and moderate XC riders but I don't think it will cut it for any of the more extreme riders.

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Favorite Trail:   Algonquin Minnising Trail 25km Loop

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Nothing that compares

Bike Setup:   I have made many modifications since I've gotten it. I replced the stem and got a much shorter stronger one. I replaced the handlebars with Azonic straight bars. The grips were replced by ODI lock ons and I also replaced the front tire with a GEAX Blade and the rear with a Maxxis Larsen Mimo. The front V brake was replced with a Hayes HMX-1 disc brake. The front hub is a deore disk and the rear is a Deore LX. I think that's it...

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeremy Wilson a Cross Country Rider from Kansas City Missouri

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2005

Strengths:    Ride quality is nice, Flex in all the right places and rigid where is counts, Cro-Mo steel bike at a reasonable price, around 23lbs, Disc ready, Great welds, Nice groupo.

Weaknesses:    Folks who buy it and use it as it wasn't intended and then complain -not the products fault;)

Seriously though, the only complaint I have is that the paint chips rather easily. Everything else is going strong and has had no issues other than normal wear and tear.

Bottom Line:   
Good all around utilitarian stock parts and frame for a price not touched by other manufacturers as far as I could determin.

I commute at least 12 miles a day on this bike with slicks 5 days a week through harsh winters, hot and humid summers, wet springs and mild falls. I also ride all manner of trail from rock gardens you wouldnt believe, drops and tech single track to fire roads and double track. You name it I've done it with this bike (except DH and FR of course).

If your looking for a race bike or anything other than a light weight steel XC bike look elsewhere. If your looking for what Ive described you couldn't go wrong with this bike (I'm giving it 4 on the overall for the paint).

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Favorite Trail:   Blue River

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   Midwest Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4300, Kona Unit among others and other hard tail MTB's from other eras.

Bike Setup:   Deore Groupo, IRC Trail Bear 2.25 front tire, IRC El Gato 2.25 rear tire, Alex rims laced to Deore disc hubs, Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes and rotors, Manitou Black Elite 100-120mm travel adjust with lockout, compression and rebound adjustments, WTB momentum headset, WTB Rocket V saddle, "Marin branded" seat post, stem, bar and headset cap, Sram PC69 chain, SunRace JuJu 9spd cassette, TruVativ 5D cranks and chainrings, '03 Egg Beater CroMo pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Goose a Cross Country Rider from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2005

Strengths:    Great steel frame. Light, stiff in the right places with the wonderful, silky ride you just don't get with aluminium hardtails. Good overall mix of components, with one or two exceptions...

Weaknesses:    Stock Manitou fork v.poor. Replaced with Rockshox Duke XC - what a difference!! Pedals crap. Rear wheel fell apart (and I only weigh 70kg and am not a hard rider). WTB Momentum headset also crap. Lasted less than 600 miles before the bearings collapsed. FSA xtreme cartridge on order...

Bottom Line:   
Excellent value steel hardtail that warrants extra spend on certain key components.

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Favorite Trail:   Glen Tanar & Fungle Road

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Noah's

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Stefan Muenck a Cross Country Rider from Minneapolis, Mn, USA

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2004

Strengths:    Great steel frame and solid components for the money. The Deore drivetrain and hubs are solid, the Truvativ 5D cranks work (although an ISIS set would be nice but plenty more dough), the MZ Comp shock is simple but effective, the v-brakes and shifters work solid, the Alex wheels are tough, and the Mythos tires perform well for the dough. Seat is comfortable for an extended ride.

Weaknesses:    Grips are too thin and the pedals are composite, but those are cheap to replace.

Bottom Line:   
To my knowledge, Marin is the only company left that makes an affordable steel frame. And it's sweet. It's just as light as my wifes smaller Gary Fisher and comes with a component package that beats the Tassajara ($580) and the Blast ($600). 3 days after purchasing the Bear I took it on an offroad triathlon (3 times up and down a local ski hill) and it climbed and descended like a champ.

This bike is for you if you're a casual to semi-serious off roader looking for an affordable hardtail. If you're more serious or need disc brakes (the Bear is disc compatible) you may want to look the Eldridge Grade or the Pine Mountain.

Value wise this bike may be the best in it's class. I give it 4 stars overall since to make it perfect it would need a nice set of rims, disk brakes, a better fork, clipless pedals, and ISIS cranks. But that's why the Pine Mountain is $1365.

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Favorite Trail:   Namakagon Trailhead

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $530.00

Purchased At:   The Alt Bike and Board

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Tass (nice alum frame but components weren't as good and was more $), Trek 4900 (very upright hybrid like position), Giant Iquana (didn't impress and some components were cheezy). Kona Blast (great bike but I like steel).

Bike Setup:   Stock except bar ends and toe clips. Will eventually add Eggbeater pedals. May upgrade cranks to ISIS variety (FSA or Truvativ).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Cole a Cross Country Rider from Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2004

Strengths:    The steel frame prooves to be very rigid, yet as light as many aluminum frames.

Weaknesses:    The frame is no good in very wet areas because the steel rusts, but who wants their bike submerged in water anyways.

Bottom Line:   
This bike prooved to be an inexpensive cross-country bike that performed well. The strength of the steel helps the bike stay rigid while being light weight because of the double-butting. The Afterburner rear end helps the frame stay rock solid and also light. Marin has mastered these techniques and applied it to steel framed bikes so they outperform the competition. This frame is for both the weekend warrior or the full time cyclest.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   salt dock

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $75.00

Purchased At:   purchased used with no parts

Similar Products Used:   Haro ICS 2.0

Bike Setup:   Shimano Acera drivetrain, Rockshox Jetts upgraded to Manitou X-Vert, Alex Rims upgraded to Big Fat Mammoths

Reviews 1 - 7 (7 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Bear valley?

Looks like I will have a few hours to myself while in the bear valley area this weekend. Looking for some free ride or downhill runs. Is the bv adventure company the place to get trail info? Anyone on here have trail advice? Thanks.Read More »

Mountain biking around Arnold and Bear Valley this weekend and next week.

I'm going to be in Arnold this weekend through most of next week. I'm looking for some places to go riding and maybe some people to ride with, especially if it's on not very established trail networks. I've found information on the Arnold Rim Trail. I think I've ridden and run portions of that ... Read More »

Fenders for 1999 Marin Bear Valley

Does anyone know of some fenders that would fit with minimal modification of the bike? My Bear Valley has Montou Magnum fork on the front and the Planet Bike ATB clip ons won't mount on the fork because it doesn't have a hole in the top middle part of the fork. I'm not much of a mechanic, just a r ... Read More »

Touch Up Paint for 1999 Marin Bear Valley (orange yellow)

Does anyone know where I might find touch up paint for a 1999 Marin Bear Valley (orange yellow paint job)?Read More »

'93 Marin Bear Valley restoration

Ok, I know it's not a desirable bike or anything special in the VRC world but it's extremely sentimental to me... ...and I'd like to restore it with higher end, period correct parts. The more accessible the better! I'm not looking for the holy grail of stems, cranksets etc, just something better ... Read More »

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