Strengths: Frame is light, handles well, has good standover, replaceable derailer hanger, mounts for rack and rar bridge is drilled for a fender or light.
Came with stem that fits modern oversize bars
flat bar is neat and clean
Weaknesses: Parts spec is substandard; fork is heavy, chainrings not individually replaceable, rear shifter sucks; integrated brake-shifter pods mean you can't upgrade individual components
Got this used, not sure what year it is but it's after 2000. Maybe 03? It had nicely shaped and formed frame tubes and the frameset is light for a enrty level bike. Got diff rims on it, with bontrager street slick tires, and a surly rigid fork. If I get money I'll upgrade all the shifty bits to like 1x9 or 2x9 sram. I rode it in the woods with knobs a couplea' times, and once broke the rear derailier. Bent the hanger back and replace dthe derailer with something from the parts bin.
Now it's my around town bike and it is great for cruising to the store or whatever when I don't feel like uising a road or track frame or my 1x1. I took it to north Massechussets up near Concord and road it on the road, up and down some windy hills; it handled awesome.
Altho the format asks you to choose from titles like "racer" or "wekend warrior" none of these totally fit. I do ride for fun on weekends but wherever possible also try to ride to get around. I ride to the store, to work (not currently, but I have, once for an entuire year, no car) and have carried everything from massive numbers of envelopes, a fax machine, 2 six packs, a pair of 700c wheels strapped to my back... This ike is a useful form of transport, and fun. It had held up, even though I'm not the slimmest rider. I would recommend it -- just lose the cruddy parts.
I am riding them XC and single roads with my friends who using higher prices bikes I have to say that the only thing I want my bike to have is SRAM transfer instead of the sensetive Shimano. the wheels weight is nothing and its very noticeable on long climbing and single forest road, also with the light frame - truly 30.3 lbs it is easy to control the bike on hard turns.
Similar Products Used: trek 4300, merida matts 500 sport, specialized HR sport
Bike Setup: stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 1, 2010
Weaknesses: gear set
altus shifters yuck!
I have to say there are so many negative reviews on this bike I almost feel like i have to defend it a little. Firstly Yes this bike is an entry level MTB/Commuter. But I have been bringing it on some fairly difficult trails where I find the lightweight and responsive nature of the bike are real assets. It is a great bike for the price. Most of my friends with similiar bikes have much heavier bikes and all love mine.
I do acknowledge the gear it comes with is not fantastic but come on what do you want for the price, just wear it out as fast as you can and replace it! Besides if the frame is the soul of a bike then the pioneer trail has a great soul!
Strengths: Lightweight frame well constructed for the price.
Weaknesses: Just about everything else.
First and foremost -- this is not a MTB. Fortunately, that's not what I was looking for. I was looking for a commuter bike, and, as others have stated, it fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, there are several things that have left me longing for a new bike. First, the crankset is WAY short in the gearing. Don't expect any amount of speed on this bike. Second, the gear shifters, as stated, flat out suck. Lastly, the wheels add a lot of excess and unnecessary weight to an otherwise light weight frame. The front fork does a reasonable job dampening bumps, though I have to keep it at maximum stiffness for the ride quality I like. The stock seat is comfy enough, however. The handlebars are fine, but the grips could use replacement, as the stock grips tend to leave a lot of black rubber in your hands on any ride longer than a few miles. Overall, it's a great frame for the money, but you'll need to replace virtually all the basic components to get a nice ride. I compared this bike to a similar priced Trek, which my other half purchased. The Trek had better components, but a much heavier frame, so I stuck with the Marin. Unfortunately, out of the box, I'm disappointed with my decision. If you don't mind replacing the crankset first, followed by the wheels, and shifters, this has the potential to be a really nice, inexpensive commuter bike, but out of the box, it's a very disappointing experience.
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle USA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2003
This is a follow-up review. After getting some road time I have to say that I've grown less fond of this bike. It still serves my needs, but I can't stop feeling like I would have gotten the same bike for 65 buck Mongoose at Target. My main dissapointment has been with the Shimano Altus shifting system. I'm not an expert by any means, but even I have to wonder how this product made it to manufacturing. Shimano is going to lose respect if they keep releasing junk like this. I looked up the value and the cost of the entire Altus system is all of $25. Where's the other $200 of bike? I've had the chain sieze up inside the front gears when down-shifting and using hard, but not even stand-up hard, pressure. When this occurred the 3rd time in 3 months, it finally damaged the front derailluer. I'm a dissapointed in Marin for using this product, I had always thought Marin was a top-notch company.
I'd also like to add that when I attempted to add a full-coverage fender, the front fender could not be properly attached to the fork, due to the lack of holes to screw in to. I ended up using zip-ties to fix this. It works but it's also annoying when you consider the bike seems to be targeted at commuters. How hard would it be to weld a standard size screw hole at the bottom of each side of the fork.
Enough ranting. I'm going to lower my rating slightly due to the problems I mentioned above.
I was looking for an inexpensive city/suburbs commuter bike and this fit the bill perfectly. I live in a hillier area near Seattle, so I wanted something geared on the lower scale for hill climbing. I wanted something that could take the bumps and curbs, but still had a smooth relaxed ride for the paved and dirt/gravel trails. This bike is simple and it looks good. A few minor quibbles: The Shimano Atlus shifting system is pretty harsh and slow (perhaps my return checkup visit to the shop will take care of that?). Also (very minor but improtant to me), the holes for connecting a rear rack on the top of the seat stay (near the seat), are poorly designed. I had to go through 4 rear racks to find one to fit it (Performance Trans-IT, BTW). It has a good front shock (though I haven't heard of InSync... Justin Timberlake nightmares.. NO!), good brakes, tires and seat. If the shifting were smoother I'd be VERY happy. Not a good MTB, but it's fine for cruising and mild trail riding. A classic average hybrid commuter.
Similar Products Used: Old Scott MTB _____ Stolen... grrrrr >:-(
Bike Setup: Stock - Road/Trail Hybrid Tires, Shimano Atlus Gearing, etc... 20" frame (I'm 6'2"), Charcoal Black. Some personally added products (ie rear rack, bottle cage and the like)
Date Reviewed: June 27, 2003
Weaknesses: Hey Bob Smith,
Before you badmouth a bike, can you learn to write grammatically correct sentences? Two, this bike is an entry level mountain bike which is not meant to do a lot ( notice that " a lot" is two words - good spelling). Three, tell you fat friend to loose some weight. High end racing bikes may not hold more than 275 lbs on it.
Hey Bob Smith,
Before you badmouth a bike, can you learn to write grammatically correct sentences? Two, this bike is an entry level mountain bike which is not meant to do a lot ( notice that " a lot" is two words - good spelling). Three, tell you fat friend to loose some weight. High end racing bikes may not hold more than 275 lbs on it
My wife will be dropping me off at the Cedar Falls TH on way to Cle Elum from Portland. I'm planning to ride the trail to Cle Elum. According to the message (509-656-2230) at the Lake Easton State Park "ALL" tunnels are open, I assume this includes tunnels 49 and 48 at Lake Easton. The web site does ... Read More »
Hello... I am new here, not new to MTB or to forums in general, but new to this forum and to Marin Bikes.
I just picked up a 2012 Pioneer Trail and really enjoy it. It sure beats the hell out of my 20+yr old Trek 7000 that I was riding.
Are there any known issues with this bike that I should look ... Read More »
Anybody ride Pioneer Trail up to Omega Rest since the last storm? I'm wondering if I go tomorrow if I'm likely to run into snow before I make it to the top. I'm also planning on hitting the Hallelujah Trail for the first time on the way back, as I missed the FATRAC ride a few week ... Read More »
Hey Fellow Warshingtonians,
I recently completed a cross-state tour on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. For anyone not familiar, it's a (mostly) state-owned trail that occupies the former railbed of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, aka the "Milwaukee Road". West of the Columbia ... Read More »