Marin Bear Valley Bike Bike 1998 or Older

4.65/5 (72 Reviews)
MSRP : $892.00


Product Description

Bear Valley SE


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Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by whitey a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2012

Strengths:    Truly beautiful, I love the finish and colour. I have the SE version and OK I'm running it with manitou minute expert suspension forks. I have many other bikes including four early orange MTBs but the BV holds a special place in my collection


Weaknesses:    None at all

Bottom Line:   
Everyone should have a steel framed Marin bear valley

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   llandegla

Duration Product Used:   8years

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Orange P7, clockwork

Bike Setup:   standard but with suspension forks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Porter

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2012

Strengths:    Longevity
Solidity


Weaknesses:    None I can think of

Bottom Line:   
I bought this in May 1992 from the splendid Brixton Cycles who looked after it for me when I lived in London, paid £439 for it brand new.

Ridden it mainly as an urban bike in London and Brighton, been off road a couple of times but I'm not really an off roader...had various parts replaced and the bike serviced a few times...don't ride as much now as I used to but it's never let me down and I won't get rid off it...they don't make bikes like this anymore!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2011

Strengths:    great ride, fast smooth and reliable, light

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
purchased new in 1994, have used this bike from crazy trails as a 24-25 year old to having a baby seat and now towing my boys around, this bike does it all. I am struggling to justify upgrading to a new Trek superfly as this bike does it all and just works!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Sydney

Bike Setup:   origanal everything

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by vknez a Weekend Warrior from Zagreb, Croatia

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2011

Strengths:    frame! light marin components, fast on road, fast off road.

Weaknesses:    nothing especially, rst 381 probably...

Bottom Line:   
the bike just screams for power and speed. every kJ invested is puted in good use

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   spectral (dont exist

Similar Products Used:   kona cinder cone

Bike Setup:   recently sand blasted frame and powder coated to same colour (ral 5012). upgraded rims, brakes,deraileurs and crankset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by joeinchi a Weekend Warrior from Highland Park, IL

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2010

Strengths:    The frame! Perfect blend of stiffness and lively feel. Mine still has the rigid, stock fork.

Weaknesses:    Stock seat "Marin Lite". It had too much of a duck tail--should've been flatter.

Bottom Line:   
I've owned my 1994 Bear Valley from new and ridden her on and off over the last 16 years. I spent a lot more time on the bike this year (mostly paths, smooth-pavement exercise), and decided to give her an overhaul.

Upgrades:

Continental Contisport 26 x 1.5 slicks (do this! 80 psi)
Shimano ST-EF50 7 spd shifter with V brake levers (old shifter failed--comes with new cables/housing)
Avid Single Digit 5 V brakes (do this! cheap, straight swap, great stopping power)
Ergon GP1 grips (do this! all-day comfort)
Easton EA50 riser bar (1-inch rise and gentle backsweep)
WTB Silverado saddle (looks cool and very comfortable)

I just did a 20-mile charity ride through the hills surrounding Lake Geneva, WI, and the old girl delivered admirably. All the upgrades performed flawlessly--shifts, braking, comfort--and I even got her up to 33 mph on some thrilling downhill blasts.

I might get a road bike someday but for a solid, no excuses, recreational ride, the Bear Valley is still hard to beat.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $560.00

Purchased At:   Start to Finish, San

Similar Products Used:   Various road, mt bikes and beach cruisers

Bike Setup:   Was completely stock until this year (see below)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by the dude a Weekend Warrior from Chicago, IL

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2010

Strengths:    Absolutely rock solid. I've been riding this bike for about 13 years now, and there are zero signs of giving up on life.

Weaknesses:    A bit heavy, but certainly within the realm of other steel mtb frames. Geometry is more like a road bike, but fits me well.

Bottom Line:   
I love my bike. I've been tempted by the newfangled super light modern bikes, but I just keep going back to the ol' bear valley.. Swap out some parts and make it a totally new bike every few years if you get bored like I do.. I just can't give it up & even if I buy a new bike I'll keep the Marin around for nostalgia for years to come!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   50 Year trail, Tucson, AZ

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Tim's bike shop in B

Similar Products Used:   Nothing

Bike Setup:   It's been through many incarnations in it's life.. switched to a cheap Rockshox fork after a couple years, then upgraded.. Just about everything on the bike has been replaced or upgraded at one time or another but not due to poor quality, just wear & tear of 13 years of riding. Currently undergoing a "trim the fat" single speed transformation and back to a rigid fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aliensatemyhead a Cross Country Rider from Karmøy, Norway

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2009

Strengths:    This bike is rock solid. Bought it in 2002 and it's still going strong with it's original component. Only thing I've changed is typical wear and tear components like brakepads, chain and wires.
I've riden this bike across and down some very steep mountain and hills and it's never dissapointed me.


Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
The last couple of years I've looked at other bikes with more fancy setups, but in the end I always end up with my trusty Marin Bear Valley.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   a bikeshop in Newcas

Similar Products Used:   Can't remember their names, a Raligh MTB and a Giant.........

Bike Setup:   Original

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dodgydave a Cross Country Rider from Manchester UK

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2008

Strengths:    Seems to be built to outlast me

Weaknesses:    Nothing really

Bottom Line:   
I bought this in 1992 and it had good reviews then. I've used this bike for commuting, easy trails, bumpy downhills and have taken it 1500 miles across Denmark and Norway, loaded up with everything you need for an extended 2 month camping trip. It's always been good and I have no gripes with it at all. Still using all original derailleurs and have only had to change rear sprocket twice and chain(of course). Now going to change bottom bracket and chainset but happy to keep using this as long as it lets me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Peak district

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $950.00

Purchased At:   Epping cycles Essex

Bike Setup:   All shimano components - same as when bought

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sue a Weekend Warrior from Sheffield, UK

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2008

Strengths:    Bought in 1995 and since replaced by a Trek 6700, which is fine but I still love the Bear Valley like a best friend. It now lives at our house in France, and I wish I'd taken the Trek there and kept the Marin here. Nothing has been replaced apart from the saddle. It's light, responsive and very fast. Like someone else said, it's left for months without use and just jumps into life. It's so much easier to ride than the new bike. Much faster, more sure footed.

Weaknesses:    Can't think of anything.

Bottom Line:   
I shall cry my eyes out if anything happens to it!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Peak District, Kinder

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Leisure Lakes

Bike Setup:   STX.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Crichto a Weekend Warrior from United Kingdom

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2008

Strengths:    Bought it new for £550 in 1995 mostly because I wanted a steel frame (don't like aluminium bikes) and this one could take a child carrier on the seat down tube... It has been bullet proof. I do next to no maintenance on it and just about everything is original, even the tyres. The only thing I can think of that has gone wrong is the rear brake cable which went rusty and needed replacing this week. I have done about 3000 miles on everything from roads, gnarly downhill and with a huge childseat attached and nothing has come off or broken. Biggest thing for me though is that you can leave it for ages (the best part of a year), get it down off the wall and it will just work. The other really nice thing is that it has some spring, or life, in the frame and is not "dead" like a lot of aluminium bikes. You don't feel like any of your effort is wasted. It is also light compared to others even after 13 years. Some other post said that the cable routing under the bottom bracket had to kept clean. Never touched mine!... Shame that they have not kept the name.

Weaknesses:    The seat was replaced because it was uncomfortable. I would agree that on some downhills it can feel a bit like you are about to go over the bars. I think that is down to the fact it is a big frame even with the seat as far down as it will go.

Bottom Line:   
No complaints at all. It will go for another 13 years I'm sure.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pendle Hill

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Leisure Lakes in the

Similar Products Used:   Klein Pulse Race.

Bike Setup:   Mostly road use. Shimano STX gear all round. Dia Compe brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christo a Cross Country Rider from Zaragoza, Spain

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2008

Strengths:    Very very very very durable (frame) and reasonably light for it's time. Middle class components made this bike a bargain compared to other offerings in mid 90's. Bought in 1994, maybe the 1993 model?

Weaknesses:    Most of the original components aren't up to the task of heavy riding and racing. The original geometry is a bit too nimble for my taste, swaping a suspension fork relaxed the angles a bit for some stability at speed.

Bottom Line:   
Indestructable. The frame has gone thru 6 years of amateur racing, and many more years of training, club rides and hard riding. First susp.fork was a Marzocchi XC500 that blew seals after 5 years, replaced for actual Bomber Z2. Shredded a couple of deraileurs (no interchangeble dropouts here), snaped original seatpost after big something-went-wrong jump, 2 sets of cranks and about 5 or 6 sets of chain/cogs/rings. Frame survived 3 sets of autmatic pedals, ...and probably will survive me too.

Now looking for new enduro-allmountain for fun rides and retire with honor my faithfull BV to do just road training and long-distance events.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bicicletas Sprint Zaragoza

Similar Products Used:   2005 GT Avalanche

Bike Setup:   At the moment of writing: Mixed XT and LX 9-speed components, XT V-brakes, Flite Ti saddle, Bontrager titec handlebar, Marzocchi Bomber Z2, mavic 231 rims, sachs sealed front hub, LX parallax rear hub. ritchey ahead stem, '07 spd pedals, and original marin barends!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gavin a Weekend Warrior from Bristol UK

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006

Strengths:    Brilliant, just love it

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
My friend has just given me his 1990 or 1991 Bear Valley and I'm absolutely lovin' it.
This bike has been sat in a garage/loft for virtually its entire life so apart from dust, is like new! I'm not a big mountain biker but i just love this bike. It feels solid without being heavy, responsive, fast - just seems to have everything. Some hard core off roaders have said that the BV gets a bit hairy when doing fast downhills but being a novice at this, any bike would make me load my pants!

cant praise this bike enough.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   original 1990/1991 bear valley

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marco Savoie from Moncton, NB, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2006

Strengths:    Everything , I bought the bike in 1995 and only last year did it break down on me.

Weaknesses:    Absoluteley none. The only thing that broke on the bike was the frame above the rear hanger on the deraileur side.(I guess riding this thing downhill for so long with friends who have full susp. finally caught up with me.

Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is this is one of the best bikes I have ridden, from the first day I had it to the day when she was done, I have done nothing but ride it hard and always kept wondering how it did not fall appart. I tried finding a used one but it is such a good bike no one wants to sell them(can't blame them, I would never have parted with mine)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dexter's Land

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Mikes Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4900

Bike Setup:   All original had to replace rear deraileur because of my stupid riding(and if thet tree hadn't been in the way it would have never broken)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by radenko romanovic from zagreb, croatia

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2006

Strengths:    made for loving it, not just best buy or money vallue, great bike in any possible way that you can think of

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I just want to say that I ride this bike for 10 years now (1996 model) and never had changed anything on it. Maybe I'm not pushing it too hard but for past ten years I have enjoyed my ride so much. Rapid fire shifters works as they are bought yesterday, everything goes smooth, and after 10 years people can't get their eyes off it when seen on a street. Amazing, and after all this time I'm looking for new one 2005 series because from this year on marin is not producing this model any more. I know it is just a name but "bear valley" mean so much to me. Buy 2005 model if u can find it somewhere arround, Bye!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   spectral, zagreb, croatia

Similar Products Used:   scott, cannondale (price category)

Bike Setup:   rapid fire shifters, stx/stx rc + standard equipment

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jerry Neuburger a Weekend Warrior from Lodi, CA

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2005

Strengths:    Still all in one piece and rock solid after 10 years.

Weaknesses:    Rubber finish on Shimano twist grips worn.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike at a police auction two weeks ago, not knowing the brand since the bike was totally covered with tape. I stripped everything off to discover that it was a Marin BV SE. A lot of cleaning and some cable housing replacement put the bike in perfect operating shape. The worn grips were replaced as well as the old platform pedals in favor of some combo SPD/platform pedals. The seat was replaced and a rack and cyclocomputer were added.

The frame, headset, bottom bracket, wheels and drivetrain are still perfect. The frame has a few paint chips and scrapes but no dings or dents.

I was amazed that after ten years, the bike is still in excellent condition. I changed the rear knobby to a smoother tire and find the bike, while not a speedster, won't embarrass you on the road. I've ridden on some trails and, while not a trail rider, find the bike responsive and light on inclines and descents.

It's now my around town-ncliment weather-fun bike and fills out my bike stable. I understand the bike sold for about $650 in 1995. At that price it would have been a real bargain.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   country roads

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1.00

Purchased At:   police bike auction

Similar Products Used:   Various road bikes, closest in design is a Specialized Sirrus Expert.

Bike Setup:   All original STX drive train, Terry Cita Y saddle, multipurpose tires, Cateye cyclocomputer, Bor Yueh rack.

Reviews 1 - 15 (72 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Bear Valley Bike Fest Saturday 9/18

The second annual Bear Valley Bike Festival will be this Saturday on 9/18. It's only going to be a one day event this year, but half as long doesn't mean half as fun! There will be rides for all levels, so if you've been waiting to check out the BV riding, now's a good chance, and you can always sti ... Read More »

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