Marin Bear Valley Bike Bike 1998 or Older

Bear Valley Bike

Bear Valley SE

User Reviews (72)

Showing 1-10 of 72  
whitey   Weekend Warrior [Dec 15, 2012]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

None at all

Everyone should have a steel framed Marin bear valley

Similar Products Used: Orange P7, clockwork
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andrew Porter   [Nov 06, 2012]
Strength:

Longevity
Solidity

Weakness:

None I can think of

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
Matt   Weekend Warrior [Oct 25, 2011]
Strength:

great ride, fast smooth and reliable, light

Weakness:

none

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!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
vknez   Weekend Warrior [May 29, 2011]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

nothing especially, rst 381 probably...

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

Similar Products Used: kona cinder cone
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
joeinchi   Weekend Warrior [Sep 19, 2010]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Various road, mt bikes and beach cruisers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
the dude   Weekend Warrior [Feb 03, 2010]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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!

Similar Products Used: Nothing
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aliensatemyhead   Cross Country Rider [Jun 23, 2009]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

None

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.

Similar Products Used: Can't remember their names, a Raligh MTB and a Giant.........
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dodgydave   Cross Country Rider [Oct 18, 2008]
Strength:

Seems to be built to outlast me

Weakness:

Nothing really

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sue   Weekend Warrior [Aug 31, 2008]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

Can't think of anything.

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

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Crichto   Weekend Warrior [Jul 23, 2008]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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

Similar Products Used: Klein Pulse Race.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 72  

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