Friday, November 16, 2018

My 2018 Marin Pine Mountain-Initial thoughts

The 2018 Marin Pine Mountain- A Classic Rigid MTB with all of the Modern Benefits

The Marin Pine Mountiain 1, pictured on the right

In the past few years, there have been a few modern cult classic bicycles that have held or even exceeded their original retail value. The Salsa El Mariachi, GT Peace 9er, Vassago Jabberwocky, Redline Monocog and Kona Unit are all names that come to mind. All of these bikes are reasonably light, bombproof built, steel framed, modern mountain bikes that will take any beating on the trail and will come back asking for more. Well, I'm excited to say that I too now own a cult classic that most people are not even aware of. It made such a low key entrance into the market that it has been able to safety hide away from view, tucked between the full suspension 27.5+ bikes and the 29er hardtail carbon rockets on offer. It is on it's second year into production and possibly going into a third. However, my prediction is that it will be eclipsed by all of the other choices on the market, making it a short lived one-hit wonder. It is such an underrated, quality bicycle that it is on par with boutique level brands such as Surly and Jones. I'm talking about the Marin Pine Mountain 1, a modern, rigid, steel mountain bike.

I don't really do product reviews anymore, so to choose this bike to review is a big deal for me. This may very well be the last time we see such a well packaged offering at such an affordable price from Marin, or from any bike manufacturer for the foreseeable future. Having a durable bike with no suspension to worry about was a deliberate, long term investment that I had been planning on making for a while now. Knowing about a possible market-wide price hike on bicycles I decided the time was now or never to get into a Surly Krampus-esque styled bicycle with a 1x10 drivetrain and hydraulic Shimano disc brakes. 

Let's get down to the knitty gritty. The ride quality of this bike is amazing. The ability to run the tires at low pressures means floating above mud and rocks where a normal, non plus size tire would normally sink into. The 42t low gear is as massive as the 160mm brake rotor on the rear tire. There is little this bike can't climb. At 33 pounds out of the box the bike is no lightweight, but when considering the bike is a steel framed fat bike, 33 pounds seems very reasonable. The weight is on par with my mid-range full suspension 29er. 

This bike comes with a extra thick, tapered rigid front fork that has a double reinforcement to ensure stiffness. That being said, the front end of this bike feels amazingly light and easy to pop off of the ground. The extra wide handlebars and short stem make this bike exceptionally nimble and easy to throw around switchbacks and rock gardens. 

I will eventually write a long term review of this bike, but I'm loving this bike so far. It's one of the best bike purchases I have made so far.

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