Aside from struggling to keep our hips low enough due to the short-ish dropper, this is a bike we felt could handle days at a lift-served bike park. The short 125mm drop of the seat post and the inability to insert the post as much as we’d like, limited the bike’s ability on steeper descents where we found the saddle creeping up our hind-side. The Maxxis Forekaster tires with EXO casing have proven themselves trail-ready in the Boise area and complimented our testing grounds with fast-rolling speeds and predictable cornering...to a point. A capable yet incredibly lively 130mm-travel pinner with a great … From beginning to the bitter end, the Tektro brakes were inept at stopping the Fluid FS 3. The solid performance of the Marzocchi Z2, the power of the Shimano brakes, the grippy tires and the modern, aggressive geometry left us feeling like we were riding a top-shelf trail bike. Overall a sweet do-it-all ride for the money that can take lighter trails in the bike Park and pedals really well with the Meastro stuff. For our $200 we could install some larger rotors or even a set of Shimano's MT501 brakes to get this promising rig back on track. Well-performing RockShox Deluxe Select Debonair rear shock. Also enjoyed the fact that you guys made it easier for noobs to understand too. Pretty sweet bike in that you get pretty modern geometry and a really nice suspension design (meastro) with a Fox DPS shock. The beauty is that is a solid base and can actually be found in a store today. I think the Marin is the one! We wanted to find out. Marin Rift Zone 3 ride. In sandy or loamy conditions, they’ll hold fast, but they’re not an all-conditions tire. The geometry on the Sensor may be considered the most modern of the group. Canberra riding. I have always thought it would make more sense to test the base models from any company over their halo products. Despite its hefty 34-pound weight, the bike accelerated well uphill and the rear end stayed planted and composed with a laterally stiff design and high-volume X-Fusion Trunnion-mounted shock. A trail bike is made to do a little bit of everything, and hopefully do it pretty well. Having had a good experience aboard their La Sal Peak a year ago, we were excited to see what their wallet-friendly Abajo Peak had to offer. Original Poster 3 months ago. With updated travel and geometry, Marin has gone extremely aggressive with their tire choice. We know this is a budget bike for a wide range of riders, but given the capable nature of the Vitus, a few more clicks of usable rebound on the Monarch would help suspension tuning. https://www.fezzari.com/bikes#iu:so...full,ws:all,sh:mechanical,f:alloy,t:all,s:all, https://vitusbikes.com/products/vitus-mythique-29-vrx-mountain-bike, https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-29-3-2021, VerticalScope Inc., 111 Peter, Suite 901, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1, Canada. The well-tuned and spec’d suspension led to some of the best performance on medium and big hits on the trail. share. At Vital, we have the privilege of spending time aboard some really nice, and expensive, mountain bikes. The SX drive train isn't great but fine for him. On a size Large we’re looking at a generous 482mm reach combined with a slack 65.3° head angle, which is progressive for a 125mm trail bike. On the trail, the Stance feels like the definition of a "mountain bike." I wish i could but like ya said prolly not possible now. Grippy, aggressive Vee Snap Flow tires keep the bike composed descending rough terrain but slow the bike down on climbs and through flatter portions of trail. During setup, Steve immediately noticed that the Abajo Peak had the most tunable rear suspension. Customer service wasn't very responsive which made me nervous about support once I had the bike. The dependable SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain is present and Tranz-X supplies the 130mm dropper post for the Norco. At just $2,649, the Rift Zone 3 is at the top end of a three-bike budget line of 120mm-travel 29ers in the Marin family. GT is a legacy brand with a massive history in BMX and mountain biking. It was a balanced ride highlighted by an awesome ability to climb nearly anything. Pedaling the Stance was a pleasure, nice and neutral. That means there is a single chainring up front at the cranks and no front derailleur, keeping the bike simple, efficient and quiet. The Deore is probably much better than SX, but I wouldn't buy a bike based on easily replaced drivetrain stuff. … Unfortunately, due to some shipping issues, the Rift Zone showed up the day after Steve and Brad headed home, so I was the only one to ride it. Opens up 210 droppers for the tall guys, but why not also open it up for short people too? Great article! In the end, the Giant Stance was the one bike in the test that had us all saying, "Yeah, I would own that bike and love it." One thing I would love to see — does spending 10K on a bike actually make you faster than a rig you can put together in the range of $3500-$4000? Trails I'm on have lots of roots and rocks so looking forward to the clearance a 29er offers, and obviously the ability to roll right over that stuff. The fork isn't too bad actually, 150mm of travel, a little stiction off the top (no fancy seals) but pretty stiff (35mm) and supportive. Pushed hard enough, it worked our nerves in rougher rock gardens. The good news is that you can just swap the hub driver for 30-40$ (said the shop at least) for a XD or new-school Shimano. The damped nature of the tire construction and the RockShox Deluxe keep the bike composed through the chatter and on bigger hits. Considering a seatpost upgrade, a front tire upgrade and a 200mm rotor upgrade for the front, you’re more than halfway to GT’s Sensor Comp at $2,750. Marin Bikes Rift Zone Carbon 2 . If you’re a diehard GT fan, we’d recommend saving up until you can get the Sensor Comp, or take some time with upgrades, knowing the frame geometry and rear suspension performance is solid on the Sensor Sport. Marin has cracked the modern trail code with its newest Rift Zone. Live in a place with rocks and loose over hardpack conditions? Some quality technical climbing in there thanks to Mr Blue Socks Wentz. This really tells one what the frame and suspension is going to do without any shiny stuff providing a distraction. The Abajo Peak gets 130mm of travel out back and 140mm of travel up front through X-Fusion suspension. Thread starter dan76n; Start date Nov 15, 2018; D. dan76n Likes Bikes. It wasn’t just the additional travel out back compared to the other bikes, it was the complete package. Our Mythique 29 VRX is the most expensive offering in the line at a mere $1,999. Rift Zone really pushing things. Fezzari offers a 30-day love it or return it guarantee, a 23-point bike fit and set-up guide as well as live chat, phone or email contact after you purchase the bike to provide some peace of mind since you won’t be dealing with a bike shop. 2020 Marin Hawk Hill Jr. Bike. Had to hunt hard to find one. Part 2: behind the bike A chat with Matt Cipes – Marin’s MTB Product Manager. At $2,200 with the dropper, we would highly recommend the Abajo Peak as a bike that has components ready to perform and should last under harder riding conditions. 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