Leading Bay Area bicycle manufacturer cooks up new ideas based on rider input
By Patrick D. Rosso
Ride local, race local. Something Marin Bicycles and its athletes have embraced since the company’s founding in 1986.
A major sponsor of the California Enduro Series, as well as the series’ dominating Marin/RaboBank team, the company constantly pushes to see cycling and its influence expand throughout the state and the country. Though its roots may be humble and its history long, this Bay Area-centric bicycle company is a stand-out in the mountain bike industry. With a full line up, from affordable hardtails to top-of-the line enduro racers, Marin continues to jump the curve and lead.
“While it may sound a bit cliché, we design bikes for riders. Whether you’re competing in the top-levels of enduro or looking for a commuter bike to get you to work every day, we sweat the details to ensure that everyone gets the best bike that they can,” explained Chris Holmes, brand director for Marin.
Constantly building on its lineage, Marin works directly with team riders, shop owners, and longtime bicycle design leaders to disrupt the industry and produce bikes that embrace news standards, riding styles, and demands of both the racer and the weekend warrior.
“Our roots run deep in California and we’re the only bike company still based in the birthplace of the modern mountain bike,” remarked Holmes. “Some of the results of our research went into a major geometry revision on the alloy front triangles. The athletes that have been testing prototypes on the race circuit are enamored with the changes that we made.”
Athletes have noticed and benefited from the company’s efforts, from the novice to the professional rider, slashing the Golden Tour courses and taking home the big cash on Marin’s steady sleds.
“It’s awesome riding for a company with such a great history of mountain biking,” commented Marin rider and California Enduro Series competitor, Evan Geankopolis. “Everyone at Marin is always wondering what we like and don’t like as riders. Having a brand that is so open and easy to talk to really helps with rider feedback and I can’t wait to see what they cook up next.”
Geankopolis swears by the Marin Mount Vision. With 140 mm of rear travel, a bit of snap, and an overall weight of just over 28 pounds, the light duty racer has brought a number of riders to the podium. An enhanced monocoque carbon frame and IsoTrac technology, which eliminates an extra pivot point, the Mount Vision is a favorite out on the course.
Kyle Warner, a veteran of the enduro circuit, had plenty of praise for the Mount Vision, but in the end said he usually finds himself on the Attack Trail, the big brother to the Mount Vision.
“I spend most of my time on the Attack, which is just a more aggressive bike.” It really helps absorb a lot of the chatter and I can focus on what’s in front of me,” said Warner. “I really enjoy the bikes we get to ride!”
Warner doesn’t just ride for Marin, but works closely with the company to help market and develop the next generation.
“Marin made a decision in the last couple of years to really focus heavily on the trail/enduro market,” added Warner. “All the guys that work there live and breathe mountain biking and they love riding trail bikes; the company is just really focused on products they love.”
Focusing on what riders want and what Marin loves, Warner said the company drives to create products that not only appeal to racers and those with deep pockets, but also to riders who can’t spend $5,000 on a new machine.
“Moving forward, Marin is really aiming to appeal to a lot of people,” said Warner. “It’s focusing on really cool, budget conscientious bikes for the everyday rider as well as top of the line bikes.”
Deep roots and years of knowledge position Marin as more than a bike brand. It’s a legacy. Whether it’s Geankopolis pushing his bike and body to the limit or the engineers at Marin slaying trail on their lunch break, Marin Bicycles is a brand by riders for riders. As Holmes said, “At Marin it doesn’t matter how much you have to spend, we just want you to have an awesome ride.”