Is Marin Alcatraz A Perfect Selection? – [Marin Alcatraz Review]

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Marin Alcatraz Review

  • Price: $1,449
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Travel: 100mm front
  • Wheels: 26Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Single-speed

What we like about it: The shorter wheelbase allows for nimble spinning jumps in the air.

What we don’t like about it: There’s only one color scheme to choose from, and the range of options available is a bit narrow.

Rating: (4.5/5)

Marin Alcatraz
Marin Alcatraz

The Marin Alcatraz is a hardtail dirt jump bike with an aluminum frame.

It has a small 26-inch wheel diameter, which provides good grip on the ground.

However, its talents don’t stop there, as it has a short wheelbase, allowing it to spin and jump through the air.

Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of this bike.

Additionally, at the end of the review, we will also compare several best bike models. If you want to know more about bike reviews, don’t hesitate to follow us.

Riding Experience

I recently got my hands on a hardtail dirt jump bike called the Marin Alcatraz, and knowing that not only does it claim to have excellent jumping performance, but it can also handle hills with ease, piquing my curiosity to test it out.

To that end, I booked a trip on Skyscanner to Moab, Utah, which has plenty of red exposed rock trails and hills for testing the Marin Alcatraz’s performance.

So without further ado, go with me.


At first I didn’t expect much from the Marin Alcatraz, however the truth is that I was really impressed with its jumping performance.

The aluminum frame and single-speed drivetrain resulted in a lightweight body that was easy to spin and jump.

The short wheelbase lifted the center of gravity, perfect for my violent riding and spirited jumping.

On top of that, the small 26×2.25-inch diameter wheelset was very conducive to acceleration and higher rotational momentum, both in terms of its smaller size and lighter weight.

I think its performance is very convincing to me.

Slope Riding

The Marin Alcatraz had good climbing power when I was going up hills: the aggressive geometry gave me good acceleration and faster pedaling; the small 26×2.25-inch diameter wheelset had good grip to keep me from slipping off the high ground.

Not only that, but the Marin Alcatraz was also very well-performed downhill.

100mm of travel on the Manutou Circus Expert fork provided effective anti-vibration and cushioning on the descent; Tektro HDM275 hydraulic disc brakes and brake levers provided a silky-smooth braking effect on the descent, with high efficiency in a short distance.

I really enjoyed the enthusiasm and surprise that I got from Marin Alcatraz.

If I were to do another trip with a hardtrail dirt jump bike, I would still choose Marin Alcatraz.


Marin Alcatraz
Marin Alcatraz

The Marin Alcatraz is a hardtail dirt jump bike in a very distinctive color, with a Gloss Blue / Magenta paint job that gives a visual impression of a star-like sky.

Geometrically, the shorter seat tube length stabilizes the ride’s center of gravity, and the 1.35-1.49 stack ratio gives the bike an aggressive and exciting ride.

The Marin Alcatraz uses a small 26×2.25-inch diameter wheelset, which is beneficial when riding and flying.

The small 26-inch diameter wheels provide good grip to prevent slippage for everyday riding; the lighter mass and volume reduces air resistance for more exciting aerial hovering during air leaps.

In terms of performance, the Marin Alcatraz single speed drivetrain consists of 14T Single Speed Cog flywheel and Alloy 32T Chainring, 104mm BCD crankset, which can have good chain retention. The chain is always in a straight state so its life expectancy lasts longer.

The Tektro HDM275 hydraulic discs and brake levers provide flexible efficient braking to keep you safe whenever you ride.


What do we like about it?

  • Radical Geometry Design: The radical geometry makes the ride feel more jumpy and conducive to aerial leaps and hovers.
  • Good Braking System: Hydraulic disc brakes have a flexible and timely responsiveness, making the braking distance shorter and the efficiency greatly enhanced.
  • Perfect Axis Distance: Shorter axis distance promotes the more active air rotation.
  • Stable Wheelset: The small 26-inch wheel diameter provides good grip to prevent slippage.
  • Maintenance-friendly Chain: The single-speed drive system keeps the chain straight all the time and thus has a long life.

What don’t we like about it?

  • With only one color scheme to choose from, the range of options available is a bit narrow.


  • Who is Marin Alcatraz for?

People who pursue speed and violent riding; people who love mountain cross-country; riders who like to fly through the air; people who pursue cost performance.

  • What sizes are available for this bike?

It is available in two sizes, so riders can choose according to their actual needs.

Rider heightSIZE
S5’1″ – 5’9″
L5’6″ – 6’3″
  • Why does this bike use a single-speed drivetrain?

As a dirt jump bike, the Marin Alcatraz uses a single speed drivetrain. This has the advantage of eliminating the front derailleur, thus reducing the weight of the body and achieving a more active riding experience.



 FrameSeries 3 6061 Aluminum, 26″ Wheels, 135x10mm Horizontal Single Speed Dropouts, 73mm Threaded BB, ISCG 05 Tabs
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Color: Gloss Blue / Magenta
ForkManutou Circus Expert, 26″, 100mm Travel, Coil Spring, Taper Steerer Tube, 20x110mm Thru Axle
Bottom BracketExternal Sealed Cartridge Bearings
HeadsetFSA No 57E, Semi-Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2”
StemMarin 3D Forged Alloy, 40mm
HandlebarMarin Riser, 6061 Double Butted Aluminum, 38mm Rise, 750mm Width, 4º Up, 9º Back
SaddleMarin DJ Saddle
SeatpostMarin Alloy, 30.9mm
PedalsAlloy Platform
GripsMarin Single Clamp Locking


Rear Derailleur
Front Derailleur
CrankMarin Forged Alloy, Alloy 32T Chainring, 104mm BCD
Cassette14T Single Speed Cog
ChainKMC HL-1
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversTektro HDM275 Hydraulic


RimsMarin Custom Extrusion, 27mm Inner, Pinned Joint
Front HubForged Alloy, 110x20mm, Disc, 32H
Rear HubForged Alloy, 135x10mm, Bolt-On, Quad Sealed Bearings, Disc, 32H
TiresVee Tire Co. XCV 26×2.25″, LSG Compound, Wire Bead

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick ViewTiresDrivelineFrame materialComponents
Commençal ABSOLUT RS LILACClick View26” AluminumSingle-speedAluminumSRAM
Transition PBJ CompleteClick View26” AluminumSingle-speedSteelSRAM
Polygon TRIDClick View26” AluminumSingle-speedAluminumSHIMANO
NS Movement 3Click View26” AluminumSingle-speedAluminum

Marin Alcatraz vs Commençal ABSOLUT RS LILAC


Commençal ABSOLUT RS LILAC is painted in Metallic Lilac, Matte Finish, giving it a fresh look, while Marin Alcatraz’s Gloss Blue / Magenta looks more like a vibrant starry sky.

In addition, from the front fork, Commençal ABSOLUT RS LILAC with 100mm travel RockShox Pike DJ fork is much higher in quality than Marin Alcatraz with 100mm travel Manutou Circus Expert fork.

But the former is also much more expensive than the latter, so riders who are looking for value for money may be better suited to the Marin Alcatraz, while those who are not stingy with their wallets are suited to the Commençal ABSOLUT RS LILAC.

In my opinion, since these two bikes are mainly different in appearance and fork quality, the key is your own choice.

Marin Alcatraz VS Transition PBJ Complete

Transition PBJ Complete
Transition PBJ Complete

The Transition PBJ Complete and Marin Alcatraz are similar in geometry design.

They both have aggressive head tube angles and numerically smaller stack ratios, which allows the rider to get a more violent ride.

In addition, they both have a shorter wheelbase, which is more conducive to staying in the air for a while to soar and spin while riding, without landing immediately.

They also boast similarities in other ways. For example, they both use hydraulic disc brakes for efficient braking, and both have 100mm of fork travel to prevent vibration and absorb road bumps.

They differ in that the Transition PBJ Complete does not have a lightweight frame, but its Marzocchi Bomber DJ fork is of good quality and light enough to provide less drag on some climbs and soaring rides.

In contrast, the frame of the Marin Alcatraz is lighter and more suitable for jumping.

The aluminum frame used in the Marin Alcatraz, compared to the steel frame of the Transition PBJ Complete, does not feel bulky and heavy, but rather light and fast when riding.

Marin Alcatraz vs Polygon TRID

2022 Polygon TRID
2022 Polygon TRID

The Polygon TRID is a mid-range hardtail dirt jump bike in the color Black Cream.

It uses an aluminum frame and X-Fusion Slant fork with 100mm fork travel to bring good shock absorption performance. 

The 26 “X2.25-inch wheelset has its own unique advantages in terms of grip and shock absorption.

The Marin Alcatraz is a hardtail dirt jump bike in Gloss Blue / Magenta color.

It is a single speed drivetrain with 32T crank and 14T Single Speed Cog flywheel, eliminating the need for derailleurs, shifters, and extra cables, making it lighter and easier to maintain.

In addition, the single speed drivetrain is simple and easy to use, no need to learn how to change gears, very friendly to novices.

Finally, the chain is always straight and lasts longer.

Both are excellent hardtail trail bikes and I really have a hard time deciding between them.

But if I had to choose between, I would prefer the Marin Alcatraz because it feels better in the real riding.

Learn More: Is Polygon SISKIU D5 Splendid – [Polygon SISKIU D5 Review]

Marin Alcatraz vs NS Movement 3

NS Movement 3
NS Movement 3

The NS Movement 3 is a mid-range hardtail dirt jump bike with a white body, equipped with Tektro MD-M280 Aries 160mm mechanical disc braking system, which has the advantages of low cost and wallet friendly. 

The disadvantages of it are also obvious: The braking is not efficient enough, and the riding safety of the rider cannot be guaranteed in the long downhill.

In contrast, the Marin Alcatraz is much better. It uses Tektro HDM275 hydraulic disc brakes with Tektro HDM275 brake levers for timely and effective braking performance, and it responds to your braking needs in the shortest possible distance, whether it’s short or long downhill.

Compared to the NS Movement 3, I would recommend the Marin Alcatraz because of its better brake braking performance.

If you are like me and prefer higher performance braking performance, you may want to choose the Marin Alcatraz.


Above is our test of the Marin Alcatraz, which has both good grip on the ground and the ability to fly and jump nimbly in the air.

In our opinion, the Marin Alcatraz is a bike worth buying. All together we give it a high score of 4.5.

Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other similar bikes, we have reviewed a variety of bikes at different price points that you might find interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.

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