Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 Review
- Price: $4,499
- Frame: Carbon
- Fork: Fox Performance Elite Float 38
- Wheels: 29” Aluminum
- Drivetrain: 1×12
What we like about it: The quality of the fork and components is great.
What we don’t like about it: Moderate travel can be overwhelmed by radical specs and geography.
Are you in search of a lightweight full-suspension enduro bike that offers impressive performance? Look no further than the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2. This exceptional bike combines a sleek design with powerful capabilities to fulfill all your biking desires.
In the following review, we will delve into the remarkable riding experience, highlighting key features, components, and specifications of this bike, along with exploring other available versions.
Furthermore, we will also provide a comprehensive comparison of several top bike models. If you’re eager to explore more bike reviews, don’t hesitate to follow us for the latest updates.
I’ve always dreamt of owning a full-suspension enduro bike that combines lightweight design with exceptional performance. So, when I finally received the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2, I couldn’t curb my excitement to witness its true capabilities.
After booking my ticket and hotel through Skyscanner, I made my way to Coyote Hills Regional Park in California—an ideal mountainous terrain for testing a full-suspension enduro bike.
With its challenging inclines and thrilling descents, this location was perfect to put this lovely bike to the test. Curious to know how it performed? Let’s read on.
As I embarked on my ride, I encountered a long stretch of cushioned terrain. After adjusting my seating position and familiarizing myself with the bike’s accessories, I set off to conquer the uphill climb with exhilarating speed.
The aggressive geometry allowed me to effortlessly dive and sprint through the gentle incline. Despite its lightweight nature, the bike’s solid construction provided ample support for pushing it uphill.
Soon, I encountered winding and steep sections of the road that momentarily raised concerns about maintaining control.
However, those worries quickly dissipated. Thanks to the small and lightweight Marin Single Clamp Locking handlebar design, my steering became incredibly agile, granting me the stability I needed. The Shimano Deore and SLX 1×12 drivetrains instilled a great deal of confidence as I tackled the varying gradients along the way.
As I finally reached the summit of the hill, a sense of victory washed over me, knowing that an exhilarating descent awaited. I couldn’t contain my excitement and eagerly anticipated the thrilling ride ahead.
I’d call the descent here a thrilling jump, knowing that descents with grades greater than 60 are exciting but a bit dangerous.
So I squeezed the brakes the whole time, but the Shimano SLX, 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc on the bike did not let me down.
On the steep and long downhill sections, its braking stability was high, ensuring my safety throughout the ride.
Additionally, the 29×2.5” Tubeless Compatible tires, combined with their coarse-grained surface, provided ample grip and stability, preventing any unintended “takeoff” due to the bike’s lightweight construction.
The 150mm rear and 160mm front suspension provided more than enough cushion to cope with hard impacts when I was going down.
Another point I have to mention is that the convenience of the dropper seatpost allowed for easy adjustment. When I go uphill, I chose to adjust the seatpost height to facilitate acceleration; when descending, the lower seatpost height helped me keep a lower center of gravity.
Overall, it is a bike that I truly admire, and I would give it top marks in every aspect of evaluation.
The bike is available in four carbon frame sizes, ranging from SM to XL, catering to a wide range of riders.
Its in-line frame design adds to its sleek and clean appearance, while the Integrated Fox mudguard mounted on the lower fork effectively shields the carbon frame from rock splashes, ensuring its durability during intense rides.
Equipped with a 1×12 Shimano drivetrain, the bike offers a lightweight solution that allows for optimal speed adjustment on various terrains.
The combination of 150mm rear and 160mm front travel provides effective cushioning and shock absorption, ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride on challenging roads.
The integration of Shimano hydraulic disc brakes contributes to enhanced braking performance for the entire bike, delivering reliable stopping power when needed.
Notably, the adjustable dropper seatpost is a valuable feature that enables quick and convenient weight adjustment during transitions between climbing and descending, optimizing rider comfort and control.
Ultimately, it boasts an aggressive geometry design, tailored to excel on winding trails, offering a thrilling and high-performance experience.
What do we like about it?
- Lightweight body: The carbon fiber frame material is light, which is good for carrying and uphill rides.
- Internal Alignment Design: The appearance looks clean and tidy, making it easy to clean.
- Radical Geometry: This facilitates the rider to ride prone, providing excellent aerodynamic coverage that promotes increased speed and enhanced sprinting capabilities.
- Responsive Brake Discs: Shimano hydraulic disc brakes deliver a timely and efficient braking experience.
- Excellent Drivetrain: 1×12’s drivetrain can handle all kinds of difficult roads with ease in enduro riding.
- The Design of the Dropper Seatpost: Quickly transitioning the riding center of gravity between climbing and descending.
What don’t we like about it?
- Moderate travel can be overwhelmed by radical specifications and geography.
- Who is the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 for?
People who like violent riding; professional riders who participate in competitions; speed-first riders; people who like high-end components; people who often ride on complex roads.
- What sizes are available for the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2?
The bike is available in four sizes for people of all heights.
- What other versions of the Marin Alpine Trail series are available?
Here we provide you with a comparison of other versions. You do not necessarily have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable model is to test ride.
|Marin Alpine Trail 7
|1 x 12
|Marin Alpine Trail XR
|1 x 12
|Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 1
|1 x 12
|Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2
|1 x 12
|Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Front Triangle, Series 4 Alloy Rear End, 29″ Wheels, 150mm Travel MultiTrac Suspension Platform, Internal Dropper Post and Rear Derailleur Housing, Chainstay Mounted Post Mount Disc Brake, 148x12mm Boost Thru- Axle, 73mm Threaded BB w/ ISCG05 Tabs
BB Standard: BSA, 68mm, Threaded
Color: Gloss Black / Silver
|Fox 38 Performance Elite, 160mm Travel, 29″, 110x15mm Boost Kabolt Thru-Axle, 44mm Offset, Integrated Fox Fender
|Fox Float X, Performance, EVOL Air Spring, 3 Position Compression Adjustment, Rebound Adjustment, 205x65mm, Trunnion Upper Mount, 25mmxM8 Lower Mount
|MegaEvo BB, 73mm BSA Threaded
|FSA No 57, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″
|Marin CNC, 35mm Length, 35mm Bar Bore
|Marin Trail, 35mm Clamp, 7000 Alloy Bar, 800mm Length, 20mm Rise, 5 Degree Up, 8 Degree Back
|Marin Trail Speed Concept Pro
|X-Fusion Manic, 1x Shimano I-Spec EV Remote, Size S 125mm Travel, Size M and L 150mm Travel, Size XL 170mm Travel, 30.9mm
|Marin Single Clamp Locking
|Shimano SLX 12-Speed, SGS
|FSA Gradient, Modular 1x, 32T Direct Mount Chainring, MegaTooth Technology, MegaExo Spindle, Boost Spacing
|Shimano SLX 12-Speed, SL-7100
|Shimano, Deore M6100 12-Speed, 10-51T
|KMC X-12 Silver and Black
|Shimano SLX, 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc, 203mm Rotor
|Shimano SLX Hydraulic, I-Spec EV
|Marin, Double Wall Alloy, 29mm Inner, Welded Joint, Disc Specific, 32H, Tubeless Compatible
|Forged Aluminum, 110x15mm, Disc
|Forged Aluminum, 148x12mm, Disc, Microspline Freehub Body
|Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″, Tubeless Compatible
|Trek Remedy 8
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|Transition Sentinel Alloy NX
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|NX Eagle, Truvativ Descendant, SRAM
|Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|GX Eagle, X1, SRAM
|Santa Cruz BRONSON R Carbon C
|29” / 27.5” Aluminum
|150mm rear, 160mm front
|NX Eagle, Truvativ Descendant, SRAM
Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 vs Trek Remedy 8
They are both good choices.
In terms of tires, the Trek Remedy 8’s small 27.5” Aluminum diameter rim has good grip and stability, but may lack in speed. Fortunately, the balance between speed and stability can be achieved by switching to wider tires.
The Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2’s large 29″Aluminum rim is better at maintaining momentum and speed, while its larger circumference means it can go over obstacles and road potholes more smoothly.
Secondly, the components and forks of both bikes are very good. the Trek Remedy 8 with XT, Shimano components and RockShox Lyrik Select+ fork are highly recognized in terms of performance; of course, the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 with SLX, FSA, Shimano components and Fox Performance Elite Float 38 are also very popular.
Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 VS Transition Sentinel Alloy NX
Both the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 and the Transition Sentinel Alloy NX are equipped with 150mm rear and 160mm front travel, and the effectiveness of their suspension systems should not be underestimated..
However, in terms of frame material, the aluminum frame of the Transition Sentinel Alloy NX is heavier than the carbon fiber frame of the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2.
Unless you have a preference for a heavier frame or require a higher weight capacity, I would recommend the lighter and stiffer carbon fiber frame of the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2.
When it comes to size selection, the Transition Sentinel Alloy NX is available in five sizes (SM-XXL) to meet the needs of different people, while the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 is available in four sizes (SM-XL).
Therefore, if you prioritize a lighter carbon fiber frame, the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you look foward to finding the right size, the Transition Sentinel Alloy NX could be a better fit.
Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 vs Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp and Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 are both excellent full-suspension enduro bikes with 150mm rear, 160mm front forks and hydraulic disc brakes, giving them excellent damping and braking on both climbs and descents.
The Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp features a lightweight carbon fiber frame, providing a lively and nimble ride. Its S1-S6 geometry offers riders more flexibility in finding their preferred fit.
On the other hand, the aluminum frame of the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 is slightly heavier, but comes with a more affordable price. Therefore, those who are seeking great value for money might be drawn to the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2.
Personally, I would recommend the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2, considering its wallet-friendly price. However, for those who are into high performance, the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Comp is worth a try.
Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 VS Santa Cruz BRONSON R Carbon C
The Santa Cruz BRONSON R Carbon C is equipped with the popular RockShox Lyrik Select fork and hard-wearing NX Eagle, Truvativ Descendant, and SRAM components.
In addition, the SDG Tellis dropper seatpost provides a good platform for adjusting seat tube height and riding position; however, it does not have as wide a range of seatpost travel options as the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 .
The Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 has five seatpost travel options: Size S 125mm Travel, Size M and L 150mm Travel, and Size XL 170mm Travel.
This gives riders a wider range to choose from, catering to different preferences. Meanwhile, the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 boasts Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ tires with Tubeless Compatibility, allowing for self-repair of tire punctures with internal self-repairing fluid.
In contrast, those who prefer a stiffer bike are better suited to the Santa Cruz BRONSON R Carbon C; while those who are particularly interested in tire performance may consider the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2.
Above is our test of the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2. The Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 is a mid-to-high end enduro racing bike with full suspension. Its notable strengths lie in its exceptional front fork and rear shock.
In our opinion, the Marin Alpine Trail Carbon 2 is a bike worth buying. That’s why we give it a high score of 4.9.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other full suspension enduro 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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