Is Marin DSX 1 A Perfect Selection? – [Marin DSX 1 Review]

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Marin DSX 1 Review

  • Price: $1,149
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Front fork: Carbon
  • Wheels: 700c Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: 1×11

What we like about it: The handsome colors fit well with the visual aesthetics.

What we didn’t like about it: The lack of use of a tubeless-compatible design and the inability to self-repair tiny holes in the tires.

Rating: (4.8/5)

Marin DSX 1
Marin DSX 1

Marin, a California-based bicycle brand with nearly forty years of history, is well-known for its mountain bikes. As a former downhill champion, Marin excels in the field of mountain biking.

However, Marin has also been continuously experimenting with fresh and innovative designs in other bike models. Today, we have the stylish and impressive Marin DSX 1 gravel bike.

As the second model in the Marin DSX series, the Marin DSX 1 carries on the innovative philosophy of its predecessor.

The clean and refreshing white frame with blue accents is a delight to the eyes. The colored stripes on the frame showcase attention to detail. Moreover, the high-quality components add a touch of elegance to the Marin DSX 1.

Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Marin DSX 1.

In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bike models. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

Marin DSX 1

As part of my annual cycling plan, I chose a round-trip route from Brooklyn to Williamsburg for my weekend ride.

During this ride, I encountered narrow bridges along the river and rode on uneven wooden plank roads.

Additionally, I faced the occasional challenge of gravel paths amidst the grassy areas.

Fortunately, the performance of the Marin DSX 1 pleasantly surprised me, and after booking a hotel on Skyscanner, I set off on my journey.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Gravel Riding

For me, cycling is an excellent and exciting experience. The Marin DSX 1 proves to be a satisfying gravel road bike. Its high-performance aluminum alloy frame reduces vibrations and bumps, providing a comfortable ride.

Especially when I rode on the wooden plank and gravel roads near Williamsburg, the uneven road surfaces increased the risks and difficulties of my ride.

Luckily, the bike handled different terrains with ease. The 700Cx45mm wheelset effectively tackled road potholes and provided decent grip through the use of wider tires, without sacrificing speed.

Variable Speed Riding

When riding on flat ground, especially during the section from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I longed for that “flying” sensation. Since it was a weekday afternoon with fewer people, I desired to experience the thrill of acceleration.

The Shimano 1×11 drivetrain equipped on the Marin DSX 1 proved to be lightweight, allowing me to ride with less effort.

The multiple gears provided professional and intelligent suggestions for accelerating and decelerating on flat terrain.

I also appreciated the storage space under the bottle cage, which allowed me to carry some cycling supplies and portable tools.

As I approached the narrow bridges along the river, the Shimano hydraulic disc brake system on the Marin DSX 1 provided effective braking, ensuring my riding safety.


The Marin DSX series consists of four models, and the Marin DSX 1, with its stylish appearance, embodies the series’ consistent philosophy of innovation. So, what are its main features? Let’s take a closer look.

In terms of geometry, the frame of the Marin DSX 1 is equipped with mounting points that enhance the convenience of carrying supplies during travel.

Furthermore, the distance between the handlebars and the saddle is relatively short. This means that riders don’t have to lean too far forward to reach the handlebars, reducing fatigue from bending over.

On the other hand, this also allows riders to maintain a more upright riding position, in line with ergonomic principles, protecting the muscles and vertebrae of the lower back.

In terms of components, the use of Shimano hydraulic disc brakes ensures brake performance with hydraulic power. Compared to traditional mechanical systems, hydraulic disc brakes offer reduced brake loss.

The Shimano Deore 1×11 drivetrain provides reliable chain retention. Meanwhile, the various gear ratios not only cater to diverse riding needs but also enhance the enjoyment of the rider.

Additionally, the WTB Riddler, 700Cx45mm wheelset has a larger circumference. This means it can smoothly navigate obstacles and potholes on the ground.


What do we like about it?

  • Outstanding disc brakes: The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes greatly enhance the braking performance and efficiency of the entire bike.
  • Beautiful aesthetics: The Marin DSX 1 continues the series’ philosophy of innovation. The clean and refreshing white frame with blue accents is visually pleasing, and the colored stripes on the frame showcase the attention to detail in the Marin DSX 1.
  • Excellent geometry design: Riders don’t need to stretch too far to reach the handlebars during the ride, and the more upright riding position effectively protects the rider’s lower back muscles and vertebrae.
  • Strong brand support: As a globally renowned bicycle brand, Marin provides excellent after-sales service.
  • Large-diameter tires: They allow for smoother navigation over obstacles and potholes while maintaining a faster speed.

What don’t we like about it?

  • It does not feature a tubeless-ready design, which means it cannot self-seal small punctures on the tires.


  • What kind of people does this bike suitable for?

This bike is suitable for daily commuters, people who value superior braking performance, long-distance enthusiasts, and those who frequently ride on challenging road surfaces.

  • What sizes are available for this bike?

It comes in four sizes, catering to different height ranges.

Rider heightSIZE
  • What other versions of the Marin DSX series are available?

Here we have provided you with a version comparison. Of course, it doesn’t have to be according to this standard, and the best way to find the most suitable model is to try it out.

Marin DSX$899AluminumAluminumHydraulic Disc1 × 9
Marin DSX 1$1,149AluminumCarbonHydraulic Disc1 × 11
Marin DSX 2$1,289AluminumCarbonHydraulic Disc1 × 12
Marin DSX FS$1,599AluminumSuntour GVXHydraulic Disc1 × 12



FrameSeries 3 DSX, 6061 Aluminum, Tapered Head Tube, Relieved BB, Internal Cable Routing, Mudguard and Rack Mounts, Flat Mount Disc, 142x12mm Thru-Axle
Color: Grey / Blue
ForkMarin Full Carbon w/ Tapered Steerer, 12mm Thru-Axle, Flat-Mount Disc, Fender Eyelets
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge
HeadsetFSA No.42 ACB, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″
StemMarin 3D Forged Alloy
HandlebarMarin Mini Riser
SaddleMarin DSX
SeatpostMarin Alloy
PedalsCommute Platform
GripsMarin MTB


Rear DerailleurShimano Deore 11-Speed
Front Derailleur
CrankForged Aluminum, 42T Steel Narrow Wide Chainring
ShiftersShimano Deore 11-Speed
CassetteSunRace 11-Speed, 11-51T
ChainKMC X11
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversTektro Hydraulic


RimsMarin Aluminum Double Wall, 21mm Inner, Disc Specific
Front HubForged Aluminum, 100x12mm, Disc, 32H
Rear HubForged Aluminum Alloy, 142x12mm, Disc, 32H
TiresWTB Riddler, 700Cx45mm

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewTiresDrivetrainFrame materialGroupset
Canyon Grizl 7Click View650b / 700c Aluminum2 × 11AluminumGRX 800, GRX 600, Shimano
Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700cClick View700c Aluminum2 × 9AluminumAltus, Acera, Shimano
Kona Rove AL 700Click View700c Aluminum2 × 8AluminumShimano Claris
Norco Search XR A1Click View700c Aluminum2 × 11AluminumGRX 800, GRX 600, Shimano

Marin DSX 1 vs Canyon Grizl 7

Canyon Grizl 7
Canyon Grizl 7

The distinguishing feature of the Canyon Grizl 7 is its shorter wheelbase of 1045mm compared to the 1085.4mm wheelbase of the Marin DSX 1. A shorter wheelbase raises the overall center of gravity during riding, making it easier to generate power and accelerate.

Furthermore, as a gravel bike, the Canyon Grizl 7 boasts a Shimano 2×11 drivetrain, offering more speed options. It provides a wider range of speeds to choose from.

Another notable point is the variety of wheel options available. The 650b wheel diameter is suitable for riders with a smaller physique, while the larger 700c diameter is ideal for those who prioritize speed.

On the other hand, the longer wheelbase of the Marin DSX 1 is advantageous for riders who frequently tackle complex terrains. A longer wheelbase means a lower center of gravity, providing stability and traction, particularly on steep slopes.

The Shimano 1×11 drivetrain of the Marin DSX 1 ensures a consistent chain position, reducing wear caused by frequent chainring shifts. Additionally, the flat handlebar design is visually simpler and requires less maintenance.

In summary, if you desire more wheel options, the Canyon Grizl 7 might be the best fit for you. However, if you prefer a more stable bike with low-maintenance features, the Marin DSX 1 would be a better choice.

Learn More: Is Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by Worth Buying? [Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by Review]

Marin DSX 1 vs Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c

Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c
Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c

The Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c features a 2×9 drivetrain. In the realm of gravel bikes, the 2x configuration offers unique advantages, as the two chainrings provide a wider range of speeds.

Additionally, compared to the Marin DSX 1, the Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c has a shorter reach. This means that riders don’t need to bend over to grip the handlebars, greatly enhancing comfort.

The Marin DSX 1 is an exceptional gravel bike with an excellent drivetrain. It not only boasts a sleek and stylish appearance but also strikes a perfect balance between lightweight and stability with its Shimano 1×11 drivetrain.

Such a speed ratio ensures chain stability and provides optimal speed solutions for climbing, descending, and long-distance rides. The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes on the Marin DSX 1 effectively maximize its braking performance.

Learn More: Is Salsa Journeyman Sora 700 Worth Buying? [Salsa Journeyman Sora 700 Review]

Marin DSX 1 vs Kona Rove AL 700

Kona Rove AL 700
Kona Rove AL 700

The Kona Rove AL 700 offers a wide range of sizes to choose from. From 147cm to 196cm, people of different heights can find the perfect fit for themselves.

Simultaneously, the aluminum frame, fork, and wheels provide a relatively lightweight riding experience. The Shimano Claris 2×8 drivetrain offers a dual enjoyment of comfort and high speed during everyday rides.

The Marin DSX 1 boasts higher performance and the use of premium components. The Shimano Deore groupset provides a satisfying riding experience to a certain degree.

The use of 700c wheels greatly enhances riding speed, while the 45mm tire width ensures excellent traction and stability during rides.

The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes deliver an exhilarating and unforgettable braking experience.

Therefore, if you prefer a wider range of size options, you can choose the Kona Rove AL 700. If you prefer higher-end components, the Marin DSX 1 warmly welcomes you.

Learn More: Is Kona Rove Worth Buying? – [Kona Rove Review]

Marin DSX 1 vs Norco Search XR A1

Norco Search XR A1
Norco Search XR A1

The Norco Search XR A1 is equipped with an additional mounting point on the top tube. This means that the extra space allows riders to carry more gear.

Additionally, it features the Griptacular Shockproof Tape handlebar, providing better grip and increased stability during rides.

The drop bar design is more aerodynamic and easier for drafting, but compared to the flat bar of the Marin DSX 1, it may be heavier and cause some instability during rides.

Another point to note is that the bike comes in a striking green paint finish, which may be uncomfortable for the eyes in bright sunlight.

On the other hand, the Marin DSX 1 features a matte white paint finish, offering a more comfortable and eye-friendly appearance.

The visually appealing brown-black alternating wheel rim design adds to the overall visual impact. The internal cable routing design further enhances the bike’s sleek and minimalist look. In terms of color philosophy, the Marin DSX 1 can be considered top-notch.

Therefore, if you prefer more mounting points and eye-catching colors, you can choose the Norco Search XR A1. If you appreciate a bike with a more visually comfortable design, the Marin DSX 1 warmly welcomes you.

Learn more : Is Norco Search XR C 700c Splendid? – [Norco Search XR C 700c Review]


Above is our test of the Marin DSX 1, a mid-to-high-end gravel bike.

The clean and refreshing white frame with blue accents provides a delightful visual experience. The colorful stripes on the frame also highlight the exquisite details of the Marin DSX 1. Moreover, the efficient components add a touch of elegance to the Marin DSX 1.

In our opinion, the Marin DSX 1 is a bike worth purchasing. Considering all the factors into consideration, we give it a high rating of 4.8.

Of course, if you’re interested in other gravel bikes, we also evaluate a variety of bikes at different price points, making it an interesting read. Feel free to check out our other reviews.

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