Is Marin Fairfax 3 A Perfect Selection? – [Marin Fairfax 3 Review]

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Marin Fairfax 3 Review

  • Price: $989
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Front fork: Carbon
  • Wheels: 700C Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: 2×9

What we like about it: Loaded with a high-end hydraulic disc brake system for good braking.

What we don’t like about it: The mid-range component configuration may not be as high-end as the higher-priced bikes.

Rating: (4.75/5)

Marin Fairfax 3
Marin Fairfax 3

After the success of Marin Fairfax 1 and Fairfax 2, the Marin Fairfax 3 has emerged, bringing the Marin fitness bike back into the spotlight.

The Marin Fairfax 3 is a base model hybrid bike designed for fitness enthusiasts. It features an aluminum frame, aluminum wheels, and a carbon fork.

With its 2×9 drivetrain, it offers a wide range of gear ratios, allowing for high speeds and efficient climbing on steep slopes.

The 35mm tires on the Marin Fairfax 3 are wider than those found on similar fitness bikes, providing better traction and comfort, along with puncture protection. It can be said that this bike combines functionality with a great riding experience.

In the following sections, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Marin Fairfax 3.

Towards the end of this article, we will also compare it to several other top bike models. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, stay tuned.

Riding Experience

Marin Fairfax 3

The Marin Fairfax 3 is a feature-rich mid-range fitness bike suitable for daily commuting and weekend long-distance trips.

To experience the performance of the Marin Fairfax 3 firsthand, I took it on a scenic ride along the Angel Island Loop. I had always dreamt of cycling around an island by the sea, and this time, my wish was coming true.

The Angel Island Loop is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and offers a five-mile route circling the island, with the ocean on one side, providing a sense of freedom and excitement.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Straight Ride on the Island

Marin Fairfax 3

Firstly, I wanted to test the endurance, comfort, and speed of the Marin Fairfax 3. Luckily, the Angel Island Loop offered a long straight road for me to put the bike through its paces. To achieve optimal results, I continuously adjusted the bike’s speed during the ride.

I found that the 2x chainring and 9-speed freewheel provided me with 18 different gear combinations, allowing me to quickly find the right gear for any situation.

When I wanted to feel the rush of the sea breeze and accelerate, I shifted into the chainring to achieve high speeds. And when I grew tired and wanted to slow down for a more leisurely ride, I shifted into the freewheel, making the ride more effortless.

During the ride, I occasionally encountered small stones near the seaside. However, with the Marin Fairfax 3’s wide tires and puncture protection technology, I didn’t have to worry about the risk of a flat tire.

Another noteworthy aspect is the ergonomic frame geometry of the Marin Fairfax 3, which spared me from the discomfort of riding hunched over. Riding five miles in an upright position was incredibly comfortable!

Roundabout Turn

As I was riding along, I reached the turn at the roundabout. It’s a place that tests the agility of the handlebars and the bike itself. I was initially concerned about the responsiveness of the Marin Fairfax 3. But then I realized I was worrying for no reason.

Firstly, its flat handlebar design is perfectly ergonomic. Compared to drop bars, flat bars are lighter and offer better maneuverability.

Not only that, the tires on the Marin Fairfax 3 don’t have too many pronounced treads. This minimizes rolling resistance and further enhances my speed and agility when making turns.

By the way, I was going a bit fast at one of the turns. To avoid getting thrown off, I hit the brakes. To my surprise, the braking performance was outstanding, with very responsive brakes.

Moreover, the hydraulic disc brakes worked in perfect harmony with my turning movements, resulting in a seamless and smooth action. I felt like I was showing off!


The Marin Fairfax 3 is a mid-range fitness bike in the Marin Fairfax series. Compared to the Marin Fairfax 1 and Fairfax 2, the Fairfax 3 offers upgrades in terms of components and bike design. So, what are its notable specifications? Let’s take a look together!

The Marin Fairfax 3 uses a 2×9-speed drivetrain. The “2x” drivetrain implies a double chainring setup, providing an excellent range of gear ratios.

Switching to the larger chainring allows for high speeds, while shifting to the smaller chainring enables climbing steep slopes.

The smaller gear ratio gaps in this bike result in smoother transitions between gears, making it easier for riders to find their preferred riding rhythm. With 18 speeds, you have numerous combinations to quickly switch to the desired speed.

Furthermore, the Marin Fairfax series of fitness bikes feature larger tire sizes.

Compared to typical 23mm-32mm road bike tires, the Fairfax 3 boasts a width of 35mm. Wider tires provide better performance on various road surfaces, and correspondingly, the bike has a better capability for tackling different terrains.

Moreover, the fewer pronounced treads on the tires effectively increase speed and acceleration.

Additionally, the hydraulic disc brake system on the Marin Fairfax 3 is pleasantly surprising. Many budget fitness bikes on the market utilize mechanical disc brakes.

Mechanical discs have lower costs, but their braking performance is inferior. The Marin Fairfax 3, on the other hand, features relatively higher-cost hydraulic discs, offering riders smoother control and better safety during long descents.

Lastly, the bike has an excellent geometry design, with a suitable head tube angle that keeps the rider in a more upright riding position. Multiple mounting points on the frame greatly facilitate carrying items for riders.


What do we like about it?

  • Excellent braking system: The hydraulic disc brakes maximize braking power and reduce brake fade.
  • Multiple mounting points on the frame: Convenient for attaching gear during long-distance travel.
  • Superb tire design: Optimal tire width and fewer pronounced treads ensure riding speed, puncture protection, and reduced maintenance costs.
  • Incredible drivetrain system: The 2×9-speed system provides both speed and versatility for riding on different terrains.
  • Excellent geometry design: Simple and aesthetically pleasing.

What don’t we like about it?

  • It’s an entry-level bike, so the components may not be as good as those found on more expensive high-end fitness bikes.


  • What is the biggest advantage of this bike?

The biggest advantage is its hydraulic disc brake, which can greatly reduce brake loss.

  • What sizes are available for this bike?

It comes in five different sizes, catering to individuals of varying heights.

Rider heightSIZE
  • What other versions of Marin Fairfax 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 Fairfax 1$499AluminumSteelMechanical Disc3 × 7
Marin Fairfax ST 1$499AluminumSteelMechanical Disc2 × 9
Marin Fairfax ST 2$699AluminumAluminumHydraulic Disc2 × 8
Marin Fairfax 2$699AluminumAluminumHydraulic Disc2 × 8
Marin Fairfax 3$989AluminumCarbonHydraulic Disc2 × 9



FrameSeries 3 Fitness, 6061 Aluminum, 700C Wheels, Relieved Tapered Head Tube and BB, Internal Cable Routing, Disc Specific Forged Dropouts, Fender, Rack. and Kickstand Mounts
Color: Gloss Dark Blue / Roarange
ForkMarin Full Carbon w/ Tapered Steerer, Fender Eyelets
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge Bearings, Square Taper
HeadsetFSA, No.42/CB
StemMarin 3D Forged Alloy
HandlebarMarin Alloy Flat
SaddleMarin Fitness Plush
SeatpostMarin Alloy, 27.2mm
PedalsCommute Platform
GripsMarin Ergonomic Locking


Rear DerailleurShimano Sora
Front DerailleurmicroSHIFT R9
CrankForged Alloy, 48/32T Chainrings, Ring Guard
ShiftersmicroSHIFT R9 2×9 Flat Bar Road Shifters
CassetteShimano, 9-Speed, 11-34T
ChainKMC X9
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversClark’s Clout Hydraulic


RimsMarin Aluminum Double Wall, 19mm ID, 25mm Tall, Disc Specific
Front HubForged Aluminum Alloy, Disc, 32H
Rear HubForged Aluminum Alloy, Disc, 32H
TiresVee Tire Co. G-Sport, 700Cx35mm, Puncture Protection, Wire Bead

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick to viewTiresDrivetrainFrame materialGroupset
Specialized Sirrus X 2.0Click View700x42c1 × 8AluminummicroSHIFT Acolyte
Canyon Roadlite CF 8Click View650/700 x30c2 × 11Carbon105, Shimano
Giant FastRoad AR Advanced 1Click View700x40c2 × 11Carbon105, FSA, Shimano
Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-StepClick View700x35c3 × 8AluminumAltus, Tourney, Shimano

Marin Fairfax 3 vs Specialized Sirrus X 2.0

Specialized Sirrus X 2.0
Specialized Sirrus X 2.0

The Specialized Sirrus X 2.0 is a mid-range model that features an aluminum frame, steel fork, and aluminum rims.

It comes equipped with components from microSHIFT Acolyte and a hydraulic disc brake system. Overall, it’s quite similar to the Marin Fairfax 3 and is a solid bike.

Of course, if we delve into the details, we can still see the differences between the Marin Fairfax 3 and the Specialized Sirrus X 2.0.

Firstly, the Marin Fairfax 3 uses a 2×9 drivetrain system. Its advantage is the ability to switch between more gears to meet the demands of different road conditions. The downside is that it is a bit heavier.

The Specialized Sirrus X 2.0, on the other hand, uses a 1×8 drivetrain system. Its advantage is the elimination of the front derailleur, which allows for better chain retention on rough roads.

The downside is that it may require the rider to exert more force on the pedals, potentially leading to overdeveloped leg muscles.

Secondly, the Marin Fairfax 3 uses 700x35mm tires, while the Specialized Sirrus X 2.0 uses 700x42mm tires.

The former has thinner tires and smaller rolling resistance, making it faster, but it provides less traction. The latter uses thicker tires, offering better grip and better absorption of road bumps, but it’s less agile.

In summary, if you prefer a lighter single-chain drivetrain system and wider tires, the Specialized Sirrus X 2.0 might be the best fit for you.

If you desire better braking with a dual-chain drivetrain system and thinner tires, the Marin Fairfax 3 is likely to surprise you.

Marin Fairfax 3 vs Canyon Roadlite CF 8

Canyon Roadlite CF 8
Canyon Roadlite CF 8

The Canyon Roadlite CF 8 can be considered a nearly perfect bike model. It features a lightweight carbon frame, carbon fork, and aluminum wheels. With a total weight of 8.8kg, it’s convenient to push and walk with.

The 2×11 drivetrain provides more opportunities for riding at different speeds and on different terrains. The combination of mint green, light gray, and white colors brings a refreshing summer feeling.

The gradient edge design gives the whole bike a natural and seamless look, appealing to visual aesthetics.

At the same time, it’s a rare model that comes in six different sizes, making it friendly for individuals of different genders, heights, leg lengths, and riding levels.

The Ergon GA3 advanced grip design provides additional hand support for riders. The Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes offer powerful braking support for the entire bike.

However, as the saying goes, “Nothing is perfect,” the high performance of the Canyon Roadlite CF 8 implies that its price won’t be low.

The Canyon Roadlite CF 8 is priced at $1,999, which is twice the price of the mid-range Marin Fairfax 3. While the Marin Fairfax 3 may not have the same performance advantages as the high-end model, it’s certainly sufficient for everyday riding.

In conclusion, for those who are pursuing high performance and have a sufficient budget, the Canyon Roadlite CF 8 is worth considering.

However, for those who only need a bike for daily riding or have a limited budget, it’s worth taking a look at the Marin Fairfax 3.

Learn More: Is Canyon Roadlite 6 Worth Buying? [Canyon Roadlite 6 Review]

Marin Fairfax 3 vs Giant FastRoad AR Advanced 1

Giant FastRoad AR, Advanced 1
Giant FastRoad AR Advanced 1

The Giant FastRoad AR, Advanced 1 is also a quality bike model. It comes equipped with mid-to-high-end components and hydraulic disc brakes, with a lightweight carbon frame and carbon fork.

One of its standout features is tubeless compatibility. Did you know that the tubeless design allows the wheelset to better support the vacuum system, resulting in weight reduction? The self-sealing liquid inside the tire can also repair small punctures on its own.

In addition, the internal cable routing gives the entire bike a sleek and high-end look, with smooth lines that add to its aesthetic appeal.

Moreover, this design makes it easier to wipe and clean the frame. It’s worth mentioning that the 2×11 drivetrain provides more possibilities to adapt to different terrains.

However, the Marin Fairfax 3 has its advantages compared to the Giant FastRoad AR, Advanced 1. Riders ranging from 149cm to 191cm in height can find a suitable size in the Marin Fairfax 3, which covers the height range of most individuals.

On the other hand, the size range of the Giant FastRoad AR, Advanced 1 is suitable for people with heights ranging from 160cm to 200cm, which is not very friendly for shorter individuals.

Therefore, if you have a taller height, it’s recommended to choose the Giant FastRoad AR, Advanced 1. If your height is below 160cm, the Marin Fairfax 3 would be a great fit for you.

Learn More: Is Giant FastRoad Advanced 1 Worth Buying? [Giant FastRoad Advanced 1 Review]

Marin Fairfax 3 vs Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-Step

Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-Step
Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-Step

These two bikes are two very similar models. They both come with aluminum frames and aluminum wheels, and they both have a geared drivetrain that allows for different speeds on various terrains.

Moreover, they both have good geometry designs, which enable riders to maintain a relatively efficient riding position.

Of course, they do have their differences. The Marin Fairfax 3 is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, which offer the advantage of high braking stability and increased safety during long descents. The downside is that they come at a higher cost.

On the other hand, the Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-Step is equipped with rim brakes, which have the advantage of being lightweight. However, they are not as ideal for long-distance braking and may not handle sharp turns as well.

In conclusion, if you prefer a lighter braking system and a lower price, the Felt Verza Speed 50 Mid-Step is worth considering. If you prioritize a stronger braking performance with hydraulic disc brakes, I would recommend the Marin Fairfax 3.

Learn More: Is Felt Verza Speed 50 Worth Buying? – [Felt Verza Speed 50 Review]


This is our review of the Marin Fairfax 3. It is a mid-range fitness bike worth considering. It comes with hydraulic disc brakes, a geared drivetrain, and puncture protection technology, providing a comfortable riding experience and more possibilities.

In our opinion, the Marin Fairfax 3 is a bike worth buying. Taking all of the above into consideration, that’s why we give it a high rating of 4.75.

Of course, if you’re interested in other fitness bikes, we also review a wide range of bikes at different price points, and we have some interesting options. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.

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