Marin Gestalt 1 Review
- Price: $1,299
- Frame: Aluminum
- Front fork: Carbon
- Wheels: 700C Aluminum
- Drivetrain: 2×9
What we like about it: A cut above the entry-level Gestalt, the Gestalt 1 steps up to a Series 3 aluminum frame and full carbon fiber fork, all while still keeping the value high and the price tag low.
What we don’t like about it: The mechanical disc brake system is not friendly to the pros who like high-end brake setups.
Marin is a California-based bicycle brand with a history of nearly forty years, and its mountain bikes are highly renowned.
As a former downhill champion, it excels in the field of mountain biking. However, we shouldn’t underestimate its gravel bike models, and the Gestalt series stands out among them.
The Marin Gestalt 1 is a mid-range gravel bike. It features an aluminum frame, aluminum wheels, and a carbon fork. It is equipped with a 2×9 drivetrain, offering a wide range of gear ratios that allow for high speeds while also handling steep slopes.
With 35mm tires, it falls into the wider tire category for gravel bikes, providing better traction and comfort during rides. The collision of bright white and gray colors creates a refreshing and clean atmosphere for the entire bike.
Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Marin Gestalt 1.
In the latter part of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bicycle models. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
The Marin Gestalt 1 is a fully functional mid-range gravel bike suitable for daily commuting and weekend rides.
To get a more immersive experience of its performance, I booked a flight to Carmel-by-the-sea through Skyscanner, which was very convenient. Finally, I arrived at the famous Carmel-by-the-sea.
Without further ado, let’s embark on the journey with the Marin Gestalt 1.
Road to Carmel Beach
To witness the charm of Carmel Beach, I rode from the entrance of Carmel towards Carmel Beach. It was not a very flat road. Due to the road’s construction along the island, it was rugged and had steep slopes throughout.
However, I enjoyed such terrain. On the one hand, I’m someone who appreciates new experiences. On the other hand, overly smooth terrain doesn’t provide a good testing ground for a bike’s performance.
As I rode the Marin Gestalt 1, I admired the flowers and plants along the roadside. To test the performance of the Marin Gestalt 1, I started at a slow pace.
Once I realized how impressive it was, I confidently increased my speed. The most exhilarating part was a series of consecutive uphills and downhills, transitioning suddenly from a gentle road to a downhill slope, truly testing the bike’s braking capabilities.
Fortunately, its braking system was outstanding. The mechanical disc brakes provided excellent stopping power for the entire bike. Then, going from downhill to uphill, that stretch of road challenged the bike’s drivetrain.
The Marin Gestalt 1 gave me a sense of security. With its 2×9 drivetrain, it handled different gradients at varying speeds on the uphill sections. After a few ups and downs, I didn’t feel any strain at all. The whole motion was so smooth, it was fantastic!
Cycling on the Ocean Avenue
Riding on the inspiring Ocean Avenue, you can feel the endless vistas and enthusiasm.
However, it’s important to note that the narrower road means you have to occasionally dodge pedestrians and vehicles.
On the day I went, the foot traffic was moderate, and as I maneuvered through the people on the road, I tested the agility of this bike with great confidence.
As expected, the Marin Gestalt 1 passed with flying colors.
The carbon fork material design gives the front end of the bike a lighter weight, which means the front end exhibits greater flexibility when turning.
Its head tube angle is relatively large, allowing for an upright riding position without the need to lean forward. The benefit of this design is that it effectively reduces fatigue during rides.
Lastly, I must mention that it has a stylish appearance. While resting at a café by the street, the staff complimented how good-looking my bike was. It was a memorable cycling experience.
The Marin Gestalt 1 is a mid-range bike in the Marin Gestalt series. It features an aluminum frame, carbon fork, and aluminum wheels, resulting in a lighter overall weight that reduces the heaviness during uphill climbs.
So, what are its standout specifications? Let’s take a look together!
Firstly, the Marin Gestalt 1 uses a 2×9 drivetrain. This means the bike has two chainrings, providing a good range of gear ratios for both high-speed pedaling and steep climbs with the smaller chainring.
The larger gear density brings smaller gear jumps, making it easier for riders to find their preferred pedaling rhythm. With its 18 speeds, the Marin Gestalt 1 offers a variety of combinations, allowing for quick adjustments to the desired speed.
Additionally, the Marin Gestalt series fitness bikes have larger tire sizes. Compared to regular road tires, the tires on the Marin Gestalt 1 are wider. Wider tires offer better and more versatile performance on different road surfaces.
Correspondingly, the bike has improved maneuverability. Furthermore, the minimal tread pattern on the tires enhances speed and acceleration.
It’s worth mentioning that the bike has an excellent geometry design and an appropriate head tube angle, allowing riders to maintain an upright riding posture and reducing the possibility of fatigue during long rides.
The hidden cable routing design gives the bike a cleaner and neater appearance, with fewer instances of cable/frame contact and less noise during rides.
Moreover, the internal routing eliminates the risk of external interference or damage to the exposed cables.
Lastly, the frame is equipped with multiple mounting points, greatly facilitating riders in carrying and securing their belongings.
What do we like about it?
- Clean and neat color scheme: The collision of bright white and gray colors creates a refreshing and clean atmosphere for the entire bike.
- Multiple mounting points on the frame: Convenient for securing belongings during long-distance travel.
- Excellent tire design: Appropriate width and minimal tread provide a good balance between speed and traction.
- Versatile drivetrain: The 2×9 drivetrain offers a wide range of gearing options for different terrains.
- Outstanding geometry design: The 71.5° head tube angle allows riders to maintain an upright riding posture, which is beneficial for the spine.
What don’t we like about it?
- The mechanical disc brake may not be as favorable for professional riders who prefer high-end braking configurations.
- What kind of people is it suitable for?
Beginners, cost-conscious experienced riders, and those who appreciate a smooth and fluid riding experience.
- What sizes are available for it?
It is available in four sizes for people of different heights.
- What other versions of Marin Gestalt 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.
|2 × 8
|Marin Gestalt 1
|2 × 9
|Marin Gestalt X10
|1 × 10
|Marin Gestalt 2.5
|2 × 10
|Marin Gestalt XR
|1 × 11
|Series 3 Beyond Road, 6061 Aluminum, Tapered Head Tube, Relieved BB, Internal Cable Routing, Mudguard and Rack Mounts, Flat Mount Disc, 142x12mm Thru- Axle
Color: Gloss White / Grey
|Marin Full Carbon w/ Tapered Steerer, 12mm Thru-Axle, Flat-Mount Disc, Fender Eyelets
|Shimano Octalink V2 Cartridge
|FSA Orbit IS, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″
|Marin 3D Forged Alloy
|Marin Butted Alloy, Compact 12º Flared Drop
|Marin Beyond Road Concept
|Marin Alloy, 27.2mm
|Marin Perforated Tape
|Shimano Sora 9-Speed
|Shimano R345 Octalink Compact, 50/34T
|Shimano Sora 2×9-Speed
|SunRace 9-Speed, 11-32T
|Shimano w/ Integrated Shifters
|Marin Aluminum Double Wall, 21mm Inner, 22mm Tall, Disc Specific, Tubeless Compatible
|Forged Aluminum Alloy, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H
|Forged Aluminum Alloy, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H
|Vee Tire Co. Zilent, 700×35
|Click to view
|Canyon Grizl CF SL 6
|2 × 10
|GRX 400, GRX 600, Shimano
|Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c
|2 × 9
|Altus, Acera, Shimano
|Kona Rove AL 700
|2 × 8
|Jamis RENEGADE S3
|2 × 10
|GRX 400, FSA, Shimano
Marin Gestalt 1 vs Canyon Grizl CF SL 6
The Canyon Grizl CF SL 6 is a mid-range gravel bike with a bold Curry Powder color scheme, and its carbon frame makes it lighter overall. It’s quite appealing for riders who don’t like a heavy feel. Additionally, the hydraulic disc brake system provides superior braking performance compared to mechanical disc brakes, with stronger braking power under the same conditions.
Looking at the drivetrain, the 2×10 gearing system offers more speed options, making it very friendly for speed-sensitive individuals. The most noteworthy aspect is that the Canyon Grizl CF SL 6 is available in seven different sizes. Regardless of your gender, height, or leg length, you can find a size that suits you.
The Marin Gestalt 1 is a wallet-friendly gravel bike. The fusion of bright white and gray colors on the Marin Gestalt 1 looks very clean, neat, and eye-catching. Its biggest advantage lies in the use of the practical Shimano Sora components, eliminating the need for high-end and rarely used parts. This significantly reduces its production cost, making it a highly cost-effective gravel bike.
Marin Gestalt 1 vs Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c
Among all the bike brands in today’s market, Salsa Cycles always evokes a sense of adventure and unexplored paths. The Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c is one of Salsa’s gravel road bike models.
Similar to the Marin Gestalt 1, both bikes offer exceptional value for the price. The biggest difference between the two lies in their handlebar design. The Salsa Journeyer features a flat bar, while the Marin Gestalt 1 has a drop bar design. The drop bar design is more aerodynamic and conducive to increasing speed. Some professional riders prefer drop bar bikes as they provide a racing feel. On the other hand, the flat bar offers better maneuverability, allowing the bike to go farther under similar conditions.
In summary, if you frequently tackle complex terrains, the Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Altus 700c is worth considering. However, for riders seeking speed, the Marin Gestalt 1 may be more appealing.
Marin Gestalt 1 vs Kona Rove AL 700
The difference between these two bikes is not significant. They both feature aluminum frames and aluminum wheels, and they are equipped with mechanical disc brake systems. Additionally, their head tube angles and reach lengths are quite similar. It’s worth noting that in terms of drivetrain, the Kona Rove AL 700 utilizes a 2×8 system, while the Marin Gestalt 1 uses a 2×9 system. The latter offers a wider range of gear ratios, with smaller jumps between gears, making it easier for riders to maintain a comfortable pedaling rhythm. Furthermore, the Kona Rove AL 700 comes without pedals as part of the factory configuration, so you may need to spend extra to purchase pedals.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a bike with a more diverse gear range and the option of including pedals in the factory configuration, you can choose the Kona Rove AL 700. If you prefer a bike that comes with pedals included, the Marin Gestalt 1 is a great choice.
Learn More: Is Kona Rove Worth Buying? – [Kona Rove Review]
Marin Gestalt 1 vs Jamis RENEGADE S3
The Jamis RENEGADE S3, a gravel bike under the Jamis brand, stands out for its beautiful paint job and excellent hydraulic disc brakes. The Jamis RENEGADE S3 has several advantages: it uses a 2×10 drivetrain, offering more speed options. The hydraulic disc brake system provides better braking performance compared to the mechanical disc brakes of the Marin Gestalt 1, making it suitable for riders who frequently ride downhill.
However, the Marin Gestalt 1 also has its unique advantages. Compared to the aluminum frame of the Marin Gestalt 1, the steel frame of the Jamis RENEGADE S3 is heavier and more prone to damage. For riders who prefer lightweight frames to achieve higher speeds, the Marin Gestalt 1 is a better choice.
In summary, if you frequently ride downhill, the Jamis RENEGADE S3 is worth considering. If you prefer a lighter frame with better material quality, I recommend the Marin Gestalt 1.
The above is our review of the Marin Gestalt 1. The Marin Gestalt 1 is a mid-range gravel bike worth considering, with its sleek appearance, excellent drivetrain, and smooth geometry design.
In our opinion, the Marin Gestalt 1 is a bike worth buying. Considering the factors mentioned above, that’s why we gave it a high score of 4.7.
Of course, if you’re interested in other gravel bikes, we also review various bikes of different price ranges that are equally exciting. Feel free to check out our other reviews.
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