Marin Headlands 1 Review
- Price: $3,500
- Frame: Carbon
- Fork: Carbon
- Tires: 700c Aluminum
- Drivetrain: 1×11
What we like about it: The rear derailleur carries a clutch, which narrows the impact of inertia and drag on the drivetrain for smooth shifting.
What we don’t like about it: Although the dropper seatpost height can be adjusted to dampen the shock, it may feels bouncy.
If you want a bike that combines lightness and practicality, then I’d love to recommend the following gravel bike called the Marin Headlands 1.
It has a clean and crisp geometry, curved handlebars are used for enhanced handling and sprinting power, and a large diameter wheelset allows you to cover longer distances with less effort.
Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of the Marin Headlands 1.
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.
The Marin Headlands 1 is a gravel bike with a smooth look that caught my eye at first glance.
The gradient color scheme gives a very comfortable visual effect, and the straight frame is simple and fashionable.
Of course, does it perform as smoothly as it looks?
I booked a local hotel on Skyscanner to visit Lysterfield Lake Circuit in Melbourne and the nearby Churchill National Park, where I can not only visit the lake but also experience the fun of climbing and gravel roads.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Lysterfield Lake Circuit
The terrain at Lysterfield is relatively flat, featuring a few gravel sections around the lake.
I carefully checked the bike’s components before setting off.
Thanks to the GRX 800, GRX 600 kit, the bike was stiff enough to give me the confidence to take on different surfaces.
The Dropper seatpost allowed me to adjust the seat tube height without getting off the bike, and the 71.5° head tube angle allowed me to maintain an upright riding position, providing good riding comfort.
It should also be noted that the weather in Melbourne is very dry, with a high UV index and a large temperature discrepancy between day and night, but the holes in the frame provide a good place to put my jacket, sunscreen, and water bottle.
Before I knew it, I came to Churchill National Park.
Churchill National Park
Compared with the terrain of Lysterfield, the Churchill National Park route is more difficult and steeper.
Thanks to the 1×11 speed brought by Shimano 40T cassette and 11/42T flywheel, I was able to handle different grades with ease.
The carbon fiber frame and fork further enhanced my ability to accelerate and sprint, so that the bike would not be overloaded or unable to climb.
The Shimano GRX’s hydraulic disc brakes were a good match for my needs, and the braking effect was smooth and unobtrusive.
I reached the finish line about three hours after starting from Lysterfield.
If you want to kick off your gravel bike ride at these two locations as well, I suggest you bring a spare tire, pump, and the necessary sun protection for the unexpected.
All in all, it was a perfect ride and the Marin Headlands 1 was really good.
The Marin Headlands 1 is a gravel bike that focuses on lightness and practicality.
It features a Gloss Charcoal / Black/roarange gradient paint body with a linear geometry design, which gives it a very smooth visual appearance.
The Marin Shock Absorbing Tape has an aerodynamic handlebar design that allows you to ride with less drag.
The Dropper seat design provides some shock absorption on the gravel while allowing you to adjust your seating position to relieve fatigue.
The Marin Headlands 1 is designed to be compatible with multiple tire sizes, with a 700c x 45mm/650B x 50mm wheelset that can be swapped out to meet your needs for speed or stability.
And its vacuum inner tube is supplied with tire sealant fluid to repair holes in the tire.
In terms of drivetrain, the Shimano 40T cassette and 11/42T flywheel bring 1×11 speeds, allowing you to find the best speed whether on flat, hilly, or gravel roads.
In addition, the hydraulic disc brakes of the Shimano GRX provide a smooth, silky, and efficient braking effect, which can protect your travel safety.
What do we like about it?
- Outstanding Disc Brakes: Shimano GRX’s hydraulic disc brakes greatly improve the braking braking performance and efficiency of the entire vehicle, effectively safeguarding your travel safety.
- Beautiful Look: Gloss Charcoal / Black/roarange gradient paint body with linear geometric design gives it a very smooth visual effect.
- Excellent Drivetrain: Shimano 40T cassette and 11/42T flywheel bring 1×11 speeds, so you can find the most suitable speed whether on the flat, hilly, or gravel road.
- Clutch Configuration: The rear paddle chain carries a clutch, which narrows the impact of inertia and drag on the drivetrain for smooth shifting.
- Compatible Tires: Interchangeable 700c x 45mm/650B x 50mm wheelsets to meet your needs for speed or stability.
What don’t we like about it?
- Although the dropper seatpost height can be adjusted to dampen the shock, it may feels bouncy.
- Who is Marin Headlands 1 for?
Daily commuter cyclists; people who like better braking performance; people who are into long-distance travel; people who have high requirements for bike components.
- Marin Headlands 1 wheelset compatible benefits?
The 700c x 45mm/650B x 50mm Compatible expands the rider’s choice and facilitates the changing of outer tires in different terrains.
- What other versions of the Marin Headlands 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 Headlands 1
|1 × 9
|Marin Headlands 2
|1 × 11
|Unidirectional Carbon Beyond Road Platform, 1x Drivetrain Specific, 700c x 45mm/650B x 50mm Compatible, Flat Mount Disc, 142x12mm Thru-Axle, Internal Dropper Post Routing, Internal Housing Routing, Mudguard and Rear Carrier Mounting, Plentiful Gear Mounts
Color: Gloss Charcoal / Black/roarange
|Marin Full Carbon w/ Tapered Steerer, 12mm Thru-Axle, Flat-Mount Disc, Fender Eyelets
|External Sealed Cartridge Bearings
|FSA Orbit IS, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 1 1/8″ x 1 1/2″
|Marin 3D Forged Alloy
|Marin Butted Alloy, Compact 12º Flared Drop, Flat Top
|Marin Beyond Road Concept
|Marin Alloy, 27.2mm
|Marin Shock Absorbing Tape
|Shimano GRX RDX812 Shadow Plus w/ Clutch
|Forged Alloy 1×11, Hollow CrMo Spindle, Narrow Wide 40T
|Shimano GRX RX600
|Shimano, 11-Speed, 11/42T
|Shimano GRX Hydraulic w/ Shifter
|Marin Aluminum Double Wall, 21mm Inner, 21mm Tall, Disc Specific, Tubeless Compatible
|Forged Aluminum Alloy, Disc, 32H
|Forged Aluminum Alloy, Disc, 32H
|Vee Tire Co. G-Sport, 700cx44, Tubeless Compatible
|Click to view
|Cannondale Topstone 1
|2 × 11
|GRX 800, GRX 600, Shimano
|Trek Checkpoint ALR 5
|2 × 11
|GRX 800, GRX 600, Shimano
|Giant Revolt, Advanced 1
|1 × 11
|Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600 1x
|1 × 11
|GRX 800, GRX 600, Shimano
Marin Headlands 1 vs Cannondale Topstone 1
Cannondale Topstone 1 and Marin Headlands 1 are actually quite similar.
They both use Shimano hydraulic discs with good braking effects and high-quality Shimano GRX 800, GRX 600 components.
They also adopt a tubeless design, which can greatly reduce the probability of tire damage.
But I do recommend the Marin Headlands 1, because its carbon fiber frame is lighter and more rigid.
Moreover, the 1×11 Shimano shifting drivetrain saves the weight of a front disc compared to the Cannondale Topstone 1’s 2×11 Shimano twin-disc drivetrain. The former is better for keeping the chain stable and the bike propelled forward.
In addition, the Marin Headlands 1’s braking system comes with its own shifter for better and easier braking.
It must be mentioned that the Marin Headlands 1 is compatible with a 700c x 45mm/650B x 50mm wheelset, so riders can have different outer tire options to choose from.
Marin Headlands 1 vs Trek Checkpoint ALR 5
I think these two cars are suitable for different people.
In terms of drivetrain, the 2×11 Shimano drivetrain of the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 has a higher pursuit in terms of speed, yet may make trade-offs in terms of weight.
In contrast, the Shimano 1x drivetrain of the Marin Headlands 1 is lighter and more maneuverable, and is one of the favorite configurations of many high-end bikes.
For the same size, the Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 has a higher seat height and more aggressive geometry, making it suitable for some folks who like to ride fast.
Whereas for others who seek comfort, the lower seat height of the Marin Headlands 1 not only lowers the center of gravity and improves stability, but also allows one to maintain an upright lumbar sitting position, reducing fatigue probability and preventing lumbar injury.
Marin Headlands 1 vs Giant Revolt, Advanced 1
Giant Revolt, Advanced 1 adopts the design of a dropper seatpost and sets the left lever dropper switch on the brake lever, which greatly facilitates the adjusting of the seatpost height and allows you to find the most suitable seatpost height quickly and efficiently without getting off the bike.
In comparison, however, the Marin Headlands 1 has higher performance components.
Shimano GRX 800, GRX 600 components may be slightly higher in quality and more resistant to damage than Rival, SRAM. Besides, the wallet-friendly price of the Marin Headlands 1 makes the bike seem very cost-effective.
For those who like more convenient seat adjusting, Giant Revolt, Advanced 1 is a good consideration; for those who are looking for high-performance parts, I recommend Marin Headlands 1.
Marin Headlands 1 vs Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600 1x
The Salsa Cutthroat C GRX 600 1x is a gravel bike with a carbon fiber frame and fork.
It features a large 29 x 2.2” diameter wheelset, which gives it an advantage in terms of speed.
Tubeless Compatible and durable casing enhances the wear and durability of the tires.
The M5100 11-42t, 11-speed flywheel gives the bike a wide range of speeds to cope with different slopes.
The Marin Headlands 1 is also an excellent gravel bike.
The Shimano GRX RDX812 Shadow Plus rear derailleur with Shimano, 11-Speed, 11/42T flywheel is equally capable of handling varying terrain and hills.
In addition, the rear derailleur is equipped with a clutch, which reduces the impact of inertia and drags on the drivetrain for smooth shifting.
So, both cars are great choices. Of course, if you like smoother shifts, I think the Marin Headlands 1 is the one for you.
These are our tests of the Marin Headlands 1, a very capable gravel bike. The use of Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and 1×11 shifting drivetrain give the bike silky smooth braking and strong climbing power.
In our opinion, the Marin Headlands 1 is a bike worth buying. That’s why we give it a high score of 4.8.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other gravel mountain 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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