Is Marin Palisades Trail 2 Splendid – [Marin Palisades Trail 2 Review]

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Marin Palisades Trail 2 Review

  • Price: $799
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Tires: 27.5″ Aluminum
  • Gear: 2×9

What we like about it: The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is an excellent bike for new riders or those who are moving to trail riding.

What we don’t like about it: The range of frame sizes is too small, making it difficult for tall riders to choose the right size.

Rating: (4.8/5)

Marin Palisades Trail 2
Marin Palisades Trail 2

The Marin Palisades Trail 2 has a comfortable and excellent geometry, coupled with reliable performance components and an affordable price point, making it the right choice for all riders.

Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of this bike.

Additionally, 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.

Riding Experience

The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is a well-balanced bike in every aspect of riding ability. For me, it’s a bike that can’t go wrong and allows me to have all my needs somewhat met.

The trail was relatively flat on the upper grades, but had some rocky ground and overgrown yellow trails.


The Marin Palisades Trail 2’s uphill ability was something I recognize, with a hardtail mountain bike frame that had a direct and crisp feeling of power on upward rides with inclines.

The overall support was excellent, except for the damping fork, which could feel a bit of a letdown.

Next, the Shimano Altus MT101, 36/22T crankset coupled with the Shimano Altus MT101, 36/22T flywheel had plenty of speeds.

Although the grade on this uphill ride was not too steep, the distance was too long, which forced me to go with a more relaxed drivetrain gearing. This also allowed me to save more energy on this uphill ride without too much strain.

What I appreciated was the Sport MTB saddle, which provided me with good support and soft padding. It helped me to reduce the pressure on my perineum and increased my comfort during this ride.


The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is a hardtail trail bike that will handle well as long as the descending ride isn’t too aggressive.

After all, I can’t use a hardtail trail bike to do some of the things that a full-suspension bike does. But on this rocky descent, I was more than satisfied with the bike’s performance.

First of all, the 100mm travel RockShox Judy Silver TK fork enjoyed a sensitive and active damping that absorbed most of the shock after I crushed it over the rocks. It also gave me a more comfortable riding experience and ensured I didn’t get too bumpy.

Then the Marin Palisades Trail 2’s ability on the trails was what attracted me. The WTB Trailboss Comp, 27.5×2.25″ large grain outer tire, was more agile on the trails and brought enough grip to give me faster passing speeds on the trails.

Finally, the Tektro M275’s hydraulic brakes were reliable enough to help me slow the bike down quickly, but they were a little less than capable of instantly griping the wheelset tightly.

All in all, the Marin Palisades Trail 2 is an all-round well-balanced hardtail trail bike. And it does come at a very attractive price.


The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is available in (S-L) 3 sizes of external cabling aluminum frames.

It is suitable for riders from 5’2″-6’1″ in height. The external cable routing design gives a more rugged look and makes it easier to replace when the lines age.

The excellent geometry, combined with the 27.5-inch wheelset, brings the bike great handling and agility that will make it more suitable for riding on trails.

In addition, the smooth-shifting Shimano 2×9 drivetrain helps make riding up and down hills easier, while the excellent Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide smooth and stable braking.

Finally, the mounting holes at the lower tube can support full-size kettle installation.


Other versions

The Marin Palisades Trail 2 is a more than capable hardtail trail bike in every way, with an aluminum frame and reliable components that make it more reliable as well.

But this bike would be more suited to the entry-level novice.

For this reason we offer another hardtail trail bike under the same brand with higher-end components and aggressive geometry that will be more suitable for experienced riders.

Marin Pine Mountain 2

Marin Pine Mountain 2
Marin Pine Mountain 2

The Marin Pine Mountain 2 and the Marin Palisades Trail 2 are two hardtail trail bikes with different target riding demographics.

The former has higher-end components and better geometry, proving a more powerful trail ride.

The Marin Pine Mountain 2 uses the RockShox 35 Gold RL fork with 120mm of damping travel. With longer travel, it has a better ability to ride on complex roads.

Next come the drivetrain components. Mountain 2 is equipped with Shimano SLX M7100’s 1×12 speed components, speed being more simple.

Also, the drivetrain efficiency is higher, and the response speed of shifting will be faster and more sensitive.

Its TRP Slate EVO brakes are fast and sensitive, and have strong braking power.

In short, the Marin Pine Mountain 2 can handle more complex riding conditions. It will also be suitable for experienced expert riders.

Below, we will list the specific parameters of the Marin Palisades Trail 2 in detail and some other brands of hardtail trail bikes with similar prices for your reference.

What do we like about it?

  • The mountain bike series with reliable performance are designed to make mountain biking newbies love riding.
  • External cable routing will be more convenient for the maintenance.
  • 27.5-inch wheelset with light and agile handling for effortlessly fast trails.
  • Reliable Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide smooth, consistent braking.
  • Smooth-shifting Shimano 2×9 drivetrain helps you ride up and down hills with ease.
  • RockShox Judy Silver TK 100mm fork has excellent responsiveness and absorbs more vibration.

What don’t we like about it?

  • The range of frame sizes is too small for tall riders to get used to.


  • What wheelset is used on this bike?

Forged Alloy, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H.

  • Is it suitable for newcomers?

It has a sturdy aluminum frame with reliable performance components, yet has the right price to better meet the needs of novice riders.

  • How do I choose the right size?

Here we provide you with a size chart, but of course you do not have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable size is to test ride.

Rider heightSIZE
5’2″ – 5’6″S
5’4″ – 5’10”M
5’8″ – 6’1″L



Frame Series 2 6061 Aluminum, 27.5″ Wheels, 135mm Forged Dropouts, Chainstay Disc Mount, Full External HousingColor: Gloss Blue / Roarange
ForkRockShox Judy Silver TK, 100mm Travel, Hydraulic Lockout, Damping Adjustment, 42mm Offset
Bottom BracketSealed Cartridge Bearings, Square Taper
Headset44mm Zero Stack, 8mm Cone
StemAlloy, 31.8mm, 45mm
Handlebar31.8 Riser, 12mm Rise, 760mm Width
SaddleSport MTB
SeatpostAlloy, Two Bolt
PedalsNylon Platform
GripsEntity MTB, Closed End


Rear DerailleurShimano Acera, 9-Speed
Front DerailleurShimano Altus
CrankShimano Altus MT101, 36/22T
ShiftersShimano Altus, 9-Speed
CassetteShimano HG-200, 9-Speed, 11-36T
ChainKMC X9
BrakesHydraulic Disc
Brake LeversTektro M275 Hydraulic Disc


RimsDouble Wall Alloy
Front HubForged Alloy, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H
Rear HubForged Alloy, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H
TiresWTB Trailboss Comp, 27.5×2.25″, Wire Bead

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick ViewTravelFrameBrakeDrivetrain
Cannondale Trail Women’s 8Click View75mm frontAluminumHydraulic Disc2 × 7
Trek X-Caliber 8Click View100mm frontAluminumHydraulic Disc1 × 12
Specialized ChiselClick View100mm frontAluminumHydraulic Disc1 × 12
Liv BlissClick View75mm frontAluminumHydraulic Disc3 × 7

Marin Palisades Trail 2 vs Cannondale Trail Women’s 8

Cannondale Trail Women's 8
Cannondale Trail Women’s 8

Comparing the Marin Palisades Trail 2 and the Cannondale Trail Women’s 8, I would recommend the former more because it comes with better components.

The former’s RockShox Judy Silver TK fork has longer damping travel than the latter’s SR Suntour M3030, allowing it to handle more intense rides.

Moreover, Marin’s bike uses Tektro M275 hydraulic disc brakes, which have more braking power than the latter’s Tektro mechanical disc brakes, and are less likely to lose braking power over time.

Finally, between these two hardtail trail bikes, the Marin Palisades Trail 2 will be more powerful and adaptable to more complex riding conditions.

Marin Palisades Trail 2 vs Trek X-Caliber 8

Trek X-Caliber 8
Trek X-Caliber 8

The Marin Palisades Trail 2 and Trek X-Caliber 8 are both excellent hardtail trail bikes.

They both have light and strong aluminum frames. And both bikes use RockShox Judy to provide 100mm of damping travel on the shock absorbing fork.

On the drivetrain components, Trek X-Caliber 8 uses a mix of Shimano Deore M6100 and Shimano XT components, and the overall drivetrain efficiency and shifting feel will be better than Marin Palisades Trail 2.

But in terms of braking components, the former Tektro M275 and the latter Shimano MT200 have similar braking capabilities and are both reliable and trustworthy.

In the end, between these two bikes, the Trek X-Caliber 8 may have a slight advantage if your budget is sufficient. But if you’re new to the sport, I’d be more likely to recommend the Marin Palisades Trail 2.

Learn More: Is The Trek X-Caliber 8 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 8 Review]

Marin Palisades Trail 2 vs Specialized Chisel

Specialized Chisel
Specialized Chisel

From my perspective, the latter does have better components, but the former will be more affordable for the novice.

On the shock system, both also use RockShox Judy’s 100mm damping fork, which provides excellent shock absorption performance to deal with complex riding roads.

When it comes to the drivetrain, the SRAM components of the latter have a crisper, sharper shifting feel. The former’s Shimano components are more silky and dense.

In terms of braking components, Specialized Chisel’s SRAM Level T brakes will be more powerful than the Marin Palisades Trail 2’s Tektro M275 brakes.

In the end, between these two mountain bikes, the latter does have better performance, but the price difference between these two bikes is greater than the performance discrepancy. So, I would recommend the Marin Palisades Trail 2 more.

Learn More: Is the Specialized Chisel Comp worth buying? [Specialized Chisel Comp Reviews]

Marin Palisades Trail 2 vs Liv Bliss

Liv Bliss
Liv Bliss

I would recommend the former. The reason is that it is much more powerful in terms of performance at a similar price.

First, the former’s RockShox Judy Silver TK fork has better damping performance than the latter’s SR Suntour XCE 28 and will ride better on complex surfaces.

In terms of braking components, the Marin Palisades Trail 2 has a huge advantage, with the Tektro M275’s hydraulic disc brakes being more reliable than the latter’s, especially for better stability on long descents and in rainy weather.

Overall, the advantages of the Marin Palisades Trail 2 over the Liv Bliss are huge. So if you are looking for a better-performing, more reliable bike, the Marin Palisades Trail 2 is much more trustworthy.


Above is my ride review of the Marin Palisades Trail 2. In our opinion, this is a hardtail trail bike with a good balance of abilities in all areas. That’s why we gave it a 4.8 rating.

Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other similar 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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