Hot on the heels of the Wolf Ridge, Marin introduce the Marin Mount Vision with the R3ACT–2 Play suspension system from Naild
Hot on the heels of the Wolf Ridge, Marin introduce the Marin Mount Vision with the R3ACT–2 Play suspension system from Naild.
And the new Mount Vision this isn’t just a 150mm travel version of the Marin Wolf Ridge, it’s an evolution of the design where the addition of an injection-moulded carbon rocker link boosts stiffness and allows Marin additional control over the leverage rate.
Marin Mount Vision need to know
- Trail bike with 27.5in wheels and 150mm travel front and rear
- Full carbon fibre frame and swingarm
- Naild patent-pending R3ACT–2 Play rear frame member
- Rider fit and kinematics developed with biometric data to localize weight on each size
- Two kinematic profiles, one for S/M frames, another for L/XL frames
- Injection moulded carbon swing link and trunnion shock mount
- Shielded sealed bearings for long-term, all-weather performance
- Water bottle mount(s) in front triangle (sizes S & M, one bottle/tool mount; sizes L & XL, two bottle/tool mounts
- Modern trail bike geometry with a low BB height, 65° head angle and 420mm chainstays
- Three models all using the same frame
And while the Wolf Ridge had a very wide remit, the Mount Vision is an out and out trail bike with 150mm travel and 27.5in wheels.
One thing remains unchanged however, and that’s the complexity of the Naild patent-pending R3ACT–2 Play suspension layout. It uses a combination of traditional links with an oversized rotating strut that pivots in front of the BB to produce a mindboggling design. But it’s actually the way Marin and Naild are thinking about suspension that makes it more unique than the specific layout. Take the size specific kinematics for example, the size S and M share one layout, the L and XL another.
The design also claims to isolate the rider’s mass from acceleration forces, to provide a new benchmark in pedalling efficiency and bump absorption.
In fact, Marin is so confident in the pedalling performance of the new Mount Vision that the shock on the entry-level Mount Vision 8 that we rode comes sans lockout lever. It’s a bold move for sure, but having spent a full day on the bike it’s clear that this bike does not need a lockout.
And that’s because the R3ACT –2 Play suspension has been designed to have a considerable amount of anti-squat. So much so that you can feel the constant tension in the chain, maintaining a stable suspension response when climbing or sprinting. More surprisingly, when the climbing got rougher or more technical, the Marin didn’t exhibit any of the negative traits high anti-squat designs normally possess; namely unwanted pedal kickback.
So we’ve established that the new Mount Vision pedals like a demon and climbs efficiently, which is exactly what you want from a 150mm travel trail bike, but how does it handle the descents?
Well, it’s very easy to ride. And by that we mean the geometry and sizing are both sorted. The low BB (30mm drop) makes the bike feel super stable at speed, but you need to be careful not to run too much sag on the rear shock, otherwise you’ll be clipping pedals left, right and centre. And it’s not just pedals that you’ll clip.
With the frame extending well in front of the bottom bracket, to accommodate unique suspension design and giving the Marin a distinct E-bike look, we managed to ground out the frame on one awkward rocky section of trail. Fortunately, the full carbon frame comes with a replaceable hard-shell frame protector and it easily brushed off the impact.
But let’s get back to the ride quality as the bike has some unique traits. First of all it rides really flat, so the rear suspension doesn’t sink in turns and this really helps keep the front tyre loaded, which is especially useful on the L and XL sizes.
In fact, when we first heard Marin boasting about the short 420mm chain stay length, a light vague steering response was our main concern. But it needn’t have been, as the chain stay length extends a lot at sag, offering more balanced weight distribution that the static geometry suggests.
On smooth flowing trails the Marin Mount Vision has incredible speed, speed that can be boosted further by a couple of efficient revs of the pedals or by simply pumping the bike. Push with you feet and bike zips forward, but this trait makes it harder to preload the suspension and pop the bike, but that’s where the high volume 2.6in tyres really help. They also help smooth out square edges on rougher trails. And it’s on rougher trails that the Mount Vision comes slightly unstuck.
Yes, it’s a fast, fun bike, but the soles of our feet were burning at the bottom of longer rougher trails, the same trails we’d ridden on similar travel bikes with no such issues. And it’s a trade off that’s to be expected given how well the Marin performs when powering on the pedals.
For a 150mm travel trail bike Marin seems to have got the balance just right though. The longer offset fork feels great with the frame proportions and fatter 2.6in tyres, while the bike pedals and pumps like nothing else we’ve riding. Yes, there are plusher and more playful trail bikes on the market, but few cover ground as efficiently as the Marin Mount Vision.
Other Marin Mount Vision models
Marin Mount Vision Pro
- Shimano XTR drivetrain
- Fox 36 Factory & Float X2 Factory suspension
- Shimano XTR M9120 brakes, 203/180mm rotors
- E*thirteen TRS Race Carbon wheelset & TRS Race/Plus 27.5 x 2.6in tyres
- UK MSRP £8,700
Marin Mount Vision 9
- SRAM X0-1 Eagle drivetrain
- Fox Performance Elite 36 & Float X2 Performance suspension
- Shimano XT 4-piston brakes, 203/180mm rotors
- Stan’s NoTubes Sentry MK3 rims & WTB Trail Boss 27.5 x 2.6in tyres
- UK MSRP £6,500