Fox DHX Air 5.0 shock / 6061 T6 aluminium tubing / Modular dropouts / Small, medium or large / Weight: 10.9lbs
Contact: ATB Sales 01424 753566
We’ve had a 2007 Quake on long-term test, but this is the 2008 model here. However, UK importer ATB Sales is offering a limited run of 2007 frames in custom pink or green with a SRAM Maxle rear end for £999. The Maxle kits is also available as an upgrade for anyone with a 2007 frame for £75.
Apart from the axle there’s absolutely no difference between model years in terms of geometry, weight and material. Hydroformed, extruded 6061 aluminium tubing with hollow forgings for shock mounts results in an impressively stiff structure. The symmetrical swingarm uses box section and hollow forgings to maintain this theme and the modular dropouts should future-proof against changes in brake mounting or axles. Short twin linkages separate the two halves and drive the Fox DHX Air 5.0 shock. Large bearings have machined covers to maintain their smooth action a lifetime warranty is included on them.
The Quake has adjustable geometry. The ‘Low’ position slackens the head angle to 66-degrees and lowers the bottom bracket to 13.9 inches; the ‘High’ position steepens the head angle by a degree to 67-degrees and raises the bottom bracket to 14.5 inches.
A trail-ready build comes in at around 36lbs, but stick on DH tyres and tubes and other Alpine-ready accompaniments and the scales soon nudge 40lbs. Despite its mass, the Quake pedals well.
Like all Marin’s Quad Link bikes the Quake’s travel is not directly proportional to the shock’s stroke. The shock moves proportionally less in the first third of travel to try to combat the mid stroke issues that can plague air shocks. Also, the distance between the bottom bracket spindle and rear axle increases. This chain growth prevents undue suspension movement.
Some layout issues come to the fore when the ground drops away. Due to the suspension design, the chainstays are long (at 17.8in, growing to just over 18.33in into the travel). To prevent the wheelbase from getting overly long, Marin has shortened the front centre. With a downtube of 25.3in on the medium (24.9in on the small) rider weight is proportionally further forward than we’d like and the rear wheel tends to step out on fast, loose corners. On steep technical terrain the bike can feel quite cramped.
It is only at the real extremes that these traits come to the fore, and the rest of the time the bike feels well-balanced. The suspension takes even big hits exceptionally well and, thanks to the quad link design, when loaded in the mid stroke the suspension remains perfectly active.
Choose the right size (we wouldn’t go down to a small because stand over is identical) and you can build the bike into a great UK ‘freeride’ machine. With fantastic tyre clearance and pedalling well for its weight, the Quake can take a severe beating on drops, ladders and rock steps.
MBR RATING: 8/10