I have been looking at lower spec bikes that make excellent upgrade options for people on a budget who want a serious bike. The Marin San Quentin 1 27.5″ seem to hit the spot. I found a video on YouTube where Matt Jones puts this bike through its paces and it really does cope well. I can’t embed hi video but here is the link if you want to see him seriously test this bike. Matt Jones Marin video.
I should point out I have no Affiliation with Matt and that I was just impressed with the Bike and the video.
The specification on the bike reads well as this bike is meant to be an entry level bike with great capability. This bike has been developed in conjunction with the Freeride legend Matt Jones and it has great slack geometry a steep seat tube and a nice 120 mm travel on the front end. Being a hardtail of course there is no rear suspension but, to be honest there is not much you can’t do on a hardtail at your local trail and if you watch the video above you will see the capabilities of this machine.
The look of the bike is amazing and it appears to be a much higher end bike.
The best part of this bike is definitely the frame. Marin developed the San Quentin Frame, it is an excellent quality frame and you can see that a lot of the build budget is spent here. The frame is Series 2 6061 Aluminum, Double Butted Frame, 141 mm Open Dropout, 73 mm Threaded BB. There is some decent semi internal routing which is great for when you add the dropper post at a later date.
Decent package of Marin Components including the bars, seat post and alloy pedals.
Bolt Through axles for extra strength
Decent Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tyres on both ends
Tektro hydraulic Brakes
Not so Good
Don’t get me wrong here because everything on this bike is good quality and it works well. These are just areas where the money has been saved and you will probably want to upgrade.
Suntour XCM 32 Boost forks with 120 mm travel. This is a decent starter fork but, it is a heavy sprung unit rather than a nice lite air sprung fork. Marin saved some money here and could have gone for better but, the price would have risen.
Altus 1 x 9 Gearing. The Altus is considered entry level and 1 x 9 is an interesting setup. It is paired with an 11 – 36 tooth cassettes which will give you a little of hard work for the climbs.
Bottom Bracket and Crank. The cartridge is a sealed unit cartridge which tend to break when treated roughly over a period. This was the first thing to break on my own bike. Luckily this is an easy upgrade.
This bike has a very aggressive ride stance and you can really throw it around. The steep seat post and slack head angle give you great balance and alongside the bolt through axles and wide rims you really stick to the trail. Actually the bike itself feels like a much more expensive bike. Watching this bike on the trails and hearing the screams of delight lets you know that this is a worthy of its price tag.
The whole range of this series come with the much sought after 1 x setup which gives better reliability and more control whilst reducing the risk of a dropped chain. This particular model comes with a lower end 1 x 9 system it is easily upgraded.
|Frame:||Series 2 6061 Aluminum, Double Butted Frame, 141 mm Open Dropout, 73 mm Threaded BB|
|Fork:||SR Suntour XCM32 Boost 15 x 110 mm Spacing, 120 mm Travel, Lock Out, Tapered Steerer, 27.5″, Bolt-On Thru Axle|
|Headset:||FSA No 57E, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, 11/8″x11/2”|
|Stem:||Marin 3D Forged Alloy, 45 mm|
|Bars:||Marin Mini-Riser, 6061 Double Butted, 28 mm Rise, 780 mm width, 4o up, 9o back|
|Front Brake:||Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc, 180 mm Rotor|
|Rear Brake:||Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc, 160 mm Rotor|
|Brake Lever:||Tektro M275 Hydraulic|
|Rear Mech:||Shimano Altus, 9-Speed, Shadow Design|
|Shifters:||Shimano SLM3000 9-Speed w/Optical Display|
|Rims:||Marin Aluminum Double Wall, Disc Specific, 29mm Inner, Pinned Joint, 32H, Tubeless Compatible|
|Front Hub:||Forged Alloy, 110 x 15 mm, Sealed Cartridge Bearing, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H|
|Rear Hub:||Forged Alloy, Quad Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Alloy Axle, 141mm Width, 6-Bolt Disc, 32H, Shimano Standard Freehub Body|
|Spokes:||14g Black Stainless Steel|
|Front Tyre:||Schwalbe, Hans Dampf, 27.5×2.35″, Wire Bead, Performance Line|
|Rear Tyre:||Schwalbe, Hans Dampf, 27.5×2.35″, Wire Bead, Performance Line|
|Seat Post:||Marin Alloy Light|
|Chainset:||Marin Forged Alloy 1×9, Hollow Spindle, Steel Narrow-Wide 32T Chainring, 104mm BCD|
|Bottom Bracket:||External Sealed Cartridge Bearing|
|Cassette:||SunRace, 9-Speed, 11-36T|
|Pedals:||Alloy Body Flat|
Click here to see todays price at Tredz
You may also feel like dropping the supplied fork and going with a good quality Air fork like the Rockshox Judy
The Rockshox Judy is a rock solid upgrade for people on a budget and is available around £295 for the 27.5 boost system.
Check todays price at Tredz
These two upgrades will truly enhance this already good bike. Of course if you are planning on upgrading straight away then I would recommend you look further up the range to the next model which already has components of this level. If you follow the links for the bike you will be able to see the full range from Marin.
Personally I think Marin have supplied a great bike here. They have provided a working machine that is actually capable of hitting some significant trails and coming out the other side in one piece. OK so they have saved a little money on the drive train and fork but, they have still used quality components that won’t let you down and can be easily upgraded when you have the spare cash. If you want to see the capabilities then watch the Matt Jones Video and you will understand how great it is. To me the frame on this bike makes it a good purchase.
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