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Attention: Marin’s most popular mountain bike is now called the Rift Zone 27.5

05.09.20 Marin Bikes. Rift Zone 27.5. Nikki Whiles. PIC © Andy Lloyd www.andylloyd.photography
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Since it’s introduction, the Marin Hawk Hill has been a huge hit. That’s not all that surprising when you look at the bike – it’s a durable, affordable, and well spec’d full suspension mountain bike that is ‘built for fun.’ However, it seems that someone out there has created a new bike company and “threatened to launch a hawkish legal challenge against Marin if we kept the old name.” So rather than throw dollars to the lawyers to try and fight it, Marin is changing the name – to the Rift Zone 27.5.

To help get the word out, Marin sent team rider Nikki Whiles to shout it from the UK mountain tops, while remaining socially distant of course.

Marin Rift Zone 1 aka Hawk Hill 1 Marin Rift Zone 2 aka Hawk Hill 2 Marin Rift Zone 3 aka Hawk Hill 3

As before, there are three alloy Rift Zone 27.5 models, starting with the 1 (top, green) at $1,599, the 2 for $1,949, and the 3 at $2,599.

The Rift Zone family also includes the Rift Zone 29 with carbon or alloy frames and five builds, and all-new Rift Zone 26, and the Rift Zone Jr. Somehow, we don’t expect the name change to have much effect on the fact that this is still Marin’s most popular mountain bike.

From Marin:

Marin Brings its Affordable and Most Popular Mountain Bikes into one Rift Zone Range

Range includes 29”, 27.5”, 26” and Junior models.

The Rift Zone 27.5 is Marin’s most popular mountain bike.

For zipping up mountains, soaring back down them, floating over jumps, or popping out of turns, it’s made for fun and made for everyone.

Hang on a minute.

You rub your chin. Move in towards the screen. Stare closely at the images. You think back to the days before the Rift Zone 27.5. Wasn’t there was another most popular bike that had you dreaming of Marin County, California singletrack and watching the sunset from a classic local peak like, say, Hawk Hill?

Affordable, robust, versatile and capable. You definitely knew the bike. In fact, maybe you even bought it, and now you’ve seen the video you are going to head out for a spin to confirm your theory — yep, it’s every bit as fast and fun.

You are right. You have seen the Rift Zone 27.5 before. In a previous life, it had a different, but now unmentionable name and the reason is really rather dull: someone somewhere set up a new bike company and threatened to launch a hawkish legal challenge against Marin if we kept the old name.

We didn’t lose too much sleep. Our most popular mountain bike has a new title, but everything else is just as appealing as ever.

Now, the Rift Zone family has been extended to include a full range of bikes that represent the great value, excellent spec, and beautiful finish that make Marin’s most popular bike so, well, popular.

It’s not just the Rift Zone 27.5 that has a new name: Our super fun full-suspension kids’ bike is now called the Rift Zone Jr. The wagon-wheeled range-topper is the Rift Zone 29 (previously Rift Zone — we are allowed to talk about that). Plus, we’ve added a new-for-2021 Rift Zone 26.

The 2021 Rift Zone range

    • Rift Zone 29 (available as five builds and price points, with carbon or AL frames)
    • Rift Zone 27.5 (available as three builds and price points)
    • Rift Zone 26 (all-new for 2021)
    • Rift Zone Jr

We sent team rider Nikki Whiles out on the road in the UK to help get the word about while remaining socially distanced — which meant he had to turn up the volume. We hope you enjoy the video.



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3 years ago

Marin has had a model called the Hawk Hill for 25-30 years – seems unlikely a brand new company could challenge that? Maybe they just wanted to avoid a costly legal fight, even if they would eventually win.

3 years ago

If newco decided to register a name that Marin has been using (without registration) and Marin didn’t contest that registration before the mark was granted, newco has a presumption of ownership which would take a relatively lengthy and expensive legal challenge to overcome. It becomes a business decision for Marin – is there enough brand equity in Hawk Hill to justify such an expenditure?

Put another way, would a layperson (even one with a heightened awareness of the industry) associate “Hawk Hill” with Marin bikes? If no, it’s probably more cost effective to change the model’s name.

3 years ago

Anyone know what (deleted) company is threatening the lawsuit?

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