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Marin Alpine Trail Reshapes All-New, Super Adjustable 160mm Alloy Enduro Bike: 1st Ride

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, riding photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Mirror Media(Photo BCA/Mirror Media)
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The all-new Marin Alpine Trail is an alloy enduro transformer. It’s a complete departure from the previous generation bike, fully adopting the best of modern enduro mountain bike tech, plus so much adjustability to really dial in your perfect setup. Or even to let you change the character of your bike, as you change where you ride it.

With all that adjustability said, the new Marin Alpine Trail is already a killer bike out of the box in its standard settings. So let the tinkers tinker, and let the rest of us just hop on and hit the trails…

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm alloy enduro bike

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, XR AXS complete
(Photo Mountain Bike Connection Winter/Rupert Fowler)

Marin calls the new 170mm front / 160mm rear Alpine Trail their “boldest and most capable” mountain bike ever. It’s only really 10mm more travel front and rear and a 1/2° slacker head angle, but this new bike fully embraces rowdy enduro riding in its new aluminum guise. Yes, that’s right. The new 2024 Marin Alpine Trail is now aluminum only based on delivering a high-value to the rider – there’s no carbon version. And the way Marin described it, there’s not really any reason to make this bike carbon.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, AT XR angled
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

Instead, this new Alpine Trail is built to be the burly bike you can take to the bike park, shuttle up to shred your local hills, pedal up for some all-around all-mountain good times, or even strap on a race number and hit the enduro circuit with it.

So, what else is new?

Super Adjustable

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, zero offset headset
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

Adjustability is the key buzzword here. This new Marin Alpine Trail was designed to adapt to the rider, terrain, and their style of riding. They say there are 12 geo combos you can set the bike up with.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, all geometry options
(click to zoom)

Perfect for the tuner geeks among us.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, angle adjust headset cups
(Photo BCA/Marin)

Up front that means the bike starts with a Zero-offset headset. Or you can drop in the angle-adjust upper headset cup and change the head angle by +/-0.75°.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, seatstay rocker lin kflip-chip
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

In the middle of the bike, at the top of the seatstay where they meet the rocker, a simple flip-chip lets you swap between the standard mullet setup with a 29″ front/27.5″ rear wheel. Or swap in a 29″ rear wheel (not included) for a full 29er setup with virtually unchanged geometry.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, chainstay flip-chip
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

Then, out back where the chainstay closes in on the rear axle, another simple flip-chip lets you pick a High bottom bracket/Short chainstay length for more agility or a Low/Long position for more stability. BB height varies 7.2mm and chainstay length changes 7mm. Both of which are relatively small changes that can tweak the bike’s handling to your liking, without doing anything too drastic.

The suspension-tech-adverse don’t need to worry though.

It’s still super good in the out-of-the-box preset position, too.

Downtube storage

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, Bear Box internal frame storage detail
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

The Alpine Trail’s downtube glovebox is called the Bear Box. The large opening in the hydroformed alloy downtube makes room for a custom-made water-resistant bag to carry your spares inside the frame. A TPU tube, tool & inflator, for example. The Bear Box door itself is “double-sealed” to keep water out, but easy enough to operate and still secure. And serves as the mounting point for the single bottle cage mount on the frame.

But, there’s also an extra set of bosses above the rocker link where you can mount an external tool carrier or gear strap.

Tech details

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, sngled
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

The new 160mm Marin Alpine Trail is now a proper 4-bar suspension design thanks to moving the rear end’s pivot onto the chainstay. They call it MultiTrac 2 LT – gen 2 and Long Travel. The update allows Marin designers to “reduce anti-rise, allowing for better chassis control while braking, more mid-stroke support, and better feel at bottom out” to coincide with the bump up in travel. A bonus in the suspension redesign was the option to add the chainstay flip-chip.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, head badge
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

The bike features a fully 6061 aluminum frame, and a proper headbadge. All complete bike builds come set up with a mixed mullet 29″ front & 27.5″ rear wheel combo. But all sizes and all builds can simply swap in a 29″ rear wheel and flip the chip to go full 29er.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, NDS
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

The bike now features a larger diameter 34.9mm seatpost for bigger & smoother dropper travel, internal cable routing with self-sealing rubber gasket guides, and a new UDH. Plus, there’s a 73mm threaded BSA bottom bracket, ISCG05 tabs, Boost thru-axles, and post-mount disc brakes.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, protector details
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

Lastly, thick rubber protectors on the chainstay & seatstay keep any rattling chain noise to a minimum. And a big downtube protector keeps rocks from messing up your paintjob. Plus, a little mini-mudflap on the chainstay yoke keeps rocks & debris from chewing up the swingarm or messing with the main pivot bearings. Plus, all of these rubber protectors are a nice canvas for Marin to show off their California forest inspiration.

Initial Setup

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, AT XR test bike
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

While I love the flashy pink & blue of the top-tier bike, I was happy to get some wet trail time on the second-tier Alpine Trail XR (eXtra Rad!) earlier this year. I kind of feel like this is the perfect build for an aluminum enduro bike. It mixes the best big travel suspension RockShox has on offer, with the lower-cost dependability & performance of a mid-tier mechanical drivetrain and the pleasantly-powerful DB8 brakes. You’ll never worry about bashing this build through gnarly rock gardens, or hucking it off some sketchy drops. And that’s precisely what the new Marin Alpine Trail wants you to do.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Rupert Fowler, setup position details
(Photo BCA/Rupert Fowler)

I rode the large bike in its stock Mullet wheel combo setup, Low bottom bracket / Long chainstay flip-chip setting, and middle position zero-offset headset cups.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable alloy enduro bike, test geometry

That means 63° head angle, 78.3° seat angle, 442mm chainstays, and a 345mm bottom bracket height (or 20mm BB drop from the centerline of the axles – 14mm drop from the 27.5″ rear & 31mm drop from the 29″ front. #geometry)

First Rides

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Mirror Media, climbing
(Photo Mountain Bike Connection Winter/Mirror Media)

In that setup, the bike felt great. A solid starting point. Super capable when things got steep and slippery (the trails and rocks were extra greasy for my test rides). But still plenty agile for climbing technical trails too. This is a pretty burly (read: heavy) bike, so it doesn’t zip up the climbs. The new alloy frame is said to be 200g heavier than the shorter travel/older Alpine Trail Carbon frame. But it was composed and slowly but steadily kept going back up the hill so I could bomb down again. It feels lighter than it actually is.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Mirror Media, cornering
(Photo BCA/Mirror Media)

Marin describes this more stable setting mode as “Fast” and it seemed perfect for the bermy trails interspersed with big chunky rocks.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Mirror Media, trail riding
(Photo BCA/Mirror Media)

I could imagine swapping to the higher BB/shorter chainstay position on my steeper, more technical local trails. And I would definitely like to try out a full 29er setup. (Which manages to keep geo the same, only slightly slacking the seat angle.) These two changes are super simple (assuming you have a spare 29″ rear wheel). And would be fun to play with. Headset adjustment is a bit messier. I’m happy with the 0°, and changing means swapping upper cups which takes a bit more time. But the routing is all old-school internal through the frames, so cup swaps are pretty easy too.

2024 Marin Alpine Trail – Pricing, availability & options

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, frameset

The new Marin Alpine Trail comes in three complete bike builds spec’d around performance suspension, and in one frameset. All feature the same Series 4 Aluminum MultiTrac 2 LT frame, all in 4 highly adjustable stock sizes (S-XL).

The alloy frame kit sells for $1850 / 1900€ with a custom-tuned RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock (size-specific spring weights). And it surely will be the starting point for the most custom builds.

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, AT1
2024 Marin Alpine Trail 1

If you want ready-to-shred out-of-the-box, the $3200 / 3500€ Alpine Trail 1 is a solid enduro starting point. This brown & blue bike gets a Fox 36 Rhythm fork & custom tune Fox Float Performance air shock, plus a Shimano Deore 12sp drivetrain and TRP Slate EVO 4-piston brakes with mega 203mm rotors.

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, AT XR
Marin Alpine Trail XR

Step it up to the $4600 / 5060€ Marin Alpine Trail XR that I test-rode in bushed aluminum silver and black for a slightly more gnarly build. Here you get the killer RockShox Zeb Ultimate fork paired to a Super Deluxe Ultimate coil shock out back. A no-nonsense SRAM GX Eagle mechanical groupset rounds out the bullet-proof build with SRAM DB8 Stealth 4-piston brakes & 200mm rotors.

2024 Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, AT XR AXS
Marin Alpine Trail XR AXS

Or go full enduro race in Marin team pink & blue on the $5400 / 5945€ Alpine Trail XR AXS. Which has a real weight of 37.14lb/16.88kg. Here you get the same RockShox Zeb & Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate suspension, but upgraded to a SRAM GX T-Type AXS Eagle electronic drivetrain and Code Bronze 4-piston brakes.

Marin Alpine Trail 160mm adjustable aluminum alloy enduro bike, photo by Mountain Bike Connection Winter-Mirror Media, riding
(Photo BCA/Mirror Media)

All three bikes and the frameset are available starting today through your local Marin dealer bikeshop. Although immediate availability is a bit limited on some sizes.

MarinBikes.com

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Pining for the mountains
Pining for the mountains
3 days ago

Damn.. these look great!

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