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www.vitalmtb.com

Riding Marin's Completely Redesigned Mount Vision Trail Bike

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Marin’s Mount Vision needed to take a year off to really find itself and get in touch with who it really wanted to be. Sure, the Mount Vision had been Marin’s main staple trail bike for many years but what did that mean anymore? The Mount Vision is back and while its heart may have stayed the same, this new version is a very different bike indeed.

2019 Marin Mount Vision Features

  • Available in Small through X-Large
  • 150mm travel front and rear
  • 27.5 wheels up to 2.6-inch tire widths

  • Ultra-strong frame protector on lower frame
  • Full carbon frame
  • Naild R3ACT - 2 Play suspension design
  • Two different rider kinematics based on frame size (S/M) and (L/XL)
  • Trunnion mounted shock
  • Shielded, sealed suspension bearings
  • MSRP: $5,299 - $8,899 USD
  • Mount Vision 8 and 9 available now, Pro coming soon

Incorporating the Naild R3ACT platform first seen in Marin’s Wolf Ridge, the new Mount Vision is the aggressive trail (may we say enduro?) offering from the brand. Marin sought to make a bike that was stable and poised when things got rough but was not just a simple plow bike. They also wanted the bike to play, pop and be able to boost lips. Using their knowledge from the Wolf Ridge, they went about creating the next iteration of Mount Vision and the R3ACT-2 Play platform.

The short version of the R3ACT platform is this: the suspension design allows for a 60-percent reduction in compression tuning and makes the claim that a climb switch is not needed (therefore not equipped), allowing for maximum ground tracking. Put power to the pedals and the bike sits up instead of squatting down. In other words, this arrangement is said to offer maximum traction at all times while being the most efficient design out there. No biggie.

Three Marin Mount Vision models:

  • Mount Vision Pro, $8,899 - (pictured grey/black, FOX Factory suspension, Shimano XTR 12-speed, coming soon)
  • Mount Vision 9, $6,799 (pictured grey/blue, FOX Elite / Performance suspension, SRAM X01 / GX Eagle 12-speed, available now)

  • Mount Vision 8, $5,299 (pictured red/black, RockShox Pike RC / Deluxe R, SRAM GX / NX Eagle 12-speed, available now) 

Geometry

By the numbers, the Mount Vision could almost seem conventional: 27.5 wheels, 65-degree head angle, 75-degree seat angle, standard offset fork, reach numbers in line with most; it is all there. Sizing has moved into similar territories as other brands with very short seat tube lengths so a wider swath of riders fit on each size. The fit is centered more around reach and stack, giving people the chance to pick a size more on their particular body dimensions and not be limited by the seat tube. In the same vein of sizing matters, the Mount Vision utilizes two different suspension kinematics: one for small and medium bikes, another for large and x-large frames. The larger sizes have reduced anti-squat while maintaining the same suspension curve as the smaller sizes.

The Mount Vision utilizes two different suspension kinematics: one for small and medium bikes, another for large and x-large frames. The larger sizes have reduced anti-squat while maintaining the same suspension curve as the smaller sizes.

On The Trail

We had the chance to throw a leg over the Mount Vision 8 ($5,299) and 9 ($6,799) for a quick shake down. A few days earlier, we pulled numerous laps on various bikes, on the same trail. On day three, it was the Mount Vision’s turn.

Our climbs were somewhat brief but did feature some technical bits. For the fire road portions, we found putting the power down and increasing cadence resulted in delightfully quick acceleration. Getting into the more rocky or awkward uphill portions proved the Mount Vision to be composed and easily managed. We were off to a good start and eager to see how the bike handled the fun part.

Dropping into the first rock roll was intuitive and comfortable. The feeling stayed with us all the way down our initial first lap. Big rocks, chunky bits, pretty much everything other than the small chatter, was easily gobbled up by the FOX-equipped Mount Vision 9. The bike, however, didn’t have the pop that we had heard so much about from Marin. This wasn’t so much a negative — the ground-hugging and tracking abilities were everything we had been sold. Nonetheless, we went back to camp, grabbed the RockShox-suspended Mount Vision 8 and headed back out. This go-round, we headed into a brand new trail which promised to be much rockier and more technical.

Our next two laps showcased the lively feel of the R3ACT-2 Play as the bike hopped down the trail with minimal rider input; this was the feeling Marin had been promising. We did trade off a small amount of trail composure but that would be due to the loss of the Fox 36. Encountering much steeper faces and unrelenting trail brutality, the Mount Vision kept smiling and encouraging creative line choices along the way.

We’ll admit, after a first encounter with the new bike, we’d like to know a bit more. With the Mount Vision being such a visual and mechanical departure from the norm, some quality time on the bike in more familiar terrain would be needed for us to see if Naild is making good on its claims. For now, we can confidently say that they aren’t NOT making good on them.

Check out the new Mount Vision at your local Marin dealer or at www.marinbikes.com

Veronique Sandler and Matt Jones crush it all aboard the new Mount Vision. Video provided by Marin Bikes

photographs by Mountain Bike Connection, Rupert Fowler and Luigi Sestili