The name of the new Marin Alpine Trail says it all; according to the American brand, this bike is meant for good times in alpine terrain, with particular emphasis on the descents. With modern geometry, 150 mm of travel and 29″ wheels, it promises to be a lot of fun. So we’ve taken a closer look.

The new Marin Alpine Trail will be available in two versions with prices starting at € 2,699 up to € 3,599.

Currently, 29er enduro bikes are on everybody’s lips! Almost every mountain bike brand has one in their portfolio – also Marin had the Wolf Ridge already. However, you’ll have to reach deep into your pocket for the extraordinary looking carbon bike. As an attractive alternative, Marin now has the Alpine Trail, which is available in two builds at a fair price, ranging from € 2,699.

The frame of the Marin Alpine Trail

The key data of the Marin Alpine Trail are promising. The Series 4 aluminium frame has internally routed cables that are fixed at the inlet by rubber ports to prevent them from rattling in the frame. At the rear, the Alpine Trail offers 150 mm of travel which is controlled by a single pivot rear linkage, supported by forged rocker link to provide a lot of stiffness. As you would expect from such a bike, it has 148 mm boost axle spacing at the rear as well as ISCG 05 tabs on the bottom bracket.

The forged rocker link is designed to increase the rigidity of the rear end. A bridge between the seat stays, therefore, isn’t necessary.
The cables are held in place by rubber ports. We didn’t hear any rattling on our first rides.
Not to be missed: the Marin logo on the head tube

The geometry of the Marin Alpine Trail

Those who carefully study the geometry table of the Marin Alpine Trail will notice that there are no inconsistencies. All values seem to be suitable for a bike of this purpose. There is nothing particularly extreme; mostly the figures are just right. The reach in size L is an average 465 mm long, and the chainstays are rather short at 430 mm. The seat tube is very short for all sizes, which makes it easy for the rider to reach for a larger size than usual. The slack 65° head angle is designed to increase stability, and the 75.68° steep seat angle makes climbing a breeze. Since the bottom bracket is rather low with a 35 mm drop, Marin exclusively specs 170 mm cranks on all sizes to avoid pedal strikes on the uphills.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 385 mm 420 mm 450 mm 480 mm
Top tube 615 mm 624 mm 633 mm 642 mm
Head tube 90 mm 100 mm 110 mm 120 mm
Head angle 65° 65° 65° 65°
Seat angle 76.4° 76° 75.7° 75.4°
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB Height 342 mm 342 mm 342 mm 342 mm
Wheelbase 1.175 mm 1.205 mm 1.229 mm 1.258 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 465 mm 490 mm
Stack 615 mm 624 mm 633 mm 642 mm

The Marin Alpine Trail Builds

If you like bling-bling componentry you won’t find it on the Marin Alpine Trail! Both models rely on entry-level, but functional parts to keep the price of the complete bike low. Marin is not a direct mail order company, and so the componentry isn’t as high-end as YT, Canyon or Whyte – after all, there has to be some margin left for the dealers. Nevertheless, there was nothing to complain about during our first test rides on the most affordable Alpine Trail 7 (price: € 2,699).

The Marin Alpine Trail 8 goes for € 3,599

For the € 3,599 Alpine Trail 8, Marin relies on FOX suspension consisting of a 36 Performance fork and a FLOAT DPX2 Performance shock and a SRAM NX-Eagle drivetrain with a GX-Eagle 10-50T cassette. Braking is taken care of by a Tektro Slate T4. Also, all bikes from frame size Medium upwards come with a 150 mm dropper seat post.

The Alpine Trail 8 features FOX Performance suspension
The bike has a SRAM NX/GX Eagle drivetrain combination and a Descendant crankset
Thumbs up: all models from size M come with a 150 mm dropper seat post.
The TRP Slate T4 brake should provide sufficient deceleration
The Alpine Trail will come with VEE TIRE tyres as standard, not WTB. How they perform remains to be seen.

The € 900 cheaper Alpine Trail 7 has a RockShox Yari RC fork, an X-Fusion O2 shock, a Shimano SLX drivetrain with a 9-46 E.Thirteen cassette and Tektro Orion four-piston brakes. Frames from M and up also come with a 150 mm dropper seat post. The rims are nice and wide with an inner width of 29 mm which should increase grip and comfort.

The Marin Alpine Trail 7 is yours for € 2,699.
Marin relies on a RockShox Yari RC fork…
… and an X-Fusion O2 shock.
The low-end Tektro Orion brakes offered a solid but not amazing braking performance
The E.Thirteen 9-46T cassette teases additional gear range out of the Shimano SLX drivetrain

First ride on the Marin Alpine Trail

We had the opportunity to test a prototype of the Marin Alpine Trail on the varied trails of the Bike-Republic-Sölden. With a height of almost 185 cm, our test rider immediately felt very comfortable on the XL bike. The riding position on uphills with the dropper extended is central. The suspension remains neutral, and the pedalling efficiency is good. For really steep climbs in the Alps, you might want to install a smaller chainring in the front. The 30-46 ratio in combination with the large 29″ wheels requires strong calves.

The geometry of the Marin Alpine Trail is very balanced, the handling easy and fun from the get-go!

Of the few descents we had time to ride on the Marin Alpine Trail, the handling of the bike made a very positive impression. The bike is agile, despite the long front triangle. The rear end provides a lot of feedback and doesn’t wallow in compressions or berms. Due to the high cockpit and the tall stack, as the rider, you feel very integrated into the bike. You’ll notice this is primarily in steep terrain, where the Marin will inspire you with confidence.

Full-speed over rollers and through berms – no problem with the Alpine Trail.

The rear linkage isn’t super plush with the standard X-Fusion shock, so the bike often passes bigger hits on to the rider. Further testing is needed to find out whether tuning the shock or trying out a different shock altogether will make a difference. The low-end Tektro brakes offer solid deceleration, but they can’t compete with a SRAM code or Shimano Zee. They lack power, so you’ll strong fingers, and they harden on long descents – we recommend budgeting for an upgrade.

The bike inspires confidence on steeper, rough trails. However, the X-Fusion shock begins to reach its limits – further tests are needed to see what can be achieved with better tuning.

Our first impression of the Marin Alpine Trail

If you’re looking for a fun 29er enduro bike at a fair price, you should take a closer look at the Marin Alpine Trail. With its very balanced geometry and the mostly good spec, the Alpine Trail is a sound basis for a loyal companion for everything from long rides, bike park visits and enduro races. However, you should work a few upgrades into your budget.

More information at

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