At a glance
The Rocky Ridge has built a steady following over the past few years and it is particularly popular with heavier riders that still want light weight and performance from their tough frames.Buy Hard Tails on
The combination of low weight, strength and value make it an attractive proposition and we were more than happy to give it a good thrashing to see if it really is as good a deal as it looks.
Marin has refined the 6061 Alumimum frame and it sports their double butted Edge XL top tube and Hydro Edge down tube with Tri Burner XXL seat and chain stays. Sounds impressive huh…. But what does it mean, well it means that the frame is made up from cleverly butted and shaped tubes that give high strength and reasonably low weight. There is a solid looking x bridge high on the seat stays but this does not impede mud clearance which is ample.
Angles are a relaxed 67.25º head angle, a laid back 70.5º seat angle with the effective top tube length of 595mm, chain stays are a lengthy 430mm and the wheelbase is 1100mm on our medium frame.
A Rockshox Revelation SL air fork gives 140mm of travel and has a lockout and sports a 20mm Maxle.
Transmission is Sram, shifters are X-7, front mech X-5 and the rear mech is an excellent X-9. Crankset set is a Truvativ Firex triple. Hayes Stroker Trail brakes are basic but reliable.
The wheel build is a strange mix with plain gauge spokes lacing Marin and Shimano hubs to WTB LaserDisc rims running Kenda Nevegal 2.35 DTC tyres.
Finishing kit includes a Race 30.9 seat post matched with a WTB Pure V comp saddle. A Gap 70mm stem and 710mm lo rise Marin bars finish the package.
Our medium size bike weighed in at 27.8lbs on our scales.
On the trail
The first thing you notice is that the cockpit is quite roomy and that the wide bars give an instant feeling of control.
The frame is stiff and power transfer is good if not explosive, the Rocky Ridge pedalled well and the long cockpit made it easy to get the bike motoring.
Heading up the fairly slack seat tube angle is off set by the long top tube and lengthy chain stays meaning the bike climbed surprisingly well. An adjustable travel fork would have been a benefit but it was only whilst climbing steep stuff that we every considered it an issue.
On fast swoopy single track the Rocky Ridge was a joy and on smooth trails with the odd rooty section it carved its way though beautifully. Across really rough ground the rear end kicks up and traction is lost as the back end tends to spend half its time in the air but the bike pedals well and so speed can be maintained.
Heading down the wide bars and slack head angle make you feel like going on the attack which is great fun but there is a point where the firm back end starts to buck hard and control has to be fought for.
Weight wise the Rocky is pretty light and pedals that way, speed is easy to come by and the frame feels bombproof.
It is the bikes performance on flat terrain that really shines, for a tough bike that can handle tough downs it really does behave very well and rides like a shorter travel rig in terms of speed. Climbing is no hardship either and add to this the comfortable ride position and you have a bike that you can ride all day.
The stiffness of the frame gives a harsh ride when it comes to hammering the rough stuff but that is a trade off for having a bombproof frame.
The spec is ok and the kit all does a job but there is little to get excited about, which brings us to the wheelset which has lightweight plain gauge spokes, on a tough hard hitter like this we think that is a strange way to build a wheel, that said we did not break any spokes.
The Marin offers a good frame with some sensible kit for a good price.
The Rocky Ridge rides well, it has a comfortable riding position and gives easy speed, it is tough enough to take a bigger rider and light enough to suit a lighter build too.
For the money the Rocky Ridge is well worth a look and would suit someone looking for a good all day bike that can handle some pretty rough going from time to time.Buy Hard Tails on
This review was in Issue 5 of IMB.For more information visit Marin Bikes
By Nigel GarroodNigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!