A great trail bike that you can really push to the limits
11th August, 2016 | by Phil Williamson
Marin have billed the Mount Vision as a trail bike ‘with the efficient pedalling of an XC bike and the confidence of a longer travel Enduro bike’. In this review we will look at the all-round trail ability of the Mount Vision 8. We’ll see if it really does inspire the confidence of an Enduro Bike on the descents yet still pedal uphill as efficiently as a cross country machine.
Model: Marin Mount Vision 8
Rider: Hardcore trail rider
Highlights: XC light, Enduro tough
Tredz Rating: 910
This is one stiff trail bike
The first thing I noticed about the Mount Vision 8 when it arrived was how burly it seemed – it certainly looks more enduro than XC. The monocoque carbon fibre front end features big, boxy head and tube and seat tube junctions that certainly make the bike look like it means business. The one-piece alloy rear end does away with a pivot on the stays and instead relies on the built in flex of the Iso Trac suspension system.
All this combined adds up to a very stiff bike. This was immediately noticeable, both on our ‘car park flex test’ and most importantly out on the trail. The Mount Vision is certainly a lot stiffer than most 140mm full sussers and is a bike that you can really push hard. It feels composed in the corners, sure of itself, without any feelings of vagueness.
The Mount Vision is certainly a lot stiffer than most 140mm full sussers and is a bike that you can really push hard. It feels composed in the corners, sure of itself, without any feelings of vagueness.
Putting the Mount vision of the scales it weighed in at a respectable 29lbs which, while not really XC territory is certainly very respectable for such a capable bike at this price point. The real test of course is how well it climbs.
Pedalling the Mount Vision was quietly confident. I was impressed at the lack of any unwanted rear wheel movement, especially on technical climbs. The rear wheel tracked the ground efficiently over roots and rocks without bobbing around. Sitting and spinning, it climbed so well that I didn’t feel the need to flick the climb switch on the RockShox Monarch shock - although this does stiffen the suspension appreciably, so will be handy if you like to climb out of the saddle. It was quick too which was probably more to do with the largely down the fast rolling trail tyres fitted.
Enduro component spec
Other than the tyres, the component spec is geared more towards enduro than XC. The RockShox Pike RC is often fitted on enduro bikes and offers the plush, dependability that we expect from such a hard hitting fork. Combined with the Monarch RT Debonair, the suspension felt balanced, tracking the ground predictably, smooth over the small bumps and soaking up the big hits with confidence.
The 27.5” wheels feature the new MK3 Stan’s Flow rims, which looked wider to me than their 29mm inner width suggests. These offered excellent support for the tyres when running them at lower pressures and I’m sure contributed to the confident cornering. The Schwalbe Nobby Nicks are great, fast rolling, trail tyres but do lack a bit of bite when the going get tough.
It’s great to see 780mm bars on a trail bike which combined with the single shifter and under bar KS dropper post switch made for a perfectly laid out cockpit. The Shimano XT drivetrain was quick and quiet and the XT brakes delivered that confident control you need on the steeps.
On the trail
I immediately felt at home on the Mount Vision 8, everything was in just the right place, the suspension felt balanced and the bike inspired me with the confidence to push it right from the off. It climbed quickly and efficiently, without any annoying suspension quirks, and the drivetrain offered reliable shifting with all the gears I needed. Descending is fun on the Marin, lightweight and compact enough to throw around yet tough enough to take a hammering.