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FULL REVIEW

2018 Marin Wolf Ridge Pro

Words Andrew Major
Photos Dave Smith
Date Oct 26, 2017

As I mentioned in my first look, the 2018 Marin Wolf Ridge is the most interesting mountain bike the market has seen in years. Interesting is a neutral term but in this case my experiences have been largely positive. The bike shares the R3ACT gliding four bar platform with the Polygon XQUARONE EX series (Polygon and Marin also share a parent company) designed by mad scientist/surfer hippie Darrel Voss and it's unlike anything on the market. Ever. The finished product elicits an extreme reaction. On the internet and in real life. It does however make a much better impression in person. Needless to say I was keen to do a long term test on this imaginative interpretation of the long travel 29er. 

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Marin's R3ACT suspension system is as unique as its appearance. For the gritty details please check out my teardown here

Good Rides

Force me to choose one word to describe Marin's Wolf Ridge and I'll throw down traction. That's both up the trail and down. One characteristic that sets it apart from the competition? The Wolf Ridge can be hammered out of the saddle. It's not just a great climbing long travel 29'er. It's a great climbing mountain bike. 

But the most impressive takeaway from my Wolf Ridge Pro test experience has been that every ride I've had on this bike has been fun. That's not saying the Marin doesn't have some personality quirks to match its unique appearance. But from long XC rides with a pile of to-the-trail asphalt thrown in to rocky DH tracks it's a really enjoyable machine that's easy to ride. 

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The Wolf Ridge is sprung with a custom tuned Fox Float X2 with extremely light damping. The designer wanted no damping at all but Fox wasn't down with that. 

The 'all fun all the time' award does come with two caveats. 1. Hydration is going to have to be worn. 2. The Wolf Ridge is a hard bike to get off the ground, the flip side to the amazing traction coin. Even in the long travel 29'er category there are significantly more 'playful' bikes. 

Not big into boosting? Strap on your pack - fanny or back - and prepare for some awesome rides. 

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Wolf Ridge keywords: balanced, predictable and traction. 


Wow, that bike actually looks cool in person. I'm not throwing up in my mouth at all..." - Things Said To Me While Wolf Ridge'ing.

'T' Is For Traction

Traction Monster would have been a great name for this bike. Simply put, the R3ACT suspension creates traction where there should be none. The secret, both climbing and descending is to keep my weight centered. As obvious as that sounds it's even more obvious when riding this bike. Moving my weight too rearward results in a significant decrease in front and rear wheel grip. 

The rear suspension is supple (lightly damped by design) with enough ramp-up that I never bottomed harshly. Yet the rear wheel feels like it is forced back into the ground pushing the rear tire to grip when it absolutely should break loose. That's with the stock rubber (see below). 

I regularly found myself taking bold chances on greasy technical climbs.  Descending the Wolf Ridge, I would guess it's the most predictable bike on the market. That's also thanks to the traction situation. 

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The Marin digs in under hard braking, punchy up hill efforts and in janky corners. 

Tire spec on 6" travel bikes is a no-win situation because riders either complain that the bikes are too heavy or the tires are too light. The stock light casing/fast rolling' 2.3" Vigilante/Breakout combo would never be my first choice for a long travel 29'er in my neighbourhood. On the Wolf Ridge the tires punched way above my expectations.

This will never happen but pontificating on the same theme, instead of shipping with one set of carbon hoops I'd love to see Marin go bold and ship the Wolf Ridge with two sets of high-end alloy wheelsets, one light and one tough, fitted with the appropriate tires. This is a strong candidate as a two wheelset bike, why not recognize it right out of the box? #nevergonnahappen

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The Wolf Ridge so tangibly rewards proper body position that regularly riding it has made me faster on other bikes. Really. 


NOT COOL BRO! Not Cool... ...it's against The Law to ride an E-Bike on Seymour" - Things Said To Me While Wolf Ridge'ing.

Planted Performance

Climbing and descending the Wolf Ridge absolutely hugs the ground. The low bottom bracket and lightly damped shock contributed to a solid, but predictable, beating on my Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals. Anyone planning to run flat pedals should  be looking carefully at pedal height. 

Climbing, the bike likes to be cranked in one gear harder than I'm running. The slacker than trendy seat angle actually makes sense pushing a bigger gear combo rather than spinning. The seat position and pedaling force engages the Naild strut such that the bike firms up considerably while still maintaining great traction. 

I love to climb out of the saddle, particularly on hard technical sections and steep pitches, and these efforts are rewarded with almost-pure, hype-reinforcing, forward momentum. 

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I'm up out of the saddle on the Wolf Ridge anytime climbs get really steep, technical or just needs a good thrashing 

Usually waxing poetic about the climbing efficiency of a long travel bike comes with a lackluster review of its capabilities once pointed downhill. That's not the case here. 

Descending the Wolf Ridge reminds me of riding a DH bike. The combination of supple 160mm of quality suspension, 29" hoops, a low bottom bracket, a fairly slack head tube angle and long wheelbase push the wheels down into the ground. Even with the rebound set fast preloading the bike doesn't deliver any lift at normal North Shore trail speed. It is easy enough to pull the front end up and float off ledges with a bit of momentum. I just want to reinforce that the bike is planted not playful. 

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 I'm not the best at getting my wheels off the ground as it is but the Wolf Ridge definitely doesn't help. 

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On the other hand the bike hovers through technical terrain so the trade off is well worth it for my riding preferences. 


I'm desperate to try that bike! I love the design! Will anyone local be demo'ing them!?!?... ...yes, I am an engineer - why do you ask?" - Things Said To Me While Wolf Ridge'ing.

Inverted Parallel & The Big Quirk

Grab the rear wheel of the Wolf Ridge and give it a good twist; Shiver my Dorado that's flexy! It's not really surprising since the linkage and yoke are understated and the strut is free to float and swivel but the amout of flex in the R3ACT chassis runs contrary to many riders' image of carbon frames. 

On the trail the Marin tracks beautifully and feels plenty stiff hammering out of the saddle. At 185lbs I didn't notice it to be abnormally flexy driving into corners. I equate the ride to an inverted fork. Back in the day I knew a handful of riders who slammed the Marzocchi Shiver and Manitou Dorado based on the test of having clamped the front wheel between their legs and twisting the handlebars, despite their solid on trail performance. 

In my experience the Wolf Ridge is plenty stiff on the trail but I'd be surprised if the next generation frame doesn't feature beefed up linkages with larger hardware and possibly a key-way on the strut to further amplify lateral stiffness. I wouldn't think of either as an 'upgrade' but lots of riders won't buy a component because they perceive it as 'flexy' and very few are concerned about things being 'too stiff' so it is a logical sales decision. 

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The 'Big Quirk' as I call it is the way the frame extends forward of the bottom bracket shell. 

There's A Lot going on in the bottom bracket area of the Wolf Ridge. As I suspected the R3ACT strut, with its moto seal and bushing and abundance of oil, is showing no wear. I am also pleasantly surprised with how well the ports shed detritus, although I do check regularly to make sure there is no material build up around the strut. 

The one Shore-specific concern I have with the Marin's nether regions is the big quirk, as I call the area of the frame that extends forward of the bottom bracket shell. I contacted the frame regularly when slowly rolling dropoffs and had the occasional 'f*** me sideways' moment where dropoffs were overhanging steeper chutes. This was especially terrifying on night rides. 

This wouldn't be a concern most places I've ridden but on trails that gave birth to the bashring* and where 14" used to be an acceptable bottom bracket height for hardtails, the Marin's low (13.2") bottom bracket and the frame extending forward of the BB shell is unwelcome. And in Moab, where you are hitting rock instead or roots, this could be an issue for some riders. 

*and apparently one of the few places where folks still run bash guards/tacos on non-DH bikes?


How do you like that bike? I love that it's different from everything else. It's actually interesting" - Things Said To Me While Wolf Ridge'ing.

Not A 'Weapon'

I love the Marin Wolf Ridge. It's the best climbing long travel 29'er I've ridden and frankly, allowing for discrepancies in tires/rims, one of the best climbing full suspension bikes I've ridden. There's a lot of hype surrounding this platform for a reason. It descends quickly and confidently and I like the planted all-traction feel it delivers. 

I can't help but contrast it with another climbable long travel 29'er I've ridden in 2017; the Intense Carbine 29. It's scary how fast the Carbine goes down to the point that when I heard Jack Moir was racing an Intense 29'er on the World Cup circuit I assumed they just bolted a Boxxer/Lyrik hybrid onto the front of a Carbine. 

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The Wolf Ridge is a great choice for anyone trying to buy more descending confidence without sacrificing climbing ability..

I bring up the contrast as both bikes tap the same amount of travel and yet I personally feel that the Wolf Ridge is an amazing every rider bike where in the right hands the new Carbine is a weapon. 

A truly fast rider, someone who is familiar with the podium, is going to be happy with how the Carbine climbs and then shreds ridiculously close to DH bike speeds on the way down while also being a more playful package. For most of us the Wolf Ridge is a great climbing bike that will greatly enhance our confidence descending. 

You'll have to decide which rider you are. 

R3ACTions

After finishing a series of reviews of budget components I packed Marin's Hawk Hill into the same box that this Wolf Ridge came out of. Such a strange juxtaposition of Marin's cheapest and most expensive full suspension bikes in the same place at the same time. 

A year ago Marin wasn't even on my radar. Their new suspension platforms, whether the Naild R3ACT or the MultiTrac design shared by their aluminum bikes, have changed that. They pedal well without any extra assistance from their shocks, have dialed geometry and are fun, predictable, bikes to rip down hill. 

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I've had more riders ask me about the Wolf Ridge than every bike I've tested put together. 

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I'm actually talking about rear hub design in this photo. But I can just as passionately discuss R3ACT. 

I don't think it will be possible for Marin to manufacture a Naild R3ACT frame in aluminum and that's unfortunate because even the GX Eagle equipped Wolf Ridge 8 at $5200 (USD) puts the suspension design out of the hands of a lot of riders who would really love it. This XX1 equipped Wolf Ridge Pro at $8600 (USD) isn't obscenely priced for an Eagle XX1 level bike with carbon wheels - especially considering the unique frame engineering. 

I hope that lots of dealers are stocking demo bikes because this is a bike that needs to be ridden to be loved. Reactions to its appearance are most certainly mixed but an overwhelming number of my conversations on the trail were very positive. I suspect once more riders get a chance to experience this platform the bikes will start to show up regularly on the trail. 

For more information check Marin's complete Wolf Ridge lineup here

Comments

MTBrent
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MTBrent  - Oct. 26, 2017, 6:17 a.m.

Great first look, teardown, and full review writeups, Andrew.

One question:  By the designer saying he wanted "no damping at all," does that mean the whole gamut (LSC, HSC, LSR, HSR), or just LSC for pedaling?  I have a hard time wrapping my head around completely undamped suspension...

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 7:49 a.m.

Cheers Brent!

That comment came from Cam’s conversation with Darrel Voss and as you suggest it is talking about compression damping.

I did run a bit of LSC and HSC for sure - and can’t imagine it literally un-damped.

Rebound does need to be run quite fast but I was most certainly running rebound damping.

The Float X2 (with custom tune) is a high quality shock that worked great here and it is a suitably high end shock for the pricepoint. Marin certainly could have down spec’d the shock and spent the money elsewhere as the level of adjustment is at best unneeded and at worst could be set up to work against the frame design.

Thanks for reading,

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 26, 2017, 4:08 p.m.

As I recall he was speaking about compression damping in particular Brent.

Reply

shoreboy
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Shoreboy  - Oct. 26, 2017, 9:38 a.m.

As I feared, that piece of frame sticking out seems to get hung up on roots and rocks.  That and the fact you describe it as 'planted and not playful' would probably take this one out of the running for me.  Oh and the looks, polarizing for sure.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 10:16 a.m.

The look and the ride certainly aren't for everyone but for those that the combination works for there truly is nothing like it on the market. I hope enough people fit that category to encourage Marin - and other companies - to go after unique performance envelopes. Some bikes definitely fall under the category of trying to be something to everyone making them nothing to everyone. 

Definitely some trail networks where contact is an issue but there will be lots of areas where the concern never comes up. 

It comes down to folks knowing where they ride

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mhaager2
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Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2017, 11:46 a.m.

Great write up. I was wondering how the NAILD suspension feels different from Yetis switch infinity. To me they seem to share a lot of similarities.  Also any thoughts on how this would do in a short travel bike? The problem with long travel 29ers for me is that at 5'6 they don't leave a lot of room for error if you know what I mean.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

Thank you!

I get the correlation with the Switch Infinity bikes in terms of being a single Pivot where the pivot point is floating but riding both bikes they are very dissimilar. 

Up front - I think the Yeti’s are awesome and I’m not disparaging them. If there was an aluminum option I’d own an SB 4.5. 

By function I’d say their closest cousin is a single pivot - think Orange - and I wonder if they picked a fix point in the SI range and built a single pivot using the rest of the Yeti DNA if it wouldn’t be 98% of the - fantastic - bike in a simpler package. I’d love to try that bike.

.

On the other hand there is no such correlation with Naild R3ACT - love it or hate it its unique.

.

Ride wise... the Yeti’s are very linear bikes and rely on shock damping where the Wolf Ridge - speaking of descending - is as soft as anything off the top and then ramps quite aggressively and a early 2000’s Fox Van RC spring properly would probably feel awesome.

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mhaager2
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Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2017, 1:39 p.m.

Thanks for the insight. Yeah I own a Yeti 4.5.  Love the ride.  Off topic, but curious as to why would you want it in aluminum only?  Just durability concerns on the shore?  As I get old(er) I have become less concerned about that since I tend to ride a bit less aggressively.

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AndrewMajor
+2 DMRDave Niels
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 1:59 p.m.

I’d love to dazzle you with an argument for the environment (aluminum recycling) or good paying skilled labour jobs in developing countries (welding) but the honest truth is I’m value focussed and - on a bike that is going to have a shelf life - I’m happy to pedal around an extra pound of bike and invest the difference in either better components, gear or beer.

Great brakes, great tires, great suspension, great fit, great geo, okay drivetrain... you can build an awesome bike for a pretty reasonable amount of money - and not that heavy - if it’s plastic free.

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mhaager2
+1 DMRDave
Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2017, 2:12 p.m.

That Sir, is an excellent argument. You should consider writing up an article of your best bang for the buck XC, Trail, Enduro, and DH builds in that vein.

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shoreboy
+1 Merwinn
Shoreboy  - Oct. 26, 2017, 2:17 p.m.

With regards to value, its a sad state of affairs when one can say that $8600USD ( That is $11000+ Loonies) isnt 'obscenely' priced.  Id call that price at least 'extremely offensive' :)

I know, I know, bikes are expensive nowadays, I just still cant wrap my head around some of these numbers that the industry has pushed them to.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Niels
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 2:27 p.m.

Hey, don’t short quote me man :-).

I said it isn’t offensive for an XX1 equipped bike. Consider carbon wheels, top end suspension, Deity bar/stem. There are plenty of XX1 bikes that are 1k+ more with arguably lesser builds.

That said I’m definitely on the (broken) record as thinking GX drivetrains, Magura Trail Sport brakes, X-Fusion Manic droppers and etc can get you 98+% of the experience for 50% of the price. 

Would have loved to test the WR8 with GX. I think the more basic rear shock would equate to no performance loss thanks to R3ACT and the rest of the spec is solid.

Captain-Snappy
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Merwinn  - Oct. 27, 2017, 9:41 a.m.

I have an alu Norco Shinobi 1 that was it's top spec 5 years ago w. Kashima'd 34's, XO/X9 drive train, Easton Haven carbon and alu cockpit, fairly good wheels and hubs blah, blah... just over $5K at the time. Now that's a mid range bike at best.

While a higher end alu bike build may not make sense from a manufacturer's POV, value for money is more important for those of us outside America.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 27, 2017, 10:33 a.m.

Ignoring the logos on the parts (i.e. new GX vs. old XO brand new I’ll take GX everyday) you can buy a way better bike than a 2k12 Shinobi for 5K (USD or CAD) today.

Yes, the high end Carbon frames / wheels / cranks and exotic drivetrains and even stock dropper posts  have driven the upper point of bike pricing through the roof in the last five years BUT the value at lower price points has increased as well in terms of both performance and reliability regardless of the relative place of the parts on those bikes within a companies hierarchy.

Put another way, if I can get over the fact that I can’t buy the ‘top end’ bike for 5K the bike I am getting will still be better than the top end Bike I could have bought for the same money.

AndrewMajor
+1 Moritz Haager
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 12:46 p.m.

I look at bikes like Marin’s MultiTrac line and Kona’s Hei Hei (and etc) and across frame materials and price points and I think there is a strong argument to be made that as bikes become shorter travel then less complex suspension systems end up working just as well as more complex ones assuming good kinematics and frame geometry. 

I’m sure the R3ACT would work great for shorter travel applications but I think where it shines is in building longer travel bikes that are truly capable (not just competent) climbing machines.

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DangerousDave
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DangerousDave  - Oct. 26, 2017, 12:37 p.m.

Did you happen to try riding the Gangler on it? I get an unpleasant amount of bashguard rub rolling off the rock and that's on my Slayer with the adjustable geo in the 2nd steepest/highest position, so that's now become my test for bb clearance.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 12:58 p.m.

Ha, yeah I smoked on way less punchy roll ins than Gangler there’s no way I’d attempt it on the Wolf Ridge without borrowing someone else’s skill set for the day.

I have seen a rider pre-pump onto the front wheel into the Gangler with his rear tire up in the air and I’m sure the Marin would clear no problem if I could bust that move.

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alexdi
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Alex D  - Oct. 26, 2017, 4:41 p.m.

Great review. I'm not overly hyped on this bike because of price and weight, but it sounds like they've delivered on the suspension. Can you get your hands on a Tantrum 29er to compare? 

In the long run, I wonder if these trick designs will be displaced by Fox's Live Valve almost as soon as they've appeared. (Whenever Fox gets around to releasing it.) Good time to be a rider either way.

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extraspecialandbitter
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ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Oct. 26, 2017, 5:07 p.m.

I have a Tantrum Meltdown (medium) that Andrew can hop on (if he wants). We can go do a "Weird Bike" Ride.  The problem with the Tantrum is the freaking max seat post insertion.  Only 190mm for the medium.  I have a 150mm dropper on it, but it's barely low enough for me and it's inserted as far as it can go.

I should add.  That the Tantrum is really fun.  It's super playful and likes to jump off of stuff.  But then it also feels like a mini DH bike when you want to point it, but I have less experience with a huge variety of bikes and haven't ridden a "new" downhill bike since 2002.

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alexdi
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Alex D  - Oct. 26, 2017, 6:52 p.m.

I've got giraffe legs, minimum insertion is one of the few things I don't have to think about. :) How do you like the Tantrum uphill, on rough terrain, while out of the saddle? Does it still bob? Can you feel the geometry change?

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extraspecialandbitter
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ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Oct. 27, 2017, 8:50 a.m.

Alex D - me too.  730mm from BB to saddle rails.  I have the legs for a 200mm dropper post, but the seat tube max insertion meant I had to settle on a 150mm dropper.  It's as far in as it will go and there's still 75mm of seat post before the bottom of the seal head.  AND, if you don't have a dropper, you can only drop it 90mm, assuming you cut the post to min. insertion.

Uphill it's pretty good.  I wouldn't say it's fast, since it's a 30 lbs bike, but I have no problem on the tight switchbacks on R&R on Seymour (if your familiar with them).  And on my 26" Knolly Endorphin with a steeper HTA I used to struggle and would have to get over friendly with the front of my saddle to clean those.  On the Tantrum I just lean forward a bit and spin through them.

There is a very slight bob on steep climbs.  The whole camming action of the linkage is less obvious than I thought it would be, but I think that's a good thing.  I was actually worried it would do it on descents if I wanted to put in some power, but it thankfully does not.  The geometry change and everything is very subtle.  Initially I thought it wasn't working, but then I was cleaning all the hard sections on climbs on a 160mm, 65' HTA bike, which is pretty impressive in my books.

Maybe I'll do an amateur review in the forum.

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alexdi
0
Alex D  - Oct. 27, 2017, 9:55 a.m.

My bike has a 485mm seat tube and a 150mm dropper with about 100mm of post showing below the seal head. I'm not sure extra drop would help for my riding, I may still be in the clear on that one. 

Great comments, I'm sure folks would appreciate another perspective if you want to write one. How do you like the balance of the long-travel fork? Do you still need to fiddle with climb settings on the front of the bike?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 8:18 p.m.

How do you find the fit of the Tantrum? I never want to base too much off a geo chart but they seem to have long top tubes and yet short reach numbers for any given frame size?

Also, do you find the suspension is much more efficient (climbing) if you push a big gear vs. spinning?

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extraspecialandbitter
0
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Oct. 27, 2017, 8:56 a.m.

The fit seems fine.  No complaints so far.  Being 5'10" I sort of feel like almost any size is a compromise for me.  M is too small, L is too big.   The only frame that has ever fit 'like a glove' is Chromag's M/L frame, but I haven't tried their new geo.  This whole longer reach thing on most frames is a god send.  Finally Mediums fit me okay.

Climbing efficiency is good enough.  It's not XC race weapon fast, but it's acceptable.  I'm too much of a hack to really notice any of the subtleties.

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alexdi
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Alex D  - Oct. 27, 2017, 9:43 a.m.

The XC comment is interesting. My ride is a last-gen Scalpel I've converted to trail use with big tires and a dropper. It has a lockout, but I find it challenging to clean technical climbs because engaging the lockout kills rear traction and there's a lot of bob without it unless I overpressurize the suspension.

This is pretty much exactly what Brian says his Missing Link solves. 

I don't care for the looks, weight, or cost (at this point) of the Tantrum frame, but if it actually pedals objectively well (which is to say, better than even supposedly-efficient bikes like my Scalpel), might it actually be faster? People praise XC bikes, but IMO, they've all got a lot of room for improvement.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 27, 2017, 10:22 a.m.

I can’t comment on the Scalpel having never ridden one but there are lots of 100-120mm bikes with simple suspension layouts that pedal great without lock out or Propedal features engaged - i.e. have support and traction. 

I’ve mentioned the Kona Hei Hei and  Marin’s MultiTrac bikes previously but the new TallBoy is another great example.

alexdi
0
Alex D  - Oct. 27, 2017, 11:02 a.m.

Andrew, the only bike I've found unusually efficient was a Ripley LS, and that came with, IMO, a rather brittle ride for the amount of travel. A Yeti SB4.5 I tried the same day was much more plush, but with considerably more bob out of the saddle (which was unexpected given the AS curves; I'd planned to buy one until I rode it.) 

My background is all XC and I'm usually shooting for speed on trails, I've never ridden anything over 140mm travel (and certainly nowhere near the variety of bikes you have). We might just have different opinions on the acceptable amount of energy loss.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 27, 2017, 1:53 p.m.

Hi Alex, that’s fair although I do climb a lot out of the saddle (preference / habit from spending a lot of time single speeding). 

I definitely agree re. Yeti SI bikes. Being quite linear even running low sag numbers I prefer more damper support climbing. I think the Cane Creek CS shocks are awesome in that regard -Good support but still lots of traction and no awkward compression blow off moments.

In terms of your personal preference have you had a chance to demo the latest Brain shock bikes? They’ve come a long way in terms of small bump performance and tuneable resistance. 

The new Epic (60mm Stem, more aggressive geo, new Brain design) is on my list of bikes I’d love to test... just really no justification for it around here.

alexdi
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Alex D  - Oct. 27, 2017, 7:06 p.m.

You bring up a good point about Cane Creek. I haven't tried different shocks or tunes. The existing Monarch XX has no compression damping in open mode. It could well be that the DBAIR's LSC adjustment banishes the need for a bar remote. Pity about the reliability. I'm not sure I want to beta-test the new one. 

I haven't ridden an Epic. Reviews and forums haven't been too kind to the Brain; lots of damning with faint praise or running the mildest possible setting. From a wrenching perspective, I'm not fond of proprietary shock designs. One appeal of the Tantrum is that it'll take pretty much anything with a piston.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 27, 2017, 7:44 p.m.

Yeah, compression lockouts - and platforms - aren’t my favourite. Either they’re so harsh there’s no traction or so soft they blow off under any effort.

The Cane Creek CS Shocks - I like the Coil or In-line Coil personally - retard both the compression and rebound circuits so there are no compression blow-off to fast rebound events. Worth a try (air or coil) if you have a chance to throw a leg over a bike with one. As an example with the ‘Bronson’ tune (air) they were transformational on that particular Santa Cruz. 

The first generation Inline air shocks had issues (especially in linear bikes) but the new ones - and all gens of the piggyback shocks have generally been good.

I’ve owned an Epic w/ Brain and would agree with the reviews you’ve read - not suggesting to go out and buy one unridden - but apparently the new bike / new Brain is really impressive and the geo updates look good. Like I say, if there was a good excuse to test one I’d love to throw a leg over.

Definitely will look into Tantrum!

Thanks,

kos
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Kos  - Oct. 28, 2017, 4:43 p.m.

Token XC geek checking in.

The Scalpel (older ones, especially) are very spongy pedaling short-travel bikes.  The lockouts are essential, unless you are an "in the seat all the time" kind of rider.

extraspecialandbitter
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ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Oct. 30, 2017, 6:57 p.m.

Alex D.  I tried to pay attention to it this weekend.  I purposely stood up and hammered out of the saddle on the Tantrum and there was a tiny bit of suspension bob, but not much.  Way less than you'd expect.

alexdi
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Alex D  - Oct. 31, 2017, 7:50 a.m.

Cool! Well, one more feather in that cap, then. Looks like I'll have to get on one to see how it handles. It's only like 6D more slack than what I'm used to. :)

extraspecialandbitter
+2 Alex D Andrew Major
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Nov. 3, 2017, 5:21 p.m.

Alex D,  here you go.  My "review".  Although keep in mind I don't have the experience with a large number of new bikes like regular reviewers do. https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/gear-4/topic/tantrum-meltdown-review-129722/

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 3, 2017, 7:55 p.m.

I think it's a really solid review. The shock management (debris port) would definitely be a deal breaker for me. I assumed it just passed crap straight few the frame like the old Giant Trance/Reign/Reign-X models did. 

Interesting re. chainring clearance as a lot of bikes (even 29") spec with Eagle are running 34t up front. If it doesn't clear a 34t it likely also wont fit the popular 32t Oval ring option.

AndrewMajor
+1 Merwinn
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2017, 8:13 p.m.

Having ridden every generation of Kona Magic Link bike I am either an excellent candidate to review the Tantrum or the very worst.

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Cassman
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Cass Man  - Nov. 3, 2017, 1:02 p.m.

I completely disagree with the tire choice. I'm riding the Wolfe Ridge 8 which comes with the same tires, and I find myself slipping out when I should have confidence in the corners. I think the compound is much too hard. I will be putting on a Magic Mary on the front today.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 3, 2017, 7:51 p.m.

I also road the bike with a Magic Mary / Hans Dampf combo (2.35) and also a Maxxis Minion DH Combo (2.5" Rear // 3" Front). 

I did my best to explain that the stock rubber would not be my choice but it's understandable going with something light/fast given where Marin is located. Certainly not possible to please everyone - or maybe even 50% of prospective customers - with tire spec on a 6" travel bike. 

Which version of the Mary did you go with?

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skiman
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skiman  - Feb. 11, 2018, 8:52 a.m.

Hello, 

I am really keen on getting a new wolf ridge for the 2018 season. 

I have a question about the bike in terms of maintenance and the wear in the swing arm slider bushings. 

Had you experienced any excessive wear on the bike during your time on it? And if so was there any issues in dealing with replacement parts, and servicing?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Feb. 12, 2018, 12:09 p.m.

I didn't have any issues with the slider. The bushing and seal were well lubed out of the box and I checked them again when returning the bike. 

It's basically a fork stanchion sliding on an SKF moto seal and bushing setup so designed for way more loading and more exposure then the setup is experiencing on the Marin.

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skiman
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skiman  - Feb. 12, 2018, 2:04 p.m.

Thank you for the quick response. I am looking forward to building mine up as soon as the snow melts...

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