Marin Hawk Hill

Marin has been in the moun­tain-bike biz for as long as moun­tain bik­ing has been, well, moun­tain bik­ing. In fact, Marin County is where it pretty much all be­gan, back in the 1970’s on bal­loon-tired sin­gle-speed coaster-brake bikes that were any­thing but hi

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Paul Ne­witt

The lack of Pro-level bikes with Pro-level price tags didn’t stop those hard­core pi­o­neers from en­joy­ing ev­ery­thing off-road cy­cling had to of­fer, and Marin hasn’t for­got­ten that fact.

The 2017 Hawk Hill is a prime ex­am­ple of Marin’s com­mit­ment to that moun­tain-bike core who love the sport, but don’t want a 10-year mort­gage on a bike to get into it.

Out of the box, the 2017 Hawk Hill is a sweet-look­ing build for the price, which is ex­actly what Marin was aim­ing for when it put this pack­age to­gether. With a mar­ket that seems to be dom­i­nated by high-end car­bon-fi­bre swank, it’s nice to see a back-to-ba­sics build for the work­ing-class trail junkies.

Marin has kept the price point in check on the Hawk Hill through a com­bi­na­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing, ma­te­rial and ac­ces­sory choices, all while keep­ing ride qual­ity rea­son­ably high with proven trail ge­om­e­try and solid sus­pen­sion specs built around a 27.5” wheelset.

The Hawk Hill’s main frame is man­u­fac­tured out of Marin’s Se­ries 3 6061 butted and hy­dro­formed alu­minum and fea­tures its Mul­tiTrac sus­pen­sion tech­nol­ogy. Marin notes that its Mul­tiTrac sus­pen­sion de­sign is com­pa­ra­ble to its proven IsoTrac sus­pen­sion tech­nol­ogy, but in a more eco­nom­i­cal pack­age. That eco­nomic de­sign comes in the form of a “faux-bar” set-up with a sin­glepivot chain­stay con­nec­tion and short rocker arm con­nected to a 120mm-travel X-Fu­sion O2 Pro R air shock. The shock does not of­fer lock­out or com­pres­sion damp­ing, but hey, it’s much more ap­peal­ing than the non-ad­justable coil­spring sus­pen­sions found on many bikes at this price point.

Up front, a well-matched air-sprung Rock­Shox Re­con Sil­ver RL fork pro­vides 120mm of travel and a pretty solid ride feel in the cock­pit.

The trail ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Hawk Hill are many, thanks to Marin’s do-it-all ge­om­e­try that in­cludes short chain­stays (425mm) and stan­dover (697.51mm on Medium), a 67.5° head an­gle, 74° seat an­gle, 120mm head­tube, 337mm BB height and rel­a­tively tight wheel­base (1,148.61mm). The Hawk Hill de­liv­ers as in­tended, ex­celling in its all-round ca­pa­bil­i­ties, of­fer­ing solid ride con­fi­dence on all but the more ad­vanced tech­ni­cal climbs and de­scents.

The Hawk Hill’s wheelset is a durable Marin dou­ble­wall al­loy rim with a re­spectable 27mm in­ter­nal width. Joytech 135mm quad-sealed bear­ings rear hub and For­mula 100x15mm front hub add to the strength and stiff­ness, pro­vid­ing 32-spoke sup­port to a qual­ity set of Sch­walbe Hans Damph 2.35” front and rear tires.

The Hawk Hill comes equipped with a Shi­mano De­ore Shadow Plus rear de­railleur, eas­ily main­tained ex­ter­nal sealed car­tridge-bear­ing bot­tom bracket, a Marin forged al­loy 1x10 crankset, a Sun­race 10-speed 11-42T wide-ra­tio cas­sette and a KMC X10 chain. The sin­gle-ring set-up is an­other sweet sur­prise at this price point where triples tend to dom­i­nate.

Shi­mano also han­dles brakes with a set of 180mm ro­tor BR-M315 hy­draulic discs, front and rear. Al­though the resin-only pads are lim­it­ing in slimy, wet Van­cou­ver con­di­tions, the De­o­res pro­vided re­spectable brake power and mod­u­la­tion.

Let’s face it, there are those who will al­ways want to mod­ify their rides as their skills and bank ac­counts im­prove. Al­though the Hawk Hill seems to of­fer more than you’re pay­ing for out of the box, Marin has made it easy to dial it up a few notches.

If dropper posts are your thrill, the Hawk Hill’s 30.9mm seat-tube is ca­pa­ble, with in­ter­nal-rout­ing chan­nels at the ready.

If weight loss is your goal, the wheelset would be a good start, and the stan­dard 135mm rear open dropout is eas­ily upgrad­able to a 142x12mm thru-axle set-up.

If size mat­ters, even though the Hawk Hill al­ready comes equipped with a com­monly cov­eted forged al­loy, 1x10, hol­low spin­dle, steel nar­row-wide 32T chain­ring with a 74mm BCD bolt pat­tern, it can eas­ily be changed out to smaller rings.

The Hawk Hill also comes stan­dard with a Marin 780mm Mini-Riser han­dle­bar, 60mm long stem and Dual Den­sity grips, all of which are an ex­cel­lent pack­age for this bike, but eas­ily up­graded to your spe­cific needs.

The Hawk Hill was de­signed to be a sub-$2,000 trail bike that can han­dle most of what a be­gin­ner to av­er­age off-road rider can throw at it. In that re­gard, Marin has nailed it with a durable, well-bal­anced trail-bike op­tion for those on a re­al­is­tic, real-world bud­get.


The 2017 Hawk Hill is a

prime ex­am­ple of Marin’s

com­mit­ment to that moun­tain-bike core who love

the sport, but don’t want

a 10-year mort­gage on a

bike to get into it.

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