Those of us chasing the latest and greatest gear put a lot of hurt on our credit cards, but you don’t need to spend a ton of cashola to get a decent bike for riding the local trails. The Mount Vision from Marin Bikes retails for just over $2k, which is almost $1000 less than my newest acquisition. (a fancy new state-of-the-art plastic frame) While it weighs in on the heavier side compared to my primo level machine, anyone could hop on this bike and rip down their local trail and have plenty of money left over to keep the rent paid. For a few months.
It’s smartly spec’d out with mid-level (or entry level, depending where you’re standing and looking at it) components that should easily hold up fine to a season or two of thrashing on your local trails, and 140mm of travel is more than ample for our local Bay Area trails. What really stands out for me is the listed geometry of this best. The head angle looks pretty dialed at a listed 67.5º which is right inline with our preferred numbers, and the slack-for-its-class handling will please gravity riders looking for something uphill friendly. For the guy off the street it means this bike will track well at speed and offer a bit of stability over more XC-oriented, twitchier handling models.
Color-wise, I’d recommend avoiding the white model if you can; white bikes always look great the first year you own them, but a year later you’ll find that every scuff you’ve gathered shows up quite nicely. Unfortunately it looks like you’ll need to come up with another $1k to step up to the XM8 which comes in a classy graphite gray with a matte finish. If you can pony up the funds though, you’ll be rewarded with the maximum bang for the buck. The XM8 is well spec’d with a Fox Float fork with a tapered steerer, Rp23 rear shock with ProPedal, Formula Disc Brakes, Sun Ringle Black Flag Wheels and an (almost) full Shimano XT group. We’ve been riding the 2012 XT stuff and it’s money.
Check it out: Marin Bikes Mount Vision XM6