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2004 Marin Mount Vision Review

by Michael Mattson



  Quality components, light weight, responsiveness and of course great looks all played a role in the decision making for my latest ride. After seven very enjoyable years riding a Trek 7000 hard-tail and eight years prior to that on a totally rigid Raleigh, I figured it was about time to finally reward myself with a fully suspended bike, but which one? I had demo-ed full suspension bikes in the past and had never really been that overly impressed with them. Surprisingly, that all changed with the Marin Mount Vision.


My quest for a new bike began during February 2004 at local bike shops and progressed onto Mt. Biking magazines, the Internet and various questions and commentary with other riders at the local trial head. After a couple months of research and demo rides on various bikes, my research and ultimate decision settled on the 2004 Marin Mount Vision. Sure, the Marin may seem like an odd choice in a sea of main stream makes such as Specialized, Trek, Gary Fisher and Cannondale, but quite frankly, that was part of its great appeal! Though I did demo the Specialized Epic and Stumpjumper, the Kona Dawg Deluxe and a friend’s Trek Fuel, none impressed me more than the Marin and its innovative Quad-Link suspension.


I have now owned my Mount Vision for roughly 8 months and during that time it has seen plenty of rough, rocky New England single-track action. I have been pleasantly surprised by the wonderful performance of the Fox front (Float RL) and Rear (Float RLC) suspension. Early on I would find myself locking the rear suspension out (15 years of riding a hard-tail I guess?) on the cart roads which connect my favorite single-track trails, but now, as I’ve grown more comfortable with the bike, I never touch the shock and when seated in the saddle, feel little to no pedal bob. The Marin is light and responsive, so much so I rarely worry about straying off a line while either ascending or descending – something I could not have truthfully stated with my previous hard-tails. The Shimano XT components (crankset and front & rear derailleur), Hayes HFX Magnesium brakes and the WTB Motoraptor tires have all performed brilliantly! I found the Easton EA70 handlebars to be a bit too long at first and I guess I still do, but I have gotten accustomed to them. I also thought that the WTB MP250 Stealth pedals were difficult to clip both in and out of, so they only lasted a few weeks before I swapped them for a pair of Ritchey’s I had in the parts inventory in my basement. The only other addition to my Marin was a Lizard Skins neoprene swing-arm protector to cut down on the irritating noise and chipping of the paint from the chain slap on the frame.


Fortunately, I have had only one negative experience with the bike and that occurred when the rear WTB hub/freewheel broke 5-minutes into a ride, rendering the bike completely useless and ending my day. The good news was that WTB handled the problem promptly and sent a new hub overnight FREE-OF-CHARGE to my local bike shop for immediate repair.


The Marin Mount Vision has proven to be a bike very worthy of consideration for anyone looking for a new full suspension ride and is a bike I would whole heartedly recommend. Hell, one could almost be sold on its great looks alone, with the precise welds of the matte black custom monocoque aluminum 6061 T6 frame and the unique design of Jon Whyte’s patented Quad-Link suspension. In the end though, it was certainly more than its great looks, light weight, quality components and amazing ride that sold me. With an MSRP of $2,399 the folks from Marin County California (don’t be fooled, the frame is made over seas) ultimately sell you on the fact that they offer it all at a tremendous value!


Ride on…