Product Review 2018 Marin B 17 3 27.5+ dual suspension

Discussion in 'General MTB Discussion' started by Dozer, Jul 2, 2018.

By Dozer on Jul 2, 2018 at 3:02 PM
  1. Dozer

    Dozer Heavy machinery. Staff Member

    Have you seen Bicycles Online’s newest addition to their online store? We’re very excited to bring you a review the Marin B 17 3 27.5+ dual suspension!

    Item: 2018 Marin B 17 3 27.5+ dual suspension (see it here)
    From: Bicycles Online
    Purchase Price (approx):
    $3,499 (was$4,799) with free freight included in the Australian metro areas

    Product outline: The first thing I love about this bike is the finish. Everyone has wanted a raw alloy frame with minimal decals and branding and this thing kicks that goal, it looks fantastic with a gloss clear coat over the brushed alloy. Its intension is to satisfy you as a trail rider that can tackle basically any ride where you’ll where you’ll comfortably enjoy the up’s and holler on the downs. The plus size tyres add some extra appeal for the folks sourcing some more grip and the well balanced 130mm of travel make this a total buzz to ride.
    More appealing than the great finish and the amazing spec list is the price that you pay for it, it’s only $3500! You’d be very hard pressed to find a bike with this component list for anywhere near that money.

    Stand outs: -
    Yep, the price. It’s so cheap for a brand new bike of this calibre and is stacked with great parts.
    -The suspension package is amazing; Rockshox Pike 130mm travel paired with a RockShox Super Deluxe RCT3 Debonair rear shock.
    -The Deity bar and stem combo suits the finish of the bike very nicely.
    -SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain means you can basically climb anything as long as your legs and lungs go through with the deal.
    -Stans No Tubes 38mm tubeless ready rims rolling around on WTB 2.8 inch wide tubeless plus size tyres

    Warranty and support: The Marin B 17 3 comes with a five year factory warranty on the frame plus the full manufacturer’s warranty on the parts attached.

    Delivery: As always, this can vary and relies heavily on the delivery company’s scheduling. For me, the decision was made on a Friday to send the bike 600km north of the warehouse, it left the warehouse on the Tuesday after a long weekend and I had it the next morning so let’s just say it was overnight, that unreal!

    Assembly: I’ve touched on this in previous reviews of bikes coming from Bicycles Online and it really is a breeze. The Marin arrives in a branded box with an almost fully assembled bike. The only initial assembly before fine tuning your setup is remove the protective strapping and padding, put the front wheel in the forks, fit the handlebars to the stem and attach the dropper post cable to the bottom actuator of the post before you slide it in and bolt it up. Boom, thats it. Even a first timer at assembling this bike will have it standing on the floor within thirty minutes but a seasoned veteran will have it done before the second song starts on your playlist. Some don’t know it but the bikes that land at Bicycles Online are removed from the box, checked over and prepared for minimal assembly by you the buyer before they leave the warehouse. Why is that good? Well, it’s primarily to get you on the trails quicker and it’s satisfaction knowing the fiddley stuff is done and ready to roll.

    First impression:
    I’m not gonna bang on about how good the finish is again, not much anyway. The brushed raw alloy finish is beautiful, it really stands out at a crowded trail head full of carbon frames painted like kid’s pyjamas. Matched with black components, it’ll grab the attention of anyone near it.
    Size wise, I have the large frame for the review and it fit nicely even though I own XL frames. It’s 14.5kg and as an alloy frame with bigger tyres, thats pretty ace! After setting the sag to 30%, I noticed straight away that the bottom bracket felt lower than what I am used to on other hardtails and dual suspension frames. That small fact dictated some of the ride but I’ll get to that later.
    In the car park before the ride, I rubbed my hands together at the temptation of running lower than normal pressures in the Plus sized tyres. They are a 27.5 inch wheel but have a 2.8 inch wide WTB Ranger tyre which means you’ll have more tyre on the ground across the tyre face plus you’ve got the higher sidewalls meaning the actual diameter of the tyre is 29 inches. The bike comes with tubes installed and thats how I ran it for the duration but I did run pressures around 23 PSI. Typically I run nearly 30 PSI but I really intended to lay this thing into the turns.
    The start of the trail that I spent three hours on is a fun yet short descent with some natural rollers and a couple of roots to chuck it off. Being excited about riding something new, I took off with a grin and realised in the blink of an eye at the bottom of the gully that I hadn’t bed the brakes in. Ouch I thought, this was going to be a bad start to the ride and I scared myself even more when I remembered I didn’t have my tuned SRAM brakes but was about to grab hold of a Shimano lever. It doesn’t matter if you love SRAM or Hope or Shimano brakes; if you haven’t paired the rotor and pads before you ride it then you’re gonna have some butt cheek tension. Luckily for me, the trail was loaded with grip on the cold but damp surface and I had to throw it into the turn and hope the much preached extra grip of a Plus sized tyre worked and you know what? It bloody did! I’d made it through to the following flat section, flicked the KS LEV dropper remote and rode it out. Did I learn instantly that a Plus size tyre can give you more grip? YEP!
    The next ten minutes of the ride were spent dialling the brakes in and making any adjustments to the Eagle drivetrain. I only had to do one eighth of a turn on the barrel adjuster of the shifter to reduce a small tick from the rear derailleur and flicked the rear shock to firm for the next few uphills.

    I had rushed the assembly at home a little so I had to make some adjustments on the trail. All of it was done with a multi tool and a shock pump. I only needed to roll the bars back a little, raise the seatpost one centimetre and add some air to the rear shock to improve the small bob on the climbs.
    Suspension wise, the Pike forks have the Charger Damper which allows you to adjust the compression on the go after you’ve set your air pressure. You can also turn the dial on the lower leg to vary your rebound speed. There’s nothing confusing or too scientific about adjusting a Rockshox fork, they keep it simple so you enjoy the ride.
    As for the rear shock, you’re again using an air sprung device which has a small lever for two functions; soft and firm. I’m a big fan of running it firm almost everywhere on a trail ride and only flick it to soft for some of the higher speed compressions and the faster parts of the trail. A bloody magnificent feature of the Super Deluxe rear shock is the rebound adjustment is done by a collar around the top of the air canister meaning you’ll get a more definitive click to your adjustment and it just looks good.
    Another added bonus? You can run 29 inch tyres on this frame, it’ll clear the arch of the frame giving you some serious options and potentially adding life to an old wheelset you have.

    Longer term:
    I’ve had the bike for long enough to know it is something that I could get settled on. I’ve chucked all sorts of terrain at it and it’s very comfortable to ride. I ride most days of the week but didn’t manage a rainy day ride on this thing so can’t talk about it’s capability on loose wet dirt. I can say that my confidence in the parts on it mean it’s a bike you’ll love for a good amount of time.

    Very accessible via the Bicycles Online website, amazing finish, excellent handling, very good part list that won’t need upgrading.
    The extra tyre surface means you’ll need to push a little harder on the up’s, initially feels a little heavy with the bigger tyres, the brakes need upgrading to match what they bike can do on descents.

    Do I recommend this bike?: Yep, I’m actually astounded by this bike. The price is easily $1500 less than that of it’s competitors plus you will not need to change any components to make it sing.

    Would I change anything?:
    Only the brakes but out of the box, the Shimano Deore’s will get you rolling.

    Summary: I wasn’t sold on the Plus size tyres before I had a good chance to swing it around but have totally enjoyed it. It isn’t vastly different to what we’re used to riding across our range of varied tyre and wheel sizes but pushing it into the turns a little harder does have it’s rewards. If you’re after something that you can interchange wheel sizes then this is it. I’d love to see how it feels with a 29 inch wheel and normal sized tyres, I reckon it’d be the true do-it-all trailbike.
    The suspension linkage feels so plush on the initial stroke then doesn’t seem to ramp up to any noticeable point, it’s very seamless and not notchy. Matched with the right fork and tyre pressure and you’re up for a good time.
    The fork and rear spacing is boost. If you haven’t found the benefit of boost yet then it’s probably time to believe the science, it is pretty noticeable and does alloy us to push things a little harder or at least with some confidence.
    The SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain is becoming a lot more common and does serve it’s purpose; a huge range of gearing on a 12 speed cassette that can allow you to climb almost anything that gravity will hold. I’m a big fan of Eagle but I always tell new users of the drivetrain to play nice and concentrate on smooth shifting, it helps the lifespan of the components.

    Bicycles Online is an Australian owned online store that offers mountain bikes, roadies, parts, bike accessories and gear you can wear. Being an online store, they offer an experience that is specially designed to ensure you get the best knowledge on the products you’re sourcing. The fun part of this review is I get to partake and demonstrate to you what the experience involves by sourcing a bike online, having it show up in a box, assembling it and hitting the trails!
    DSC_0080.jpg DSC_0089.jpg DSC_0094.jpg DSC_0096.jpg DSC_0114.jpg DSC_0117.jpg DSC_0135.jpg DSC_0137.jpg DSC_0146.jpg DSC_0179.jpg DSC_0288.jpg DSC_0365.jpg
    hellmansam, Zaf, single-pivot and 3 others like this.


Discussion in 'General MTB Discussion' started by Dozer, Jul 2, 2018.

    1. hifiandmtb
      Nice review, nice bike. Price is similar to Canyon Spectral AL though with similar spec.

      But yeah, the bigger brands are way more expensive.
    2. Mywifesirrational
      67 degree actual STA, nasty.
    3. moorey
      Ima just gunna say it...’DONOR BIKE’!
      Jks, looks like a lot of bang for buck.
      hellmansam and the drizzle like this.
    4. schred
      Looks good, but you also make it look small
      russthedog and Dozer like this.
    5. hellmansam
      This and the Rift Zone are on my short list
      Dozer likes this.
    6. tubby74
      thanks for the review. Been considering this one for a while but not too much out there on it, plenty of short threads where people consider this or the rift zone, but not a lot seem to follow up.
      Dozer likes this.
    7. Dozer
      At that price, it's unbelievable. Do you have any questions I can answer? More than happy to share the info. ;)
    8. Zaf
      @Dozer when are they giving you a Wolf Ridge to review?
      Also, great review! Photos are on point and make me want to get a better camera.
      T.3 likes this.
    9. Dozer
      Thanks mate, had some nice weather so we made the most of it getting some good images. The bike is easy to take good photos of. ;)
      I haven't had the conversation about the Wolf Ridge...............yet. ;)
      T.3 likes this.
    10. tubby74
      any issues with the plus tyres? a bit slow off the mark but would you be happy running them as your only bike? tubeless would help with that weight but it'll always be more than smaller tyres. given you can get a decent set of 2nd hand 29" wheels for 3-400 its not a huge concern given the rest of the spec. how bad was the pedal strike with low BB?

      have to add to the comments above, those pictures look fantastic, should use them in the sales site
    11. creaky
      I'm more of an XC guy but have been considering swapping my XC hardtail for a bit burlier hardtail with 120/130mm fork, dropper etc for more flexibility when travelling. This dually is bang on pricing wise though so makes you think ...

      My only issue is that, at just shy of 6'2", I am right between their L and XL sizing. Long legs so the actual STA is a bit of a concern.
      Daniel Hale likes this.
    12. Dozer
      I expected the plus sized tyres to really drag along and only be useful for extra grip but nah, I only noticed the increased drag when I was pushing up slow climbs and in my case, I don't race up the hills anyway so it isn't an issue for me.
      I think the bike may perform even better with a narrower tyre, even a 29er wheelset. As it is, it's so versatile but giving you options to throw other wheel and tyre combinations at it is awesome.
      In regards to the lower bottom bracket, it was only an issue when I was pedaling (or attempting to pedal) in narrow ruts that I usually pedal through on bikes from my collection. It's all abou tgetting used to a ne wbike of course and the Marin certainly suits a lower bottom bracket. Its funny, once you know the clearance through a rut is gonna create a potential problem, you come into it quicker so maybe this bike is all about progression and tempts you to ride harder? ;)
      Daniel Hale likes this.
    13. Dozer
      As I said in the review, I rode the large frame. I'm 6 foot 4" and felt so comfortable on this thing and felt more capable riding it than I anticipated. I wasn't cramped at all, I had tons of room to move in the cockpit and felt the larger frame may have only made a difference to me visually, not performance wise. The seat does not feel like it's way back and the short stem helps with keeping you balanced.
      I wonder though, an XC guy may be used to long reach and stretched out so a large may feel a bit small under you? You may be the perfect candidate to try the frame size using Bicycles Online's 14 day test ride program?
    14. tubby74
      interesting you felt ok on a large at 6'4 as that's the size I am considering at 5'10 with 31.5 inseam. Current ride has 450 reach and saddle is as far back as it will go, and most large sizes have way too much seat tube to fit..
    15. Daniel Hale
      Daniel Hale
      my norco torrent HT feels much faster with the 29x2.2 wheels on than the 27.5+ tyres, i reckon the 2.8 is a good size for the front but i have alreay downsized to a 2.6 on the rear, & when i have to replace it ill prob go either a 2.4/2.5. i don't appear to have sacrificed any grip doing this. the norco has a surpirsingly good BB height, i don't get any pedal height strikes
      Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
      Dozer likes this.
    16. Dozer
      So you can swap to 29 inch wheels on that frame and fork? Thats good to know. Tell me, can you put narrower tyres on the wider rims that are on it? Say just chuck a 2.3 Minion on the 27.5" rim and its all good?
      Daniel Hale likes this.
    17. Daniel Hale
      Daniel Hale
      yes easy swap to 29er wheels, when i put the 27/2.8 alognside 29/2.2 there is very little diameter deifference.
      i havn't gone that skinny but if i remember a mate tried it & it was ok, not sure what pressure he ran , he's not a big guy either
      Dozer likes this.
    18. Dozer
      Awesome, good to know mate, cheers!
    19. hifiandmtb

Share This Page