Previewed: Marin’s 2010 Mountain Bikes

After an almost a year-long delay, Marin bikes launched its new 4-inch bike, the Alchemist. “We wanted to be sure we got things right the first time,” said Marin’s marketing manager Mark Vanek. “We needed the bike to pass European testing standards, which are tougher than the U.S. standards.” The Alchemist is Marin’s stab at a pure cross-country bike, which uses the company's trademark Quad Link suspension. The top-end of three stock Alchemist builds comes with XTR components, a RockShox SID fork and an Easton cockpit for a respectable complete weight of 24 pounds and change.

Marin also unveiled a significantly updated version of its Wolf Ridge--so significant that the Wolf Ridge moniker is gone altogether, replace by the new model name: Attack Trail. The bike's suspension layout has been altered to optimize it for better pedaling in the granny gear. Not just an update for the cardiovascularly challenged--the change is intended to accommodate SRAM's Hammerschmidt internally geared crankset. As such, the new Attack Trail comes with ISCG 05 tabs, and as a bonus the bike sees a bump in rear-wheel travel from 140 to 150 millimeters.

In other sundry changes, the 5-inch Mount Vision’s swingarm has been updated to shave off 200 grams. Also, the bike receives complete geometry revision. The Front Center length is increased with a longer toptube and slacker head angle, but the cockpit is only slightly longer due to a shorter stem and steeper seattube angle. Plus, its chainstays have been shortened and its bottom bracket lowered. Marin claims these tweaks create a more stable ride at high speeds that can corner well and climb better.