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  1. #1
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    Idea! Marin Hawk Hill vs Marin Hawk Hill 2 - Is the $450 difference worth it?

    Stepping up from my Wal-Mart bike and joining the pro riders.

    My budget is $1500 but I just might be willing to wait a little longer and pay more only if there is some unbelievable deal (I'd rather not tho).

    So I read a lot of good reviews on the Hawk Hill (1) and was basically set on it but saw that the Hawk Hill 2 is on sale to ($1400 for Hawk Hill 1 and $1850 for Hawk Hill 2).

    Do I save up the additional $450 or go with the (1)???????

  2. #2
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    It's not worth the extra. Get the normal version and get a dropper for 100 bucks. That's the main difference.

  3. #3
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    I disagree, go for the Hawk Hill 2. The Monarch is much better rear shock than the X Fusion O2. The dropper on the Hawk Hill 2 is also great to have. The fork is also .3-.5 pounds lighter because it uses aluminum instead of steel stanchions. It is also 11 speed instead of 10 speed, which gives you smaller gaps between gearing, another nice feature. BUT the biggest and most important difference is that the Hawk Hill base model uses weird endcaps on the rear hub to run a cheap 10x135mm quick release hub in a swing arm that is designed for a boost 12x148 thru axle hub.

    The endcap system is hokey, but mostly reliable - we have sold lots of the base model Hawk Hills this year and last year with lots of positive acclaim (however we did have one case at my shop where we replaced a gentleman's wheelset under warranty with a boost 148 thru axle set because his adapters had come loose).

    Personally I want the dropper, nicer rear shock, 11 speed drivetrain, lighter fork, and added security and stiffness of the boost 148 wheelset and think that it's well worth it for the $450. Even if you go with the base model, still budget for a dropper post as One Pivot says.

  4. #4
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    No personal experience, so can't speak to the rear hub and adapters that HG is talking about, assume he works in a shop that deals and sells these and so has real world experience with it. Other than that, I'd personally go for the HH and put a BrandX dropper on it and ride the crap out of it, get yourself some fitness and skill and learn what you like and dislike about the setup and what sort of riding you like, then look to do upgrades based on that.

    Once the dampers on the 2 forks aren't hugely different, doubt you'll notice much difference between the 2 forks, best to save your $$ for a future upgrade to something like a Revelation, Pike, Rhythm or F34 and a nice wheelset.

    Almost forgot, to the shocks, I have been on an X-Fusion O2 RCX for 4 years and it's worked really well, no complaints what so ever, just think it needs a proper damper service now. The RS might be a smidge better, all depends on the tunes for both shocks, but I wouldn't worry about that too much, again something you can look to upgrade once you have more saddle time and experience down the road.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  5. #5
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    Love the feedback from the three of you. Although, I completely see how the upgrades in the 2 would be well over $450 getting separately, I'm still going to go with the 1 because spring is right around the corner and I want to start riding. Then slowly, once I get into the sport replace one thing a time based on what I like and don't like (starting with the dropper). Do any of you know if the frame itself is the same on both versions?

  6. #6
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    I think the only thing I would consider is browsing the local used adds for bikes. A lot of times people will use their tax refunds to get new bikes and sell nice bikes. You may be able to get something with a pike or fox34 with similar geometry for $1500.

  7. #7
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    While I totally agree that the parts on the 2 are better than the parts on the 1, I think the parts on both really suck and I would never recommend spending money on "upgrades" that still lack pretty severely.

    $450 is a good chunk of change. Jenson has fox 34's for $289 right now. Ebay has xfusion RL2 forks for about the same. Someone has reverbs for 100, or you can get an xfusion dropper for $100 on ebay.

    Id get the cheaper model, and put a WAY nicer fox 34 or xfusion fork on it and a dropper. Now for a similar chunk of change, you have a dramatically better bike than the 2. Dont knock the xfusion shock, its not too shabby.

    Everyone is different, I know I wouldnt be satisfied with the "upgraded" stuff on the 2 and it would be gone in a week. For me, personally, thats a waste of $450 and Id see no value or benefit.

    If you're the kind of person who buys a bike and will never change anything on it, then I suppose the 2 is a better value for you.

    The frame is the same. They're using a swappable dropout system.

    Ill admit, im a little bit of a suspension nazi. Both the 1 and 2 forks are perfectly workable and you can absolutely go ride trails with either right off the bat. If im paying extra, I want something very good, not sort of ok. The xfusion stuff is really amazing, and its cheap right now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    While I totally agree that the parts on the 2 are better than the parts on the 1, I think the parts on both really suck and I would never recommend spending money on "upgrades" that still lack pretty severely.

    $450 is a good chunk of change. Jenson has fox 34's for $289 right now. Ebay has xfusion RL2 forks for about the same. Someone has reverbs for 100, or you can get an xfusion dropper for $100 on ebay.

    Id get the cheaper model, and put a WAY nicer fox 34 or xfusion fork on it and a dropper. Now for a similar chunk of change, you have a dramatically better bike than the 2. Dont knock the xfusion shock, its not too shabby.

    Everyone is different, I know I wouldnt be satisfied with the "upgraded" stuff on the 2 and it would be gone in a week. For me, personally, thats a waste of $450 and Id see no value or benefit.

    If you're the kind of person who buys a bike and will never change anything on it, then I suppose the 2 is a better value for you.

    The frame is the same. They're using a swappable dropout system.

    Ill admit, im a little bit of a suspension nazi. Both the 1 and 2 forks are perfectly workable and you can absolutely go ride trails with either right off the bat. If im paying extra, I want something very good, not sort of ok. The xfusion stuff is really amazing, and its cheap right now.
    This would basicly make the bike like the 3.

  9. #9
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    The 2 and 3's drivetrain are different... but going 11s slx is surprisingly cheap if you want it, and the sunrace stuff is surprisingly good if you dont. You'll feel and work that fork over every bump on the trail, every ride, I believe its the big goto part.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CYB3R1AN View Post
    Do any of you know if the frame itself is the same on both versions?
    Yup, exact same frame.

  11. #11
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    Good info in the page. I ended up with the 1 and got $280 in store credit when i got it. Will add a dropper and ride it till i see what upgrades fit me.

  12. #12
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    Bump. Same question but what about the 2 vs 3. This is one of the bikes I am looking at.

  13. #13
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    I am looking to stop riding my 27+ hardtail and get one of these great bang for the buck dual suspension bikes. The giant stance or even a trance 3 come into mind. Anyone have any opinions on those compared to the hawk hill 2?

  14. #14
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    I love the trance, but it starts closer to $2500 for a pretty budget build. Its considerably more expensive.

    Id definitely take the hawk hill over the stance though. Better geometry, better specs.

  15. #15
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    From what ive seen Trance>Hawk Hill>Stance

    Hawk Hill seems to be one of the better (imo) budget FS bikes. If I was gonna spend another $1000 though id probably be looking at the Trance.

  16. #16
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    We're talking 2300 for a trance vs 1850 plus 400 to spend at performance bike with the hawk hill.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    I disagree, go for the Hawk Hill 2. The Monarch is much better rear shock than the X Fusion O2. The dropper on the Hawk Hill 2 is also great to have. The fork is also .3-.5 pounds lighter because it uses aluminum instead of steel stanchions. It is also 11 speed instead of 10 speed, which gives you smaller gaps between gearing, another nice feature. BUT the biggest and most important difference is that the Hawk Hill base model uses weird endcaps on the rear hub to run a cheap 10x135mm quick release hub in a swing arm that is designed for a boost 12x148 thru axle hub.

    The endcap system is hokey, but mostly reliable - we have sold lots of the base model Hawk Hills this year and last year with lots of positive acclaim (however we did have one case at my shop where we replaced a gentleman's wheelset under warranty with a boost 148 thru axle set because his adapters had come loose).

    Personally I want the dropper, nicer rear shock, 11 speed drivetrain, lighter fork, and added security and stiffness of the boost 148 wheelset and think that it's well worth it for the $450. Even if you go with the base model, still budget for a dropper post as One Pivot says.
    exactly what you say.

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