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  1. #1
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    2017 DB Catch 2 or 2018 Marin Hawk hill

    I have a discount with DB and i find that a major decision maker. One thing that's keeping me from moving forward with the DB is that i haven't tested it at all. I've been on the HH multiple times and it feels great. I'm coming off a 2018 Gaint talon 2 hard tail and cant say i know what a FS bike is supposed to feel like. The DB seems to be better spec'd.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1eclipse2 View Post
    I have a discount with DB and i find that a major decision maker. One thing that's keeping me from moving forward with the DB is that i haven't tested it at all. I've been on the HH multiple times and it feels great. I'm coming off a 2018 Gaint talon 2 hard tail and cant say i know what a FS bike is supposed to feel like. The DB seems to be better spec'd.
    Aren't these two slightly different bikes? DB being a plus tire bike and Marin is a normal 650b? Spec is comparable - DB has better fork compared to Hawk hill 2 (2019 model and pricing), but Marin seems rommier from the geometry, with slacker HA, which usually translates to more confidence when trail is pointing down.

    Without knowing anything else, i would say Hawk Hill is nimbler due to the fact that DB is a plus tire bike.

    A side note - i HATE dealing with those DB Blanchard wheels. They are a HUGE PAIN when it's time to go tubeless. It's HARD to get tires off, and it's ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to get tires seated without compressor. I say good luck changing flat tire on the trail with these wheels...
    Kona Process 153 29er

  3. #3
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    Its true the DB catch 2 is a plus size but i wouldn't understand the difference or what i'm sacrificing with a bigger tire. All ive ridden so far is a 27.5(650B) hard tail which feels good to me. I found out when i visited Sugar mountain resort how much of a difference it made to have a FS bike going down hill. It was super sketchy with my hardtail but fun. When i borrowed fs bike, it made me want to take bigger risks. So i found my lbs has a few marin hawk hills in stock to i tried them out and the Hawk hill just feels great all around. Its not just the fs but i feel way more confident and i do intended to get into rougher trails as well. But after looking in DB and what they have in stock as of now, the 17" Catch 2 seemed better specd than the Hawk hill. Like you mentioned, the big difference is in the plus size tires and maybe the geo which i don't understand to much about.

  4. #4
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    First of all, bike fit trumps specs, especially when it's somewhat close like these two bikes, the fork being the most difference (pike is a great fork). However, since you know that Hawk Hill fits you great, i would go with Hawk Hill if i were you. Just my experience alone from dealing with DB Blanchard wheelset would steer me away (personally) from getting another DB bikes.... It was truly a PAIN!

    On plus tires, you're sacrificing weight. Plus tires are heavier, and if you have lots of long smoothish climb where you ride, you'll have that much more weight to ride around. On a more technical trails, plus tires do give you more traction if you lower the pressure. But again, the Full suspension will give you that traction anyway. For me personally, i'll only get Plus tire bikes on hardtail or rigid.

    You mentioned Sugar Mountain Resort - i take it that's a bike park? if yes, know that these two bikes are not built for taking abuse at bike parks. (Occasional use should be fine in green and maybe blue trails i suppose, but you'll be more comfortable and have more fun in either AM bike or full DH rig).

    Let us know what you ended going with
    Kona Process 153 29er

  5. #5
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    What would your opinion be on the 17" Release 2? The geo is a bit different, its long and low. It also comes with a pike. I do intend to hit greens and maybe blues but at this point i don't want a dedicated DH bike. But would get there in time and when funds allow. I could simply replace the tires, right? Or by wheel set do you mean the entire wheel

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1eclipse2 View Post
    What would your opinion be on the 17" Release 2? The geo is a bit different, its long and low. It also comes with a pike. I do intend to hit greens and maybe blues but at this point i don't want a dedicated DH bike. But would get there in time and when funds allow. I could simply replace the tires, right? Or by wheel set do you mean the entire wheel
    The release is a venerable bike that can do a lot of different things well. I would not have regrets with a release 2. Regarding plus size bikes, they are good imo because its about options. Want to downsize tires, no problem. But on a skinny tire framed bike you don't have that option. Also, with the newer wide xc tires like the Rocket Rons (Sabre Pros, etc etc) in 2.6-3.0, you can have the best of both worlds with low rolling resistance with great grip. I have a 2.8 Ron here and it weighs 650g for a 27.5. That said I'd go release over catch. And with the DB discount, that makes it easy.

  7. #7
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    Release 2 is a nice bike and speced very well for its price, especially with Pike up front. This bike should be able to handle light duty bike park. It's also a longer-travel bike vs. Hawk Hill. Depending on what trail you ride the most, you may or may not want this. The DB website says it's out of stock though, so there is that as well....

    If it were me, without testing the bike, and knowing the rocks and roots i have to deal with on a daily basis around here, i would pick Release 2 mainly due to more travel and value for my money. One note on buying DB bikes - double check every bolt to make sure they are tight and torqued properly when you take it out of the box. (I got my wife the women's version of release last year and the cassette was a bit wobbly - just need tightening - nothing serious)

    By wheel, i meant the DB blanchard wheel set (not the tires). For some reason, their wheel design makes it hard to mount and dismount tires. I literally have to put the wheel on the ground, step on the sidewall of the tire, and yank the rim up to get the tire bead unseated to remove the inner tube. Putting the rubber back on the rim is another store.... I then have my shop put sealant and re-inflate for tubeless setup - they said it took several guys and several tries to get the bead re-seated on the rim. So, if you ever get a flat on a trail, you'll probably have a much less stressful day if you just walk your bike back to your car vs. putting an inner tube in on site... just my two cents
    Kona Process 153 29er

  8. #8
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    So after testing a DB release 1 at REI, i decided on the Marin Hawk Hill 2 and couldn't be happier i did.

    2017 DB Catch 2 or 2018 Marin Hawk hill-marin-hh2.jpg

  9. #9
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    Very nice - congrats on your new bike!! love the color too. Have a great time out on the trails. Just make sure both fork and shocks are setup for a proper sag for your weight, and then do minor adjustments from there.
    Kona Process 153 29er

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