Question for Marin riders:- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Question for Marin riders:

    I apologize if this sounds somewhat familiar to readers of the "What Bike to Buy" forum...

    I am in the market for a new bike, and am currently attempting to decide between the Cannondale Prophet 800 and Marin Rock Springs. I have ridden a couple of Cannondales, and have been impressed by their quality, but with no Marin dealers (at least, none carrying the Rock Springs) anywhere near me, I have no firsthand experience with the latter bike. I wondered if any readers might have a Rock Springs (ideally, an '06 model), and would be willing to share their experience with it, to help me in my comparison.

    Also, I have heard that Marins tend to be sized somewhat large. I am 5'10", 170 lbs., with a 30" inseam. What size Marin ought I be looking at (15.5, 17.5, etc.)?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    You'd be on the 17.5 Marin.

    I don't own either bike, but I work in a store that sells both. I haven't ridden the Rock Springs; I've ridden the Wolf Ridge. Same exact frame, different parts on it. Here are my thoughts for the comparison:
    -The Marin climbs better. One of the best climbers I've ever ridden, actually. It grips like crazy. The standard phrase is "climbs like a hardtail" - this bike puts that to shame. On my local test trail during a climb there are some berms... on my hardtail and most other bikes, these are lumps to be ridden over. On the Marin I caught air off them. I'm not one of those pain freaks that loves climbing, but I loved going up on this bike even more than going down.
    -Both bikes seemed very comparable going downhill. I felt more comfortable hitting excessive speeds on the Marin due to the bigger brakes, but the ride characteristics of the frames were very similar. I can't tell you which one was faster over various shapes of bumps, because I just keep pedalling when I go down the hill. =)
    -If you're looking at Prophet 800 vs Rock Springs, both come with the Float R: no Propedal. You'll bob on both bikes. The bob will affect the pedalling efficiency less on the Marin.
    -The Vanilla on the Rock Springs doesn't have any form of low speed compression damping adjustment. So if you aren't good at smoothly spinning the pedals, it will bob. The Lefty on the P800 has some platform to it to get rid of fork bob.
    -The Prophet's Lefty locks you into a very very small selection of headsets and front hubs. Maybe not so important right out of the box, but if you need to replace something a few years down the line, is that going to be an issue?
    -I haven't ridden the Prophet's LX disc brakes; I have ridden XT disc. When it came time to pick out brakes for my new bike, Shimanos weren't even on my mental list of sets to look at. I've also ridden the Rock Springs's HFX-9 with an 8" rotor up front. No comparison whatsoever.
    -The Prophet 800 has better drivetrain components than the Rock Springs. Faster, stronger shifting. I like the crankset/BB on the Prophet better as well.
    -I haven't tried hucking either bike. The trail I demo bikes on doesn't have any actual drops, just some berms and kickers; being generous, I'd say I can get 2-3' on a couple of them. Neither bike seemed to really notice. I will say that if I got onto gnarlier stuff, I'd be far more comfortable with a Fox up front than a Lefty. I personally just can't trust half a fork.

    Short version:
    -I had a lot more fun on the Marin.
    -The Prophet has a few better parts on it.

    Advice:
    I'm guessing you were comparing a $2k bike to a $2k bike, but upgrading to the Marin Wolf Ridge would be smart. For $400 extra, you get a drivetrain that matches the Prophet's, get ProPedal on the rear shock, a Float fork instead of the Vanilla, stronger rims on better hubs with stronger engagement, and lose about 4 lbs off the bike. Think about it, you're already dropping that much money, might as well drop a little more for that much upgrading. I've never talked to anybody who said they wished they had gotten the slightly cheaper bike, but I've seen a lot of people drop a lot of money upgrading bikes they just recently purchased.

  3. #3
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    the bike are on the long side.

    i am 5' 8'' and ride a 15.5 inch marin east peak.i wouldnt mind at all if the bike was about a half inch shorter,and i even have a 90mm stem.

    oh and what he says about climbing is true.these bikes climb great.

  4. #4
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    I do got a marin wolfridge and it is a really sweet ride.

    Merin got their sizing a bit long for the seat tube. however it is the top tupe effective lenght that is important. i'm 5'6'' and i ride a medium (17.5) frame without problems.

    I would definetly buy a marin before a prophet, the quad-link suspension desing is really ahead of the single pivot the cannondale has to offer.

  5. #5
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    WolF Ridge Get it Now!!!!!

    I love My Marin Wolf ridge,I am 5feet 5inches large,and ride a 15.5 nothing climbs like this bike period.Oh yea and if you ride in Western North Carolina,The adjustable travel comes in Handy.Think 9 mile fire road climbs 4 inch mode,When you get to the top flip her over and adjust the Travel to 6 inch mode GO.You will laugh out loud No kidding!!!!!.For a bike in the 2k range Nothing comes close.

  6. #6
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    Marin's are measured center to center from the BB to the intersection point of the Top tube/seat tube whereas most other companies measure to the top of the seat tube, thus making the bikes seem "bigger" than others(i.e., a 19" Specialized has the same seat tube length as a 17.5" Marin, they're just measured at different points).
    At 5'10" you'll fit quite nicely on a 17.5". I'm 5'11" and am loving mine

  7. #7

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    Not the same model but I just got an 06 mount vision a month ago and love it. I'm 6'2, got the large, not much help there. My first full suspension bike

    Marin's are sweet, my lbs just started carrying them, I actually got the first, but the owner steered me to them when I went in for a sc blur lt, he's getting a pro vision, I figured if it was good enough for him well... The marin is more bike for the $ in my opion. The frame/finish is awesome, weight is pretty good for what it is, and it's kinda cool not to pass yourself on the trails, and seems to peak everyones interest.

    The frame/seatpost caused me a few problems getting set up but it's all good now. Guess it's due to my long legs but the actual seat to frame height was higher than usual. looked funky and was a little hard to get use to getting on/off back of the seat.

  8. #8
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    Suicider or anyone else; have you compared the marin tera to Kona Dawg line?

    Guess thats a little thread jack sorry.

  9. #9
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    Marin Tara and Kona Dawg

    Yo I have riddena few Konas and a Dawg Primo to be exact,I cant really give you a full Honest judgment on the Dawg versus the Marin Tara,But I can tell you this,right out of the box the Marin felt very smooth and Plush,and rigid/Sturdy.My suggestion to you is Try em both,weigh the pros and cons of what you want to do with the bike ,and see how much cash you got in yer wallet,and the go try em both again,then scratch your weary scalp,and decide from there

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