Product Review 2019 Marin Mount Vision 8

Remember the days before being able to seamlessly buy a bike online when you’d walk into your local bike store and read a brochure of a trail bike you want buy and the headline would say “Climbs like a mountain goat, descends like a downhill bike”. Nowadays you read the same blurb on your favourite websites and you do your research online and either make the purchase from your local store or add that dream bike to your basket online. When you treat yourself to a visit to Bicycles Online’s website and define your search to dual suspension mountain bikes, you’ll be treated to the listing of the 2019 Marin Mount Vision 8. When you click through to the details, you won’t see the corny cliché headline but after spending a good amount of time on this bike I can safely say that the headline should say “Climbs like a mountain goat, descends like a downhill bike”.

Available from Bicycles Online for the presently discounted price of $5,499, you can get this bike delivered to your door in less than a week with minimal assembly required before you’re rolling around the cul de sac refining your suspension sag measurement. You’re only needed to put the front in the forks, whack the handlebars and controls in position and set the dropper post to your height. These bikes come to you with no need to adjust gears or align brakes or to spend hours scratching your head wondering what goes where. Bicycles Online need to be commended for the presentation of their bikes when they get to you, they certainly impress with the protection of the bike in transit and ease of which you’ll set it up.

The Marin Mount Vision 8 is designed and built to work for you on the trails. That bulky looking section of the frame is the renowned Naild R3eact 2 play system that to put it simply; keeps your tyres on the ground for traction and almost eliminates wasted energy on pedal bob. I love the science behind making a bike work instead of making a bike look good. This design has a purpose and when you’re on top of it on the dirt, you’ll understand and you’ll have a sore face from grinning.
The frame is 150mm travel of full carbon fibre goodness with possibly the best colours I’ve ever seen on a bike. I adore the raw carbon with black and red under a super gloss clear coat, it looks unreal! The component choice of all black parts really brings the red out, looks mint. The bike rolls on 27.5” wheels with Stans No Tubes Sentry 32mm tubeless rims on Formula hubs. The rear is a boost spacing of 148mm giving an extra grip path to 2.6” WTB Trailboss tyres. And grip it does! Similar to the Polygon Xquareone downhill bike I rallied a few months ago, this thing corners amazingly generating a feeling that you’re almost going too fast in the turns. You adjust to it quickly though and soon your confidence grows.

Suspension wise, the bike is what I call the almost perfect size: 150mm travel on the frame via the Rockshox Deluxe R air shock and the Rockshox 150mm Pike RC. There’s no fuss with this pair, you set the air pressure, you dial your rebound and you ride the hell out of it. Too many people get confused with too many dials on clicky bits on forks and shocks but this guy avoids that complication by giving you a bike built to ride.
The cockpit and drivetrain is the ever present SRAM Eagle 12 speed, GX cassette, chain and derailleur with an NX shifter. The bike is equipped with Marin’s 780mm riser bars bolted to the Marin 3D forged stem. The Mount Vision 8 runs Shimano XT brakes on a 200mm front rotor and 180mm rear. It’s a little frustrating that the drivetrain and brakes aren’t on the same clamp on the bars but it works. To sweeten the deal though, you get a KS LEV Integra 150mm dropper post and that ain’t bad! The smooth precise action of the lever matches the feel of the trigger style lever and performed faultlessly on my punishing rides. I haven’t had tons of time on a KS LEV post but found it to be very nice. The 150mm drop of the post is spot on and does exactly what a dropper needs to do: Its up for your up’s and down for the downs. It’s worth noting that on the XL size frames that I ride, sometimes you find the seat tube height keeps the fully dropped post in the way a little but this didn’t happen on this frame.

Now, thats a basic outline of the parts bolted to this bike. This is the part of the reviews that I really enjoy writing trying to summarise how the bike rides. I love riding bikes and can say that the popularity of enduro has driven designers and manufacturers to build do-it-all bikes and geez, they’re bloody actually doing it! You’d be hard pressed to buy an enduro bike nowadays that doesn’t do it so well, some just do it a little differently and some better. As I hinted earlier, the 150mm travel front and rear on the 27.5” wheels is almost perfect. I love that this bike feels so damn planted to the ground that your confidence to ride it faster and faster feels so right. It doesn’t feel heavy to ride and in the excitement of me riding it, I never weighed it (sorry!). Climbing is impressive enough with a wide range 12 speed cassette but pair that with a frame design that pushes you up the hill with each pedal stroke and you’re on a winner. Its tricky to describe the feel of the R3act suspension system but imagine that extra section of the frame that houses the shorter travel stanchion in the swingarm controls the weigh you’re putting into it and stops compression. It also works amazingly well at keeping the suspension travel direct and efficient. Its surprisingly easier riding this up a hill than other suspension designs, thats it in a nutshell.

The frame design keeps the bulk of the weight as low as it can be and about the only thing I found that caught me out was the lowest section of the frame making contact with some obstacles that I haven’t scraped on other frames. The bulkiest part of the carbon fibre frame just in front of the bottom bracket sinks just a little more with your weight on the bike and you’ll need to be mindful of it if it is your first rodeo on this bike. Keeping that weight low is crucial for a good feel of weigh distribution and only helps to make this bike ride so well.

I’m treated to being able to ride so many amazing bikes in so many awesome places. I build some trails that test me and test the capability of our generation of amazing bikes. We’ve seen some pretty cool stuff find it’s way onto our rides and I reckon the Naild R3act suspension platform is the sleeper of the mountain bike world and would like to see it under more riders. It is an amazing experience riding this design and without doubt, it makes you progress and ride faster with more confidence. I’m battling to describe how good this bike rides without swearing but will politely say; it’s f#@king sick! Get near one for a test ride or borrow a mates as soon as you can, you will not regret it.

Thanks Bicycles Online and Marin for another outstanding mountain bike experience.


Another great write-up @Dozer, well done. I particularly like how you've ignored aesthetics and focused objectively on performance. After reading your review, the bike somehow seems a lot less fugly. I wonder if that funky R3act thing functions somewhat similar to the Yeti Switch Infinity?
I saw Flow's review on it yesterday. A bit ugly but intriguing at the same time. I'm interested to know how the bottom stanchion holds up maintenance wise being in a such dirt attracting spot
Another great write-up @Dozer, well done. I particularly like how you've ignored aesthetics and focused objectively on performance. After reading your review, the bike somehow seems a lot less fugly. I wonder if that funky R3act thing functions somewhat similar to the Yeti Switch Infinity?
It is sorta kinda, same sort of ideology. I haven't ridden the Yeti system but looks astounding. I can't emphasize enough that the stability of the suspension platform is darn impressive and certainly improves the feel of the ride compared to other suspension designs. The cornering is amazing.