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2021 Marin Alpine Trail EMTB released

Been hooning it around on the 2021 Marin Alpine Trail E1 bike for the past few weeks. Its a brilliantly capable slack ebike with proper up to date geometry.

They make a couple of versions. I’m riding the more affordable model but they also do one with the 2021 Shimano EP8 motor and 630Wh battery, along with better fork and component spec.

Bike Prices: Marin Alpine Trail E1: £4295 / €4899 / $4499 (US)
Marin Alpine Trail E2: £5695 / €6199 / $5999 (US)

I’d really think that if you want the most from the bike the E2 version will be the one for full sends with the Fox 38 fork and better climbing from the more low down grunt from the EP8. However, the E1 version that I have been riding is still proper good fun and very reasonably priced at £4295. Geometry and frame is the same between the two bikes, just different component / motor spec.

  1. Wonder how much inout Matt Jones had into it, looks like a great entry into the market

    They could have payed it safe following the average style trail ebike (65 HA 455 Chainstay 29er) but have thought a little bit different.
    I can’t think of many other slack mullet ebikes like this. Heckler maybe? This is half the price.

  2. On paper its all the numbers I would be looking for, and spec wise all the components I like out the box – pretty much given up on getting a sub 22kg bike without spending 10k with the latest generation of offerings, but this looks to have been put together by a team who know to nail the numbers, spec the right parts, and put together a tidy package for the money.
  3. On paper its all the numbers I would be looking for, and spec wise all the components I like out the box – pretty much given up on getting a sub 22kg bike without spending 10k with the latest generation of offerings, but this looks to have been put together by a team who know to nail the numbers, spec the right parts, and put together a tidy package for the money.

    I thought you’d like it.

    yeah, for a sub 22KG ebike with internal battery you’re doubling the cost of the bike.

  4. As in low? Like it. Don’t like the short dropper to be honest. Didn’t bother me massively but I’d change out to a 170-200 dropper.

    Well I’ve worked out even with a 210mm post I’m sized out of buying the Marin I think 430 is just silly I thought 480 was getting short for an XL surely people over 6ft can manage with that ?

  5. Well I’ve worked out even with a 210mm post I’m sized out of buying the Marin I think 430 is just silly I thought 480 was getting short for an XL surely people over 6ft can manage with that ?

    Don’t run the dropper at max insertion?

  6. Yeah I think its a bit of a misconception that you always run as dropper as slammed as you can get it – on several bikes with low standovers you wouldn’t necessarily slam the seat all the way down. Take a look at a lot of the pros bikes for example and the post are not slammed, thats often because the saddle edges provide feedback on where the bike is under you – this is why most DH bikes dont have the saddle slammed, as its used for bike control/feedback rather than sitting on – think about how you stand on a bike, and actually where you would want the saddle to sit in relation to your leg when slammed – you will also find that on some bikes with low seat tubes, if you slammed the saddle the rear wheel would hit it when compressed.
  7. Looks ace.
    That size large looks too small for you Rob, your knees were nearly touching the bars on the climbs!
  8. E1 is this month, E2 with the EP8 is March

    Ooh interesting! Great timing as I’m on the hunt for an eeb right now.
    Tempted by the E1 but comparing to something like Cube 160 the spec is a bit…. meh. Totally different bikes I know… The geo on these Marins looks great.
    Hmm…

  9. Yeah I think its a bit of a misconception that you always run as dropper as slammed as you can get it – on several bikes with low standovers you wouldn’t necessarily slam the seat all the way down. Take a look at a lot of the pros bikes for example and the post are not slammed, thats often because the saddle edges provide feedback on where the bike is under you – this is why most DH bikes dont have the saddle slammed, as its used for bike control/feedback rather than sitting on – think about how you stand on a bike, and actually where you would want the saddle to sit in relation to your leg when slammed – you will also find that on some bikes with low seat tubes, if you slammed the saddle the rear wheel would hit it when compressed.

    That’s right, I personally never "slam" the dropper all the way down. Keeping it a little bit higher, so I can balance the bike between my legs #slammed

  10. Rob I find one thing missing in your reviews (and I can see why to be honest) but I’d love to know where to buy the bikes from.

    I know its a not with a 10ft pole of can of worms type subject. But often I’ll see your review, go to the brands ‘find a dealer’ search and the results are woeful. It would be nice to see a recommended places to order from or something often found in other on-line reviews (buy links etc)

  11. Thoughts on the short chain stays feeling unbalanced with the long reach? I had a Mondraker with short chainstays on a 510 reach in large and the bike always felt a little unbalanced. I have a Xxl sentinel now and I don’t have that issue. Also Rob, some reviews mention it being cramped on the climbs with the seat tube angle being so steep. How did you feel the reach was climbing and defending? I would go for the XL being 6’5 with a long wingspan but I worry at it feeling cramped? Would probably end up putting a 40 or 50mm stem to make it feel like my 521 current reach on my Sentinel.
  12. The E2s dropping in May in the UK were almost sold out when I placed my order (probably are by now) – be quick if you want one…
  13. Generally looks like a nice bike, but I dont like the bent top tube, it looks like someone too heavy has sat directly on the top tube and bent it slightly.
  14. where did you order from?

    Check the Marin stockists link and give you nearest couple a call, if they’re anything like mine they may have ordered a handful and you can bag one.

    Chap at my LBS suggested it could be as early as jan / feb as he got his order in at the starting pistol..

  15. are my expectations too high ?
    I watched the video and was thinking that its a great idea to use ‘legacy’ tech (E7000) in a bike to make it more affordable to get on the EMTB ladder. then I checked the price (cos im still after a bike for Sam) and immediately thought "f*ck that, coupled with its low end fork, the bike is too expensive for what you get"
    that price range of £4300 puts it in competition with the likes of the cube stereo 160, canyon spectral 7 and haibike xduro 3.0 with the base levo only £500 more.
    maybe its just me but I thought that this was Marin leading the way in more affordable bikes and I got all excited.
  16. are my expectations too high ?

    that price range of £4300 puts it in competition with the likes of the cube stereo 160, canyon spectral 7 and haibike xduro 3.0 with the base levo only £500 more.

    I’m in the same boat… I think if they had priced it slightly lower or spec’d better suspension then it would be the one to go for.
    Just bit the bullet and ordered a Cube Stereo 160 SL at £4199.
    (though I’m also still deciding whether or not this is the one I really want…)

  17. are my expectations too high ?
    I watched the video and was thinking that its a great idea to use ‘legacy’ tech (E7000) in a bike to make it more affordable to get on the EMTB ladder. then I checked the price (cos im still after a bike for Sam) and immediately thought "f*ck that, coupled with its low end fork, the bike is too expensive for what you get"
    that price range of £4300 puts it in competition with the likes of the cube stereo 160, canyon spectral 7 and haibike xduro 3.0 with the base levo only £500 more.
    maybe its just me but I thought that this was Marin leading the way in more affordable bikes and I got all excited.

    Against the direct to consumer its always going to be a bit more expensive relative to what you can get with them.

    I think the US price is ultra competitive. Its $4499 over there (plus taxes I guess?) which works out at £3400 GBP + local state tax.

  18. Against the direct to consumer its always going to be a bit more expensive relative to what you can get with them.

    I think the US price is ultra competitive. Its $4499 over there (plus taxes I guess?) which works out at £3400 GBP + local state tax.

    yea I guess the US could be getting a better deal but cube and haibike are not direct brands and once youve upgraded the Marins fork, youre into ‘proper’ money.. you were pretty enthusiastic about the bike, particularly its geometry. if cube made a bike with identical geo and with its current component spec, would the marin compete against a better spec’d bike with a better motor? I guess what im asking is, does the Marin’s geo make up for its spec ?

  19. always had a soft spot for Marin’s, had a mount vision back in the day.

    I’m the same. I’ve had a few Marins and I still have my 15yr old Rock Springs (US spec) in the shed. Can’t bring myself round to selling it as I’ve kept it pretty mint.

  20. I ordered mine from Berkshire Cycles, they are 100 miles away but provide the best service in England.
  21. Man this bike looks like it would be a blast to ride. It has me considering getting one even though I love my Devinci AC.
  22. Disappointing to call 2 dealers one didn’t know anything, the other just flat out said ‘we don’t do those’ 🤷‍♂️

    3rd one seemed to know what they were, had them on order and I put a deposit down on a E2 they said April 2021 /UK.

    SLX brakes are they any good? I really loved the XT 4 pots they seem to be the same thing but with more weight?

  23. They could have payed it safe following the average style trail ebike (65 HA 455 Chainstay 29er) but have thought a little bit different.
    I can’t think of many other slack mullet ebikes like this. Heckler maybe? This is half the price.

    It might be long and slack, but that BB looks very low for a 150mm travel bike at 340mm.

    People have already been looking for 160mm cranks, and now BB are getting even lower?!

  24. Disappointing to call 2 dealers one didn’t know anything, the other just flat out said ‘we don’t do those’ 🤷‍♂️

    3rd one seemed to know what they were, had them on order and I put a deposit down on a E2 they said April 2021 /UK.

    SLX brakes are they any good? I really loved the XT 4 pots they seem to be the same thing but with more weight?

    SLX brakes are good, if they have 4 pots. And when they worn out, you can change them what model you want.

  25. It might be long and slack, but that BB looks very low for a 150mm travel bike at 340mm.

    People have already been looking for 160mm cranks, and now BB are getting even lower?!

    Its not that low, my non e bike has 335mm bb height and is 160mm travel. That has 170mm cranks.

  26. Its not that low, my non e bike has 335mm bb height and is 160mm travel. That has 170mm cranks.

    No not especially low for a normal bike, but eMTB have generally been higher. Im no expert but most ebike ive looked at have been 348ish (Levo, SantaCruz etc.) or higher. If that is right then 340mm is a huge step, and a big contributor to the stability of the bike.

    Just surprised it has not been mentioned thats all. Are there other bikes out there this low? Were the people hunting out 160mm cranks already on bikes this low?

  27. No not especially low for a normal bike, but eMTB have generally been higher. Im no expert but most ebike ive looked at have been 348ish (Levo, SantaCruz etc.) or higher. If that is right then 340mm is a huge step, and a big contributor to the stability of the bike.

    Just surprised it has not been mentioned thats all. Are there other bikes out there this low? Were the people hunting out 160mm cranks already on bikes this low?

    No issues on the BB height personally. In fact I like the low(er) height on this.

  28. No issues on the BB height personally. In fact I like the low(er) height on this.

    You mention the slack head angle of 63 giving stability, do you not think the 10mm lower BB compared to most bikes plays a equivalent factor? especially considering short stays usually reduce stability. I wonder if putting a 27 on the back of 29, a Focus SAM for example, would get you almost similar key numbers as the Marin, just without the short stays and 78 seat angle.

  29. I don’t think a lower BB has so much advantage for handling and stability on an emtb as the centre of gravity is so much lower and exaggerated than an acoustic anyway… stability is already there imo. Pro’s outweigh the cons for me and I’d rather have the bit of extra clearance… even though I’m not one for pedal strikes anyway.

    Bike looks like a top fun hooligan tho. E2 spec looks decent ‘value’ too (relatively) … I’d have one all day long for rowdy sessions but couldn’t run it as a main / only emtb being in the old dodder club.

    I also have a soft spot for Marin, still got an old Whyte design Mount Vision.

  30. Out of interest i threw the numbers in a spreadsheet, and they dont all work out anyway. With that wheelbase, head angle and fork you get a reach of 495 for the XL, not 505. I guess wheelbase or head angle are the likely culprits, but not the first time bike companies have massaged numbers to make their bike look good on paper… which is a shame if the case here as it sounds like its good in real life regardless on numbers.

    Be interesting to see what a real life tape measure says.

    EDIT: Also worth noting the RS and Fox forks specced are 10mm difference in axle to crown, so add or subtract 0.5degree off that ever so important head angle based on what you think you want it to be, as Marin wont tell you which they used to determine the geo :ROFLMAO: .

  31. I’ve just spoken to my local Marin dealer- and they confirmed all the E2 bikes for April/May are now pre-ordered (in little over 24hrs!). Next batch of E2’s due October…. soooo that’s annoying!
  32. All these people complaining a 340mm bb is low for a 150mm travel bike – you need to learn to ride properly…. my normal bikes range from 325-335mm. My pivot firebird was 350ish and it felt way too high and top heavy….

    Spectal ON mk 1 was 330mm, and that rode sweet!

  33. Jim-D, yea as I said there were only 2/85 left at 9am on 2nd December… 83/85 got pre-ordered on day one.
  34. All these people complaining a 340mm bb is low for a 150mm travel bike – you need to learn to ride properly…. my normal bikes range from 325-335mm. My pivot firebird was 350ish and it felt way too high and top heavy….

    Spectal ON mk 1 was 330mm, and that rode sweet!

    Other people are shit riders etc. yes yes.

    No one is complaining. I was asking was this considered low? most other bikes seem to be higher, including many of the most popular, and poeple still would like shorter cranks to suit their riding. Yes some may be clots, but some might just be riding stuff you cant normally ride.

    Looking at the 2020 Spectral ON, that has a 33mm drop with 29er front wheel. 29×2.5 is usually considered as ~750 by most companies. That gives BB height of 342mm. The 2018 ON had 33 drop too. Perhaps you had skinny tyres.

  35. Other people are shit riders etc. yes yes.

    No one is complaining. I was asking was this considered low? most other bikes seem to be higher, including many of the most popular, and poeple still would like shorter cranks to suit their riding. Yes some may be clots, but some might just be riding stuff you cant normally ride.

    Looking at the 2020 Spectral ON, that has a 33mm drop with 29er front wheel. 29×2.5 is usually considered as ~750 by most companies. That gives BB height of 342mm. The 2018 ON had 33 drop too. Perhaps you had skinny tyres.

    The official BB height for my orbea wild fs is 345mm, but I’ve just been and measured it (because im bored) – and its actually 333mm.

    Thats with the stock tyres it came with from the factory – how can manufacturers measurements be so far out – not that I’m complaining I like a low bb!

  36. 333mm from floor to centre of crank bolt?

    yes – from floor to centre of crank bolt, and I measured both sides of the cranks to ensure I had the bike properly vertical, both sides measure the same value (well to within a mm or two) . and yes (before anyone asks) – the tyres were fully inflated.

    I also measured head angle using one of those phone based spirit level things, that came out as 65deg, whereas the official angle is supposed to be 65.5 – but I’ll class that as the same given the probable lack of accuracy/calibration of my phone.

  37. The official BB height for my orbea wild fs is 345mm, but I’ve just been and measured it (because im bored) – and its actually 333mm.

    Thats with the stock tyres it came with from the factory – how can manufacturers measurements be so far out – not that I’m complaining I like a low bb!

    Manufacturers build geo on stock numbers, so things like tyres, forks, etc. may change come final spec. There will therefore be some variance, but i doubt they will be 12mm out, that would require -20mm fork change for example.

    Its incredibly difficult to measure accurately without a jig. Using a tape measure is prone to error in readings, never mind finding a flat spot and making sure you are measuring vertical etc. Try using a stick held against the crank and and then measure the stick.

    Of course this does mean geo numbers are ‘almost’ pointless, as they can change and even a few psi in tyre and fork can be equivalent to the difference between 2 bikes for example. But numbers are how we compare bikes, so they need to be reasonably accurate so we have a baseline to talk from; such as the point about this Marin having very short stays but Rob felt it was still stable, because of the 63 degree head angle.

  38. Manufacturers build geo on stock numbers, so things like tyres, forks, etc. may change come final spec. There will therefore be some variance, but i doubt they will be 12mm out, that would require -20mm fork change for example.

    Its incredibly difficult to measure accurately without a jig. Using a tape measure is prone to error in readings, never mind finding a flat spot and making sure you are measuring vertical etc. Try using a stick held against the crank and and then measure the stick.

    Of course this does mean geo numbers are ‘almost’ pointless, as they can change and even a few psi in tyre and fork can be equivalent to the difference between 2 bikes for example. But numbers are how we compare bikes, so they need to be reasonably accurate so we have a baseline to talk from; such as the point about this Marin having very short stays but Rob felt it was still stable, because of the 63 degree head angle.

    Agree, this is a pretty significant difference. Only thing I can think is that it has a 2020 Rockshox with a bit of riderless sag on the fork already?

    I’m starting to measure certain things now when the bikes arrive. The Marin actually measured 62.8 degrees in head angle, measured a couple of times and turned 180, then averaged.

  39. Manufacturers build geo on stock numbers, so things like tyres, forks, etc. may change come final spec. There will therefore be some variance, but i doubt they will be 12mm out, that would require -20mm fork change for example.

    Its incredibly difficult to measure accurately without a jig. Using a tape measure is prone to error in readings, never mind finding a flat spot and making sure you are measuring vertical etc. Try using a stick held against the crank and and then measure the stick.

    Of course this does mean geo numbers are ‘almost’ pointless, as they can change and even a few psi in tyre and fork can be equivalent to the difference between 2 bikes for example. But numbers are how we compare bikes, so they need to be reasonably accurate so we have a baseline to talk from; such as the point about this Marin having very short stays but Rob felt it was still stable, because of the 63 degree head angle.

    What software are you using to calculate geo out of interest?

  40. Agree, this is a pretty significant difference. Only thing I can think is that it has a 2020 Rockshox with a bit of riderless sag on the fork already?

    I’m starting to measure certain things now when the bikes arrive. The Marin actually measured 62.8 degrees in head angle, measured a couple of times and turned 180, then averaged.

    Did you measure the wheelbase? with that headangle either the wheelbase figure is miles out or the reach is half a size under what they say. Could have a noticable impact on size choice.

  41. Did you measure the wheelbase? with that headangle either the wheelbase figure is miles out or the reach is half a size under what they say. Could have a noticable impact on size choice.

    No, but I still have the bike so will do that later…

  42. Jim-D, yea as I said there were only 2/85 left at 9am on 2nd December… 83/85 got pre-ordered on day one.

    Yup. I got on the phone right after I saw your message in this thread, and just missed out on the April E2’s by the sounds of it. I don’t know how many bikes big brands plan to make for each batch, but doesn’t 85 sound a bit on the low end? Especially considering the split in frame sizes too… Maybe Marin weren’t expecting to hit the mark quite so well on their first ‘proper’ go? The geo sits in the sweet spot between a full on DH rig like the Kenevo, and milder trail based geometry that most others have. What else has a nice low standover/seattube and comparable reach/HT angles?

  43. The official BB height for my orbea wild fs is 345mm, but I’ve just been and measured it (because im bored) – and its actually 333mm.

    Thats with the stock tyres it came with from the factory – how can manufacturers measurements be so far out – not that I’m complaining I like a low bb!

    mines 335 ish on my orbea wild team,

  44. yes – from floor to centre of crank bolt, and I measured both sides of the cranks to ensure I had the bike properly vertical, both sides measure the same value (well to within a mm or two) . and yes (before anyone asks) – the tyres were fully inflated.

    I don’t suppose, in order to make things consistent, BB height isn’t spec’d with 0 sag ?

  45. I’m starting to measure certain things now when the bikes arrive. The Marin actually measured 62.8 degrees in head angle, measured a couple of times and turned 180, then averaged.

    I’m impressed, I think I’d be to dizzy to do that accurately after keep turning 180 degrees, doing it backwards, turn, forwards .. good party game though, I’ll stick it on the list of MTB party games.

  46. I don’t suppose, in order to make things consistent, BB height isn’t spec’d with 0 sag ?

    The factory figure would be lower if BB height was measured at say 30% sag, and therefore my measured figure would be lower still.

    I measured my other bikes (2018 YT capra 27.5, and 2014 orbea rallon) – they’re within a couple of mm of the factory figures.

    But consistency (ie to remove variable like tyres etc) is why most manufacturers specify a bb drop figure . the official bb drop for my bike is 30mm, I measured it at 40mm. I wonder if originally orbea were going to use a slight longer eye to eye length shock and the bb height/drop figures are based on this, but then they decided to use a shorter shock, but then forgot to update the geo chart?

  47. Out of interest I just measured my Trek Rail BB height. It’s 6mm higher than trek say (445 vs 339) with the chip in the low position 🤷‍♂️
  48. Yeah I think its a bit of a misconception that you always run as dropper as slammed as you can get it – on several bikes with low standovers you wouldn’t necessarily slam the seat all the way down. Take a look at a lot of the pros bikes for example and the post are not slammed, thats often because the saddle edges provide feedback on where the bike is under you – this is why most DH bikes dont have the saddle slammed, as its used for bike control/feedback rather than sitting on – think about how you stand on a bike, and actually where you would want the saddle to sit in relation to your leg when slammed – you will also find that on some bikes with low seat tubes, if you slammed the saddle the rear wheel would hit it when compressed.

    Fully agree with that. I’m no pro but find 125mm drop OK, 150mm ideal (now that I’ve also tried 170), and 170mm too much really. It is still being able to feel the saddle/bike whilst also being fully able to move about. With 170mm the saddle just disappears, not necessarily better.

  49. Is it weird they don’t have any studio photos of the E2? Only photos that seem to be doing the rounds are from the same UK source (so it seems)
  50. Anyone else had their due dates pushed back?

    My dealer was right in there at the start way before release, suggested Feb / March delivery now end of May with suggested dates.

    May just have been wishful thinking on the first dates mind.

  51. Anyone else had their due dates pushed back?

    My dealer was right in there at the start way before release, suggested Feb / March delivery now end of May with suggested dates.

    May just have been wishful thinking on the first dates mind.

    Is that for the first batch of E1s or E2? They’ll be here when they’re here…

  52. E2s first batch and yep not much we can do.

    not heard about any price increases yet though, touch wood.

  53. E2s first batch and yep not much we can do.

    not heard about any price increases yet though, touch wood.

    Yup, I’ve got an E2 pre-ordered also. I’ll only start pestering dealer if I see other people are getting theirs delivered! As even the sponsored Marin riders are all on E1’s I’m guessing they are still a way off…

  54. I almost ordered the E2, I have a Marin Headlands 2 CF gravel bike and really enjoy it.
    But delivery was listed as end of August and LBS had a medium Specialized Turbo Levo Comp available in stock.
    I just couldn’t wait that long….Will maybe consider it down the road. Currently loving my Levo Comp. My Headlands 2 is just not suited for the snowy trails locally. And doesn’t have a motor lol…….
  55. Great video Duncan.

    Still love Marin bikes!

    Great memories of my Indian Fire Trail back in the early 90s and my wife had the Muirwoods.

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