First off I want to mention that I have almost no MTB (Mountain Bike) experience. I had a 15 year old $80 MTB from Wal-Mart before moving to Lincoln and really starting to ride bikes, then I rode a Marin Comfort bike for 2 years and 6,000+ miles before buying my Felt Z-70 road bike last fall. So, for me to review the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 is like having someone that drives a Camaro test drive a Hummer - it's not really apples to apples. But, if your considering jumping into single track in a big way, maybe my thoughts will be helpful.
After leaving Bike Pedalers Friday afternoon I was quickly impressed with the hydraulic disc brakes, they stop on a dime and you'd better be ready or your going over the handle bars. You quickly realize you need to feather the brakes. The breaks are incredible and are VERY responsive. You give it a little break, you get a little break, you give them a big squeeze and you will stop right where you are. Their predictable, and once you have a feel for them, they invoke a strong sense of confidence.
The Marin Mount Vision 5.9 is a full suspension bike, you can look up the specks for the low-down on how it works. I noticed that it felt plush and forgiving on the streets and trails. Any cracks, bumps, holes, etc. were just floated over. Rather than the harsh treatment I'm accustomed to on my rigid road bike. Of course it takes a bit more effort to build up momentum and keep it going, but it really wasn't as bad as I anticipated. It weighs in at 25 lbs and can hold it's own on the pavement, it's not the tank I thought it might be.
I love the way it shifts, it's responsive, smooth and quick. Being used to my 30 speed road bike I noticed my cadence was faster when I was maxed out in the gears going downhill on pavement with the wind, but for anything short of that, there was a gear for every situation.
I also really liked the ergonomics, I found out fast that I needed to raise the seat a couple of times, because when your riding it the rear shock is absorbing your weight and that sets the bike lower than when your off the seat. Once I had that adjusted to my liking I felt really in-tune with the bike and like it was a natural extension of my body. It really fits well. The bars are comfortable, the saddle is surprisingly comfortable and it was just an all around joy to ride.
The Marin Mount Vision 5.9 looks as cool as it is, and is fun to be seen on around town.
Yesterday morning I joined up with the folks from bentventure.com I rode 12 miles across town to our starting point. Again I loved the way it acted in a urban riding environment. I'll write more about the ride in another blog post and just focus on the bike in this post. We began by heading N.W. on gravel to Branched Oak Lake, the last mile or two was on highways. The Marin Mount Vision 5.9 loves gravel! It was SO smooth over the rocks and bumps. It was sure-footed in deep loose gravel, would climb like that's what it was meant to do and bomb down hills like it was going out of style. The only weakness was the rider.
At the lake we hit the single track mountain bike trails. Now, this is where the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 really felt at home. Wow! It was SO fun. Even though I'm not an experienced single track rider I was safe and secure and had a sense of confidence the whole time. I truly felt like the bike was reading my mind. It absolutely did everything I asked of it. It was shocking how fast, smooth and agile it was. I had the time of my life. If you take nothing else from this review, take heart in this... The Marin Mount Vision 5.9 will go wherever you point it. And not where you don't. Even at times when I was riding outside of my abilities, the bike was forgiving and well behaved. We rode single track for several miles and I never had to get off and walk it, never accidentally strayed off the path and didn't wreck the whole time. It was predictable and knew what it was doing even when I wasn't. This bike will get you where you want to be quickly and safely.
We then left and rode down highways into the wind to James Arthur Vineyards. By the time we got there I was spent. I'd put 46 miles on the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 on Saturday alone. Some of the group continued riding back to Lincoln while I joined a couple others in a car ride back to town. The bike was a blast and was capable on all terrains. But really shines in the places I can only dream of going on my road bike.
I also want to mention the reliability. I didn't have any mechanical issues whatsoever all weekend. Not so much as a flat.
If your ready to step up to a more capable mountain bike. Or want to jump into a new sport with both feet. Then you've got to give Bike Pedalers a call, or stop by and see the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 in person. This bike is a demo and is available to perspective buyers to take out and put through the paces. Rather than just riding around the parking lot of the bike shop. That way you can feel confident that the Marin Mount Vision 5.9 is the right bike to get you out on the trails and home quickly, safely, and with more fun that you can imagine!