First Impressions: Marin Wolf Ridge 9
I’ll be honest, the first time I laid eyes on the new Marin Wolf Ridge I had to do a double take.
I can sometimes get lost in the world of ever changing, fast paced mountain bike technology. Sometimes it seems to evolve even faster than the latest iPhone. Boost or non-boost, 2X vs 1X drivetrains, 10-50 12-speed cassettes, enduro vs all mountain, 65.5 or 66.0 degree headtubes, the list goes on.
I tend to ask myself: “Do all these changes really matter and do they really make me a better rider?” Well the answer is YES! To prove that, we took the Marin Wolf Ridge straight to the trails! Check it out in action:
Here at Performance we hear about all the changes, we see the changes well in advance of product launches and we ride all the changes, extensively. But at the end of the day, a lot of these bikes look pretty much the same. Sure, their suspension platforms vary from one design to another and they all have slightly different bells and whistles, but they pretty much look the same. You know: two triangles, two circles, a couple angled lines and a kick ass paint job.
Enter the Marin Wolf Ridge:
- Front triangle? Check.
- Two circles? Check
- A couple angled lines? Check
- Kick ass graphics? Check
- Rear Suspension system? Um, where did the rear triangle go?
To quote Marin’s website: “The Wolf Ridge is the ideal mountain bike, having finally
achieved the promise of riding anything and everything. The no-compromise Naild R3ACT – 2 Play suspension system uses advanced kinematics to redefine what full suspension can be with plush, ground-tracing suspension along with unparalleled pedaling efficiency. The Wolf Ridge is truly all mountain, one bike to rule the ride.”
So wait, I was a Parks and Recreation Management Major, what’s advanced kinematics? A quick google search brought us this totally weird and awesome video that apparently explains it:
All joking aside, the Wolf Ridge’s rear suspension platform is designed by naild.it, and is based on Newton’s Third Law that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The Naild R3ACT (react) 2 Play design uses advanced kinematic formulas to balance and equalize all of the forces thrown at it.
Solving the Uphill Problem
“So what does all this mean for me” you ask? It means it balances your pedaling forces against the terrain forces. Doing that provides a smooth pedal stroke that delivers as much power transfer as a hard-tail, but because the rear wheel is tracking the ground surface and following the contours of the trail (instead of just bumping up and down like hardtails and other FS designs), you get 100% unfiltered traction, making climbing on a full suspension a much easier task. All this increase in traction translates to a pedaling efficiency that’s never been seen in the MTB world before.
Ok, so that’s the suspension platform. Totally revolutionary!
The Downhill Edge
But what about going downhill and how about hitting those sweet jumps? This bike is a 29er with 160mm of travel in the front and the rear. We knew 29ers were making a comeback (did they ever really leave?) but the quest to find one that climbs and descends with responsiveness, ease, and confidence, has been scant at best. The Wolf Ridge has solved this problem as well.
Ok, in an effort to be fully transparent, it’s segue time! (Not Segway time.)
I’ve been recovering from surgery and unfortunately have to stay off the bike for a while. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get back out there, but for now have to live vicariously through my #MTBMentor, Performance Product Developer and all around awesome guy Mark.
I spoke to Mark in great detail about the Marin Wolf Ridge 9 on the Performance Bike Scoop.
Here’s Mark’s Take on the Marin Wolf Ridge:
That wraps up our first impressions! This bike is here to stay, and we’re excited to see what’s coming down the pipe from Marin. Feel free to snag one from our eCommerce website at www.performancebike.com.
A big thanks to Mark for helping me out with this post. Stay tuned to blog.performancebike.com and watch Bike Scoop live every Wednesday at 3:00 PM on Facebook.com/PerformanceBike.