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  1. #1
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    Tell me what you think of this bike

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...=207&Muirwoods


    I'm looking for a solid commuter, grocery getter, that won't break the bank and is good in hills and is a solid bike (I'm a 217 lb guy).

    This one has 26 inch wheels, looks solid, etc.

    I'd put a tubus rack on it, some ortileb back rollers and change out the bars with trekking bars (my preference for more hand positions) and put on some fenders. Other than that, does it look solid? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Price is an issue and this one is moderately priced. There is no used market here, so that is probably out.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...OyA/weight.png



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  2. #2
    Senior Member JAG410's Avatar
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    Those are nice bikes, I think you'd be happy with it. I'd personally throw some Schwalbe Big Apples on it instead of the skinny tires that are on it, just to soak up more road bumps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by episodic View Post
    http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...=207&Muirwoods


    I'm looking for a solid commuter, grocery getter, that won't break the bank and is good in hills and is a solid bike (I'm a 217 lb guy).

    This one has 26 inch wheels, looks solid, etc.

    I'd put a tubus rack on it, some ortileb back rollers and change out the bars with trekking bars (my preference for more hand positions) and put on some fenders. Other than that, does it look solid? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Price is an issue and this one is moderately priced. There is no used market here, so that is probably out.
    i'll be honest with you. i bought a '97 gary fisher tassahara for 15 bucks off of some guy in alameda that was advertised on craigslist. it wasn't new and shiny like that one, but i bet it runs as well.

    there are plenty of 90's era rigid mtb's for sale, cheap, on craigslist. i would give them a try.

  4. #4
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    If you want new I endorse this bike its one of the few steel frame mountain bike based 26" wheel commuters you can buy with a rigid fork too. I had one of these a few years ago and I really liked it alot. Like another poster said for much less you can get an old mountain bike thats going to be pretty much what this is, but the Marin is a good bike and might have some advantages over an older bike.
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  5. #5
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    I have the Muirwoods 29er that I use for commuting and errands. Honestly, I don't have rack so everything goes in my backpack. It's a solid ride. I am using the 1.6" tires that came with it and they are fine for just about any of the roads here even though they look like they are maintained by 6 year olds with Tonka trucks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mad Scientist's Avatar
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    I bought the 2004 version of the Marin Muirwoods about 6 years ago and have ridden it 12,000 miles. I have no complaints about the quality of the bike.

    This was the first bike I purchased or really ridden in 10 or 15 years (since high-school). Though I test-rode a bunch of hybrids before buying the Marin. Ultimately, I thought the Marin felt a little better than the other bikes and I thought the matte black looked great.

    After a couple of years, I realized that the Marin was not quite the right bike for me. I wanted something with drop bars and a more aerodynamic riding position. It turns out that I cannot ride slowly; essentially every commute turns into a race against myself. If I had known how much riding I would do or realized that in a few years I would be commuting exclusively by bicycle, I would have spent more money and purchased a CX bike.

    I have made tons of modifications to try to make the Marin really work for me (i.e. make my riding posture more aerodynamic or the bike faster in general). I swapped the original handlebar (which had a slight rise) with a flat bar. I removed all the headset spacers and flipped the stem. I swapped the plastic platform pedals out for Crank Brothers Eggbeaters. I removed the front derailleur, changing to a 1x8 drivetrain. And, I replaced the original tires (1.5" WTB Slickasaurus on my Marin) with narrow, high-pressure slicks (Continental Gatorskin ATB).

    Aside from these changes and normal maintenance (chains, tires, and brake pads/wires), I have had no major mechanical troubles, even after riding through multiple MN winters. As evidence of the Marin's toughness, on most commutes I jump off a couple of curbs on the way to work and ride up the curbs on the way home without any adverse effects.

    The Marin is not going to win any prizes for being lightweight, but it isn't terrible either. With the changes above and lights but with no rack or fenders, my Marin weighs 25 lbs.

    I recently bought a new bike which has drop bars (it is also steel and weighs 21 lbs). Given its more aerodynamic riding posture, I expected the new bike to be a bit faster. But, my average speed is only slightly higher (upper 17 mph rather than low-to mid 17 mph). Your mileage may vary, but if you want to ride the Marin fast, I think you can do so.

    Note that the 26 inch wheels will change the selection of tires available to you. Where many hybrids will have 700c wheels and can take advantage of road or cross tires, the Marin will be stuck with mountain-bike tires. This isn't necessarily good or bad, you should just be aware of it. I had to search pretty hard to find good high-pressure slicks. As an aside -- I really like the Gatorskins; which, interestingly, make almost no difference in speed over the stock 1.5" semi-slicks (which had much lower pressure in addition to being wider).

    Note that the picture of the Muirwoods on the Marin web site is slightly deceptive. The bike comes with several spacers on the steerer, so the handlebar is a bit higher than pictured. Also, the saddle is positioned fairly high in the picture. In real life, the saddle and handlebar are probably going to back much closer to the same height (or perhaps with the handlebar higher than the saddle) unless you take some of the handlebar-lowering steps I took.

    I bought my 2004 Marin for $400, which was $50 below MSRP since the 2005 model was out and the shop wanted to move the bike I bought. I think that $560 for the 2011 model seems fairly steep. I have not shopped hybrids since I bought my bike, so I don't know how much the prices have risen over all, but in 2005 most of the hybrids I rode were in the $250 to $350 range.

    The bottom line is: I have been happy with the quality of my Marin even though it turns out to be not the perfect bike for me. It is tough and can be ridden fast. The 26 inch wheels and rigid fork make it relatively unusual for a new bike.

  7. #7
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    I thinkt he Mirwoods I bought in 2005 was a 2004 as well. I bought it from the used bike shop here for $300 and it looked like it had pretty limited use. I can't remember how much the $2005 models were selling for that summer because my wife really liked mine and kinda wanted one, but they must have been over $400 because she said it was too much. We ended up getting her a Trek 7.3 FX which was a pretty nice bike and on sale I think it was $370 after tax. I am not even sure you could get a Trek 7.1 for that kind of cash now even on sale. Hybrids have gone way up since then and the Marin is a pretty solid speced bike (compares pretty good to other hybrids in that price range) and the frame is pretty nice.

    A couple things that are different in a good way from my old bike is that the crank is a more typical hybrid 48-38-28 compared to mine which was a 42-32-22 like most mountain bikes. The hybrid crank is better because a 42 you can end up spinning out pretty easily. The other nice thing about the new Muirwoods is it has a spot on the fork for a front rack mounting too. I think the 26 inch tires give you plenty of options and if you decide you want fat tires the options get better than hybrids IMO.

    The Marin is a great bike very nimble and you can do alot with it. Bikes like this are very underrated for do it all bikes. Also when I had my bike I was heavier than the OP by a few pounds and I never had any problems, but I didn't ride it too hard jumping curbs or anything like that, but I used it a few times a week for 2 years and tried out all kids of handlebar configurations had fenders and a rack on it with panniers. When I sold it totally outfitted for commuting and I think I got $275 for it which looking back was a killer deal for the buyer, but I was happy because I was ready for something else and that money could buy me a bunch of used bikes. When I got back into commuting I ended up with a late 90's Trek police bike that was pretty much the same type of bike only better components, aluminum frame and set me back just $20.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    I'll echo what the others have said in that it looks like a good bike, but I see it on the expensive side. If it was me, I'd want to pay around $350 for a bike like that (new).

  9. #9
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    My GF picked up the 2008 (or maybe 2009) model and we've been very happy with it. We liked that it had a Deore rear derailleur and steel frame/fork which makes for a real smooth ride. Our original plan was to convert to drops to make it a poor-mans 26" LHT, but she seems fine with flat bars for now.

    Do keep in mind, though:
    - Not sure about the 2011 model, but our bike only has a single set of mounting holes on the seat stay, so we'll have to use p-clips to mount both fenders and a rack.
    - The handlebars are really wide. You may need to have the shop cut them down like we did.
    - The stock CST tires were swapped out for Panaracer Pasella Tourguards, so I'm not sure how the stock tires ride.

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