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Old 05-21-07, 11:07 AM   #1
cedricbosch
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Are all frames the same?

I have a 2004 Marin Alpine Trail, pictured below. It's a a great bike, especially in climbs, and I really dig the adjustable frame geometry. However, the components are horrible- Acera shifters, Deore rear derraileur, and Manitou Axel front fork (which has developed a clicking noise, but thats another story.)



I'd like to upgrade the components to something in the LX/XT level, but before I drop some hard-earned cash on this frame, I would like to ask a question regarding an observation I made while on the Marin website.

The frame on my Alpine Trail (the low-end of Marin's "Tara Quad" line) looks exactly like the same as the highest-end model. In addition, both frames have the exact same description-

Quote:
6061 TARA Aluminum Twin Monocoque Front, TARA 4"-6" Travel Monocoque 4 Bar Link Aluminum Swingarm with Disc Mounts
Does this mean that the frames are identical, minus the paint job, and that the only difference is in the componentry?

Here's a pic of the most expensive model in that line, for comparison.



Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-21-07, 11:15 AM   #2
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Yep..better components includng shock and fork.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:20 PM   #3
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It sounds to me like the more expensive one uses an Aluminum rear swing arm. Check to make sure the cheaper one does too. Sometimes they'll put different(read heavier) swing arms on the cheaper bikes to get you to buy the more expensive models.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:44 PM   #4
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and a nicer rear shock.
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Old 05-21-07, 04:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheard
and a nicer rear shock.
Yeah I realize that, but the rear shock is still a component.

Since the two frames are visually identical, I think it's safe to assume the materials used are the same as well.
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Old 05-21-07, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMTB
It sounds to me like the more expensive one uses an Aluminum rear swing arm. Check to make sure the cheaper one does too. Sometimes they'll put different(read heavier) swing arms on the cheaper bikes to get you to buy the more expensive models.
Which part of the frame is the swing arm?
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Old 05-21-07, 04:57 PM   #7
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The big arm thing on the suspension that swings.
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Old 05-21-07, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedricbosch
Which part of the frame is the swing arm?
The part that pivots on the rear of the frame to actually absorb bumps.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:04 PM   #9
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Most companies use the same frame for a wide range of models the only difference being the component specs, but one time someone told me that the higher models have cleaner welds and are made by more experienced welders.

Personal I think he was full of ****.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gattm99
Most companies use the same frame for a wide range of models the only difference being the component specs, but one time someone told me that the higher models have cleaner welds and are made by more experienced welders.

Personal I think he was full of ****.
I think I agree with your assessment. It's possible, but I think unlikely, especially from a smaller company like Marin.

To give your source the benefit of a doubt, perhaps he was comparing across companies, in which case definitely yes, within a given model the frames are generally identical.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:19 PM   #11
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All frames are the same. Except for the ones that are different.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:24 PM   #12
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Regardless, it's a good starting point and you're not going to be over upgrading (aka turd polishing) the frame anytime soon.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyard
All frames are the same. Except for the ones that are different.
Amen
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Old 05-21-07, 10:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedricbosch

The frame on my Alpine Trail (the low-end of Marin's "Tara Quad" line) looks exactly like the same as the highest-end model. In addition, both frames have the exact same description-



Does this mean that the frames are identical, minus the paint job, and that the only difference is in the componentry?
Many companies use the same frame and "swingarm" just put higher level(read more $$) components to make different levels for a large range of budgets. BTW, I like those Marin's, I hear great stuff about them and their unique Formula 1 engineered suspension. Put on some good components and ride happy!
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