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-
Does this mean that the frames are identical, minus the paint job, and that the only difference is in the componentry?6061 TARA Aluminum Twin Monocoque Front, TARA 4"-6" Travel Monocoque 4 Bar Link Aluminum Swingarm with Disc Mounts
Here's a pic of the most expensive model in that line, for comparison.
Thanks for the advice!