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Help comparing Marins? (Larkspur vs Fairfax)

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Help comparing Marins? (Larkspur vs Fairfax)

Old 05-21-17, 05:12 PM
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mistermog
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Help comparing Marins? (Larkspur vs Fairfax)

Hi all, first time here decided to finally put on my big boy pants and ask a question.

So I have an old beat up 38 pound 90s Alpine something hybrid that a friend of mine gifted me and looking for something more comfortable. I do like the hybrid / fitness / flat bar road bike type setup. I don't actually know what they are called or if this is all the same type of bike.

Long story short looking to do pavement type riding around 10-15 miles each time, for fun with the wife etc. I don't need outright speed but I would like a good nicely geared setup capable of around 25-30 mph fairly easily (6' 210 right now) and not in horrible shape. When I hit my max on the Alpine thing, I've maxed it at 25 and ran out of gear.

A LBS showed me a Marin Larkspur CS1 that they suggested but looking online I really dont know much about it other than what I read online. I am trying to compare the Marin Larkspur CS1 to the Marin Fairfax SC1.

I think the only difference really is the Fairfax has a more forward seating position vs the more upright on the Larkspur? Is that right?

I am trying to keep this in the lower model range, preferably $400-$450 range.

I would be open to looking at Trek or Specialized, but the shop I was at was a big fan of Marin in the lower end.

Anyway, long story short... differences between the Larkspur and the Fairfax on the lower end of the ranges?

Thanks!

Last edited by mistermog; 05-21-17 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-22-17, 05:44 AM
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andrei_r
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For speed, go with Fairfax.
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Old 05-22-17, 08:48 AM
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Look at the parts pick .. that's probably the difference .
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Old 05-23-17, 08:45 AM
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I'll chime in because I was tossing up between the same two bikes a month ago. I ended up with the Larkspur CS2.

However, my purpose was a bit different. I already have a road bike, and for the speeds you are talking about, I really can't see either Marin satisfying the speed item, but the Fairfax is more likely to do it for you. However, I would think you'd be better off with a higher end model of the Fairfax.

The Larkspur can probably work. The CS2 is nice as you can pivot the handlebars to help change your position, but even in a down position, you'll probably be too cramped. The bike really is best for a more upright city right, not really a fast ride. That was actually why a purchased it. For speed I can use my road bike. And, in all honesty with my road bike (an older Specialized), 25 to 30 mph is about as fast as I go, and I couldn't even begin to think of doing that with the two Marin models.

Now, I was originally looking at the Fairfax for some speed, and if I had stuck with that purpose, I actually would have purchased a Cannondale Quick model. Those are fantastic hybrids that lean towards the road bike side.

Marin Bikes are hybrids that really seem to favor the urban rider. The Larkspur was very comfortable, which was my priority. My road bike just doesn't suffice for riding around town. The adjustable handlebars, while probably gimmicky to some, were an added benefit. Finally, I used to have a mountain bike, which was stolen. I never used it for its full purpose, so the Larkspur will replace the more offroad functions of that old-bike (gravel and dirt roads).

Finally, you might also look into some of the other Marin Bikes models if your LBS has them. Another model I considered was the Muirwoods. When looking at it, it was a nice intermediate to the Fairfax and Larkspur.
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Old 05-23-17, 08:19 PM
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mistermog
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Thanks emalvick,

I hadnt considered cannondales, not sure if the one shop I know of here has them. I'll need to look around more. However from what I've gathered reading all fitness bikes are give or take a mph on average, which is a couple short of road bike average.

On the old clunky k2 alpine, my MAX ever on a dead sprint was 25 mph, i just want something that i know can go faster than this on a sprint. I know i'll never average that kind of speed. Since I will be riding mostly in the city type areas, I think pure speed is just a pipe dream here.
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Old 05-24-17, 01:36 PM
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emalvick
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I suspect the Fairfax would work well for you. I was going to pick it, but after riding a Larkspur, I decided that the comfort was more important. I'll never sprint or go in such a way that the difference between the two bikes would matter. I mostly rode a road bike around my town off and on for nearly 10 years now (MTB otherwise), and it is not very fun dealing with stop-signs, stop-lights, traffic, etc in the drop position. I know many people do it, I see them all the time; heck I did it for 10 years, but I needed something more comfortable. Having my MTB get stolen woke me up that I wanted the position I had with my MTB with a faster setup. I don't need shocks, knobby tires, etc.

All that was actually why I ended up passing on the Cannondale (partially). The Quicks are nice and light for a hybrid, but they still require a lower body position than I wanted. That, and the LBS that sells them wasn't terribly helpful while the LBS that was most helpful only sold Marin and Specialized bikes.

As I mentioned before I did like the ability on the CS2 model of the Larkspur to adjust the stem/handlebar angle, which would help a lot if I wanted a faster, lower hand and body position. I've not tested that yet, but I do feel the rest of the bike (components) are better quality than I've had before, despite them being closer to the bottom.
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