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Which to buy ... Specialized vs. Marin

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Which to buy ... Specialized vs. Marin

Old 03-29-07, 10:30 AM
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MS_Chris
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Which to buy ... Specialized vs. Marin

I'm looking to buy my first mountain bike. I'm 6'2" and 230 lbs. and ride a Specialized Allez Elite road bike for fitness. Want a mountain bike to ride trails with - nothing outrageous. Want opinions on the Marin Hawk Hill SE (can get for $542 @ REI - dividend discount regularly $679) vs. the Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (can get for $460 @ Gregg's Cycle).

Thanks ...
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Old 03-29-07, 10:38 AM
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Specialized....that way your bikes match!
Actually, that's a great price for the Hardrock. It's a solid performer at that pricepoint. However, I have not spent any time on a Marin.
How do the components match up? Do you think you will get better service at the bike shop or REI? Service helps to influence my decision regardless of price....sometimes...
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Old 03-29-07, 02:00 PM
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Thanks crash ... Would not know where to start or be able to compare the components. Regardless where I buy the bike I will use my local shop to service the bike(s).
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Old 03-29-07, 06:50 PM
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I'd get the marin.. much lighter
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Old 03-29-07, 07:55 PM
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I picked up an 06' Marin Palisades from REI. It was on close out for $579. It has since gone up in price. I like the geometry and from what I read it is hard to go wrong with a Marin Bike.

I am in the process of changing the entire drive train to XT. I am not to happy with the Trvuative FiveD cranks. But the Deore components are fairly smooth. Mine came with an SRAM 950 Cassette and I changed it this eveing to an XT....world of difference.

The Hayes Sole Brakes that come on it are not that hot. The MX2 mechanicals on the Hawk Hill utlize the same pads and they are small compared to the Avid J7's...I have those coming as well.

The Hawk Hill has some good components on it out of the box. I am not a fan of the Specialized bikes. Their geomtry is not to my liking. But they are good bikes.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:05 PM
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support your local shop!!!! Service matters.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:12 PM
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Specialized All the way!
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Old 03-29-07, 08:45 PM
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Hey,
I'm a XC racer from Seattle, where I assume you are from. I'd go with the Marin. Why? Lighter, Stiffer and sturdier, not to mention it it a good company that actually cares and has outstanding customer service. Also, Greggs Cycles is not much of a local shop, they are huge, and their customer service is lousy. They will only acknowledge you when you are just about to walk out without buying anything.
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Old 03-30-07, 02:34 AM
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Good insight by all ...

jabberwock ... from Duvall. Only have heard good things about Marin. Agree Greggs' customer service is below par. Bought my Specialized road bike there, but never go there for maintenance - use Redmond Cycle.

gordynismo ... good point on geometry (feel) - will give both a spin this week. Sounds like I'll swapping out components either way.

Any larger riders have a preference/experience.

Thanks guys ...
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Old 03-30-07, 10:38 AM
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To the OP:

Unless you're obsessed with component spec, and if you're willing to go into the $500 range, I'd consider a base Rockhopper over the Hardrock. I'm also 6'2", about 240 right now, and went through the same thing last summer. I tested bikes from KHS, Trek, Motobecane, Gary Fisher, and Specialized.

The two Specialized I tested were the Hardrock Comp and the Rockhopper base model. The Rockhopper was lighter, seemed as stiff or stiffer, and was generally more fun to ride. Admittedly, the components (sx4/sx5 shifters/rear der, Judy J3, base-level truvativ crankset, etc) are a little on the low-to-mid end. I've used and abused the hell out of the bike for almost 10 months now and nothing has broken, except the OEM chain, which I somehow managed to twist a link on and snap in half as I was cranking up a hill. But even with that incident, the derailer, frame, and cranks were fine -- and they all took a hit when the chain let go.

YMMV, so test them all first. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-07, 04:37 PM
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Chris, I had a Hawk Hill and loved it. Yes, it did feel lighter than my Rockhopper (gave it to nephew). The Hardrock, as noted above, is heavier than the RH. Marin customer service is top notch: I called them with a question, they connect me in seconds to a tech, and he said do this/that and if not fixed, bring it to them if in the area. Just the fact I could speak directly to a tech was very helpful. That said, Specialized is an excellent company with proven products. Buy what feels the best. I still miss my Hawk Hill.
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Old 04-01-07, 04:20 PM
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I have a Specialized Rockhopper and an '07 Marin Rift Zone. Marin has impressed me, big time. The specialized I keep as a loaner bike. The marin is efficient, comfortable, climbs like a goat and is fun on the downhills. The company as a whole impresses me far more than Specialized. Just my .02.
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Old 04-01-07, 11:40 PM
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hey- check out the rei outlet- they had a maring eldridge grade (steel) for pretty close to that price. however, when i went into my LBS, from whom i've bought bikes from in the past, they were willing to give me an even better deal than REI.
all that to say talk to the guys at your local shop. see what they're willing to do. also, i know the guys over at gregg's greenlake, and those guys are awesome. they take time to listen and fit you, and actually give a crap about riding. if you buy from your LBS, you will end up saving time, money, and frustration in the future, as they will be way more willing to throw in tune-ups, play the middleman on your warranty, etc.

i ended up buying a specialized stumpjumper i saw on EBAY. it was $600 used, and it kicks a$$. i'm about your build (6'2", 215), and it handles freakin' amazing. good luck!
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Old 04-03-07, 03:12 AM
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Thanks everyone for your insight. I test rode both the Specialized and Marin ... although I liked the Specialized - I loved the Marin. The Marin Hawk Hill SE was very responsive, light and just a better fit for me.

Now - I just have to decide on pedals, shoes and bar ends. Any recommendations and where to buy or any other accessories/components I missed?

Thanks again guys ...
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Old 04-04-07, 10:18 AM
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Chris, get your bike registered with Marin and ask if they have an "freebies" to send you. They gave me (without my asking) a packet of Marin stickers, water bottle, and a baseball cap. I am not sure if they always do this as these were leftovers from a trade show. Good company. Any questions on your bike, just call them and speak to a tech...not many (if any) companies will do that. Snap a pic and show us your new bike.
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Old 04-06-07, 12:07 PM
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Thanks Jim ... will register my Marin and see what comes of it.

Still looking for recommendations on pedals, shoes, bar ends, water bottle/cage, computer, etc. Also anything else I may be missing to add to my mountain biking experience and where to purchase.

I'll post a picture of my bike fully outfitted when I can.

Thanks again ...
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Old 04-06-07, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MS_Chris
Thanks Jim ... will register my Marin and see what comes of it.

Still looking for recommendations on pedals, shoes, bar ends, water bottle/cage, computer, etc. Also anything else I may be missing to add to my mountain biking experience and where to purchase.

I'll post a picture of my bike fully outfitted when I can.

Thanks again ...
If you don't have a helmet already, that's a good start. I had Time Atac pedals for a while before they were stolen with my bike. I like them much better than the Shimano SPDs (525's I think) that came with my bike. I prefer a camelback-style hydration pack. The computer is unnecessary. Not a bar-end person either. Less is more. FWIW, I'm digging my Marin quite a bit.
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Old 04-06-07, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MS_Chris
Thanks Jim ... will register my Marin and see what comes of it.

Still looking for recommendations on pedals, shoes, bar ends, water bottle/cage, computer, etc. Also anything else I may be missing to add to my mountain biking experience and where to purchase.

I'll post a picture of my bike fully outfitted when I can.

Thanks again ...
Chris....I just picked up 2 jerseys and a Bell helmet at sierratradingpost.com on a 30% off their sale prices, good until Sunday. I have purchased quite a bit of stuff from them over the years and great company...no problems with returns or refunds. Check out their bikes...anyone need a good hardtail, the Scott bikes are a steal with the 30% off. They quote a $45. charge at internet checkout, but on the two bikes I bought from them, the charge was $12...maybe a glitch? Not complaining...lol.
You might have to call their customer service to get the email offer. If not available, let me know and I can forward an email to click through. Deals to be had for sure.
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