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New Touring Bike - Marin Four Corners

Old 01-10-11, 06:12 PM
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New Touring Bike - Marin Four Corners

I just heard about Marins new entry into the "touring bike marketplace". It actually looks quite interesting.

https://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...serialnum=1855
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Old 01-10-11, 07:37 PM
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Looks nice and spec'd pretty decent at that price point.
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Old 01-11-11, 09:47 PM
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Looks pretty good, especially the disk mounts. I'd ride it.
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Old 01-11-11, 10:08 PM
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That's nice looking and well appointed. I hope it's a success. Marin seems to be disappearing as a bike company, which is a shame being a pioneer of the MTB. Seems like they would have gotten into the touring game alot sooner.
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Old 01-12-11, 08:10 AM
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I'm going to disagree with everyone so far. It looks like Marin has attempted to make a touring bike without really knowing too much about touring bikes. 435mm chainstays? That's a cyclocross bike with some extras slapped on and a label that says touring. If you don't mind the constant 'swik swik swik' of your feet hitting the panniers on every revolution of the crank, I suppose you could tour on it. But for only a little more money why not buy an LHT that has more sizes, is better designed and has better components? Or buy a Fuji for about the same or a Windsor for less.

Touring bike? Not even close and still no cigar.
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Old 01-12-11, 10:33 AM
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Not even close? Huh? Let's see:

slack seat and head tube angles
adequate low gearing
butted cro moly steel
3 mounts for water bottles
plenty of braze ons for racks and fenders, including front fork
36 spoke wheels
bar ends for those that love em
decent spec'd parts

435 mm chain stays are not that short, some touring bikes will use a touch more and even a touch less. I personally would have no problem with that length and I'm betting most would not. Take your ruler out and take a look at 5 mm or even 1 cm. , you can easily adjust for that in this day and age. If that is the only detriment, not bad I say.
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Old 01-12-11, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I'm going to disagree with everyone so far. It looks like Marin has attempted to make a touring bike without really knowing too much about touring bikes. 435mm chainstays? ...... Touring bike? Not even close and still no cigar.
The LHT is 460mm versus this one at 435mm, we are talking less then 1 inch. Sure I would like the extra inch, but wouldn't rule it out as a tourer.

It still qualifies as a tourer in my book, especially with the detail of the frame pump hook (haven't see those in a while). Only other thing I noticed is the rear cassette goes to 32t versus 34t. I wonder if it has a kickstand mount?
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Old 01-12-11, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
Not even close? Huh? Let's see:

slack seat and head tube angles
adequate low gearing
butted cro moly steel
3 mounts for water bottles
plenty of braze ons for racks and fenders, including front fork
36 spoke wheels
bar ends for those that love em
decent spec'd parts

435 mm chain stays are not that short, some touring bikes will use a touch more and even a touch less. I personally would have no problem with that length and I'm betting most would not. Take your ruler out and take a look at 5 mm or even 1 cm. , you can easily adjust for that in this day and age. If that is the only detriment, not bad I say.
435mm isn't 5mm or even 1cm shorter than the LHT. It's an inch, or 2.54 cm, shorter. The bike is nearly 3/4" shorter than a short wheelbase (for a touring bike) bike like the Fuji, Windsor or even the Trek 520. An inch can make a big difference with even moderate sized feet. The overall wheelbase is also 2 inches shorter so the bike is more biased towards a 'sporty' ride than to a relaxed ride.

The LHT comes in 9 sizes (down to 42 cm) while the Marin only goes down to a 50 cm. That cuts out most of the female population in terms of fit. My average height (5'4") daughter takes a 49 cm with just enough room. Another centimeter wouldn't work. My 5' tall wife couldn't even apply.

The LHT complete with a better component set, better touring geometry, better size selection and better fit for smaller people (if needed) can be had for the same price.

Why buy a compromise when you can purchase the real deal for the same price?
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Old 01-12-11, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ullearn
The LHT is 460mm versus this one at 435mm, we are talking less then 1 inch. Sure I would like the extra inch, but wouldn't rule it out as a tourer.

It still qualifies as a tourer in my book, especially with the detail of the frame pump hook (haven't see those in a while). Only other thing I noticed is the rear cassette goes to 32t versus 34t. I wonder if it has a kickstand mount?
The difference is 25mm or 0.98". That's damned close to an inch. I'd rather have the extra inch of chainstay than a pump peg...which is mostly useless unless you are using a pump that fits it...and there are much better pumps out there than the one that will fit the pump pegs. Compared to the bikes I've already listed, anyone could do better for the same or less money.
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Old 01-12-11, 12:35 PM
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Yea, compared to the LHT it's 25 mm, but there are many touring bikes that don't take the extreme chainstay length of the LHT and the population at large does quite well:

The Fuji and Windsor tourist as well as others have 440 stays
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Old 01-12-11, 12:53 PM
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In fact if your criteria for determining a true touring bike requires 460 mm chain stays then you have eliminated 19 of the 22 touring bikes listed on the 2009 Touring Bikes spreadsheet posted in the sticky above.
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Old 01-12-11, 12:56 PM
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You can't fight "True Religion" (the real deal) with logic or reason.

PS It only took five posts for the LHT legion to arrive.

Last edited by forresterace; 01-12-11 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 01-12-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by forresterace
You can't fight "True Religion" (the real deal) with logic or reason.

PS It only took five posts for the LHT legion to arrive.
Yea and he owns a Cannondale Tourer and I the LHT, how's that for defending the other : )
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Old 01-12-11, 01:24 PM
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I like it. I sure wish it came with 26 inch wheels though, kind hung up on that as a minor criticism. I'd actually like like to have this bike.
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Old 01-12-11, 01:39 PM
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Obviously Marin looked at what was on the market and tried to do an alternative take on the touring bike. The LHT is a tank and shouldn't be considered the metric for what makes a touring bike. Heck, I love mine, but I can easily imagine touring on something else. I bet this Marin is really fun to ride. And it has a very nice spec for the price.
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Old 01-12-11, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
In fact if your criteria for determining a true touring bike requires 460 mm chain stays then you have eliminated 19 of the 22 touring bikes listed on the 2009 Touring Bikes spreadsheet posted in the sticky above.
I never said that touring bikes had to have 460mm chainstays. But they ride better and fit the touring cyclists needs better with longer chainstays. My daughter's older Fuji has stays that are 450mm like the Trek. The Trek is similar to the classic touring bike that everyone reveres from the '80s. I know because I owned one for 20+ years.

The Marin offers nothing over what you can get at a similar price that is better designed.

Originally Posted by forresterace
You can't fight "True Religion" (the real deal) with logic or reason.

PS It only took five posts for the LHT legion to arrive.
I am not on of the LHT legion. I don't own one and I'm not likely to purchase one in the future. I own a Cannondale T800 which has a similar geometry to the LHT. Both the Cannondale and the LHT are much better touring bikes...probably about the best production touring bikes you can find.

I've toured...back when I was young and ignorant...on something like the Marin. It was a mistake then just like it's a mistake to buy one for touring now. The 'sport touring' bike I had was a hand full on fast downhills with a load and the short wheelbase made for an uncomfortable ride.

I'm sure the Marin a fine bike for a cross state supported ride or for commuting ( I use something very similar) but for loaded touring? There are better choices out there.
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Old 01-12-11, 05:41 PM
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Brand new antique bike. Bar end shifters and cantilever brakes, is this an add from the 70's?
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Old 01-12-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast
Obviously Marin looked at what was on the market and tried to do an alternative take on the touring bike. The LHT is a tank and shouldn't be considered the metric for what makes a touring bike. Heck, I love mine, but I can easily imagine touring on something else. I bet this Marin is really fun to ride. And it has a very nice spec for the price.
People have been doing alternative takes on the touring bike since the 80s. All the alternative takes have the same thing in common...they make crappy touring bikes! Try touring on a Univega Sporttour which is very similar to the Marin. My favorite for absolute goofiness and cluelessness is the Seven Vacanza



Somebody should have been dope slapped for that one.
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Old 01-12-11, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
My daughter's older Fuji has stays that are 450mm like the Trek. The Trek is similar to the classic touring bike that everyone reveres from the '80s. I know because I owned one for 20+ years.





I am not on of the LHT legion. I don't own one and I'm not likely to purchase one in the future. I own a Cannondale T800 which has a similar geometry to the LHT. Both the Cannondale and the LHT are much better touring bikes...probably about the best production touring bikes you can find.
Better check those chainstay lengths a little closer on the 520's from the 80s, they varied. Some years it was only 43.0cm. As for tourers I would not put the C'dale or LHT in the top 10. Everyone has there own preferences.
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Old 01-12-11, 10:52 PM
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Even though I posted that I like the bike, I would have to agree with Cyccommuter that the Four Corners is not a true loaded touring bike that a 26” LHT is. However, as someone who’s eyes are usually looking towards vintage lugged steel bikes, there is a niche of bikes between loaded touring & race that is hard to find and even harder to define. Call it a ‘light’ tourer, sport touer, randonneur, all-rounder, whatever; there is a category of bike that can support panniers for taking enough crap for the average person to camp-out for a night or more. I think this is what this bike is designed for.
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Old 01-13-11, 04:17 AM
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I saw a guy touring across the US on a Giant carbon racing bike pulling a trailer. I know another guy who tours on a full suspension downhill mountain bike.

You have to decide what you want. Any bike can be a touring bike.

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Old 01-13-11, 06:00 AM
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Any bike will work, well sure to a degree, but some bikes will be a heck of a lot more comfortable doing it. Sort of like thinking that I can remove a nut from a bolt with a pair of pliers (maybe needle nose, maybe channel locks?) but it will be a whole lot easier and more fun to use the proper sized wrench or socket.

QUOTE=Thulsadoom;12070447]
You have to decide what you want. Any bike can be a touring bike.[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-13-11, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by kaliayev
Better check those chainstay lengths a little closer on the 520's from the 80s, they varied. Some years it was only 43.0cm. As for tourers I would not put the C'dale or LHT in the top 10. Everyone has there own preferences.
I thought I'd heard somewhere that in some stretch of years in the 80s, the 520 moniker was not always applied to Trek's touring bike, but sometimes to a more general road bike, but I could be wrong.
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Old 01-13-11, 09:53 AM
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I actually like the idea of the shorter chainstays. As long as there's enough room for a fender. It's probably a tighter ride without as much "whippiness" as many touring specific frames I've ridden. Most panniers have heel reliefs in the front/ bottom of the bag, plus most bags can be moved to the rear depending on the rack. I tow a trailer myself so chainstay length isn't my biggest concern for a touring bike.

At the very least I would give the Marin bike a ride before I slammed it as not being a touring-worthy bicycle.
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Old 01-13-11, 04:40 PM
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There are also racks around that put panniers farther back.
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