The Hawk Hill 1 (27.5″) and Rift Zone 1 (29″) are why we love Marin. While other brands hobble their entry level bikes with antiquated suspension designs and geometry, the Marin Hawk Hill and Rift Zone 1 use the same suspension and geometry you can find on boutique “superbikes,” but with modest components to keep prices well below those of boutique brands. If you’re not so modest, the rest of the Hawk Hill and Rift Zone lines offer the same proven suspension and geometry with upgraded specifications.
Under the radar: Are you an aggressive rider? Drop in the included Rockshox bottomless tokens to change the air-spring curve and prevent bottoming out on those big hits.
The Bottom Line: These bikes were made for Brumley Forest. More bike than is strictly needed, the extra capacity just makes Brumley more fun to ride. We agree with Marin’s description of the Hawk Hill as its “most playful trail bike, made for the rider that catches a bit of air off of every root in the trail, is always looking for an alternate line, and ends every ride with a smile. This is an all-around suspension bike with trail performance far out stretching the asking price.”