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Marin El Roy review – BikeRadar

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Marin El Roy evaluation – BikeRadar

The newest bike to hitch Marin’s spectacular line-up is the El Roy – a 29er metal hardtail designed for the tough and tumble world of downhill, enduro, and bikepark trails that’s nonetheless in a position to deal with the tracks again to the highest of the hill.

Whereas the Californian model may need its roots in dry and dusty terrain, the El Roy has clearly been influenced by the UK driving scene.

5 check mules had been ridden on a variety of tracks right here within the UK to ensure they had been prepared for our steep, unfastened and muddy situations. This has resulted in a few of the body’s options, in addition to its geometry, which, it’s honest to say, is pretty radical.

Pack shot of a red Marin El Roy hardtail mountain bike

A Maxxis Assegai retains the entrance wheel in examine.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

Marin’s vary all take their names from standard spots in and round Marin County, and the El Roy isn’t any completely different.

Put up journey, the staff from Marin bike’s HQ likes to absorb a burrito and may of IPA, and its favorite lunch spot, El Roy, can be the most effective, apparently! Fittingly, the coordinates of El Roy’s Mexican Grill in Petaluma are detailed on the again of the seat tube.

Marin El Roy body particulars

Marin has constructed the body from Collection 3 4130 double-butted cromoly, which has been electronically coated in and out to guard it from corrosion earlier than being painted.

The comparatively skinny seatstays have a slight kink in them simply above the rear axle, and that rear triangle is accomplished with funding forged dropouts and a brace for energy.

Aside from the dropper, all hoses and cables are externally routed, and there’s a set of bosses beneath the highest tube – these can maintain both a secondary bottle cage or one of many growing numbers of software and spare elements carriers that use a bottle boss commonplace mount.

The underside bracket shell takes a threaded BB, whereas the top tube accepts an built-in drop-in headset.

Marin El Roy geometry

The El Roy very a lot makes use of the lengthy, low and slack system, with a really lengthy attain, a reasonably low BB, brief seat tube, and a really slack head angle.

Two sizes can be accessible: Common and Grande. There’s comparatively little distinction between the 2 sizes, aside from the front-end size – the Grande being 30mm longer in its attain/prime tube/wheelbase.

In any other case, the one different variations are an extra 10mm on the seat tube, and the spec record, whereby the Grande will get a 170mm dropper versus the Common’s 150mm. The bike is constructed round a 140mm fork with a 44mm offset.

Marin El Roy spec

Presently, the El Roy is accessible in a single construct solely and its equipment record echoes the angle of the geometry.

The equipment is burly and clearly marks the El Roy out as a motorcycle designed with the rougher and steeper finish of the driving spectrum in thoughts.

Marzocchi Z1 suspension fork on a hardtail mountain bike

The 140mm Marzocchi Z1 carried out nicely throughout testing.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

Up entrance is a Marzocchi Z1 fork with 140mm of journey. This has an air spring and a GRIP damper, and a compression dial on the highest to agency the fork out for longer clean climbs.

The wheels function Shimano hubs with Marin-branded double-wall alloy rims, that are 29mm large internally. They’re wrapped in Maxxis Assegai 29 x 2.5in tyres, within the stickiest MaxxGrip compound, and constructed on the DH-spec DoubleDown carcass.

Shimano gives the majority of the drivetrain, with a 1×12 10:51t Deore system, although you get an FSA Comet chainset with 32t ring and a KMC chain.

Shimano additionally provides the brakes, they’re four-pot MT420 models paired with 203mm (f) and 180mm (r) rotors.

Ending equipment is basically Marin branded, however you do get an X-Fusion Manic dropper (150mm Common / 170mm Grande).

Marin El Roy journey impressions

It’ll be no shock that the El Roy isn’t precisely a flyweight climbing celebrity. The metal body, meaty suspension fork, burly wheels and sticky DH-spec tyres imply the El Roy weighs a good bit and drags on clean climbs.

The gentle compound tyres would possibly supply all of the grip on this planet, however that’s little assist when pulling the bike up fireroads and tarmac pitches.

A short stem keeps the handling fairly snappy despite the El Roy's head angle and reach

A brief stem retains the dealing with pretty snappy regardless of the El Roy’s head angle and attain.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

Luckily, when you’re out there for this type of bike, we don’t anticipate it will section you an excessive amount of. And, whereas value stating, this isn’t one thing that must be dwelled upon, given how nicely the bike performs in practically each different side.

Issues undoubtedly search for for the El Roy when the climbs steepen and grow to be looser and extra technical.

Right here, these sticky tyres imply traction isn’t restricted. That is mixed with an virtually comically steep seat angle, which places you in precisely the correct place between the axles on steep, stem-chewing climbs.

On the flat, or mellow climbs, the seat angle virtually feels odd, however it immediately is smart when the gradient will increase.

Cyclist in blue riding a red hardtail mountain bike

The steep seat angle helps no finish on steep climbs.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

The lengthy entrance finish means there’s loads of room over the bike – each good for shifting your physique weight to both management the entrance finish or hold your lungs open whenever you’re gasping. It’s removed from cramped.

The 435mm chainstays assist the El Roy negotiate tight uphill corners, however as a result of they’re comparatively brief in comparison with the entrance finish, you’ll have to hold the entrance wheel in examine as a result of it may go gentle with affordable ease on the steeper pitches.

Save for this, there’s comparatively little to report on its climbing efficiency, aside from the 12-speed Shimano cassette provides a lesson in clean, reliable shifting beneath load.

Cyclist in blue riding a red hardtail mountain bike

The Marin El Roy is an aggressive enduro hardtail.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

Because the path begins to fall away, the El Roy begins to shed its sluggish really feel, with the bike getting higher and higher the steeper the descent.

On flat, pedally singletrack the bike wants a concerted effort to maintain the entrance wheel weighted, just about as per any of the longer bikes with greater stack heights on the market.

This helps the Assegai up entrance resolutely grip the bottom, in any other case you can begin to understeer a bit of – when you’re leaping from a ‘brief’ bike to this, it’s possible you’ll have to reassess your driving place to get the very best out of it.

From flip to show, on these flatter trails, it takes a little bit of effort to select up pace, however, as soon as rolling, it’ll hold shifting as quick as you dare – as long as you will get it flowing properly via the corners.

Cyclist in blue riding a red hardtail mountain bike

Drop your heels, seize the rear brake, tip the bike in and spray loam in all places.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

The El Roy opens up as you hit the steepest of tracks. With a reasonably excessive stack of 645mm, the entrance finish is tall, and efficient for letting you correctly weight the entrance wheel that’s punted out nicely forward of the handlebars.

The 63-degree head angle not solely helps hold the entrance wheel nicely forward of you, but in addition helps the entrance wheel soak up frontal impacts as you descend.

The Marzocchi Z1 feels clean in operation and has sufficient assist via it that the bike doesn’t dive into its journey, affecting the dynamic geometry of the bike an excessive amount of.

With the entrance wheel nicely weighted, the El Roy corners nicely, fortunately permitting you to weight the entrance contact patch, lean the bike and carve the rear wheel not far away.

With no rear suspension to talk of, the journey is understandably agency, however it’s not an actual enamel rattler. The longer wheelbase means the bike pitches much less over a given bump than a shorter bike would possibly, calming the journey.

The DoubleDown carcass within the tyres gives loads of confidence when bumping the rear wheel over rocks and roots, too, and you will get away with barely decrease pressures to take the sting out of the bike’s tail.

With the front-end greater than in a position to cope with the terrain, it’s largely a case of letting the rear wheel simply comply with alongside, with little have to put an excessive amount of consideration in to the place or what it’s about to hit.

Cyclist in blue riding a red hardtail mountain bike

When you’ll know when the rear finish lands, the El Roy is happiest whenever you get rowdy.
Russell Burton / Instant Media

General, he El Roy’s equipment feels nicely thought-about; the wheels give loads of assist and quantity to the sturdy tyres, whereas Shimano’s finances four-pot brakes have surprisingly giant quantities of energy and chunk, one thing which the tyres are very happy to use.

The brief 35mm stem and 780mm bars give management whereas stopping the bike feeling too lazy whereas steering on steep tracks.


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