Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Igor Karni
Marin has been making bikes since 1986, but it was only in 2021 that it entered the e-bike industry when it debuted its Marine Alpine Trail line. All its models are made with the rider’s enjoyment in mind, which is all the more proven by its slogan, “Made For Fun”. Without a doubt, biking as a source of leisure and a great way to fulfill one’s passion are two of the main reasons for the company’s conception.
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It has deeply Californian roots, its founders going so far as to name their company after one of the state’s counties. It also makes its headquarters there, particularly in the city of Novato. It owes much of its close ties to its home to the belief that inspiration and, hence, creativity start there.
Marin e-Bikes Review: Model Lines
|E-bike Model||E-bike Type|
|Sausalito E1||Commuter, Mountain|
|Alpine Trail E1||Mountain|
|Alpine Trail E2||Mountain|
Given the fact that its foray into e-bike territory is fairly recent, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are only a few Marin models at present. There are only two categories where these models fall: commuter and eMTB.
At best, plenty of what people like about their mountain bikes also carry over to Marin’s eMTBs. Its models have been described as “stylish”, “capable”, “versatile”, and “budget-friendly”, a combination of labels that almost any e-bike manufacturer undoubtedly strives to acquire. Almost all of its offerings guarantee a stellar performance with regard to the categories to which they belong.
Read also: How to select the best – mountain, touring, commuter, cruiser, junior, city here or here, trike, folding, hybrid, cargo, road, gravel, kids’s here or here e-bike – in our comprehensive e-bike selection guides.
Its urban options offer the same with regard to battery and motor performance, which impart acceptable riding ranges and abundant assist. They stand out more with their A-grade comfort, though, which has been raved about by numerous past owners.
Marin Commuter Product Line
Marin’s mountain bike design is readily evident in the Sausalito E1 line, especially if you compare how it’s angled (closer to 70 degrees). It’s really more of a commuter than an eMTB, though.
The Sausalito line, on the whole, is more popular than the more urban-oriented Stinson line, though. More than likely, it’s because Marin capital-K Knows how to make their mountain bikes given their vast experience in the said discipline.
Both Sausalito models have that hybrid quality that lends to comfort while riding. The Sausalito E1, for example, has noticeably thick tires that make riding on the road an enjoyable experience all throughout. They’re only complemented by the integrated steel fork.
The Sausalito E2 rides more like a commuter and cruiser, so you can expect the comfort to be the same if not better. The respective handling of both models is very responsive, too.
As far as riding range goes, you can expect plenty from either one – more than 50 miles (80 km), to be exact, with various terrains and hilly climbs considered. And that’s already with the highest motor assistance setting in mind.
The E2 also rides a lot like a standard mountain bike, due to the natural motor support it provides. By this, we mean that the model prioritizes the pedaling experience rather than the “traveling” experience that some riders feel when riding e-bikes.
This makes it a good option for those who want a riding experience that feels more conventional than anything – all the more so if you don’t like the instant burst in acceleration that certain e-bikes provide once you trigger the motor assist.
There may be some accessories left out in both models, such as front lights and fenders. Still, you get a kickstand and bell, which are obviously not without their practical uses.
The LCD display is very elementary and not that noteworthy, but we’re glad that it displays all the essential parameters like speed, range, and battery levels. We also like that there are step-thru options available for those who want to be able to quickly and easily mount and dismount.
As for the Stinson E line, it’s really more of a hybrid commuter, which imparts the same (if not more) comfort you can expect from other options in the catalog. You can’t fault the cruiser riding position, saddle, and adjustable handlebar.
There’s also satisfactory suspension provided by the front forks and below the seat. The same can be said for shock-absorbing hand grips.
Its riding range tops at 37 miles (60 km), which is clearly well below what the Sausalito line can impart. The rear hub 250W motor provides 40Nm of torque, which is also satisfactory and can make easier work of inclined roads.
Overall, it’s really not much of a dynamic performer in the first place. It’s sufficiently specced for an urban rider. Good thing is that the brand didn’t hesitate to throw in a rear rack – although the absence of lights is still a downer.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Marin Commuter product line here.
Marin Mountain Model Line
Both models in the Alpine Trail line are full-suspension, well-specced performers, which leads a lot of us to the question, “Why the massive price difference between the two?” The E1 is already a solid eMTB offering in itself, although, we really can’t completely ignore the upgrades that the E2 has, such as the Shimano SLX 4-piston disc brakes and the 630Wh battery.
It’s not for nothing that the E1’s full suspension design won an award. It guarantees a smooth ride, even on the roughest terrain, thanks to how it imparts superior shock absorption compared to other offerings out there.
You also get an adequately strong 250W Shimano E7000 motor that can give you as much as 60Nm of torque. On the whole, most eMTBs don’t really need to impart that munch punch when it comes to torque, and we feel the Alpine Trail E1 hits the sweet spot when it comes to that.
The removable battery tops at slightly over 500W and manages up to 60 miles (100 km) if you go all Eco mode throughout your ride. With the Boost mode, the range dips to half that, or 31 miles (50 km), to be precise.
It’s also a stiffer e-bike than most, which only lends to better handling. Ultimately, the superb riding experience stems a lot from that and the excellent suspension design, which, in turn, pairs well with the model’s top-tier performance when all its specs and components are taken into account.
All the while, it goes a little over the entry-level line price-wise, but the fact that you get this much quality for an eMTB that sells for under $5,000 makes it a bonafide steal. It’s a go-to for rough forest trails and almost any mountain biking trail, and these are the reasons why.
We invite you to take a closer look at the Marin Mountain product line here.
Does the Brand Offer E-Bike Accessories?
You’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to customizing with aftermarket components. You can buy different types of handlebars, stems, grips, top caps, and pedals, as of this writing.
Do Marin E-Bikes Come with a Warranty?
All complete models are protected by a one-year comprehensive warranty, but the coverage only applies to residents in North America. It starts from the date of purchase.
Frames and forks made of carbon fiber come with a five-year warranty. Rigid frames and forks have a lifetime warranty. Full-suspension frames also enjoy a five-year warranty.
Marin has the freedom to perform a repair instead, which comes at no further cost. They may also decide to replace it with a new one or one that’s “functionally equivalent” to the one being replaced. They may also give you a credit amount instead.
Is There a Free Trial Period to Test Marin’s E-Bikes?
As of this writing, there’s no trial period available for its e-bikes.
What Most Riders Think of Marin
Decades of expertise more than allow it to earn the “stalwart” label. Most of its models, especially the eMTBs and urban offerings have a touch of mountain biking in their design, and are quick to stand out in a market flooded by overpriced models that may be deemed mediocre when once we do a side-to-side comparison.
You really get the quality that you want if you decide to go for Marin. For many e-bike riders, it’s hard to ask for more if the e-bike you’re riding already manages to tick all those fundamental checkboxes. The fact that the brand’s price tags gravitate toward affordability (compared to the high-priced ones out there) is only the icing on the cake.
What Countries Does Marin Ship To?
Marin has numerous dealers across North America. Its main site has a dealer locator that you can use to find the nearest one in your area, which will, in turn, deliver the model to you after buying it online.
International customers will have to find distributors in their countries.