Marin Pine Mountain Series
Okay, so it turns out that these mountain bikes with the “Plus” size tires are a lot of fun.
We were originally pretty skeptical, thinking that the 2.8″ wide tires looked an awful lot like snow bikes and they might be pretty slow. It turns out that a 27.5″ x 2.8″ tire feels pretty similar to a 29″ x 2.3″ tire. This means that they’re fast, reasonably light and they roll over roots and rocks that normally would stop your bike dead in its tracks. With these tires, the Pine Mountain is as capable as a full-suspension bike with skinnier tires (and if you forego rear suspension your bike can be lighter and less expensive).
The reason you would prefer a bike with smaller diameter but wider tires is that the wheelbase can be a little shorter than that of a 29′er, and you’ll feel a little lower to the ground when you’re up on the saddle rolling around. What you get is a bike that handles better than most 29′ers, with almost as much traction as a fat bike and one that flits around and rolls down forest singletrack as easy as you can imagine.
One more thing: The purple Pine Mountain 2 is the bike I ride, and I love everything about it. It’s more fun than the carbon-fiber full suspension bike I had previously (and it had all of the bells and whistles), and the Pine Mountain is just the right amount of trail-capable, comfortable and efficient for riding at Port Gamble and the Grand Forest.