Marin Pine Mountain Series
Okay, so it turns out that these “adventure” mountain bikes with their big tires are a lot of fun.
We were originally pretty skeptical, thinking that the wide tires looked an awful lot like what comes on snow bikes and that they might be pretty slow. It turns out that 29″ x 2.6″ tires feel pretty fast. They’re also reasonably light and 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 steel frame and all of the attachment points for bottle cages, racks and frame bags? They seem like design attributes that you wouldn‘t need short of a bike-packing trip through the Cascades. Maybe so but here’s the thing about under-utilized features: If your bike is going to be overbuilt, it might as well be extra comfortable, extra tough, and have the ability to haul extra stuff.
One more thing: A 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 it’s just the right amount of trail-capable, comfortable and efficient for riding at Port Gamble and the Grand Forest.