Marin designed the 27.5-inch wheeled Rocky Ridge series for aggressive trail riders that prefer hardtails. There are certainly are lots of folks out there who prefer hardtails over full suspension for a multitude of reasons: lower initial purchase price, better parts spec at a similar price point, mechanical simplicity, or just riding style.
This is a lot of bike for $2,600. The stout aluminum frame offers all the latest standards we’ve come to expect, including a tapered headtube, ISCG mounts, internal dropper post routing and a 142×12 thru-axle. Interesting spec choices include a SRAM 1×10 drivetrain with X7 shifter and X9 Type 2, clutch-style rear derailleur. Crankset and chainguide are supplied by e*thirteen. Braking duties are assigned to SRAM’s four-piston Elixir 7 Trail units with tool-free reach adjustment. The inexpensive-but-excellent RockShox Revelation provides 130mm of travel up front. KS provides a Supernatural 125mm-travel dropper post with one of the more ergonomic remotes I’ve used.
A less expensive Rocky Ridge7.4 model is available with the same frame and different components for $1,950.
All built up, I was extremely stoked with the Rocky Ridge’s classy aesthetics. This mostly-black bike simply looks awesomely cohesive, with just enough red accents to keep things interesting. This design lends an air of sophistication that over-sells the asking price.
In my first few rides aboard the Rocky Ridge, it was quickly apparent I was going to like this bike once I adjusted my timing back to riding a hardtail. Never ceases to amaze me just how different the timing is between suspension and rigid bikes.
The Rocky Ridge is reasonably light at 27.4 lbs. Combine that with short 16.5-inch stays and a 43.5-inch wheelbase and you’ve got a pretty snappy feeling bike with enough stability from the 67.5-degree headtube angle and 12.7-inch bottom bracket height to provide confidence at speed and in the rough stuff.
I’m looking forward to spending more quality time aboard the Rocky Ridge prior to the upcoming long-term review in a future issue of the magazine. Kudos to Marin for bringing yet another interesting trail hardtail to market. This bike shows a lot of promise.