“Most compelling bikes of 2014.” Those are big shoes to fill. How, then, did we arrive with these two bikes?
After testing and loving the 26-inch version of the Slash, I was thrilled to see how Trek’s aggressive 160mm-travel bike would fair with slightly larger wheels. Bigger is always better, right?
Marin’s third generation of the QUAD-Link suspension design has a lot riding it; this revamp is the companies first redesign after being acquired by the European investment firm Minestone Limited. Out of the box, this bike shows a lot of promise with a clean design and a smart-looking execution of the suspension system.
The similarities are many; 27.5-inch wheels, 2×10 drivetrains with big brakes, room for one bottle cage inside the main triangle, dropper posts, and big, aggressive tires. The Slash offers 160mm of rear wheel travel, while the Marin delivers 150mm. Both bikes provide 160mm forks with travel reduction settings to 130mm, a Fox 34 on the Trek and a RockShox Pike on the Marin.
Trek Slash 8
- MSRP: $4,500
- Travel: 160mm front/rear
- Wheelsize: 27.5
- Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT
- Brakes: Shimano XT
- Fork: Fox Float 34 CTD
The geometry charts show undeniable similarities between these two bikes and some subtle differences, too. Head tube angles are, perhaps, the where the largest difference is found. The Attack Trail is slack at 66.5 degrees, but far less slack than the Slash’s 65 degrees in the low setting. The Marin’s bottom bracket sits just 13.3-inches off the deck, while the Slash is 13.78 inches in its low setting. Though it’s worth noting the Trek offers more travel—and subsequent sag will bring those two BB heights closer than the unsagged numbers suggest.
Drivetrain and brake spec toe party lines with the Slash all Shimano and the Marin decked out with SRAM bits.
Marin Attack Trail Quad Carbon XT8
- MSRP: $4,300
- Travel: 160mm front, 150mm rear
- Wheelsize: 27.5
- Drivetrain: SRAM X7/X9 2×10
- Brakes: Avid Elixr 7
- Fork: Rockshox Pike
Click here to see the other pairings in our Throwdown series, and keep an eye out for Dirt Rag Issue #177 with our long-term reviews.