First Impression: Marin Attack Trail 7

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it!

Price: $2,750

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Marin’s Attack Trail 7 is one of two bikes representing the longer-travel end of our $3,000 bike group test with 160 mm of travel up front and 150 mm out back. Within this group, only Transition’s Patrol offers more travel: 160 mm front and 155 mm rear.

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The $2,750 Attack Trail 7 keeps cost down by utilizing all-aluminum construction and cost effective components.

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Despite being a “budget” bike (relative to the category), the Attack Trail 7 offers very compelling spec. SR Suntour handles suspension duties front and rear. The all-new Durolux fork is provided in RC trim, offering rebound and compression adjustment. SR Suntour’s new DUAir rear shock also offers compression and rebound adjustment. I really appreciate the set-and-forget nature of this setup. No travel adjustments, lockouts or switches to flip—just find your desired settings and ride.

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The Attack Trail’s 1×10 drivetrain is a hybrid of Sunrace’s 11-42 wide-range cassette teamed with a Shimano SLX derailleur and Deore shifter. It’s worth noting that Shimano doesn’t support this sort of arrangement, but so far it has worked pretty well. The generic single ring crankset offers a narrow-wide chainring and a chainguide.

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The Marin-brand handlebar offers 780 mm of width and a 35 mm clamp diameter. Paired with the short stem, the riding position certainly encourages aggressive descending.

This is my first ride aboard Magura’s MT4 brakes. In the past, I have not been able to adjust the levers in close enough to the handlebar for my tastes, but these brakes have a much broader range of adjustment. Outright power is good and modulation is excellent.

The Trail 7’s rolling stock is solid for the spec as well with Formula hubs laced to Maddux tubeless ready rims with an internal width of 27 mm. Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35-inch tubeless ready tires complete the package.

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Though the TranzX dropper post offers only 80 mm of drop, it remains impressive to even have a dropper included on a sub-$3,000 bike. Even a small amount of drop is better than none at all.

Subscribe today so you don’t miss the full review in our next issue, plus long-term ride tests of all eight bikes in our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test.