Marin San Rafael 2003 Hybrid Bike

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-8 of 8  
[Dec 05, 2014]
Bob W
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

Rides well, but mechanics and defective design leave a lot to be desired.

Weakness:

Had brakes lock up going downhill at about 5 mph, a block from home. Skidded and ended up with a lot of road burn and a broken thumb, cracked rib and sprained ankle. After rehab, took the bike down and went for a trail ride. Stopped at a store and front tire swung in while in parking lot on loose asphalt grit. Catching fall, sprained wrist and broke forearm near elbow joint.

I would not recommend Marin or a San Rafael to anyone. I am an experience cyclist and own Specialized racing bike, mountain bike and a vintage 30 year old Schwinn Sports Tourer.

[Jul 07, 2012]
Charlie
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Comfortable, Strong build, Great for road and off-road

Weakness:

Crank went within 1 month (but due to poor assemblage in factory) - problem solved free of change and no problems since.
With a fully loaded pannier rack, there is slightly less stability than I have experienced with other bikes.

I have used this bike for commuting to work (12 miles each day), the occasional dirt track ride and also for touring around Europe on three separate occasions (>3000 miles). I have owned the bike for 3 and a half years and despite an unlucky start whereby a fault in assemblage (or so I was told in the shop) meant that the crank needed replacing, I have had no major issues with this bike.

I used this bike as a touring bike (couldn't afford another at the time), however the other three people who travelled with me all experienced problems (buckled wheels, broken spokes etc), the Marin was the only bike that was problem free. If there is one incident that absolutely convinced me that the build quality was good was when I crashed into a bollard going downhill at 15 miles per hour with the pannier bags completely full. I went over the handle bars and received several wounds, the bike received NO damage other than a scratched frame, the wheel didn't even buckle despite the head-on collision and the weight I was carrying.

I reckon I have totalled over 10 000 miles on this bike within 3 and half years and I have replaced the chain twice and the front cassette once. For comport I have also replaced the handle bars, added side bars and new tyres, but kept the seat because I fount it quite comfy. I cannot claim to look after the bike particularly well - I rarely service it and treat in roughly on the roads (some fairly major potholes and travelling up the road curbs at high speed), but this bike has treated me well and I have come to find it a very reliable bike.

My only minor issue with the bike is that due to the shape, the back pannier rack sits quite far behind and high up from the back wheel - as a result the rack is further from the frame and there is slight wobbling, but only when the bags are fully loaded.


[Oct 22, 2010]
a puleo
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

quick shifters
suspension
black mavic rims
love canal seat
no equals at this price

Weakness:

none

This bike is great. i bought it new in a larger size frame in 2004 and swapped out the kenda hybrid tires for slim road tires as i never ride dirt trails. the main reason i selected this bike was the comfort provided with a suspension, which at my 50+ age is health conscience neccesity, i mean no sense exercising if it's just going to beat my body down which is what my previous rigid ride was doing. This bike is great for roadways and studies have shown that the same riders have performed faster times on suspension bikes than on rigids with the fatigue being cited as the principle factor. I added a power bar, both for comfort, in that i can lean/slouch forward for a change of position, and for assistance in power up hills and for aerodynamics on those youth reminding downhills. i've used as a commuter, weekender and it's held up for a few centuries, and for the price and unique style it can't be beat! this bike hybrid is a racer in disguise. . .

Similar Products Used:

none

[Apr 28, 2009]
Anonymous
Triathlete

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

larger crank diameter, lockable shocks , long stems and seat post. adjustable . trust angle .

Weakness:

Seat takes some getting use to.

This is one of the best trail bikes ever. This is a multifunctional bike. I love it because the crank size is not to small. It enables you to use this equipment on a paved trail and ride with minimal excretion. Most mountain or multipurpose bikes have small cranks and the shocks are no lockable which causes you to have to work twice as hard on a paved surface. Also this bicycle is resilient Ive had many collisions due to inexperienced riders on the trail and this Bike didn't get damaged.. Its a great bike that hasn't cost me a lot to maintain just the annual tune up... even this is not necessary every season. This is a well built product. I ride 30 to 45 miles 5 days a week.. you should see the flat stomach ! lol

Similar Products Used:

cannondale .Navara trek

[Mar 28, 2009]
Anonymous
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Strength:

None

Weakness:

Poor components, weak frame, expensive maintenance

I chose this bike for riding around London. I needed something that was quite nippy but could handle trails in the parks and occasional potholes. So the front suspension with lockout was a big plus.
At first the bike was good but then things started to go wrong. First the back wheel buckled and collapsed after just a few months. Then the rubber protecting the right suspension fork came loose. Then the suspension rusted solid and locked up forever.
Next to break was the suspension seat post. It snapped out of the blue and the jagged end cut my leg.
Worst of all, however, was the frame. I was riding home one day and felt the whole bike twisting. ON checking I found the frame had split on the diagonal just above the crankshaft. The bike had broken in two! It was less than two years old.
I took it back to the shop and they did the right thing, refunding the whole cost of the bike. I used the cash to get a new one - a Specialized this time. No more Marins for me!

Similar Products Used:

Specialized Cirrus & Hardrock

[Apr 21, 2003]
Rob
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Comfort w/ speed. Nice rapid fire shifters. Good adjustable front suspension fork.

Weakness:

Small crank, mediocre seat (I swapped out both). Kenda tires are okay but I would prefer an invert tread like the Avocet Cross II - I'll get those when the Kendas wear out. Aluminum alloy frame is okay w/ suspension but for a bike like this Reynolds steel seems like a lighter, more comfortable and more resiliant choice. Hopefully I'll never mess this one up.

This is one of the better hybrid compromises. The position is relatively upright (a little too much, actually, even w/ the adjustable stem height) and the suspension is supple. The frame is not too heavy, the shifting is good and its easy to go fast over long distances and lousy roads, gravel, etc. This bike is no substitute for a real straight stem road bike like the Bianchi Strada (the bike I really wanted) or a mountain bike but its a fine inexpensive commuter - better than more expensive bikes like the Cannondale adventure series. Upgrade to a larger crank (also requires swapping out front derailler) is a neccesity.

Similar Products Used:

Old Fiji racer, Gary Fisher Wahoo aluminum frame mountain w/ no suspension.

[Apr 21, 2003]
Rob
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Comfort w/ speed. Nice rapid fire shifters. Good adjustable front suspension fork.

Weakness:

Small crank, mediocre seat (I swapped out both). Kenda tires are okay but I would prefer an invert tread like the Avocet Cross II - I'll get those when the Kendas wear out. Aluminum alloy frame is okay w/ suspension but for a bike like this Reynolds steel seems like a lighter, more comfortable and more resiliant choice. Hopefully I'll never mess this one up.

This is one of the better hybrid compromises. The position is relatively upright (a little too much, actually, even w/ the adjustable stem height) and the suspension is supple. The frame is not too heavy, the shifting is good and its easy to go fast over long distances and lousy roads, gravel, etc. This bike is no substitute for a real straight stem road bike like the Bianchi Strada (the bike I really wanted) or a mountain bike but its a fine inexpensive commuter - better than more expensive bikes like the Cannondale adventure series. Upgrade to a larger crank (also requires swapping out front derailler) is a neccesity.

Similar Products Used:

Old Fiji racer, Gary Fisher Wahoo aluminum frame mountain w/ no suspension.

[Apr 21, 2003]
Rob
Commuter

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Comfort w/ speed. Nice rapid fire shifters. Good adjustable front suspension fork.

Weakness:

Small crank, mediocre seat (I swapped out both). Kenda tires are okay but I would prefer an invert tread like the Avocet Cross II - I'll get those when the Kendas wear out. Aluminum alloy frame is okay w/ suspension but for a bike like this Reynolds steel seems like a lighter, more comfortable and more resiliant choice. Hopefully I'll never mess this one up.

This is one of the better hybrid compromises. The position is relatively upright (a little too much, actually, even w/ the adjustable stem height) and the suspension is supple. The frame is not too heavy, the shifting is good and its easy to go fast over long distances and lousy roads, gravel, etc. This bike is no substitute for a real straight stem road bike like the Bianchi Strada (the bike I really wanted) or a mountain bike but its a fine inexpensive commuter - better than more expensive bikes like the Cannondale adventure series. Upgrade to a larger crank (also requires swapping out front derailler) is a neccesity.

Similar Products Used:

Old Fiji racer, Gary Fisher Wahoo aluminum frame mountain w/ no suspension.

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