Marin's more affordable full suspension range has seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with the Hawk Hill at the forefront of that. We've got our paws on the 2019 Hawk Hill 3 to test and from first impressions, it's looking good - and not just because we like a subtle fade paint job.
Like all of Marin's full sus bikes save for the top end, carbon fibre Wolf Ridge, it uses a linkage driven single pivot design, in this case pushing out 120mm of travel paired with 130mm up front, all rolling on 650b wheels. The £2,100 Hawk Hill 3 is the range-topping model in the lineup, which starts with the £1,350 Hawk Hill 1.
The aluminium frame gets all the usual modern touches such as a through axle equipped rear end with Boost 148mm spacing. There are some nice touches to boost stiffness too, such as the clevis-style joints where the seatstays connect to the rocker link. All of the Hawk Hill bikes are specced with 1x drivetrains, but you can still run a double on the frame.
When it comes to what you're getting for the cash, the Hawk Hill 3 has a pretty respectable build for a bike that comes with the backup and reassurance of being shop-bought. Up front, a RockShox Revelation fork should be plenty stiff and it's fitted with the plush Debonair air spring, though the Motion Control RC damper isn't the smoothest in our experience.
The drivetrain is a mix of components, with an 11-speed Shimano SLX shifter and mech pushing the chain across a wide range 11-46T SunRace cassette, all driven by FSA V-Drive cranks with a direct mount 32T ring. Stopping is provided by Tektro's four-piston Orion brakes, which look very similar to a much bigger brand if you squint slightly. We're really interested to see how they stack up, either way.
The wheels are Marin's own tubeless-compatible rims on no-name hubs, wrapped in chunky 2.4" wide WTB Trail Boss tubeless ready tyres. It'as nice to see that they've gone for the stickier and grippier 'High Grip' compound, though we'll see how the 'Light' casing holds up.
It's also nice to see a decent reach figure of 445mm for the medium sized frame (large is 465mm) and the head angle is decently slack at 66.5º, all paired with a 74.5º seat angle. Cockpit kit is also on point, with a dinky 35mm stem clamping some broad 780mm bars. You also get a 150mm travel Trans-X branded dropper post with underbar remote.
It's always nice to see a brand putting some decent thought into the spec, shape and design of their more affordable offerings, so we're really keen to see how this one rides. We'll be back with a full review shortly...
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