Everyday MTB

Fiercely Independent Mountain Biking Media, News and Reviews

New From Marin an “Aggressive Hardtail” – The San Quentin

The bike maker whose namesake is where it all began, has announced a new line of aggressive hardtails that look like an appealing option for those who want to get back to their riding roots. The Marin San Quentin hardtails slot in between the already existing Alcatraz dirt jump bike and more tail/xc oriented Nail Trail.

The San Quentin, is a 27.5″ bike in all sizes, unlike the Nail Trail that slides between 27.5″ and 29″ based on frame size. And, unlike many bikes you might compare the San Quentin to, this is 27.5 non-plus, which should help make the bike more agile. The San Quentin also receives a slacked out 65° head tube angle which should stabilize things when pointing the bike downhill. 425mm chainstays will keep the rear end compact and easy to move around.

These are true 27.5 trail tires, bucking the trend to make every hardtail a “plus bike”. The boosted rear end looks like it provides some serious clearance though.

A vast majority of hardtails come specced with a 120mm travel fork. On the San Quentin 2 and 3 however riders will get an extra 10mm of travel with either Rockshox Recon or Revelation forks. The San Quentin 1 which is the base build however comes with a 120mm Suntour fork.


The San Quentin 1 comes in with a price point of $849 which while attractive, comes with some major concessions. As already mentioned the fork is a lower end 120mm Suntour XCM and the drivetrain is a Shimano Altus, 1×9 setup. In addition, while the bike does have boost spacing the rear hub holds a 141mm qr rear axle, instead of the standard 148mm through axle.

Customers would do well to try to stretch for at least the San Quentin 2 build at $1299. This build features that 130mm Recon fork, a proper 11 speed SRAM NX drivetrain and a regular boost 148mm through axle.

The $1899 San Quentin 3 ups it’s game even further by upgrading the Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc brakes found on the 1 and 2 to Shimano BR-MT400s. You also get an even more capable Rockshox Revelation fork. The drivetrain switches to a Shimano SLX 1×11 setup and a X-Fusion Manic 150mm dropper post is also included.

An internally routed dropper is a welcome addition to the San Quentin 3.

Marin seems to have a knack for building bikes that make you think slightly differently about the price points and categories we usually slot bikes into. The Wolf Ridge and Hawk Hill are two prime examples of this from recent years. It might just be that the San Quentin will be another one of these bikes.

You can visit Marin at https://www.marinbikes.com/

Matt Stenson

I'm a mountain biker currently residing in Montrose, Colorado. I love riding bikes with my family and friends, race casually and am plain crazy about bikes.

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