BUDGET BIKE SHOOTOUT
MARIN HAWK HILL 1 REVIEW
SOURPATCH’S PICK – BUDGET TRAIL BRUISER!
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Shootout Sponsored By:
ZOIC Clothing & USWE Sports
Many of the bikes we tested in our Sub-$2,000 Budget Bike Shootout left impressions on us, but we pretty much all agreed the Mark Hawk Hill 1 has the best performance to budget ratio. For under $1,600 you can get a bike that shreds with a decent spec, capable geometry and an impressively supple suspension feel. In fact, Sourpatch liked this bike so much that if he had $2,000 to spend on a bike, this would be his purchase, with a dropper post upgrade, or he’d even look at the Hawk Hill 2 which comes in at $1,949, still under our $2,000 price point and has a better component spec and dropper post.
Marin markets the Hawk Hill series of bikes as being one of their more playful trail bikes. Made from Marin’s Series 3 Aluminum, the Hawk Hill frame sports 120mm of rear suspension travel. The Hawk Hill employs MultiTrac Suspension Technology, MultiTrac has been fine-tuned to offer a balanced ride, capable of handling big hits with an efficient pedaling platform. The MultiTrac Suspension design uses a rocker link to provide a leverage ratio that is progressive for the rear shock for small bump sensitivity while also giving the feeling of a long travel bike on large drops. It sounds like a lot of marketing, but Marin delivered on the Hawk Hill as all of our testers felt that it handled rocky and chundery terrain at the top of the pack.
Our Hawk Hill 1 retails for the low price of $1,599 and has a capable yet lackluster spec compared to some of the other bikes in our shootout. The Hawk Hill 1 has a 130mm Rock Shox Recon RL up front paired with an X-Fusion O2 Pro R shock, with a custom tune. Most of the components spec’d on the Hawk Hill 1 are in-house, branded parts except for the Shimano MT201 brakes and drivetrain. Speaking of, the drivetrain takes a step back in time featuring a 10-speed, yes ten, Shimano Deore Derailleur shifting gears on a SunRace 11-46t, 10-speed cassette. It is worth noting that our testers all agreed they’d rather have a 10-speed bike that performs like the Marin than a 12-speed bike that sucks to ride.
Also helping keep the Marin Hawk Hill 1’s price down is the lack of a dropper post. Thankfully a quick release seatpost clamp makes it easy to adjust post height on the trail. Wow have we gotten spoiled in the last few years or what!? You would have never guessed we spent the first 15 years of our bike riding careers without a dropper post. As we said above, if you’ve got a few extra bucks, stepping up to the Hawk Hill 2 really takes the ride to another level with a dropper post, better suspension and a 12-speed drivetrain for an additional $350.