Marin Bobcat Trail 29er Hardtail


The Bobcat Trail 29er features our hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame and Race geometry. An air-spring Suntour fork, with adjustable rebound damping, hydraulic lock-out, and a lightweight aluminum steer tube, is the unsung hero of this bike, injecting world cup level technology into a 9-speed Shimano equipped 29er. Award winning Schwalbe Racing Ralf 2.25" tires and Shimano hydraulic disc brake are the icing on the cake.


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[Aug 17, 2020]


Some HX - avid mountain biker from 1991 to about 2008. Had a 1991 Marin, Giant VT, and Turner 5 Spot (Horst link version). My son is 11 and really getting into MTB, plus COVID etc. Looking for a bike less than $1K just to ride with him. Wanted a bike with more modern geometry but most cheaper bikes look like they’re from 2005. Found Marin again and thought the Bobcat might be it. Found one at a sort of local shop. Expected to buy the Bobcat 1 - had more features i was looking for, and they had a medium. Went to shop and the medium was a no go - I am 5’10” with a 32 in seam. The L was great, but only in the 4(step down in kit). Lead time for a 5 in L was about 10-12 weeks. Bought the 4. Long story even longer, I am very pleased. The complaints I have are only due to price point. I’d like a thru axle fork, and 1X drivetrain. Which pushes price up another $200 for the 1 which i was unwilling to wait 3 months for. The fork isn’t great, but again, price. I was out the door for $730. The large fits me very well. Never ridden 29” wheels before, and am really liking the size. The Tektro brakes are a pleasant surprise - good stopping power and modulation for cheap brakes. The other standout is the Marin branded handlebar. 780mm, very comfortable with no hand wrist pain even on 2+ hour rides. The fork is just ok. Shifting is also pretty good for what it is. Only change I’ve made is seat - put a WTB Pure on - my go to saddle in the past. Since this is my weekend bike to ride with the kid, I don’t plan on any upgrades. Overall I’m very impressed. The geometry is great- i was a little concerned about the long 25.2” top tube, but with the short 45mm stem it feels great and is very stable downhill. For around $700 i think its a steal. Also, the sort of local bike store was very helpful and worked with me since its a drive to get there. Shout out to Bearden Bike and Trail in Knoxville, TN. Randy even contacted me later in the week.


See above please.

Price Paid:
Model Year:
[Jan 14, 2016]
Cross Country Rider


-components are very impressive for the price. I received Deore derailleurs.
-Suntour Raidon air fork w/ adjustable air volume, travel, and adjustable rebound. Fork travels stiff.
-Stock tires are very durable and well suited for my trails (roots, gravel, hard pack, sand)
-Shifting is very smooth
-The frame is stiff and the downtube is oversized. The chain stays also sweep out for wide tires 2.35"+
-The rims and hubs have been rock solid. Even though they aren't tubeless or wide, they get the job done very well with tubes. They support 2.2 tires tubed at ~28/30 psi very well.
-2 sets of bottle mounts


The weakness has to be the weight of the durable parts.
- drive train is great but the 3x10 adds some weight.
-The fork weighed in ~2100grams which is understandable considering it's a 29er capable of 120mm of travel and is very adjustable.
-Draco 2 hydraulic brakes went soft on me twice during winter storage (flipped bike). I found air had been trapped in the reservoir despite repeatedly trying to bleed the system. The trick was to suck some mineral oil up the bleed hose like a straw, then thread it in, and work every bubble out. My rear brakes have been fault free.
-The larger wheels make riding faster, and easier. However, it makes things like manuals much harder. That isn't to say you can't bunny hop or get some air with this bike, it requires more effort.

Great features on this bike. The components are very durable and well thought out. The model I bought is more of a trail 29er, which is something I really like and have grown to take advantage of. The 180mm rotor brakes up front give you instant stopping power when you need it. By far the best feature on the 2013 model I bought is the Suntour Raidon air fork. It took some adjusting, but the end result is a complaint front end that provides great traction, while preventing brake dive and excessive sag. The wide bars, and longer chain stays, make this bike extremely stable going down rough terrain.

I would say the drivetrain spec is ok for $1,000 bike, a 2x10 would have been preferred of course. The 3x10 is a good thing if you ride this bike on the road, and trails as it provides a very wide range of gears. Read above about the troubles I had with the draco 2 front brakes and how I fixed it.

Overall the bike has great features and good specs. If what you want to do is ride fast on local trails, ride around town, get better at mountain biking, and still have the ability to point this bike down rough trail this is a great bike for you and won't disappoint. If you live in an area with many tight twists and turns where you see handlebar marks all over trees; get a 27.5 bike with shorter bars.

P.S. I believe the Rockhopper comes in many models, so compare the specs between the two, they are very similar bikes from what I've seen. Try to pick one with a solid lockout and air fork and adjustable rebound.

Similar Products Used:

Giant Anthem

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