While Marin has traditionally been known by its mountain bikes, the company also makes a variety of road and comfort bikes. It was founded in 1986 by Bob Buckley in Marin County, California, where mountain biking is said to have been born.
- address: 265 Bel Marin Keys BlvdNovato, CA 94949-5724
- telephone: (415) 382-6000
- fax: (415) 382-6100
- website: http://www.marinbikes.com
- e-mail: [email protected]
Marin Bikes uses the latest, highest-tech 3-D computer design software around. It’s called Autodesk Inventor, and the first bicycle they designed with it, the Mount Vision, won Mountain Biking Magazine’s Mountain Bike of the Year in 2007 and a UK magazine award in 2008. Marin uses the software to simulate conditions rougher than anyone would find on the road, anaylizing each frame for stress, performance, and aerodynamics. Then they make a prototype. That physical bike is tested in the lab and, finally, out in real conditions. Marin feels frame design is, “the heart of the machine,” and what sets them apart. Their customers agree. Many will update components without complaint in order to experience the frame.
Although Marin is best known for mountain bikes and especially their innovative suspensions, they sell a full range of bicycles. Their road models include the lightweight ALP (Aerodynamic Lightweight Performance) series with the upright comfort of a mountain bike. Some have geometries made specifically for women. In addition to cyclocross bikes good-to-go for racing, Marin has urban bikes intended for city streets. For a mellower time on a bike, their Path models include fun-to-ride cruisers. Twenty years ago, founder Bob Buckley made a 20” hardtail for his 6-year-old son. That Hidden Canyon, with versions for boys and girls, is still produced today.
The company is closely tied to its Marin County, California home. They make the hardtails the police officers of the Golden Gate Bridge Bike Patrol Unit ride. This “mounted” police unit patrols the 1.7-mile bridge and surrounding steep trails on Marin’s Nail Trail bikes. They’re lightweight aluminum, and the Bike Patrol rides them over curbs and down stairways in all kinds of weather. The company’s building in Novato, California is the old recording studio of the Grateful Dead. Doors are plastered with stickers from The Beatles and Janis Joplin. More important to bike history is nearby Mt. Tamalpais, the birthplace of mountain biking. In the early days, Marin not only named bikes after trails on Mt. Tam, it made models to specifically meet the challenges of those trails. A climbing bike was designed for Indian Fire Trail and a stout model was crafted for Rocky Ridge.
Bob Buckley founded Marin Bikes in 1986 and still runs the company. Everyone – all but the bookkeeping staff – ride. Today, the company’s bikes are named after places in and around Marin County. After so many years and models, they ran out of trail names.
Hours of work
Monday – Friday
9 am to 5 pm
- Standard Frames: Yes
- Custom Frames: No
- Retrofitting old bikes: No
- Year Established: 1986
- Products Made In: Asia
- Availability: Independent bicycle dealers
- Types of Bicycles: mountain, road, comfort
- Construction Methods: TIGG welding
- Frame Materials: steel, aluminum, carbon