BIKE TEST / MARIN HAWK HILL
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
We spent plenty of time on our local cross-country trails and
even some of our rowdier trails to test the limits of the Hawk Hill.
Out of the box, the Hawk Hill was set up tubeless, which came as
a bit of a surprise to us. Most bikes in this price category require a
Suspension setup: We played around with the suspension
quite a bit, starting the shock at 20-percent sag with 15 percent
in the fork. After a couple rides, we settled at 25-percent sag for
the shock but kept the fork the same. We ran the rebound a little
quicker in the fork but left the shock settings in the middle.
Moving out: The geometry, combined with the 780-millimeter
wide bars and short stem, gives the Hawk Hill a very comfortable
fit that leans heavily towards trail riding. For a size large, a couple
of our test riders felt that it ran a touch small, but we were all
pleased with the overall fit.
Cornering: The wide bars gave us plenty of leverage, and the
meaty Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires gave our test riders plenty
of confidence when cornering. The tight wheelbase and short
chainstays allowed the Hawk Hill to be whipped through switchbacks and narrow corners with ease. The suspension platform
tracked well and maintained traction, even when we pushed hard
Climbing: The Hawk Hill won’t be the first to the top of the
mountain, but it will get there. The frame felt stiff and responsive
when pedaling hard out of the saddle, and the fork was firm when
locked out. The Multi Trac suspension gave us some support off
the top of the stroke when seated on long climbs.
Descending: With the suspension open and our hands off the
brakes, the Hawk Hill did all the work. The geometry felt playful,
and the 120 millimeters of suspension travel felt adequate over
a variety of terrain. The Hawk Hill rolled with ease on flowing
singletrack and felt stable through gnarlier rock gardens. The rear
Modern lines: Marin designed the Hawk Hill to be a
high-performance bike but without the high price tag. The
Hawk Hill uses a full-aluminum frame and rear triangle with a
tapered head tube and threaded bottom bracket.