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Marin Cortina with disc brakes. © Clifford Lee

Our latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 19, boasted more bike reviews than we’ve ever had before. Among these was the Marin Cortina. Check out its vital stats here, and make sure you pick up a copy of Issue 19 to see what we had to say about it!

by Clifford Lee

A few tidbits:

For 2013, Marin has fully embraced the coming age of disc-equipped cyclocross bikes by offering discs brakes on both of their Cortina and Lombard model bikes. Marin was gracious enough to loan me their prototype Cortina for a period of time and I put it through its paces.

Marin’s approach to the 2013 Cortina is pretty straightforward. The heart of the bike is based around a 6061 aluminum double & triple butted tube set with 1 1/8” carbon fork with an alloy steerer. The 58cm frame that I tested measured out with a 57.5 top tube, a 73 degree seat tube and with a 67mm bottom bracket drop. No huge surprises here, other than maybe a slightly aggressive 73 degree head tube angle (the 60cm size has a 73.5 head angle). This gives the bike a slightly more road-oriented feel. The chainstays measure out a little longer than I typically like, at 43.2cm, but that is well within the range of a standard setup.

Clearance at the chainstays is a bit tight, though not awful. Part of this limited clearance is likely due to the bike taking advantage of using wide profile WTB Frequency Race i19’s rims. The plus side of such a setup is a wider tire shape, but you have to pay it back with less clearance. This is not a deal killer, but mud riders might find themselves being a little grumpy at times. Clearance at the seatstays and at the fork is quite generous, a nice affordance of disc brakes.

Marin thought ahead to set this bike up so you can use it beyond the ’cross course. Both the seatstays and rear dropouts have drillings for a rear rack or fenders.

The bike is built mostly around SRAM’s Rival group. This includes Rival shifters, front derailleur, and  46/36 crank. SRAM’s XO Type 2 rear derailleur is used for good measure. Again, this is a disc bike and SRAM has rounded out their model with the tried and true AvidBB7 with 160mm rotors.

All cabling is routed across the top tube, so the bottom-pull front derailleur necessitates the typical frame mounted pulley to loop the cable back 180 degrees.

Wheels are Marin’s own brand of hub laced up to tubeless compatible WTB Frequency Race i19’s. These wide rims give a great profile to the Clement Crusade PDX 33 tires.

The bike handles quite quickly, which was a pleasant surprise, but I was a little concerned how this would translate onto the dirt. Would it be a bit much at speed on gravelly rocky roads? Check out a digital copy of Issue 19 for the full review, with instant delivery.

Find out how the Marin Cortina measures up and be sure to check out all the ’cross bikes in our cyclocross bike directory.

MSRP: $1899.99
: 6061 Aluminum
Fork: 1 1/8” carbon fork, alloy steerer
Drivetrain: SRAM Rival with XO Type-2 Rear Derailleur
Crankset: Rival 36/46
Brakeset: Avid BB7 mechanical disc
Wheelset: WTB Frequency Race i19 tubeless compatible rims
Tires: Clement Crusade PDX 700 x 33c
Weight: 20.38 lbs w/o pedals, 13.80 lbs w/o wheels (58cm)
Country of Origin:  Taiwan

Want to read the full review? To see what our testers thought about after putting it through some muddy races, check out Issue 19 of our print mag. Make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine (subscribe digitally to receive Issue 19, or order it in the archive section of our subscription page).

Check our Issue 19 page for the full Table of Contents to see what else is in store, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks!