The Marin Four Corners Elite gets its name from an intersection in the shadow of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, CA—the birthplace of mountain biking.
With a name like that, the Four Corners Elite has a lot to live up to when it comes to versatility and ability to be a go-anywhere, do-anything bike, including tackling gravel and dirt road adventures and loaded touring. We take a closer look and see how the Four Corners is designed to handle anything you can throw at it, whether it be the 'cross course, fire roads or even a loaded bike tour.
The Four Corners is constructed of butted and formed Columbus Thron chromoly tubing. The frame is TIG-welded and features a clearcoat finish over the raw steel tubing—this gives the frame a neat patina at the areas where the bottle bosses and rack and fender mounts are brass-brazed. The investment-cast dropouts feature post-style disc brake mounts, dual rack and fender eyelets and a thru-axle with 142x12 spacing.
A butted chromoly steel fork makes up the Four Corners' front end, featuring post-style disc brake mounts, fender and low-rider rack mounts. Both the front and rear of the Four Corners utilizes a newcomer to the thru-axle market—NALID— a Vancouver, WA company, that emphasizes ease of use and repeatablity of their thru-axle system. Take a look at the video of their 12-3-9 front thru-axle in action:
Versatility is the name of the game with the Four Corners— a purpose-driven race machine, it is not. The frame features more slack angles than your run-of-the-mill 'cross bike: a 72-degree headtube angle, 70mm BB drop and 450mm chainstay length keeps the Four Corners on the predictable end of the handling spectrum, and the steel frame and fork has ample clearance for up to 2.1" tires. Yes, you could race cyclocross and gravel on it, although the longer chainstays and weight might be burdens for serious grass crit racers and on long run-ups.
The Four Corners is smartly spec'd to handle anything you can throw at it. The rear derailleur, shift levers and hydraulic disc brakes are SRAM Rival 1, and the unbranded alloy crankset features a narrow-wide 40-tooth chainring that is paired with an 11-speed SRAM XG-1150 10-42 cassette, to provide wide-range gearing for both on-road and off.
Durability is tantamount in a wheelset for the rough stuff, especially on a bike like the Four Corners, which has provisions for loaded touring. The Four Corners' wheelset is built around a pair of 32-hole UST-compliant WTB KOM 21i rims, laced to Formula six-bolt disc hubs featuring sealed bearings, thru-axles front and rear, and a SRAM XD driver. Schwalbe provides the rubber with their tubeless-ready G-ONE Evo 40mm tire with kevlar puncture protection.
Marin's-own handlebar, stem and seatpost provide the contact points, and a WTB Volt Race saddle provides an all-conditions-worthy perch.
Availability and Price
The Marin Four Corners Elite will be reaching dealers before the end of the year, and retails for $2310. For more information, visit marinbikes.com.