HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Swinging a leg over the B- 17, we noticed that
the size large felt a touch small compared to other bikes we have
ridden in this category. While the geometry isn’t super aggressive, the fit is comfortable and fairly versatile. We dropped the
stack height on the bars all the way down for a lower position
and hit the trails.
Suspension setup: For our first couple of rides, we had the
rear suspension set at 25-percent sag but found this to be a bit
harsh on chattery sections. We increased the sag to 30 percent
in the rear and stayed there for the duration of our testing. Up
front we settled at 20-percent sag in the RockShox Pike with
two bottomless tokens for a more progressive ride when the trail
Climbing: If there is one place where plus-size tires shine, it is
on the climbs. The 2.8-inch-wide WTB Ranger tires clawed their
way up our steep and loose trails without a hint of lost traction.
Between the supported shock tune and 34-tooth front chainring,
the B- 17 had a very comfortable amount of pedaling support, even
with the shock in the open setting. While we did get plenty of pedaling support and traction, the B- 17 is no lightweight machine. It
takes a bit of muscle and patience to get to the top of the climb.
Descending: The best part of any ride is when the trail points
down, and we pushed the B- 17 on several of our favorite trails to
find its limits. Our test riders were impressed with the continued
traction of the plus-size tires and their ability to stick to even the
loosest terrain. Up front, the RockShox Pike was supple and supported, giving us all the comfort we needed over rough terrain.
BIKE TEST / MARIN B- 17 3
Raw finish: Our test bike came with a brushed aluminum
finish that gave the B- 17 a classic look. Up front was a Deity
cockpit designed for a very aggressive rider position.
Plow over the chunder: Plus-size wheels might not be the
fastest, but they plow over just
about anything on the trail.