California-based mountain bike pioneers Marin have launched an intriguing new gravel bike: the Gestalt.
Gravel bikes have been launched by a whole host of companies over the last couple of years, with many of them deciding that a road-style bike with off-road capabilities is a real niche in the market. Plus, in British conditions, a gravel bike offers the handling, stability and a specificity of purpose that you won’t get from simply buying a cyclo-cross bike and riding it on and off road.
The geometry sits somewhere between a road and cyclo-cross bike, and it’s designed to handle as such. The headtube is a little taller, to provide a slightly more upright riding position, while the bottom bracket has been lowered, in attempt to stabilise the handling. The chainstays are still relatively compact at 415mm, to ensure the Gestalt remains a punchy ride.
The Gestalt comes in three varieties: the Gestalt 3, 2 and, er, 1 with two different frame levels, the top being what Marin call their Series 4 aluminium with full internal cable routing on the 3. The 2 and 1 use Series 3 alloy instead.
In a clear move towards comfort and versatility, all three bikes in the series will come with 30mm Schwalbe G-One tubeless tyres as standard, and will have the clearance to run mudguards even with those 30mm tyres as well as a rack mounted just below the seatpost clamp on the seattube.
On the tubeless-ready wheels Marin have binned QR skewers in favour of what they call ’12-3-9’ quick release locking through axles. The 12-3-9 name comes from the three positions that you need to go through to attach the skewers. You insert the axle at 12 o’clock (it has a notch on it so it won’t go in at any other angle), rotate it to 3 o’clock, then flip the level to 9 o’clock to lock. In terms of releasing, there a switch you have to press (the red section in the picture) and the axle won’t release unless it’s been pushed, so they can’t come free of their own accord. One other point is that Marin are using 12mm through axles rather than 15mm, which save a little weight over their thicker cousins.
The Gestalt will come in three builds. The flagship Gestalt 3, pictured here, wears SRAM’s latest Rival 1X single-chainring system, which in this case combines a 42t front chainring with a wide-ranging 10-42t cassette at the back and, of course, the Rival rear derailleur with in-built clutch mechanism. Plus you get hydraulic disc brakes.
Meanwhile, the Gestalt 2 also comes with a SRAM single-chainring setup (though it’s a mish-mash of a SRAM Apex shifter and a SRAM X7 mountain bike rear mech), but with mechanical disc brakes, while the entry-level Gestalt 1 has a Shimano Sora groupset and, once again, mechanical discs. Up front on all three bikes, the flat top bar features shallow drops with a 12 degree outward flair to add a little more comfort and stability to the feel of the ride.
Price-wise, the Gestalt 3 comes in at £1,750, while the pared-down 2 is £1,000 and the 1 will set you back £800.
Website: Marin Bikes