Of all the mountain bikes in our 2018 Tucson, Arizona, test, the Marin Wolf Ridge 9 was the one I most anxious to ride. In a market stuffed with a lot of bikes built around a few tried-and-true designs, this bike stands out for its radically new suspension. At 160mm of travel, this all-carbon 29er is a beast of a machine on paper, and yet Marin says that it’s a category-buster that rides like a short travel bike but descends like an enduro banger. Needless to say, I went into the test with pretty big expectations. This bike didn’t disappoint.
The Marin’s style was divisive. Some thought the bike looked weird and regressive, but I also heard a few testers say they thought it was the sharpest looking bike in the entire test. It’s certainly distinctive, with the elevated chain stays and bolt-on half-fender in the rear. And for me, I’m just happy to see a company trying something different, especially when it rides as well as this one does.