Marin Fairfax 2 overview

Marin describes its Fairfax vary as “constructed for the flat-bar health street rider”. It has a large gear vary, broad tyres for consolation and a few rough-stuff aspirations, however maybe most importantly, it has hydraulic disc brakes.

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You gained’t discover a drop bar street bike with hydraulic disc brakes at something like this value – and so they make a world of distinction in comparison with extra commonly-specced mechanical disc brakes.

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The frameset – not surprisingly at this modest value – is an all-aluminium affair, however there’s a little bit of shaping occurring with the flattened top-tube

The semi-compact body options dropped seatstays which, together with the 35mm tyres, promise to supply an honest quantity of consolation.

I’m an enormous fan of mounts for equipment on funds street bikes, which could nicely be pressed into commuting or purchasing duties, so it’s nice to see a full raft of bosses for entrance and rear full-cover mudguards and pannier baggage, together with separate bosses for the decrease rack strut and low-rider fittings on the fork.

You may argue that top-tube ‘bento field’ mounts would have rounded out issues properly, however that might simply be the icing on the cake.

Beneficiant gears

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The drivetrain is great for the value. A ‘hybrid’ at this value goes to be carrying a number of additional grams – slightly just like the tester – so a variety of gears, with an emphasis on the decrease finish of the vary, is all the time welcome. And Marin hits the again of the web with the Fairfax 2.

Not solely do you get 16 gears, however I used to be actually happy to see Marin plump for a sub-compact 46/30 crankset relatively than the extra widespread 50/34. I want different corporations would match true compact cranksets.

Admittedly with solely eight ratios on a wide-range 11-34 cassette, there are some largish jumps between gears, however that’s greater than value it for the wonderful 24-113in gear vary.

In concept, you could possibly spin out on the 46×11 prime gear, however at a cadence of 100rpm you’d be driving at a powerful 34mph, which isn’t actually the Fairfax’s pure territory.

The underside gear proved low sufficient for my native difficult climbs: I might sit within the saddle and spin comfortably, and the 24in backside gear is absolutely solely inadequate for closely loaded or prolonged touring, if you’ll want one thing nearer to 20in.

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This brings us to the brakes. Tektro’s M275s could also be on the entry-level finish of the hydraulic disc brake spectrum, however they’re wonderful. They’re additionally the kind of brakes that kick the rim brakes vs disc brakes argument into the lengthy grass, hopefully completely.

They are surely that good. The motion is gentle, the braking is highly effective and managed and so they introduced me to a useless halt from 30mph plus on the proverbial sixpence (look it up!). You don’t must seize a fistful of lever to attain this both – one finger was sufficient.

Marin Fairfax 2 geometry

High-notch tyres

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The brakes complement what’s a really good experience certainly. The texture is assured and secure and there’s a great deal of consolation, too, helped by the 35mm Vee Tire tyres, which really feel extra supple – and are dearer – than you’d anticipate finding on a motorcycle at this value. The Fairfax is a good cruiser.

Stand up to your cruising velocity and you may keep on spinning comfortably hour after hour. The one limiting issue for me could be the lack to alter the place of your fingers, so I’d all the time advocate swapping to grips corresponding to one of many Ergon GP vary, which provides you with another handhold.

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The low backside gear meant I might deal with my native hills comfortably, helped by the confidence-inspiring hydraulic disc brakes.

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You’re not going to be flying up hills or sprinting in opposition to your biking mates on the Fairfax, however it could make an ideal commuter bike – short- or long-distance – whereas doubling up as bike for weekend rambles on street or monitor and trebling up as a flat-bar middleweight tourer.