Early 90's Marin for road duties - weight question


Retro Guru
I did exactly what you're thinking about doing with a 95 Pine Mountain and it weighs around 9.7 kg. I took off the granny ring and run it as a 2x8. The gearing of course will depend on you and the terrain you will be riding in. I live in a flat area and use only the large ring (42) and the smaller cogs on the rear. It's certainly fast, only a minute or so slower over 20 miles than my steel road bikes of similar age.
Lovely looking bike, quality 90's mtb with slicks is the ultimate commuter bike, great on the roads, no need to worry about potholes or cobbles, more than capable of taking shortcuts across parks and fields, in fact the bike is happiest in those situations, as light as a hybrid, not much slower than a road bike but far more comfortable and robust, and bang for buck there's no debate, a few hundred quid spent wisely on the right bike will deliver exciting and comfy urban riding.
And I'm sorry for all you consoomers out there who simply must have the latest committee designed cookie cutter model - retro mtb's with slicks are cool as ****! :cool:

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Retro Wizard
Bloody hell mate, forgot all about the Palisades! Tbh you are probably better off with a later frame as my 90 is a bit of a lump. From memory by the mid 90’s even the lower models in the Marin range were pretty light so should be a good base. My Clockwork on slicks wasn’t a million miles away from my gravel bike so you should be able to build something decent and around mid 20lbs easy enough.

If you still need a rear rack you can have one of mine for postage.

My 90 Palisades tourer with drops is 24.5lbs with full mudguards and rack. Admittedly the only thing original is the frame and forks, but it's doable with mainstream bits.
It's a bit heavier these days as it runs Schwalbe Marathons and has a hub dyno and lights. But the weight is still less than most tourers (Dawes Galaxy etc).


Senior Retro Guru
I built up a mid-90's Cove Stiffee clone as a commuter and it was very fast. I'd look for a good quality steel xc racing frame with prestige or better tubing, a nice light xc wheelset, and a good set of skinny light weight slicks. I used Tioga city slickers BITD and while their puncture protection sucked, they were speedy. Then the last thing is to look at your gearing. If its flat where you are I'd consider a 48 tooth big ring or possibly going with an old 110 bcd touring crankset to really spin those little wheels. I frequently spun out that bike with a standard microdrive triple on it.


Senior Retro Guru
Ive got schwalbe marathon supreme on mine, i also run the 700c version on my tourer.

Lovely tyres....light, smooth, low resistance, would not go back to the standard ones now.

Good luck with the project.


Retro Newbie
That look rapid, have you weighed it ?
I've weighed it not very scientifically using the bathroom digital scales and weighing myself whilst holding the bike up and then subtracting my own weight. The bike weighs 10.4 kilos. The frame is a 21.5" and these Marin frames aren't the lightest but they're extremely durable - there's plenty of them still about considering they're 25+ years old.


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Personally I’d highly recommend shoving some old road bike kit on a 90’s frame especially if you don’t mind turning some heads!
Here’s my Titanius with full Campagnolo group 1x8 with hacked drops.
At 9kilos it goes like the wind and very comfy too (now I’ve sorted the slight frame/lug separation issue - don’t ask, too embarrassing)273BC922-1C6D-42C3-ADB1-4E55507C8919.jpeg