Marin Steps Up Its e-MTB Game With a Steel Stallion, but Is It Worth Over $4k?

Pine Mountain E2 6 photos
Photo: Marin Bikes
Pine Mountain E2Pine Mountain E2Pine Mountain E2Pine Mountain E2Pine Mountain E2
With the entire social distancing that’s been going on these past months, e-bikes have seen a massive jump in sales. Most manufacturers, however, seem to have forgotten about the use of steel as a frame material; not Marin Bikes, though.
Today, we’re going to address the use of a seemingly prehistoric material, steel. That’s right, people, there are major bike manufacturers that are still building bikes, or in this case, e-MTBs, using steel as the base material for the frame.

Mind you, if you think that a steel frame means a cheap bike, think again. The Pine Mountain E2 you see in the cover photo comes in with a price tag of $4,199. But why? Isn't steal supposed to be cheaper and easier to handle when manufacturing? Why, yes, it’s supposed to be when using just plain old steel.

The Pine, however, is anything but plain. This framework is a Chrome and Molybdenum steel; it has been double butted and heat-treated so it’s definitely light and will last you through the ages. Heck, I know my old Huffy from 2000 is still alive and kicking in some little kid’s backyard. Probably just a little rusty around the edges.

Pine Mountain E2
Photo: Marin Bikes
Since we're talking about an e-bike, there is much more to touch up on than just the framework. The motor and battery systems are the next essential pieces of this $4,000 puzzle. Well, Marin justifies some of the cost with top-of-the-line Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and battery system. Yes, the same STEPS used by brands like Ducati and Haro.

If you have any doubts about its capacities, don’t. This pocket-sized 6.17-lb (2.8-kg) motor cranks out a worthy 70 Nm (51.6 lb-ft) of torque and supports pedal assist up to 15.5 mph (25 kph). However, this motor is coupled with a specific battery - it is called a system after all.

For a battery, we find a decently large 504Wh lithium-ion pack. Unlike most battery systems out on the market, the STEPS is able to support up to 60 miles (100 km) of range. And that’s not a problem because there would be no fun in a system that can cruise for hours on end.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, Shimano does hold a monopoly over the components. Everything is tuned to the sound of a 12-speed setup with SLX chain and shifters, XT derailleur, and surprisingly a SunRace cassette handling it all.

Pine Mountain E2
Photo: Marin Bikes
To help stop the thing, Shimano continues their lineage with MT520 4-piston hydraulic brakes clamping down on 7.1-in (180-mm) rotors. Listen, if you keep this bike within the parameters it’s meant for, these brakes and any other components will do just fine in offering you one hell of a ride.

Speaking of components, one thing I nearly forgot to mention is the suspension system. First off, the rear is a hardtail so there's nothing to see there, but the front does include a RockShox FS 35 with 4.7 in (120 mm) of travel. Sure, you won’t be dropping of any massive ledges, but it should do just fine to give you that burn while smoothening out some of the bumps and rocks.

Sure, it may not be the most menacing geometry out there, and the battery pack jutting out may be a bit out of the picture, but build wise, I don’t feel you’ll have any issues with this bike. You also need to take into consideration that the E2 is priced below any of the Ducati bikes that are available but with a stronger motor. Want to know a bit more? Just click here and take all the time you need.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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