Marin Cortina AX1
Summary of Reviews
We have read all expert and user reviews on this bike. In summary, this is what cyclists think.
10 reasons to buy
- The Cortina AX1’s handling was said to be quick, predictable and dynamic on gravel and rutted tracks.
- The timeless minimalism of Marin’s retro paintjob garnered attention and praise.
- An alloy frame and carbon fork proved a comfortable combination. Aluminum ribs in the frame and fork acted as a heat sink to cool off disc brakes.
- Attention to detail resulted in an admirable finish.
- Schwalbe G-One tires came tubeless-ready and are reportedly easy to setup, with decent speeds reached on snow and ice.
- The Cortina’s adaptable nature saw it performing well on gravel, roads and cyclocross proper.
- Quick-release Naild 12-3-9 thru-axles allowed precise and replicable removal and reattachment of wheels.
- The aforementioned thru-axles, in 15mm (front) and 12mm (in the rear), provided stiff action.
- A myriad of bosses, eyelets and mudguard mounts accommodate full racks, full-length mudguards and accessories.
- Generous clearance allows for tires up to 50mm wide, or 40mm with mudguards.
5 reasons not to buy
- Even the most ardent Cortina lovers noted that it wasn’t the cheapest option, considering Tiagra kit and mechanical discs.
- One expert said the bike felt overgeared on technical descents and spun-out on flats. On higher gears, the Tiagra drivetrain may have problems with a jumping chain.
- The TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes were fitted with semi-metallic pads that one expert saw as being suited to mud, but too hard for general road and gravel conditions.
- Some Cortinas were fitted with Schwalbe G-One tires, which were considered less grippy than X-Ones.
- The Cortina wasn’t considered a lightweight. This led one expert to suggest shedding some pounds by replacing the stock wheels.
Expert Reviews83/100 based on 2 expert reviews
Marin Cortina AX1
Loads of clearance and predictable handling make for on/off-road adventure fun – but some upgrades are needed.
Test: Marin Cortina AX 1 – CX or Gravel? [Polish]
This bike can really be a kind of 3 in 1 – it can be CX for weekend amateur racing, it can be an expeditioner and a bike for everyday commuting. Would we recommend it to a friend? With a clear conscience – yes.
Marin Cortina AX
It has a geometry for off-road speed and stability when it gets loose on the path… You could race your category on Saturday and then a long gravel ride on Sunday.