Marin Nail Trail

BikeRide Score
The BikeRide Score ranks bikes from 0-100 based on opinions from users and experts. The higher the score is, the better. Read how it works
Where to buy

Not found for sale. More bikes


Release Year
Wheel Size
Numbers of gears
27.8, 28 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on this bike. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

16 reasons to buy

  • As a hardtail, the Nail Trail was commended for strength on serious terrain.
  • The Nail Trail was loved for its climbing ability.
  • At 28 lbs, the light weight was highly valued.
  • Value was seen as considerable, with cut-price deals widely available.
  • This rig was definitely comfortable enough for long haul cross-country.
  • All Nail Trail frames allow for internal dropper-post routing.
  • The 2018 Nail Trail 7 is equipped with a TransX dropper seatpost, as stock.
  • Slack geometry increased confidence on downhills.
  • Small sizes suited a 5’2” woman and a 5’ boy.
  • SRAM NX 1x11 drivetrains worked well, without complaint.
  • Boost spacing allowed for wide rubber choices in both the front and rear.
  • The RockShox Yari RC Air fork is adjustable, on the Nail Trail 7.
  • Deore hydraulic brake levers allowed for one-finger braking.
  • As is usually the case for this brand, fit and finish were superb.
  • Stock components were approved for quality and value.
  • With wide bars, a responsive attitude and agility on 27.5”s, handling was lauded.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Problems were experienced with the RockShox Recon fork.
  • Generic factory-brand wheels were not overwhelming, but did the job.
  • One owner complained that seatpost lowering was limited by water bottle bosses.
  • Schwalbe tires on 2017 models yearned for replacement with something wider, grippier and with tougher sidewalls.

Bottom line

Here’s an impressive hardtail, available in a number of configurations with either 29” or 27.5” wheels (usually appropriate to rider sizing). Geometry was slack enough to add to confidence on downhills but still aided climbing ability. In 2017, the Nail Trail was awarded ‘Mountain Bike of the Year’ by BikesEtc magazine and was rated as a finalist in its price range by Bike Radar in 2019. On the downside, some fork problems were experienced on Nail Trail 6 models, resulting in them needing to be sent away for repairs. Stock tires weren’t always the business, either. However, for the highly respectable price and ability to ride gnarly trails that some hardtails can’t handle – this one looks to be a winner.

Expert Reviews

84/100 based on 3 expert reviews

Marin Nail Trail 7 29er Review

Level 5 expert

Smart spec choices and well-thought out geometry make for a light and fast hardtail that can cut it down heavyweight trails.

Visit full review

Nail Trail 7 (2016)

Level 2 expert

If you’re set on a 29er, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Nail Trail.

Visit full review
Mountain Bike Magazin

Review: Marin Nail Trail 9.7 (2017) [German]

Level 2 expert

Compared to the competition, the Nail Trail is lively and climbs fast.

Visit full review
Budget MTBer

Marin Nail Trail 7 Review First Impression

Level 1 expert

The bike climbs super well. I decided to go with something that is a little more suited to cross-country and being a jack-of-all-trades.

Visit full review
Budget MTBer

Marin Nail Trail 7 Update Review

Level 1 expert

After two months, the only issue I’ve had is with the RockShox fork. It’s definitely worth it to check this bike out.

Visit full review

User Ratings

89/100 based on 47 ratings
  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

Your Rating

Have you tried the bike? Join or Sign in and add your rating.

Best Marin Bikes

Marin bikes with the highest BikeRide Score


In comparison to averages of categories
Marin Nail Trail
Average All Bikes
Average Marin Bike
Average Mountain Bike