Meet the new boss...same as the old boss! Thanks goes out to Marin for honoring the warranty on their frames!
I’ve talked about my bike a number of times since I started this site. It’s a Marin Nicasio road bike, or what I like to call a Marin Nicasio Whatever. The reason I call it that is due to the multiple wheelsets I own that instantly transform my bike into a road bike, a gravel bike, a comfort bike, or...whatever.
Back in November 2018, I had no idea what lied ahead other than that I wanted to accomplish a 100-mile century ride. As I’ve mentioned on other posts, the Marin Nicasio ended up being quite a fortuitous purchase.
I guess you could say that the initial version of my bike was v1.0, using the stock groupset and components. I quickly upgraded the saddle, handlebars, and added some wheelsets. I even added some Fiks reflective stickers and wheel stripes.
Little did I know that I had purchased a bike with ample room to mount larger volume tires using either 650b or 700c wheels. With the gravel scene entering the picture, I quickly adopted a 650b wheelset with 47mm tires and a 29er wheelset with 38mm tires.
Later, after a full groupset upgrade, it ended up being...I dunno...v1.5? I thought it was a v2.0...but was it really? I mean, it was still the same frame but with pretty much every component switched out with custom ones. It was no longer stock.
However, the bike did have one defect.
One of the problems I discovered had to do with the head tube. If I turned the handlebars all the way in to where one end hits the frame and then turn it all the way to the other side, one end was clearly lower than the other. Through the process of elimination, I narrowed the problem down to the head tube. After taking it to my local bike shop, they too came to the same conclusion after measuring the frame: the head tube was off a bit.
This problem just wouldn’t go away for me. While it seemed relatively minor, I kept feeling like it was actually something major. When I had the bike on my trainer, I could clearly tell that one side of my handlebars was higher than the other. Plus, ever since I’ve had the bike, I’ve battled some pain in my right wrist and knee. I kept going back to the head tube issue as the possible culprit.
Thankfully, Marin has a good warranty on their frames. The only problem is that I had to go through an authorized Marin dealer. Fortunately, there is one here in Dallas. So, off I went to Ray Jay’s Bike Shop in Arlington, Texas!
Ray took good care of me and did a full inspection of my bike. He found that, yes, the head tube was off by about 1.5 to 2 mm, which is enough to cause an even bigger discrepancy with the handlebars. After a bit of back and forth with Marin, they agreed to exchange out the frame.
A couple of weeks later, Ray calls me up to tell me my bike is ready. Enter the new Marin Nicasio Whatever v2.0!
Unfortunately, Marin didn’t really give me a choice in the frame color. They pretty much just shipped Ray whatever frame they wanted to give me. So I ended up with the orange/crimson frame. Which, honestly, after spending a bit of time with it, the color is really growing on me. It's not really orange or red but somewhere in-between. Quite a nice color! Definitely a change of pace over the blue and orange frame.
Other than the color, the main difference between this frame and the previous one is that this one has a gloss finish rather than a matte one. Everything else though appears to be exactly the same. Well, almost everything.
One little thing I noticed is that the forks have two mount points per fork rather than just one. I always found it a little odd that the previous frame only had one eyelet per fork. Every other bike I've seen that has mount points on the fork have two eyelets on each side. With two per side, this does open up more possibilities for mounting equipment to my bike.
To accommodate the new frame, I had to make a few minor changes. Gone are the orange stickers and wheel stripes. I also switched out the orange bar tape for some black Supacaz bar tape that Ray had at his shop. Other than that, everything else is exactly the same.
I might later on add back the Fiks Reflective wheel stripes and possibly some stickers. With the previous frame, I got quite a few compliments on just how well I could be seen at night, especially with the wheel stripes. Plus, I like the fact that I can get a custom look. The hexalate stickers definitely gave the previous frame a uniqueness. Fiks does offer black stripes and stickers which might look really good with the new frame.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the updated frame. The problem with the headtube is gone which hopefully means the problem with my right wrist and knee will slowly go away. Big thanks to Marin for honoring the warranty and taking care of me!
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Hi Jeff, wondering if you had considered the TRP Hy-Rd disc brake calipers, which do come with IS to post mount adapters. Also, were you tempted to change the forks to a carbon one?
Funny you should mention the TRP Hy-Rd brakes. I installed those on my new Surly bike. Was gonna put a set of Spyres on it but those were unavailable at the time. Installed the Hy-Rd's instead and glad I did. Nice brakes! However, instead of the post version, I went the flat mount version since the Surly accepts flat mount brakes. Suffice to say, review of the Hy-Rd's to comes.
As for going with a carbon fork, honestly, I haven't given it much thought. Since I've pretty much been sticking with steel frame bikes, the forks I use end up being steel as well. The primary reason for that is mostly due to the high level of customization that comes with steel frames. Same more or less applies to forks. I honestly don't think my style of riding would benefit much from a carbon fork. There are properties of carbon forks that are nice but I'm ok with steel forks. Main benefit is that I don't have to worry about seriously borking a steel fork. :P