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Marin Cortina T3 CX

Marin Cortina T3 CX
17 Nov 2015

The Marin Cortina T3 CX is a cross machine from the Californian pioneers.

Californian brand Marin is based near Mount Tamalpais, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of mountain biking. With such a testing ground on its doorstep, it should be no surprise that Marin has been crafting world-class off-road machines since the company was founded in 1986. And with the demands of cyclocross bearing many similarities to mountain biking, a cross range from the Californians was inevitable.

Marin’s Cortina range is made up of its high-end, race-focused machines. The Cortina T3 CX sits below the top-flight T3 CX Pro in the Cortina hierarchy but shares much of the same frame technology with its pricier sibling. ‘What sets our Cortina models apart from their competitors is the utilisation of lightweight tube-to-tube construction,’ says Marin’s brand director, Chris Holmes. ‘It is not a fast or cheap method of frame construction, but because it is more hands-on it allows us to better control the weight and ride quality by customising each tube.’

To achieve that critical combination of stiffness and lightweight, Marin opted for carbon fibre as the frame material. The unidirectional weave gives high lateral rigidity, which, just as with road bikes, allows pedaling power to be converted into forward motion with maximum efficiency. Holmes says lightness was a main priority for the T3 CX, for maximum speed when climbing and allowing the bike to be shouldered easily.

With lightness can come skittish handling, but Holmes says the Naild Navit fork has been developed to work in conjunction with the frame geometry to counteract this and ensure an assured ride. Well known in the mountain bike world, the smooth and robust WTB Frequency Race i19 wheels contribute to the solid handling, while Shimano’s BR-RS785 hydraulic brakes are fitted to provide consistent power and control.

‘The Marin-sponsored racer Yuri Hauswald won this year’s Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race on a Cortina frame,’ says Holmes. ‘Also, we know a lot of CX racers who have turned their bikes into “12 month” machines, so we are glad that our bikes are versatile enough for more than just cyclocross racing.’ 


Marin Cortina T3 CX £2,500
Frame Marin Cortina T3 CX
Groupset Shimano 105 5800
Brakes Shimano BR-RS785 Hydraulic Disc brake
Chainset Shimano FC-RS500
Bars Marin Butted Alloy OS compact bars
Stem Marin Forged OS Alloy stem
Seatpost Marin Comp 2014 Alloy Seatpost
Wheels WTB Frequency Race i19 TCS
Saddle Marin Speed Concept saddle
Weight 9kg (56cm)

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