2021 Marin Alpine Trail E2 E-Bike

Vital Rating:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
5 Stars - Marin Alpine Trail E2
When price, performance and Marin’s dealer network are considered, we'd definitely buy this bike.
Vital Review
s1600 MarinA 299860

Should we just cut to the chase? If you’re looking for a solid, playful eMTB that won’t break the bank (well by e-bike standards of course), Marin’s Alpine Trail E2, should be at the very top of your shopping list. At $6,299, the alloy-framed, mixed-wheel-size E2 features Shimano’s EP8 drive system, FOX 38 Performance Elite fork with 160mm of travel, DHX2 Performance Elite coil shock for 150mm of travel out back, and Shimano XT/SLX 12-speed drivetrain paired with powerful SLX 4-piston disc brakes. The 630wh battery isn’t the smallest or the biggest, but finds a nice balance of range and weight to get the most out of that 85nm motor.

2021 Marin Alpine Trail E2 Highlights

  • Series 4 Alloy frame
  • 160mm front travel, 150mm rear travel
  • Mixed wheel size / 29 front, 27.5 rear
  • Marin Multitrac suspension platform
  • Shimano STEPS EP8 system and removable 630Wh battery
  • Fox 38/Float DHX2 Performance Elite suspension
  • Shimano XT/SLX 12-speed drivetrain w/10-51t cassette
  • Shimano SLX 4-piston disc brakes
  • Deity Ridgeline bar/Copperhead stem
  • Maxxis 29 x 2.5 Assegai front tire, Minion DHR II 27.5 x 2.8 rear tire
  • Sizes S, M (tested), L, XL
  • Price: $6,299


  • Price
  • Confidence at speed
  • Playful nature
  • No-frills design
  • Geometry
  • Coil shock
  • Dealer support


  • Fork bump stops may need re-gluing
  • Heavier casing tires recommended for high-level riders

We had a few different testers spend time on the Alpine Trail E2 over the last few months with conditions from snow, to wet, to bone dry. This bike was neglectfully maintained with only a quick rinse and a chain lube or two, and despite this treatment, the E2 handled everything. The consensus from testers was that they would definitely consider buying this bike when price, performance and Marin’s dealer network are considered. Over that period we had plenty of friends asking us for e-bike recommendations and when we’d bring up the Marin as a top pick, the reaction was always like, “Really? Marin?” Our reply, "Yeah. Marin."

Our medium was in the 53-pound range, so the E2 is not light. Its geometry, suspension and 27.5-inch rear wheel made the bike feel surprisingly nimble, however. A 465mm reach on our medium was roomy, and the 78-degree seat angle kept the front wheel in check on steep climbs, as the 435mm chainstay length felt a bit short in those extreme upward situations that can be so fun on an ebike. One tester who usually finds himself leaning toward a large-size bike said the medium was a perfect fit.

We’ve experienced Shimano’s EP8 drive system on a variety of bikes and are pleased with the power and adjustability of the system. With two different fully customizable profiles available through Shimano’s E Tube app, determining battery life and power output is easy. In Profile 1, we keep things efficient with longer-lasting battery life, which means more work on the rider’s end. We opt for more power assist in Profile 2, cranking up the settings for Trail and Boost modes. And, yes, the token *clack* noise from the EP8 motor was present, but it’s something we’ve learned to live with.

The ride, the price and support make the Marin Alpine Trail E2 one our favorite e-MTBs of 2021.

At $6,299, Vital highly recommends the Marin Alpine Trail E2. It is a solid, no-frills machine from a long-established brand with local dealer support. Everything about the E2 is tried-and-true, and it has plenty of power and motor/battery customization options for versatile riding situations. We loved that it was spec’d with a coil shock, and the FOX suspension does everything it’s supposed to, keeping the bike composed at speed yet playful at the park. We’d opt for beefier tires to really push the E2, but outside of that, our criticisms are few and far between. The ride, the price and support make the Marin Alpine Trail E2 one our favorite e-MTBs of 2021.


About the Testers

Sean McClendon - Age: 35 // Years Riding: 21 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 190-pounds (86.2kg)

"Griz" is a battered veteran of MTB gravity racing. Following a major crash during the 2010 USA National Championship Pro downhill race, he put in the hours and fought his way back to health and the fun that is two wheels. Griz has ridden for a number of the USA's top teams throughout his racing career, testing prototype frames and components along the way. Currently managing US Dealer sales and the Fresh Blood amateur development team at DEITY Components, he remains motivated by the mantra "whips don't lie." You'll often find him perfecting his high-flying sideways aerial maneuvers while living the #pinelife in Idaho.

Brad Howell- Age: 41 // Years Riding: 26 // Height: 5'9" (1.75m) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was large, and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he just likes riding his bike in the woods with friends.


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Marin Alpine Trail E2 E-Bike
Model Year
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Sizes and Geometry
Wheel Size
Other: Mullet
E-Bike Class
Class 1: Pedal Assist (Pedelecs)
Shimano STEPS EP8, 250W, 85Nm max torque
Shimano STEPS E8036, internal
Battery Capacity
630 Wh
Shimano STEPS E8000
Boost, Trail, Eco, Walk Assist
Max Speed with Assist
20 mph (32 km/h)
Frame Material
Frame Material Details
Series 4 alloy, molded chainstay and down tube protection
Rear Travel
Rear Shock
FOX DHX2 Performance Elite, low-speed compression adjust, rebound adjust, trunnion mount, 205mm x 65mm
Spring rates: 350lbs (SM/MD), 450lbs (LG/XL)
FOX FLOAT 38 Performance Elite, 44mm offset, integrated FOX fender
Fork Travel
Head Tube Diameter
Tapered, 1.125" top, 1.5" bottom
FSA No.57, semi-sealed cartridge bearings
Deity Ridgeline, 800mm width, 35mm clamp diameter
Deity Copperhead, 35mm length, 35mm bar clamp
Marin, single lock-on
Shimano SLX M7120, 4-piston, 203mm CENTER LOCK rotors
Brake Levers
Shimano SLX M7120, I-SPEC EV clamps
Shimano SLX M7100, 12-speed
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Shimano Deore XT M8100, 12-speed, SGS Cage
e*thirteen Plus upper slider
e*thirteen e*Spec Plus, 165mm length
e*thirteen e*Spec, direct mount, 38 tooth
Marin MTB, plastic platform
KMC E12S, 12-speed
Shimano SLX M7100, 12-speed, 10-51 tooth
Marin aluminum double wall, pinned joint, 32mm inner width (front), 38mm inner width (rear), tubeless compatible
Front: forged alloy, 15x110mm Boost
Rear: Shimano MT510B, 12x148mm Boost, MICRO SPLINE driver
Stainless steel, 14g
Front: Maxxis Assegai, 3C MaxxTerra, EXO+, TR, 29" x 2.5"
Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II, 3C MaxxTerra, EXO+, TR, 27.5" x 2.8"
Marin E-MTB
X-Fusion Manic dropper
Drop: 125mm (SM), 150mm Travel (MD/LG), 170mm (XL)
Seatpost Diameter
Seatpost Clamp
Single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions
12x148mm Boost
Max. Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts
One inside front triangle
5 years frame; 1 year components, paint and decals
• MultiTrac suspension design
• Mixed ("Mullet") wheels: 29" front, 27.5" rear
• Internal cable routing
• Integrated on-switch, charging port, and speed sensor
• Includes Shimano EC-E6002 battery charger
• Photos show E1 build
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.

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