Unlike almost all other bike manufacturers, Marin seems to have paid close attention to the national "ultimate urban bike" and "ultimate utility bike" competitions that Oregon Manifest has organized in the past few years. A preponderance of those bikes share a set of attributes that we wish were on all urban-oriented bikes:
Gates Carbon Drive (belt drive)--cleaner, more durable, much lower maintenance than a chain
An internally geared hub such as Shimano Alfine 11--cleaner, more reliable, longer lasting, with far less maintenance, no rust, and scant or zero gunk
Disc brakes, particularly hydraulic disc brakes for superior stopping power and modulation in all kinds of weather (especially rain)
A dynamo hub with front and rear dynamo lights--a complete, very powerful, autonomous lighting system you pretty much never have to worry about
A rack--of course
Now, these also happen to be the attributes that most of the bikes we sell go out the door with. That is, after we're finished rebuilding the front wheel around a dynamo hub and adding the lights, rack, fenders, and whatnot.
Marin has made its own version of such a bike, right out of the box: the Fairfax SC6. This one is sold mostly in Northern Europe, with small numbers available in North America.
Not skimping on the details, Marin spec'd the Fairfax SC6 with exactly the things we use on high-end custom builds:
outstanding Supernova front and rear lights, which are about as good as it gets
Shimano Alfine dynamo hub
Super high-quality, puncture-resistant, long-lasting tires (Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, 700x32)
stiff aero rims (seriously, you'll be surprised what a difference this makes to your speed)
Shimano T445 hydraulic disc brakes
High-quality 6061 aluminum tubing
Carbon fork with alloy steerer
Internal cable routing
Alfine 11 internal gearing with a very wide, 409% gear range
Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack belt system with 50/22 gearing, which optimizes the Alfine 11 hub's range for spirited city riding in places without steep hills. We can adjust gearing down without a problem, for $65.
Ergon brand ergonomic grips
Fenders (alloy) powdercoated to match the stealthy, matte black frame
A Racktime Custom Integrated Match-It QL3 rear rack with mounting systems for Ortlieb and Racktime bags (as well as other bags)
A chainstay-mounted kickstand
In short, it's like Marin gets us.
Bicycling Magazine wrote this about the Fairfax SC6.
For sizing information and more information, see Marin's SC6 page.
Fairfax is geared a bit higher than Spot Acme and some other bikes with an Alfine 11 drivetrain. This is the one and only complaint we've had with the bike (and it's the one and only complaint in the Outside Magazine review below.) But don't worry: if you've got stuff to carry and hills to climb, we've got a solution for you. Just ask!