Gestalt therapy is an attempt to find order in a chaotic world, to organize ourselves into a being that becomes more than the sum of its parts. Marin has taken this rather esoteric term and applied it to its latest “beyond road” platforms designed for adventure—and it fits. The most expensive bike in the line is only $2,254, and from the alloy frame to the SRAM Rival 1x, cost has been carefully controlled by these parts; yet the sum—the Marin Gestalt 3—is a lust-inducing machine that can help you find order in the chaos of the backcountry.

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From the pages of Issue 51

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Capable. That’s the impression given by the Gestalt 3, both at first glance and in the saddle. The matte-black alloy frame is essentially bombproof, with dual through axles and unobtrusive rack and fender mounts. Hydraulic braking delivers more capability with a beefy industrial mount on Naild’s NavIt carbon fork that screams stopping power. The fork’s steering tube is tapered and alloy, to both control costs and provide crisp response on rough trails. The SRAM Rival 1x is outfitted with a 10–42 cassette and 42-tooth chainring, capable of following almost any mountain goat. There is an additional touch that makes it clear someone at Marin knows how to spec an adventure bike: the Schwalbe G-One tubeless gravel tire. Just released, this tire can torch asphalt descents then make mincemeat of deep gravel.

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The Gestalt’s geometry is endurance focused, which means quite tall and upright. It’s adept at keeping you safe and in control on steep descents in the rough or on wide corners with deep gravel, but it is not too racy. Some riders may find that capable confidence saps some of the aggressive fun from really carving twisty hard-pack descents. But drop the spacers, swap the tall FSA bearing cap, and you’ll find a 170mm head tube on the 56cm version, which improves the bike’s reactions with a lower, more aggressive position, while retaining its inherent stability.

The Marin Gestalt 3 is the kind of therapy we need. Who doesn’t want to look good, be incredibly capable in demanding situations and do it all without spending too much money?

20.79 lbs (56cm): $2,254: marinbikes.com

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