RAD RIGS: Tim White's Marin Alcatraz

This is a new section where we showcase interesting, unusual, rare, esoteric, custom and cool mountain bikes and delve into why and how these rad rigs came to be. We’re taking reader submissions, so if you have an interesting mountain bike to share, please email editor@spokemagazine.com. 

What is it? 

The Marin Alcatraz is a dirt jump frame kit designed by slopestyle and freerider Matt Jones. More importantly, a local grom down the track told me it was the second-lightest DJ frame on the market. It’s made from some space-age alloy and comes in two sizes—this is the large version. My favourite part is the built-in chain tensioner, which makes getting the wheel straight and chain tight super simple. 

Why this bike? 

I had a 24-inch cruiser BMX that I would roost on, but I killed it earlier this year. I had a chromoly 26-inch that I used for a bit, but I was super reluctant to give a DJ bike a go again. I’d owned them previously, going back about a decade, but I didn’t like the feel of them. The category has been through some recent design improvements, so I decided to give one a blast.  

“What a weapon! Some of the first hits on it were out of control.”

What a weapon! Some of the first hits on it were out of control—it felt like I was riding something sent from Nasa Mission Control giving me some serious scares with both the speed, launch and manoeuvrability of the bike. Folding a tabletop at high velocity is completely different to a full chromoly slug—it felt wild to be so responsive. I was also apprehensive about the size, but the longer frame is spot on for my 6-foot 1-inch height. Overall, Im super stoked with the performance. 

Frame details 

I like bikes simple and sleek, the small details like no gyro mounting holes, a traditional double triangle and a classic Marin-style paint job wrap up a killer package for anyone.

Wheels/tyres 

Currently, I’m running a loaner set from “The Waz Man” that has Hope hubs laced to some rims with cool-looking skinwall Schwalbe tyres. They have a wild rasta-anodized theme with titanium bits all over, the tyres are both 2.25-inch-ish and run fast with 60psi.  

Suspension 

Another hand me down from my BFF “The Waz Man” is a RockShox Pike with the perfect amount of lateral flex, pogo-like performance and about the right amount of no stickers on the legs for full optimisation.

Controls 

One brake to rule them all, rear only: a Paul V-brake lever I’ve owned for about 20 years connected to an Avid BB7 cable-activated disc brake. I like the simple cable-style brakes for adjustment and for feathering on manuals.  

Handlebars / Grips / Stem 

One of my favourite parts is this CXP top load stem. Handmade in Howick by Bruno at Cycle Express, it just looks killer. It also clamps hard. All I know is that the oldest set of Marin bars in known existence aren’t going anywhere, and it’s a good thing because these stock Marin Rift Zone bars are old and need replacing.  

Thow your lock-ons in the trash and wrap your hands around a set of ODI-made S&M Hoder grips. And, while you’re at it, add in the ODI brake-lever cover to make your office ready for business. 

Drivetrain 

Profile Racing cranks, bottom bracket and sprocket wrapped in an ACS chain. The Marin pedals are killer. These have been moved between a few bikes and used with a pair of Vans—next-level Badd. 

Seat post/seat 

Thomson lay back 27.2mm with a shim and headset top race in gold anno to smooth the tubing size transition. Nothing says this ride’s a bogan better than a gatorskin seat made by Profile Racing. 

Miscellaneous—deadly by design  

Over the years, being buried deep in bicycle subcultures has shaped my aesthetic-first approach. A bike has to look fast, badd and deadly, combining the CXP top load and layback post gives it the lines to define. 

Do you have an interesting, unusual, custom bike you’d like to showcase?

Email editor@spokemagazine.com with your submission. If we’re into it, we’ll publish it.