by James Carter
Illinois State University Police Department
It was an exciting year for our bike program here at Illinois State University Police Department. We did numerous bike patrol programs and had the luxury of training with two-time World Downhill Champion Shaums March, who will be offering a similar training course at the 20th Annual IPMBA Conference in Chesterfield-St. Louis, Missouri. Aside from that, one of the most exciting events was when we received our new Marin Hawk Hill Patrol Bikes.
We were certainly in need of some new bikes this year. Between regular patrol and events, we could barely keep our old, battered bikes running. So when we received these new bikes, it was like Christmas in July.
The Hawk Hill frame is made of 6061 aluminum. Marin’s double-butted Hydro-Edge top and down tubes with anti-flex seat and chain stays make the frame light and durable with an unsurpassed ride. The Hydro-Edge frame design is supposed to allow the bike to be more responsive, fast, and efficient. I can attest to all three of these manufacturer’s claims. This bike doesn’t take much effort to get it going.
The components set up on the Hawk Hill are stellar for a bike in this price category. The shock is a Marzochi 22R with a 100mm of travel. It comes with a preload and rebound adjustments. This fork is very capable of withstanding the punishment of long stair descents and launching off small drops.
The drive train consists of a TruVativ crank set and bottom bracket, along with a complete set of Shimano Deore line of shifters, derailleurs, chain and cassette. Each of these components has performed flawlessly over the last six months. They are easy to adjust and you can replace them without breaking your department’s budget if you have the occasional mishap.
One of the most impressive features is the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes as standard equipment. This is almost unheard of for a bike in this price category. I have yet to come across a bike for under $1,000 with a quality hydraulic disc brake. Most come with cable-actuated discs.
The bike rolls down the road with WTB DX23 disc wheels. It came with WTB Prowler knobby tires, but we swapped them for more street-oriented tires. We went to the IPMBA Product Purchase Program for Kenda 2.3 Kiniptions, which improved our ride on the pavement. The wheels have proven to be durable during the last six months of riding.
WTB also supplies the saddle for the Hawk Hill, which allows me to ride comfortably for the duration of my shift.
The only negative I have encountered during my six months of riding the Hawk Hill is the quality of the composite pedals. These pedals only withstood a few months of police abuse before having to be replaced with something more suitable.
After riding the Hawk Hill, I am most impressed with the overall durability and comfort of the bike, not to mention the price. The retail price on the Hawk Hill is $965, certainly a reasonable price for a patrol bike. However, Marin’s IPMBA Product Purchase Program price for the Hawk Hill came in at $549. This enabled us to purchase new bags, racks, and lights, resulting in a fully-equipped, high-quality patrol bike for less than the bike’s retail price, something every department can appreciate during the current budget constraints.
This bike has certainly produced over the last six months, and we expect to have them for years to come. Thanks to those at Marin who made our wishes come true.
Marin bikes are available at a discount through the IPMBA Product Purchase Program. For dealer specifics, contact Alex Wise at 800-222-7557 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.marinbikes.com for more details about the Marin product line.
James has been with the ISU Police Department for three years, serving on the bike patrol for the last two. He currently works the 11-7 shift. He is also a certified firearms instructor and Field Training Officer. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
© 2010 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of IPMBA News.