Trek Marlin Mountain Bike Review

3.69 out of 5
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Q: are the marlin 5 shocks adjustable -Guest

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on Jan 29, 2013
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Product Options (6)
Trek Marlin SS
Trek Marlin 6
Trek 2017 Trek Marlin 7
Trek 2017 Trek Marlin 4 27.5
Trek Trek Marlin 4 (29er)
Trek 2020 Marlin 7

February 19, 2019
Model/Year: 2019

Pros: Awesome bike, fits the budget for beginners. Good handle bar grips. Good tyres

Cons: Only 75mm suspension, 14-28 cassette, riveted front chain rings

Recommendation: Trek could have given hydraulic brakes.. But overall a good bike for beginners.

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July 24, 2018
Model/Year: 2018

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June 1, 2017
Model/Year: 2012

Pros: Durable frame, great value as a starter bike, easily upgraded along the way, comfortable and capable geometry.

Cons: Fork is the biggest issue, then the heavy wheels.

Recommendation: Great starter bike. As long as you're not the type to blame everything on your equipment you will be satisfied. I've broken the brake levers, rear derailleur, chain, but only after the bike has gone through a few years of hard riding, falling into streams, tumbling down cliffs, falling off of skinnies, etc. The only time I couldn't ride it back in was when the chain exploded due to me crashing down into a stream bed after falling several feet. Replaced the tires right away with more aggressive 2.4 Bontragers, on my second rear cassette and chain after 5 years and 100 hard miles, upgrading the rear derailleur after that broke cleaned up the shifting nicely. The only thing that ever bothers me is the clunky front fork and occasionally the wheels flexing, brakes squealing despite proper adjustments. For the price this things has survived way more than should ever be expected. I keep pace and follow hardcore bikers all the time and there's never an issue with me keeping up that is the bike's fault.

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April 9, 2017
Pros: Decent Geometry Capable Lightweight Frame Brakes are Okay

Cons: Fork, wheels, tires, shifting components(especially in the rear), cranks

Recommendation: None of the components on this bike are suitable for mountain biking. With that said you have two options. You can replace or upgrade nearly every part on the bike or you can get a better bike from the start. Either way you'll likely end up spending the same amount of money in the long run. I realize this is not a high end bike. I didn't expect to have to overall the entire bike only months after owning it. Bottom line is: go with something else. After you add up the initial cost of the bike plus all the upgrades/repairs, you'll have spent more than what you could have spent on a better bike at the beginning, and saved a lot of headache and aggravation.

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February 27, 2017
Model/Year: 2017

Pros: Great Handling Great Price

Cons: Heavy Cheap Grips

Recommendation: Beginner riders who want to cover various terrains.

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August 30, 2016
Pros: Nice beginner bike tough and can handle hard stuff

Cons: Heavy and gears aren't the best

Recommendation: Good bike for beginners

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August 3, 2015
Pros: Great starter bike, good frame and wheels, decent components

Cons: brakes, sun tour fork, tires

Recommendation: upgrade to hydraulic brakes, new fork and tires. $500 and this is a very capable cross country bike

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June 4, 2014
Model/Year: 2011 Marlin SS

Pros: Price was right
Fully upgradeable
Can be converted to geared with purchase of different sliding dropout.
Pretty stout - nothing has broken, rarely needs adjusted, and it's always ready to ride.
Color scheme is cool in gold/white/graphite matte, and paint has held up well.
Stiff frame.

Cons: Awful boat anchor stock Suntour suspension fork. Grrr.
Relatively heavy wheelset.
Was unable to make wheelset tubeless with ghetto system.
Stock Tektro brakes stink - replaced them with BB7's and saw major improvement.
Stock Bontrager tires were not at all suited to real trail conditions where I live, so those tires made me a weeny scared rider until I could afford some meatier rubber that actually had traction in the loose conditions I ride in Colo Spgs.
Slow handler with stock 100mm travel fork. Replaced with shorter RIGID fork and absolutely love the setup. Quicker handling and dropped 3 lbs off the front end.
I didn't love the Big Sweep bars because they shorten the cockpit too much.
Stiff frame.

Recommendation: Decent way to get into SS'ing, and the bike is fully upgradeable. Nothing immediately needs changed out, although I kept catching the seat clamp on my shorts and changed it quickly to a non-quick-release version. The fork is definitely a bummer, but I rode it about 350 miles before I just couldn't take it any more. Rumor has it this is the same frame as the Rig. Plan to get stronger and become a better rider, because the bike is a bit hefty at 28.5 lbs even with a nice steel rigid fork replacing the original boat anchor. This bike made me fall in love with single speeding - it is a blast to ride, and the bike is ALWAYS ready to ride because there are no finicky components that need lubricated and adjusted. I can hear this bike calling my name from the garage all the way from my office. Could increase the number of 'sick days' you take from work...

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May 30, 2014
Model/Year: 2013

Pros: Inexpensive
Good Frame
Shifts Smooth

Cons: Fork (SR Suntour XCM)
-Rebound is very aggressive
-Not enough adjustability in the preload

Brakes (Tektro Novela)
-Loud when wet
-Not enough modulation

-Not good in wet/muddy conditions, otherwise they perform fine.

Recommendation: Because it is an entry level bike it is expected that some components aren't the greatest. This is especially evident on the fork and brakes. Once those two things are upgraded I am sure it will be a great inexpensive bike. Everything else seems to be quality and performs well. Also the stock tires are not meant for wet/muddy/loose conditions.

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May 1, 2014
Pros: Great tough bike. Great drive train

Cons: Cheap fork and brakes

Recommendation: Get one if you need a hard tail

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Trek Marlin 3.69 out of 5 based on 15 ratings. 15 user reviews.