Trek Marlin 5 29er Mountain Bike Review

3.88 out of 5
Rider Questions


Q: What's the biggest cassette can I put on Marlin 5? -Guest

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Trek Marlin 5

March 25, 2019
Model/Year: 2018 Trek Marlin 5

Pros: Looks nice, 29" wheels

Cons: Saddle, front brake rub, frequent chainsuck

Recommendation: This is not my first bike but I got it for commuting on the road and gravel in town. I recently used it on trails when my FS Cannondale was getting service. It does well on the road but I am not comfortable on the trails. On the trail rides it fell victim to chainsuck twice and ended one of my rides short. The front wheel is hard to align and the disk brake is not aligned properly. These are issues I hear front many Marlin owners. Other than the saddle, I do like it for my commuter. I fear to make any jump on it and take down hill rooty sections slowly. It is what it is for the price.

November 3, 2018
Model/Year: 2018

Pros: Good geometry, hydraulic brakes, fun and easy to ride, nice looking bike.

Cons: None for a bike in this price range.

Recommendation: Great value bike, handles single trails and XC with ease. Upgrade the grips to some lock-ons and fit some grippier pedals to tackle more advanced trails. For fast downhill trails and big jumps I woruld upgrade the forks and upgrade the drivetrain to a 1x setup. This bike is perfect for beginner and intermediate trails, but it will also be fine on advanced lines if you ride smooth and don't case jumps or slam into rocks.

July 7, 2018
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: Excellent affordable beginner MTB. Definitely a good Hardtail starter for anyone who doesn't have $1000 to get a good MTB.

Cons: Coil shocks, cable disc brakes

Recommendation: Beginners should start here and build up by replacing forks, brakes, and wheels to get a excellent hardtail.

February 9, 2018
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: Price, aesthetics

Cons: Weak rims, cheap bottom bracket, wears out quickly

Recommendation: bought this as an entry-level bike and quickly destroyed it. I ride on rocky Texas ground and bent both rims(one irreparable) and blew out the bottom bracket bearings within 6 months. The front fork is a spring and weak. Also, the steering is loose (possibly bearings again). Would not recommend if you are going to use it on fairly aggressive trails. Better suited for dirt paths and roads.

July 12, 2017
Pros: Nice bike. Great for beginners, which I am. I got the 2018 Marlin 5 which have hydraulic disc brakes which makes stopping excellent. Nice feature of locking front shocks for uphill climbs and road riding. Overall very nice bike.

Cons: None yet.

Recommendation: Awesome bike for the price. I am new to mountain biking and this bike is perfect for me

May 8, 2017
Pros: Great for riding over things with the 29" wheels

Cons: Front break rubs

March 29, 2017
Model/Year: 2017 Marlin 5

Pros: Easy to ride. 29" wheels make for a smooth and easy pedal.

Cons: None yet.

Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this bike for a beginner just wanting to get into trail riding.

January 19, 2017
Model/Year: 2015

Pros: cheap good intro to casual biking

Cons: drivetrain fork brakes

Recommendation: My front brake keeps rubbing no matter what I do, and I am pretty sure it has warped after only a year of casual riding. Also, the fork is very stiff and the gears don't shift well. However, at $500, it was a pretty mediocre bike. Probably will have to upgrade soon, however.

August 13, 2016
Pros: Very tough bike. Gears are smooth and easy. Very comfortable. Great color schemes.

Cons: Brakes are just ok.

Recommendation: I really love mine. The color schemes are cool and it's a very sturdy bike overall.

June 4, 2016
Model/Year: 2016

Pros: 29 inch wheels
Good color options
Solid frame

Cons: Front brake is shaky.
Single walled rims that bend easily.
Hubs are not made for New England terain.

Recommendation: I've had this bike for about three months and I've already had to have the front rim trued, the bottom bracket rebuilt (loose again already) and I need a new free hub for the rear rim. I live in New england where most of the trails have a substantial amount of rocks and roots. The bike shop where I bought this bike said that the components are not made for this kind of riding after I purchased the bike. It looks like I'll be replacing all of the components eventually. if you're riding this bike on anything but pavement or packed dirt trails, you would be better off buying a more expensive bike. It would be cheaper than replacing all of the components over a very short period of time. I guess you get what you pay for.

Trek Marlin 5 29er 3.88 out of 5 based on 15 ratings. 15 user reviews.