Hello one and all! I’m very new into the mountain biking game, and for Christmas, my parents were gracious enough to gift me a 2021 Trek Marlin 5 (Medium/Large). Now, firstly, I do understand that this is more of a light, beginning stage mountain bike, doubling as a commuter bike as well. And I know that I may get some comments about how I shouldn’t bother putting money into this kind of bike and trust me, I don’t plan on dumping too much either. However, with that being said, I still would like to upgrade a few parts to improve its trail/dirt riding ability, the first one being a Dropper Post. I really am wanting to upgrade to a dropper post; however, I’m getting a little thrown off if I should be more worrying about the post’s travel length? Or if I should be looking at the total length of the dropper. Also, I’m not having much luck finding some good installation videos of a dropper going into a Marlin 5. And on top of that, I’m seeing some videos about having to drill a hole near the bottom of the seat tube somewhere to fit it inside the frame? I guess I’m just asking for a little better understanding of how to buy the correct dropper post for my Marlin 5, and also if there would be any recommendations for certain ones to look at? I’ve been hearing that the Oneup V2 Dropper is a good and affordable option. Also, recommendations on a Dropper remote? I’m most likely going to be stopping by some bike stores too to ask their advice. Thank you for those who took the time to read this and hope to hear back from some of you. If I left out any information, apologies, as I am still a beginner and learning about part names and brands and whatnot. Cheers.
Welcome to mountain biking. I hope you enjoy the ride. A few recommendations:
Go to top right on the Singletracks header and in the search box type Dropper Post. Then read the articles
You can purchase external cable dropper posts if you do not want to drill holes
Ride your bike for awhile, get used to it and learn some skills. Assuming you have a quick release collar on your seat post, make some height adjustments as necessary to see what different seat heights can do for you.
Dropper posts are good for lowering your center of gravity and getting the seat out of the way for jumps, drops and some high speed cornering. These are things you should not be doing right away if you are a beginner.
If you find you are going to use your dropper post a lot and you are going to take on some challenging trails, you should buy the best one you can afford. Anything around $200 or more will get you a good durable post that can be serviced.
I agree with the suggestions to read up a bit on articles on how to pick a dropper, as well as to look at PNW. I recently picked up my first dropper and was similarly perplexed. I confirmed I had internal routing, found the measurements following some articles, then looked at different droppers/companies and found ones for prices I was willing to pay. The one I liked the most was a PNW, so I then messaged their support team to confirm my selection would work with my bike and get some advice about the right size. They were very helpful.
About installation, you may have received a manual or can find one online that may provide some helpful information you need. I attempted installing mine, but found I had to remove the bottom bracket and rear triangle in order to angle the internal routing up the seat tube. I didn’t have the right tools and it took me out of my comfort zone, and it took me a while to get to that point. I ended up calling my local bike shop and they were willing to install it in the $25-35 range, which I ended up doing. (Money is money, and that can be significant added on top of the price of the dropper, but it was way more reasonable than I expected and I had spent a decent amount of time to get to that point already.)
So don’t be afraid to try it out yourself and then ask for some help at the shop. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would give you some guidance if you get stuck. And if you end up taking it in after working on it, remember that you’re not the first to do that and won’t be the last. 🙂
Hey! I just got a Marlin in the fall. First thing I did was pick up some new pedals and a PNW Cascade dropper. You can run it internally to the bottom bracket and then zip tie it up the seat post. Safe as milk and will work fine. Have fun with the bike man!