Getting back on the bike. New owner of a Trek Marlin 5

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    • #127171


      Hello from Indianapolis Indiana!

      After a few years of not really riding, I decided I wanted to get back on the bike. I bought and equipped a new 2015 Trek Marlin 5 yesterday and already logged 30 miles (24 first day) according to the Cateye.

      I used to ride a wonderful (but too big) L.L. Bean Countryroads branded (Raleigh) solid frame/fork 26" mountain bike as a teen and young adult. I beat the snot out of that bike. In the 10 years I rode it as just a 90 to 120 lb skinny kid I broke or wore out 2 chains, 1 crankset, 2 forks, and a seat… until I left it out back of my apartment cabled up and forgot to latch the padlock after a 12 hour shift the day after my 20th birthday

      After the theft, I bought a car. Eventually I borrowed a similar but smaller Schwinn 26" unisex mountain bike from ’08 to ’14… but rarely rode it.

      My metabolism has slowed now that my 20’s are over and I’m getting concerned I may never get my skinny self back, not that I want to be "skinny" but maybe a healthy few extra is fine. I want to loose about 10 pounds and my wife wanted to ride bikes again like we did as teenage lovebirds, so off to the Bike store we went.

      I thought hard about what I realistically would do with my new bike and what I could actually spend and decided my TOTAL budget would be $800 equipped. I would be riding 80% road and 15% hard dirt and then the occasional run down the local 7.7 mile "beginner" river bed/bank trail … the same trail I destroyed one of the L.L. Bean’s forks on. I looked at "hybrid bikes" but hated them. Even though knobby mountain bike tires are not ideal for pavement, I had no problem with them as a kid and I like the way they ride.

      I started at the family friend’s LBS on a Trek 820 16", and absolutely hated it, it felt cheap, heavy, and toyish. 3500 16"… ok, better. 3500 Disc 16", better yet… Marlin 5 15.5 (almost same price as 3500 disc) Nice ride, maneuverable and . Marlin 6, busted budget and no experience with hydraulic brakes… No.

      I rode the Marlin 5 around and could only hate the seat, the salesman swapped the nutcracker out for a gel seat for my bony thin skinned butt and I was sold. Since I’m 5’5" I got the 15.5" frame in fishing lure yellow, plus a front mud guard, helmet, co2 pumper and matching blue bottle cage to go with it.

      I took it straight home parked it and drove out the local bike superstore and got a Cateye Cadence and a Kryptonite Series 2 U lock & cable combo, installed them and rode into the city. In all I put 24 miles on it in the first afternoon. The seat is still to hard as I can barely sit on anything other than the soft stuff, but maybe I’m just too soft still.

      My wife got jealous and her 1990’s vintage mountain bike was too far gone to be safe and reliable so she got a new bike too. She picked up a lightly used 2002? Giant Cypress LX 15" Womens with Grip-shift, a nice RockShox Metro fork (not a recalled one), wide cushy seat on a pogo tube, two tone silver/dark green-blue paint, brand new brake pads, new wider and more aggressive Bontrager H2 tires, and fresh tubes for $200. She is a pavement rider but she will casually ride the smooth packed dirt bike/walk trails if I’m with her. She loves it.

      I have $70 left in the budget for lighting maybe later I’ll add a back tire rack or mud guard. If I get serious, I may take advantage of the Suntour upgrade program.

      Any advice (other than return the bike and spend more $$$) is appreciated.

    • #127172

      Have fun. 😃 off you get into the off road you’ll want …well everything upgraded, but you can go a long way on the basic entry level bike. Bring a pump and a couple tubes. Ride like you store it. Lol

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