I haven’t really rode/owned a bike since I was a kid and I’m 33 years old now but very active. I live in Eastern Nebraska and would primarily be riding beginner to intermediate trails around the Omaha Metro area once I feel confident and also riding simple paths with my 9 year old. I don’t plan on hitting any big jumps, going crazy fast or anything super technical at this point. I just want to ride and have a good bit of fun with a little bit of air. If I get to a point where doing those things is a priority then I would be willing to get another bike that is more suited to those activities like a full suspension and spend some serious money. Bike selection is pretty limited in my area and really only have Treks to choose from. So with that in mind I have been looking at the Trek Marlin 5, 6, and 7. I understand you obviously get better components the more that you spend, but what I am really interested in what will do the job and not be overkill. For example I don’t need a Ferrari to drive to work, it would be fun but unnecessary. Any insight would be appreciated. I’m really kinda leaning to the Marlin 6 since it is routed for a dropper post. Not really interested in other brands since the local bike shops have good service and tons of Treks on hand.
You are on the right track. Go with the Marlin 6. That is a good bike to start with based on your description of how you want to use it. Trek is a very solid brand and the Marlin is a good entry level bike. You can develop your skills and see how into you will be. After a few years and more becoming more educated you will probably have a good idea of what you want next. By the way welcome to the MTB community. Riding with kids is great. Just took my two 9 yr olds this morning to the trails and we had a great time.
Good deal. I have tried to do a lot of research but tons of it can be pretty conflicting depending on what camp the writer/reviewer is sitting in. Just didn’t want to end up with too much bike (probably not a bad thing). I just didn’t want to regret not spending another $150 for what the Marlin 7 has which is likely overkill for my needs at this point and the extra money can be put into all the other things I need to hit the trail.
I think you’re on the right path – a quality hardtail is a great place to start. Marlin could be a very good fit if budget is a major concern, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, the Roscoe 7 could pay off in the long run. 1) hard tail with plus tires (2.8″) is a great combination – the plus tires will gobble up the smaller roots and rocks you’re likely starting on. And even if you do a serious upgrade to full suspension later, there’s a good chance you’d keep riding the hardtail+. 2) I’m a big fan of dropper post and 1X drivetrain – Roscoe 7 has both.
Marlin may be a very good fit, but just throwing this out there if you’re willing to stretch. Make the choice, ride it hard, and never look back – the trail is in front of you!