Trek Mountain Bike Merlin 5

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Set Your Budget But Dont Go Too Low

New Trek Marlin Is Here! What’s Changed? | 2022 Trek Marlin 5 Mountain Bike

Entry-level bikes still need to adhere to proper safety standards and it is a mistake to think that since you are just going for simple rides, that 60 dollar bike from the supermarket will do. They always compensate in quality to get the price that low. The frame will usually be heavier and made from inferior steel.

The individual components will be of lesser quality as well and unless you plan on sticking to paved roads only, you will probably be replacing all of them within months, perhaps even weeks. For a good quality entry-level mountain bike, you will be looking at a minimum of around 400 USD but will still pay below 750 USD.

What About The Gear Shifters / Shift Levers

A bike within this price range will often have a 21-speed drivetrain gears, which refers to a 7 Speed cassette and 3 chain-rings in the front.

A 20 speed or 2 x 10, 10-speed cassette with 2 chain rings, which generally improves performance due to producing less duplicate ratios. A lot of bikes will have just the one ring up front in order to simplify as well as take away some of the weight.

Dont Underestimate The Value Of Frame And Wheel Size

Frame size matters greatly for your comfort levels, whether you are trail riding or just biking for commuter purposes. Always consult the size chart that accompanies the bike. That being said, do try the bike before buying or exchange it if it doesnt quite fit well after buying online.

Nowadays, the 27.5 inch wheels are among the most popular in use. The 29 is popular with some, though it doesnt fit every type of person. The biggest perk about 29 wheels is that they can increase grip and stability on some trails , but can be too heavy for some grips.

Also, note the knobs on the wheel itself, rougher terrain will benefit from from the more pronounced knobs while speeds will increase with a smoother design once on less aggressive trails. Think carefully what type of trails you will be hitting.

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Trek Marlin Vs X Caliber

Trek Marlin bikes and X Caliber bikes are both great options for those looking for a quality mountain bike. However, there are some key differences between the two that should be considered before making a purchase.

X Caliber bikes, on the other hand, are designed for experienced riders who are looking for a more performance-oriented bike. They are typically lighter and have higher-end components, which results in a higher price tag.

And 29 Wheels And Tires

Buy 2020 Trek Marlin 5 Mountain Bike Teal

Depending on how tall you are and which frame size end up going for, your Trek Marlin 5 will come with either 27.5 or 29 wheels. The XS and S frame comes with smaller wheels, whereas all other sizes are 29ers. This is a great solution we are seeing more and more often nowadays. It decreases the standover height of the bike and ensures a much better fit for all rider heights.

The rims on all variations are Bontrager Connection. Theyre double-walled and have 32 spokes, which means theyll take plenty of abuse. The Bontrager XR2 tires are not tubeless, but they will give you plenty of grip on both the 27.5 and the 29 diameter.

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Trek Marlin 5 Hardtail Bike 2022


You’re new to the trail and youre looking for a real mountain bike that doubles as a commuterand you want it all at an exceptional value.

A lightweight aluminum frame with internal routing to protect your cables and add to the bike’s sleek look, 2×8 drivetrain, a wide range of gearing so you always have the right gear for your terrain, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, and a terrain-smoothing suspension fork with a lockout.

Best Feature: Hydraulic Disc Brakes

The feature that will make all Marlin 5 owners happy is the hydraulic disc brakes. This is the biggest improvement compared to the cheaper Marlin 4 which comes with mechanical disc brakes.

Hydraulic disc brakes present a major increase in stopping power and precision. They require less strength input from your fingers but offer more braking power output.

Trek has gone a step further and equipped the 13.5& 15.5 frame sizes with short-reach brake levers to accommodate short riders with smaller hands.

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Alpha Silver Aluminum Frame

Trek Marlin 5 comes with an impressive alloy frame and things are kept tidy with the cables being internally routed.

For an entry-level bike, this is most surprising . It is rare to see internally routed cables. I love it, it makes the bike look sleek and it stops the cables from collecting dirt and becoming damaged.

On Which Terrain Does The Trek Marlin 5 Perform Well

Trek Marlin 5 Mountain Bike | Is it a good value?

We have to keep in mind that the Trek Marlin 5 is an entry-level machine so it isn’t designed to be ridden by an expert rider, taking it on challenging trail riding.

Saying that the Marlin 5 is capable of rougher terrain and it works well as a trail bike. I’d always suggest that you check what the difficulty levels are before you hit the trail.

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Shimano Drivetrain And Components

Another positive aspect of Trek Marlin 5 is that the entire drivetrain is composed of Shimano parts. Sure, they are entry-level quality, but they offer more than enough in terms of performance and precision for the average beginner trail rider. In total, Marlin 5 has 21 gears on a 3×7 drivetrain and comes with Shimano Tourney front and rear derailleurs. However, the shifters are Shimano Altus, which is one quality class higher than Tourney.

Trek Marlin 5 Vs Giant Talon 3

The Giant Talon 3 has some good reviews and they’re well deserved. In a lot of ways, these entry-level bikes are similar so are there any features that set them apart?

When compared to the Marlin 5, the Talon 3 seems to offer more traction when pedaling. This could potentially mean that as a rider, you don’t feel as safe underfoot on the Trek Marlin and you could find that you’re more likely to slip.

Though, the Trek Marlin 5 does give you a greater range of color types to choose from. So for trail riders who want to make their bike their own, the Trek could be the way to go.

There is a difference in wheel size too, with the Trek Marlin 5 you get 29″ wheels, whereas Giant Talon 3 gets 27.5″. Which one is better will come down to what you want from a bike.

The 27.5″ wheels do mean the bike is lighter, which could be an appealing bicycle option to the commuter, beginners, or anyone who wants a bit more control!

Both hardtail mountain bikes have plenty to offer and the specifications are similar. For me, it all comes down to wheel sizes and the experience you want when you’re cycling.

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Trek Marlin 5 Review: Conclusion

The Trek Marlin 5 s an excellent little all-rounder that provides fun for beginners, children, and everyday thrill-seekers looking for everday adventures on a great bike.

While not fit for more extreme off-road experiences and riders, the Marlin 5 is a great bike as a budget option, combining high quality trail worthy designs with some surprising design choices you will usually only find in more expensive models.

Do you need the perfect gift for your outdoorsy child or are you looking for a nice bike that handles the commute as well as a weekend outing? Then Marlin 5 is perfect for you.

Is Trek Marlin 5 The Right Choice For You

Trek Marlin 5 27.5"  Hardtail MTB Bike 2017

Now youre probably wondering if this bike will make you happy or not. If youre purchasing it as your first mountain bike or you dont have very high aspirations when it comes to trail riding, Trek Marlin 5 should meet your demands.

We especially like it because its good at more than one thing.

Trek Marlin 5 is not strictly a trail-specific bike that would feel sluggish in all other settings. Its equally efficient on both paved roads and dirt roads.

However, its wide tires, massive wheels, and capable hydraulic disc brakes still make it more suitable for riders who plan to spend more time in forests and on mountains than on smooth city streets.

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Trek Marlin 5 Alternatives

If you are looking for other quality hardtails in the same pricing category, the Vilano Ridge 2.0 Mountain Bike and the Tommaso 2018 Gran Sasso 29er are excellent options. The Vilano is an excellent entry-level option and the Tommaso will suit the entry-level as well as the intermediate rider. So, consider the last one if you are looking to grow as a mountain biker but dont want to make a switch to another bike too fast.

Another option to consider is the closely similar Trek Marlin 6 which weve also reviewed.

Trek Marlin 5 Vs Marlin 6

The first difference has to be the cost, the Trek Marlin 5 comes is quite a lot less than the 6 – this makes it an ideal first trail bike for those new to mountain biking, or those on a budget.

Having said that for trail riders looking to spend a bit more money, you do get a durable fork, a 2x drivetrain – including a better groupset and you even get a lighter bike!

One thing I do like with the Trek Marlin 6 is that there is the option to have either a man’s frame or a women’s. Whilst I find that women can ride men’s bikes, it’s nice to have an angled top tube.

You also get more options to customize certain features, so if you fancy a different wheel size, then the Marlin 6 can cater to that.

The standout benefit would be the upgrades with the fork – the fork on the 6 is a fair bit lighter than that on the Marlin 5. This reduces the weight of the bike, making biking trails or the commute easier.

Equally, the fork has a lockout and preload function so you are able to completely lock the fork to increase how efficiently you pedal – making your adventures easier!

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Review Of Trek Marlin 5

Trek Marlin 5 is an entry-level trail bike perfectly suited for beginner riders and enthusiasts who need a dependable two-wheeler to hit the trails or commute on a daily basis.

BEST FOR Beginner trail ridersFEATURES: Shimano components, Hydraulic Disc Brakes, 100mm travel, 21 speeds

Trek Marlin 5 Quick Overview

2021 Trek Marlin 5 – Women’s mountain bike review and ride

Marlin 5 is characterized by an excellent off-road-ready aluminum frame, cushy front suspension, burly wheels and tires, hydraulic disc brakes and a lot more.

Its one of the best-valued models from the Marlin series, offering multiple improvements compared to the lower-priced Marlin 4. Some of these are better brakes, better hubs, and a better bottom bracket.

Its an entry-level bicycle, most suitable for beginner riders who plan to do a little bit of everything and too much of nothing.

Key Specs:

  • Tire Size: 27.5 / 29 x 2.20
  • Weight: 13.97 kg / 30.81 lbs

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Who Is Trek Marlin 5 Best Suited For

Like any other bicycle out there, Trek Marlin 5 will not be a good buy for everyone. This is an entry-level machine mainly intended for beginner riders and those who do not take cycling too seriously.

Trek Marlin 5 should be shortlisted by beginner riders who are looking for their first mountain bike to commute or explore the dirt roads in their area.

If riding a bike is a weekend activity or a mode of transportation for you, then Marlin 5 will meet and exceed your expectations. Youll be able to cover thousands of miles on it without any upgrades and explore farther than before. However, if your idea of cycling is to hit trails as hard as you can and test your skills and limits, then you should save a bit more money and invest in a bike that comes with slightly better components.

Trek Marlin Vs X Caliber Bikes Riding Experience

When it comes to choosing a bike, its important to consider your riding experience. If youre new to biking, youll want to choose a bike that is comfortable and easy to ride. Treks Marlin bikes are a great option for beginner riders.

They offer a smooth, comfortable ride with plenty of traction and stability. If youre looking for a more adventurous ride, X Caliber Bikes mountain bikes are perfect for experienced riders.

They offer a challenging and exciting ride with plenty of features to keep you safe and comfortable on the trails. Whichever bike you choose, make sure its the right fit for your riding experience.

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Beefy Bontrager Wheels And Tires

Last but not least, the beefy Bontrager wheels and tires are some of the first things you will notice on your Marlin 5. The 13.5 and 15.5 sized frames come with 27.5 wheels, whereas all larger frames come with 29 wheels.

The wheels are Bontrager Connection. They have 32 spokes, so they are quite strong, and theyre double-walled which means they can withstand some beating.

The Bontrager XR2 tires are 2.20 wide on 27.5 wheels. However, when it comes to 29 wheels, the rear is narrower at 2.0.

These wheels and tires are a bit heavier than ideal, but once you get them going, theyll take you wherever you direct the handlebars.

Why You’ll Love It

Trek marlin 5 mountain bike
  • It’s a real mountain bike that’s also perfectly suited to daily commutes, rides around campus, or just getting from A to B on any surface
  • Smaller frame sizes have short-reach brake levers that make it easier and more comfortable for riders with smaller hands to brake confidently
  • Rack and kickstand mounts make it easy to accessorize, so your mountain bike can double as a rugged commuter
  • Like every model in the Marlin family, it’s backed by Trek’s lifetime warranty
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    Trek Marlin Vs X Caliber Bikes Saddle

    When it comes to choosing a bike, there are many factors to consider. One important factor is the saddle. The saddle is the seat on the bike, and it can make a big difference in comfort and performance.

    Trek and X Caliber are two popular brands of bikes, and they offer different options when it comes to saddles. Trek offers the Bontrager H1 Saddle, which is a basic, comfortable saddle that is great for recreational riding.

    X Caliber offers the WTB Volt Saddle, which is a more performance-oriented saddle that is great for racing or hard riding.

    It depends on what kind of riding you plan to do. If you are just getting into biking, or if you plan to do mostly leisurely riding, the Trek Bontrager H1 Saddle is a great option.

    If you are an experienced rider who likes to go hard on the trails, or if you are planning to do some

    racing, the X Caliber WTB Volt Saddle is a great option.

    Next: Think About The Right Gear

    When setting a budget for a mountain bike for everyday adventures, it is easy to forget you need more than just the bike itself. Keep some room for these items selected for your ride comfort as well as ride safety. This list does not include safety items for more hardcore trails such as knee and elbow pads.

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    Suitable Types Of Mountain Biking

    • Trail riding without excessive TTFs. Trail riding is a beautiful introduction into the sport if you focus on multi-use paths , bridleways and other tracks that require no technical skills. The Marlin 5 is an awesome bike for that, with the appropriate riser bars, mounts and dropper post.
    • Singletrack, doubletrack and bike parks: These cover many types of trails in one. Make sure to pay attention to the color coding since they determine the level you and your bike will need.
    • Downhill : The excellent hydraulic brake system is very suitable for downhill rides and riders. But here too, pay attention to difficulty levels and do not push it to extremes, despite the high durable nature of the Trek 5.
    • Cross Country : In some cases, cross country can be enjoyed if you forego the possible jumps. The bike it otherwise suited as a hardtail with 100mm front suspension and the corresponding mounts. Cross Country tracks range from fire roads to more technical singletracks.
    • Your everyday commute: The high levels of comfort and stability of the Marlin 5 mean that you can even use this bike on your commutes as well!

    Shimano Tourney 21 Speed Drivetrain

    2021 Trek Marlin 5 Mountain Bike | The best Marlin 5 yet?

    It’s common to see Shimano Tourney components at this price point. The quality is good and you have options!

    You can either choose between a 3 x front derailleur or if you wish to reduce weight, you can opt for a 1 x Shimano Tourney at the front.

    Which one should you choose?

    Choosing the 3x will give you greater flexibility but more to think about. The 1x system will reduce the number of gears but allows you to spend more time focusing on your riding.

    I favor 1x systems for their simplicity. When you’re mountain biking, needing to changing the big ring can be one thing too many to get used to, especially if this is your entry-level bike and therefore your first!

    If you’re looking where the bike could be upgraded in the future then it could be the Shimano Tourney TY300 parts. Whilst they are decent and they are certainly a fantastic starting point, there are better options out there. A small upgrade in the future could see you finding it easier to climb hills.

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