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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shuffleman's Avatar
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    Giant Revel vs Trek Marlin opinions

    I was interested in taking opinions on these two bikes. I am returning to MTB since my 7 yr old son is wanting to start riding the trails. I rode hard back in the 90's but moved and migrated to the road.
    I have to keep the cost down on this bike or my wife will not be a happy person. I am looking at the entry level bikes for Giant and Trek as that is what my lbs carries.
    Specifically, the Revel and the Marlin. The shifters were ok and the shocks were ok but I only rode on gravel, the road and in the grass. I am not going to ride like I did in the past unless my son gets hard core into it but that will be years down the road.
    Are the suspension forks on these particular bikes worth it? or should I look to spend more? Depending on the model of the Marlin, they range from $500 to $700. I rode a Revel that was $440. The frames were both fine as was the comfort. I am concerned that these forks are too cheap though. For my current to 3 year riding scenario, will I be satisfied with these entry level bikes? or will I be left wanting?
    Both were equipped with Suntour shocks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member spdracr39's Avatar
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    They are fine entry level bikes but the answer lies in how they will be ridden and maintained. Will they perform or last as well as a bike that costs three times as much? Probably not but they are a starting point and when you want to get into heavier riding you can trade up. There is a guy that rides with us on an entry level 26" Trek with the Suntour fork on pretty rocky and hilly terrain. He is able to go everywhere we go on our high end bikes without any problems.

  3. #3
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    Suntour has a program that lets owners of Suntour forks buy a fork at a discount. You could take advantage of that if after riding a while you decide you want a better one. The Raidon(air fork) is $190, and I'm sure it would be considerably better than the forks that come with the bikes you're considering. That's not much less than what Raidons can be found online from some sources, but some people have had problems and gotten counterfeit forks from certain sellers.

    SR Suntour North America | Consumer Site
    Last edited by Pendergast; 01-20-15 at 12:40 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post
    but some people have had problems and gotten counterfeit forks from certain sellers.
    Apparently they're OEM model forks that were made for the Asian market, these OEM forks have lower specs then the retail versions of the fork with the same name which are shown on the Suntour website.
    These sellers ebay & amazon with the cheap forks are show photos of retail model forks off the Suntour website but are selling OEM forks with lower specs.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    Apparently they're OEM model forks that were made for the Asian market, these OEM forks have lower specs then the retail versions of the fork with the same name which are shown on the Suntour website.
    These sellers ebay & amazon with the cheap forks are show photos of retail model forks off the Suntour website but are selling OEM forks with lower specs.
    Thanks for the correction. The problems I had read about were actually with the Epicon. Don't why I was thinking it was with the Raidon. Do you know if the OEM difference also occurs with the Raidon?
    Last edited by Pendergast; 01-20-15 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    I am not sold on the Suntour OEM trade-in program, but if you get a new bike with a Suntour XC-series and decide that you want to replace it, you certainly have a variety of options. I replaced a Suntour XCT on my father-in-law's Felt 29er with a Manitou Tower Expert (as of 2014, it would be a Minute Expert) several years ago and it was a night and day difference.

    I think the Revel is pretty light duty. The Marlin should be more singletrack-worthy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post
    Thanks for the correction. The problems I had read about were actually with the Epicon. Don't why I was thinking it was with the Raidon. Do you know if the OEM difference also occurs with the Raidon?
    No idea on the specs of the Raidons on ebay.
    You hear about the OEM Epicons with lower specs because the buyers think they're getting a $400+ fork for under $200.
    It looks like it can be luck with what you get when you buy a cheap Epicon, some people have reported getting a 'better' quality version of the fork from a same seller that has sold someone else one of the lower quality versions.



    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I am not sold on the Suntour OEM trade-in program
    Plenty of people seem happy with the improved forks they're getting with the upgrade program.
    The $189 Raidons are probably comparable to something like a Rockshox XC32 Solo Air.

  8. #8
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    Plenty of people seem happy with the improved forks they're getting with the upgrade program. The $189 Raidons are probably comparable to something like a Rockshox XC32 Solo Air.
    Yes, and it bears mentioning that it is Rockshox's cheapest air fork. So, IMHO, if people want to upgrade they should consider something better still. Manitou Marvel or Minute, for example.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Yes, and it bears mentioning that it is Rockshox's cheapest air fork. So, IMHO, if people want to upgrade they should consider something better still. Manitou Marvel or Minute, for example.
    To buy a new Trek hardtail with a XC32 Solo Air fork you'd have to spend over $1300

    You could put a $189 fork on a $500 bike and you'd similar frame and fork to a bike that costs over $1300

    Same frame geometry.
    $499.99 - Marlin 5
    $1,339.99 - X-Caliber 9

    The OP said....
    "I have to keep the cost down on this bike"
    "I am looking at the entry level bikes"
    "they range from $500 to $700. I rode a Revel that was $440."
    " I am not going to ride like I did in the past unless my son gets hard core into it but that will be years down the road."

    A Marvel would be a good fork to put on this type of bike, I'd say a Minute would probably have too much travel.

    Does the OP want to put a $500 fork on a $500 bike?

  10. #10
    hermit
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    I'm a 52 year old guy who is fairly hard on bikes, and rides shorter technical rides a couple of times a week.

    Coming from a GF Mullet, I find that I'm very satisfied with my 2014 Marlin. It seems pretty light to me, and is easy to move around on rough trails.

    I've never had any issues with the fork, but I've never been that obsessive of a gear guy. If it ever does cause issues I'll go back to my LBS and have them recommend another fork.

    Steve Z

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