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First bike - Trek Marlin 5 - Is it worth it?

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First bike - Trek Marlin 5 - Is it worth it?

Old 11-02-18, 02:53 PM
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Cha
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First bike - Trek Marlin 5 - Is it worth it?

I need advice on purchasing my first bike. I've taken a new interests in biking and I don't have a proper bike yet. I live in East Tennessee which has the Smoky Mountains and tons of other trails to take advantage of. I haven't rode a bike in years but I am relatively new to the area and feel biking would be something fun and fit to do on the weekends and to prevent boredom. I bought a used Nishiki a few years ago, which I recently found out is too small for me. So I have plans to save for a 18.5" entry-level bike. I visited a bike shop that provided my proper bike size and recommended the 2019 Trek Marlin 5. I test drove the bike and like everything about it. Style and quality are important to me. It costs $539 at the bike shop which is a bit pricey so I'd have to save up for it.

Before I make a definite decision, I would like feedback on if it's worth it.

Last edited by Cha; 11-02-18 at 03:05 PM. Reason: Added details
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Old 11-02-18, 03:10 PM
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It would help to tell people what kind of riding you will be using it for. Street, trails, commuting, etc. For street use and relatively smooth trails/gravel, I think most would not bother with the suspension fork but that may be important to you. At the end of the day, if you are happy with the bike, and use it, that is what is important.

P.S. On the Trek website they list the bike at $519.00 so I would question why it's $539.00.
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Old 11-02-18, 03:16 PM
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Many buyers here like them.
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Old 11-03-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
It would help to tell people what kind of riding you will be using it for. Street, trails, commuting, etc. For street use and relatively smooth trails/gravel, I think most would not bother with the suspension fork but that may be important to you. At the end of the day, if you are happy with the bike, and use it, that is what is important.

P.S. On the Trek website they list the bike at $519.00 so I would question why it's $539.00.
I would ride trails and mountain biking.
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Old 11-03-18, 12:56 PM
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if not 5,

Marlin 4, and 26" wheel, steel, 820 are cheaper,
if all that matters is what it costs..

My nearby Trek dealer beats Portland (big city) Prices,
but that's the shop owner's choice...

sale tags on many, because summer is over...





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-03-18 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 11-03-18, 01:02 PM
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“Worth it”
Maters to you.

but ask for incentives,
especially this time of the year
a free helmet , 10% discount for a year on bike stuff
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Old 11-03-18, 01:12 PM
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Man, full Tourney. $500 won’t even buy a cassette hub any more?

I’d save up a little longer and get something with an air fork. An x caliber or a roscoe, depends which tire size you like. Or other brand equivalent. I’d have tried a Roscoe but they weren’t in stock when I was shopping and I got a Salsa Timberjack from REI, well under $1000 counting the credits.

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 11-03-18 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 11-03-18, 02:08 PM
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Pretty good choice, the frame is worthy of upgrading if you really get into it. In 1993 I paid $1000 for my first real MTB, a fully rigid Trek 8000, so $539 25 years later for an even better bike is a deal to me.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:04 PM
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Nice bike for the price. Should fit the intended purpose although a bit heavy.
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Old 11-03-18, 04:45 PM
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normal for first bike
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Old 11-04-18, 11:28 AM
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I have a Marlin 5. I do more road biking than mtn biking, that said, I can't really complain. it is a bit heavy but mtn bikes are much heavier than road bikes.
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Old 11-04-18, 03:46 PM
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Good looking bike. I have a similar style and I love it. You'll have a lot of fun on that bike.

I say go for it.
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Old 11-04-18, 03:56 PM
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Trek bikes are great Ive got an Emonda Sl5 and I love it
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Old 11-04-18, 05:16 PM
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My 2c is to buy a used mountain bike with at least a 9 speed. Then buy your gloves and helmet at the lbs to thank them.

For $600 used you could probably snag one with an air fork.
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Old 11-04-18, 05:27 PM
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I sell a lot of Marlins in my shop. 4s are the standard issue for the local bike patrol, but I prefer the 7 if the customer can afford since you get a better drivetrain, hydraulic brakes and a much better fork. That said, you could underbuy and change the fork out later but as a beginner trail rider the basic steel tube fork could hold you back a bit compared to even a basic Rock Shox (like on the Marlin 7). For a entry level 29" they are decent and upgradable.
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Old 11-05-18, 09:05 AM
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Cha
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Marlin 4, and 26" wheel, steel, 820 are cheaper,
if all that matters is what it costs..

My nearby Trek dealer beats Portland (big city) Prices,
but that's the shop owner's choice...

sale tags on many, because summer is over...





....
Marlin 4 is nice too except I really like the Matte Black color on the Marlin 5. The color and style is important to me also.
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Old 11-05-18, 09:50 AM
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Honestly, I'd look at a used bike that has been well maintained. As Darth Lefty mentioned, it probably has a freehub freewheel, meaning if you ever decided to upgrade parts in the future, you'd be stuck with a 7 speed setup.

Last edited by musicmaster; 11-06-18 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 11-05-18, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
Honestly, I'd look at a used bike that has been well maintained. As Darth Lefty mentioned, it probably has a freehub, meaning if you ever decided to upgrade parts in the future, you'd be stuck with ha 7 speed setup.
This. Looking at Trek's website, Marline 6 is the lowest spec which has freehub as opposed to freewheel on the 5. Freewheels are limited to 7 speeds, among other disadvantages, and are becoming obsolete in general. New 7-speed parts by now are limited to the low-end only. That means if you eventually want to upgrade the drivetrain, which is very likely, you will have to change the hub too (or probably the whole rear wheel while you're at that).
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Old 11-06-18, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
This. Looking at Trek's website, Marline 6 is the lowest spec which has freehub as opposed to freewheel on the 5. Freewheels are limited to 7 speeds, among other disadvantages, and are becoming obsolete in general. New 7-speed parts by now are limited to the low-end only. That means if you eventually want to upgrade the drivetrain, which is very likely, you will have to change the hub too (or probably the whole rear wheel while you're at that).
I don't think this is true at all, the Marlin 5 has a normal freehub and 7-speed cassette. Heck, I have a freehub/7-speed cassette on my 30-year-old Trek Antelope 840! It's turned into my daily commuter, and I've had no problems buying replacement cassettes every year or two. I suspect that will be true into the indefinite future.

That being said, I have a 2016 Trek Marlin 7, which I find perfect for tooling around on backwoods trails. If you're looking to purchase a new entry-level mountain bike I think the Marlin series is a great choice at whatever price-point you're comfortable with.
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Old 11-06-18, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mkblackwell View Post
I don't think this is true at all, the Marlin 5 has a normal freehub and 7-speed cassette. Heck, I have a freehub/7-speed cassette on my 30-year-old Trek Antelope 840! It's turned into my daily commuter, and I've had no problems buying replacement cassettes every year or two. I suspect that will be true into the indefinite future.

That being said, I have a 2016 Trek Marlin 7, which I find perfect for tooling around on backwoods trails. If you're looking to purchase a new entry-level mountain bike I think the Marlin series is a great choice at whatever price-point you're comfortable with.
According to Trek's website, it lists the cassette as Shimano TZ500 which is a freewheel.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...lin-5/p/23134/
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Old 11-07-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
According to Trek's website, it lists the cassette as Shimano TZ500 which is a freewheel.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...lin-5/p/23134/
My apologies @subgrade - you are correct! Thank you @musicmaster for pointing it out. I had no idea Shimano still even made freewheels... Learn something new every day!

I think freewheels are a bad choice for mountain bikes. Not only are they less available for replacement (as mentioned), they're prone to bending the axle (especially for heavier riders, I don't know about the OP).

So I'd recommend the step up to the Marlin 6, for the more robust componentry...
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Old 11-07-18, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
In 1993 I paid $1000 for my first real MTB, a fully rigid Trek 8000, so $539 25 years later for an even better bike is a deal to me.
This inspired me to look up what I might have paid for my Trek 930 in '91 or '92. Sources suggest around $500. That coincides with my fading memory. Pretty amazing what you get now-a-days.
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Old 11-07-18, 09:28 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
This inspired me to look up what I might have paid for my Trek 930 in '91 or '92. Sources suggest around $500. That coincides with my fading memory. Pretty amazing what you get now-a-days.
I remember it because it was my first real MTB. I bought it in November 1993 a week after I got stationed in Oahu, there was actually a nice bike shop on base at the time. I was shocked when I picked it up and felt how light it was. It was exactly $1000 + tax. I also bought a Park workstand at the same time that I still use. A few months later I paid like $350 for a Mag 21 fork. Raced that bike in about 12-13 races.

Not mine but mine was the same.

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Old 11-08-18, 09:44 AM
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I purchased one in 2016. Paid around $600 with rack, U-lock and handlebar bag. The rear bag was from Goodwill. I like it. The bike can handle more than I can.

Ask about the 2018 model. Or check Craigslist.

[img]

Go straight here by res1due, on Flickr
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