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Trek 820 to Marlin 5 - is this an upgrade?

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Trek 820 to Marlin 5 - is this an upgrade?

Old 04-29-19, 06:54 PM
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medic75
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Trek 820 to Marlin 5 - is this an upgrade?

My 10 year old son currently rides a Trek 820. He doesn't like trail riding due to hills. Because of this I have changed out the cassette from the stock 14-28T to a 14-34T for this season. I have told him that if he enjoys trail riding more because of this change, I will upgrade his bike after this season. So, my question is, will the Marlin 5 (redesigned for 2019) be much of an upgrade for him over the 820? The difference I see is a lighter frame (1.5 lbs), increase to 27.5" tires with 0.2" increase in width, and finally going from linear pull brakes to hydraulic disc. Will these changes make a difference in his easy single track riding experience or should he stick with the 820?


FWIW, the 2019 Marlin 5 is quite impressive for the price point.
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Old 04-30-19, 09:37 AM
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Wilfred Laurier
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I don't see anything that would make the Marlin5 a $150 better bike. Wait until your kid outgrows the 820 then consider getting something nicer. If the 820 already doesn't fit then go shopping, but don't think that a bike with slightly nicer shifters or whatever will make riding much easier or more fun.

As for the wheel size, it's a tiny difference and a bike with 26" wheels is likely better suited to a 10 year old than a larger wheel size, if it makes any difference at all.
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Old 04-30-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I don't see anything that would make the Marlin5 a $150 better bike. Wait until your kid outgrows the 820 then consider getting something nicer.
Thanks for the opinion. Your thoughts mirror mine. If I had to do it all over again, and today's Marlin 5 were available at the time, I would have bought him the Marlin instead of the 820. There isn't much else available in the 13.5 frame size. I can only assume what the next couple of years will bring in terms of high end component designs being absorbed into lower & mid-range components. With that being said, I will try to make a few cheap & minor upgrades to his 820 and see where that takes him - both figuratively & literally.
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Old 04-30-19, 02:17 PM
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26 to 29 .. Marlin alloy frame , has several pricepoints with nicer components as the numbers go up

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...marlin/c/B321/
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Old 05-03-19, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
26 to 29 .. Marlin alloy frame , has several pricepoints with nicer components as the numbers go up

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...marlin/c/B321/
In his size (13.5 inch frame) it would be a 27.5 as opposed to the 29. The alloy frame is only 1.5 lbs lighter. As for stepping up to a Marlin 6 or 7 for better components, that is a no because he will likely outgrow it in a short time. I am seriously thinking of waiting a couple of years and getting him on a Roscoe. At least that way, it will have some decent resale value when he needs to step up to the next sized frame.
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Old 05-03-19, 09:08 PM
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I think the Marlin 5 is an upgrade over the 820.

I'm currently looking for a used bike for my kid: size XS, disc brakes, and 27.5 or 29". So pretty much not the 820. The Marlin obviously has some shortcomings, but fewer than the 820.

But yeah, if you've already got the 820, it's probably not worth it to upgrade. Still, if you're selling either, I know which I'd be going for.
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