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Marlin 5 upgrades

Old 05-01-15, 06:43 PM
  #1  
n2t
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Marlin 5 upgrades

So, I've owned maybe 2 bikes in the last 15 years. A walmart gmc denali and a trek marlin 5.
I moved out of town onto dirt roads and my knee is a bit messed up from years running and weights. I have mild cartilage damage but nothing worth surgery, just can't run 5 miles a day anymore, biking is fine however. I'm 5'6 and picked up a Trek Marlin 5 at 15.5" sizing with the 27.5" tires. It feels pretty good, I may have some minor fitting and adjusting as my riding form progresses but I think over all I'm on a bike that fits. There are however some issues I'm noting and I would like input on.
1, grips, my hand cramps up after about 2 miles of choppy road. The palm swells seem to be on the end of the bar instead of in the middle where they would help more..should I get the extension bars and switch to grips with the extra meat in the center or just one of those options?

2, pants, I keep hooking the sprocket, but wearing shorts isn't usually a good idea as I ride in brush and we have snakes, even jeans will offer some protection against snakes..anything to do to not die, a wrap or mtn bike pants?

3, the fork sucks. I hit a large rock and it compresses and doesn't recover before the next large rock, feels like I'm on a pogo stick...suntour upgrade to something with lockout?

4, last question, my tires are the stock marlin 5 tires, I ride on loose dirt roads, grip isn't great to say the least. When there wear out, is there a better tire for this type of riding, or am I just on an unforgiving riding surface?

Thanks in advance guys. As a moderate rider who isn't going to be taking pro courses and just wants a commuter he can ride from the house, the marlin 5 really fit the bill. The 3500D wasn't a bad option either but the 5 went on sale for 450 and I couldn't resist. Hope I made a good call. I know it's entry level but I'm ok with that as long as it holds up to 2k miles a year or so.
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Old 05-01-15, 09:53 PM
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cobba
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http://www.srsuntourna.com/upgrade/

$189 will get you this: http://emarket.srsuntourna.com/colle...iant=823586307

It gets plenty of good reviews: http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...rk-830657.html
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Old 05-02-15, 11:02 AM
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Seb71
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Originally Posted by n2t View Post
3, the fork sucks. I hit a large rock and it compresses and doesn't recover before the next large rock, feels like I'm on a pogo stick...suntour upgrade to something with lockout?
You don't want to lock-out your fork in that situation.
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Old 05-02-15, 01:49 PM
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jimc101
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Originally Posted by n2t View Post
1, grips, my hand cramps up after about 2 miles of choppy road. The palm swells seem to be on the end of the bar instead of in the middle where they would help more..should I get the extension bars and switch to grips with the extra meat in the center or just one of those options?
Ergonomic grips (Specialized, Ergon, Bontrager etc make these) or ESI Chunky may be a solution here.

Originally Posted by n2t View Post
2, pants, I keep hooking the sprocket, but wearing shorts isn't usually a good idea as I ride in brush and we have snakes, even jeans will offer some protection against snakes..anything to do to not die, a wrap or mtn bike pants?
Worrying, given the sprokets are at the back of the bike, thinking you mean Chainrings in bike terminology, if riding off road, if you can't wear shorts or 3/4 shorts would look at MTB specific pants which have hook & loop closure at the ankle cuff

Originally Posted by n2t View Post
3, the fork sucks. I hit a large rock and it compresses and doesn't recover before the next large rock, feels like I'm on a pogo stick...suntour upgrade to something with lockout?
See #cobba for this, he has it covered

Originally Posted by n2t View Post
4, last question, my tires are the stock marlin 5 tires, I ride on loose dirt roads, grip isn't great to say the least. When there wear out, is there a better tire for this type of riding, or am I just on an unforgiving riding surface?
Try to ask local riders, they will know what tires work for your local conditions best.
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Old 05-02-15, 04:24 PM
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n2t
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Originally Posted by Seb71 View Post
You don't want to lock-out your fork in that situation.
Agreed, I would think a slightly better fork would recover better though I would assume I want lockout for strait/flat road work mostly.
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Old 05-02-15, 04:26 PM
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n2t
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Ergonomic grips (Specialized, Ergon, Bontrager etc make these) or ESI Chunky may be a solution here.



Worrying, given the sprokets are at the back of the bike, thinking you mean Chainrings in bike terminology, if riding off road, if you can't wear shorts or 3/4 shorts would look at MTB specific pants which have hook & loop closure at the ankle cuff

Agreed, got the term wrong, but you get the idea now.



See #cobba for this, he has it covered



Try to ask local riders, they will know what tires work for your local conditions best.
Most of our local riders are in town and don't ride on what I ride on daily. They seem mostly hard packed bike trails, this is loose dirt road, but local shop just suggested a slightly more aggressive tire to bite in better. I'll give it a try when I wear these out.
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Old 05-02-15, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by n2t View Post
Agreed, I would think a slightly better fork would recover better though I would assume I want lockout for strait/flat road work mostly.
Most better forks will have a lockout by default. For flat riding, the lockout doesn't really matter, since your weight distribution is relatively static the fork doesn't do much.

If you're going to upgrade get an air fork.
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Old 05-04-15, 01:06 AM
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Maybe by "fork with lockout" you meant "fork with hydraulic damper"? If your current fork only has a coil spring (and no hydraulic damper), then a fork with a hydraulic damper (for compression and also for rebound) would be an improvement.
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