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Getting back on the road/trails. New Marlin 5 owner.

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Getting back on the road/trails. New Marlin 5 owner.

Old 05-05-15, 10:50 PM
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K_W
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Getting back on the road/trails. New Marlin 5 owner.

I bought and equipped a new 2015 Trek Marlin 5 today and already logged 24 miles according to the Cateye.

I used to ride a wonderful (but too big) L.L. Bean Countryroads branded (Raleigh) solid frame/fork 26" mountain bike as a teen and young adult. I beat the snot out of that bike. In the 10 years I rode it as just a 90 to 120 lb skinny kid I broke or wore out 2 chains, 1 crankset, 2 forks, and a seat... until I left it out back of my apartment cabled up and forgot to latch the padlock after a 12 hour shift the day after my 20th birthday

After the theft, I bought a car. Eventually I borrowed a similar but smaller Schwinn 26" unisex mountain bike from '08 to '14... but rarely rode it.

My metabolism has slowed now that my 20's are over and I'm getting concerned I may never get my skinny self back, not that I want to be "skinny" but maybe a healthy few extra is fine. I want to loose about 10 pounds and my wife wanted to ride bikes again like we did as teenage lovebirds, so off to the Bike store we went.

I thought hard about what I realistically would do with my new bike and what I could actually spend and decided my TOTAL budget would be $800 equipped. I would be riding 80% road and 15% hard dirt and then the occasional run down the local 7.7 mile "beginner" river bed trail https://www.google.com/search?q=town+run+trail ... the same trail I destroyed one of the L.L. Bean's forks on. I looked at "hybrid bikes" but hated them. Even though knobby mountain bike tires are not ideal for pavement, I had no problem with them as a kid and I like the way they ride.

I started at the family friend's LBS on a Trek 820 16", and absolutely hated it, it felt cheap, heavy, and toyish. 3500 16"... ok, better. 3500 Disc 16", better yet... Marlin 5 15.5 (almost same price as 3500 disc) Nice ride, maneuverable and . Marlin 6, busted budget and no experience with hydraulic brakes... No.

I rode the Marlin 5 around and could only hate the seat, the salesman swapped the nutcracker out for a $39 gel seat for my bony thin skinned butt and I was sold. Since I'm 5'5" I got the 15.5" frame in fishing lure yellow, plus a front mud guard, helmet, co2 pumper and matching blue bottle cage to go with it.


I took it straight home parked it and drove out the local bike superstore and got a Cateye Cadence and a Kryptonite Series 2 U lock & cable combo, installed them and rode into the city. In all I put 24 miles on it in the first afternoon. The seat is still to hard as I can barely sit on anything other than the soft stuff, but maybe I'm just too soft still.

My wife got jealous and her 1990's vintage mountain bike was too far gone to be safe and reliable so she got a new bike too. She picked up a lightly used 2002? Giant Cypress LX 15" Womens with Grip-shift, a nice RockShox Metro fork (not a recalled one), wide cushy seat on a pogo tube, two tone silver/dark green-blue paint, brand new brake pads, new wider and more aggressive Bontrager H2 tires, and fresh tubes for $200. She is a pavement rider but she will casually ride the smooth packed dirt bike/walk trails if I'm with her. She loves it.

I have $70 left in the budget for lighting, and later different brake pads (Koolstop), and maybe a back tire rack or mud guard.

Any advice (other than return the bike and spend more $$$) is appreciated.

Last edited by K_W; 05-05-15 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 05-06-15, 12:43 AM
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Any upgrade will be very expensive on this bike (comparative to bike initial cost). You should have gone at least for Marlin 6 (8-speed instead of 7-speed) and postpone the acquisition of accessories. And you will have to upgrade those Tourney components relatively soon.
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Old 05-06-15, 06:37 AM
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You don't need to spend on brakepads, not koolstop, not any. Ride the stock ones, when they wear out, replace with whatever basic pads are. The benefit of disc, is they are away from the ground, still brake good in wet weather... assuming you'd even ride in wet weather... and you won't be or shouldn't be going fast enough for it to matter.

You ride roads? car roads? If not, you don't need lights for MUPs
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Old 05-06-15, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Menel View Post
You don't need to spend on brakepads, not koolstop, not any. Ride the stock ones, when they wear out, replace with whatever basic pads are. The benefit of disc, is they are away from the ground, still brake good in wet weather... assuming you'd even ride in wet weather... and you won't be or shouldn't be going fast enough for it to matter.

You ride roads? car roads? If not, you don't need lights for MUPs
I find the stock brake pads noisy and slightly lacking on grip. koolpads were recommended repeatedly on forums for those same reasons, so I was going to try them.

I ride during the day. It would be rare for me to ride past early sundown at least until I get into full swing.

I live along a rail trail here in Indy called "The Monon" Its a very popular path. It connects the city and my suburb and my suburb has extensive system of bike paths and some maintained dirt paths.
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Old 05-06-15, 05:37 PM
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Koolstop pads are typically recommended for rim brakes. Disc brakes pads are generally pretty uniform across manufacturers. It likely the rotors got oil on them and need a good cleaning with alcohol. If it was a lot of oil the pads are contaminated and may need replacing.

RE: Saddles
Give your butt time to adjust. Ride every other day, slowly increasing duration. You're not used to riding, any saddle is going to hurt. The main thing to watch for is pain and especially numbness which may require a different saddle to address. Most experienced riders hate squishy gel saddles, they feel great initially and then you learn to hate them. The gel squishes and puts pressure on sensitive bits causing lots of pain and numbness after about an hour. Heavier riders tend to prefer more padded saddles than lightweight riders.
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