Strengths: highend frame with stable G2 geometry for aggressive riding.
Weaknesses: forks and brakes suck ass, crankset and wheels are cheap and bulky
Have had this bike for about 3 years now and have fully built it up. I beat on this bike and it holds up like a high end machine. have fallen many times and have crashed down tube first into the corner of a stone wall, leaving only a small dent. im a 5' 10" rider with a 17.5in frame and think its a bit small but i can maneuver the bike how i want and forget how small it is when descending. I use this bike mainly for XC/Trail/DJ/Aggressive street riding (use to ride bmx) . Great all around bike after a few mandatory upgrades(forks, brakes, bigger bars, DH tires)
Bike Setup: Rockshox recon RL 120mm
Avid 180mm disk front 160mm rear
Sram X4 gearing(works fine)
2.3 trail tires
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2016
Strengths: The frame is great and it hasn't failed me. The geometry is pretty good too.
Weaknesses: The grips are horrid, the back brake never worked properly from the start so I had to go get a new rotor and pads, the shocks are rock hard and they blew out on my yesterday, and the chain stretched out in 6 months of riding and broke my back cassete and hub.
This bike is great for its price, but it is beginner level only. After taking it out on some blues, blacks, and jump trails, this bike completely failed me. From the start I had replaced the grips, and I had to keep taking it in for various back brake problems. About 8 months after buying the bike I just got a new back rotor and pads. That fixed that problem. Two problem free rides and then my back cassete stopped engaging. I took it to a bike shop and they said my chain had gone through its life. In six moths?!
The chain stretching ruined my back cassete and I had to replace it. Now that that that is fixed my fork is shot and it blew both seals.
I will say that this bike is great for the price if you are a beginner, but every ride I have had on this bike something breaks.
Strengths: Great price, responsiveness, 29" wheels
Weaknesses: Components could be better, mostly the rear derailleur
I recently purchased this bike. My main uses are for commuting to work, and attaching a trailer for riding with my kid, and some light mountain biking.
I have really been enjoying the bike. I think it is a great bike for the price point.
I did the usual upgrades you get when you buy a new bike. Swapped out the pedals for spd's, changes the tubes to prestas, and added lizard skins to keep the goat heads from puncturing the tubes. Took off the reflectors, and of course added a saddle bag.
The biggest cons I have found about the bike are the rear derailleur needs to be upgraded. In my experience, even with cheaper mtn. Bikes. The derailleur is usually a better quality than the front.
I also found that the seat is too soft. I feel like I am sitting on a lazy boy couch. I will be upgrading the seat to something harder. I am not sure why others have found it to be so hard, but then again I am used to riding a road bike with an extremely stiff seat.
Overall great bike. It is the cheapest you can get hydraulic disc brakes. The pedals are quite cheap and some may find the seat uncomfortable (It feels great to me as the one on my old bike was WAY worse!)
Weaknesses: Rims (single wall), Pedals, Seat, front and rear derailleur
2014 Trek Marlin 6 - After putting some miles on the bike and taking it on a few trails I have to say I am very please with this bike. For the price range I would say it is one of the best options if you want a new bike. A lot of the reviews on here call this a beginners bike, but I would say it is as least intermediate I take this bike on blue, and black (expert) trails every weekend and have not had any issues. That being said I am not on down hill trails with large jumps, this bike was not designed for that, and I would not recommend this bike for that type of ridding.
Now for the bad - Even though I have not had a problem with the bike yet, I know from past experience with other bikes the single wall rims are going to fail on me. The front and rear derailleur work but they are the cheapest for a reason. Peddles are junk replace them I put MG1's on the bike for $30 and they work great. The stock seat is not comfortable.. I added a XLC suspension seat post and Zefal Journey seat and now my bike is super comfortable.
In closing, if you are looking for a new bike and want to spend less then 600 this is a good buy. Go test it and a few others and see what fits you the best.
Strengths: I have the Marlin Singlespeed so it is pretty light. Also the bike came with Maxxis so the tires are awesome.
Weaknesses: The stock Fork and the brakes
I upgraded the Fork to a Rock Shox XC32 and love it. Its not a terribly expensive fork (only a few hundred) and rides very nicely. I also like the maxxis tires i have on it. The 29er wheels save ur butt a lot when riding to fast. I purchased it from my LBS at a very good price (379) so i got a lot of bang for my buck
Strengths: Great frame, strong double-wall wheels (for price), great geometry.
Weaknesses: Brakes, fork and tires
I have owned my 2012 Trek Marlin for about two years now. Despite the sub-par brakes and mediocre fork, it is a great bike for the money. It has handled moderate trail riding better than I had imagined with minimal problems. The frame is definitely worthy of upgrading with improved components. I think upgrading to good quality hydraulic brakes and a better fork would make this a great trail bike for the novice rider.
Jake W a cross country fan
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 12, 2014
Strengths: good frame decent bars and shifters and derailers
Weaknesses: fork and tires
i got the 2013 model in august after riding a few of its competers mine is the 21" frame model and man it is good. While the fork is to stiff even with the preload as soft as possible it is still overly stiff. Most people complain about the brakes and while they are not the worst they are not anything to write home about ether. But the tires are almost worthless they are ok for purely street riding they are horrible in semi loose and in snow well they spin when trying to go from 18 to 20 mph downhill ya pretty bad but at least you can adapt to them. Sorry but i haven't changed anything except the grips and added Mr.toughies to the tires to prevent flats but as is for the money it is great if you can afford it this is a great bike especially if you add a better fork and tires and maybe even brakes
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2013
Strengths: Great color green ,Good upgradable frame and good ride geometry. But an awesome bike after you upgrade a few things.
Weaknesses: The brakes and the fork but most bikes at this price point have this weakness.
This is a good bike with a good alpha gold frame. I have a 2012 and I'm still riding it and having fun on the trails. But with upgrades it will be an awesome bike. The brake and the fork. On mine I upgraded the brakes first for safety. I put Avid Elixir 5 brakes and now it will stop on a dime. And recently I put a Rock Shox XC 32 Solo Air fork and 29/ 2.2 tires with a little more aggressive tread and now my Marlin rocks! The fork upgrade dropped 2 lbs off the bikes weight. But upgrades are pricey. If you cannot afford upgrades for a while keep your brake rotors clean and properly adjusted. But if you can get one upgrade save up 200$ and get some good hydraulic disc brakes. But this is a good bike with potential to be a great bike with a few upgrades.
I recently bought this bike second hand from some one and I was looking for a low/med entry level bike to be able to put a little money into and have a sturdy frame to work with without breaking the bank. So far the bike has proved to be a really solid bike. The things that are wrong with it can be easily fixed and for not too much money as well. The pads ended up getting noisy after a few months and the seat took forever to grow accustomed to even for short rides. Anything of any real length of time and the seat just hammers you and offers no real comfort. Also the mechanical breaks are kind of lacking and I have noticed after tigheting them and shortening the dram I am still unable to lock up the tires. Not that you really want to lock your front tire up but at the same time the mechanical breaks just don't offer enough stopping power once you're moving along. Also the cranks and the pedals are just crap. I would reccommend immediately fixing them. The bolt retainer came loose after around 6 months and started making the peddle wabble and once that piece came out there was no way to keep the nut from loosening as I pedalled. Super annoying. Also I noticed the pedals were disentigrating after only a few heavy hits and since they have a metal center piece with plastic surrounding them they had to go. Overall the bike is a pretty solid ride and I am a larger rider (215) and it has been handling me pretty well. I really enjoy the ride and can't wait to take it on some more trails when I am back stateside.
Mine is the green 2012 model. I bought the bike on the fact of trying out a 29. I didnt want to spend alot on one, and my LBS knows how I am with bikes and told me "don't look at the components, just look at the 29 aspect and geometry". I've owned built and gone through many bikes in my time. After a couple rides on this one, i knew I loved the 29. I loved the frame and its geometry, and of course the colour...it rocks! at 250 pounds i knew i needed to upgrade, so i did...I put Raceface Turbine(new model) cranks, upgraded full 9 spd SRAM, upgraded fork to manitoou match29, upgraded tires, handlebars(wider). The bike has basically been rebuilt. I love the bike a lot, and for a entry/mid level 29 hardtail, i recommend this bike to anyone
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2013
Strengths: Frame is worthy of upgrading a bit.
Weaknesses: Seat is terrible.
The bike seems to ride fine and suits my needs. Had a crash which bent the front rim, it actually separated at the weld, not sure it was a defect or my crash. The fork is fine for this price although I upgraded to a rockshox. Brakes seemed to work well but I upgraded them too. Used the crash as a chance to upgrade some items. The seat is uncomfortable after only a short distance. No real issues with the drivetrain, although it did need some adjusting after just a couple rides. Overall it's hard to beat for a sub $700 bike, next time I think I'd save some $$ and get something else. This was an upgrade from the trek 3500 I had previously. It'd be tough to go back to 26" bike again.
Weaknesses: Pedals "Don't ride with platforms so I don't care",Saddle "Comfortable but too narrow for my taste",Could have better components but not a deal breaker still pleased with the crisp and quite shifting
This is a great bike!!! I'm very pleased I chose this bike over the others in this price range or even a little higher.This is a great ride that will handle all you can throw at it.I have had this bike for a week now and as it got broke in the tires became much soft and became all around better"Although I changed the rear tire to what I usually use".And now the brakes are very good,great stopping power.I have not had any complaints with the fork not as good as other but still a decent setup.I will upgrade to a better fork though in the future to save some wight and gain performance.This bike handles trails excellent gives the rider a more confiding ride and it also climbs like a goat.I have been pushing this bike and it has never let me down in anything I chose to ride. Bottom line is this bike is a very solid starter bike and with a few upgrades it could become a versatile,dependable cross country machine "which I plan on doing".I would highly recommend this bike to anyone getting into the sport who wants a great bike and great price!
Duration Product Used: Everyday since purchase a week ago
Similar Products Used: Haro Flightline,Specialized Rockhopper
Bike Setup: Mostly stock with a Bontrager Affinity Saddle,WTB Bronson Rear Tire,and clip on pedals
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2013
Strengths: Trail riding, flats, high speed, maneuverability
The brakes on this bike are not bad at all...
I'm 215lbs and I ride the hell out of this bike. I have no problems stopping on both the front and back brakes in all weather conditions.
The frame is light, the gears are tuned well and having 29's on it makes it much easier to roll over obstacles.
The stock pedals are very cheap. It was the first upgrade I made. Other than that I like the fact that the front suspension can be locked out for pavement riding. The bike corners like a bmx and the shifters are responsive in tough situations. The bike is super fast. I do a good job of keeping up on rides with road bikes. Obviously I can't completely keep up but I definitely keep a better pace than others riding similar bikes.
The best attribute of this bike is its value for the price paid. For under $1000 you get a bike that can corner like other brands at the top of their line.
I would definitely recommend this bike for anyone that wants a solid bike at a more than reasonable price.
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2013
Strengths: Smooth, fast, good value.
Weaknesses: Brakes, fork.
I use it for riding to class, work and on the trails. It's been a great bike so far.