Gary Fisher Marlin 2003 Hardtail

4.44/5 (50 Reviews)
MSRP : $469.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (50 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by GFAthens a Cross Country Rider from Athens, GA USA

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2009

Strengths:    G2 Geometry is hugely confidence- inspiring and excellent for taller riders. Price, especially when getting a 2009 right before the '10's (Simple paint job change) came out. Components clearly aren't going to be the best on the trail, but are a great value at this price point.

Weaknesses:    Front derailleur, tires are a bit heavy but the tread is pretty solid.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line, this bike is excellent for beginner to intermediate XC riders. The gearing is awesome and is made for hill domination. The G2 geometry will change the way you bike, this bike has excellent torque and high speed stability but is truly astounding when turning, tracking and at low speeds. The '09 black paintjob is classic and sporty on the trail or the street. The frame is also almost identical to much higher priced Fishers (HKEK) so that this bike will be able to grow with new riders.

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Favorite Trail:   Unicoi State Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $620.00

Purchased At:   Alpha Bikes

Bike Setup:   Stock as of now, Planning on Adding Hydro brakes and new wheelsets/tires.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by schneidie a Downhiller from South Windsor, Ct, USA

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2008

Strengths:    weight, good geometry for cross country, price

Weaknesses:    Frame strength, front fork, entire driveline, no durability.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is horrible for anything more than light off road use. I break the driveline every time i ride, the frame is bent badly, the bike has been maintained well, but it lacks the structural strength to hold up under freeride or all mountain situations. Good for a beginner.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Case Mountain

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   newington bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Kona Coilair, Felt Redemption 2, GT Avalanche 3.0, old diamondback

Bike Setup:   downhill handlebars, rim brakes, 8 speed stock drivetrain, everything's bent

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Warminster, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 17, 2006

Strengths:    Architecture and weight

Weaknesses:    Dump the oem saddle!

Bottom Line:   
In October completed first full riding season with this bike. From April thru October did over 1,200 miles - mornings before work when I am not travelling and avg 40 miles over weekends.

Even at age 60, this bike is a pleasure going uphill compared to my previous GT. I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel after my typical 25 mile Saturday morning trail ride on this bike. Also holds up very well on some modestly aggressive downhill trails in the Poconos.

Also nice is its weight. About 30% less than my 15 year old GT.

If you are looking for a great ride at a decent price you can't go wrong with this GF Marlin.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Delaware Canal & J. Thorpe,PA

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Bike Line

Similar Products Used:   1990 vintage GT


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg Lasters a Cross Country Rider from Sun Valley

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2005

Strengths:    Responsive brakes. Nice rear derailer, I got the 2004 so it is pretty light. I love the genises geometry. It has good control, and awesome gears for around here (rocky mountains)

Weaknesses:    The seat is more of a thong, the front derailer sometimes has trouble responding quickly.

Bottom Line:   
This is an awesome bike! Especially if youre a begginer. It is great for pretty much all the terrain you can think of. Im going to replace the front derailer, and suup it up a little. I love this bike, and deffinitely dont have any regrets.

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Favorite Trail:   Do'nt have one.

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $440.00

Purchased At:   Scotts Ski and Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek, Haro, GT

Bike Setup:   brand new.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by j shaps a Cross Country Rider from Pa

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2005

Strengths:    frame with genesis geometry is nice for uphill riding

Weaknesses:    the wheels on this bike seem weak to me. after a hard riding they are always untrue and sometimes my spokes bend or break the fork has suddenly changed rebound leaving me with a hard landing. the components are nothing to brag about and sometimes have a hard time shifting. i have broken several crank screws which led to me getting new cranks. this happened because the cranks become lose and tear at the bolt when riding. if you do drops and urban riding i would suggest getting a larger tire

Bottom Line:   
this is a solid bike despite my many gripes. i have put around 1000 miles on it believe it or not and it is still rideable after the roof drops and countless other manuevers. its value is great for the use i have givin it. it can handle abuse to a certain degree and i would suggest that this would be a great starter bike for just about anyone.

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Favorite Trail:   wissahickon

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $420.00

Purchased At:   bike line

Bike Setup:   i have put a 2.4 tire with a downhill tube in the rear to help with the drops. i have never popped that tube but it rubbs the frame baddly somtimes when not true. i have a new deore crank set with shimano clip in pedals. i have had to replace my seat twice because of seat rail problems when landing

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ted O'Leary a Weekend Warrior from SF, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2004

Strengths:    Great Frame, very comfortable, good handling.

Weaknesses:    Shifting needs to be regularly tuned to work efficiently, or maybe upgraded after a few hundred miles.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. I did the 580 mile AIDS ride on it with slick tires, and it definitely came up trumps. Very decent on the road. Reached 49 MPH with a tailwind and gravity! The saddle is quite OK after a breaking in period.

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Favorite Trail:   Marin Headlands, CA

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $430.00

Purchased At:   Lombardi's, SF

Similar Products Used:   Giant Ricon, Trek 820. This is a little better than both.

Bike Setup:   Still stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian Ross a Weekend Warrior from Virgil, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2004

Strengths:    Seems to be a sturdy, fun ride. My first mountain bike. I'm doing a lot of country roads and such, and don't plan to do hardcore offroad.

Weaknesses:    Not too many complaints. I had to change the seat ASAP. The grips are hard as rock. They seem to be different than the non-disc model. As others have said, front derailleur is shoddy.

Bottom Line:   
Nice bike, performs well, made solidly. Looks great too!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Liberty

Similar Products Used:   My first mtn bike. I owned a Peugeot touring bike in the mid 80's, and a crappy Nishiki touring after that.

Bike Setup:   This has disc brakes, hence the steeper price. Changed the seat, and put bar-ends. I plan to change the grips too.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tristan a Cross Country Rider from Amherst, New Hampshire

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2004

Strengths:    Its just great. It will handle anything. there is nothing that i can do to get it to derail,skid out on uphills, or even slid on stops. This thing handles drops like a charm too.

Weaknesses:    The front derailer dosn't like to upshift for me, even after being re tuned. I'm definitely going to by new. The front shocks leave a bit to be desired too.

Bottom Line:   
THis bike is amazing. For less than $500 I got a entry level racer w/ good specs. I was gonna buy the TASSAHARA for $530 but i didn't want to pay, and im not sorry. THis bike is great and if you are thinking of buying one you should definitly go ahead and do so. Especialy if you don't mined fiking up minner things.

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Favorite Trail:   anything rough

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $430.00

Purchased At:   Naults Cyclery in Nasua, NH

Similar Products Used:   this is my first full size mtn bike so i guess i don't have a leg to stand on as to points of view.

Bike Setup:   stock with new shimono SPD clip-ins but im gonna get a new front derailer.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Cross Country Rider from New York

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2004

Strengths:    Light Frame, Genesis Geometry, Deore Rear Derailleur gets the job done, stock bontrager wheels are relatively light and strong (mine did take a beating after a few drops, but nothing that couldn't be fixed)

Weaknesses:    My BB and Crank were destroyed within the first few months. What could I expect? They were that square taper junk. I replaced them with Deore LX, which is holding up nicely.
The Fork is not exactly my favorite thing in the world. It bounces back up due to a lack of dampening, and I keep hearing horror stories about them snapping and people getting badly hurt. I sent manitou an E-mail about it, and I'm hoping to get a response soon.
The front Derailleur isn't all that great, but I swapped that out too.
T


Bottom Line:   
It's a great hardtail just to get around on. It handles the XC trails quite well, and the frame is very light (although the fork is basically a bouncy cinder block). With a few upgrades this bike can become a decent hardtail for the novice rider. Mine has even taken a few drops and jumps with very little damage. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to get into the sport, and be able to progress into the intermediate level.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $469.00

Purchased At:   my LBS

Similar Products Used:   Basically everything at my LBS, because I work there.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for the following:
Deore LX Crank and BB
XT front derailleur
New chain (kind of expected after riding a bike for a year)
Diamondback Bigfoot 3 Pedals (i wear a size 12.5, so I need larger pedals)
New brake pads (expected after a year of use)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Drew a Cross Country Rider from near Glasgow, UK

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2004

Strengths:    Genesis Geometry
Deore Hydro Brakes
Some stock quality


Weaknesses:    crap front mech (bin it!)
cranks and BB
Manitou 6 fidgets


Bottom Line:   
Geometry is spot on as it inspires confidence in developing XC rider (like me!). Brakes are superb for cash (Shimano pads need replaced ASAP though). Stock saddle hurts the arse due to too little support - a perfectly good upgrade was obtained for £20. The bike needs a new fork to shine though I didn't have a huge problam with the Manitou 6 other than it being a bit on the flexy side. Stock Alivio is abysmal - bin it and spend £15 on Deore (coupled with the Truvativ chainset this shifts like a dream).

Frame could be a bit heavy but unless your a 9 stone XC race whippet let's get a sense of proportion on this one. The bike hasn't let me down since new and with a few choice upgrades suits me down to the ground 'til I can afford a Spesh Enduro!

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   Marz MX pro air '03 (85mm); Truvativ Stylo Chainset and Team SL BB; SPDs; WTB Pure saddle; Deore front mech.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wes Boyce a Cross Country Rider from Springfield, MO

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2004

Strengths:    Nice stiff frame-good to upgrade. Genesis Geometry is magical. Just a good all around bike for the money.

Weaknesses:    The fork is not so good. It is an entry level fork so that should be expected, but I would recommend getting an upgrade. I plan to sometime.

Bottom Line:   
This bike really gets the job done. I almost went with the Yahoo, but I am extemely glad I did not. Buy this bike. It may have a few more entry level componets, etc than I would like but that is easy to fix.

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Favorite Trail:   Sac River

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Cycles Unlimited

Similar Products Used:   Besides a crappy old Schwinn I used to have this is my first good bike.

Bike Setup:   Stock except I put some bar ends on it and clipless pedals(a must for any riding other than on the street).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian from Braintree, MA

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2003

Strengths:    Lightweight, strong frame. Pretty good components. Price. GENESIS GEOMETRY allows you to climb like a squirrel on speed.

Weaknesses:    Haven't noticed any yet.

Bottom Line:   
I have only had it for a week, but I have been hitting some pretty nasty trails with it. Climbing with this bike is fun...yes I just said climbing was fun. I can switch gears nice and fast right before the hill, then just power it out. The genesis geometry does something crazy and it is very easy to climb. If you stand up and really push, the tires don't slip as much as other bikes. I haven't hit too many big jumps, but I haven't noticed a problem with the fork (other people have). My bike was tuned to perfection right before I took it out of the store so shifting is no problem, and the brakes are nice and tight. This is a great bike, and for under $500 I don't think you can go wrong.

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Favorite Trail:   Grafton State Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $429.00

Purchased At:   DownTube

Similar Products Used:   This is my first MTB

Bike Setup:   Stock (for now)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Gary a Weekend Warrior from OH

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2003

Strengths:    Lightweight, Price & Handling. Genesis Geometry

Weaknesses:    Braking action, especially in rocky terrain on downhills

Bottom Line:   
Bought this bike to see how much I would like mountain biking and it has delivered everything and more. I love the feel and handling of this bike. With some upgrades to certain components it would handle like a bike costing far far more.

The Genesis Geometry is the real deal. I have enjoyed my biking trips and have learned so much that I am looking into upgrading and investing a little more into better components. This bike keeps up with much more expensive models and it's cost gives you ease of mind if something breaks. Enjoy the trails !!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Vulture's Knob, Mohican

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $460.00

Purchased At:   Local Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4900


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lazy E a Cross Country Rider from Arlington, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2003

Strengths:    Price. Geometry. Handling.

Weaknesses:    Chain falls off all the time. It falls off if you look at it the wrong way. Forks extend and thunk when wheelying or jumping. Brakes don't stop fast enough.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is awesome for the $. The chain falls off all the time and the fork sucks, but it's a cheap shock and a cheaper front derailer so you shouldn't complain about that. I usually only ride cross country on this bike. I took it to a ski mountain last weekend to ride down hill. I got 4 flats - 1 front 3 rear, had an enormous crash at about 35mph that bent the front rim and made the headset dangerously loose. The bike did awesome. The bike ate up 3 foot drops and miles of down hills with only loose rocks rocks for a trail. the bike did ok on switchbacks. the front end washes out when i push it hard.
It needs fatter tires, a better shock and a better front derailler. I'm also goign to get disc brakes. the bike doesn't stop once the rims get wet. If the bike came stock with those, it would have been much more expensive. I'd rather get the decent frame and pick out the upgrades because i'm going to upgrade it anyway.
i used to ride a trek 5 years or so and didnt' buy into the geometry stuff, but after trying bikes out, the marlin feels much more comfortable and seems to turn faster than trek and specialized. my girl has a specialized in the same price range and it sucks azz.
great beginner bike, but if you're not a beginner, you're probably not reading a review of this bike.

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Favorite Trail:   anything I can crash on

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $470.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   Similar offerings from Trek and Specialized

Bike Setup:   Stock for now.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary Grena a Cross Country Rider from Cary, NC, USA

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003

Strengths:    Frame geometry, Cool yellow paint

Weaknesses:    Drivetrain

Bottom Line:   
I bought this as my first MTB and am pretty happy with the bike - great service from LBS. I echo the complaints about the drivetrain. I weight 250lbs and not all of it is fat. So far I have torqued the front chain rings to hell. Yes, going over log rolls have bent up my outer ring but the middle ring is also bent and will not hold the chain under any load. The shop guys said that the Avilo(sp) cranks are "soft" - I agree. The chain comes off every ride and the front derailer sucks. The front drive train is the weakest part of this bike. The rear Deore derailer is fine but I also stripped out my cassette about a month ago - broke the fifth gear right off going up a hill! The mechanics were impressed with this - I guess that does not happen very often.
In fairness to the bike shop, I came in asking for a 50/50 bike trail / single trak bike. The Marlin is the perfect bike for this. I got the biking bug and am now hitting New Light, IBM, Regency and soon Rocky Road. Also, I don't know much about brakes but I sure wish mine would stop me sooner! 250lbs going down a steep hill stresses anything I guess. I would buy this bike again but am dreaming of a Santa Cruz Blur with a big ass 5th element coil.
Damage so far. 6 tubes, 1 cassette, 1 replaced shifter wire, front chain rings junked out.

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Favorite Trail:   New Light

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $429.00

Purchased At:   Cycling Spoken Here, Cary, NC

Bike Setup:   Stock

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