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I am currently in the market for a new mountain bike. Judging by what I like to ride, I have narrowed my choices down to a Gary Fisher Marlin or a Trek 4500. I mainly ride park trails with no big drops or anything. It will be taking some jarring from going over roots and that kind of thing. Sometimes I will be riding on pavement and sidewalks.

I want a bike that I can grow with, but I don't need to have best, most expensive bike out there. I can't quite make a definite decsion on which bike to get. I am aiming to spend between $300 and $500.

I liked the fork on the Marlin better the first time I rode it, but the disc-brake compatible hubs are a drawing point to the Trek. However, at this point I do not have a reason to need disc brakes, but it might be a possible future upgrade down the road.

I am leaning more toward the Gary Fisher because of its frame and better fork, but I still have the Trek in my mind. Any opinions would be appreciated.
 

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trek vs. marlin

I currently ride a Trek 4600 which is basically a 4500 but with a sram x.7 drivetrain. This was a limited run model because trek ran out of shimano parts to outfit the 4500's with. I am very happy with it. I bought it for the same reasons you did, i was starting out and wanted a good beginning rig. It was, but now i have passed its cpabilities and am looking for something better. I had an issue with the judy fork, i bent the lowers on regular xc riding, nothing abusive. I replaced it with a different fork, and am now quite happy with it.

One of my riding buddies has the Marlin and it is also a nice rig. I like the lime paint job but he also has had problems with his fork. The manitou axel is propobly better than the judy, but after a while it has gotten quite stiff even when the preload is fully loosened. Bothe bikes are good, its more of a personal matter i think.
 

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Search the forums for info on both bikes. I know there has been much discussion on the Trek 4500 in the past.

I started on a 4500 and it was a great bike for a beginner. I'm a Clyde and I beat the crap out of it for a year before I upgraded to FS, and had no problems with it. I still have it but have since upgraded almost everything on it. It still serves as my back-up bike though it really isn't anything close to a 4500 anymore. Just goes to show how good and strong the frame is.

I'm sure either one would be a good choice. Good luck :cool:
 

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vote for Fisher

Okay,
Keep in mind that both bikes are made by the same company with virtually the same materials. So it really comes down to these things. Spec, Geometry, and Looks
Spec wise, the Marlin is better spec'd. The fork is more adjustable and actually has oil dampening (the Judy TT does not, think pogo stick). Most of the drivetrain parts are either even or better than the 4500. Forget about the disc brake ready wheels on the 4500, your better off getting the better fork and drivetrain and just upgrade your wheelset when or if you go disc in the future. Geometry wise, the 4500 has a upright, very beginner friendly geometry. This will feel great on fire roads and bike paths, but the longer top tube and more agressive "genesis geometry" of the Fisher will serve you better if your aspirations are more of the singletrack variety. Finally looks, well I'll leave that one to you. They're both good bikes, but my 2 cents would lean towards the Fisher.
 
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