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Trek Marlin Buyer's Guide

Trek Marlin is a trail-worthy mountain bike that's tough enough for off-road adventures and versatile enough to impress dedicated commuters.  Read our guide to understand the ins-and-outs of this MTB, why it might be the best bang for your buck, and the differences between model options.

Trek Marlin Overview

Marlin mountain bike

Who is a Trek Marlin for?

The Trek Marlin is durable, easy to outfit with gear and accessories, and at home on many types of terrain.  This makes it an ideal mountain bike for beginner cyclists looking for versatility at a good price point.  

Commuters will appreciate the frame mounts for a rear rack, 29" or 27.5" wheels for smooth and efficient pedaling, and 4" of front suspension to take the edge off the ride. 

The Marlin is capable on the mountain too.  It'll gobble up less technical XC trails like the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on the east bench in Ogden.

Trek mountain bike

Why you might love a Trek Marlin

VALUE!  The Marlin is not only a high-quality and versatile mountain bike, it's also super affordable!  It's built with the best component spec per price point that ensures you won't outpace the bike as your cycling skills advance and your adventures get more technical.

Experience the Trek Marlin

Trek Marlin Features

Marlin smart wheel sizing

Smart Wheel Sizing

Ride the fastest wheelset that fits. 26" wheels stay alive on the XXS size, while the XS and S frames roll with 27.5" wheels.  Medium thru XXL frames are equipped with the fastest 29" wheels.

Bike Mount Versatility

You'll appreciate the ability to accessorize with an array of features including a direct-mount for kickstands and rack/cargo mounts.  Bike packers and commuters alike can geek out over the mounting options.

Size Range

The Marlin comes in seven frame sizes (XXS to XXL) to comfortably fit riders of practically any height! For the smallest sizes, they've included unique fit features like a curved top tube for easier dismounting.

Race-Inspired Geometry

Trek engineered the Marlin to have the look of an XC-racing bike while prioritizing comfort for beginner riders.

Internal Cable Routing

Looks awesome!  No unsightly cables to be seen. Internal cable routing on the Marlin means you don't have to fret about dirt, grime, and inclement weather contaminating your cables.  

Marlin Gen 3 vs Marlin Gen 2

Whereas the Gen 2 Trek Marlins give riders a great balance between trail and street. the Gen 3 Marlins have been tipped towards the trail end of the scale.

  • More tire clearance: Gen 2 Marlins have clearance for 2.2" tires while the Gen 3 models can fit 2.4" tires.
  • Internal dropper post cable routing: Gen 3 Marlins come with internal cable routing for dropper posts while Gen 2 bikes don't.
  • New rear ThruAxel: Gen 3 Marlins use a stiffer, more secure rear thru axle skewer.
  • Trail focused geometry: Gen 3 Marlins have a more trail focused geometry that includes a slacker head tube angle, a steeper seat tube angle, and a longer reach than the Gen 2 models.
  • Chain stay guard: All Gen 3 Marlins come with a full length chain stay guard to protectthe frame and keep things quiet on the trail.

Trek Marlin Mountain Bike Models For Sale

There are currently eight levels of Trek Marlin mountain bikes designed with a wide range of riders in mind. 

Find the one that fits you and your needs below:

Trek Marlin 6 Gen 3

Trek Marlin 6 Gen 3

The Gen 3 Trek Marlin 6 kicks off the lineup with a capable, trail-ready MTB that's at home on the dirt or on the pavement.

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCT 30 coil spring 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore M5120 1x10
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc
  • Price: $899.99
 Shop Marlin 6 Gen 3
Trek Marlin 7 Gen 3

Trek Marlin 7 Gen 3

Upgrades: Better suspension fork and higher end hydraulic disc brakes for improved control on steeper, rougher trails.

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: RockShox Judy coil spring with Turn Key lockout 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore M5120 1x10
  • Brakes: Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc
  • Price: $999.99
 Shop Marlin 7 Gen 3
Trek Marlin 8 Gen 3

Trek Marlin 8 Gen 3

Upgrades: A serious trail package that includes an air spring fork, 1x12 speed drivetrain, and a dropper post.

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum,
  • Fork: RockShox Judy Silver, Solo Air spring 100mm
  • Drivetrain: SRAM SX Eagle 1x12
  • Brakes: Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc
  • Dropper post: TranzX JD-YSP18 
  • Price: $1,399.99

Trek Marlin 4 Gen 2

Marlin 4 is Trek's gateway to XC trail riding. It is the most affordable of the options and is versatile enough to get out and explore or be a daily commuter.

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCE 28 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tourney TY300 3x7
  • Brakes: Tektro MD-M280 Mechanical Disc
  • Price: $629.99 $529.99
 Shop Marlin 4

Trek Marlin 5 Gen 2

Upgrades:  Better 2X shifting, lockout, and hydraulic disc brakes. Marlin 5 improves light trail riding but still doubles as a versatile commuter.

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCM 30 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 2x8
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M276 Hydraulic Disc
  • Price: $739.99 $599.99
 Shop Marlin 5

Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2

Upgrades:  Much improved shifting with a wide-range 1x10 Shimano Deore drivetrain. Nice!!

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCT 30 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 1x10
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M276 Hydraulic Disc
  • Price: $849.99 $749.99

 Shop Marlin 6

Trek Marlin 7 Gen 2

Upgrades: Rock Shox fork! Bontrager Kovee TLR wheels, and powerful Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. 

  • Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork: RockShox Judy with Turnkey lockout 100mm
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 1x10
  • Brakes: Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc
  • Price: $1,029.99 $899.99
 Shop Marlin 7

Trek Marlin 8 Gen 2

Upgrades:  Mega-range Sram 1X12 Drivetrain! Tubeless ready Maxxis tires, and a Rock Shox Judy Silver with Solo air spring.  The Marlin 8 approaches a race-worthy XC MTB that's perfect for aspiring new trail riders.

  • Frame:  Alpha Silver Aluminum
  • Fork:  Rock Shox Judy Silver Solo Air 100mm
  • Drivetrain:  Sram SX 1X12
  • Brakes:  Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc
  • Price: $1,329.99 $1,199.99

Want an even more off road capability? 

Trek makes incredible mountain bike models that don't stop at the Marlin. If you're considering the Marlin but want a little more capability on the trails, you might like some of Trek's other offerings. The Trek X-Caliber is another solid value MTB but is actually an entry level XC race bike, and the Trek Roscoe is their agressive trail hardtail with more travel and bigger tire clearance.