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  1. #1
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    Trek Marlin Vs. Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er

    I am new to the mountain biking world but I have been to two different stores with a friend and these two bikes stuck out to me, they are both about the same price and both seemed to ride well. I do not know too much about mountain bikes, what do ya'll think of these bikes and the pro's and con's of each. Which one would be the better bike.

    I am 6'2" and have pretty long legs, what size bike should I be looking to get?

    I plan on doing basic trails with small jumps, nothing too crazy. I def like the 29 inch wheel over the 26 inch.

    Thank you for all the help!

    -Jim

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Marlin - Trek Bicycle

  2. #2
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    6'2" is in the XL category (21" - 22")

    If I had to choose between the two I would go with the specialized because of the hydraulic brakes.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I was thinking that too, I was reading some reviews today and I saw most people had problems with the Marlin brakes.

  4. #4
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    Marlin, 21" good luck!

  5. #5
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    I think that low end hydraulics are just as prone to problems like low end cable disc brakes. I have a marlin and weight 200lbs and after a break in period with the breaks they are ok. Also, the marlin gives you the same frame as the X Cal, but with Trek you have the G2 fork to worry about if you want to upgrade the fork later. If you haven't thrown a leg over either do that first. Don't try to spec out a bike before you ride it. I test rode the hard rock and to me the marlin felt better. I also test rode Scott Scale Comp, Felt Nine Trail and Diamondback Overdrive.

  6. #6
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    I need to test drive some more bikes and really look at them after reading some stuff on the forum. I am currently deployed and wont be home till spring. Just itching to get home and look at getting a bike. I've heard the suntour fork on the Specialized isn't too great but is that the same problem with the Trek G2? or is one better than the other.

  7. #7
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    I will say that after spending quite a bit of money on bikes, that most people buy more fork than they need. The terrain I ride is not rough, just lots of sand so the sun tour fork is enough for me. If you think the upgrade bug will hit you quick than I would save and get the next higher level bike. The Trek Mamba won a test on bikeradar.com as "The Best MTB for Under 1k." Bottom line for me is that if you can spend 1k you will get much more bike than a $700 one. You will often find 9 speed drivetrains, upgraded brakes, forks and wheels. Well worth the money if you have it.

  8. #8
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    Anyone spending 800-1000 on a bike with a Suntour fork is spending more money than they need. They can't be getting more fork than they need because you cannot go lower spec.
    A Suntour fork is fine for bike paths, paved and dirt. It is good for dirt roads and two tracks. Basically anything built for transportation or casual hiking or walking. Trails built by mountain bikers are for a totally different purpose, to be challenging and for fun-- not to get someplace.
    A Suntour or RST fork is not designed for this and it will not perform.
    If you buy one of these bikes the fork from a Mamba is 154 at bluesky.
    .BlueSkyCycling.com - Rock Shox XC 32 TK 29er Coil Fork

  9. #9
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    If I spend the 700 on a specialized and then upgrade the fork i'll have spent extra money to upgrade, might be smarter to just get a better bike to begin with, the basic rockhopper still comes with the suntour and the rockhopper comp comes with a rockshox fork but it's not as good as the one on the mamba and it's more expensive by $100. How does the Trek Mamba compare overall? It's a little more than what i want to spend but if it's worth it i might just have to start setting a little more aside for it.

  10. #10
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    The Airborne Guardian is 675 and a good match if you are less than 170. Over that weight and the 32mm stantions on the Mamba will minimize flex.
    For 1.2k the Airborne Goblin has a dual air tapered Reba fork with no need to upgrade. Compare bikes against those two. Don't worry about assembly-- it's a half hour job. You need to know the skills for tune-ups for on trail problems, no one comes out for a service call.

  11. #11
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    I am 6'2" and have a 19" Marlin. It crowds my crotch when I stand flat footed .I guess I have short legs.

  12. #12
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    i'm 6'2 and 195 pounds

  13. #13
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    Let me throw another monkey wrench into the equation. I'm in the same boat and was also looking at the Specialized Rockhopper. The pro model has the Rock Shox as an upgrade. The regular has the Suntour fork. I don't know the difference in price between the two, might be worth looking into.

  14. #14
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    I am 6'1" and 185lbs. I had a 2012 21" marlin and was really happy with. I upgrade the brakes to hydros after a few month. I no longer have the marlin though. I sold it a few weeks ago.

    The only regret that I had was not spending a few hundred more when I bought the marlin. 200-300$ more than the marlin is definitely worth it. If for nothing else to have a better fork.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
    Let me throw another monkey wrench into the equation. I'm in the same boat and was also looking at the Specialized Rockhopper. The pro model has the Rock Shox as an upgrade. The regular has the Suntour fork. I don't know the difference in price between the two, might be worth looking into.
    I think the pro is like 1300 and the regular is like 880. Pretty good price difference but the mamba is right at 1000

  16. #16
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    After test riding about every 29er under $1k (and some over) I just pulled the trigger on a '12 Mamba. I went for a decent and pretty technical ride today and I am very happy with it. The only bike I found that was equally comfortable for me was the Cannondale Trail SL4, but it still had much less fork than desired and the components were a little less than warranted on a $900 piece. I would have had to step up into the $1,200 area to get a Cannondale or Specialized with a RockShox fork and full Shimano drivetrain.

    I know it is tough for you being overseas, but there may still be some leftovers when you get stateside. If you look hard enough you may be able to get a deal on a leftover. I got my Mamba for $820.

  17. #17
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    How do you talk the dealers down from their asking price, is there much bargaining room?? This will be my first time really talking with local bike shops

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBerry3rd View Post
    How do you talk the dealers down from their asking price, is there much bargaining room?? This will be my first time really talking with local bike shops
    if you a good negotiator its possible you can get a god deal

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBerry3rd View Post
    How do you talk the dealers down from their asking price, is there much bargaining room?? This will be my first time really talking with local bike shops
    I was a car salesman for a long time and I am now a dealer consultant/sales trainer, so I guess negotiating comes naturally for me The first thing I did after I realized my local shops had little to no inventory was to start calling every dealer within about 50 miles and ask if they had any leftover deals. Once I had some ammunition I started pounding the pavement test riding bikes and using quotes others had given me over the phone to beat them down (pending I liked the bike).

    If they aren't willing to work on the price of the bike or budge very little remind them of what the new model has to offer above and beyond the one they are selling for only $XX less. You can also try to get some gear thrown in.

    My Mamba had a $989 MSRP with a shop price of $899. They didn't want to budge on price originally so I let them know I already rode the 2013 and it was only $30 more, plus it had different brakes (I wanted the older Shimanos anyway but they didn't need to know that). I wound up getting the bike and $80 worth of gear for $900. Basically $820/$80.

    ETA: Some retailers lose 1.5-3% on CC transactions so if you can bring cash. If nothing else when negotiations stall you can pull out the "I'm willing to do this today, I have cash but I need you to work within my budget." Believe it or not I still frequent a hunting shop that charges a 3% surcharge for CC users, great people just a little old school.

  20. #20
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    I bought a 2013 Hardrock Sport Disc 29 after riding a Marlin and Giant Talon. The Giant and Trek felt nearly identical, and I opted for the Specialized primarily for the brakes. After 3 months of riding it 3+ times per week, I am looking to upgrade the fork. I have been totally satisfied with the purchase, and still think it was my best bang for the buck for a new bike as someone just starting to ride!

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  22. #22
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    I bought a Rockhopper 29 and love it , I havent found anything i dont like about the bike except maybe the bars seem so straight give a different feel than my 26 and the grips with those little wing things on it not sure if i like that , i used to round grips ................

    I also tried the Marlin first and then the rockhoppper and the rockhopper just felt so nice , wife said when i came back from riding the RH i had a huge grim on my face she told the salesman we are going home with the RH......................

  23. #23
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    My 2 cents, I was also looking for a $500-$600 29er and those two bikes were on my radar along with the Raliegh Talus 29er and the 2011 Jamis Exile Sport (which for the money is the best deal). I ended up wanting better components and hydraulic disc brakes so I started looking at the Rockhopper and Mamba which bring the price up to the $800-$950 range and continued to look around. I then found the Scott Scale Comp and the Fuji Nevada 1.0 which are nice looking bikes with good components other than the Fork (Suntour XCR). I ended up buying the Scott Scale Comp (2012) based soley on the weight and it was the best looking bike of the group. It weighs in at 5lbs less than the Mamba and 3lbs lighter than the Rockhopper and sports all shimano alivio with an slx rear derailer. I love the value and ride of the Scott but the Fuji was a better deal for $100 less with Deore components and an xt rear derailer but I could only pay in advance and order in without test fitting or riding beforehand and the Scott weigs 4lbs less so I went with the Scott planning to upgrade the shifters and fork soon. I am 6'5 and have been riding a Specialized Hardrock for the last year or so and the bike always felt big to me. I think their frames run larger than almost everyone else so be sure to test ride everything before you decide. Good Luck!

  24. #24
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    thanks for the advice everyone!! Really excited to get home in the spring and go around to test ride some bikes

  25. #25
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    The '12 Trek Mamba is on sale now as the '13's are coming out. I have seen it for around $800.00. This will save you from upgrading until your riding skills advance further. The Mamba won the under $1k shoot out as someone already mentioned.

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