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  1. #1
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    New question here. What to buy to upgrade Trek Marlin 29er.

    So I am brand new to the thread if you can't tell by the rep. But I am going to pose a very bague question that is up for a lot on personal opinion. I am currently riding a Trek 29er Marlin Hardtail 21" and plan on making this my all purpose ride. Currently right now I have made a few small upgrades over the stock set up. I upgraded the cranks/cassette and kept it at the three gears, not exactly sure what the set up was bought it at a local bike store. I broke the plastic pedals and had to replace those with just regular metal ones. So far the bike is riding well and is mostly on pavement or sand/dirt lots. But I plan on upgrading this thing into something a little more capable. The things I want to know about are a few components that I want to upgrade and peoples opinion of what it should/could be. The things I would like to know about are...

    + What kind of brake upgrades can I make to it? The stock brakes are really weak and noisy and I know this will be a make/break factor for what kind of trails I will be on.
    + The seat is atrocious and really needs to be changed out. What kind of seat is most commonly traded up for when exchanging out stock components?
    + The grips are loose and need to be changed. The grips were never really that good but the heat out here in Bahrain has just made them loosen and free spin and when I sweat I can't get any sort of grip. I know gloves would remedy the sweat thing but also the grips still spin so they have to go.
    + The shocks are pretty decent but I don't know how capable they are. After reading a few of the reviews on here it seemed like a few of the more serious riders needed to change the stock ones out.

    This is just a pretty basic list of things that 'I' know or think should be changed out and would really appreciate the imput you guys have here. But a little more information might be necessary. I will be seperating from the military here within a few months and will be basically doing a cross country do it all see it all sort of vacation. I would like to be able to tackle most trails without completely emptying my wallet into upgrading this bike. But also is the bike worth upgrading? I will be literally driving from coast to coast and seeing people and will be tackling all sorts of terrain. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. Hope I am not being too vague on this post.

  2. #2
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    I'm relatively inexperienced compared to most people on this forum but can help a bit. I'll touch on the points in the order you mention them:

    - There are many brake options available but to get good advice from the members here you should provide what the current stock set up is.
    - I like my WTB Rocket V saddle. There are lighter options available but the combination of comfort and weight makes it a good value for the price.
    - I like Race Face 'Good and Evil' grips but this is all personal preference.
    - The shock advice is similar to brakes. Providing more info about your current set up will help other members offer their advice.

    Enjoy your vacation!
    Trails - 2012 Giant XTC Composite 1 29er
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  3. #3
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    I have a 2012 Marlin which I've upgraded a bit. Still need to do brakes and wheels down the line. Maybe customize the stem and handlebars a bit too.

    I put a wtb pure v saddle on it which I love.
    ODI Rouge Lock Ons. Grips and saddles are personal things but get grips with lock ons

    I have a Manitou Tower Expert which I also love.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What to buy to upgrade Trek Marlin 29er.-imag194275%25.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Fork
    Brakes
    Drivetrain
    Wheels

    I have a friend that rides a Trek Marlin and his bike is way more 'capable' than dirt parking lots. That fork weighs a ton though. So far he's replaced his front fork and his brakes and he's good to go. He drops a chain every now and again but other than that he has no issues with trail riding and some singletrack.

  5. #5
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    Took a quick look on Trek's site to see what the Marlin had from the factory, and to tell you the truth, it looks pretty trail capable as it is. Nothing fancy, but everything capable. The brakes might be a weak link, and you can upgrade to hydraulics from Shimano or Avid, but it'll cost you a bit (probably in the neighborhood of half what you originally paid for the bike). Ergonomic things like grips and saddle will just take some looking and experimentation to find what you like. I do second the suggestion of lock on grips. One other thing you might consider is a set of clipless pedals. Several companies make models that work as both clipless and as flats for if you want to ride in street shoes occasionally.

  6. #6
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    If you're going to change the seat you might as well get your booty measured to make sure you get the right width seat, they can do this at some bike shops. Agreed with the ODI lock on grips, I love mine.
    NTFTC

  7. #7
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    Re: What to buy to upgrade Trek Marlin 29er.

    I ride a 2012 Marlin but only thing stock is my seat post now

    Needed upgrades imo:
    Grips! I use OSI lock ons as well, love them
    Brakes: stock are useable but i have avid bb7 mechanical now and insanely love them.
    Forks. Stock are capable but heavy and rebound can be harsh (im a clyde and had firm springs though). Just got a rs xc32tk to get lighter and better but getting something nice for extra season.
    Seat, I just bought a bontrager gel commuter seat right when i bought the bike and perfectly happy with it for comfort.

    Now i have upgraded much further but the rest was purely me testing out if i liked different set ups like my driveline is slx 2x10 now.



    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk 2
    Trek Marlin 29er

    Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!

  8. #8
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    Charge Spoon is a great saddle worth looking into.

    A really good wheelset would make that bike more enjoyable...as well as a better fork.

    If brakes are too weak, Avid BB7 or Shimano SLX.

  9. #9
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    Shimano SLX from Bluesky are $69 for an icetech front and 89 for a rear 666 and 675 are the same.

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano SLX M666 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter

  10. #10
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    ...snip...Bahrain ...snip....
    Depending on how hot it gets BB7's might be a better choice.

    Some hydraulic brake systems suffer in very high temperatures.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  11. #11
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    Almost any fork in the market will be better and lighter than the stock one on the Marlin, it will be up to your budget... even a Rock Shox XC32 will be night and day

    I'd strongly suggest spending as much as you could on brakes, SLX M666 are unbeatable for the price.

    In the saddle depth, you can't go wrong with WTB, just find the one that suits you
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  12. #12
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    I have a marlin, bb7's are the way to go. I got a nib set from a guy that ultimately went hydro, for only 90 bucks. That included rotors. Stock avids just stunk. Hydros can cost half the bike, as indicated above. Over winter, I got mamba fork off eBay for 100 bucks. Be patient, g2 forks do come up, just not often, on eBay.replacement seat is a bontrager ssr, another 25 bucks very well spent. Grips are oury's and I wear gloves when I ride, they are very comfy grips. Pedals are diamondback bigfoots. Love this set up.

  13. #13
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    The Marlin community is growing. I think we should just have a Wahoo/Marlin/Mamba thread

  14. #14
    burnedthetoast
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    So you didn't say if this is a new(er) bike or not... but if you are thinking of upgrading the brakes, fork, and grips... it just may be worth looking into selling your current bike and getting something a level or two up. Might get you some other upgrades along the way.

    Honestly though... the stock Marlin can take more than you seem to be dishing out so far.
    Ride to Work, Work to Live, Live to Ride

  15. #15
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    Re: What to buy to upgrade Trek Marlin 29er.

    I had a marlin but sold it. Looking back it was a nice ride.
    It needs an air fork, new brakes (hydro) and a decent wheelset.

    Sent from my GT-N7105T using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
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    So I really appreciate everyone advice so far and so far everything seems to pretty much be about the same stuff. But to add to a few things that I did not mention before I added a new crankset and failed to mention what it was. It is a Shimano Deore. I had previously stripped the other set off because the lock cap came off and the crank was unscrewing itself. Anyways, the brakes HAVE to go. Those things are just weak-sauce. Just riding around town I don't feel comfortable in their ability to stop me fast enough should some car decide to make a dumb move. But I plan on upgrading this thing to do a little more than "dirt parking lots". That's the whole point of me asking, I want the bike to be able to handle more technical trails when I am able to ride it back stateside. I don't want to be doing something and suddenly realize halfway through my road trip that I can't do the trails I want because of my bikes limitations. The bike is about a year old for those who asked about that at well. I know it is capable but still there are a few things on it that I notice just riding around here doing what I'm doing. Want to have this bike ready for when I am back stateside. Thanks again for everyone's advice and I will start looking into the parts and keep you guys updated.

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