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  1. #1
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    2011 Trek 'Gary Fisher Collection' Marlin Single Speed

    My one and only MTB ride is a 2008 Kona Hei Hei 2-9 and I love it. Lately I have given serious consideration to getting a second bike, a 29er SS. It appeals to me and I'd like to spend some time on a 29er SS here (Phoenix, AZ) and see how I really like it after putting miles in the saddle.

    My story is common, on a budget, kids, mortgage, etc. etc. What I want and what I can realistically afford are not in sync. I would like a Ti frame with Stans wheels and a Reba fork, but what I can afford is a used 29er SS. I happened to run across the new 2011 Trek 'Gary Fisher Collection' Marlin Singlespeed, due out in a month or two. It sounds like it is the Rig frame and equipped with lesser components than a Rig.

    $599.99 is a pretty amazing price point. The frame is probably the highest level spec of the bike - but if the rest seems good enough then I was thinking this may not be a bad way to go in order to get a decent bike to try out SS'ing.

    Any thoughts on this bike and how it is spec'd out? I've never seen the those SR Suntour suspension forks - but honestly if they work fine I'm not a big name snob, doesn't have to be a Reba or Fox to make me happy.

    Basically I was kind of looking in the sub $1,000 range for a used 29er but this has me intrigued, $600 for a new 29er SS which could be upgraded later if needed.

    Let's hear what you guys think about this. btw does anybody know what the weight may be on these bikes?

    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  2. #2
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    It does look like a decent bike for a decent price, but I'd probably keep looking at used bikes, especially if you know enough to differentiate between good and bad deals and between used and abused.

    Alternatively, rigid singlespeeds can be found even cheaper if you're ready for another layer of challenging fun A new Monocog is about the most smiles-per-dollar you can buy, a new Monocog Flight is one of the best deals for a quality bike, and there are tons of used rigid SS 29ers all over the place.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Boomn. For ride per buck, you will have trouble beating a used bike and if you are looking to upgrade components from that Trek already, that may be the slipper slope into a money pit. Trust me on this.

    The trick to buying used is patience and to buy a whole bike (not in pieces). It is nice to try out a bike before you buy it, but Ebay can do wonders on finding a good deal if you don't have the patience for CL.

  4. #4
    Got a suspension fork
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    It does look like a decent bike for a decent price, but I'd probably keep looking at used bikes, especially if you know enough to differentiate between good and bad deals and between used and abused.

    Alternatively, rigid singlespeeds can be found even cheaper if you're ready for another layer of challenging fun A new Monocog is about the most smiles-per-dollar you can buy, a new Monocog Flight is one of the best deals for a quality bike, and there are tons of used rigid SS 29ers all over the place.
    I should mention that I am only looking at HardTails not fully rigid, our rough terrain out here is just too much for me on a rigid.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  5. #5
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    I agree, but i'm not sure anyone has seen, much less ridden this exact bike to really say. I'm tempted to get the marlin and throw a switchblade fork on it for giggles. Time will tell. I've wanted a rig for as long as I've been registered to this site.

  6. #6
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    Update, I found the weight of the SR Suntour SF11 XCT V3 suspension fork. It is 2575g (5.67 pounds)
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  7. #7
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    That certainly is a good price for a HT.

    Get with your LBS and ask about finding a 2010 GF Rig. It has a much better fork. They retail for $1500 but GF/Trek is famous for blowing out their bikes at the end of their model years. You may be able to get one under your $1000 max when they start chopping prices to make room for the relabeled Treks.
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  8. #8
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    Doesnt the GF Rig have cable style disc brakes? How can they charge $1500 without hydro brakes?!?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmxking45
    Doesnt the GF Rig have cable style disc brakes? How can they charge $1500 without hydro brakes?!?
    because they are really good cable brakes, and really good cable brakes can still beat cheap hydros unless your personal preference is very strong for hydros

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    because they are really good cable brakes, and really good cable brakes can still beat cheap hydros unless your personal preference is very strong for hydros
    I agree. A good set of mechanicals has much better modulation than cheap hydro brakes (IMO).

    Interestingly enough the "Trek" Rig is now about $100 more and it has Juicy 3 brakes and a slightly different frame (sliding dropouts as opposed to eccentric BB). Think I'd rather have the BB7's than those Juicy brakes.
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  11. #11
    Got a suspension fork
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    I think I am leaning towards trying to find a closeout on a Felt Nine Solo at year end if nothing else more interesting turns up before then.

    2010 Felt Nine Solo
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  12. #12
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    I picked up a used GF Rig two weeks ago. Guy was asking $1,050 -- I walked away with the bike for $850. I'm used to Juicy 7's and really tried to like the BB7's. After two rides I ended up selling the BB7's and bought some used Juicy 5's. I actually made a few dollars in the end. Love the bike, my BlurLT is going to get awful dusty sitting in the garage.....

  13. #13
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    fork alone was nearly 6 pounds!!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an
    I agree. A good set of mechanicals has much better modulation than cheap hydro brakes (IMO).

    Interestingly enough the "Trek" Rig is now about $100 more and it has Juicy 3 brakes and a slightly different frame (sliding dropouts as opposed to eccentric BB). Think I'd rather have the BB7's than those Juicy brakes.
    Really? I have a couple bikes equipped with Juicy 3s... or maybe one with 3s and one with 5s... plus a couple with Juicy 7s. To be honest, I can't tell any difference in stopping power or modulation from level of Juicy brake to another. They all feel the same to me.

    --Sparty

    P.S. I also used Avid BB7s for years and was a loyal follower until I finally made the switch to hydros.
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  15. #15
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    I was real close to buying a 2010 rig when I found an 09 Felt solo for $1200...very happy & so much more bike for less $. Rigs are nice, but you'll spend a lot upgrading. I had an 07 rig which I did like, but Felt is so much nicer.

  16. #16
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    I think buying complete has bang/buck advantages, but that thing is like buying a used German car---it will bleed your bank account dry. Maybe not dry, but at least make you spend enough to realize you should've bought a better bike to begin with. Plus, it's an anvil to boot.

    I'd look at the Redline (Monocog or Monocog Flight) and just lower the tire pressure to 25 or so. I am in the Rockies and found rigid bikes to be fun.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamant76
    I was real close to buying a 2010 rig when I found an 09 Felt solo for $1200...very happy & so much more bike for less $. Rigs are nice, but you'll spend a lot upgrading. I had an 07 rig which I did like, but Felt is so much nicer.
    I'm curious to know where you feel the Felt Solo is a better bike? I'm looking through the specs and the only thing I see that might be better is the brakes, but the die-hard BB7 fans would disagree. The rest of the parts are Felts proprietary parts which are very similar to the Rig's specs with Bontrager. I'm just curious, not trying to start a war of words.....

  18. #18
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    Last week I told my lbs to go ahead and order one of the 2011 marlin ss, the next day he called me back with a delivery date of 11/22. Said it wasn't available until then. Yesterday I picked up a sweet (not a scratch) monocog with an extra set of tires for $300 on CL. It took over three weeks of searching, but it was worth the wait. At that price I can look for a fork if I find the need/want.
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  19. #19
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    felt/rig

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Slo4U
    I'm curious to know where you feel the Felt Solo is a better bike? I'm looking through the specs and the only thing I see that might be better is the brakes, but the die-hard BB7 fans would disagree. The rest of the parts are Felts proprietary parts which are very similar to the Rig's specs with Bontrager. I'm just curious, not trying to start a war of words.....
    hey 2slo,

    no war...just opinions

    I did love my rig, but I was not a fan of BB7's nor the bontrager wheels, cranks, cockpit etc...all of which I upgraded. Considering the 2010 Rig recently for $1600 vs. the 09 Solo for $1200 I jumped on the deal. I did still replace the cockpit, but wheels, cranks, brakes are all much nicer in my opinion. Bike fits great & I wasn't sure about new G2 geometry. Both are very similar bikes & nice, but I'm liking my Felt much more. Additionally the Felt baby blue/green color is pretty swell.

    Still new, so time will tell. I have heard mixed feedback re: Felt customer service.

    Adam

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamant76
    hey 2slo,

    no war...just opinions

    I did love my rig, but I was not a fan of BB7's nor the bontrager wheels, cranks, cockpit etc...all of which I upgraded. Considering the 2010 Rig recently for $1600 vs. the 09 Solo for $1200 I jumped on the deal. I did still replace the cockpit, but wheels, cranks, brakes are all much nicer in my opinion. Bike fits great & I wasn't sure about new G2 geometry. Both are very similar bikes & nice, but I'm liking my Felt much more. Additionally the Felt baby blue/green color is pretty swell.

    Still new, so time will tell. I have heard mixed feedback re: Felt customer service.

    Adam

    Thanks Adam. I already upgraded the cockpit, changed out the BB7's for some hydro's and am currently looking for some lighter wheels. It's funny that no matter what bike I've bought, I've always done those same things..... And now, based on your comments, I'm going to have to look at the crankset.

    I just got back from a ride...nothing like passing riders with a full set of gears uphill and hearing someone say...."That's a SS, what a crazy mofo!"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Slo4U
    Thanks Adam. I already upgraded the cockpit, changed out the BB7's for some hydro's and am currently looking for some lighter wheels. It's funny that no matter what bike I've bought, I've always done those same things..... And now, based on your comments, I'm going to have to look at the crankset.

    I just got back from a ride...nothing like passing riders with a full set of gears uphill and hearing someone say...."That's a SS, what a crazy mofo!"
    same here 2slo4u...I change them on every bike. They're the part that finished off the fit so it's kindof personal. I almost wish (similar to pedals) completes came without the cockpit so that you could add your own & not end up with various bars, seats, stems, etc in your garage. I usually try to swap some stuff out at the dealer to save that, but others I always seem to try first so that I can know..."yup 70mm Thomson stem instead of the ridiculous 110mm that was spec".

    passing geared riders on a ss is a special treat. The stealth sneak-up is also nice. It's just bad when they pass you again on the flats

    so you riding a 2010 rig? How do you like the G2?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamant76
    same here 2slo4u...I change them on every bike. They're the part that finished off the fit so it's kindof personal. I almost wish (similar to pedals) completes came without the cockpit so that you could add your own & not end up with various bars, seats, stems, etc in your garage. I usually try to swap some stuff out at the dealer to save that, but others I always seem to try first so that I can know..."yup 70mm Thomson stem instead of the ridiculous 110mm that was spec".

    passing geared riders on a ss is a special treat. The stealth sneak-up is also nice. It's just bad when they pass you again on the flats

    so you riding a 2010 rig? How do you like the G2?
    I just picked up a used 09 Rig trying to satisfy my desire for a Tallboy. I've been on a BlurLT for the past 5 years and my LBS is trying to convince me that I need to part with my money. I have loved it but was ready to try something different. I'm in UT so I had to gear it down a bit, running a 21T cog in the back, I hope to be able to move to a 20T in the next few weeks once I get my "sea-legs!" To be honest, I haven't really noticed anything good or bad about the G2 geometry. I just know the bike is stable whether it be climbing, descending or doing switchbacks. I miss the rear suspension but I think that once I get a bit more dialed in, I won't even notice.....

  23. #23
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    Wink I've Got a Marlin Single Speed Comming

    I just had my LBS order a Marlin Single Speed.
    I've read the comments and critisizms of this particular choice, but I've also found a few things.

    According to Trek it is actually the Rig frame.
    The Fox fork on the Rig is nice, but an $850.00 fork is over kill for me and my use.

    You can pick up a new or nearly new 29er Reba for between $300.00 and $350.00 which is way good enough for me even if it isn't quite G2 spec.

    The Tektro brakes are also a little iffy, but you can get good new or new removed hydro disks for $60.00 to $120.00 a wheel. Still $600.00 cheaper than a Rig.

    Ive always wanted to try a 29er SS but my second reason is I eventually want to make a Alfine geared hub bike out of it and the SS frame has the horizontal / vertical drops that are perfect for that application with no messy and friction steeling idler needed.

    I know you are mostly all purist mountain bikers, but my eventual goal is to make a true dual purpose bike out of this. My other bike is a Jekyll by the way.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  24. #24
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    I think the Marlin is a great choice. It's nice to know that's a rig frame. When trek liquidates these, they should go fast.

  25. #25
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    Howdy,

    I've got the Marlin SS, and it's a fun bike with a good price starting out.

    As far as good stuff. It's a very confident feeling (fun to jump) bike with good gear ratio for where I live. The build quality seems very solid, and I really like the drop-out configuration they used. It also looks to have everything already in place to be ready to change to gears if the need arises. When mine arrived, it came with Maxxis Crossmark tires (different from the spec on the website) that seem to do very well in hardpack and some mud, and did relatively well in leaf covered sections. I have yet to test in rockier sections. The wheels seem to be solid and did a good job. The Tektro Novela's seem to do a competent job with stopping (I weigh about 140, YMMV). On top of all that, the sweep handlebars are positively perfect for me.

    The not as good list is pretty small. The levers, well they work. I have some Juicy 7's on an older 26" Marlin, and it's sort of hard to adapt back to the Tektro mechanical levers. The rear hub I'm not in love with as it feels... clunky as far as the engagement goes, but will suffice until I destroy it.

    The bad stuff. The fork is ok, but I wouldn't want to put too much stress on it. It's probably better than say, a Dart 2, but as it goes, I've already got a new Recon coming to replace it.
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  26. #26
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    I purchased a Marlin Single Speed in as a second bike to my Stumpy FSR. I had a 2010 Rig and sold it to help fund my Stumpjumper. I found out very quickly that I missed having a 29er SS.

    I have been very happy with the Marlin so far, but I have replaced the rear hub, fork, stem and handle bars. I did not feel confident with the fork and I replaced it with a Rockshox Tora. This is not a big upgrade, but it is an improvement from the Suntour. The stock rear hub locked up on me and turned into a fixe during one of my rides. My LBS said it was due to dirt and grim getting inside. The Tektro brakes are extremely noisy and are probably the next thing to go! I am hoping that maybe with a little more use the will get quieter.

    All in all this is a great bike and having a 29er ss in the stable is a must!!
    Phosphate Rider

  27. #27
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    Since my last post in this thread I've made several changes that have vastly improved the ride characteristics. The biggest was the fork. I placed a Recon in place of the junk Suntour fork. I lost the G2 offset, but really have felt no appreciable difference there. I've replaced the entirety of the brake set up with BB7's on SD7 levers with XTR cables. I then changed the initially "perfect" factory sweeps with a set of Misfit FU2's... love those. Lastly, I changed the freewheel to an ACS that seems better all the way around.

    In the future I plan to possibly change the freewheel and cranks. The freewheel will be a 18t Eno Trials. I have thought of using White Industries Eno cranks, but haven't read up on those too much to have too much of an opinion yet.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  28. #28
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    I have a Marlin SS. I ended up replacing every part on it other than the frame and headset. I really do like the G2 geometry, I replaced the fork with a G2 Recon (which I don't like) and will be replacing yet again with a Reba RLT Dual-air next week. Just by getting a Reba RLT and Stans Arch's you'll drop around 4lbs, plus you can lose another pound with lighter tires and going tubeless. I'm currently sitting at 22.99lbs and will be in the low 22's with the Reba. Only other things I'll change in the near future are a HBC cog and Hope X2 brakes, I'll be in the high 21's for weight.

  29. #29
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    I may eventually go to a Reba, but I haven't had any real complaints with the Recon's performance thus far.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  30. #30
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    I've ridden one. The above suggestions might help. It's heavy. It's just the way the bike is spec'd. But honestly, it's a really nice bike for the money.

  31. #31
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    Gear Ratio?

    Noob here -

    How can I tell the gear ration for the Marlin SS? I am just getting back into biking, and am not having luck finding a starter bike on a very limited budget.

    My choice is to get what I pay for at Walmart, or a Marlin SS at a LBS for $490. My concern is that I will be using this to commute a lot. Due to afore mentioned budget concerns, I would like to avoid upgrades for a while.

    Will the stock work well for flat trails/pavement? I figure at most I would be traveling 40 miles at a time round trip if I did it.

    Thanks!

  32. #32
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    Just got this bike

    Traded in the stock fork & brakes for some descent brakes , a new handle bar & stem.
    Got a used fox f29 100mm G2 from some guy who went rigid and I'm good to go .
    Still cheaper than 2010 Rig, but the big bonus is the sliding dropouts vs. the 2010 Rig Ebb.
    The rear hub & free wheel look like crap, will upgrade them too as soon as I find something else.
    Spindle is 121mm so I had to stick with the stock crankset, for now.
    Will post a pic later, bike really looks good with the black Fox fork.

  33. #33
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    this thread has gone quiet...more trek/ gary fisher pics please!

  34. #34
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    well here ya go just picked her up Friday


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    Has anyone replaced the stock fork with a rigid fork? Would a rigid be compatible with the G2 geometry?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradktn View Post
    Has anyone replaced the stock fork with a rigid fork? Would a rigid be compatible with the G2 geometry?
    yeah, i wonder the same.

  37. #37
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    It's heavy but Soul Cycles has a 485mm fork that would be close to retaining the stock geometry feel.

    There are several 80mm correct forks that worked well with the older 80mm correct G2 frames, way less options since the geometry was shifted to work with a 100mm fork. Unless your cool with a little steeper angles and a lower BB height.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  38. #38
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    Hit the trails today for the first time on mine man I thought I was gonna die ha.

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    Just ordered mine... 2012 variety. Should be here Thursday so look for a post soon after... i had a zion that died in a car accident so will swap over components as needed but wondering if my rst fork would be better than the suntour. Can't wait to ride this bike!

  40. #40
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    Got mine at the end of last summer, Love riding it but have not done much distance, changed to a 16 tooth rear first night i got it home - next in line is a new crank or crank arms.

    Anyone replace the crank with a 185mm or 180mm? Love to hear about it. Might help the op too with upgrade idea's
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011 Trek 'Gary Fisher Collection' Marlin Single Speed-img_20110815_222912.jpg  

    2011 Trek 'Gary Fisher Collection' Marlin Single Speed-img_20110816_204906.jpg  

    2011 Trek 'Gary Fisher Collection' Marlin Single Speed-img_20110816_205005.jpg  

    Last edited by wj4play; 02-01-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Picked it up today and did a short ride around the neighborhood... awesome but brakes need attention, hoping after some break in they bite better. Immediately changed to a wider bar and new stem... i had them from my zion. Much better feel. Threw on some eggbeaters and a fsa seatpost. Going to take it on deem tomorrow at 5pm.

  42. #42
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    jjdnaz,
    I believe the zion is a steel frame and GF is Alu, hows the ride comparing the two..can you comment of this?
    Secondly, I'm 5'11"... not sure about 17" or 19". What size are you guys riding?

  43. #43
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    You are correct the zion was steel. The marlin is heavier but so far feels good just did a little wash riding tonight. Im 5'11good too I got the 19" standover is a lil lacking but the cockpit feels right for me.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jjdnaz View Post
    You are correct the zion was steel. The marlin is heavier but so far feels good just did a little wash riding tonight. Im 5'11good too I got the 19" standover is a lil lacking but the cockpit feels right for me.
    Tell me if i should get the steel or alu, Im in horrible dilemma! what a coincident. The 17" feels just right but looks ugly,ppl will say the bike is small for me. However the shop does not have the 19". Tried the Wahoo 19" and it just feel a lil long. I believe they are having the same frame.

  45. #45
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    After a long ride with lots of hills I have to say I love this bike but the freewheel needs replacement asap! When really cranking on it up hill it skipped. I'm talking about every pedal rotation. Ordering a white industries Eno. I have to say the bike handled really well and I love the g 2 seems quicker in turns and the technical stuff.

  46. #46
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    Went and looked at similar-framed Treks today; my local Trek dealer doesn't keep the Marlin SS in stock. Pouring rain so I couldn't test ride today, but I'm going back Wednesday and figuring out a size and putting a deposit down for one. I'm 5'11" and seem to be in between a 17.5 and 19 inch frame. Any sizing tips? By the way, I found a recently posted review of the Marlin SS:
    First Impression: Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin singlespeed | Dirt Rag Magazine

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by wj4play View Post
    glaring photos
    ah! take off those awful reflectors. i don't care that they are dorky, but reflectors tend to break off on trails, leaving sharp little bits of plastic on the trail to find their way into my tires. if you want night time visibility, get some LED lights, just loose the reflectors.

    in other news, I like the Marlin, but that fork sucks. it's what you get when you pay that much for a fork, but it's basically a pogo stick.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 02-05-2012 at 06:37 AM.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradktn View Post
    Went and looked at similar-framed Treks today; my local Trek dealer doesn't keep the Marlin SS in stock. Pouring rain so I couldn't test ride today, but I'm going back Wednesday and figuring out a size and putting a deposit down for one. I'm 5'11" and seem to be in between a 17.5 and 19 inch frame. Any sizing tips? By the way, I found a recently posted review of the Marlin SS:
    First Impression: Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin singlespeed | Dirt Rag Magazine
    Hey, dont forget to tell me what size you ended up with. I am between 17.5 and 19 as well...thanks for the link!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deto View Post
    Tell me if i should get the steel or alu, Im in horrible dilemma! what a coincident. The 17" feels just right but looks ugly,ppl will say the bike is small for me. However the shop does not have the 19". Tried the Wahoo 19" and it just feel a lil long. I believe they are having the same frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jjdnaz View Post
    You are correct the zion was steel. The marlin is heavier but so far feels good just did a little wash riding tonight. Im 5'11good too I got the 19" standover is a lil lacking but the cockpit feels right for me.
    I an 6'1'' and I got the 17.5 the 19 seemed to long and I liked the handling of the 17.5. This is my first MTB and first new bike in like 20yrs - I am thinking that a new layback seat post would be a good addition if I feel cramped but as it is now I feel good on it. Just want to upgrade the cranks to a 185mm or 180mm from the current 175mm..


  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ah! take off those awful reflectors. i don't care that they are dorky, but reflectors tend to break off on trails, leaving sharp little bits of plastic on the trail to find their way into my tires. if you want night time visibility, get some LED lights, just loose the reflectors.

    in other news, I like the Marlin, but that fork sucks. it's what you get when you pay that much for a fork, but it's basically a pogo stick.
    LMAOF... I did take them off right after I took pics, I felt kinda dorky with them in the spokes like when i was a kid. Although I will be riding at night and will have to do something as the local law enforcement around here like to give tickets to those cyclists who don't have lights on at night..

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