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  1. #1
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    x calibe 29r vs Marlin 29 vs Wahoo 29?

    OK, my fist question is what are the differences between frames with these Trek 29er's? I see that most of the newer X caliber frames are made from the same aluminum (if not all hydroformed). If I am seeing the differences right it appears the Marlin have the G2, but no upper or lower eyelets for racks. Wahoo's seem to have no upper eyelets but appear to have lower eyelets for racks (at least the 2013 frames if I am seeing the pictures of the frames correctly) and all the newer X calibers from X8s and below (I have not looked into the X9's as they are way out of my price range) have the upper and lower eyelets for a rack. Am I wrong on this? I know every year things seem to change but I have been looking at 2012-2015 on these models and these seem to be some of the differences. Are the frames dramatically different other than what I have noticed? Are the weights a lot different? I am looking into getting a new Trek, but sometimes I see a Marlin or a Wahoo for sale used and I am wondering what the difference is? I need to put a rear rack on whatever I get and I would like a bike with a frame that is worthy of upgrading so this is why I am asking. Feel free to comment, opinion, actual knowledge. Post away. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    I hate that name.
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    Well. For 2011-2013 the Xcal/Cobia/Mamba/Marlin/Wahoo(13 only) all used the same frame. It is a nice frame considering that most of the bikes using it are solid entry level. Iirc, the frame did not have upper rack eyelets, but did have lower. In 2014, an all new frame came in with the introduction of the new Xcal line. The new models (Xcal 5-9) replaced the old (Cobia, etc), with relatively corresponding specs. The new Xcal series frame does have upper and lower rack eyelets. For 2015 the Marlin is being brought back as a lower level bike showcasing Trek's new "Smart Wheel Size" strategy, which in a nutshell, uses 27.5" wheels on the smaller sizes. This new frame does appear to also have upper and lower rack eyelets. I have not seen one in person.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  3. #3
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    You can upgrade any of those to a point. You are limited in performance by the stiffness of any aluminum frame.
    But upgrade parts can go on your next bike.
    Except for the fork because of the straight steerer. The fork is the major upgrade.
    You need to get wheels with hubs that can be converted with different endcaps to 15mm/142x12 for your future bike. Wheels are the second major upgrade.
    Between those two you can spend $600-800. Maybe $300 for SLX brakes, crankset, Shadow+ 10sp derailleur, XT shifters and cassette on sale Ribble/Jenson match. Carbon bars and a light stem and post.
    You will have a 25 lb. bike that can handle a lot but will beat you up as you ride more hours on fun/difficult/gnarly trails. That's the limit you run into.

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