2020 Trek Marlin 5 vs 2020 Trek Marlin 6- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2020 Trek Marlin 5 vs 2020 Trek Marlin 6

    Hey all,

    Looking to get back into some recreational mountain biking after several years of not.

    Been doing some research and doing a few test rides lately - trying to find a MTB that will fit my budget and fit my needs. I would say at least for the 1st year I would be riding primarily on city streets with some trails mixed in ~ 20% of the time. I am eyeing either the Trek Marlin 5 or the Trek Marlin 6. From what I can tell the main difference is the component set and the fork. My question - is the Altus component set that comes on the 6 significantly better than the Tourney that comes on the 5 (I keep reading many vague opinions that seem to not go one way or the other). Additionally, the fork on the 5 is a SL Suntour XCE 26 while the 6 has the XCT 30 w/ hydraulic lockout. The price difference is $100.00 between the bikes, are those differences worth it and will the be noticeable? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    the XCT 30 is somewhat better in regards to performance. The average price for a hard tail mountain bike that appeals to someone who rides off road aggressively would be at least $2000.00 . Really? this is 2020 not 1990, things cost more. Go ahead and pay up for a quality bike, a good hardtail bike should at least have a high quality fork....any suntour fork absolutely sucks and will be rather harsh off road.

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    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/fathom-1 consider this bike for entry level off road mtb

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  5. #5
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    The Marlin is good for a bit of everything. My daughter rides it all over the place to include the neighborhood streets. The tires do favor street riding too! They have less rolling resistance and work perfectly on the street.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    I went with the 2020 marlin 5 in green. Mostly because its green

    All the marlins are equipped poorly, but theres some important differences. The marlin 5 has a 7 speed freehub, so you're stuck with 7 speed unless you change the entire wheel. The 6 gets a 8 speed, so you can run whatever 8 to 11 speed cassette you want.

    The forks on both are bad. For some reason, forks are insanity cheap right now for something alright. I put a suntour raidon on mine for $135, brand new with warranty. This is a comparable fork to anything from rockshox's low end, or a fox evo... really not "good" but completely suitable for real, offroad mountain biking.

    The 6 is the go to for value, even over the 7. Complete box 11s drivetrains are still $139 right now... Get a marlin 6, go 1x, and put a new fork on it at some point. You've got a better bike than the xcalibers.

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    built my Marlin frame up myself with a Marzocchi fork. Trek sells the frame online. went with 2X10 to save money....I like that drivetrain anyway.

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    I was really hoping to get the marlin 6 - showed in stock at my lbs but when I got there all sold out....same exact same with a marlin 5 today. Apparently there is no inventory on any Marlin in size medium in all of my metro area and they don't expect to get any until mid summer. Same situation with the Specialized Pitch which was my second choice. Only thing I can find with similar components that may be in stock is a Cannondale Trail 7 or other Trail series - not very familiar with them. They did have plenty of inventory on the Roscoe 6 which I did like but I am not sure how that would do as a daily bike

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyH1984 View Post
    I was really hoping to get the marlin 6 - showed in stock at my lbs but when I got there all sold out....same exact same with a marlin 5 today. Apparently there is no inventory on any Marlin in size medium in all of my metro area and they don't expect to get any until mid summer. Same situation with the Specialized Pitch which was my second choice. Only thing I can find with similar components that may be in stock is a Cannondale Trail 7 or other Trail series - not very familiar with them. They did have plenty of inventory on the Roscoe 6 which I did like but I am not sure how that would do as a daily bike
    Go check if your Specialized dealer has any Pitch models! The Trail and Pitch series are similar to the Marlin when it comes to geometry and parts. Those models will perform similar to the Marlin. You can also look on Pink Bike Buy/Sell market for a used bike too. If you are unsure whether it's a good deal, just post the links here in this thread and maybe we can assist.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    thanks for the advice! Much appreciated

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    so quick update. Went in to test a Roscoe 6 today really assuming I would need a size M...not even close, was still on my tip toes standing over on a size S. So started looking at the measurements between a M 2020 Marlin and other bikes. Found a 2019 Cannondale Trail 5 at a lbs (equivalent to this years Trail 4) in a size S that is almost identical in measurements to a Marlin in M for 850.00. Gonna give it a test ride tomorrow. Definitely a step up as it is 1X10 and has RockShox XC30 (still coil but I think better than coil Suntour).

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    every bike store in the Portland metro area is sold out of any Pitch or Rockhopper. I called one shop - they got a shipment in of 40 (mixed between Rockhopper and Pitch) they sold out in less than 2 days. The funny thing is I had been thinking about this for some time - I live next to Forest Park in Portland, OR - beautiful place to ride. Just turns out Coronavirus had the same timing...but it might work out for the better as it has made me really try bikes and feel them out. I was sure I wanted a Roscoe - rode it, nope. Great bike but not what I was looking for. If this 2019 Trail 5 (equivalent to 2020 4) is spec'd out the way they say and its 850 - gonna go. Even better a 200 reimbursement from the company for buying a bike
    Last edited by CodyH1984; 05-07-2020 at 01:40 AM. Reason: corrected bike model

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodyH1984 View Post
    every bike store in the Portland metro area is sold out of any Pitch or Rockhopper. I called one shop - they got a shipment in of 40 (mixed between Rockhopper and Pitch) they sold out in less than 2 days. The funny thing is I had been thinking about this for some time - I live next to Forest Park in Portland, OR - beautiful place to ride. Just turns out Coronavirus had the same timing...but it might work out for the better as it has made me really try bikes and feel them out. I was sure I wanted a Roscoe - rode it, nope. Great bike but not what I was looking for. If this 2019 Trail 5 (equivalent to 2020 4) is spec'd out the way they say and its 850 - gonna go. Even better a 200 reimbursement from the company for buying a bike
    Yeah bikes are selling out fast here in my area too. I live up in WA a couple hours away from you. Shops have a lot of work and are booking 3+ weeks in advance to get work work orders done. A lot of starter bikes are selling out.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Yeah bikes are selling out fast here in my area too. I live up in WA a couple hours away from you. Shops have a lot of work and are booking 3+ weeks in advance to get work work orders done. A lot of starter bikes are selling out.
    well good news! was able to snag a new bike in this craziness. All things considered I think it was a great deal. Cannondale 5 (2019) so its the equivalent to the 2020 Cannondale 4. XC30 fork, Deore, 1X10. Just about everything I was looking for! Thanks for all the feedback and I hope I can be some help once I get back into the game!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2020 Trek Marlin 5 vs 2020 Trek Marlin 6-cd1.jpg  

    Last edited by CodyH1984; 05-22-2020 at 12:40 AM. Reason: added photo - loving the bike so far

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