Trek Marlin 5 is a fantastic mountain bike for the trails. The new 2022 model is an even better trail-worthy daily rider for most people looking for an affordable option by an excellent bike brand.
This bike comes with everything you might need in a trail bike – a 2×8 drivetrain, a good suspension fork, many mounts for racks and a kickstand, and mechanical disc brakes.
The last model ( 2021 ) of Marlin 5 has been featured ( “Great Value and Performance” award ) as one of the most incredible budget mountain bikes of the year. Read the full article here.
Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ) in a glance:
|Frame||Alpha Silver Aluminum|
|Fork||SR Suntour XCM 30 Coil Spring 100mm|
|Shifters||Shimano Altus M315|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Altus M315|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Altus M310|
|Brakes||Tektro HD-M276 hydraulic disc|
|Tires||Bontrager XR2 Comp|
|Weight||M Size – 30.80 lbs / 13.9725 kg|
The Frame & Suspension Fork
Trek Marlin 5 features a high-quality Trek Alpha Silver Aluminum frame from the last model, Trek Marlin 6 ( 2021 ), but in a different color scheme. The frame looks and feels great with the internal cable routing, which means all your shift and brake cables go inside the frame for a clean and simple look.
You also get a rear kickstand mount (sold separately ) and rack mounts if you plan to use the Marlin 5 for long rides.
The front fork is the same as Trek Marlin 6 from 2021 and is the most significant upgrade from the Marlin 5 of 2021 – SR Suntour XCT 30. It offers a hydraulic lockout to have a fully rigid fork or a full suspension fork. This is a great option for anyone who wants to ride Marlin 5 on extended road sections where efficiency should be much better with a rigid fork.
Drivetrain and Other Components
Everything here also matches the Marlin 6 ( 2021 ), which means many exceptional components on top of the aluminum frame. Let’s start with the most important one – the drivetrain.
Trek Marlin 5 is now set up with a 2 x 8 drivetrain, with just 2 rings in the front ( the previous model had 3 ) and 8 speeds at the back ( the previous model had 7 ). As you might expect from a Trek bike, the entire groupset is Shimano Altus – a second-tier groupset in the Shimano hierarchy. We love Altus for its affordability and the amazing shifting it offers.
As a result of this change from the last model, you get a similar range just now with 2 rings up front, which means you will need to do quite a bit less shifting.
The shifting itself is commanded by simple Shimano Altus trigger shifters. They are simple to operate and very reliable in the long run.
Trek Marlin 5 Brakes
Similarly priced mountain bikes often come with simple mechanical disc brakes, but we have a much better braking system here.
To bring the bike to a slow, you’ve got some Tektro hydraulic disc brakes – these are going to be mineral oil brakes which means they’re going to perform amazingly in all types of conditions. They use a two-piston caliper on 160mm rotors in the front and the rear.
Read more: Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Disc Brakes
Smart Wheel Size
Trek is a brand that is well known for the vast variety of sizes that are available for most of their mid-priced and high-end bikes. But now, you can find the best bike size for you, even for entry-level models like the Marlin 5.
Trek Marlin 5 comes with the so-called smart wheel size. This means you get a different wheel size on the various frame sizes. The bike can roll on 26”, 27.5”, or 29” wheels.
Here’s a simple table with the sizing:
|Frame Size||Rider’s Height||Wheel Size|
|2XS||4’5.0” – 4’9.0”||26”|
|XS||4’9.1″ – 5’0.9”||27.5”|
|S||5’1.0” – 5’4.9”||27.5”|
|M||5’5.0” – 5’7.9”||29”|
|M/L||5’8.0” – 5’10.0”||29”|
|L||5’11” – 6’1.9”||29”|
|XL||6’2” – 6’4.9”||29”|
|2XL||6’5” – 6’8”||29”|
Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ) – The Verdict!
Should you buy it, shortlist it or avoid it? Here’s our conclusion. We think that you should buy the Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ). If you can spend around $700 for an entry-level mountain bike for the trails, then this bike should be on the top of your list. If your budget is less than that, but you still want a decent mountain bike, check the Cannondale Trail 8 ( 2021 ).