Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ) Review – The Verdict!

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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 ) Breakdown Components

Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ) in a glance:

FrameAlpha Silver Aluminum
ForkSR Suntour XCM 30 Coil Spring 100mm
ShiftersShimano Altus M315
Front DerailleurShimano Altus M315
Rear DerailleurShimano Altus M310
HeadsetSemi-integrated, 1-1/8”
BrakesTektro HD-M276 hydraulic disc
TiresBontrager XR2 Comp
WeightM 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 SizeRider’s HeightWheel Size
2XS4’5.0” – 4’9.0”26”
XS4’9.1″ – 5’0.9”27.5”
S5’1.0” – 5’4.9”27.5”
M5’5.0” – 5’7.9”29”
M/L5’8.0” – 5’10.0”29”
L5’11” – 6’1.9”29”
XL6’2” – 6’4.9”29”
2XL6’5” – 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 ).

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About Alek Asaduryan

Alek Asaduryan is the founder of YesCycling and has been riding bikes and in the cycling industry since 1991. Since then, his mission is to make cycling more accessible to everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people to achieve that. When he's not out riding his beloved fitness bike, Alek reports on news, gear, guides, and all things cycling related.

1 thought on “Trek Marlin 5 ( 2022 ) Review – The Verdict!”

  1. Hello, i have a Trek Marlin 5 Gen 2
    2023 and i need a middle axe replacment. Please can anyone point me in the right direction? Thank you.

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