2020 Trek Marlin: What you need to know

The 2020 Trek Marlin is a quality entry-level hardtail mountain bike. It is ideal for kids, commuters and those new to mountain biking. It has seen improvements in its frame, components and design.

It is worth noting at this point that the Trek Marlin has proper mountain bike geometry. This is quite rare for beginner mountain bikes, making it stand out from other bikes of a similar price, as you can actually ride it on the trails and have fun. However, this is not the type of bike that you want to start hitting big jumps or very technical terrain. But, if you are looking for a fun bike to take on relatively mellow trails, cross country rides or gravel tracks, the 2020 Trek Marlin is worth considering.


The frame has been totally updated for 2020. All the bikes have the Alpha Silver Aluminium frame apart from the Marlin 4. This brings the 2020 Trek Marlin’s geometry and weight closer to the X-Caliber, which is a cross country race bike. It has internal cable routing to protect the cables and to give it a nice and tidy look. If you decide to upgrade to a dropper seat post, the internal cable routing is ready and waiting for it too.

Other Upgrades and Features

The 2020 Trek Marlin has upgraded contact points. Lock-on grips and low profile pedals all enhance the riding experience. There have been reports from some owners that the saddle isn’t particularly comfortable though (but you can obviously upgrade it if you don’t get on with it). But the new enhancements give a new rider a confidence-inducing feeling, making it a great bike to hone your skills on.

All the models in the range come with 100mm forks, disc brakes and a simple, durable drivetrain. These features are a similar style to what you would find on a cross country race bike. This means pedalling is smooth and efficient. It will cope with trail centre trails with no problem, but the higher-end versions are more comfortable thanks to the upgraded forks.

One notable feature that the 2020 Trek Marlin has (as do all Trek bikes), is the lifetime warranty. This adds value for money to an already well-priced bike.

For 2020, Trek has released women’s specific bikes in the Marlin range. These have the same geometry and components, but they have grips, handlebars, pedals and saddles designed for women, replacing the Trek Skye range of bikes.

Wheels and Brakes

Mountain bike wheel sizes are always worth looking at when you are buying a bike. The Marlin has different wheel sizes for different frame sizes. The extra small and small frame sizes have 27.5″ wheels while everything above a medium has 29″ wheels. This means that smaller riders will find the bike nimble and easy to change direction.

The hydraulic disc brakes and internal cable routing are features that are usually found on more expensive bikes, adding to the Trek Marlin’s great value for money.

Things to Consider When Choosing

  • The Trek Marlin is a hardtail bike aimed at people that want a bike for transport, as well as for having fun off-road on a budget. For riders that are planning on using it for just trail riding, the 2020 Trek Marlin should be fine, and you will have a lot of fun on it. But very rough terrain or downhill trails will be tricky. 
  • Although the 2020 Trek Marlin has been fitted with improved from previous models, you may find that you want better ones. This is quite standard practise for new bikes, as they usually come with pedals that are not particularly grippy.
  • Smaller frame sizes come with short-reach brake levers. These make it easier for riders with small hands to brake.

2020 Trek Marlin 5

2020 trek marlin

The 2020 Trek Marlin 5 is the entry-level version of this hardtail. It is suited to riding daily as a commuter, but it also works well on the trails. This versatility makes it a good value for money bike at £395. Therefore, if you are looking for a reliable commuter bike that can hold its own on an off-road trail, this is worth considering. The light frame and 21 gears make this an efficient bike to pedal while the hydraulic disc brakes give it plenty of stopping power.

The fact that the Marlin 5 comes with a kickstand should give you an idea of what it is designed for. But, it is a low priced mountain bike that is suitable as a mode of transport, no matter what the surface you are riding on is.


Weight17.5˝ – 14.56 kg / 32.1 lbs (with tubes)
FrameAlpha Silver Aluminium, internal derailleur, dropper post and brake routing, chainstay brake mount, rack and kickstand mount, G2 Geometry on 29ers
Front suspensionSR Suntour XCE 28, coil spring, preload, G2 Geometry w/51 mm offset on 29ers, 100 mm travel (13.5: 80 mm travel)
Front HubFormula DC20 alloy
Rear HubFormula DC31 alloy
RimsBontrager Connection 32-hole double-walled
TiresBontrager XR2, 29×2.20˝ front, 29×2.0˝ rear (13.5 & 15.5: 27.5×2.20˝)
ShiftersShimano Altus M310, 7 speed
Front derailleurShimano Tourney TY300
Rear derailleurShimano Tourney TY300
CrankShimano Tourney TY301, 42/34/24
Bottom bracketSealed cartridge, 73 mm
CassetteShimano TZ500, 14-28, 7–speed
ChainKMC Z51
PedalsVP-536 nylon platform
SaddleBontrager Arvada
SeatpostBontrager alloy, 2-bolt head, 31.6 mm, 12 mm offset
HandlebarBontrager alloy, 31.8 mm, 5 mm rise, 720 mm width (13.5: 690 mm width)
StemBontrager alloy, 31.8 mm, 7-degree, Blendr compatible
GripsBontrager XR Endurance Comp
Headset1-1/8˝ threadless, semi-integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
BrakesetTektro HD-275 hydraulic disc (13.5 & 15.5: Tektro HD-276 short reach lever) 

Trek Marlin 6

The 2020 Trek Marlin 6 is a bit more of a mountain bike than the 5. It is actually an entry-level cross country bike. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as a commuter too though. This is because it comes with the mounts for a kickstand, mudguards and rack.

It has a wide range of gears for fast and easy pedalling on any surface you need to ride on. It is running a 2 x 8 drivetrain. Which is rare for a bike in this price range, as they normally have a triple chainring upfront. The advantage you get with this is, there is less chance of your chain coming off on bumpy terrain and you can change gear quicker.

This version of the Marlin has a suspension lockout feature. This means you can stop the suspension bouncing when you are riding roads or climbing, to make pedalling more efficient.


FrameAlpha Silver Aluminium, internal routing, chainstay disc-brake mount, rack and kickstand mount, 135×5 mm QR  
ForkSR Suntour XCT 30, coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, 51mm offset for 29″ wheel, 100 mm QR, 100 mm travel  
Front suspensionSR Suntour XCT 30, coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, 51mm offset for 29″ wheel, 100 mm QR, 100 mm travel  
Front HubFormula DC-20, alloy, 6-bolt, 5×100 mm QR  
Rear HubFormula DC-22, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, 135×5 mm QR  
RimsBontrager Connection, double-wall, 32-hole, 20 mm width, Schrader valve  
TiresBontrager XR3 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29×2.20″  
ShiftersShimano Altus M315, 8-speed  
Front derailleurShimano Altus M315, 34.9 mm clamp, top swing, dual pull  
Rear derailleurShimano Altus M310  
CrankShimano M315, 36/22  
Bottom bracketVP BC73, 73 mm, threaded cartridge  
CassetteShimano HG31, 11-34, 8-speed  
ChainKMC Z8.3, 8-speed  
SaddleBontrager Arvada, steel rails  
SeatpostBontrager alloy, 31.6 mm, 12 mm offset  
HandlebarBontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise  
StemBontrager alloy, 31.8 mm, Blendr-compatible, 7-degree  
GripsBontrager XR Endurance Comp  
HeadsetSemi-integrated, 1-1/8″  
PedalsNot Included

Trek Marlin 7

2020 trek marlin

The 2020 Trek Marlin 7 is a mountain bike that is at home on a commute as it is in a cross country race. It has a higher quality fork and components to reflect its racing ability. This is the flagship model of the Marlin range, with a RockShox fork equipped with a lockout and 18-speed drivetrain.

This bike is designed to take on long distances over smooth and rough terrain, either for fun or for racing. Priced at just £550, makes it a very good value for money mountain bike.


FrameAlpha Silver Aluminum, internal routing, chainstay disc brake mount, rack and kickstand mount, 135x5mm QR  
ForkRockShox XC 30, coil spring, preload, TurnKey lockout, 100mm QR, 100mm travel  
Front suspensionRockShox XC 30, coil spring, preload, TurnKey lockout, 46mm offset for 29″ wheel, 100mm QR, 100mm travel  
Front HubFormula DC-20, alloy, 6-bolt, 5x100mm QR  
Rear HubFormula DC-22, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, 135x5mm QR  
RimsBontrager Connection, double-wall, 32-hole, 20mm width, presta valve  
TiresBontrager XR2 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29×2.20″  
ShiftersShimano Altus M2010, 9 speed  
Front derailleurShimano Altus M2020, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, dual pull  
Rear derailleurShimano Acera M3000, Shadow design, long cage  
CrankShimano MT101, 36/22  
Bottom bracketVP BC73, 73mm, threaded cartridge  
CassetteShimano HG200, 11-36, 9 speed  
ChainKMC X9, 9 speed  
PedalsVP-536 nylon platform  
SaddleBontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width  
SeatpostBontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset  
HandlebarBontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise  
StemBontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree  
GripsBontrager XR Trail Comp, nylon lock-on  
HeadsetSemi-integrated, 1-1/8″  
BrakesetShimano MT200 hydraulic disc  

What do you think?

Are you tempted to go for a 2020 Trek Marlin? Do you have experience with Trek bikes? I would love to know your opinions, thoughts and questions. Please leave them in the comments section below. 

13 thoughts on “2020 Trek Marlin: What you need to know

  • 05/08/2019 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for the article about the latest Trek Marlin mountain bikes available (and the reminder about the lifetime warranty). It’s helpful that you’ve pointed out which bikes are good options for someone who wants to both be able to take it on the trail and to use as a daily commuter. Many people don’t have the space for more than one bike so it’s great to find options that will work in a variety of environments and conditions!

    • 05/08/2019 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Aly,

      Thanks for your comment. It is a good versatile bike for novice riders.

  • 05/08/2019 at 9:02 pm

    Definitely tempted with this bike; it’s a great one that I can use pretty much anywhere from the sound of it, and with a decent price like 395, it’s something that won’t break the bank, either. I have no real experience with Trek bikes, but this one looks like a real ringer. I like how it’s versatile for those of us who are smaller, too. 

    • 05/08/2019 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Todd,

      Thanks for your comment. It is well priced and well made. I wouldn’t be suitable for big downhill trails with jumps and drops, but it would be good for most novice riders.

  • 17/08/2019 at 1:54 am

    I would be interested in seeing how the internal cable routing for the dropper post is accomplished on the Marlin 7″

  • 19/08/2019 at 4:13 pm

    I just got my new 2020 Marlin 7 Emerald/Iris and no holes.

  • 19/08/2019 at 7:02 pm

    Major disappointment in Trek, but the claim is that they changed them for 2020. Apparently the derailleur being used mounts over the reinforcement area and the brilliant engineers decided to just nix it. Thoroughly disappointed.

    • 25/08/2019 at 5:23 pm

      That is good to know. Thanks for sharing, it is great to get information from customers positive and negative.

  • 27/08/2019 at 11:22 am

    Just got the marlin 7 2020, it doesn’t have 27 gears it has 18 and I think they have under geared it. Other than that it is a brilliant bike.

    • 28/08/2019 at 9:56 am

      Hi Brian,

      You are right! Not sure where I got that from, thanks for pointing it out. I have now changed the info. Glad you like the bike, and thanks for letting me know.


  • 23/09/2019 at 7:20 pm

    Just picked um my marlin 6, great looking bike But the pedal’s aren’t great can anyone suggest any worth while or any other simple upgrades worth doing. Thanks

    • 23/09/2019 at 9:09 pm

      Hi James, It all depends open your budget. I have the Nukeproof Horizon pedals and they are the best I have used. However, if you want something a little cheaper, check out the DMR V12. You can see them on chain reaction on the link below.


      Thanks for your comment



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