Trek Marlin 6 Review: Sufficient for Beginners, but…

Trek Marlin 6 review: bike photographed at the open pit mine.

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This article is an in-depth review of the Trek Marlin 6, an entry-level mountain bike.

I interviewed one of its owners. We discussed several aspects you might be interested in knowing before purchasing, such as whether the price matches the quality, its advantages and disadvantages, and more.


Marlin 6 is a good MTB for beginners. It uses a modern 1X drivetrain that is simple but offers limited gears (10spd only). Marlin 6 is ideal for non-demanding terrain like flow trails but not the best choice for more challenging terrain due to its short fork travel of 100mm and the absence of a dropper post. Feel free to buy it here or read on for more info.

About Tomasz

Hi, I’m Tomasz, and I’m 31 years old. I’m an active person who loves sports, especially cycling. I enjoy riding on quiet paths away from big cities, especially in mountainous and forested areas. Cycling makes me happy.

Trek Marlin 6 photographed at the open pit mine.
Trek Marlin 6

Trek Marlin 6 Summary

Trek currently offers Marlin 4 up to Marlin 8. The higher the number, the more high-end (and expensive) the bike. Below is the summary of Marlin 6.

Trek Marlin 6 Main Features

  • Weight (w/o pedals): 31.11 lbs [14.11 kg]
  • Wheels: Bontrager Connection, double-wall, 27.5″ or 29″ depending on the bike size
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCM 30, coil spring (100mm travel)
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore (1×10spd)
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M275 (hydraulic disc brakes) 
  • Tires: Bontrager XR2 Comp
  • Saddle: Bontrager Arvada

Trek Marlin 6 Pros & Cons

Below are the main advantages and disadvantages of Trek Marlin 6.

Trek Marlin 6 Pros

  • Renowned brand
  • Good price-value ratio
  • Available in 7 sizes (XS-XXL)
  • Compatible with racks 
  • Modern 1X drivetrain
  • Shimano Deore has a clutch system
  • Lock on grips

Trek Marlin 6 Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Limited gear range
  • Short travel front fork (only 100mm of travel)
  • Wheels are not tubeless ready
  • No dropper post

Tomasz’s Experience with Trek Marlin 6

What other alternatives did you consider before buying the Marlin 6, and why did the Marlin 6 win out in the end?

I compared various brands before purchasing the Marlin 6. I found that the Marlin 6 outperformed them in terms of accessories, workmanship, and price.

Have you bought the bike online or in a store? 

I purchased the bike from an online store, and it arrived fully assembled and adjusted, making it 100% ready to ride.

Wrapped but assembled Trek Marlin 6 on a pallete.
Assembled Trek Marlin 6 on a pallet

For what type of riding do you use this bike the most?

I exclusively use the Marlin 6 bike for cycling trails and adventure rides. I enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-track trails and paths, riding mainly on side roads, riverbank embankments, and through forests.

How would you describe its riding characteristics?

I think the Marlin 6 bike has excellent riding characteristics. It’s very comfortable and rides exceptionally well. It’s sturdy and torsionally strong. The handlebars and shifters are comfortable and don’t tire out the wrists and hands.

Does the front suspension work well?

The front suspension of the Marlin 6 bike works very well. It absorbs bumps effortlessly, and even when locked on even ground or hills, it performs well.

Trek Marlin 6 shot from the front with the focus on the front fork.
Trek Marlin 6 front suspension (100mm travel)

Would you like to have more gears, or are you ok with the modern 1X drivetrain?

Modern 1X derailleurs have limitations, especially on long straight sections where you can feel the absence of a second sprocket in the front. In other words, the gear range on Marlin 6 is limited.

Trek Marlin 6 shot from the rear side with a focus on a drivetrain.
Trek Marlin 6 uses a 1X drivetrain

How comfortable is it on a scale from 1 to 10?

I think I can give it a solid 10 without much thought.

What is your overall feeling from the ride?

I am very satisfied with my riding experience on the Marlin 6 bike. It handles well, and I am glad I bought it.

Is there something you don’t like about it?

I don’t have any major complaints about the Marlin 6 bike, but there is room for improvement in the modern 1X drivetrain. As I mentioned earlier, it can sometimes feel like something is missing.

What do you like the most about it?

What I like the most about it are the construction of the frame, the colors, and the very comfortable steering.

Trek Marlin 6 photographed at the open pit mine.
Trek Marlin 6

Trek Marlin 6 Alternatives

The Trek Marlin 6 alternatives include bikes from the same family, such as the Marlin 4 (cheaper) or Marlin 6 (more expensive), and MTBs from other brands. I recommend checking out my articles on beginner mountain bikes or mountain bikes for under $1000 for more inspiration. 


Would you recommend buying the Trek Marlin 6? 

Yes. I recommend buying Marlin 6. This bike has exceeded all my expectations, allowing me to access otherwise difficult places. I highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for a bike in this price range.

Tomasz, thank you again for your time and for sharing your experience!

Trek Marlin FAQ

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