Trek Marlin 7 Review: Best Overall Mountain Bike?

New mountain bikers looking to buy a great bike should consider everything the Trek Marlin 7 has to offer. 

This impressive mountain bike has it all. The Trek Marlin 7 is great for anyone who is just starting out or for those who have been riding for a while and want to upgrade to a new or better mountain bike. 

This review will tell you everything you need to know about the Trek Marlin 7 and help you decide if it’s the right mountain bike for you.

Trek Marlin 7 – Crucial Components

Drive Train: 

The Marlin 7 drive train is highly efficient and extremely light. It has a wide range of gears and they all shift smoothly. 

The rear shifter is super convenient and makes shifting faster, with smaller jumps as the gears switch over. 

The rear shifter serves as a convenient gear indicator. It is designed to be easy to read and is very responsive, so you can get more out of your MTB. 

The rear derailleur also helps make shifting more smooth. 

The FSA Alpha Drive crank, combined with the race-inspired geometry of the Marlin 7, gives it a sleek and fast aesthetic.

Brakes: Hydraulic

Mountain biking is not all about traversing trails speedily, you will also need to stop quickly and smoothly. Luckily, the Trek Marlin 7 has a good braking system. 

It features a chainstay disc brake mount for added convenience and hydraulic disc brakes for a smooth stop. Hydraulic disc brakes are popular on race-worthy mountain bikes and are a top choice among new and experienced riders alike. 

The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes can be found on any mid-range bike as well as on higher-end race bikes.

Suspension: Advanced

If you want a comfortable ride, or if you plan to ride on more technical trails, you will appreciate the impressive shock absorption the bike offers. It’s sturdy enough to handle all the tough stuff you encounter on the trails. 

The coil spring allows the bike to move with the obstacles on the trail. The Trek Marlin 7 has an advanced suspension system that makes it a great cross-country bike and a great entry-level bike for trail riders that find comfort just as important as performance.

Frame: Alpha Silver Aluminum

The light frame of the Trek Marlin 7 is perfect for speed and performance. It also makes steering and control easier.  

The Alpha Silver aluminum frame is sturdy and capable of supporting a maximum total weight limit of 300 pounds. And it comes in different sizes to suit riders of various heights.

It has a race-ready frame geometry which is nice for both amateur riders and anyone who plans to ride on rough terrain and needs a bike that will endure a rocky ride. 

The lightweight RockShox fork and the Alpha Silver frame provide the total package when it comes to looks and performance. 

Wheels and Tires: Bontrager Connection 

The wheels and tires of an MTB affect its overall performance. The Trek Marlin 7 has Bontrager Connection tires and aluminum wheels, which are lightweight with a sleek design. 

The tires are thin but have a unique tread pattern that grabs the trail and helps keep the bike on track, regardless of the speed you’re going.

Extras

There are many extras available in the Marlin lineup that make these such popular bikes. For example, rear mounts are available for baskets and bags, if needed. 

Comp tires, Alpha Silver aluminum frames, double-wall tires, and internal-routing hidden cables are all features that deserve to be pointed out and help make the Trek Marlin 7 an impressively fast cross-country hardtail and a great first mountain bike. 

If that’s not enough to impress you, check out the Bontrager XR trail comp grips that are easy on the eyes and your hands. Even the small details, like the kickstand mount and rear kickstand, have been designed to be stylish and sturdy.

Pros and Cons of the Trek Marlin 7

If you are planning to buy a new MTB and have been considering the Trek Marlin 7, you can be assured that it’s a decent bike and is considered by many to be a great intermediate-level bike. But before you buy anything, it’s still a good idea to find out the pros and cons. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of this MTB:

Pros

  • Fast shifting

The rear derailleur and the smooth drive chain allow the Trek Marlin 7 to shift through all the gears quickly and smoothly. 

  • Lightweight frame

The lightweight aluminum frame allows this bike to fit on rack mounts and makes it easy to ride, steer, and carry, if needed, in between races or trail rides. This also makes shifting easier and enables you to go as fast as possible when racing.

  • Comfort

The fast and easy shifting make the Trek Marlin 7 a very comfortable bike to ride. The adjustable seat tube allows riders to change their posture and position on the bike as needed. 

The lighter frame makes it easy to transport too, so it’s a good bike to have if you travel often to different locations. 

  • Sleek design

Not only does this bike perform well, but it looks nice too. If you like a bike with a sleek appearance, this is the one to get. 

An internal cable routing system means everything is tucked away nicely. The thin tires and aluminum wheels also add to the look of the bike.

Cons

  • Cost

This bike is not cheap and may not be in everyone’s price range. At around $800, it falls into the middle-range price bracket. 

Although the price tag is quite hefty, it offers amazing value for money when you consider the specs.

  • Low-level Shimano groupset

While the low-level Shimano components help keep the bike more affordable and lightweight, they may not be enough for more experienced bikers. If you need something a little more advanced, this is not the right bike for you.

How to Decide If the Trek Marlin 7 Mountain Bike Is Right for You

If you are in the market for a new bike for trail riding and are considering the Marlin 7, there are a few things you should consider to determine if it’s the right bike for you.

Riding Style

The type of MTB you choose should depend on the type of trails you ride. If you have serious singletrack aspirations, the Marlin 7 is a great option. The lightweight frame and Bontrager alloy wheels allow it to stay sturdy on the trail and take all the hits and bumps. 

Budget

The Trek Marlin 7 isn’t a cheap mountain bike, but it is affordable. Before you start shopping for any type of bike, you need to have an idea of your budget. 

Not all mountain bikes are within the same price range, and your budget will determine the type of bikes you can choose from. 

Keep in mind, when it comes to mountain bikes, you get what you pay for. For example, budget-friendly bikes may have entry-level Shimano components, while higher-end bikes will have better performing gears and parts.

Design Preference

While performance should always be a priority for bikers, you also want to think about the design of your bike. This bike has a sleek look, and if that’s what you are going for, it won’t disappoint. 

This is a bike that looks as good as it performs.

Comfort

You want to make sure the bike you choose is ultra comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable on your bike, you won’t want to ride it as often and won’t get your money’s worth. 

This bike is very comfortable thanks to its adjustable seat and pedals, as well as gears that shift so smoothly you won’t feel any bumps or jumps as you switch gears. The suspension is also impressive and will keep your ride smooth and comfortable without a lot of shock and movement, even on the rough trails.

Conclusion

The Trek Marlin 7 is the most advanced and expensive bike in the Trek Bikes’ Marlin series, but it’s still a medium-level bike that average riders will enjoy the most because of its durability, price, and performance. If you’re a more serious rider, there are a few components you’ll probably want to upgrade.

Its rugged design makes it perfect for cross-country trails and mountains, so it may be a waste for more casual riders who are just looking for a bike to commute on. 

The Trek Marlin 7 could be considered a stepping stone to a high-level bike; however, because it looks so good and performs so well, it’s popular with riders of all levels.