Trek Marlin 8 Bike: In-Depth Review

One of the wonderful things about mountain bikes is that they all look the same on the surface level. But if one looks a bit more closely, a world of differences is extremely noticeable. While veterans and new bike enthusiasts both have different expectations of bicycles, there is a common ground. It is Trek Marlin 8 Bike.

There are always the bare essentials or requirements that these bikes have to pass. For example, the most important characteristics a mountain bike simply must have are durability and reliability. The mountain bike has to protect both itself and the rider from the harsh conditions it has to be ridden through.

While most of the more known bikes do pass this test of being incredibly sturdy and reliable, there are always models that stick out. As such, one particular bike has emerged, the one that has the potential to become one of the top-tier mountain bikes today.

The bike is the Marlin 8 model from the Trek Bicycle Corporation, and here are our thoughts about what makes this interesting model so special.

Trek Marlin 8 Mountain Bicycle

This new model does look like a regular bike at first sight, but it feels different when one uses it. As previously said, most mountain bikes are always built to be sturdy and reliable, and the riders feel it.

Neither you nor the bike feels the bumps and hits, you just continue on riding as if nothing happened. This bike is different. In addition to being really durable and reliable, it does have some extra characteristics that put it above the rest of other mountain bikes. Actually, it might be above other bikes in general.

This bike is really an all-around type of bicycle, as one can see from its characteristics.

Trek Marlin 8 Specifications

Trek has had the majority of people in mind when making this bike, trying to make it available to most people. As such, the bike comes in the majority of frame sizes, with an Alpha Silver Aluminum frame base for adults.

The rims and tires are Bontrager Kovee and Maxxis Ardent, respectively, also in various sizes. The whole drivetrain is equipped with SRAM parts, from the shifter to the chain.

Finally, the Trek Marlin 8 is equipped with a Shimano MT200 set of brakes, for all the daredevil riders out there. As for the bike weight itself, it stands at the 30-pound mark, with tubes included. The weight limit of the bike is 10 times its weight, so around 300 pounds.

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Trek Marlin 8 Features

The Trek Marlin 8 model does have some interesting features that work perfectly with each other and result in an imaginative design choice.

Cable Routing

The cables are placed inside the frame, which is not a new breakthrough, but nonetheless, a good choice. This makes the bike look much cleaner and slicker than ever.

The cables are not choked inside the tubing, as the hole is big enough to avoid choking but small enough to keep the mud out. The cables enter the frame below the handlebar. Besides the aesthetic look, this choice also keeps the cables safe by putting them away from outside harm.

The cables will get more longevity, as nothing will get caught in them and spoil the look of the bike.


The Trek Marlin 8 has a 1x drivetrain, which reduces the weight of the bike by removing the surplus gears and similar bulky parts. The downside of the 1x, as some might know, is the fewer gears than other standard drivetrains.

But the 1x also has fewer moving parts, which reduces the chance of something breaking down. The drivetrain also contains wide-range cassettes and rear derailleurs combined with chainrings that keep the chain laser-steady on off-road terrains.

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This combination of parts helps in smoother gear shifts while keeping the number of moving parts and overall weight at a minimum level. You should have no worries if you think the 1x system is insufficient for a mountain bike, as the Marlin 8 showed otherwise.


This model has 12 gears which is more than enough to conquer the uphill rides and have controlled descents. The model is equipped with the SRAM PG-1210, known for its reliability and control.

Air Spring

This model does not use the standard coil spring but an air one, one that is much less complicated.

The air spring is controlled through a valve, through which the rider can adjust the pressure while following a dimple inside to check when the pressure is even. The air spring that is fitted to this bike is the RockShox Solo air spring.

This one is known for being a lightweight spring with one valve, so it is easier to find a malfunction when there is only one part. It is also known for making the process of adjusting the tension go smoothly, which is important for both new bikers and veterans alike.


One of the best features of this model, the suspension allows you to switch the fork to inactive, in order to efficiently pedal.

This feature is common in professional bikes, and it really makes you feel like a pro biker. This feature is primarily used for straight roads and flat surfaces, or wherever bikers prioritize speed.

Body Design

As previously said, the design is suited for everyone, having the majority of sizes to fit as many as possible, from XXS to XXL.

In addition, the top tube is at an angle for easier mounting, with an additional model that has even more of a curvy top tube.

The frame design itself looks amazing and sleeker than ever. It looks more put-together in a way, rather than having an eclectic visual style. The length of the frame and the wheels’ distance look balanced and eye-catching.

Finally, the alpha silver aluminum frame adds to the streamlined design that favors style at first sight.


If you have a specific reason for not wanting to buy the Marlin 8 model, here are a few options for you. These bikes are similar to the Marlin 8 models, some are from a different manufacturer, while some are Trek Corporation models.

Rockhopper Expert

The Rockhopper Expert from Specialized Bicycle Components Inc. is a great option. It has a similar price tag but is more focused on speed. The Rockhopper Expert has the RockShox part in common with Marlin 8.

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Talon 2

The Talon 2 from Giant is another good alternative. The strength of this bike is uphill and downhill rides. Another good thing is that this model is more affordable than the Marlin 8, making it a popular alternative to the said model.

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Roscoe and X-Caliber Models

Literally, any Roscoe model from Trek is a good alternative. They are bigger and made for rough and bumpy rides. Being from the same manufacturer, they share a lot in common, with the Roscoe models being especially useful in extremely rough conditions.

As for the X-Caliber models, from Trek, they are mostly a combination of racing and mountain bike. They are thinner but still sturdy, but unstable for extremely rough terrains, built mostly with speed in mind.

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Who Is This Bike For?

This bicycle is a great model with amazing equipped parts, however, it might not be for everyone. This is a top bicycle meant mostly for professional bikers who like to go off the beaten path.

On the flip side, it can also be used for causal rides, as it has really good handling, suitable for everyone. To put it shortly, it is a bike that can be used by everyone, it just depends on a few things.

Depends on your own taste, needs, and budget, but the Marlin 8 model is really an all-around bike that is a jack of all trades.


One of the wonderful things about mountain bikes is that they all look the same at first sight. But if one looks a bit more closely, there are a lot of noticeable differences.

While the Trek Marlin 8 model does have the durability and reliability of a mountain bike, it is much more. It is a rare jack-of-all-trades bike that everybody can enjoy, regardless of their own needs.

Everything is a breath of fresh air for this model, from its design to the specifics. As such, this model can be recommended to everyone, it is one of the best models currently in the market.


How much does the Marlin 8 bike cost?

The price will not set you back too much, as it usually floats around a thousand-dollar price tag. It is a bit more expensive than other mountain bikes, as the average price of mountain bikes is around 800 dollars, max. But you do get a great bike for the price.

Is This a Bike for Me?

As said in the article, this bike is really for everyone’s needs. It is sturdy and great for off-roading, it is good for straight rides on flat surfaces, although lacking speed. All in all, you would not make a mistake if you bought it.

Is This Bike Good for Sprinting or Uphill/Downhill Rides?

While it is a jack of all trades, there might be some other models that excel in sprinting and uphill or downhill rides. What this model lacks is speed, so it is not the best option for bikers who want to ride it in these conditions.

Patrick Flinch

Patrick Flinch is a professional cyclist, according to him, cycling is a sport that also helps people stay in good shape. Cycling takes many forms, and styles and so does the cycling equipment, however, this information is not available to everyone and that is why Patrick thought it wise to consolidate the most important information about cycling on “For the Bike Magazine.” Beginner, intermediate and professional cyclists will be furnished with useful insights. They will be able to understand the differences and benefits of both online and physical cycling. Apart from Cycling, Patrick is a family man, he is passionate about cycling and when not on duty, he loves to enjoy biking with his crew.