2022 Trek Marlin 8 - A Great 'All Terrain Bike'
The Marlin range of mountain bikes has been a real success story for Trek over the last few years. The range starts at £450 but here we’re taking a look at the Marlin 8, the new range topping addition for the 2022 model year.
Mountain Bikes – A brief history lesson…
When mountain bikes first arrived on these shores in the 1980s they were often referred to as ‘All Terrain Bikes’. Their robust build and go anywhere ability meant that they were seen being ridden on city streets by commuters and cycle messengers as well as in the depths of forests and on remote mountaintops. Versatility and reliability were the keywords that attracted riders away from less comfortable racers and sports bikes with their skinny tyres and twitchy handling.
As mountain bikes have evolved we’ve seen more focused designs dominate, aimed at specific types of riding and with that, a move away from the versatile ‘one bike does it all’ approach of the early years. Even hardtails (front suspension bikes) have become hugely capable, with progressive geometry and heavy duty tyres, and although able to tackle very steep and technical terrain they now feel out of place on mellower terrain and certainly overbuilt for gravel paths or tarmac.
The rebirth of versatility
Thankfully, we have the Marlin 8, a bike that bucks that trend and combines sophisticated and up to date components with a lightweight aluminium frame and the easy rolling nature of the larger 27.5" and 29” wheels. As it’s a Trek bike, top quality construction, Bontrager components and mean that it’s a great long-term investment too. It will also be built carefully and considerately by our qualified mechanics here at our on-site workshop. As with every bike we sell – regardless of price – we’ll take plenty of time with the handover process on collection, answering all your questions.
Are you looking to start riding off road?
Whether it’s mountain biking at Haldon Forest, exploring local tracks and trails, or across town to work, the 2022 Marlin 8 is a great bike to start on. Here's why we think it's a winner...
A Lightweight Frame
Trek’s experience with aluminium is very apparent with the Marlin frame. Silver Series aluminium keeps the weight low but the details have not been overlooked – neat internal cable/hose routing, hydroformed tubing and a sharp looking paint job are all standard. The Marlin 8 fits well, rides smoothly and isn't overweight.
Adjustable Air Sprung Suspension Fork
The quality of a mountain bike’s suspension fork should not be underestimated. On the Marlin 8 you get a RockShox Judy Silver fork. It has 100mm of travel (80mm on the size XXS and XS) and an air spring, giving adjustability and the keeping weight low. Damping control is adjustable and there’s a lockout switch to firm up the fork for road use. This RockShox Judy fork will perform well on all surfaces – dirt, gravel and tarmac.
Easy to use 12 Speed Transmission:
We’ve recently seen a shift towards simpler gear systems with fewer gears, giving a more focused range of ratios and more intuitive shifting. It keeps weight low and these single chainring transmissions are quieter too. Sure, you may run out of gears in certain situations (bombing down a long road descent for example) but the benefits outweigh the compromises for most riders. The Marlin 8 uses a SRAM 1x12 SX Eagle transmission.
Powerful Hydraulic Disc Brakes
If you’re venturing off road and dipping your toes into the world of mountain biking then disc brakes are essential equipment. The Shimano brakes on the Marlin 8 are hydraulic (fluid rather than wire cables), giving you better control as well as more power. They are sealed from the weather and are low maintenance – at this price point Shimano disc brakes are the benchmark for reliability.
Multi-surface Tubeless Tyres
Trek’s component brand Bontrager was at the forefront of lighter weight ‘tubeless ready’ rim and tyre development, so this tech is good to see on a bike of this price. It can be run with regular inner tubes in too - if that's your preference.
A tubeless set-up means lower weight, an improved ride quality, a broader operating range of tyre pressures and fewer punctures.
The Tyres are from Maxxis; with EXO reinforced sidewalls for durability and a knobbly but low profile tread giving good performance on most surfaces that you’re likely to take this bike on. These tyres will roll fast and not hold you up on more mellow terrain or riding around town.
8 Frame Size Options
Few brands offer such a broad range of frame sizes as Trek. This Marlin is made in 8 frame options to suit riders from heights of 4’ 5” (135cm) to 6’ 8” (203cm). Crank length, stem length and handlebar width are all selected accordingly to each frame size.
Smart Wheel Size
There’s been a move to bigger wheel sizes – those early MTBs from the ‘80s rolled on 26” wheels – and the 29” size is certainly part of the Marlin’s multi-surface versatility. However, on smaller frame sizes Trek wisely fits the 27.5” wheels on sizes XS and S) and 26” on sizes XXS. It’s all about keeping the proportions correct, giving a better fit and consistent handling.
If you’re looking for an all-rounder with ability to take on commuting, light touring and family riding, as well as mountain biking, then you’ll need some accessories. The Marlin 8 has fittings for water bottle cages, a luggage rack and a side stand.
Bontrager has a great accessory range (and we keep the most popular products in stock), so discuss your needs with us and we can fit them to your new bike when assemble it and carry out the pre-delivery inspection.
Please phone us, or drop in to our store in St Marychurch, to discuss the new Marlin 8 and get sized up - we're taking orders for the next drop of bikes due in to us.
2022 Trek Marlin 8: £900
Read more HERE
Looking for a hardtail with 29” wheels but more travel? Check out the 2022 Trek Roscoe HERE
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