Is Trek Marlin 6 Worth Buying? [Trek Marlin 6 Review]

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The Trek Marlin 6 is the latest in the Trek Marlin series of mountain bikes compared to the Marlin 5. It has a lot of similarities, but is different in terms of riding experience due to the improvements in the drivetrain.

The Trek Marlin 6 is known for its new paint color, and its better handling frame, which our testers really liked. We will step by step Trek Marlin 6’s descending and climbing performance, components and specifications, and comparison with other mountain bikes.

If you prefer a smaller budget you can check out our Trek Marlin 5 Review.


Although fast descents are not the Trek Marlin 6’s specialty, we opted for a longer wooded descent. Loose branches are a difficult terrain for many cheap mountain bikes.

But the Trek Marlin 6 has big 29″ tires and 2.2″ wide tires that roll quickly down descending paths where roots and rocks are not visible. Fast descents on rough trails are very easy on the Marlin 6 with its 100mm shock fork, and very good maneuverability.

In fact, I had so much confidence in this SR Suntour that the fast descending trails didn’t bottom out. Our testers didn’t do a particularly rough ride, either. So all things considered, we think the Trek Marlin 6’s fast descents in slick trails are where it shines. Not really suitable for hard rock descents.


Trek Marlin 6 Climbing Performance

Like the Trek Marlin 5, the Trek Marlin 6 is equally impressive, dropping considerable speed on the climbs.

I really like the gentle gradient climbs, which are the most popular climbs for recreational riders. And the Trek Marlin 6 is right up my alley. Trek Marlin 6 uses Tektro’s 100mm travel fork (smaller size is 80mm) with a lockout feature that saves most of the effort on climbs. And it’s a 1X10 drivetrain, although This drivetrain is limited in range, but this test was on moderately difficult climbs without too much difficulty to speak of.

We hit a few snags when we were on particularly steep or gravel-filled uphill roads. Considering its purpose, we can well understand such a design.

General Terrain

trek marlin 6 - General Terrain

If you’re a commuter rider, then you’ll easily fall in love with the Trek Marlin 6’s versatility.

Considering the need for more moderate to low difficulty trails or hilly mountain riding, the loaded pauseable fork and 1X10 drivetrain with a slightly steeper head tube angle are at ease in these terrains.

Flat trails are the best stage for the Marlin 6 mountain bike, with mountable fenders and a rear rack frame that allows you to cross shallow puddles with peace of mind. Last but not least is efficient riding when commuting to the roads, with medium size tires of 27.5 inches or large tires of 29 inches that allow you to ride fast.

The not-too-wide tires give you more maneuverability, and the hydraulic disc brakes provide very good braking power even on long downhills on the road. So we think the Marlin 6 has a strong appeal for the everyday adventurer.

Components and Specifications

Frame (4.5/5)

Trek Marlin 6
Trek Marlin 6

The Alpha Silver Aluminium frame of the Trek Marlin 6 is lightweight, yet rugged and durable.

The versatility is not only in the ability to ride on a variety of terrains, but also in Trek’s frame design for the Trek Marlin 6.

trek marlin 6 Internal cable routing

The XS-S has a curved head tube, which makes it easier for smaller riders or junior riders to straddle. The clean and tidy internal alignment protects the cable from damage and extends its life. Reserved for rack and bracket mounts, as well as mudguard mounts. Makes long trips or daily commuting much more convenient.

Mountain riding also requires a water bottle holder, and Marlin 6 is equipped with water bottle mounting holes at the seat post and downtube respectively. Let you have plenty of water to replenish after exercise. No easy quick-release front and rear tires are used to make you faster on mountain rides or commuter rides.

All in all this frame design is all about making the rider enjoy the ride more.

1X10 drivetrain (4.2/5)

As the popular 1X drivetrain has a much simpler familiarization process. It ditches the front chainstay’s and lets the shifting concentrate on the rear chainstay, which beginners can get familiar with faster.

And the wide range of flywheels still provides you with all the gearing you need for big climbs and steep hills.

The Trek Marlin 6 is equipped with a Shimano Deore which is a mid-range drivetrain with stable shifting and rugged durability.

SR Suntour fork (4.0/5)

Trek Marlin 6 SR Suntour fork

The low to mid-range SR Suntour is not my favorite, as I mentioned in the Trek Marlin 5. But still, the same Marlin 6 plays a big role in descents and bumpy ground.

100mm of travel is the maximum travel this bike is compatible with. Just enough for off-road and if you want to go further, it seems to get tough.

Of course, we need to be reasonable with the Trek Marlin 6, so we still approve of the Trek Marlin 6’s fork’s work performance.

Bontrager XR2 Comp Tires (3.9/5)

Apparently, a fair number of mountain riders were not happy with the Bontrager XR2 Comp being only 2.2″ wide. But the Bontrager XR2 Comp has a smaller knob, which provides better traction in soft hills or muddy terrain.

The not-so-wide tires provide better maneuverability. Although not as good as the 2.3-2.5″ wide tires in rough mountain riding. But you can’t put the Bontrager XR2 Comp in the category of inferior tires either.

I can only give the Marlin 6 3.5 stars for satisfaction. On the one hand we prefer intense mountain riding, on the other hand there are no components that wowed our testers with their performance on climbs.

Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brake (4.5/5)

The Trek Marlin 6 is equipped with Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes, which are a mid- to high-end accessory.

It performs particularly well on descending roads, with precise braking yet not lacking in softness. We never go for reasonable claims, and the Marlin 6 seems to exceed the norm when it comes to brake components. It doesn’t take much modulation to achieve very strong braking.

The brake lever is closer to the hand so that smaller riders won’t resist this mountain bike. Although the Trek Marlin 6 brakes are a little bit away from the high-end stuff, that can only be noticed on a bad mountain ride.

Benefits of the Trek Marlin 6 mountain bike

  • The Trek Marlin 6’s low to medium price point makes it easier for riders to own
  • Lightweight frame for beginners
  • 1X10 drivetrain simplifies shifting
  • Rear rack and 2 water bottle cages ensure you have plenty of storage space for water and supplies
  • 100mm shock front fork with good witness

What we don’t like about it

  • No 26-inch tires
  • Somewhat stiff seat
  • Pedals are easily damaged

Trek Marlin 6 Specs


FrameAlpha Silver Aluminum, internal routing, chainstay disc brake mount, rack and kickstand mount, 135x5mm QR
*ForkSize: XS
SR Suntour XCT 30, coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, 42mm offset for 27.5” wheel, 100mm QR, 80mm travel
Size: S
SR Suntour XCT 30, coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, 42mm offset for 27.5” wheel, 100mm QR, 100mm travel
Size: M , ML , L , XL , XXL
SR Suntour XCT 30, coil spring, preload, hydraulic lockout, 46mm offset for 29” wheel, 100mm QR, 100mm travel
Max compatible fork travel100mm (XS & S: 490mm axle-to-crown, M & up: 509mm axle-to-crown)


Hub frontFormula DC-20, alloy, 6-bolt, 5x100mm QR
Hub rearFormula DC-22, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, 135x5mm QR
RimBontrager Connection, double-wall, 32-hole, 20mm width, schrader valve
*TireSize: XS , S
Bontrager XR2 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 27.5×2.20”
Size: M , ML , L , XL , XXL
Bontrager XR2 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29×2.20”
Max tire sizeFrame: 29×2.20″ (XS & S: 27.5×2.4″) Fork: See manufacturer


ShifterShimano Deore M4100, 10 speed
Rear derailleurShimano Deore M5120, long cage
CrankProwheel C10Y-NW, 30T steel narrow-wide ring, 170mm length
Bottom bracketSealed cartridge, 73mm
CassetteShimano Deore M4100, 11-46, 10 speed
ChainKMC X10, 10 speed
PedalVP-536 nylon platform
Max chainring size1x/2x: 34T, 3x: 42T


SaddleBontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width
*SeatpostSize: XS , S , M
Bontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset, 330mm length
Size: ML , L , XL , XXL
Bontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset, 400mm length
*HandlebarSize: XS
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise, 690mm width
Size: S , M , ML , L , XL , XXL
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise, 720mm width
GripsBontrager XR Endurance Comp, lock-on
*StemSize: XS
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 50mm length
Size: S
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 60mm length
Size: M
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 70mm length
Size: ML, L
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 80mm length
Size: XL, XXL
Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 90mm length
HeadsetSemi-integrated, 1-1/8”
BrakeTektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc
Brake SetTektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor


WeightM – 14.11 kg / 31.11 lbs
Weight limitThis bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg).


  • How much does a Trek Marlin 6 weight?

The body weight of the M frame is 31.11 lbs (14.11 kg).

  • What is the weight limit for the Marlin 6?

This bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg).

What frame sizes are available for Trek Marlin 6?

Frame size numberFrame size letterWheel size

Comparison table

BicycleFrame materialWheel sizeSpeed NumberPrice
Trek 820 mountain bikeTrek Custom Steel26-Inch21Click View
Trek Marlin 5 mountain bikeAluminum27.5-29 Inch16Click View
Trek Marlin 7 mountain bikeAluminum27.5-29 Inch10Click View
EVIL The InsurgentCarbon[front] 27.5 x 2.5in, [rear] 27.5 x 2.3in12Click View
Schwinn Moab 3 Adult Mountain BikeAluminum29-Inch24Click View

Trek 820 mountain bike VS Trek Marlin 6

Trek 820 mountain bike
Trek 820 mountain bike

The difference between the Trek 820 and Trek Marlin 6 is still quite large.
First of all, the Trek 820 is a steel frame, which is a bit heavier. And the detailing on the frame Trek Marlin 6 is clean internal alignment.

Next is the paint color, Trek 820 is only available in Matte Black paint color. The marlin 6 is available in 4 brighter colors.

The Trek 820’s alloy cable brakes need to be upgraded to the Trek Marlin 6’s hydraulic disc brakes, which cost a minimum of $100. But such a comparison only shows that the Trek 820 is less capable than the Trek Marlin 6.

But for commuting or simple mountain riding, the difference between these two mountain bikes is not particularly significant, but for those who want to upgrade from beginners to intermediate mountain riders, the Marlin 6 would be a better choice.

Trek Marlin 5 vs 6

Trek Marlin 5
Trek Marlin 5

The Trek Marlin 5 and Trek Marlin 6 are compared in more detail in the Trek Marlin 5 review.

Here is a brief description. Trek Marlin 5 and 6 have very much the same configuration. But the Trek Marlin 6 is equipped with a 1X10 drivetrain, so it is more suitable for beginners to master mountain riding. Of course, Trek Marlin 5 has XXS-13.5″ frame and 26″ small tire option. More suitable for youth riding.

If you are choosing a suitable mountain bike for your child, you may want to consider the Trek Marlin 5. If you prefer an easier mountain riding bike, you can choose the Trek Marlin 6.

Trek Marlin 6 vs 7

Trek Marlin 7
Trek Marlin 7

The difference between the Trek Marlin 6 and 7 is very small, but it’s the little upgrades that make the Trek Marlin 7 the entry-level race mountain bike.

The difference between the two bikes is the fork. Trek Marlin 7 comes with a RockShox Judy fork (with locking mechanism), which is better at damping than the standard SR Suntour fork of the Marlin 6. And both the Trek Marlin 6 and 7 in the model year feature an upgraded Shimano Deore M5120 rear chainstay. This allows for a more forgiving shift.

Strictly speaking the Trek Marlin 6 vs 7 is still a big difference, especially the shock fork which is the core component. Because the higher-priced Trek Marlin 7 is a mountain bike that can be used for amateur enduro racing. The Marlin 6 is designed for beginner mountain bikers or commuter riders.

Learn more: Trek Marlin 7 Review – Great Value Versatile Hardtail Bike?

Final Verdict (4.6/5)

The Trek Marlin 6 is relatively easy to upgrade to an entry-level race mountain bike like the Trek Marlin 7 in terms of accessories. So it still has a much better price/performance ratio. The modest price tag and versatility make the Trek Marlin 6 not only a great commuter bike, but also a mountain bike for crushing trails. All in all, the Trek Marlin 6 is a great mountain bike to buy. We ended up giving it a rating of 4.6 out of 5.

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