Trek 820 Vs Marlin 5 Bike ?

As a beginner rider and a Trek die-hard, you may be in a dilemma of which mountain bike to choose when it comes to Trek 820 Vs Marlin 5. That’s mainly because both bikes are entry-level choices that are best for everyday trail adventures and commuting. 

Overall, Marlin 5 is lighter, owing to its aluminum frame and fewer gears, and features a more powerful fork suspension and hydraulic disc brakes but is generally costlier than Trek 820.

While those features set these two bikes apart, they have a lot in common and a few other differences, which we’ll look at in this review. What’s important is that you know that these bikes can substitute each other in purpose.    

So, choosing between them mostly depends on your budget. In that case, while Trek 820 is perfect for those with a $500 budget, Marlin 5 suits those with a $750 budget as both guys are likely to remain with some change.

Note, however, that there are reasons why Marlin 5 costs more than Trek 820 (which, by the way, is Trek’s most affordable mountain bike). So, before you can rush into making the purchase, you should know what you are paying for.

That means looking at the specs that set the two MTBs apart and if they are worth it.

Trek 820 Vs Trek Marlin 5

Trek 820 Vs Marlin 5 – Side-by-Side Comparison

Just as an overview, here’s a table showing the key differences between Trek 820 2022 model and Marlin 5 2022 model.

 Trek 820 (2022 Model)Marlin 5 (2022 Model)
Frame MaterialSteelAluminum
Bike Weight33.68 pounds30.80 pounds
Fork Suspension75mm travel 100mm travel
Wheel Size26-inch27.5-Inch/29-Inch
Brake TypeLinear pull brakesHydraulic disc brakes
Number of Speed21 speed16-speed

Let’s now break down the seven differences!

1. Trek 820 Vs Trek Marlin 5 Frame Material

Trek 820 comes with a rugged steel frame that gives it strength. It’s generally owing to the steel construction that this MTB can bear up to 300 pounds.

It’s also because of this property that this bike is a durable choice. However, the steel material makes it slightly heavier

Marlin 5, on the other hand, comes with an alpha silver aluminum frame, which is lighter than steel. More importantly, it’s stronger to give the bike a 300-pound carry capacity and promise rust resistance and durability.

Moreover, the frame gives the bike a sleek design, which is something trendy nowadays.

2. Trek Marlin Vs 820 Bike Weight

The frame plays a huge role here as aluminum is naturally lighter than steel. In that case, Marlin 5 is lighter (30.80 pounds) than Trek 820 (33.68 pounds).

With the weight difference nearing 3 pounds, you can expect the two bikes to feel differently handling. Simply put, you are likely to have an easy time handling Marlin 5 uphill than Trek 820.

3. Trek Marlin 5 Vs 820 Fork Suspension

Trek 820 comes with a 75mm fork suspension that promises to absorb small bumps and off-road vibrations. While it’s hard to complain about the bike’s budget, the performance is nothing near what you get from Marlin 5.

Marlin 5 comes with a 100mm front suspension that absorbs slightly bigger bumps and more vibrations. As a result, you will likely feel more comfortable and confident taking on challenging trails with Marlin 5 than Trek 820.

Trek 820 Price

4. Trek Marlin 5 Vs Trek 820 Wheel Size

Trek 820 comes with 26-inch Bontrager wheels that allow you to blast through the off-road trails. The wheels enable you to comfortably handle the bike on terrains that don’t have many obstacles or go downhill.

Their only issue is that they suffer some drag when riding on a hard surface like concrete. Furthermore, the wheels are not the best for rolling over larger obstacles.

Large obstacles-rolling calls for larger wheels, and that is where Marlin 5 comes in.

Marlin 5 comes with either 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels that have massive obstacle rolling power and climbing efficiency. Its wheels also offer you enough traction when taking all challenging terrains.

5. Trek 820 Vs Marlin Brake Type

Trek 820 comes with Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes, while Trek Marlin 5 features hydraulic disc brakes.

Overall, the two brake types are unmatched in performance and reliability. Linear pull brakes are undeniably cheap to fit, replace, and maintain. Their only downside is that they are not reliable in rugged and wet conditions.

That is unlike disc brakes, which offer all-season and all-surface stopping. They are the perfect choice for slippery grounds.

6. Number of Speed

While Marlin 5 (2020 model) comes with a 16-speed drivetrain, Trek 820 features a 21-speed drivetrain. Note that Marlin 5 2019-2020 models feature a 21-speed, but we are basing our comparison on Marlin 5 2020 model.

There is no denying that both bikes offer you a wide gear range. It, however, doesn’t mean that Trek 820 is faster for having more speeds. That’s because the more the gears, the heavier and slower the bike is likely to be.

You can tell that from Trek 820’s 33.68-pound weight compared to Marlin 5’s 30.80-pound weight.

7. Marlin 5 Vs Trek 820 Price

According to Trek, Trek 820 is the most affordable mountain bike in stock and has been so for years. Expect to spend $489.99 on the 2022 version, which is pretty a bargain, given the bike’s decent specs and frame.

Marlin 5 is also an entry-level budget bike, but it cost more than Trek 820. Expect to spend about $719.99 on the 2022 model.

Trek Marlin 5 Vs Trek 820

Trek 820 and Marlin 5 Similarities

Trek 820 and Marlin 5 have just as many similarities as differences, and they include:

a) Bontrager Saddle 

Both bikes come with Bontrager Saddles that are designed with comfort in mind. They enjoy the excellent spring suspension to absorb some bumps and come with the right cushioning to relieve you from saddle pain.

b) Ease of Accessorizing

Both bikes come with mounts for racks, fenders, water cages, and other attachments. That allows you to turn them into your commuter bike, and it generally makes them a versatile pick.

You can run errands and collect grocery supplies from the store with these bikes once you fit the attachments.

c) Load Capacity

Despite their difference in frame type and weight, Trek 820 and Marlin 5 all come with a 300-pound weight capacity. Mark you, the weight limit includes the rider’s weight and the cargo weight.  

d) Target User

Both bikes double up as entry-level trail bikes and all-terrain commuter rides. You can use them for your everyday trail adventures, running errands, and commuting.

e) Bike Size

Both mountain bikes come in a wide variety of frame sizes to accommodate riders of all heights. Trek 820’s frames, for example, range from X-Small (XS), which suits riders who are 4’5″, to XX-Large (2XL), which fit guys who are up to 6’8″.

On the other hand, Marlin 5’s frame sizes range from XX-Small (2XS), which also suits riders who are 4.5″ to 2XL, just like Trek 820.

f) Limited Lifetime Warranty

Trek offers limited coverage for both bike frames. The warranty protects the bike against manufacturing faults and the use of inferior/low-quality parts. That is one way that Trek shows how reliable the bike frames are.

Is The Trek Marlin 5 A Good Bike

Trek 820 and Marlin 5 Pros and Cons 

Trek 820 Review


  • Affordable
  • Sturdy frame
  • Cheaper to upgrade
  • Comfortable seat
  • All-terrain choice
  • Multi-use (versatile)
  • Easy to accessorize


  • Not suitable for rougher terrains
  • Heavier than Marlin 5
  • Less reliable brakes

Marlin 5 Review


  • All-around bike
  • Lightweight
  • Durable frame
  • Reliable hydraulic disc brake
  • Easy to accessorize
  • Multi-use (versatile)
  • Dependable suspension fork


  • Not best for pro riders
  • Some specs need upgrading
Trek 820 Review

People Also Ask

1. What Is Trek 820 Price?

Trek 820 is the most affordable mountain bike by Trek, whose 2022 version currently retails at $489.99 on Trek Website. The price, however, may vary slightly in other stores.

2. How Many Gears Does Trek 820 Have?

Trek 820 comes with a Shimano drivetrain (3X7) drivetrain. So, it has 21 speeds that make it easier to shift seamlessly across varying terrains.

3. Is The Trek 820 a Good Bike?

Though Trek 820 is Trek’s most affordable mountain bike, it’s generally a good bike. This bike is easy to accessorize, cheaper to upgrade, and can ride on different terrains. Moreover, it enjoys a sturdier frame and a comfortable saddle.

4. Is The Trek Marlin 5 A Good Bike?

Trek Marlin 5 comes with lots of unique features and specs that make it a good bike. For one, it comes with quality hydraulic disc brakes that promise good stopping power in all weather.

Secondly, Marlin 5 enjoys a lightweight aluminum frame with a 300-pound capacity and offers you a decent 100mm front suspension for shock absorption.

Additionally, Marlin 5 is easier to accessorize with racks, mounts, and water cages to allow you to turn it into a commuter bike.

5. Does Trek Marlin 5 Perform Dirt Jumps?

Unfortunately, No! Marlin 5 isn’t designed to perform jumps. Specifically, their tires and wheels are not good at coping with hops and can bend easily. These bikes are only best for casual trail riding and commuting.


Concluding Thoughts on Trek 820 Vs Marlin 5:

Now you know how Trek 820 and Marlin 5 compare. Depending on budget, intended use, and preference, you can go ahead and choose one. Since both mountain bikes cost under $750, they are both budget choices and products by a leading bike manufacturer, Trek.