Trek has released their updated Marlin, their entry level bikes that come in both “standard” and as a “women specific design” (WSD). Between the two model lines, not much is different. The smallest sizes (13.5″ and 15.5″) of the WSD models have a more sloped top tube for standover clearance compared to the slight slope of the other WSD sizes, and in addition to the 13.5″-18″ size range of both model lines, the standard also has larger sizes, up to 23″. All the WSD models come with different saddles and slightly narrower handlebars, and of course different paint jobs, but otherwise the bikes are virtually the same, model to model. The 13.5″ and 15.5″ bikes all come with 27.5 wheels, with the rest of the lines coming with 29″ wheels. All the forks come with 100mm of travel, so feel free to take these out for a little session of roots and rocks. Every bike also comes drilled for the internal routing of a dropper post, in case you wish to upgrade to one, which is a cool feature for an entry level bike.
The componentry isn’t mindblowing or top of the line, but it’s not terrible either for the price points. The derailleurs are Shimano Tourney, Altus, or Acera; the Marlin 4 has mechanical disc brakes, and all other models have hydraulic. Whether you have wider hips and narrow shoulders or a more square build, you’ll be sure to be getting the same bike dollar-to-dollar as someone with different dimensions. The Marlin WSD is replacing the Skye line, so if you have been looking at those bikes for a while and weren’t yet ready to release the brake lever on that purchase, these bikes are the new ones to be looking at.