Bike Setup: all stock except kenda nevegals and aftermarket platform pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Marquette, MI, USA
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2008
Strengths: Frame strength is great. This bike fell off the bake of my car at 65mph. The only damage was a bent seat post.
Weaknesses: It depends on your riding preference. I bought this bike for occasional cross country rides, some single tracks, and paved paths. This was a great bike for an all around mountain bike, but now I'm riding more extreme single tracks and reached the pinnacle of this bikes use.
This bike is a great beginner bike and I've spent the last two summers riding this bike hard and hadn't had any problems except regular wear.
If you want a good all around bike without breaking the bank. This is the bike.
Weight was and still is my main issue. I mostly use mountain bikes for city commuting. The reason I prefer mountain bikes is because road bikes cause a lot of neck strain paying attention to traffic. City travel does require you make a few adjustments such as replace the fatties with some hybrid tires. Even after doing that this bike was just too heavy. It's probably 35 lbs or more. Speed is your friend in traffic. This bike is best suited for downhill mountain biking. It reminds me of an old Huffy I used to have. Bad on the knees.
Previous to this purchase I owned a GT Pantera(it was stolen). Wow night and day. Both were about the same price. They were not built the same though. The Pantera was light and electric in traffic. I never hesitated to push it. The Trek is sluggish and makes wide turns.
Because of the weight and my riding styling, combined with inferior parts the bike is starting to really fall apart. I expect the bottom bracket to grind up soon.
It's almost 5 years old now. That's about $0.34 a day. I guess that's not bad...
Weaknesses: Heavy hardtail at 33.4lbs; J1 fork tops-out easily + heavy; weak Tektro brake levers; BB and crankset made noises
Great for learning to ride mtn bikes. Climbs great, rolls smoothly and can take a trail beating, too. As your skills improve......you will eventually want something lighter, and more responsive. Forget about upgrading the components-the(2006) Kinesis-made frame of the 4900 is so heavy....you are better off buying a new bike. Just outgrow it, and then pass it on to another newcomer. This bike will at LEAST ignite your passion for this sport. A Wal-Mart, or Target bike will NEVER come close to doing that!!
Favorite Trail: Hurkey Creek Park (24hrs/Adrenalin Course)
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Private Party
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo; Giant Anthem
Bike Setup: 100% stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Key West, Florida, United States
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2007
Strengths: I took delivery of my Trek 4900 in April 2006 ( a rare 24" frame ) While the bike is not feather light, ( though how many mountain rigs really are? ) It's as light as it needs to be, and provides a solid feel. The "Alfa Aluminum" frame is top rate, and well worth building onto.
The 6" Shimano front and rear disc brakes, while often noisy in wet or cold weather, are admirably strong and responsive after being worn in.
Among the bike's best points is the Shimano Deore LX rear deraileur - one of the reasons I chose the 4900. It's pretty high grade for the cost of the bike, and performs smoothly and drama free most of the time.
The Rock Shocks J1 (Judy) front fork doesn't offer a great deal of stiffness, even in it's strongest setting. But it does go about it's business very quietly, and has been zero maintenance.
Weaknesses: The 4900's biggest fault would have to be it's Shimano Acera front deraileur. Falls out of tune easily and becomes rather clunky. Best used as little as possible. Being an urban rider primarely, I set the chain on the big ring and keep it there. ( this is where the good Deore LX out back comes in handy.
The stock pedals began to creak early on which I had replaced two times under warranty. With Bontrager pedals the first time - which had the same problem, and then to a set of MTB's which are good enough, but still creak and crackle under heavy acceleration from time to time. Bottom line, just switch out the stock pedals for higher end ones.
The Trek 4900 is a good sturdy rig, fit for daily use. I would not quite consider the bike "entry level" because it's performance and content are considerably better than that. I've ridden it pretty hard with no major failure, so it will surely stand up to anything a casual trail rider could throw at it. The bike will get up and go too if you've got the legs for it.
Overall, the Trek 4900 is a rugged and handsome looking bike with it's classy paint schemes, and no nonsense frame design. Certainly worth every bit of $650.
Similar Products Used: 2004 Trek 4300 - disc brakes and a better front fork are the main advantages of the 4900 over the 43.
Bike Setup: Stock everything, except for MTB pedals and MTB all season tire on the rear to cut rolling resistance on pavement. Still riding on original Bontrager Jones in front.
Bontrager Select post and saddle jacked up high so I can stretch out my legs ( I'm 6'6" ) and Tektro brake levers tuned for very little travel.
a Cross Country Rider
from Tustin, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006
I'm guessing that at this point few people will be reading reviews on an almost 4 year old bike, but here goes.... I have put over 2000 miles on this bike, traversing some of the best singletrack in Orange County, CA, and it is still going strong. My original intent was to purchase an entry level bike to see if I enjoyed mountain biking. Little did I realize that it was to become an addiction.
I have replaced the Tires, brake pads, chain, and cables, all of which I consider normal wear items. The seat broke last week. All other components are original and still work perfectly. Even the rims are pretty straight and haven't needed to be trued.
The paint has very few scratches in it and looks brand new when I actually clean it.
Now that I have experience with biking, I definitely recommend replacing the stock tires if you are going to ride dirt trails. They have no grip and are suited for pavement. Clipless pedals were my second upgrade, which allowed me to pedal up most hills that were challenging. The front suspension is virtually non-existant. It moves, but is horrible when compared to the shocks on higher end bikes.
At this point I'm in the market for a new bike am planning on going with a full suspension Trek EX8. I just get so beat up on the longer rides with a hardtail that it will be nice to have a bit more cushioning. Now I can honestly say that my 4900 is holding me back from being a better rider, but it definitely served it's purpose.
I would recommend this bike to everyone in the market for an entry-level bike.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2005
Strengths: -Light frame (for an entry level bike) and is strong -3" trail (for a 21.5" frame, pretty good) -Good power transfer to rear wheel
Weaknesses: -COMPONENTS. Front der is pretty sad (Shimano Alivio), rear der is decent but could be better. -Promax v-brakes are cheap -Seat post: too much play and it's wicked heavy -24 speeds: I've often wished I had 29.
I got mine out of season, so I got a great discount on it- MSRP is around $600.
For the money, it's a great bike. The frame is worth building off of.
I recommend at least upgrading the pedals and brakes, especially if you ride XC a lot.
If you're looking for a good bike to make tracks every now-and-then, this is bike is good stock. However, if you ride often, especially XC, you're going to have to change some of the components out. Keep in mind, this bike is aluminum- it's very rigid, it's not designed to take big hits (as in downhill riding for instance).
Value- 5: it's a good start Overall- 4: components could be way better
Similar Products Used: Trek 820, random other bikes
Bike Setup: Trek 4900, Marzocchi MX Pro fork, Avid Single Digit7 v-brakes, Shimano M520 clipless pedals, new der and crank coming soon (SRAM).
a Weekend Warrior
from Modesto CA USA
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2005
Strengths: It only cost me 350 (new old stock) and was the last year you could get a 17.5 frame (my perfect size) Its been a decent bike.. Frame is well put together.. Great for freeride..
Weaknesses: Fork is squishy at its hardest setting.. components set is pretty cheazy..
Its a good entry level bike.. Nothing for the extreme or hardcore freeride tho.. If you just like to cruize or hit the trails.. great ride..
After riding my Klein Pulse comp that I modded the crap out of from 1997 to 2003 (stolen).. Ive hunted and found another Klein Pulse comp a few weeks ago to build up on and the 4900's goin on blocks.. :) Im using what I can from it and ebaying off the frame.. Its a red/silver 17.5 with less than 10 hours on it TOPS! Very clean and hardly any scratches on it.. If interested.. make offer PentastarTurbo@aol.com
Bike Setup: Chris King classic hubs, Mavic ceramic wheels, cool stop triple compound ceramic pads, salsa flip offs and the rest is bone stock..
a Weekend Warrior
from Oak Lawn, IL USA
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2005
Strengths: Takes some major abuse. I ride it for everything minus downhill. Shifts nicely, the acx tires grip superbly. still have them on, though another week and its time to replace them. I use the bike as an everyday commuter at school and ride all weekend long on the trails.
Weaknesses: Stiff... For city riding, it sucks. The turning and handling lack...
As an entry level bike, this is a great buy for the money. THe Pilot c shock could be something with more travel... and the turning could be a bit better, but over all it is a great bike for the money. For anyone looking to start out, this is your choice.
Similar Products Used: Giant Iguna, Specialized Rockhopper, Soon a trek bruiser with plenty of beautiful parts
Bike Setup: In the city i ride with all of the original parts, minus grips, now have lock on grips. on order are avid mechical brakes with a set of mavic wheels on shimano xt hubs and a race face crank. A new set of shirters, and i'll be happy for now.
a Weekend Warrior
from Lexington, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2005
Strengths: handling, front suspention travel, brake modulation, unstoppability (if that is a word), front derailler, ACX tires (which i replaced), bike is great for technical rides
Weaknesses: dependabilty, rear derailler
In june, i upgrader my 4300 to the 2004 4900. I really do love this bike. It handles wonderifully and is awsome for almost all conditions. The ACX tires are super grippy, but wear fast. I replaced them w/ Big Kahunah tires which are a front and rear specific tire. They work great in snow and mud. I love this bike, however, I have had a TON of problems with it. It is in the shop once a week for varios problems; chain broke twice, squeeking from front hub, breaks are constantly out of adjustment, bearings in handlebars are shot, problems w/ rear derailler, suspention fork is loose (still haven't figured that out), cables have broken several times, and a few other times too. I would not recomend this bike to someone who rides only ocationally because of the depedability, but for someone who rides all the time (like me), and needs a high performance bike (and doesn't mind if it is in the shop alot) i would recomend it. Also, my front derailler is awsome, i love the feel and have never had a problem, but it is the rear one that is always giving me problems.
Bike Setup: discs, front and rear lights, water bottle, pump, speedo, and Big Kahunah tires
a Weekend Warrior
from York, Yorkshire, UK
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2004
Strengths: Fast, Stiff, light, strong great XC trail bike
Weaknesses: Rubbish for dirt Jumping (Surprisingly), Long stem + Long top tube makes it a little difficult to control sometimes. Original tyres wear down quick.
This is great alround trail bike for blasting round hardcore single track, but for streat riding, hardcore free riding and Dirt Jumping its just not strong or maneuverable enough. Which I suppose is obvoius now but I didn't realise when I got it 9 months ago. For any fun loving hardcore XC rider this is the beast for you but if you want to try your hands at dirt jumping and free riding you should look els where, at a Bruiser for instance.
Weaknesses: front derailure. constantly needs to be adjusted. The Judy C is a nice fork but the preload adjuster broke after a few uses (I would suggest you find where its best for you and never move it again...) It should be made of a stronger plastic or metal.
Great entry level bike for the money, I bought it to see if I liked being offroad. I'm hooked! Almost 2 years of care free operation, aside from the normal tune ups. Its been through all of the "learning" falls with minimal damage (truing rims and adjusting derailures). If you like the frame it is set up to be upgraded with disk brakes. If you already know you are going to spend lots of time on the bike, invest in a bike with better components because you will outride this one. I am looking to upgrade shifters, go to full suspension, and disk brakes on the next bike.
I just bought this bike off Craig's list. It just needs a fork, any idea where I can find a good one? Also, I paid $100 but I don't know anything about biking, was a good deal? I'm looking to get started on some local trails. Nothing crazy... yet. Any help would really be appreciated, thanks.
[IMG] ... Read More »
I need your advice regarding my future purchase. The bike will be used for light trails and commuting. I have limited options where i live and my LBS provides service for trek bikes. The 4900 is 900 USD (discounted) ant the elite 8.5 1500 (no discount). I know that the elite has a better ... Read More »
after some deliberations and hesitations (i was choosing between Trek Mamba and 4900), I went with 4900. I felt a lot more in control with it and it wasn't as intimidating. I think 29er would be great also and I would get used to it, eventually, but since I am very new to this and will be learn ... Read More »
I am trying to get into bicycling (w/MTB in mind...light trails, singletrack, some paved road, NO speed necessary) for fitness and being outdoors.
Have narrowed my search to Trek Mamba (2013 model). However, shop owner also showed me Trek 4900 (26") and I got very confused...
I rode both ... Read More »
Anyone have a feeling if a 2012 Trek 4900 would work with a 650b wheelset? Right now I am running a set of Kenda Nevegal 26 x 2.35s on it and it seems to have a ton of space. I got a set of calipers, really what would I need to measure?
Do I just need to check if I have an extra 3/4" inch fro ... Read More »