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I currently have an older Trek 4300 from '09. i would like to upgrade to a lighter bike. Any suggestions on brand and model? I already seen a Specialized rock hopper comp for $980 and a Niner for $1500.
 

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You might want to try to find a 2011 or 2010 Rockhopper Expert or Comp. They were made of M4 or M4SL tubing. Later ones use cheaper/heavier A1 tubing. Components were better in 2011 also.
 

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Airborne Seeker for a tad under $1000 and Goblin for a tad more over. That is if online bikes work for you.
 

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Funny, I have an 07 Trek 4300 and I am upgrading to a 9er as well. I sat on a few at REI, but they didnt have my size so I Ordered a 2013 Marin Alpine Trail 29er from random bike parts for $620 shipped. It should get in today. They were lighter than the 4300. My bBudget is a little limited due to my track/autox hobby taking up most of my play money.

2013 Marin Alpine Trail 29er MTB Rock Shox Disc Shimano 9s NEW | Random Bike Parts
 

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the best bike for under $1000 will be a used one if you're trying to get a decent components and lighter bike than your Trek.
Most new bikes in this price range will have so-so components, heavy wheels and entry level or step above forks.

Although, when I bought from BikesDirect back in 2011 I was able to get a decent platform for $1100 with Reba dual air frok and X9 components.
 

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For me, that bike turned out to be the Scott Scale 970.

I did find that lat year's closeouts like the Trek X-caliber were discounted to the point that they almost hit that $1000 mark and came with, for the most part, better components. I had narrowed my choices down to the 2013 X-Caliber and the Scott 970. I finally found a LBS that had both in stock so I could ride them back to back and found I prefered the Scott's ride.

I would definitely say look at closeouts. The discounts will allow you to get a huge step up in components in most cases. The Trek had a much nicer Reba fork but I prefered the Scott's Shimano brakes. All in all the components were similar enough (excepting the fork) and the fact that the Scott was on sale, swung my decision toward it. The extra $400+ savings will be put toward a new fork when the time comes.
 

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Been on this forum for a minute and was so confused for a while... But decided to go with the Airborne Seeker because it was under $1000. Great looking bike. I would of spent a bit more and went with the Goblin if I could of got it with the white/silver sick looking frame. But I like the fact that there's nothing bad to hear about Airborne bikes and the ones who own them are proud owners.
 

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I was at Performance the other day and saw what I thought was a great deal on a bike sold under the Access" brand name. I can't remember the model name. For $999 it had an SLX build with Elixir brakes, Stans Arch EX wheels, and a tapered rock shox fork (can't remember the model).
 

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If you are focusing on a HT then for that price you are going to get a pretty good bike. Most 29er HT start at $500 and go up with components. Other option is to look at your LBS for what they have and then attempt to find one you like in your size but used and spend extra money on some upgrades.
 

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I have been searching for a HT 29er between $1000-$1500 and I have to say that the best bang for the buck appears to be the Airborne Seeker or Airborne Goblin. For some reason I just can't pull the trigger because I love the blacked out Spec Crave Comp I tested at my LBS. Problem is that they want $1600 for the damn thing and the Goblin has better specs for $400 less.

I actually like the Seeker frame color better and might just see if they will sell me a Goblin with the Seeker paint. The matt armor grey looks tough!
 

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I actually like the Seeker frame color better and might just see if they will sell me a Goblin with the Seeker paint. The matt armor grey looks tough!
Not gonna happen. The bikes are partially assembled and boxed in Asia somewhere. You get their colors in whatever spec level you choose and that's it. You could buy both bikes, swap stuff around and have two bikes or sell the Goblin with the downgraded Seeker bits.

Jeez, a bunch of females in this thread, all worried about color over spec? ;)
 
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