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Hello, MTB community…

I am very much a noob when it comes to mountain biking to the point the last bike I rode before this week was a Mongoose 10 years ago when I was 12. That being said, I used to abuse that Mongoose throughout the terrain of our woods, so I at least know I enjoy the experience.

Anyway, fast forward to this week, and I decided to get the GT Aggressor Pro from Dick’s. It’s nice and works pretty well from what I’ve seen, but I’m wondering if I made the correct decision.

A local bike shop, that I’ve admittedly never been to, sells the Trek Marlin 4 for $570. My GT was $450. Should I return my Aggressor Pro and save up a bit more for the Marlin 4, or is the difference negligible for a noob like me?
 

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They are effectively identical:

GT:
27.5, aluminum frame, QR 135
Suntour XCE28 coil fork
Tektro mechanical disc brakes, 160mm
Microshift 8-spd (but specs says 21 speed?)

Trek:
27.5, aluminum frame, QR 135
Suntour XCE28 coil fork
Tektro mechanical disc brakes, 160mm
Shimano Altus 7-spd

I'd probably prefer the assembly and ongoing support from a Trek dealer vs Dick's, and that's the price difference. (Aside from maybe Altus vs Microshift.)
 

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I don't think either is a bad choice, they are both entry level, The Trek appears to have internal routing which is nice but also some kick stand bosses that make it seem more commuter oriented, it also mentions this in the ad. Both look to have narrow bars and plastic pedals, the crankset on the Trek appears better but it might be due to the plastic ring outside of the chainring (front dork ring?). I suspect both are capable of trail use and worth small upgrades in the future, at least until you decide you want a more expensive bike. Assuming money is a consideration, Unless you test ride trek and love it I'd probably stay with the GT and use the $120 for things that end up being inadequate.
 

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If you ride either on trails with rocks/roots/jumps they are out of their bike path smooth trail design goal.
If you still ride hard you should return the GT and be prepared to save up a lot more to get a bike meant for trails not bike paths. You'll save a lot of money in the not so long run.
That's the good news.
 

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I don't entirely agree with eb1888. I could be wrong and he could be a big jump, huck to flat, ex dirt jumper, but I figure that CrazedHoosier is a 22 year old who is reminiscing about riding when he was 12 and is probably not in need of the latest that mountain biking has to offer, he just needs something within his budget that will get him down the trail, and who needs to discover what he wants out of the sport, plus if he outrides the bike in a couple of years, if it is cared for, it can probably be sold for half the original investment. I do agree that a lot of money will get you a much better bike, but I looked over the dicks ad for that GT and it should be decent for less than $500. The geometry is a bit dated but people have been riding with similar for years, and the triple triangle GTs are a sturdy design. The fork is short travel and undampened and the headtube is not tapered, but the fork should work if not pushed too hard and, while I wouldn't suggest going this route immediately, if an upgrade is desired good used forks are cheap, and tapered steertube headsets are available if needed, plus I think there is a lot of value in building up bikes and becoming a competent mechanic, and this bike lends itself to that. As far as the rest of the components, the wheels are likely heavy but strong enough, and the drivetrain is useable, and the brakes if bedded in should be adequate. The things I don't like, aside from the government mandated stuff that may or may not be on there like the dork ring, pant protector and reflectors, are what appears to be narrow bars and a long stem, but if you are comfortable they should be fine, and short stems and wide bars are everywhere at discount prices once you figure out what you want. The tires are a bit narrow, but they'll work and when they wear out and you can see if something a bit wider will fit .
 
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