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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ALL,
It took me long enough to find a forum to talk about mountain biking but here I am. I plan on staying here so I can pick all of your brains. I started biking back in '06 out of necessity. Needed a bike for transportation so walked into some Korean bicylce shop and bought the cheapest road bike they had. (I didn't know any better) I borrowed a buddy's bike (gary fisher model) and WOW...the difference was huge but couldn't afford to junk the bike I had and buy a better one. I made sure the next bike was better but I still bought out of ignorance. Two bikes after that first one and I have a '09 Cannondale F7 that has treated me well for the past year+. Now I'm considering an upgrade/new bike and I want to go in with some more information. I saw a '10 Trek 4300 disc at a local shop. The look/feel along with the disc brake option makes me want to buy this bike. Here's my dilemma, both bikes have good reviews. The Trek is in my price range ($500). Would I be better off upgrading my Cannondale (disc brakes, etc) or starting anew with the Trek and building from there in the future? I bike to/from work on most days (12 miles roundtrip) with the occasional "short cut". On weekends I use it for bike rides with the kids. ...oh and because of my location, riding on snow/ice happens from time to time.
Sorry for being long-winded but I wanted to be as informative as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've been looking through other posts and might have too much info. I'm sure you guys don't care about those other details.

I currently have an '09 Cannondale F7. Should I spend $ to upgrade or start fresh with '10 Trek 4300 Disc? I like the look/feel of the Trek but if I can invest in the F7 for same product, i'll do that. Please advise. Thanks.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
The Trek 4300's not much of an upgrade.

Is anything actually wrong with your Cannondale? If not, just keep riding it and socking away money. If you like instant gratification (and who doesn't) phone around to some of your local shops and ask about last-year's, consignment and used bikes. $500 can get you a lot more that way.

Cannondale shows the F7 with discs, but sometimes that's different in different countries.

If you haven't done it yet, you can get quite a significant improvement for your money with a saddle that fits you, pedals you like, a new stem or bars to land the grips in the right place for you, and nice tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. My F7 does not have disc brakes. I thought about just upgrading to hydraulic brakes but had trouble finding info about what is compatible with my bike. At this point I'm not even sure if there is ANY compatibility issues with brakes. I will be trying the one shop downtown and see if they can give any insight on upgrading my bike. Thanks for input.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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In order to install hydraulic discs, you need your frame and your wheels to be compatible with them. The frame probably is - almost everything from the last five years will accept disc calipers. The wheels probably aren't, but you may get lucky. Look for six threaded holes on the left side of the hub. The disc rotor bolts to those.

Hydraulic disc brakes are a pretty significant upgrade, but pretty expensive, especially if you also need the wheels. The mechanical discs on the Trek 4300 are not an upgrade over your V-brakes, if you care for your brakes and rims. The ones on the 4500 came out last year and I couldn't find a review. They're Shimano's lowest-level hydraulic disc. I'd definitely want to do my homework. And the 4500 is well above what you said you wanted to spend. Work your way up the chain, get better parts, run into higher and higher price tags. On the other hand, it's going to cost you about as much as the 4500 or the 6000 to do wheels, brakes, and a new fork (big weak point on almost every entry-level bike) and you'll still have the same drivetrain. So you can see why upgrading piecemeal is kind of a bummer.
 
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