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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well first off I have to say I'm new to this board and I'm hoping to get some answers. I'm not completely new to biking, just haven't done it in a while and don't know much about whats out there. I would like to spend around $350 which I know to some is very little but is quite a bit to me since a college student (but will be done soon with a new job). I don't plan to do any extreme off roading but still would like the ability to run on somewhat rough terrain (gravel/min-maintence roads...live in ND so there is lots of that :p ). I also would like to be able to ride to work which would be through town. I have decided that I will be purchasing through an actual local dealer and not through one of the big retails. I'm leaning toward a hardtail as I don't think I really need a full suspension and can't affoard it. I would like aluminum frame and the ability to remove the front wheel quickly/easily. From of the little browsing I've done, here are a few choices I've found that I think might suit me: http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Mountain/Hardtail/Alpha_Aluminum/3900/index.php
http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Mountain/Hardtail/Alpha_Aluminum/3700/index.php
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?year=2005&model=11040
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?year=2005&model=11041

I do plan to go the local dealer and ask them for advice but I like the idea of coming in there with a little knowlege of what I need. Thanks!
 

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They are all good starters...

You've chosen some great beginner bikes that will allow you to grow. It's down to price. Even though you're not going to be riding anything harsh yet, you should plan ahead a little. You'll need to get a helmet and lock at least, so maybe the too less expensive bikes might be your choice. Your LBS might throw them in for free, but just in case, save a little money for safety stuff. If you're worried about which company is better, don't. Both Trek and Giant are great bike makers and will give you good quality for less. Good luck, and enjoy!!
 

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Phil from San Diego
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All good choices. I would go test ride them and see which feels the best for you first. If they are all still similar, pick one with the colors you like. ;) I think that Trek 3700 with the metalic green/charcoal looks pretty sweet.

Besides the feel/looks... I think Giant bikes usually gives you more value in terms of the components. So go test ride em and report back to us. =)


Phil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are there any other brand/models out there I should take a look at? Between the low/higher price of the two brands are there any major differences that are worth the $40-$50 difference in price?

Trek 3900
Frameset
SIZES 13, 16, 18, 19.5, 21, 22.5"; Women's 13, 16, 19.5"
FRAME Alpha Aluminum
"FRONT SUSPENSION" InSync Grind 1, 70mm

Wheels
WHEELS Alloy front, Shimano RM30 rear hub; Matrix 550 rims
TIRES Bontrager Connection Trail, 26x2.0"

Drivetrain
SHIFTERS Shimano EF29
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano C050
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera
CRANKSET SR 42/34/24
CASSETTE SRAM 850 11-32, 8 speed
PEDALS Nylon platform

Components
SADDLE Bontrager Sport
SEATPOST Bontrager
HANDLEBARS 25.4, 30mm rise
STEM Bontrager, 25.4, 25 degree
HEADSET Aheadset, semi-cartridge, sealed
BRAKESET Tektro V w/Shimano STI levers

Treck 3700
Frameset
SIZES 13, 16, 18, 19.5, 21, 22.5"; Women's 13, 16, 19.5"
FRAME Alpha Aluminum
"FRONT SUSPENSION" RST, 63mm

Wheels
WHEELS Alloy hubs; Matrix 550 rims
TIRES Bontrager Connection Trail, 26x2.0"

Drivetrain
SHIFTERS Shimano EF29
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano C051
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera
CRANKSET SR 48/38/28
CASSETTE Sunrace 13-34, 7 speed
PEDALS Nylon platform

Components
SADDLE Bontrager Sport
SEATPOST Bontrager
HANDLEBARS 25.4, 30mm rise
STEM Bontrager, 25.4, 25 degree
HEADSET Aheadset, semi-cartridge, sealed
BRAKESET Tektro V w/Shimano STI levers

Giant Rincon
size 14", 17", 19", 21", 23"
color Gunmetal Gray, Hot Rod Red
frame ALUXX SL butted aluminum
fork SR Suntour XC60 75mm Travel, w/preload Adjust
shifters Shimano EF29
front derailleur Shimano Acera
rear derailleur Shimano Alivio
brakes Alloy Direct Pull Cantilever
brake levers Shimano EF-29
cassette Shimano HG50 11-30 8-speedT
chain KMC Z72
cranks TruVative ISO Flow 22/32/42T
bb TH BB7420
rims Alex CR18 36H Double Wall
hubs Alloy 36H
spokes Stainless steel 14G
tires Kenda Blue Groove/Nevegal 26 x 2.1"
handlebar Alloy 25.4mm High Rise
stem Alloy 15 Degree Rise
headset 1 1/8"
seatpost Alloy 30.9x350
saddle Giant Grove Plus
pedals Steel w/resin body
extras chainguard

Giant Boulder SE
size M: 14", 17", 19", 21", 23"W: 14", 17". 19"
color M: Racing Blue/Silver M/W:Bright Silver W:Crystal Blue/Silver Gray
frame ALUXX SL butted aluminum
fork SR Suntour XC60 75mm Travel, w/preload Adjust
shifters Shimano EF29
front derailleur Shimano C102
rear derailleur Shimano Acera
brakes Alloy Direct Pull Cantilever
brake levers Shimano EF-29
cassette Shimano 14-34 Mega Range 7-speed
chain KMC Z51
cranks SR Suntour GI100 28/38/48T
bb TH BB7420
rims Alloy 36H w/Brushed Sidewall
hubs Alloy 36H
spokes Stainless steel 14G
tires MTB Trail 26 x 2.1"
handlebar Alloy 25.4mm High Rise
stem Alloy 15 Degree Rise
headset 1 1/8"
seatpost Alloy 30.9x350
saddle Giant Grove Plus
pedals Nylon
extras chainguard
 

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Phil from San Diego
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581 Posts
Nah, there isn't any major differences in terms of the components. They pretty much are lower end entry level equipment and should work fine till you get more into the sport. The major difference is going to be the feel of each bike due to the frame geometry. And depending on different stem/handle bars/seatpost used, that'll also change the feel of the ride.

At the $350 level, you might also look at the Hardrock from Specialized and the entry level bikes from Gary Fisher.



Phil.
 

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I railed it like Kong
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637 Posts
Jamis makes one called the durango. You should be able to pick up an 04' close to the price range. 350-400$. www.cactusbikes.com is my local shop and they are clearing out some 04's. :D

I started on a trek 4300 i bought for 225$ at play-it-again sports. The bike held up well for about 10 offroad rides then parts started to break. It was great for light xc and commuting. Very comfortable.
 

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I have to agree with the other poster who said that you have chosen some great beginner bikes. Trek and Giant are solid offerings (my first bike was a Trek 820).

Based on the type of riding you're looking to do, I think you should at least test-ride a Steel frame bike. Steel generally provides a softer ride and is ideal for Hard-Tail bikes. If you can find a 2004 Bianchi Ocelot you can likely pick it up for < $350. Unfortunately, for 2005 Bianchi decided to manufactur the Ocelot as an Aluminum frame, which I think is a shame (I'm a Steel is Real fan). Nevertheless, you may want to look at the 2005 as well if you're interested in an Aluminum bike: http://www.bianchiusa.com/580.html

Susan
 

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Trek 4300 Nuff Said!!!
 

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Check out the hardrock sport, Trek 4300, or Giant Rincon. When I bought my 1st bike I stepped it up to $450 after reading reviews, and I've been happy with my Gary Fisher Marlin. My buddy likes his RIncon. I have since out grown the bike and have a Full Suspension bike.
 

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mh454 said:
Well first off I have to say I'm new to this board and I'm hoping to get some answers. I'm not completely new to biking, just haven't done it in a while and don't know much about whats out there. I would like to spend around $350 which I know to some is very little but is quite a bit to me since a college student (but will be done soon with a new job). I don't plan to do any extreme off roading but still would like the ability to run on somewhat rough terrain (gravel/min-maintence roads...live in ND so there is lots of that :p ). I also would like to be able to ride to work which would be through town. I have decided that I will be purchasing through an actual local dealer and not through one of the big retails. I'm leaning toward a hardtail as I don't think I really need a full suspension and can't affoard it. I would like aluminum frame and the ability to remove the front wheel quickly/easily. From of the little browsing I've done, here are a few choices I've found that I think might suit me: http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Mountain/Hardtail/Alpha_Aluminum/3900/index.php
http://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/Mountain/Hardtail/Alpha_Aluminum/3700/index.php
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?year=2005&model=11040
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?year=2005&model=11041

I do plan to go the local dealer and ask them for advice but I like the idea of coming in there with a little knowlege of what I need. Thanks!
Check out this site.. I sold a Trek 7000 last summer, that had a good component set and I kept good care of replacing worn out drive train and other parts. The bike was sold for $350.

http://classifieds.mtbr.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.pl?db=MtbReview&website=MtbReview

Good luck,

Gripshift
 

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I looked at similar bikes and I liked the Rincon the best. Better components, double wall rims, metal cages, etc. It was a good value for the money. If it was between those from a LBS, I would go for it.

I ended up getting a Marin Hawk Hill for the same money though and have been extremely happy. REI outlet still has the '04 for $350 and you get 80mm Marchozzi forks, alex double wall rims, wtb seat, truvanti crank, deore/alivo components, etc. If you have an REI close to you, its free shipping to the store too.
 
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