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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok first of all I haven't ridden since I was about 12 and that wasn't serious. I'm looking into either getting into mnt or road biking and was looking for something new but at a decent price. I really think I will become more than just a weekend warrior since there are trails not 10 miles from my house so I think the Trek 820 might be out, so right now I was looking at the 3500, the tarpon, and the 4300.

The guy at the LBS told me to skip the 3500 and go to the 4300 since the 3500 had a single wall rim or something like that and would bend more easily, but when I use the compare bike function on Trek's website the wheels look the same to me. I really don't know what I am getting into and would be happy with the 820 for the price if it wouldn't fall apart on me in six months. Any help or insight would be appreciated and would like to keep my initial bike and gear costs under 600 if at all possible. Thanks!
 

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I just went through the whole thing you did and i settled on a Cannondale trail 5.

What I found is the other bikes that people were refering me too were really nice and all had similar parts on them but the Cannondale ran like a lexus compared to pintos. so really you just have to get on them and ride around the block to see.

If you can check out a Cannondale trail series then I would suggest it as it is a good mix of street and off road.

Bikes I rode were Rock hopper, Hardrock, Yukon, Revel and the Cannondale.

After I finished my last ride i could not wait to get back and buy the Cannondale.....so your body will tell you.
 

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i could be wrong but i believe the 820 is made from steel and the rest are aluminum so my choice would be anything aluminum for a beginner MTB.

the 3500 and the 4300 are both decent entry bikes. See if your LBS has any 2010 models left over as you may be able to jump up a model if you go 2010 over 2011.

And always test ride as many bikes as you can as some frame designs may not fit your body well so me sitting here and telling you "X is the best bike" may not work for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yah I understand, I guess my question was lost in my need to overstate everything. Basically I want to and probably will ride this bike 5 days a week of light trails and road, and maybe the rough trails twice a month and wanted to know which would hold up longer. Obviously the 4300 has better parts but would the Tarpon or 3500 do the job? Basically if I can get away with spending less money that would be ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks! Yah that was the exact thing I was looking at. I guess those numbers you quoted is how much the suspension gives when you ride over an obstacle? I guess I'll decide between the Tarpon or 4300 after a test ride. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Snagged! So is that really important for heavier riding? I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a company manufacturing a mountain bike then the guy at the LBS telling me "that specific tire won't hold up." Boggles the mind. Again I'm just trying to get out without breaking the bank but I also consider having to pay for repairs and the headaches of having a broken bike and would rather pay more now than later.
 

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Loki28 said:
Thanks Snagged! So is that really important for heavier riding? I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a company manufacturing a mountain bike then the guy at the LBS telling me "that specific tire won't hold up." Boggles the mind. Again I'm just trying to get out without breaking the bank but I also consider having to pay for repairs and the headaches of having a broken bike and would rather pay more now than later.
From what I read on here having double wall rims is pretty important if you plan on doing any type of aggressive riding. I've also had a guy at my local LBS tell me if you plan on mountain biking he wouldn't go any lower than a Trek 4300. With that being said I had a mid 90's Trek 820 when I was a kid and beat the crap out of it where nothing went wrong, aside from a partially broken pedal (it was made out of plastic). I rode it mostly on trails in a heavily wooded area near my house. There were some modest jumps that I took it off but it certainly wasn't anything crazy. I may have just gotten lucky with not having anything going wrong with my old 820 though.

There is a thread where a guy was in the same position as you and got something else. I'll see if I can find it. Here it is. I'm not sure how the Motobecane 700 HT compares to the Trek 4300 but I'm thinking its better, but that is a guess. Someone with more knowledge can fill in the blanks.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=690752

Here is the link to the bike he bought.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/motobecane_700HT_xi.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Snagged7 said:
I've also had a guy at my local LBS tell me if you plan on mountain biking he wouldn't go any lower than a Trek 4300.
That's what I was told too. Don't know if they get commission or not, haha! I wanted to get a road bike around my birthday in June, so that is why I was considering the 820 at first. I'd just hate myself if I broke it and had to spend more money when I could have just got a little bit better bike in the first place.

edit: Do you like your 4300???

edit2: thanks for finding that for me....yah I dont' know enough to buy a bike online just yet and the LBS's around here don't carry Motobecane. Think I'm gonna test ride the Cannondale Trail as well. Thanks for the help. Or maybe I could buy online and take it to the shop and just pay to get it fitted for me....be another 100 bucks though.
 

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Loki28 said:
That's what I was told too. Don't know if they get commission or not, haha! I wanted to get a road bike around my birthday in June, so that is why I was considering the 820 at first. I'd just hate myself if I broke it and had to spend more money when I could have just got a little bit better bike in the first place.

edit: Do you like your 4300???

edit2: thanks for finding that for me....yah I dont' know enough to buy a bike online just yet and the LBS's around here don't carry Motobecane. Think I'm gonna test ride the Cannondale Trail as well. Thanks for the help.
I like my 4300 a lot but I haven't had it for very long; had it for 3 or 4 weeks taking it on the same trails I took my old 820 on. But I'm happy with the way it looks (got the black and white color scheme) and how it performs. The shocks could be better but they do lockout which is a big plus for me (I believe the 3500's, and lower, shocks do not lockout). However, the shocks on it did save me from going over the handle bars once already so they are getting the job done. I planned on upgrading the shocks at some point so that wasn't a really a big deal for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Snagged7 said:
The shocks could be better but they do lockout which is a big plus for me (I believe the 3500's, and lower, shocks do not lockout).
Don't know what that means, lol, could you explain that for me please?

edit: Did some reading and figured it out, but I don't know if that would be a plus for me or not. Do you need to stop the bike to lockout the shocks?
 

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Loki28 said:
Don't know what that means, lol, could you explain that for me please?
Having that lets you bypass the shocks in which essentially turns your bike into a rigid bike (a bike without shocks). On bikes like the 4300 you turn a little dial switch above the right shock to enable or disable the shocks. I ride on sidewalks to get to the trails near my house and while I'm on the sidewalks I will disable the shocks. But now that I think about it, I don't really use that feature all that much now in which I just let the shocks work all the time for the most part.
 

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Loki28 said:
edit: Did some reading and figured it out, but I don't know if that would be a plus for me or not. Do you need to stop the bike to lockout the shocks?
Never thought about that, I'm always stopped whenever I mess with it. I think the more expensive bikes have a remote lockout switch located on the handle bars, for easy access, so I don't see why you couldn't lock it out while riding. But I've never asked that question before so I'm merely guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
got a Felt Q520. lol thanks for yall's advice I really love the bike all ready hit the trail for an hour and a half only flipped over the handlebars once so that makes it a great day in my book!
 
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