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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a trek 4300 disc, and I love the bike, and plan on keeping it for a long time. But I do want to make some changes. I hate the rear derailleur that comes with this bike, so do a lot of people from what Ive read.

what is a good direct replacement upgrade?

I read the deore was a good low cost upgrade, but am lost in a sea of model numbers and other jargon I dont understand.

help a guy out, my LBS does not deal in trek mtbs so they are not very helpful.
 

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What derailleur do you currently have? What's wrong with it? How many speeds?

The drivetrain components aren't bicycle specific so your LBS should be able to help. Your choices are: Sram or Shimano.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I currently have the stock rear derailleur, the alivio.

Its not horrid, but I do need to make adjustments after every ride, and it shifts VERY harsh if your are putting any pressure at all on while shifting.

It seems to be the weakest link in the 4300, and the best bang for the buck upgrade.

I did some reading and found that the "9 speed compatible" derailleurs are not necessarily incompatible with my 8 speed cassette, "9 speed compatible" just means they they do have enough range for 9 gears.

From what I have read, a deore is a direct bolt on replacement for the alivio, and makes a big difference.

I just don't know what version/model to go with.
 

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Lule said:
What derailleur do you currently have? What's wrong with it? How many speeds?

The drivetrain components aren't bicycle specific so your LBS should be able to help. Your choices are: Sram or Shimano.
Unless he plans on replacing his shifters too...SRAM is not an option.

Looks like you currently have an Alivio as that has been what has been used the last few years. Honestly a Deore is not going to make a huge improvement. Instead I would look at what the problem is. Is it out of adjustment? Do you need new cables and housing? Is your derailleur hanger bent?

Unless it is totally worn out, just replacing the rear derailleur isn't going to make a very big difference in performance with the same shifters.
 

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ja001son said:
I currently have the stock rear derailleur, the alivio.

Its not horrid, but I do need to make adjustments after every ride, and it shifts VERY harsh if your are putting any pressure at all on while shifting.

It seems to be the weakest link in the 4300, and the best bang for the buck upgrade.

I did some reading and found that the "9 speed compatible" derailleurs are not necessarily incompatible with my 8 speed cassette, "9 speed compatible" just means they they do have enough range for 9 gears.

From what I have read, a deore is a direct bolt on replacement for the alivio, and makes a big difference.

I just don't know what version/model to go with.
More likely the shifters are causing the issues you dislike. They tell the derailleur what to do. Then the cassette and chain have more affect than the RD itself.

And you should not be shifting while pedaling hard in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have read, alot.... about this. thanks.. appreciate the speculation.

I just need to know what model Deore is compatible, that is all.


The bike is new, a week old to be specific.

I have torn down and fully cleaned and inspected the derailleur, nothing is broken.

nothing is wrong with the shifter.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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ja001son said:
Its not horrid, but I do need to make adjustments after every ride, and it shifts VERY harsh if your are putting any pressure at all on while shifting.
The harsh shifts aren't the fault of the derailleur. Try to back off just a little bit on the torque you're putting on your drivetrain when you shift.

Having to adjust after every ride... While this can be a symptom of a crappy derailleur, I actually rode with an Alivio for about four years, including two seasons of racing, and I feel like I got pretty good performance out of it. I replaced it when I fell on it and broke it. The Deore Shadow I put on in its place is a little better, but I'd be inclined to blame the cables. It makes a big difference in shifting, IME, to have cable ends that are finished well and bedded in. I couldn't believe my bike shifted at all when I redid my cables, because of how bad the old ones were, and the improvement was really big. I don't know that I'd get into name brand cables. Just make sure the ends are square, and if you go with a non-shadow design for the rear derailleur, bend the housing in a semicircle to clean up the ends, similar to how it will fit on the bike.

Sheldon Brown on the topic...

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cables.html
 

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ja001son said:
there I go.
Please report back later so we can say "I told you so."

In 27+ years of riding mtbs I have used everything from $11 200GS (lower level than your Aliveo) to $100 XT RDs, all with mid to high level shifters. The cheap ones preformed just as well. Just worn out more quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
shiggy said:
Please report back later so we can say "I told you so."

In 27+ years of riding mtbs I have used everything from $11 200GS (lower level than your Aliveo) to $100 XT RDs, all with mid to high level shifters. The cheap ones preformed just as well. Just worn out more quickly.
Already ordered.

I read and searched alot, before I even purchased the bike. read reviews from people who.... actually have his particular bike...... who all agreed the best bang for the buck upgrade was gong from the alivio to the deore rear derailleur. I mean, I know you have almost my lifetime in experience riding bicycles.. how much time on a trek 4300 disc with the alivio or deore rear derailleur? I mean, I know "been there done that got the t-shirt" and all.. but how much experience do you have on this particular bike?

From my research, and I will call it that. the upgrade line for this bike has been

deore rear derailleur.... chapter 1 page 1
front fork if earlier than 2009, 2010 has spinner 300 which is not bad.
better tires
wheels
brakes if applicable (downhill/technical riding)

I put over 100 miles on this bike in 8 days, And what I read about the stock derailleur has come to be proven fact enough to warrant my desire to replace it with a higher grade unit.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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When you replace your rear derailleur, re-do the cable runs. Take your time, and finish the housings yourself. Then neither you nor we will know if it was the derailleur or the housings, and we can all walk away with our beliefs confirmed. ;)
 

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jas "I got screwed by Bike Barn" son,

You are not going to like your experience here if you don't wise up just a little, listen, learn, show a little more respect to some. Oh well, your call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Im a "fart with and piddle" kind of guy, I always have to be tinkering with something. Sometimes its a bite in the ass and I end up paying stupid tax, but the end result is always positive in that I end up knowing the ins and outs of what I am messing with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Malibu412 said:
jas "I got screwed by Bike Barn" son,

You are not going to like your experience here if you don't wise up just a little, listen, learn, show a little more respect to some. Oh well, your call.
k thanks. yes it is.

appreciate your derogatory attitude, much respect.
 

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ja001son said:
Already ordered.

I read and searched alot, before I even purchased the bike. read reviews from people who.... actually have his particular bike...... who all agreed the best bang for the buck upgrade was gong from the alivio to the deore rear derailleur. I mean, I know you have almost my lifetime in experience riding bicycles.. how much time on a trek 4300 disc with the alivio or deore rear derailleur? I mean, I know "been there done that got the t-shirt" and all.. but how much experience do you have on this particular bike?

From my research, and I will call it that. the upgrade line for this bike has been

deore rear derailleur.... chapter 1 page 1
front fork if earlier than 2009, 2010 has spinner 300 which is not bad.
better tires
wheels
brakes if applicable (downhill/technical riding)

I put over 100 miles on this bike in 8 days, And what I read about the stock derailleur has come to be proven fact enough to warrant my desire to replace it with a higher grade unit.
And if you had searched the general drivetrain upgrade threads rather than 4300 specific ones (the model of bike does not really matter in this case), you would have seen that upgrading shifters before derailleur is preferred.

Your shifters are a step below the rear derailleur.
 

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A friend of mine uses the Alivio RD. It's been a real mess with that RD. The cage bobs so much it looks like it's there without any spring tension. It's just been used for less than 10 rides. The final straw wan when he's descending down a long trail. The constant bumps causes the RD to flip around and got stuck in between the spokes. Luck has it that he didn't crash. But a taxi trip back home it is. LOL

But if you can afford it, do the shifters too. With that combo, you'll have a much better shifting experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, everything got here today.

I went ahead and dumped the front shifter, I never use anything but the center ring anyway.

Went with soem Cane Creek brake levers, an Alivio Shifter, and of course the Deore derailleur.

The shifter came with a new cable so that got replaced as well.

Much better, especially when shifting under load, very crisp, very happy. Took me about an hour and a half to do everything, adjusting the derailleur was not nearly as big of pain as I expected, went really smoothly.
 

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Looks like the fart and piddle method worked and looks good.

Are you leaving the triple ring setup on the front, leaving the chain on the center or going with a single? Reason I ask is without the front der or with just a single ring, you may experience significant chain drops. A guide or front der helps prevent this. Just a heads up.
 
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