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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I haven't been on a bike on a regular basis in 10 years. I started out mountain biking on trails in a heavily wooded area on a Trek 820 (not sure of the year but it must have been around 96, 97 or 98 - It's solid white with black Trek lettering). Anyways, I loved that bike, even though it was the most basic one. I beat the living crap out of it on trails and small jumps for years and didn't replace a thing. I'm looking to get back into the same type of riding, minus the jumps. This will see pavement but will also see moderate trails. I'm not planning on doing any serious hardcore mountain biking but I'm sure I might hit a mountainous area from time to time. I'm looking for something really rugged that doesn't need a lot maintenance.

From my limited knowledge of mountain bikes I figured a Trek 4300 would be great for me (looking at this one http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/mountain_hardtail/4_series/4300/). I want to be able to lockout the shocks, and since I want a low maintenance bike, I'm guessing I don't want disc brakes. I'm thinking the disc brakes won't last nearly as long as the basic rubber stopper brakes that use the rim to stop the bike....I have no idea what you call this setup.

Given that that info, what would be a good bike for me to get? Keep in mind I'm not looking to spend too much on a bike. Like $500 or $700. Also, where is a good place to get the best deal on a new bike?
 

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I got the best deal at my lbs. I went in there knowing what i wanted, how much the msrp was, and what the cheapest price i could find online was. They had to beat that price out the door, or not gain my business....they decided to gain my business, and beat the price by $50 out the door.

Im no expert, but i think disc brakes are atleast the same amount of maintenance(maybe less) than rim brakes. Give them a shot, you will fall in love with them.

I was in the same exact boat as you. I did research, decided on what i wanted, then narrowed it down to 2 bikes. I felt the best on a cannondale, and have been very happy with my purchase, and my new friends at my LBS.

Usually you can get a bike that is 1 model better than the one you settle on for a little more cash. Its worth considering, and looking into when getting prices.

Once you decide what bike is for you, take a look at the same bike, with the upgraded components...chances are you can get the same frame, in the same color, with better parts all over it for a few more bucks.
 

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Check your local shops for closeout deals on last year's models. Try a bunch out. With a closeout, you may get more bike component-wise in your budget range than the Trek 4300.
 

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I'm wih Malibu

Malibu412 said:
Check your local shops for closeout deals on last year's models. Try a bunch out. With a closeout, you may get a more bike component-wise in your budget range than the Trek 4300.
I say go to a couple bike shops and see what they have in leftovers. The savings can be significant, which means you get a much better bike for your $$$. Also, please educate yourself a bit before deciding what you do or don't want. For example, the lockout on a fork has no real effect on how maintenance free the bike will be. Also, there are many pros to going with disc brakes over rim brakes, especially if the bike is outfitted with a set of Avid BB5 or BB7 discs (which is definitely the case with many bikes in your price range).

Many of us made similar mistakes by not learning a bit more about what you're buying before you take the leap. This often ends up in buyers remorse, or having to upgrade the bike you have purchased once you realize that you should have bought something different or better.

I hope this helps.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I've noticed that the deals at the shops around me were a little lower than what you can find on the Internet, which is odd to me because it is usually the other way around. I haven't even thought to ask if they had older models for sale but will for sure look into that.

Also, I'm sure the disc brakes are killer but just concerned they need a lot of attention (i.e. worn out pads and rotors).

Thanks for the advice so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Call_me_Clyde said:
I say go to a couple bike shops and see what they have in leftovers. The savings can be significant, which means you get a much better bike for your $$$. Also, please educate yourself a bit before deciding what you do or don't want. For example, the lockout on a fork has no real effect on how maintenance free the bike will be. Also, there are many pros to going with disc brakes over rim brakes, especially if the bike is outfitted with a set of Avid BB5 or BB7 discs (which is definitely the case with many bikes in your price range).

Many of us made similar mistakes by not learning a bit more about what you're buying before you take the leap. This often ends up in buyers remorse, or having to upgrade the bike you have purchased once you realize that you should have bought something different or better.

I hope this helps.

Bob
I've been trying to get caught up with what has been going on with mountain bikes as of late. I've been reading threads on here trying to educate myself. With the shock lockout I was thinking I could just lockout the shocks so they wouldn't get used and abused on the most basic of surfaces where I wouldn't need them. I'm not used to having shocks on a bike so just having front ones is a huge treat for me.

As for the brakes, I'm used to the rim ones and remember them being pretty rugged. I have no doubt the disc brakes will perform better but just don't want to pay for that performance in maintaining them.......if that is in fact the case. If the disc brakes are cheaper to maintain then I would for sure go for those.
 

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Snagged7 said:
As for the brakes, I'm used to the rim ones and remember them being pretty rugged. I have no doubt the disc brakes will perform better but just don't want to pay for that performance in maintaining them.......if that is in fact the case. If the disc brakes are cheaper to maintain then I would for sure go for those.
Dependent on how much you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how hard you are on brakes in general, I wouldn't expect to have to replace pads more than once every year - two years, even that might be overkill. You can usually find those for ~$30-40 / set but cleaning and/or sanding the pads can often bring them back from the dead once or twice, so to speak.

I've had the same rotors on my hardtail for 3 years w/ no issues.

I've never had a MTB of my own w/ canti brakes so I can't say how frequent the service schedules are for pads and new rims on those, but most of the decent pads in the road bike world seem to be not all that much cheaper than disc pads and a new set of rims is certainly going to run you more than new rotors...

Mechanical disc brakes certainly seem to be the new standard for entry level MTBs. I'd definitely try to get BB7s over BB5s if for no other reason than the pads seem A LOT easier to remove and re-install for cleaning/sanding/replacement.
 

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I didn't know a thing when I got my first real MTB a few years ago. I went to the two LBS's near my house. The most important thing for me was asking questions and test riding. It doesn't matter to you that I love my bike if you get on it and it feels wrong. I really liked the look of this one Cannondale, test rode it and hated it. Got on a Giant Yukon for $500 and it felt great to me. Last month I traded up to a Giant Talon 29er.

Ask questions but buy what feels right.

One thing I was told about disk brakes is they work a lot better in wet conditions as a V Brake can get wet and not work well going through creeks, puddles and mud.
 

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I started biking again last summer with a 4300. I soon found out I was beating the crap out of it on regular trails. I was lucky and able to get some money back on it with my local LBS and traded up to a 6300 with disc brakes. World of difference. Better built bike, worth the few extra $. Shop around, but I would at least start with a hardtail that has disc brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well after thinking about everything I pulled the trigger on the Trek 4300 (white and black one). Considering my last bike was a Trek 820 from the late 90's that had no suspension at all, the 4300 is a big step up. I'm really loving the suspension. I did notice the suspension takes more out of you, but that is perfect for me because I'm looking for a good workout from this. Hopefully the frame is a bit heavier than the more expensive bikes too, more for me to lug around (ha). I'll put this 4300 through the same things I did with my 820, for the most part, and if something breaks, then it breaks. I'll just replace it with a high-end part. But like I said before, I beat that 820 to hell and nothing broke so I'm thinking this 4300 is going to work well. Actually, I did break a piece off of one of the cheap plastic pedals of the 820 but it was still usable. Aside from that the bike was good to go.
 

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I think you'll be happy with your choice, Snagged. The 4300 is a solid, entry-level hardtail--good enough for you to be able to ride anywhere, yet basic enough for you to learn on and step up from should you become a trail-riding addict!

I would definitely recommend the mechanical disc brakes, though. Hydraulics can be a pain, but mechanicals, particularly Avid's BB5/BB7 models, are a cinch. If Trek still makes 4300 Disc models, give one a test ride and I think you'll be hooked.
 
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