I just got into MTB last summer. I was a very avid skier and needed something to keep me going during the summer, and I fell in love with it. If anyone is in the MD area I primarily ride in Patapsco valley state park. I am currently riding a trek 4300, and its a good bike but I think I’m out growing it in its stock form. So should I upgrade to something new? What would you recommend? Or should I upgrade forks and tires on the 4300?
Well, in my opinion, being one of the many riders of the 4300, is that it’s a great bike for it’s money. All around goodness. However I personally don’t believe it would be worth the money to spend on upgrading both the fork and the tires. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t, but the 4300 is about $400.
If you plan on doing hardcore stuff than you are probably looking to drop a decent amount of cash, so I’d say tune it up, clean it well, sell it to somebody (craigslist maybe) or a bike swap you know those kind of things, than go out and buy something a step or two up.
Get a new bike. Minor upgrades on a higher end bike are alright but the 4300 is entry level (great bike;I have one too) and it is not worth the expense. Decide what style of riding that you plan to do most, determine what your budget is and try to dig up alittle more. Then go shopping. As for the 4300 you could sell it to someone who is just getting into the sport or you can keep it as a spare. I have found that sometimes my bike will be at the shop for maintenance (I don’t really do my own) and it comes in handy. My 4300 gets the most use from various friends and co-workers who want to try the sport but only have a "Huffy" or Roadmaster. When I take them out and they ride the Trek they are usually hooked, run off to buy a bike, and I have found another riding partner. Also, when I do upgrade parts from my higher end bikes I pass them down to the 4300 and end up with what the guys at the LBS call a "4350′ 😃
Well that is exactly what I expected to hear honestly. I’m probably going to stick with my 4300 the rest of this summer since money is kinda tight, such is the life of a college student. Hopefully I can get something towards the end of the season or during this winter. I’m look to spend $800 or so max. Thanks for the advice.
I was in your shoes year before last. I had a 4300 with rim brakes and I ride Patapsco every weekend I can. I decided I’d wait to get something new until I was faster than my bike.
What I found was that it didn’t take long and that the noise and reduced braking power from getting mud on the brake shoes was more than I wanted to deal with.
I ended up at Race Pace and traded it in for a 6700 Disc brake hard tail. It’s a little bit lighter but still metal and cost me around 800.00. This was between 1 and 2 years ago. The shifting is lots better and I found that the 4300 was sized too big for me on the trails. The 6700 is smaller and works a lot better to wheelie over stuff and control in the mud. Got to stay low when you’re climbing though or you’ll go right over backwards.
Some things you might want to consider if you are in that price range is upgrades that you can take with you. For my money, I got the Cane Creek Thud Buster and Cane Creek ergo bar ends. The Thud Buster helps a lot at Patapsco on the Ridge trail and on the fast downhill runs. You can keep your butt planted without hurting the equipment too much. The bar ends help A LOT on climbs and on longer rides. I have arthritis in my wrists from some stuff that I did in the military and these keep the inflamation down by keeping my hands in a more comfortable position.
I’d say that if you have a disc version already, you’re sized right, don’t mind the little extra weight and are getting to where you want to go, don’t mess with it. Wait and save for a little longer and get a suspended all mountain model. Or better yet, spend a buck or two and test ride (rent) the ones you like to see if you really like something else that much better.