Upgrades on 2002-ish Trek 4300 Alpha?

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    • #88629

      Hi Everyone..

      I bought a Trek 4300 Alpha back in 2002-ish from a local dealer to use for my commute to college. I graduated, had kids and the bike has had only rare use until last fall when I started riding around the neighborhood and dirt roads for fun. I’m now ready to try some single-track stuff (maybe beginner downhill tracks at Sunrise, too) this summer, but would really like to do a few upgrades…especially the fork.

      My level is definitely begginer, and I’m wondering if a lock-out fork would be a good idea in order to have something solid for hill-climbing but not be beat to death on downhills or washboard-y roads. Or am I getting ahead of myself? What do any of you suggest in the fork department?

      What would you all suggest for components for someone more interested in strength and reliability vs. the lightest thing on the market? Well, without having a fifty pound bike that is. 😉 Thanks everyone!

    • #88630
      "darlyj" wrote

      Hi Everyone..

      I bought a Trek 4300 Alpha back in 2002-ish from a local dealer to use for my commute to college. I graduated, had kids and the bike has had only rare use until last fall when I started riding around the neighborhood and dirt roads for fun. I’m now ready to try some single-track stuff (maybe beginner downhill tracks at Sunrise, too) this summer, but would really like to do a few upgrades…especially the fork.

      My level is definitely begginer, and I’m wondering if a lock-out fork would be a good idea in order to have something solid for hill-climbing but not be beat to death on downhills or washboard-y roads. Or am I getting ahead of myself? What do any of you suggest in the fork department?

      What would you all suggest for components for someone more interested in strength and reliability vs. the lightest thing on the market? Well, without having a fifty pound bike that is. 😉 Thanks everyone!

      Hey man, in my opinion save some money and buy a bike that you can progress into. I think if you upgrade a Trek 4300 series in the long run you would be better off saving for a bike that can last for some time. Not trying to be negative toward your bike, but I just helped my friend shop for his bike and we were giving the advice to buy something that you can grow into skill wise. What I am saying is I don’t think it’s worth the money to upgrade on a 4300.
      What you think?

    • #88631

      Tough call. Maybe for the first season of getting back into riding, i would spend the money to do a full tuneup (new chain, cables, etc). Invest in some good tires, and maybe look around for a good deal on a used fork (100mm for for that kind of geometry, probably).

      Maybe buy some clipless pedals. None of those are big investments, and if you really get back into it, sell the 4300 or part it out, and step up to a next-level frame (probably in the $700-$1000 range for a hardtail, or $1300+ for a full susser.)

      Or cruise craigslist for clean, used, higher-end bikes. You can often score 2-3 yr old bikes from the $2000+ category for not much coin and they often have plenty of life on them after some basic refurbs.)

    • #88632

      Thanks for the responses guys – certainly stuff to think about. A friend of my husband’s is sending down an old Marzocchi fork that has just been sitting and collecting dust. I think it is 80mm, which should be fine for most of what I plan on doing over the summer. He said the fork should be fine with my frame geometry. It needs to be rebuilt but realistically I need to learn how to do that stuff anyway, if I plan on getting back into this – I can tear apart and rebuild my motorcycle engine so I should be able to handle a fork, right?? Yeah, yeah, famous last words. 😆

      My main concern was wanting to do a couple small upgrades (yeah, I know fork can be a biggie) and see how things progress this summer…just could not stand to ride that bloody stock fork any longer than necessary. If all goes well then I’ll probably be cruising craigslist towards the fall/winter months for something full-suspension. We are up in the Prescott area and there always seem to be quite a few decent bikes in Phoenix and Vegas. I was thinking along the lines of Kona….heard they are good bikes with good components….

    • #88633

      If you can do a motorcycle engine, than a bike fork is cake.

      80mm is probably perfect for that bike.

      😃

      Kona’s are sweet. But I’m biased, since I’ve owned a bunch of them through college and currently have a ’08 Dawg and a ’05 Shred.

      😎

    • #88634

      ive put lots of upgrades into a 3900, and am interested to see what it is about the lower grade trek’s that people say ‘wont last’, etc.

      Most of these frames (trek, specialized, giant) are built in similar fashion, and in many cases in the same facilities. if your upgrading the components what else is there to fail? I ride my 3900 hardtail harder than a lot of people ride their tricked out full suspension bikes and besides TUBE failure, I’ve had no big issues. I had to upgrade the wheels simply because of the type of riding I do.

      i say upgrade whatever you need to enjoy riding your bike more. I would definitely get rid of the stock fork & pedals as a start, then maybe the brakes? good luck and enjoy the bike!

    • #88635

      I’ve put a ton of money into crap bikes (not saying yours is crap) and to say that "it isn’t worth upgrading" is not exactly accurate.To feel better shifters and forks as well as other components is definitely worth it to me and most components can be removed once installed so it’s not stuck on there forever and can even be swapped to another frame years later if you get real crazy.

      I say upgrade it until the frame is your limitation. 😎 …Then swap it all to a new frame.

    • #88636

      Thanks guys…..I’ve read some really good things about my frame as far as strength goes. Had no clue when I bought the thing, just bought it on the recomendation of the bike shop owner and the limitations of my college budget. I wanted to put a few better-quality (older and used) components on there to mainly feel the difference and see how much better I’m going to like the overall experience before delving into a four-figure bike. The old 4300 Alpha will be kept around regardless of whether or not I eventually get a full-suspension bike for downhill. With all of the hills and climbs in the area it’s kinda stupid not to have a hard-tail around and I’m more into it for fitness vs. racing so a heavier bike is not a deal-breaker. Besides, we probably couldn’t get enough for the bike to make it worth selling.

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