1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Best additions to a 2012 Trek 4300 disc to keep up with road bikes

    I just got a brand new 2012 Trek 4300 disc that I use for mostly fitness and commuting around town. I will take it to the trails when I get the chance with the stock tires but I have Bontrager H5 hard case tires as my only upgrade from stock. http://bontrager.com/model/09389

    So here is my issue. I'm in on a 500+ bike tour next may. I wanted to use this bike but trying to figure out what's the best choice for upgrades that will make this ride possible in the respect of being comfortable and able to keep up with mostly road bikes.

    I have been considering bar ends or maybe an aero bar, a new seat, and maybe slick road tires. Does anyone have any suggestions for these or other parts that won't break the bank to upgrade and make this bike more road friendly?

  2. #2
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    You might be better off spending your money on an actual road bike. By the time you drop all the money on upgrades for an entry level mountain bike to make it into an uncomfortable road bike, you will be wishing you just bought a road and kept the trek how it was.

    Used road bikes can be picked up cheap.

  3. #3
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    Get a roadie and leave the 4300 for commuting, who knows if maybe it will see some dirt one day.

  4. #4
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Get a road bike.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best additions to a 2012 Trek 4300 disc to keep up with road bikes

    Mtb isn't going to keep up with road bikes unless the guys are hardly pedaling and ur pedaling ur ass off. By the time u make that frame remotely close to what u want u could have bought a decent to good road bike.

    Get a road bike, use Craigslist, best place and deals on road bikes all the time.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk 2
    Trek Marlin 29er

    Like It, Love It, Want Some More Of It!

  6. #6
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    Best additions to a 2012 Trek 4300 disc to keep up with road bikes

    Is it the weight of the bike that is going to slow me down the most? The gearing I thought was comparable to road bikes.

    I know tires are a big part of it and would switch out the H5's for slicks for the actual ride.

    I'll look around for some cheap road bikes in the mean time.

  7. #7
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    Weight, Geometry, tire size, wheel size, aerodynamics, and to some extent gearing.

    Now if your mountain bike was a carbon frame 29er with a carbon fork, you might be fine.

  8. #8
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    I agree with the above.. Go on Craigslist and buy yourself a decent roadbike for a few hundred. And then if your not into road riding you can always sell it..

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's not really about whether or not your mountain bike can keep up. It can, stock. Charity rides are slow. It's about whether or not you'll enjoy 500 road miles on it.

    If you're willing to spend $300 trying to make road riding on a MTB less bad, you're already setting a high enough budget to just buy a road bike. Get something from the 90s or later that fits you.

    Don't alienate too many friends and coworkers when you fund raise. ;-)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Also, if you intend to carry stuff with you, look for a road bike with rack mounts. Not all road bikes have them. Depending on the ride, a hybrid bike might be an option. Something like the Sirrus could work well: Specialized Bicycle Components. You can probably find a lightly used one used for half what they cost new.

  11. #11
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    Best additions to a 2012 Trek 4300 disc to keep up with road bikes

    Storage space is somewhat of a concern for another bike but I could make it work. I looked around on Craig's list and saw a lot of older bikes and a handful of new ones so depending what I would put towards parts for the trek it might even out just grabbing one there.

    I was told the pace for the ride is about 10 miles an hour and the longest ride is 70 miles or so in one day. I can average 45 min an hour pace cruising around town for my work out rides and that's dodging runners, cars, and everything else with a lot of turns and stop signs.

    I was thinking maybe an upgraded seat and some sort of handlebar adjustment (bar ends or aero bar) for the trek for minimal investment while making it more comfortable to ride.

  12. #12
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    If you're trying to keep pace with roadies then you pretty much need a road bike, but if you are just doing a "tour" ride then your mountain bike should do just fine. I used to do a 500 mile tour across Iowa and there were tons of mountain bikes doing it, and a co-worker of mine did the ride on a 16" wheeled ss bmx bike. I even rode a mtb on it once and it was fun- just slower.

    I think one of the best upgrades would be bar ends to give you more hand positions.

  13. #13
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    I have done on road tours on a MTB and had a heap of fun.
    "slick" tires 1.25 inch
    Bar ends
    Narrow 580mm bars and a longer stem (flipped). Trying to get a bit more "aero"
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    You might be better off spending your money on an actual road bike. By the time you drop all the money on upgrades for an entry level mountain bike to make it into an uncomfortable road bike, you will be wishing you just bought a road and kept the trek how it was.

    Used road bikes can be picked up cheap.

    I agree. I picked up nice used road bike for $500 and it has been perfect. No point riding my mtn bike on roads unless it is too/from a trail head. Road bike made for pavement and everything about how it is designed is for efficient road use. 500 miles is long way compromised equipment.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
    EDR
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    10mph? Get some skinny light road tires, some bar ends to move you hand position around and go for it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I used to do a 500 mile tour across Iowa and there were tons of mountain bikes doing it, and a co-worker of mine did the ride on a 16" wheeled ss bmx bike.
    16"??? How old was your co worker I'm guessing six.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJamis View Post
    16"??? How old was your co worker I'm guessing six.
    I think he was about 18 at the time, apx. 5'10".

  18. #18
    Just Ride
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    another vote for a road bike
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  19. #19
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    For the kind of ride you describe, I'd get some skinny slick-ish tires, and maybe some bar ends, and go for it.

    I have a 1991 GT Timberline with street tires that kicks butt out on the road. Not that much slower than my road bike that I wouldn't take it on a ride that tools along at 10 mph.

  20. #20
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    Well did a 20 mile test run to the GWB in an 1:30. Other than the last major hill and pedestrian in traffic on the bridge it wasn't that bad of a ride. I definitely need either a new seat or padded bike shorts. And bar ends to change up my grip abit but the bike seemed fine otherwise.

    However I do have a question for hills. Road bikes were cruising past me going up hills I don't know if I was just selecting the wrong gear or what the problem was. Any suggestions on how to better handle these hills? I stayed seated and gear down before the major part of the incline so I wasn't gearing under pressure.

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  21. #21
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    To go faster up hills (or anywhere) you either have to shift to a higher gear, pedal faster, or both. This will take more horsepower, and everyone is limited by their individual fitness level. Road bikes probably have their best advantage on inclines, and if you are next to another rider who is on a feather weight road bike and both of you are producing identical wattage you will get smoked. To keep up with him/her you'll have to work quite a bit harder.

    You didn't say what kind of tour you're going on but if it's a casual one there's usually a wide variety of riders and bikes, and it's not hard to find people who are riding a similar pace.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    GWB? Are you getting there from within Manhattan or Jersey?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    Best additions to a 2012 Trek 4300 disc to keep up with road bikes

    Road from Hoboken/Jersey City area up to the far side of the bridge and back.

  24. #24
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I lived in Manhattan just long enough to figure out that the first step toward longer road rides from there is to cross the GWB. I think you're further ahead if you stay on the west side. I understand the riding is a lot better, or at least more accessible, both on- and off-road in New Jersey. What kind of riding do you do, in general?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So I rode a Century today. None of my friends were going, so I just started when I started and looked for groups to work with. I ended up doing most of it with a group that included one guy on a mountain bike. He was kind of an animal. It had slick tires, and bar ends that he never used.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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