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  1. #1
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    disc brakes or not?

    Well I am pretty new to mountain biking, and I have a a budget of about $450 and I mostly ride on trails with wet and muddy terrain. I am looking at major brands suck as trek, specialized and haro.

    Today I went to many bike shops and looked at many different models. I tried a few out, and have 4 to choose from. Trek 4500, 4300 with disc, spec. hardrock, and the haro v3.

    My major question is if it is worth it to get disc brakes, or to get better parts instead. I ride mostly in the woods, but on the road aswell. I live in maine, so the weather is fairly wet and muddy. But it does dry out in the summer.

    If anyone could please give me opinions of these bikes, and I am willing to accept any other options aswell.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    i think it is worth it disc brakes add a little weight but if your wheel is not true the brakes will not rub, i think disc stop better and in med a lot better than v brakes and unless you bend the rotor braking is not hurt, wheel a little bit off can have brake rubbing and lose braking power. i ride a haro and love them.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter7361
    i think it is worth it disc brakes add a little weight but if your wheel is not true the brakes will not rub, i think disc stop better and in med a lot better than v brakes and unless you bend the rotor braking is not hurt, wheel a little bit off can have brake rubbing and lose braking power. i ride a haro and love them.
    what haro do you ride? if you don't mind me asking

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forums

    I think disc brakes are a great option, but I have to admit that in the price range of bikes you're looking at, I think the money is better spent on other components. It really depends on what bike you're considering and what disc brakes it's equipped with, too. If you can provide links to the bikes you're considering, it will make it easier on those willing to give their opinions (we don't always know the specs on every bike ).

    For more information on disc brakes in general, check out this link, which can be found in the upper right hand corner of any post in the Brake Time Forum here on mtbr.

    http://www.mtbr.com/techtalks/brakes/brakesfaq.shtml

    Best wishes in choosing the right bike.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your help call me clyde!

    Trek 4300 w/disc: http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1019600&f=18

    Trek 4500: http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1022600&f=18

    Haro V3 w/disc: http://www.harobikes.com/mtb/bikes/v3.php

    Specialized hardrock: specs not available(server down)

  6. #6
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    Disc brakes are less prone to get their power reduced by mud and wet conditions, so if stuff really does get muddy in your area, I'd consider them. Mind you, a crappy set of disc brakes won't stop you any better than v-brakes could, keep that in mind.

    In my opinion, Avid BB5's and BB7's are the only mechanical brakes that are worth your while as far as discs go. For hydraulics, Hayes work well if you get a good set, anything Avid works very nice as well. I've heard good thing about the shimano offerings too.

  7. #7
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    I completely agree with CMC that Discs are great, but at the $450 pricepoint you would be better off focusing on other components.

  8. #8
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    I third that...the disc brakes that are spec'd on the bikes your looking at are not going to be a significant increase over v-brakes. So go with the better components for now...meaning the Trek 4500

  9. #9
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    Fourth.
    When your budget allows Avid BB5, then get the disks.

  10. #10
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    here is my bike

    i have a haro shift R3 but also add $1000 in to it i don't think you need a bike like this but i do like haro's. a shift R3 stock is about $890 stock before tax but a great starter bike for trails, so if you are not riding sigle course trails you don't need this bike, don't waste your money and buy anything that you will not need for your ability of riding.
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    Last edited by walter7361; 04-21-2007 at 12:18 AM.

  11. #11
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    Trek 4500

    Of the bikes you mentioed, I would get the Trek 4500. If you find you take to the sport, start saving money. Ride the Trek until you have about $1000 saved. Keep hanging out in the forums here and learing about the sport, different bikes and manufacturers, different components, etc. By the time you have your $1000 saved you'll have a much better idea of what makes one bike better (or different) than another, what kind of riding you'll be doing and the conditions of the terrain of those trails. At that point you'll then be able to pick a bike that will suit all those needs and the money you've saved will buy you a very nice hardtail with above average components.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  12. #12
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    ok thanks for everyones help! Since everyone has said to get a bike without disc brakes, can anyone recommend a cheaper bike like say around 420 to 430? For the 4500 I would be paying 479.99, is that a good deal? Finally what are the most important components to look for?
    thanks

  13. #13
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    Spend the $480

    That's $40 off list price, which isn't bad for a current model year bike.

    When looking at a bike's components, in addition to the frame, look at everything as follows:

    Fork-The most expensive part on any bike, and the area where most manufacturers skimp. You need a good damping system and some adjustibility.

    Drivetrain components-Cranks, shifters, derailleurs and cassette. Again, expensive components and the better quality, the smoother and more accurate your shifting will be.

    Wheelset-You want wheels that are tough enough for the terrain you're riding and spin freely.A good wheelset will balance weight, durability and have quality internals (bearings, pawls, axle, etc.)

    Tires-make sure you research and buy tires suitable for the terrain and riding conditions.

    Brakes and levers-You need sufficient stopping power, so you want brakes that have good modulation and power, and a reputation for being reliable!

    Pedals-personal preference as to flats or clipless, and the choices are many. Sealed bearings are recommended.

    Cockpit components: Stem, bars, grips, seatpost and saddle. Most are competent, but there are definitely differences in quality and durability. Saddles and grips are a matter of personal prefernce. What feels good to one person may not feel good to others.

    I think I covered everything. Obviously, with an entry level bike like the ones you're considering, the components will be similar in quality and functionality. As you move up into that $1000 range, you'll start to see more significant differences in builds. It will take time to educate yourself and for things to make sense, but if you hang around the forums long enough, some of this will sink in.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  14. #14
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    thanks for such a great post cmc. I am sure that there athor bikes that are similar to the 4500 in that price range. can anyone name some? I just want to try out more than one bike in that price range.
    thanks

  15. #15
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    I was able to get a Rockhopper at my LBS for $450 out the door (after tax). This was during a sale period which obviously helped. I looked at the HardRock disk, but felt like the others that it would be better getting a better bike w/ the 'Hopper than the disk brakes w/ the HardRock.

    For me it was between the Rockhopper and Trek 4500 as my final choices. Each has different advantages / disadvantages with the components (of which I don't know enough about).

  16. #16
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    A couple more recommendations

    Besides the Trek 4500, look at these:

    Specialized Rockhopper

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22177

    Giant Yukon-$470 and comes with nice drivetrain and a decent set of disc brakes!

    http://www.giantbicycle.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/10/

    If you're comfortable in buying online without a test ride (definitely NOT for everyone, espeically new riders who might be intimidated by having to assemble some of the bike and make adjustments) Consider the Ibex Alipne 550 or 650

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Stacks/Series_Alpine.html

    There ya go.

    bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  17. #17
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    Thanks so much to everyone! I really appreciate it. CMC, out of all the bikes you mentioned incuding the 4500, what has the best setup?

  18. #18
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    The tricky thing about buying a first bike online, or just based on components, is that it is hard to determine if the "cockpit" dimensions will be right. As I have posted a few hundred times elsewhere, you need to get a bike that is the right length for you.

    Test ride as many bikes as you can trying to get a feel for if you are too stretched out (long bike) or cramped (short bike). A shop should be able to swap or adjust some components if you are close but not quite right.

  19. #19
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    Pros and cons to all of them

    If it were me (and I realize you aren't me ) and I had $500 to spend, I would plunk my money down on the Giant Yukon. The pros and cons are there, and the differences somewhat minute, but I think overall the Giant Yukon would be the best bet for a first time buyer. If you're comfortable with a wrench, then the Ibex 650 is my choice. It has by far, the very best components spec overall. There's just no disputing this, IMO. It's also $635 including delivery, which is out of your range.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    The tricky thing about buying a first bike online, or just based on components, is that it is hard to determine if the "cockpit" dimensions will be right. As I have posted a few hundred times elsewhere, you need to get a bike that is the right length for you.

    Test ride as many bikes as you can trying to get a feel for if you are too stretched out (long bike) or cramped (short bike). A shop should be able to swap or adjust some components if you are close but not quite right.
    I am 5'5'' and 115 lbs. and my LBS was fitting me on an 18". what size would better?

  21. #21
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    Perttime is right

    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    The tricky thing about buying a first bike online, or just based on components, is that it is hard to determine if the "cockpit" dimensions will be right. As I have posted a few hundred times elsewhere, you need to get a bike that is the right length for you.

    Test ride as many bikes as you can trying to get a feel for if you are too stretched out (long bike) or cramped (short bike). A shop should be able to swap or adjust some components if you are close but not quite right.
    Another point I missed, and it's a huge point. Another reason to think hard about whether or not buying online is right for you. Regarding your question about frame size, I'm 5' 9", and anything over 17" is usually too big. My guess is that the 18" will be too big. Be sure you have good standover clearance (2 or so inches between your crotch and the top tube as you stand with feet on the ground). More importantly, make sure you don't feel too cramped or too stretched out in the cockpit while you ride the bike.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  22. #22
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    ok another question. What is cheaper to add on to a bike, good disc brakes or a new shock, like the rock shox?

  23. #23
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    I would say that a good fork/shock is going to be more expensive than a good disc brake.

    Also, RockShox is a brand name of suspenion systems sold by SRAM- they have various models of RockShox, such as RockShox Reba, RockShox Dart, RockShox Sid..... the prices for them range from $100 all the way till $600+

    I would recommend that you wait until something breaks, or if your riding abilities are hindered because of them- then go ahead and upgrade the parts.
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots."

  24. #24
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    Looking at a Trek geometry table ( http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/geom...omid=318&eir=1 ) and referring to a table for one of my favorite bikes ( http://www.bansheebikes.com/pages/scirocco/geo.htm ), it looks like a 16" (S) Trek with horizontal top tube measurement of close to 22" might work for a person who is 5'5".

    Try a couple of different sizes to see how they feel.

  25. #25
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    I am 5'6'' and ride a 22.3 Top Tube if this can help you out. You should be pretty comfy on a bike with a top tube close to 22''.

  26. #26
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    Ok well I have bad news. I talked it over with my dad and he said that the 4500, is too expensive. So I only have the other three as options now. out of thoise three, what is the best buy? hardrock:350, 4300 disc:440, haro v3:400

  27. #27
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    well think you need to ride and look at the components and she what you like and don't like, like when i bought my haro a got a shift R3 for $300 more i could got the R5 with air shocks and forks but knew i didn't like either bikes shocks for forks so i got the cheaper one because they had the same frame, and upgraded to alot better skocks and forks. so i think you need to see which components you are paying for and the componenets you don't like on them and look at the pricing of those parts you will have to upgrade. but upgrading to much cost more than buying as a complete set. i am a haro fan for the frame and how strong they are but i am 6' 1" 188 pounnds you are small so i would look at the weight a little more of the bikes you don't have to think as much about how strong something is. the bike you need is all about and the way you like to ride, like some of my friends don't switch gear very often they are more worried about forks. and by the way i think 18" frame is to big that is what is ride go with a 16" unless you have super long legs for you height.

  28. #28
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    The best buy is the one that feels best when you ride it.
    If you like the bike, you will actually ride it

    There are no really major differences in the components between those bikes, except for the disk / non-disk brakes. And you should not get stuck on that. Disks may be cool but cheap disks are still cheap.

    Judging by the geometry tables, the 15" Hardrock Sport is a litle longer than the 16" Trek and the 16" Haro is again a little longer. Different components may make the actual feel of the bike different, though.

    I have the impression that the Hardrock frame is pretty strong (there is also Hardrock XC, I don't know about that one). Strength is good but it usually also means a little more weight.

    Ride them all for feel. As you are still growing, do not get a bike that might be too small. Also, do not get a bike that is much too big either.

  29. #29
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    I have a trek 4300 w/ disc brakes and I'm happy with it. I think the advantage to getting even cheap discs now is that I think it'll be easier and cheaper to upgrade to a better disc later than to change from v-brakes to discs.
    That said, everyone has different preferences, the deciding factor should be whichever bike feels most comfortable to you.

  30. #30
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    Good job! get the 4300 disc

    Quote Originally Posted by MSjump91
    Ok well I have bad news. I talked it over with my dad and he said that the 4500, is too expensive. So I only have the other three as options now. out of thoise three, what is the best buy? hardrock:350, 4300 disc:440, haro v3:400
    Oif the options you've laid out, that's the bike I'd choose.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  31. #31
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    how are the shocks and derailleur holding up?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Oif the options you've laid out, that's the bike I'd choose.

    Bob
    Ok I was also thinking of getting the 4300, but When I looked at the components compaired to the haro, they were basically the same. And since the haro is cheaper, I think I might go with it. Do you argee?

  33. #33
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    good point

    mikect made a good point to upgrade to disc brakes later you will need new rims and on the front new forks that will except disc brakes whick could cost more than the bike just to upgrade so if you don't plan on buying a new bike in a few years, and upgrading this one and you do want disc and don't want to upgrade rims and forks make sure you get disc, haro bikes from what i have seen is giving the same bike for a few bucks cheaper that was why i went with one, i looked at a giant with the same components and it was $70 more and i had planned on upgrading it right after i bought it, see trek has a name in the mountain bike world. haro is known for bmx and is moving up in the world of mountain bikes so they have to be more competitive you can go to harobikes .com to read about them.

  34. #34
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    How is the acera FD? I would assume not to good right?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSjump91
    How is the acera FD? I would assume not to good right?
    It will do the job. And you are on a budget, remember.

    All the front deraileur must do is kick the chain to the next chainring to select the range of gears you are using. You use it when you have time for shifting, not in a hurry, Personally, I could live with a bike that has just one chainring.

  36. #36
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    ok great thanks for your help!

  37. #37
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    Well I went to the bike shop over the weekend, and tried out all of the bikes, including the 4500. I have decided that it really is wroth the extra money, I will be getting it tomorrow or wednesday. I was wondering what else I should pick up. I am going to get a new helmet, gloves, tubes and a pump. Anything else?

  38. #38
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    you might want to get a camelbak, or something like that, it is a back pack that holds water with a hose that goes to you mouth for drinking when you are riding. if you plan on hot or long rides. they hold from 1 litter to 3 litters. i think they are one of the most important things for me when i go riding.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSjump91
    I am going to get a new helmet, gloves, tubes and a pump. Anything else?
    Multitool, patch kit, tyre levers, something that will carry water and everything else listed so far.

  40. #40
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    My trek is holding up ok so far, its only been a little over a month though. A little clunky shifting, and the tires aren't too good in the mud, but for a bike in this price range it was worth the money. I'm sure I'll be making some upgrades, just clipless pedals so far.

  41. #41
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    I would like to recommend this bike. Good components and frame plus a good front fork and BB5 disc breaks for the price 595.00 Free Shipping and no taxes.

    Fork RockShox TORA
    Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
    Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
    Shifters Shimano Deore Rapid Fire
    Headset Ritchey
    Handlebar Ritchey
    Stem Ritchey Comp
    Seat Post Ritchey Comp
    Brakes Avid BB5 160mm rotors
    Brake Levers Avid Speed Dial

    Click Here!

    Good luck in your buying decision.
    Fred.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSjump91
    Well I went to the bike shop over the weekend, and tried out all of the bikes, including the 4500. I have decided that it really is wroth the extra money, I will be getting it tomorrow or wednesday. I was wondering what else I should pick up. I am going to get a new helmet, gloves, tubes and a pump. Anything else?
    I was on a budget like you and I got the Giant Yukon. It has almost been 2 years and it has held up great for me. If you haven't gotten the bike yet I would recommend looking at the Giant especially since you will be riding in muddy conditions. I've only made minor adjustments to it so the gears and brakes work just like new. The accessories you will need is a multitool with a chain tool. The chain tool is very important because you don't want the chain to break 6 miles out and not be able to fix it. Most of these tools will also come with tire levers for fixing a flat. I would also recommend sliming your tubes so you won't get flats. I found that out the hard way. I got a flat almost everytime I took my bike out until I slimed my tubes. I haven't had a flat on the trail since then and if the tire is flat the next morning I air it up and spin it. Bingo the flat is fixed..... The slime stuff i'm talking about is sold at most local bike shops and now wal-mart. You will also need a camelbak or a similar hydration water pack. I didn't have 70 dollars for one so I got a cheaper version off pricepoint for 30. It holds 2 liters of water and it seems to do the trick for me. I recommend supporting your local shop as much as you can though. Pricepoint isn't out there helping repair the trails in my local area, sponsoring local events, and races like my bike shop. I'm a college student so I have to take a few shortcuts. You also need gloves like you said. I crashed on a gravel road a couple weeks ago and tore my hands up pretty bad, gloves would have prevented that. You will also need a spare tube like you said. Your bike shop should give you a helmet with your bike. I got one with my purchase so try it. If not get a discount on the bike or something. Try playing "lets make a deal." Oh yea, I recommend wearing a pair of glasses. You don't even have to buy these in the beginning, but wear some eye protection. I have gotten mud and bugs in my eyes when I first started riding without glasses. A simple clear pair of glasses would work for now. I wear a pair of yellow glasses that I once wore while weedeating. You just need something to keep objects out of your eyes. I hope this helps.
    -Rod

  43. #43
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    Well I went and pick up my new bike today, and I did end up getting the 4500. The bike is great so far, and I am going to a mountain tomorrow for the real test. I can't wait!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSjump91
    Well I went and pick up my new bike today, and I did end up getting the 4500. The bike is great so far, and I am going to a mountain tomorrow for the real test. I can't wait!

    Photos! we need Photos!!
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