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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    First Bike Help: Specialized Hardrock vs Trek 3700

    I'm looking for an entry level bike on a budget. Currently, I am looking at either the Trek 3 Series (3700) or the Specialized Hardrock. Both come in around $450 -$500. I am curious as to which one would be best in the long run. A few people I have spoken to here in Austin say go with specilazed over the Trek, but really, no one has been able to tell me WHY. The difference in price between the two is only like 40 bucks.

    I'm going to ride both and see which one feels best, but other than that, I don't know what to look for when comparing these bikes.

    I have also been told that I could buy a lot more bike for the money in that price range if I bought used. I decided to go new because first, I don't know what to look for as far damage goes, and with a new bike, I will get support and maintenance from the shop I am buying from for the next year.

    I'm not planning on extreme riding, or racing or anything like that, but I would like to be able to go where the trail goes and not have to worry about the bike failing.

    So back to the question, Specialized Hardrock or Trek 3 series for an entry level bike and why would you choose it over the other

  2. #2
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    I'm really happy with my entry level Trek 3900D bike. Let me know if you want specifics on it. I usually do the gravel, double-track and single track rides along with some technical stuff.

  3. #3
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    I would pick the bike that fit you best and more importantly which bike shop gives you the better customer service.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  4. #4
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    I have a 2011 specialized hardrock sport disc, performs great. I do it all with it climbing, very technical rocky stuff, even some jumps. No problems at all with it!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06OutlanderAWD
    I have a 2011 specialized hardrock sport disc, performs great. I do it all with it climbing, very technical rocky stuff, even some jumps. No problems at all with it!
    I have nothing but good to say about my hardrock 29er. It can handle anything I throw at it. Climbing, easy rock gardens, small drops (less than 2 feet). Components are entry-level but still high quality.

    It will be a long time before my bike is the thing holding back my riding.

  6. #6
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    I'm looking at the 26. Are there any suggestions regarding 26 vs 29?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrap1r0n
    I'm looking at the 26. Are there any suggestions regarding 26 vs 29?
    Are you SURE you want to go there?

  8. #8
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    For what it's worth, I haven't heard from anyone who went 29er and regretted it. I think it's only like $100 more to get the hardrock in the 29er version. Pretty cheap.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstaples
    Are you SURE you want to go there?
    Lol probably not. I just looked lower and there is a thread for this question. I'm sticking with 26.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstaples
    For what it's worth, I haven't heard from anyone who went 29er and regretted it. I think it's only like $100 more to get the hardrock in the 29er version. Pretty cheap.
    I haven't heard anyone who went 26er and regretted it, plus $100 cheaper going with the 26er your wallet is more heavy, but your bike isn't.

    now the OP is really confused.

  11. #11
    I4NI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe3
    I haven't heard anyone who went 26er and regretted it, plus $100 cheaper going with the 26er your wallet is more heavy, but your bike isn't.

    now the OP is really confused.

    Agree! and since you stated that you're on a budget it should be a no brainer .
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  12. #12
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    definitely on a budget. I am chalking this one up as a pass time, not a hobby.

  13. #13
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    Both are great bikes.
    Ride 'em both and flip a coin

    I've owned Trek bikes (road & mtb) and still ride my carbon 8300. My brother was a Specialized guy until he had custom frames built exclusively for him.

    Apples & oranges really.
    No matter what you buy, enjoy!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrap1r0n
    definitely on a budget. I am chalking this one up as a pass time, not a hobby.
    it will start as a pass time, before you know it you'll be riding every other day.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe3
    it will start as a pass time, before you know it you'll be riding every other day.

    Lol yeah thats what I am afraid of...hahaha. I live in NW Austin, and from what I understand, we have killer trails around here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe3
    I haven't heard anyone who went 26er and regretted it, plus $100 cheaper going with the 26er your wallet is more heavy, but your bike isn't.

    now the OP is really confused.

    LOL I told him he shouldn't ask.

  17. #17
    too cold to ride
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    You're comparing apples to apples with those bikes. The fit and the service are going to be what counts (well, the color too).

    You can save by buying used, but in that class of bike, prices don't drop as much as the higher ends (according to my non-official, craigslist lurking opinion)
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Trek
    I would pick the bike that fit you best and more importantly which bike shop gives you the better customer service.
    What he said.
    anyway, i am happy with my trek 4300 disk.

  19. #19
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    ok we did the grand tour today of like 5 bike shops and it looks like I have settled on the Cannondale F8. Comparing it to the Specialized Hardrock and the Trek 3 series, this one gives more bang for the buck. 24 speed as opposed to 21 speed, double walled rims, and most importantly, the LBS that is selling them is going to provide a year of unlimited service/tune. I rode it and it fells good as well, I liked the Specialized and the Trek, but the Cannondale seemed to feel better.

    Oh and its on sale for $420.

    How does Cannondale stack up against the Trek or Specialized hardtails?

  20. #20
    too cold to ride
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    That's a tough question because they're now a Dorel brand. It appears they are still making great bikes, but I don't own one.
    Now go home and get your ******* shinebox.

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