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  1. #1
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    First Bike: Trek 3500 disc vs 3700 disc

    So I thought I knew what biked I was going to get. I wasn't looking to spend crazy money and I'm not doing any trails that are that insane. With that said it came down to the Trek 3500 disc. What I noticed was that the 3700 disc is $40 more. Can someone please explain to a noob the difference? and more importantly is it really worth that extra money?

    Here are the details on both bikes.

    Trek 3500 disc: Trek Bicycle

    Trek 3700 disc: Trek Bicycle

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    *the only difference that stands out on the 3700 frame is the semi-integrated headset. it looks cooler and is probably a little stronger.
    *the 3700 has a fork with more travel, 100mm versus 80mm on the 3500. both are still cheap forks that might not last long and are not worth servicing.
    *the 3700 comes in one larger size than the 3500- 22.5". if you are extremely tall, that would be a deal-breaker.
    *both have 36-spoked wheels, which will be very sturdy from a structural standpoint, but the single-wall rims might not hold up to long-term abuse. keep your tires pumped up!
    *nicer rear derailleur on the 3700, but still low-end.
    *3700 has a nicer disc brake caliper, but both of those brakes kind of suck.

    I think the longer-travel fork is worth the extra $40 if you are going to actually ride trails on it. however, if you're going to ride aggressively, neither of these bikes is going to hold up long. the fork and single-wall rims are not going to last and the 21-speed drivetrain is going to leave you wishing you had a lot more gears to work with. if you're a heavy-set rider, you'll wear out all of these things a lot more quickly. if you get an entry-level bike like this, bring it back to the shop for minor tune-ups often.

  3. #3
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    save a little $, you'll need it later for new tires and all kinds of other stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    *the only difference that stands out on the 3700 frame is the semi-integrated headset. it looks cooler and is probably a little stronger.
    *the 3700 has a fork with more travel, 100mm versus 80mm on the 3500. both are still cheap forks that might not last long and are not worth servicing.
    *the 3700 comes in one larger size than the 3500- 22.5". if you are extremely tall, that would be a deal-breaker.
    *both have 36-spoked wheels, which will be very sturdy from a structural standpoint, but the single-wall rims might not hold up to long-term abuse. keep your tires pumped up!
    *nicer rear derailleur on the 3700, but still low-end.
    *3700 has a nicer disc brake caliper, but both of those brakes kind of suck.

    I think the longer-travel fork is worth the extra $40 if you are going to actually ride trails on it. however, if you're going to ride aggressively, neither of these bikes is going to hold up long. the fork and single-wall rims are not going to last and the 21-speed drivetrain is going to leave you wishing you had a lot more gears to work with. if you're a heavy-set rider, you'll wear out all of these things a lot more quickly. if you get an entry-level bike like this, bring it back to the shop for minor tune-ups often.
    Perfect... thank you for taking the time to help me. I will tell you more about me and then I will trust your opinion. I am 6' 1 1/2" with an athletic build. I do not plan on traveling to trails that would be HARD. More beginner to Moderate trails locally. I love riding trails more for exercise than for the sport of it (who knows where this will take me), but for now it's for fun / exercise. So now what do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmnutan View Post
    save a little $, you'll need it later for new tires and all kinds of other stuff
    Since I went into wanting a bike between $300-$400 and slowly realizing that wouldn't be safe.. I am already over my budget and I need to purchase all of the essentials. I just didn't want to look back and say "damn I wish I spent the extra $40." The guy at the store said the components in the 3700 are not enough for me to feel the difference (more because of my experience). He suggested to stick with the 3500 disc. And I know this sounds stupid, but I liked the Matte Black color on the 3500 better. That is where my mind set is with bikes HAHA. COMPLETE beginner. Obviously I would choose the better bike if it was that important, but he said it wasn't.

    Looking forward to hearing more of your guys thoughts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    *the only difference that stands out on the 3700 frame is the semi-integrated headset. it looks cooler and is probably a little stronger.
    *the 3700 has a fork with more travel, 100mm versus 80mm on the 3500. both are still cheap forks that might not last long and are not worth servicing.
    *the 3700 comes in one larger size than the 3500- 22.5". if you are extremely tall, that would be a deal-breaker.
    *both have 36-spoked wheels, which will be very sturdy from a structural standpoint, but the single-wall rims might not hold up to long-term abuse. keep your tires pumped up!
    *nicer rear derailleur on the 3700, but still low-end.
    *3700 has a nicer disc brake caliper, but both of those brakes kind of suck.

    I think the longer-travel fork is worth the extra $40 if you are going to actually ride trails on it. however, if you're going to ride aggressively, neither of these bikes is going to hold up long. the fork and single-wall rims are not going to last and the 21-speed drivetrain is going to leave you wishing you had a lot more gears to work with. if you're a heavy-set rider, you'll wear out all of these things a lot more quickly. if you get an entry-level bike like this, bring it back to the shop for minor tune-ups often.
    Hmmm... I have a 2012 3500 and my LBS told me the rims were double walled. Where can you find this information on the wheels. I am wondering how many lies I was told at the shop.

    FWIW my brother in law bought a 4500 disc and they told him the same thing... wonder if that's false info also.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

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    Yeah I am really curious to hear about this. Hopefully more people will respond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codyh12345 View Post
    Hmmm... I have a 2012 3500 and my LBS told me the rims were double walled. Where can you find this information on the wheels. I am wondering how many lies I was told at the shop.

    FWIW my brother in law bought a 4500 disc and they told him the same thing... wonder if that's false info also.
    I think the 4000-series bikes have double walled rims, but the sales rep is ignorant or he lied to you about the rims on the 3000-series bikes. they are all single-wall. not all bike shop sales guys know what they are talking about. they know the buzz words and just make stuff up sometimes. I don't screw around like that. I have worked on dozens of these bikes, they have single-walled rims. take your bike to the shop and ask the mechanic to remove the tire and prove to you that it's a double-walled rim.
    Bontrager 550 double walled?



    to the OP Joey:
    I think that if you ride any kind of technical trails, at your size (not calling your fat), you are going to kill a 3000-series bike. it would be great for riding paved bike paths, gravel roads, and very light trails, but nothing remotely technical. I don't even recommend the 2012 wahoo 29er to anyone except the lightest of riders who aren't going to take it off-road because of the single-wall rims and meh fork. I have seen a lot of people "taco" their single-wall rims on these bikes when they are sold as mountain bikes. if you look at the sticker on the down tube, I am pretty certain that all of the 3000-series bikes are labeled "city/trekking" bikes, while the 4000-series and higher are labeled "mountain bikes." I'll check next time I am in the shop, but if I am right, there is a good reason for this. I just don't want to see you buy a bike that is beneath your potential and have you push it beyond what it's made to do and a) break the bike or b) get injured, then have to spend a lot more money on a proper bike or give up on cycling altogether.

    if you plan to ride it ONLY on pavement, and you are not even the slightest bit interested in taking it off-road on anything more than a gravel path or silky-smooth dirt trail, the 3500/3700 should be fine for you. otherwise, expand your budget. don't cheap out and regret it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    to the OP Joey:
    I think that if you ride any kind of technical trails, at your size (not calling your fat), you are going to kill a 3000-series bike. it would be great for riding paved bike paths, gravel roads, and very light trails, but nothing remotely technical. I don't even recommend the 2012 wahoo 29er to anyone except the lightest of riders who aren't going to take it off-road because of the single-wall rims and meh fork. I have seen a lot of people "taco" their single-wall rims on these bikes when they are sold as mountain bikes. if you look at the sticker on the down tube, I am pretty certain that all of the 3000-series bikes are labeled "city/trekking" bikes, while the 4000-series and higher are labeled "mountain bikes." I'll check next time I am in the shop, but if I am right, there is a good reason for this. I just don't want to see you buy a bike that is beneath your potential and have you push it beyond what it's made to do and a) break the bike or b) get injured, then have to spend a lot more money on a proper bike or give up on cycling altogether.

    if you plan to ride it ONLY on pavement, and you are not even the slightest bit interested in taking it off-road on anything more than a gravel path or silky-smooth dirt trail, the 3500/3700 should be fine for you. otherwise, expand your budget. don't cheap out and regret it.
    LOL! I love how you added (not calling you fat). Anyway, now I do not know what to do. I was just going to take it on trails. Nothing for the road. Soooo confuuussseeddd.

  9. #9
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    let me simplify it for you:
    • cheap
    • light
    • strong


    pick two, because you can't have all three. to get a bike suited for riding trails, expect to spend at least $700 on a new bike. you can get a better deal on a used bike, but that's a crapshoot because you don't know exactly what condition the bike is going to be in and it might not fit you right. you can get a bike online, but then you have to pay to have it assembled or risk assembling it incorrectly yourself, and you will not have a local bike shop to maintain it. most shops will have some sort of "free" maintenance with the purchase of a bike from them.

    I meet a lot of people in your situation and I have to tell them "tough." you have to pay to play. change your priorities, save some more money, budget your spending elsewhere, and make the extra money come together for the right bike so you don't waste money on a bike that won't hold up for you. these bikes are SUPER cheap compared to what they could cost. all of this stuff is made in Taiwan or China (mostly China) and is mass produced faster than you can imagine. (not Trek specifically but all the major brands manufacture all their stuff in China. I hope that's not news to anyone...) a few years ago, all of the technology that goes into a $300 bike would make it a $1200 bike, but the tech trickles down.

  10. #10
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    To your original question: the $40 is worth it even if they are slight improvements.

    Now to clear up the magic exploding entry level bike controversy; it is a mountain bike, built as a mountain bike, equipped with mountain bike parts, and intended for off road use.

    Will it last forever? Absolutely not. Will it self destruct if you run over a root? Hell no. Entry level bikes are not meant to be your last bike, the parts attached to them are cheap and as such they won't last as long as more expensive ones. If you are diligent about keeping the bike working properly, have it serviced at least once a year, and replace things before they completely wear out, you will be surprised how long that bike can last. Should you take that bike to go hit the ski lifts out at Diablo? No, that will murder it. Be smart, take care of your bike, and it will last as long as it takes for you to decide to buy your next bike. My first bike, a $430 1996 GF Tassajara was my mountain bike until about 2004 then again for 2008/09. I put a lot of money into it over the years but I also rode the living hell out of it.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post

    Now to clear up the magic exploding entry level bike controversy; it is a mountain bike, built as a mountain bike, equipped with mountain bike parts, and intended for off road use.
    go look at a Trek 3500. there's a sticker on the down tube that reads "city/trekking bikes." now go look at a 4500, the sticker reads "mountain bikes." there's a reason for that. i don't want to get anyone's hopes up beyond a reasonable expectation that their $400 bike is going to be the best use of their money if they want to get into mountain biking. for someone over six feet tall who is going to use a 3500 Disc exclusively for singletrack riding, it's going to let him down in the long run. it's a bad "investment."

    however, for someone just getting into mountain biking, you can start out with a low-end bike with the understanding that you're going to have to pour twice what you paid for the bike in upgrades over the next two years or so, or you are going to out-grow the bike's purpose quickly and want to spend more on it. so it's cheaper in the long run to start out with a nicer, more expensive bike. when you get the bug, you will find ways to afford this. you will find ways!

  12. #12
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    Well that sucks. I ride on moderately technical trails and have had no issues YET... but the guy at the LBS told me that the trails here in KC are not too rough for it.

    I weigh 200 lbs. so this may be an issue if I get into even more technical riding.

    All in all its my fault for not being informed but I have looked for this info and could not find it anywhere.

    Does anyone know where this information could be found. I am not doubting any info in this thread but I may need to take the bike back to the LBS and get something more fit for the type of riding I would like to be doing.

    Sorry for the hijack OP.

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    if it's holding up for you, just keep going. i would be pissed that the bike shop misinformed you about the components though. I meet a lot of people who give me a budget first and I can't find a bike that will suit them within that budget. so i show them bikes in their pre-determined price range and inform them of the shortcomings of those bikes for their purposes. sometimes it works, other times they buy the under-equipped bike anyways and come back a month later with a dozen things broken on the bike because they didn't listen to me the first time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    go look at a Trek 3500. there's a sticker on the down tube that reads "city/trekking bikes." now go look at a 4500, the sticker reads "mountain bikes." there's a reason for that. i don't want to get anyone's hopes up beyond a reasonable expectation that their $400 bike is going to be the best use of their money if they want to get into mountain biking. for someone over six feet tall who is going to use a 3500 Disc exclusively for singletrack riding, it's going to let him down.
    Sometimes you have to balance budget and expectations. Yes a 3500 is not a 4500, but at the budget available the bike will be able to be used on trails. If you take good enough care of a bike you can keep it running well no matter where you ride it. We're talking about a price increase of nearly the cost of another 3500 just to get to the 4300, I was just trying to suggest that the entry level bikes do not have to be disposable and they are certainly better than riding no bike at all.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I was just trying to suggest that the entry level bikes do not have to be disposable and they are certainly better than riding no bike at all.
    agreed!

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    Oh trust me... I am already saving for my next bike!!!!

    I will probably just ride this one out and get some experience. I cannot imagine the bike will not last at least a year... I will just stick to the medium difficulty trails and off the rough stuff.

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    Go get a 4300 over 3500 or switch brands. It seems that the low-end Trek bikes give you lesser components for more money than other brands. If the 4300 is too much money, look @ the specialized hardrock or giant revel line. More bang for your buck.

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    These posts are simply genius and are truly helping me. I hope they are helping others as well. I wouldn't put too many miles on the bike. I would only really be able to go out on a trail 2 maybe 3 times a month! I have a very busy schedule.

    After reading what everyone is saying.. use the $40 and get the better components. If I decide to get "hardcore" into this. I will sell it and put it towards another bike.

    NOW.. with all of that being said.. I really don't want to get too off track here. And I feel like the $$$s just keep going up and up from my original intent of.. "get a bike and go ride some simple trails for fun." (I don't live near mountains haha).

    Let's take this to another option. My friend works at a specialized store but I walked out because I thought the pricing was too high. This guy below triggered my train of thought and I would love to know what you guys think.

    Quote Originally Posted by ej63090 View Post
    Go get a 4300 over 3500 or switch brands. It seems that the low-end Trek bikes give you lesser components for more money than other brands. If the 4300 is too much money, look @ the specialized hardrock or giant revel line. More bang for your buck.
    Should I look more at this? Specialized... Specialized Bicycle Components : Hardrock Disc

    Or this? Giant... Revel 1 (Charcoal/Red) (2012) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Should I look more at this? Specialized...
    You should literally look at every single option in and around your price range. Test ride every bike you can get your hands on and buy the bike that you fit best on and that you like the best. There is no right answer in picking a bike, the one you like is the best bike for you. One universal truth in purchasing a bike is to spend as much as you are able up front and you will get the best working parts that will last the longest.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    You should literally look at every single option in and around your price range. Test ride every bike you can get your hands on and buy the bike that you fit best on and that you like the best. There is no right answer in picking a bike, the one you like is the best bike for you. One universal truth in purchasing a bike is to spend as much as you are able up front and you will get the best working parts that will last the longest.
    Yeah but the problem is.. a lot of the local stores do not have them in because they are so popular. I am just going to trust my MTBR crew and go get it. :-)

    I am really starting to like this Giant Bike and comparing it to the Specialized, it looks like it may be slightly better? And it is going to be the same cost as the 3700. I called a store that has them.. 2011 $460

    Revel 1 (Silver/ Blue) (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Yeah but the problem is.. a lot of the local stores do not have them in because they are so popular. I am just going to trust my MTBR crew and go get it. :-)

    I am really starting to like this Giant Bike and comparing it to the Specialized, it looks like it may be slightly better? And it is going to be the same cost as the 3700. I called a store that has them.. 2011 $460

    Revel 1 (Silver/ Blue) (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    I have trouble making any decisions that say one bike is better than another unless it is clearly obvious. Suffice to say that it would be hard to go wrong choosing any. If you can't test ride then go with the shop that you like best, or the bike that looks best to you. It would be hard to make any major missteps while staying in the same price bracket between manufacturers.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Hey Joey, I see from your profile that you're in Wilmington, DE. Call the Performance Bike in Newark and see if they have the GT Avalanche 3.0 in stock. Online they're selling it for $399. It's a 3x8, dual-wall rims, Alivio derailleur, looks like generally higher level of equipment than either Trek 3xxx you're considering.
    Last edited by joe_bloe; 09-28-2011 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Added link to bike details

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I have trouble making any decisions that say one bike is better than another unless it is clearly obvious. Suffice to say that it would be hard to go wrong choosing any. If you can't test ride then go with the shop that you like best, or the bike that looks best to you. It would be hard to make any major missteps while staying in the same price bracket between manufacturers.
    Ok Zebrahum.. let me put you on the spot here if you don't mind. IF you were to choose one of these 4.. what would YOU pick??

    Trek 3700 disc: 3700 Disc - Trek Bicycle

    Specialized Hardrock: Specialized Bicycle Components : Hardrock Disc

    Giant Revel 1: Revel 1 (Silver/ Blue) (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    OR

    My original starter.. Trek 3500 disc: 3500 Disc - Trek Bicycle

    Anyone else feel free to chime in!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Ok Zebrahum.. let me put you on the spot here if you don't mind. IF you were to choose one of these 4.. what would YOU pick??
    If it were me, I'd go test ride the Revel first.

    Let me put it this way, when I bought my entry level bike (twas 1996) I had my heart set on a Trek but got to the shop and saw a Cannondale that was a bit out of my price rance but I decided that probably meant it was better so I kinda had my heart set on it. So the shop let me take those bikes out in the parking lot to ride around a little bit, which I did. Then the sales person rolled out one more bike, a Gary Fisher (currently, and probably then produced by Trek) which was the least expensive of the group with the lowest end parts on it. 30 seconds on the Fisher and I knew it was the bike for me. It didn't matter what parts were on it or what name was on it, what mattered was that bike fit me amazingly and it handled even better. Also, the color was rad which didn't hurt.

    The moral of the story is you never know what a bike is going to be like until you throw a leg over. Sorry to say, but you should at least ride a bike from each manufacturer to see how their sizing compares. I can't tell you what bike will fit you best over the internet and that is hands down the most important part of buying a bike.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Yeah but the problem is.. a lot of the local stores do not have them in because they are so popular. I am just going to trust my MTBR crew and go get it. :-)

    I am really starting to like this Giant Bike and comparing it to the Specialized, it looks like it may be slightly better? And it is going to be the same cost as the 3700. I called a store that has them.. 2011 $460

    Revel 1 (Silver/ Blue) (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States
    ^^ Im not bike expert but let me just give out a pump up for Giant.

    I bought a 2005 Giant NRS3, am 200#, and have rode it in 4 races and countless miles on my own. Rocks, roots, hills, jumps (small) you name it.

    It has taken everything I have given it and the only thing ive broken was a rear derailer (sp?) hanger because a tree branch jumped out at me.

    Id buy another Giant in a heart beat....
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

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    I rode the Trek 4300 disc, spec. hardrock disc., giant revel 1 and 2, hardrock hardrock, before deciding I liked the feel of the Revel and saw that the Revel 0 had much better components than the countparts, which the extra $80-90 was well worth it. I just picked up a revel 2 for my girlfriend, she got on it and she said, I actually like riding this bike. Was sold on that. At this level, the frame/component difference is minimal, so fit IS key. For us to tell you one bike is better than the other may end up in you getting a bike you would dislike. That is why everyone is urging for you to ride them. I prefer the Giant because that what was comfortable to me. Some people live and die by Trek brand. Others prefer Specialized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    Hey Joey, I see from your profile that you're in Wilmington, DE. Call the Performance Bike in Newark
    my experiences from the inside of Performance Bike have been less than stellar. cheap bikes. lousy place to get service. just my $0.02.

  28. #28
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    Anyone else feel free to chime in!
    IMHO save your money and get a bike within your original budget and be happy

    You are buying it as a beginner to ride the easy/moderate trails in the first place.

    Once you figure out what type of trails you like to ride on (smooth and flowy or rough and bumpy) then you can buy the type of bike that suits your riding style best.

    In any case, that Trek 3500 frame is pretty solid, it would take a tremendous hit for you to damage it. And if you do happen to wreck it by riding on the trails, you need to be looking at the AM forum for opinions on your next ride!
    Last edited by CheesePuff; 09-28-2011 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Thought you bought it already!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    my experiences from the inside of Performance Bike have been less than stellar. cheap bikes. lousy place to get service. just my $0.02.
    That may be your experience, but I was suggesting he call about a specific bike at a specific price. Do you have an opinion of the GT Avalanche 3.0 at $399?

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    after working at a few bike shops, I have found from experience that the shop you buy from can be just as important as the bike you buy. when I was at Performance, a customer would have to wait 2-3 weeks to get a bike back for a minor tune-up. mechanics were on the clock from 8 am to 9 pm and there was never enough time to get the workload done. I saw a lot of customers walk into the store while I was busy, wander around for 30 minutes trying to track down an employee, and never get help because the place was so under-staffed.

    with the trek dealer where I work now, we know most of our customers on a first-name basis and usually finish tune-ups on the same day, no longer than two days later. you will never get that kind of attention at Performance.

    as for the bike, the Avalanche 3.0 has an 8-speed drivetrain, which is an improvement over the Treks. As a beginner, you might not notice or care. I think the fork is about the same as what's on the 3700 with 100mm travel. the GT also has some wide, aluminum bars, whereas the Treks have narrower steel bars. the main advantage of that GT is the double-walled rims. however, the Treks have 36-spoked wheels while the GT has 32's. i can't speak from experience which will be stronger- a 36h single-wall wheel or a 32h double-wall. I think that overall, the GT is built more for trails with the fatter tires, wide bars, (probably) stronger wheels. if you can get past dealing with Performance, it might be a better deal. if I remember correctly, those Avalanches are pretty darn hefty. probably not impossibly heavy, but you will appreciate a "light" bike when you try one after a few months on a porker.

    ask the Trek shop what they have to offer in terms of benefits, maintenance, discounts on gear, how they are involved in the local cycling scene, etc. Performance offers cheap prices on bikes and that's about it. I hate to turn this into a "big box store vs. LBS" debate, but i want the OP to be aware that the distinction makes a difference in the experience he will get.

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    A well-reasoned reply

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    after working at a few bike shops, I have found from experience that the shop you buy from can be just as important as the bike you buy.

    as for the bike, the Avalanche 3.0 has an 8-speed drivetrain, which is an improvement over the Treks. As a beginner, you might not notice or care.
    One important difference may be that the Treks have freewheels, while the Giant has a cassette. I don't know that for a fact, but that's often the case with 7-sp vs 8-sp.

    +1 on all of your points, +rep!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    Hey Joey, I see from your profile that you're in Wilmington, DE. Call the Performance Bike in Newark and see if they have the GT Avalanche 3.0 in stock. Online they're selling it for $399. It's a 3x8, dual-wall rims, Alivio derailleur, looks like generally higher level of equipment than either Trek 3xxx you're considering.
    That was nice of you to let me know that. Newark is only about 25 min. away. And it looks pretty bad ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    my experiences from the inside of Performance Bike have been less than stellar. cheap bikes. lousy place to get service. just my $0.02.
    damn Mack.. raining on my parade hahaha. Just kidding. I like to know that as well. I don't want to have to deal with idiots.


    Quote Originally Posted by CheesePuff View Post
    IMHO save your money and get a bike within your original budget and be happy

    You are buying it as a beginner to ride the easy/moderate trails in the first place.

    Once you figure out what type of trails you like to ride on (smooth and flowy or rough and bumpy) then you can buy the type of bike that suits your riding style best.

    In any case, that Trek 3500 frame is pretty solid, it would take a tremendous hit for you to damage it. And if you do happen to wreck it by riding on the trails, you need to be looking at the AM forum for opinions on your next ride!
    That is a very very good point as well. I am taking everything in and I hope to make a decision very soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    One important difference may be that the Treks have freewheels, while the Giant has a cassette. I don't know that for a fact, but that's often the case with 7-sp vs 8-sp.

    +1 on all of your points, +rep!
    Can you guys explain what that means?

    Also, Mack Turtle.. you work in a Trek shop. I think I have decided not to go with the specialized and now it is between the 2 Trek bikes and the Giant Revel 1. What do you think??

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    See Sheldon Brown's article about freewheels vs. cassettes. The main difference to a 1st-time bike buyer is that cassettes can be upgraded later, 8 speed can be replaced with 9 speed or even 10 speed cassettes. With a 7 speed freewheel, you're stuck with 7 speeds.

    As a matter of fact, any first-time bike buyer should read as much of Sheldon Brown's site as you can get through!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Can you guys explain what that means?

    Also, Mack Turtle.. you work in a Trek shop. I think I have decided not to go with the specialized and now it is between the 2 Trek bikes and the Giant Revel 1. What do you think??
    Freewheel or cassette is referring to the rear hub of the bike. The standard 8,9,10 speed rear hub is a cassette hub which usually has a three sets of bearings in it and it is at least supported on the ends of the hub. This means that the axle is sitting in the hub and is supported right next to where it sits in the frame so it doesn't bend very much.

    A freewheel hub has a set of gears that is threaded onto the hub body, the threaded on gears do not have the axle supporting bearing on the outer edge so the hub is now supported by one bearing at the dropout and one bearing near the center of the axle. This means that there's a whole bunch of unsupported axle which can lead to a shorter life for freewheel rear hubs when compared to cassette rear hubs.

    You know, I typed this all out then found the guru of bicycles has an article posted on this, here's an image explaining the two:


    which comes from here: Freewheel or Cassette? which is worth a read.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    See Sheldon Brown's article about freewheels vs. cassettes. The main difference to a 1st-time bike buyer is that cassettes can be upgraded later, 8 speed can be replaced with 9 speed or even 10 speed cassettes. With a 7 speed freewheel, you're stuck with 7 speeds.

    As a matter of fact, any first-time bike buyer should read as much of Sheldon Brown's site as you can get through!
    So I am getting from both of you that "technically" Cassettes are better? I did read that article. I mean I'm TRYING to stay up to you guys, but it seems like the Cassette is better that you can upgrade but the Freewheels you can completely change brands.

    Is my final conclusion correct that the Cassette would be the better way to go since it has more room for improvement based on moving up gears?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    So I am getting from both of you that "technically" Cassettes are better? I did read that article. I mean I'm TRYING to stay up to you guys, but it seems like the Cassette is better that you can upgrade but the Freewheels you can completely change brands.

    Is my final conclusion correct that the Cassette would be the better way to go since it has more room for improvement based on moving up gears?
    Multi gear freewheels are old technology and are becoming less and less popular even with manufacturers.

    In every way, a cassette hub is better than a freewheel hub for the purposes of multi gear bikes (I will argue that my SS White Industries freewheel is the bomb though). The system is more readily upgradable and stronger.

    Don't get hung up by changing brands, you can do the same thing with Cassettes if you like. The only brand you can't easily change to is Campy, not that you would want to do that.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Well then right now.. I am leaning towards the Giant. I am going today after work to check out a local shop that sells them and get their 2 cents on that Giant vs. Treks. It appears to me that the Giant has better parts than the Trek 3700 and for the same price. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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    You will hear a whole story about how Giant makes everyones frames and what-not. I think the main best difference is the wheel/tire setup. The kenda block 8's are an awesome tire for what you want to ride as you can fill them up to 80psi and you have the strength of double wall rims. The 3 series trek has single wall so drops/curbs/somewhat technical trail riding may become an issue.

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    I decided to call the shop before I go down there today and he said that he would recommend a Raleigh Talus 4.0. He has it for $400. Any opinions on that bike?

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    Head to head comparison

    Here are the specs on the Talus 4.0:

    Sizes
    14, 16, 18, 20, 22
    Frame
    Atomic 13 SL Custom Butted Aluminum, Formed Downtube, CNC Machined Headtube
    Fork
    SR Suntour XCT 100mm w/Preload
    Cranks
    SR Suntour XCT V3 22/32/42t
    BB
    Sealed Cartridge
    F.Derail
    Shimano TX-51
    R.Derail
    Shimano Acera
    Shifter
    Shimano EF-51 EZ Fire 8spd
    Br.Levers
    Shimano EF-51
    Brakes
    Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc, 160mm Rotors
    Gear
    Shimano HG40 (11-32t)
    Rims
    Weinmann XC260 Double Wall
    Tires
    K-879 26x1.95
    Pedals
    Avenir ATB Resin Platform
    Handlebar
    Steel 25mm Rise x 620mm, 25.4
    Stem
    Alloy Ahead 4-Bolt 20º
    Seatpost
    Alloy Micro Adjust 27.2x350mm
    Seat
    Avenir 200 Series Mountain
    Headset
    Ahead 1-1/8"
    Colors
    Pewter, Matte Hunter Green
    Spokes
    14g Stainless Steel
    Grips
    Avenir Single File

    Here are the specs on the Giant Revel 2.0:

    Sizes 2XS, XS, S, M, L, XL
    Colors Black/Blue, Silver/Black
    Frame ALUXX-Grade Butted Aluminum
    Fork SR Suntour XCT V3 w/ Preload Adjust, 100mm Travel
    Shock N/A
    Components
    Handlebar Steel, 50mm Rise
    Stem Alloy
    Seatpost Alloy, 30.9
    Saddle Giant Sport MTB
    Pedals Nylon Platform
    Drivetrain
    Shifters SRAM X.3, Trigger
    Front Derailleur Shimano C-102
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.3
    Brakes Alloy Direct-Pull Cantilever
    Brake Levers Alloy, 2 Finger
    Cassette Shimano 14x34, 7-Speed
    Chain KMC Z51
    Crankset SR Suntour XCT V2, 28/38/48
    Bottom Bracket SR Cartridge
    Wheels
    Rims Giant XC Alloy, Double Wall
    Hubs Alloy, 32h
    Spokes Stainless Steel, 14g
    Tires Kenda Small Block Eight, 26x2.1

    Here are the specs on the GT Avalanche 3.0:

    BOTTOM BRACKET: Tange sealed
    BRAKES: Tektro Novela, cable disc, with 180mm front rotor and 160mm rear rotor
    CASSETTE: Shimano CS-HG30-8, 8-speed, 11-32T
    CHAIN: KMC Z72
    CRANKSET: Suntour XCT-30V2-T2, 42/32/22T
    FORK: Suntour XCM-V3-HLO, 10mm travel, steel stanchions, aluminum leg, with lockout
    FRAME: 26" 6061 aluminum GT Triple Triangle design with hydroformed top tube and downtube, zero stack head tube, disc mount and replaceable derailleur hanger
    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Acera FD-M360
    GRIPS/TAPE: GT dual-density ATB
    HANDLEBAR: All Terra 6061 aluminum riser, 685mm width, 25mm rise, 31.8 clamp
    HEADSET: Tange Seiki 1 1/8", threadless, zero stack
    LEVERS: Tektro
    PEDALS: GT slim line flat
    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Alivio RD-M410
    REAR SHOCK: NA
    SADDLE: WTB Pure-V Sport
    SEATPOST: All Terra alloy micro-adjust
    SHIFTERS: Shimano SLM310, Rapid Fire
    STEM: All Terra 1 1/8" threadless, 4-bolt with CNC face plate, 5-degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
    TIRES: Maxxis Mobster, 26x2.35, 26x2.10
    WHEELSET: Rims: Alex DC25, double-wall, 32-hole; Hubs: All Terra alloy disc with quick release

    Analysis:
    Giant is 3x7, Raleigh and GT are 3x8 +GT & Raleigh, -Giant
    All three have the Suntour XCT fork, GT has lockout +GT
    All three have Suntour XCT crankset tie
    Talus has Acera rear derailleur, Giant has SRAM X.3, GT has Alivio. +GT
    All three have Tektro brakes tie
    Giant has Kenda SB8 tires, GT has Maxxis Mobster, Talus has bo-bo no-names. SB8s are the absolute best for dry hardpack, Mobsters look better for wet & mud, don't know anything about the tires on the Talus.

    I'd sit on each of them, see which one feels better. If it came down to the Giant vs the Raleigh, and they fit the same, I'd probably go Raleigh on the 8-speed, or else compare how the bike shop treats you. Other components are comparable.

    The GT seems to be a little bit better equipped, but if dealing with Performance Bikes is a deal-breaker, then I'd go Talus.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    [B]

    Analysis:
    Giant is 3x7, Raleigh and GT are 3x8 +GT & Raleigh, -Giant
    All three have the Suntour XCT fork, GT has lockout +GT
    All three have Suntour XCT crankset tie
    Talus has Acera rear derailleur, Giant has SRAM X.3, GT has Alivio. +GT
    All three have Tektro brakes tie
    Giant has Kenda SB8 tires, GT has Maxxis Mobster, Talus has bo-bo no-names. SB8s are the absolute best for dry hardpack, Mobsters look better for wet & mud, don't know anything about the tires on the Talus.

    I'd sit on each of them, see which one feels better. If it came down to the Giant vs the Raleigh, and they fit the same, I'd probably go Raleigh on the 8-speed, or else compare how the bike shop treats you. Other components are comparable.

    The GT seems to be a little bit better equipped, but if dealing with Performance Bikes is a deal-breaker, then I'd go Talus.
    Awesome analysis! And to think to think I was going to lean towards Giant. I will be on them both today. I have read some bad reviews on the Raleigh and I can't really find anything bad on the Giant. HOPEFULLY I will come to a decision very soon. Can't thank you guys enough.

    Again.. the more opinions the better before I join the MTBR family.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Awesome analysis! And to think to think I was going to lean towards Giant. I will be on them both today. I have read some bad reviews on the Raleigh and I can't really find anything bad on the Giant. HOPEFULLY I will come to a decision very soon. Can't thank you guys enough.

    Again.. the more opinions the better before I join the MTBR family.
    A bike is a lot more than what parts are attached to it, don't get too caught up in what parts are bolted to what bikes. Test riding will probably tell you a lot about the bikes and hopefully will make your decision quite a bit easier.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    A bike is a lot more than what parts are attached to it, don't get too caught up in what parts are bolted to what bikes. Test riding will probably tell you a lot about the bikes and hopefully will make your decision quite a bit easier.
    Fair enough.. I will go into the store today and test both bikes. I believe he said he actually has them in the shop! We shall see....

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    Oh and another thing.. any big difference between a 7 speed and an 8 speed?

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    Just make sure it's a cassette, not a freewheel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    Oh and another thing.. any big difference between a 7 speed and an 8 speed?
    Ask the salesman to confirm for you that it's a cassette.

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    Hi,
    Try a test ride. It makes a difference. I test rode canondale models and trek models and loved the Trek. Its a personal thing. What about clearance on 2011 models? I see 30% discount on some 2011 bikes in UK store. You might also need to pick up some accessories and might want to factor that in.

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    I am new to mountain biking and to this forum, but, I would echo what many others have said. Just a week ago I purchased my first real mountain bike. I didn't have a budget to stick to and knew little about them. I went to a LBS that my son has done business with for years and they were very informative, friendly and answered all of my questions to my satisfaction. No BS.

    With that being said, what lead me to the bike I brought home was the feel. I tried out six or seven bikes of different manufactures. Made adjustments to them. In the end, the bike I have now just felt right and is a joy to ride.

    Could I have gotten a better bike with nicer parts? Yes.
    Could I have spent month on the Internet doing research? Yes.

    I'm glad I got the bike I got. Will it be my last bike purchase? If this hobby is like all the others, the answer will be NO! But I am having a blast riding.

    Hope this helps!

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    You know what's funny?

    I get there and he tries to sell me the Raleigh. NOPE. But then I realized the shifter. I like the SRAM shifter where you only use your thhumbers. I always have my fingers placed on the break so I really like that grip. That pretty much did it for me. I am almost def. going with a Giant Revel 1. Waiting on pricing and then I decide! I know you guys are going to lose sleep over this haha jk Can't thank you enough for all of your help.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Jiggles View Post
    You know what's funny?

    I get there and he tries to sell me the Raleigh. NOPE. But then I realized the shifter. I like the SRAM shifter where you only use your thhumbers. I always have my fingers placed on the break so I really like that grip. That pretty much did it for me. I am almost def. going with a Giant Revel 1. Waiting on pricing and then I decide! I know you guys are going to lose sleep over this haha jk Can't thank you enough for all of your help.
    I'm not really understanding the beginning of your post. What was wrong with the Raleigh? What kind of shifters did it have?

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    The SRAM triggers are sweet for the left hand downshift and the righthand upshift, super quick.

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