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.
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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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    Just bought my mountain bike - 2009 Trek 4300

    Hello all - I just registered tonight, but I have been lurking here for a month or so. I used to ride my mountain bike back when I was younger, but I stopped riding at about age 16. My previous bike was a 1998 model Trek 930, which served me well for the two or so years that I owned it.

    Anyways, I recently got married, and my wife has started to ride her mountain bike for exercise, so I figured I would get back into it as well. I spent about a month researching, and ended up deciding to go with a Trek 4300.

    I went in to purchase my 2008 Trek 4300 today, and lo and behold, my LBS just today received their first shipment of some of the 2009 trek bikes. They didn't have any of them assembled yet, but they showed me the Trek 2009 catalog and we confirmed that the bike will remain unchanged from 08 to 09, with the exception of the paint schemes and upgraded pedals on the 2009 model. My LBS had the '09 4300 in stock, but as of yet unassembled. So, sight unseen (although I tested the 08 model), I decided to bite and purchase the 2009 Trek 4300 in the Matte Black color. I saw the Matte black frame, and it looks REALLY nice, way better than the silver/black color of the 08 model.

    So, my bike is being assembled for me tomorrow by the LBS, and will be ready for pick-up Thursday afternoon. I paid $450 for the bike ($30 under list price), and they are assembling the bike for free, as well as offering me two free complete tune-ups in the first year. Considering the 08 and 09 are being sold for the same price, I feel satisfied with the deal I got. I am a complete novice when it comes to maintenance, so the free tune-ups will definitely help me out.

    Anyways, I will hopefully take some pictures and post them when I get the bike in two days. For anyone considering the 4300, I definitely recommend waiting to see the '09 in person first before buying an '08 because the matte black color looks amazing in person, especially with the new "Trek" font all over it.

    And of course, even though I lurked in silence up until this point, I really appreciate the input all of you give into these various threads in the beginners forum. I will be frequenting this site often for tips on bike maintenance and upgrades. Hopefully once I learn what I am doing and what I am talking about, I will be able to contribute and help out as well.

    In case anyone is wondering about the sizing, I am between 5'10" and 5'11" and I ended up buying the 18" frame, which surprisingly was pretty big and just barely small enough for me to fit on. I expected to be more geared towards the 19.5" size but this wasn't the case.

  2. #2
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    Matte black.... every bike should have a flat black option as far as I'm concerned!

    2 days can seem like a really long time when your waiting for a bike post some shots when it get it home (or after its good and dirty)

    regards
    Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by heebdawg16
    Hello all - I just registered tonight, but I have been lurking here for a month or so. I used to ride my mountain bike back when I was younger, but I stopped riding at about age 16. My previous bike was a 1998 model Trek 930, which served me well for the two or so years that I owned it.

    Anyways, I recently got married, and my wife has started to ride her mountain bike for exercise, so I figured I would get back into it as well. I spent about a month researching, and ended up deciding to go with a Trek 4300.

    I went in to purchase my 2008 Trek 4300 today, and lo and behold, my LBS just today received their first shipment of some of the 2009 trek bikes. They didn't have any of them assembled yet, but they showed me the Trek 2009 catalog and we confirmed that the bike will remain unchanged from 08 to 09, with the exception of the paint schemes and upgraded pedals on the 2009 model. My LBS had the '09 4300 in stock, but as of yet unassembled. So, sight unseen (although I tested the 08 model), I decided to bite and purchase the 2009 Trek 4300 in the Matte Black color. I saw the Matte black frame, and it looks REALLY nice, way better than the silver/black color of the 08 model.

    So, my bike is being assembled for me tomorrow by the LBS, and will be ready for pick-up Thursday afternoon. I paid $450 for the bike ($30 under list price), and they are assembling the bike for free, as well as offering me two free complete tune-ups in the first year. Considering the 08 and 09 are being sold for the same price, I feel satisfied with the deal I got. I am a complete novice when it comes to maintenance, so the free tune-ups will definitely help me out.

    Anyways, I will hopefully take some pictures and post them when I get the bike in two days. For anyone considering the 4300, I definitely recommend waiting to see the '09 in person first before buying an '08 because the matte black color looks amazing in person, especially with the new "Trek" font all over it.

    And of course, even though I lurked in silence up until this point, I really appreciate the input all of you give into these various threads in the beginners forum. I will be frequenting this site often for tips on bike maintenance and upgrades. Hopefully once I learn what I am doing and what I am talking about, I will be able to contribute and help out as well.

    In case anyone is wondering about the sizing, I am between 5'10" and 5'11" and I ended up buying the 18" frame, which surprisingly was pretty big and just barely small enough for me to fit on. I expected to be more geared towards the 19.5" size but this wasn't the case.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on the new bike! You sure sound excited. I agree with the sizing. I'm 5'10" and my 18" Raleigh Mojave 4.0 fits like a GLOVE. Anyways enjoy it

  4. #4
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    Congratulations on the new ride. I agree with ray matte black should definitely always be an option. Not too long ago I picked up a new ride as well, in...you guessed it - matte black. Anyways, good deal on the 09 considering that the bike companies have raised the msrps quite a bit this year. I just took a look at the 4300 and looks like a nice ride for the money. I recently got a the 2009 trek catalog in the mail...i guess they want me to buy something again.

  5. #5
    Don't try this at home.
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    Congrats on the new bike! Hope you have a blast on it. Matte black looks absolutely sinister! I call it the "The anti-color". I like it so much I painted my car the anti-color.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    29er or nothing
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    I have an 08 trek 4300 and it will handle whatever you throw at it but if you paid 450 then your lbs is ripping off everyone and you should have a waited cause they would have put the 08's on clearance since they got in the 09's but its a great bike and fun ridding the crap out of it

  7. #7
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    I just got the exact same bike about a week and a half ago. Went to my LBS to get the '08 model, and to my surprise, they already had a few of the '09's in stock and assembled, including the sweet matte black. I've ridden it pretty much every day since, and I'm loving it. I'm 6'0", 190 lbs., and ended up with the monster 21" frame. Test rode both the 19.5 and the 21, and I was surprised how much more comfortable I felt on the 21. Anyway, hope you enjoy your new ride as much as I've enjoyed mine thus far.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcosMyors
    I have an 08 trek 4300 and it will handle whatever you throw at it but if you paid 450 then your lbs is ripping off everyone and you should have a waited cause they would have put the 08's on clearance since they got in the 09's but its a great bike and fun ridding the crap out of it

    my LBS actually isn't discounting the 08 models at all. Apparently Trek is raising prices on all models an average of 15% per bike (thats a LOT for a one year increase on the EXACT SAME BIKE). They are the ONLY Trek dealer in my area that sells Trek below MSRP, all the other ones sell exactly at the Trek website prices.

    According to the guys at my LBS, business has been insane for them ever since gas prices skyrocketed, they are selling bikes almost as fast as they can stock them.

    And I believe them, because I drive by that bike shop on my way home from work every single day, and their store is always crowded now. Must be a good time to be a bike shop owner.

  9. #9
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    Reputation: Roswell52's Avatar
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    Congrats. My wife rides an 08 4300 and loves it. What fork comes on the 09 model?

    Just had to share my Matte Black 08 6000.

    And YES...I have removed the reflectors..

    Trek 600000001.JPG
    sign here ________________________

  10. #10
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    this is the sickest flat black ever

  11. #11
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    Well, as an UPDATE:

    I got a call from my LBS around 2pm today, telling me that my bike was built and ready, two days early!! I eagerly ran up to a local sporting goods store and bought a Yakima bike rack for my Camry (one of the off-the-back kinds), and spent a full hour in the parking lot getting the darn thing to fit my car properly and sit right

    Anyways, after all this excitement, I then quickly drove over to my LBS to pick up my bike. I walk in and see it sitting in the back of store, in it's matte black glory, as my the salesman rolled it out so I could take a look over it. And in a serious moment of shock and disappointment, the FIRST THING I noticed about the bike was that it did NOT have the correct front fork on it. The bike is supposed to come with an RST Gila T8. Instead, it had a Spinner Edge front fork, 120mm travel.

    So I point this out to my salesman, who proceeds to tell me that when they opened the box for my bike, the fork inside was cracked and they had to replace it. How could they do this without calling me/asking if it was OK? They put on the Spinner Edge because it was the ONLY black-colored shock they had in stock that worked with V-brakes, and I guess they figured I wouldnt mind for some reason or another. I was pretty pissed off, and told the guy that I didn't want some Spinner fork that I have never heard of before, and that it was pretty crappy of them to do this without ever informing me once. So they get the owner of the shop in on this, and they figure out that it is going to take them atleast a week to order the correct fork for it and get it back in stock and on the bike, which I was not happy about.

    The other option they gave me was that they could get a Rock Shox Dart 3 in for me the next day, and they would let me upgrade to it for just $50. I thought about that one, but ultimately declined because I have read a TON of stories about how the Dart 3 has an inherent problem with leaking that Rock Shox refuses to address, and the shock is basically defective.

    In the end, I just told them to order me the proper replacement for the stock shock, and to call me as soon as it comes in. I am going to press them to give me a 10% discount on the bike, or else a huge discount on all accessories I need to pick up when I go to get the bike.

    I am pretty disappointed, but as a slight consolation, I will be away on travel for this entire weekend so hopefully this makes it go by a little bit quicker.

    ugh.

  12. #12
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    They should have let you hang onto it with that fork for the time being so you could atleast ride. Also, might want to consider that Dart 3 it is a better fork and I have not heard about a leak with those. Now, the Tora(which i own) on the other hand has had some problems but it seems that they have worked them out. About a week after I picked up my bike I noticed a good sized puddle of oil under the rebound adjustment side of the fork. Took it in had to send it off to be repaired but in the mean time my shop slapped a dart 2 on it off the floor. Didn't have any problems with the dart. It turned out ok in the end i guess, the tora came back with the rebound assembly for a Reba fork. I am actually hoping that i have more problems with the fork because some tora owners have been replaced with the rebas.

  13. #13
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    I'd bet money that they took off your fork on purpose..not because it was "cracked" in the box, but that they thought you wouldnt notice the difference...

    Many places profit that way, unfortunately.

    Good that you immediately recognized that.

  14. #14
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    IMHO, I would tell the LBS to put on the Dart3 at no additional charge or you will take your business to another shop. Even if you paid up front, it's not too late to cancel the credit card transaction.

    Take the Dart3 over the RST Gila T8. We have both, and the Dart3 is a much better fork. If it leaks, it has a warranty.
    sign here ________________________

  15. #15
    Ride the dream
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roswell52
    IMHO, I would tell the LBS to put on the Dart3 at no additional charge or you will take your business to another shop. Even if you paid up front, it's not too late to cancel the credit card transaction.

    Take the Dart3 over the RST Gila T8. We have both, and the Dart3 is a much better fork. If it leaks, it has a warranty.
    +1
    Word for word.


    If they cared for your business though, they would have kept you informed - it seems they arent really the caring kind from your description.

    Keep us posted

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburke
    I'd bet money that they took off your fork on purpose..not because it was "cracked" in the box, but that they thought you wouldnt notice the difference...

    Many places profit that way, unfortunately.

    Good that you immediately recognized that.
    Ask them to see YOUR damaged fork. After all it is yours. Once you see it, then i would be a little less suspicious.

  17. #17
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    I'm a new rider so I cannot offer the advice other people can but 2 months ago I got a trek 4500 for $500 and saw it at 2 other stores for around $520.

    This bike already has the dart 3 fork, better brakes, shifters, derailers, tires, crank and pedals. It has the same frame, wheelset, handle bars, seatpost and saddle as the 4300.

    Does not make sense to me to pay $50 more for just a fork upgrade.

    When I was looking for the best $500 (stimulus check) bike I narrowed it down to the Giant Yukon and the Trek 4500. yukon has better tires, brakes. 4500 has better fork, lighter frame plus the '08 in matte black/green looks way better than the silver/black yukon.

    $.02

  18. #18
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    Agree on swapping out the Dart 3 for par. If they don't make it right, try to talk to the owner yourself and explain that they should have been honest up front.

    I have not had any problems with the Dart 3 on my Rockhopper, and it rides nice after getting it dialed in for me. I've had the bike right side up and upside down with no leaks.

    Edit: +1 for matte black. My Trek 6 series frame is becoming that color as we type.

  19. #19
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    So, my bike is being assembled for me tomorrow by the LBS, and will be ready for pick-up Thursday afternoon. I paid $450 for the bike ($30 under list price), and they are assembling the bike for free, as well as offering me two free complete tune-ups in the first year. Considering the 08 and 09 are being sold for the same price, I feel satisfied with the deal I got. I am a complete novice when it comes to maintenance, so the free tune-ups will definitely help me out.
    Wow they are high. I got my 2008 trek 4300 for $370 brand new. I know my LBS is selling bikes like hot cakes. The bike thieves here in Ohio will have a field day with all the new bikes with crappy locks on them haha.

    As for the fork thing, that sucks. I would have taken the dart 3. I switched my gila for a dart 3 fork and am very happy I did it. I hated the gila fork. Damn thing is like a pogo stick. With some shimano 520 clipless pedals, a back fender, some ergon grips, and a new saddle then it's an amazing commuter XC bike. I love mine and you will love yours!

    I'd go back and tell them you want the dart 3 installed for free or demand they give you the new gila fork and the current spinner. That's just bad business. That's bait and switch right there! I'd tell them to make it right or you will be contacting BBB

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roswell52
    Congrats. My wife rides an 08 4300 and loves it. What fork comes on the 09 model?

    Just had to share my Matte Black 08 6000.

    And YES...I have removed the reflectors..

    Trek 600000001.JPG
    If Darth Vader rode MTB, that might be his bike of choice. 'Cept, he wouldn't have reflectors on his...eh hem!
    Know thyself...

  21. #21
    don't thread on me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phadreus
    If Darth Vader rode MTB, that might be his bike of choice. 'Cept, he wouldn't have reflectors on his...eh hem!
    May the farce be with you!

    Hey Yoda, Isn't that a picture of my Matte Black Dart Vader bike you used in your Avatar?
    Last edited by Roswell52; 08-28-2008 at 08:12 AM.
    sign here ________________________

  22. #22
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    Trek 4300

    The Matte Black sounds cool, with they'd have had it when I bought mine.
    I have the 08' Trek 4300, so far so good, although I have nothing to really compare it to but my old Mongoose Californian from back in the day. This bike has handled everything I've done so far (re-learning how to ride after 20 years) so plenty of crashes and a couple of good diggers and it rides fine. I did bend the seat on one of my latest rapid introductions to mother earth, but some scratches and chips in the paint, thats it.
    I hate to break it to you but I only paid $400 for mine and my LBS gave me a years worth of tune ups (4 in all) but I'd check the forums here and learn how to maintain your drive train yourself. The whole fork thing would have had me out the door buying my bike elsewhere.

    Trek on bro.....

  23. #23
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    Well, I just called around to a few more shops, and found one that will do the 4300 for $380, or the 4500 for $520. And, they have both built and ready to go. So, I am going to call the LBS I originally ordered from and tell them to refund my money.

    This is getting annoying.

  24. #24
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    Right the f&*^ on man! $380 is pretty on par with what I paid for my 08 trek 4300 and $520 is pretty close to what the shop I bought my 4300 from was offering.

    Glad you found a better deal and a better shop. Enjoy that ride.

    If the previous shop gives you any BS about refunding your money then report them to the Better Business Bureau. Be sure to have times/dates/names of all people you spoke with at the shop about your bike, how the situation was handled etc.

    People who bait and switch customers without their consent should not be in business and put other honest businesses in jeopardy.

    Being in Audiology we fight a constantly losing battle with hearing aid dealers.

    Difference between an Audiologist and a hearing aid dealer?

    Audiologist = Undergraduate degree + 4 year doctoral degree + hundreds of hours of practice before earning doctorate + state licensure = increased knowledge of medicine and disease/pathology of hearing loss/balance disorders/ and other syndromes of the ear.

    Hearing aid dealer = high school diploma or GED and passed a state test. Most dealers are hired by large firms that train them for 2 weeks then hire them after they take the test.


    Would you buy your pharmaceutical drugs from a pharmacist or from the guy's garage down the street?

  25. #25
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    WELL, Here's yet another update:

    I cancelled my order with the shop. I called them and they said I needed to come in person because they couldn't refund my credit card without swiping it. So I went in after work, and lo and behold, they had a matte black Trek 4300 in 18" frame sitting there, correct suspension, perfect bike. They apparently realized that they couldn't get the stock shock ordered in time, so they instead ordered me an entire new bike and assembled it yesterday morning.

    Which is all good and well...except they yet again never bothered to call and tell me that my bike was in the store and ready. I would never have known if I didn't come in person to cancel my order (they never even told me this over the phone).

    So I was tempted to just go ahead and take the bike with the 10% discount they were offering me (bringing the price down to $405 for the 4300). However, upon inspection, I noticed that there was a pretty sizable scratch near the front of the top bar on the frame. It was thin, but about 2" long and clearly down through the paint. I pointed it out to the guy who looked at it and then told me that the bikes occasionally get small scratches during the assembly process, and he assured me it was only cosmetic, had no effect, etc etc.

    Well, thats the WRONG thing to say to someone who is ALREADY displeased with the service of the shop. I was already in there to take my business away from them, and I was only considering the bike now because I knew it would save me waiting time on finding one somewhere else. So I told him that I have looked at PLENTY of bikes at other shops, and NEVER seen a through-the-paint scratch on a brand new bike sitting in the shop. His reply was a simple "chances are, you'll get a scratch worse than this the first time you take it off-road anyways".

    Once again, wrong answer. Thats like buying a brand new car with one tire already worn down bald. Sure, it'll wear down anyways after you use it for a while, but that doesn't make it acceptable to overlook. Would you buy a shirt that had already faded, just because you know it will fade after it's been washed a few times? No. He offered NO discount, NO compensation for a scratched bike, nothing.

    At that point, I just pretty much told him I was no longer considering buying anything from their shop at any price. Not that I was planning on hearing a counter offer, but after he kept on talking to me about it I told him that he could cut the price in half and I would still stand at the register and ask for a refund. He finally gave up and refunded my money.

    So I checked on trekbikes.com for all the local Trek dealers in my area, called around, and eventually found a place that would do $380 for the 4300 ($70 cheaper than my LBS), and $520 for the 4500. I ended up heading down there and purchasing an all-white 2009 4500 for $520. For some reason, the all-white color was the ONLY color they said they could get the 4500 in at the moment, even on order. I was skeptical at first, but when I saw it in person, it looked REALLY nice. The "TREK" logo is in thick black lettering, as is the rest of the writing on the bike, and it honestly looked much better than I would have imagined.

    So yet again, we play the waiting game. My bike is going to be assembled over the next two days, and will be ready by Thursday morning at the latest. Included in my $520 purchase price is a TWO YEAR warranty from the bike shop, with free tune-ups and preventative care for the entire two years!!!!!

    All in all, I would say I got a good deal on the bike, WAY better than what I previously thought was a good deal. It seems like $520 is a decent price for the '09 4500, and the two years of maintenance are definitely going to come in handy (though it is about a 12 mile drive for me to get to this bike shop, but they are the second closest Trek authorized dealer to me). Also, they offer a lifetime of free installation of any accessories I buy from their shop for my bike, which will come in handy if I ever decide to upgrade any parts.

    So yet again, I sit here telling you guys that I will post pictures when the bike arrives! Keeping my fingers crossed, I'm not counting anything as a success until that bike is sitting in my house.

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