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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    Need help choosing between Trek and Specialized

    Hi, I'm about to purchase my first *real* mountain bike (used to own one bought from Wal-Mart).

    I'm torn between the Specialized Hardrock Disc 26 ($490) and the Trek 3700 ($500). These are from two different bike shops.

    The Trek saddle feels more comfortable, but I think the Specialized can be made the same by replacing the saddle. I just don't know how much it would add to the cost of the bike.

    I'm a bit skeptical about the claim of the Trek shop that the rim is double-wall.
    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The geometry of the two bikes differs some. See if you can get a little more demo time, and maybe ride up a couple hills or something.

    In the past, the Trek web site has been pretty specific about the rims on the 3- and 4-series Treks. I bet you can find an answer there. It would also be easy to tell by looking if the tire was removed.

    You might phone around and see if you've got a used or consignment shop that can stretch your buck a bit further. Much of the improvement you'll see in a $500 LBS bike over a $300 mass-market bike will be in the competence of the assembly.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Did you ride both bikes? If so other than the saddle did one have a better overall feel? How was your body position on each? Did one handle better than the other? Don't choose because of the saddle because you can simply buy another. The goal is to get a comfortable bike that fits your body type.

    And you can trust the claim that the rim on the Trek is double wall, its going to be true.

  4. #4
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    I actually went through the same decision last year. My LBS had me try both the Hardrock Disc and the Trek 3700. For me, the Hardrock was the more comfortable of the 2 bikes. Both bikes were roughly the same size, but the Trek should didn't feel right. As other have said, don't let the saddle be a deciding factor. You can ask your LBS to put the same saddle on each bike while you test ride them. Lastly, if I remember correctly, the 3700 may indeed only have single wall rims.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need help choosing between Trek and Specialized

    Thank you all for the replies.
    Unexpectedly, I ended up picking one that's not in my short list. It's a Specialized 29" Hardrock Disc.

    This handles and rides better than the 26" version.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help choosing between Trek and Specialized-uploadfromtaptalk1374361877363.jpg  

    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

  6. #6
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    Nice bike. Did you get a good deal on it?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjblake09 View Post
    Nice bike. Did you get a good deal on it?
    Yup. Got it for $540, which I think is good enough.

  8. #8
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    I noticed an imperfection on the rear gears. The second to the highest gear is not perfectly aligned. It's got a snaking alignment of the teeth. The difference in alignment is approximately 1 mm (at the tip).

    Is this something negligible or should I take it back to the shop?

  9. #9
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    Good question - I think this is by design, though I would like to hear more about this.

  10. #10
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    It's brand new, I am sure the shop would be more than happy to have a look and show you one way or the other.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb_beginner View Post
    I noticed an imperfection on the rear gears. The second to the highest gear is not perfectly aligned. It's got a snaking alignment of the teeth. The difference in alignment is approximately 1 mm (at the tip).

    Is this something negligible or should I take it back to the shop?
    Can you post a pic? On a modern cassette, many teeth have different profiles or a little bit of a twist. This is to aide shifting. But I don't really know what you're looking at.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Re: Need help choosing between Trek and Specialized

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Good question - I think this is by design, though I would like to hear more about this.
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Can you post a pic? On a modern cassette, many teeth have different profiles or a little bit of a twist. This is to aide shifting. But I don't really know what you're looking at.
    I think you guys are right. It's by design to aide in the shifting. Thanks for educating me on this. :thumbup:
    What works for me may not work for you. What's best for you depends on many factors. We are different from each other.

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