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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    Specialized Hardrock / Trek 3500 3700 alternates?

    Buying new is most likely out of the question, I'm drawn to the Specialized Hardrock and Trek 3500/3700 after a few new bike test rides. I've been fitted to a 17" frame on 26 wheel and 15"/16" on a 29er. Seems like I can get used for $150-$300 which is right in my price range. I'm open to suggestions to other bikes worth checking out that I can upgrade somewhat easily if I wanted to. Application is riding in forrest preserves and the street, mainly for exercise and post surgery knee rehab.

    Suggestions to other bikes that are similar to the ones above? I was a fan of how they rode!

    Also, most bikes in my range have standard brakes and I'd like to upgrade to disc. When looking to convert, are there "bike specific" parts like most car/motorcycle parts or are things mainly numerically sized but bike universal as long as they use the same sized components?

  2. #2
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    my first bike was a 3700 which I rided a lot was a nice bike even my dad used it for starting in the sport now I have a 4300 and upgrade it trek do some serius good frames that worth to upgrade you should check the 3700 disc version that gives you almost everithing that you need for later upgrading the calypers or going to hydros

  3. #3
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    Most brands have bikes that are a lot like those,look at the web sites for Giant, Haro, Redline, KHS, Jamis .

  4. #4
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    Don't get the 3700 disc if you plan to actually mountain bike on it. If you will be doing easy trails with little to no rocks, or even commuting then I would recommend the 3700. The 3700 disc was my first bike into the sport and the rear rim broke like the 4th-5th time I used it. There went a $130 right there on a new one. Then I had a minor fall on it where it landed on the drive train side and the rear derailleur bent reeeaalll easy. Had I not had a free tune up from the LBS I got the bike from that would have been more money invested in the POS. I got a new bike after owning the 3700 for 2 months and am now in the process of selling it.

  5. #5
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    Keep in mind that the Trek 3xxx and IIRC, the 4xxx series bikes have shorter top tubes than the bikes their mid and upper tier bikes do. They are designed to have the (recreational) rider in a relatively more upright position rather than a position better suited to more aggressive riding. this is fine for recreational (less aggressive) riding, but if you're going to get more serious, you'll probably want to migrate to a different frame (or bike) at that time.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input. Yeah of the variety of bikes I've test ridden, the Hardrock and Trek seemed the most comefortable, but I'm always open to alternates in the same price/performance point. Granted the differences will prob be minimal, but if I'm shopping used, I don't really know what's a "department store" and what's not.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Keep in mind that the Trek 3xxx and IIRC, the 4xxx series bikes have shorter top tubes than the bikes their mid and upper tier bikes do. They are designed to have the (recreational) rider in a relatively more upright position rather than a position better suited to more aggressive riding. this is fine for recreational (less aggressive) riding, but if you're going to get more serious, you'll probably want to migrate to a different frame (or bike) at that time.
    I'll definitely be on the recreational/commuting side, I'm a long way off from aggressive riding lol

  8. #8
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    You should do alot of reserch on the bikes you are looking at before you buy. There is a review section on here that is very helpfull.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOHIO Ray View Post
    You should do alot of reserch on the bikes you are looking at before you buy. There is a review section on here that is very helpfull.
    Spent so much time searching the forums didn't really look at other parts of the site lol. Thanks ill check it out!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by w8lifter21 View Post
    I'll definitely be on the recreational/commuting side, I'm a long way off from aggressive riding lol
    I think a Trek 3700 would be solid then. For that, IMO, it feels upright and comfy but for more agressive beginner type trail riding (small jumps, potential falling) it won't hold up.

  11. #11
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    the frame will hold up it wont blow in pieces if you ride it hard they are well build I use the 4300 with a 130mm fork and not any problem but dont do any huge drop/jump

  12. #12
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    I have had the 3700 disc for almost 2 years. I ride somewhat aggressively (2-3' jumps, rock gardens, small drops) and have broken several parts but if you do good maintenance on it and don't ride as aggressively as I do it's a great and will last

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