Decent bike for a beginner?
I have located a few used Trek 4300 bikes serviced and dialed in by a local guy who sells as a hobbby. He is asking $220 per bike. Wadda ya think?
I understand the that all parts are not top O the line, nor do I expect them to be for the price. I need two good bikes for my son and I to trail ride.
We are about 5' 6" - 148 lbs and have a muscular build.
I plan on riding trails quite a bit, and some city cruising here and there. I rode BMX/ Freestyle back in the day so a solid bike is a must as I have beat the **** out of many bikes and am pretty sure once back in the saddle and comfortable I will not hesitate to take some jumps and push it now and again.
Both of these bikes appear to be stock setups cleaned / serviced. Do you experienced riders think we could get a few good seasons out of these without totally destroying them?
Are they disc? Do you have any idea what model year they are?
The 4300 is a decent entry level bike. I've been riding mine for four years now through some serious abuse. That's the frame though. The only stock components left on the bike are the rear brake and the seat post. The cheaper components that come stock break more easily and require more frequent adjustment. Knowing that, it doesn't make it a bad buy, it just means that you WILL have to replace parts sooner than later.
Whether they're worth $220 depends on the model year and how much use/abuse they've received. For basic components like shifters and brakes - as long as they're working they're good to go. Things like the fork however have a limited life span, and you won't know where you are in that time frame. The RST Gila that came stock on mine seized up at around the 1 year mark. If you keep the bike long term, you're going to want a new fork eventually anyway, but be aware that that upgrade could cost you most than the bike.
To answer your final question, yes, you can get a few seasons out of a 4300 without destroying it. But also no, you cannot get a few seasons without destroying some components, but that will be true of ANY bike, especially in this price range.
Thanks for the input! Caliper Brakes. I am not sure of the year, going to see them in a few hours.
He said the front/rear derailleurs work perfectly so this sounds like a good starting point. If they get thrashed then I guess we will need to do some upgrading. I will take it one ride at a time and go from there.
I have been looking at possibly buying one used for my son, and a new bike for dad! Any thoughts on the 12' trek 3700
A new 3700 will have all the same problems I described, so ultimately if I were picking between the two it would depend on the age of the 4300. For $200 I would rather sit on a 2010 4300 than a new 3700, but not, for example, a 2005.
Another thing to consider is your personal mechanical abilities. New bikes from a LBS (local bike shop) usually come with a 1 year maintenance plan, covering basic adjustments. That alone can make it worth it.
Also, make sure you test ride the bikes first, whichever one you buy. You want to make sure it "fits" right. Odds are at your height you're looking for a medium, or an 18.5" in Trekspeak, but everyone has a preference when it comes to sizing.