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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    Upgrading my son from MT220 to either Trek 3500 Disc or Giant Revel 2 - but concerned

    Hi all,

    First post here, but I've been trying to search and read through reviews on bikes for a while.

    Anyway, here's my situation:

    My elder son is ready to upgrade from his Trek MT220 and his younger brother already did the same thing last year. The younger son upgraded to a Trek 3500 primarily for two reasons.
    - I've only ever owned a Trek (still riding my 820 Antelope from the early 90's).
    - The nearest LBS was a Trek dealer.

    So why, do you ask, am I questioning the elder son's upgrade? My local LBS that we've used for the last decade closed this year. And in my search for another shop I came up with two in two different towns that sell different bikes (Giant and Trek...well...Giant and Felt and Trek and Salsa...but...nm). So I started looking around online, read a couple reviews here on this site, talked with others I know, and now I'm not sure Giant isn't going to be the better option. I know off the bat, MSRP shows the Giant Revel 2 to be a better price than the 3500 Disc, and the reviews I've read point to the Revel 2 being more in line with the 3700 Disc, but pricing-wise alone the 3500 and revel 2 are what I'm looking at.

    That said, with the estimated trade in value for my MT220 (confirmed on Cycle BB) I'm looking at roughly the same cost - about $400.

    So why am I confused when the Giant seems like an overall better option - well, not knowing anything about the science behind the frames I've just been looking at what "looks" better. And now I have a concern with how one of the bars on the Revel 2 looks compared to the same bar on the 3500.

    So here I am, asking you for your opinions as most of you probably know at least double what I do . So...the Seat Stay bar on the Giant - it looks wimpy compared to the same bar on the Trek. Is it enough of an issue that I should just stick with Trek or is it really a non-issue because it's going to be stronger than what any average rider will be able to put it through (he'll be riding in Minnesota at places like the RAMBO trails in Red Wing, etc - which I assume equates to Moderate Single Track? Trail maps and downloads | Red Wing Area Mountain Bike Organization, and around town to get to summer activities).

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and helping me out with the thoughts or experiences you may have.

    Medicius

  2. #2
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    Most frames at that price level are about the same in terms of quality, material and weight. Giant usually gives you more bang for your buck but at the end of the day buy the one that fits him better and off course he likes the most.

  3. #3
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    Dirt Devil is correct they are pretty similar and most likely built in the same factory. Ive sold trek for a number of years but at that level you won't really see the proprietary frame stuff come into play. Im gonna come out of left field here and recommend a Redline Monocog. Its steel its single speed tough as nails steel frame, comes with disc brakes now, looks awesome, for a young guy making it up hills won't be that hard. It is rigid but to me no suspension is better than bad suspension. Your looking at not too much higher of an MSRP. I probably see more monocogs come through the shop than any other bike that looks like its being ridden not left in the garage. Its a real riders bike, I know plenty of guys who ride $4000+ bikes who have one to SS on.
    2010 D440 Redline Rigid 1x9
    2011 Trek Remedy 8 1x10
    2012 Jamis Dragon 2x10
    2013 Diamondback Sortie 3 1x10

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the responses, I appreciate the info. I'll take a look at the Redline, though I'm not certain he'll want the SS. But I do like having other brands with similar price points brought up.

    Thanks again,

    Medicius

  5. #5
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    The monocog is a great bike at a great price, if it could come with gears it would be the perfect starter bike for your son but is a 29er and I beleive you're looking at 26" bikes for your kids.

    Go with the Giant.

  6. #6
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    The one thing about Trek 3xxx and 4xxx series mountain bikes is that the top tube length is considerably shorter than other similarly sized mountain bikes. They are designed with a rider that falls much more toward the 'recreational' side of riding than the rider that wants to get more out of riding than cruising down a smooth trail while seated in a relatively upright position. Even bikes in Trek's own lineup are 1.5" to 2" longer in top tube length for a similarly sized bike (measured by seat tube length). If that is what you're looking for, then you've found a good candidate.

  7. #7
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    I guess I never thought of that. The top tube length. So if you mean the Giant will be better for person leaning towards serious OR riding, then I'm pretty stoked.

    If I had to do a prediction, this bike will be the one that leads my elder son towards doing more technical/difficult trail riding. He's really glommed onto MTBing since he went out two or three weekends ago...even though he went OTB a few times on the too small MT220. But he was crashing the teeter-totter and high bars like they were speed bumps and a long stretch of 2 lane highway (me on the other hand...Much Fall, Very Fail).

    Medicius

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