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  1. #1
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    Entry Level Biker Looking at Trek 4900

    Hey all,
    I am planning on getting an entry level trusty mountain bike. I went to some dealers, and I was shown a Trek 4900 (2006 model) with disc brakes, which seems to be pretty much what I want. I have a budget of around 700 dollars, and this bikes fits it very well (including all the other accessories).

    I was wondering if you guys have any recommendation of any bikes by Giant, Specialized, or Gary Fisher within the same price range that I might want to look.

    Also, does anyone know where is Trek 4900 made? In USA or out of it?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
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    I would say as far as hardtails go-the Trek 4900 is an intermediate level bike. The beginner level bikes from Trek would be the 3700,4300,and the 4300disc. I actually ordered a 4900 from my LBS and was told it would be a 2 month wait because that model was on back-order from Trek. I was willing to wait because I felt the 4900 was the right bike for me. I began to get impatient ( THANK GOD ) and test rode a Gary Fisher Piranha. I immediately cancelled my order and got my deposit back and purchased the Fisher. The Piranha has a better fork, better brakes, better frame, better geometery ( Genesis Geometry is great ) better tires, shifters, crankset,ect. Not to mention it's lighter and better looking! The Piranha is only about 50 or 60 dollars more and is well worth it. Do your self a favor and check one out! I had a Trek and wanted another but now I ride Fisher. The Piranha has made me a better rider and any of the Fisher Genesis Hardtails will do the same for you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRBpiranha
    I would say as far as hardtails go-the Trek 4900 is an intermediate level bike. The beginner level bikes from Trek would be the 3700,4300,and the 4300disc. I actually ordered a 4900 from my LBS and was told it would be a 2 month wait because that model was on back-order from Trek. I was willing to wait because I felt the 4900 was the right bike for me. I began to get impatient ( THANK GOD ) and test rode a Gary Fisher Piranha. I immediately cancelled my order and got my deposit back and purchased the Fisher. The Piranha has a better fork, better brakes, better frame, better geometery ( Genesis Geometry is great ) better tires, shifters, crankset,ect. Not to mention it's lighter and better looking! The Piranha is only about 50 or 60 dollars more and is well worth it. Do your self a favor and check one out! I had a Trek and wanted another but now I ride Fisher. The Piranha has made me a better rider and any of the Fisher Genesis Hardtails will do the same for you.
    Thanks a lot DRBpiranha.... im gonna go and give GF Piranha a test ride as soon as i can...

  4. #4
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    Also look at the 6500. No discs, but I got my 6500 for 699 so you are getting a better bike (-the disks) than the 4900 for the same price. Just a thought.

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    If you don't require new, look into the 05 6500 too. My dad has the 06 4900 and I have the 05 6500. Overall, the fork on the 4900 is incredibly bouncy. Good for beginners, but it doesn't have lockout so it's a pain in the climbs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRBpiranha
    I would say as far as hardtails go-the Trek 4900 is an intermediate level bike. The beginner level bikes from Trek would be the 3700,4300,and the 4300disc. I actually ordered a 4900 from my LBS and was told it would be a 2 month wait because that model was on back-order from Trek. I was willing to wait because I felt the 4900 was the right bike for me. I began to get impatient ( THANK GOD ) and test rode a Gary Fisher Piranha. I immediately cancelled my order and got my deposit back and purchased the Fisher. The Piranha has a better fork, better brakes, better frame, better geometery ( Genesis Geometry is great ) better tires, shifters, crankset,ect. Not to mention it's lighter and better looking! The Piranha is only about 50 or 60 dollars more and is well worth it. Do your self a favor and check one out! I had a Trek and wanted another but now I ride Fisher. The Piranha has made me a better rider and any of the Fisher Genesis Hardtails will do the same for you.
    That's not always true. What's comfortable for one person may not be for another. Both bikes have different geometry so for others, the trek might be a better fit. I know I preferred the trek over the fisher. I also don't believe that any bike is going to make anyone a better rider. A better bike will perform better but only a person can make themselves a better rider. That's just my point of view and from my experience, my riding has only improved by getting out there and hitting the trails whether it was on a 300 dollar bike or a 3,000 dollar bike.
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  7. #7
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    I should clarify a bit. I rode a 21 inch Trek and test rode a 21 inch Fisher and did not like the fit, it was not untill I rode a 19 inch Genesis frame that I realized what I was missing. I do agree with you that what feels good to one may not to another, I just happen to really love the Genesis frames. I do think I am a better rider on the Fisher though. I am much faster, I can carry more speed through turns and switch-backs, I seem to be able to pick and maintain better lines, I can get the front end up over obstacles much easier, and I can ride for much longer without getting tired. This is no doubt due to the bike performing better than my old bike but it still makes me a better rider on the same trails I rode on my Trek. The Fisher just handles quicker than my Trek did. The Trek 4900 has a more upright riding position and the Fisher Piranha has a more "aggressive" riding position. Obviously, both are good, quality bikes and it comes down to how each rider feels on the bike. Have a good one!

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    Thanks a lot guys for your input. I test rode the GF Piranha, but I dont know, for some reason, I seemed to like the stance of the Trek 4900 better. It gave me a sense of better control over the Piranha.

    One of my friends raised a concern over the mechanical disc brakes though. The 4900 comes with a mechanical disc brake, and my friend says that there are many complications when it comes to maintainence. He says that having a hydraulic disc brake would be better, than having a mechanical disc brake. What do you all think?

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    As far as I know, mechanical discs are much easier to maintain and adjust than hydraulic discs. The advantage of hydraulics is power. My GF Piranha has Hayes HMX-2 mechanical discs and they work GREAT. Easy to maintain and adjust. My girlfriends bike has hydraulic discs and they are VERY powerful but are a pain to adjust and keep adjusted. I'm not sure about the quality of the Shimano disc brakes on the 4900, but they should still be better than V-brakes. I wouldn't worry about having mechanicals.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRBpiranha
    As far as I know, mechanical discs are much easier to maintain and adjust than hydraulic discs. The advantage of hydraulics is power. My GF Piranha has Hayes HMX-2 mechanical discs and they work GREAT. Easy to maintain and adjust. My girlfriends bike has hydraulic discs and they are VERY powerful but are a pain to adjust and keep adjusted. I'm not sure about the quality of the Shimano disc brakes on the 4900, but they should still be better than V-brakes. I wouldn't worry about having mechanicals.
    My new TREK came equipped with the hayes hydraulics. This is my first experience with discs and so far they are great. I can't see myself using anything else now. My brother's specialized has the mechanical discs and i dont like the feel as much. And i've been told by many people that the hydraulics are much easier to maintain. That was one of the selling points of the TREK for me because i'm not at the point yet where i can do my own maintenance yet on brakes and derailleurs.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    One of my friends raised a concern over the mechanical disc brakes though. The 4900 comes with a mechanical disc brake, and my friend says that there are many complications when it comes to maintainence. He says that having a hydraulic disc brake would be better, than having a mechanical disc brake. What do you all think?
    I think it is the other way around.....hydraulic brakes take alot of maintenance vs. mechanical disc brakes.
    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein

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    I believe a properly setup hydraulic disc brake requries minimal maintenance. A properly setup mechanical should also require minimal maintenance. The only thing about hydraulics is if you ever need to bleed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanghasyou
    I believe a properly setup hydraulic disc brake requries minimal maintenance. A properly setup mechanical should also require minimal maintenance. The only thing about hydraulics is if you ever need to bleed it.

    That's true, from time to time they may need to be bled. It's such a simple task though, anyone can do it. It's well worth the effort though in my opinion. Hydraulic brakes have such a nice feel to them.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by anirban
    One of my friends raised a concern over the mechanical disc brakes though. The 4900 comes with a mechanical disc brake, and my friend says that there are many complications when it comes to maintainence. He says that having a hydraulic disc brake would be better, than having a mechanical disc brake. What do you all think?
    I like the mechanical discs. They are definitely pretty simple to maintain, but they can be idiosyncratic. Once you get used to the idiosyncracies of the discs, they are easy to live with. I do find that the hydraulic brakes tend to modulate better, however, a properly set up mechanical disc brake will modulate well enough that the differences are minute. When you compare mechanical dics to linear-pull brakes (which is what I had on my previous bike), there is no comparison. The mechanical disks just blow them away. I wouldn't let mechanical versus hydraulic discs be the deciding factor in whether you purchase a bike.

  15. #15
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    Note that Trek hard tails have a different geometry for 4900 and below vs. 6500 and above. Try both and try to ride the bikes off the road and up/down something steep, if at all possible.

    Disc brakes are cool. I want them. But, they aren't free. For a given price, if you are getting a bike spec'd with disc brakes, then some other components will have a lower spec. I would suggest that for an entry level to mid level bike, you might be better off getting a bike with V's and better fork, cranks, etc. V brakes really do work pretty well. Still, discs are cool!

    -BD

  16. #16
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    Thanks a lot guys... yes, it seems as if Mechanical Disc brakes wont be giving me troubles. I test rode a couple of bikes, including gary fisher and giant, but I still feel attracted towards this Trek 4900. Its fits right in my budget, and feels just right while riding it. I will be doing real hardcore offroad riding only once or twice a week, but I will be riding it everyday for commute, on unpaved road. I think I might just buy this one.

    What do you all think about 4900 in general? Have any advices for me before my decision is final and I run to the store?
    Last edited by anirban; 04-27-2006 at 01:11 PM.

  17. #17
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    I say go for it. You cant go wrong with trek. Before I opted to spend a grand on a new bike, I was looking at the 4900. It is a good bike for the money. The only advie I would give is this though. For another 100 bucks you can get the trek 6500. It dosent have the disc brakes, but, It has the slr frame which is lighter than the 4900 frame. It also has alot of other better components, such as an xt rear derailleur which isnt bad for the price. My lbs charges 699 for the 6500. either way though, whatever bike you choose will be the right decision for you. good luck with it and tell us which one ya pick
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  18. #18
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    Go For It!

    I've been owning a Trek 4900 '06 model for about two months now, and honestly, I've been pretty happy with it. I was on a tight budget, so I decided to get the 4900, but honestly, once you ride it, it wont feel like a budget bike. Its got the Trek name stamped on to it, and it lives up to the name. Its definitely going to fulfill all of your expectations as an entry level mountain biker. It exposes you to the decent technologies-- LX deraileur, disc brakes, and nice suspension.

    As u start learning more, this bike will be able to keep up, i.e. you can pretty much upgrade any component on this bike....

    so ya, its definitely a very decent bike for entry level biker!

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