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  1. #1
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    Trek 4300 Upgrades

    I just purchased a new 2007 Trek 4300. I have done some riding in the past, but for the most part I am new to the sport. I would like to do some upgrades to the bike. Does anybody have any recomandations so that I am able to get the most bang for my buck? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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    It's my opinion that a wheelset upgrade will give the most bang for your buck. Unfortunately, most newcomers are turned off when I tell them that it'll probably require an investment of at least $300. Decreasing the rotating mass on the bike will greatly improve acceleration and handling. 1lb less of rotating weight is like dropping 3lbs of stationary weight. Going to a lighter set of tires or going tubeless with a conversion kit (like Stan's) will also help with this.

    A decent two-piece crankset would be nice. LX or Firex come to mind, although there are plenty more good sets. You're looking at a $150+ investment here. Again, the weight saved in the cranks is more noticable than most other upgrades.

    An air-sprung fork would drop at least .5lbs, maybe a full pound. It would also greatly increase the tuning options available to you. A new entry-level air-sprung fork would run around $300. You can probably find a better deal on eBay for a used fork, though. Make sure you take measurements of what length steerer tube you need - you'll probably need a shop to set the star nut and the crown races. I'm of the opinion that in most every case, the travel shouldn't be changed by more than 20mm. Most newcomers value quantity over quality. They think that the more travel they get, the better their bike is. This is just not true. You're bike came with an 80mm fork, I would recommend that you replace it with an 80mm fork in order to retain the handling characteristics of the bike.

    One of the most noticable differences between the 4300 and the 4500 is how much better the 4500 shifts. Go for Deore shifters and a Deore rear derailleur - you probably don't/won't use the front derailleur enough to require an upgrade at this stage. Deore is pretty good stuff and it won't break the bank. However, I think you'll need to get new brake levers, too, since the 4300 uses a brake/shift combo. Get some Avid FR-5s - basic brake levers, they'll do the job.

    Have fun.
    2007 Trek Fuel EX 8
    1999 Trek 7000 --- Dragonfly Green = Sexy
    2002 Trek 2100
    2008 Felt New Belgium Cruiser

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your advice, you seem pretty knowledgable. I would love to upgrade my fork. It might as well have come with a rigid front end because the stock fork is so stiff. However, I dont have $300 to spend on a air-sprung. I was thinking about a RockShox Dart 3 for $125. Do you think I would be better off waitng to purchase a air-sprung fork, or purchasing the RockShox Dart 3. Is there any other fork you would recommend in the $125-$150 price range besides the Dart 3.

  4. #4
    Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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    Honestly, I wouldn't really consider a fork under $150 to be much of an upgrade from anything that was still working. Although the Dart 3 isn't bad for the price. Although I though they cost closer to $200.

    I have a lockout on my fork and I hardly use it. The rebound adjustment is something that you can take real advantage of if you take the time to ride it and adjust until it's set up proper. I still think you're better off with an air-sprung fork although any Rockshox fork will feel way better than the RST you have now. If you can get a Dart 3 for $125 then I'd take it.
    2007 Trek Fuel EX 8
    1999 Trek 7000 --- Dragonfly Green = Sexy
    2002 Trek 2100
    2008 Felt New Belgium Cruiser

  5. #5
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    I have the same bike as you.

    I actually upgraded to the Dart 3, and it's a huge difference over the OE RST fork. I paid like $160 from my local LBS.

    I also went clipless and got a set of shimano m520's and with the tension all the way down, it's easy to clip in and out.

    I changed out the stock v brake pads out for some kool stops, and braking wise when I get to the faster downhills has they stop alot better than my oe pads. So, I pretty much have thrown out the idea to upgrade to discs for now

    I dont know how much seat time you have had on your bike, but I was having a issue with my crank set, the crank arm kept coming loose and eventually shredded the bolt and it was replaced under warranty, but it's because it's a cheapo crankset. So, once this one goes out, I'll most likely upgrade, but they get pricey.

    as for the derauliers, I've left them alone because I havent had much trouble to this point, but I have looked at both the deore and sram derauliers.


    if you got it from a LBS, and got the warranty, I would just ride it until things break or when you think that it really needs upgrading. Just put some miles on it, and you will know what you like and don't like and that's when you can start upgrading.

    When I first got mine, I was asking what I should upgrade and buy right away, but the best advice I got was to just ride it, and after that it all came into place....my buddy also has a 4300 and he loves it as is...no problems or complaints from him...so it's really dependent on how you ride.

  6. #6
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    btw....nashbar has deore front and rear derailluer's for 19.99 each, and you can use the 20% off coupon and get it shipped for $40....just so you know


    and I've never had any problems with my brake levers.....but price point has those avid's for 12.98

  7. #7
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    The 4300 was my first real mountain bike too. I loved it and wish I had kept it when I upgraded. Please take my advice on this, get new tires. New tires will make a HUGE difference in the way your bike handles in the corners when you are on the dirt. A good set would be some Panaracer Fire XC Pros- they are on sale all the time somewhere, and they are great tires. Plus they look cool. That said any higher end dirt specific tire would be better than what came on my 4300.
    Other than tires I would just ride the bike a lot, get used to how it feels and maybe break a couple things, and replace as you go. This will not only give you an idea of what you dont like about the bike, it will give you an idea of what type of rider you are. Some people go from 4300s to freeride bikes, and some go to superlight hardtails, so buying expensive components at this stage is not a great idea.

  8. #8
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    Does anybody have any recommendations on a good wheelset that is reasonably priced?

  9. #9
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    Check out the wheel and tires forum, there are all sorts threads about that there. But Spinergy wheels are the best, period, no argument, I'm not listening lalalalala...

  10. #10
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    I have a 4300 too, and I love it.

    I replaced the fork with a Manitou trace (not much of an upgrade, but was only 40 bucks and was more plush than the RST), tires (teflon beaded ones... night and day from the stock tires), clipless pedals (SO worth it), and the saddle... the stock one just KILLED my butt.

    At some point Ill probably upgrade the fork again, but I'm keeping the bike as is until I brake components.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sephiroth
    I have a 4300 too, and I love it.

    I replaced the fork with a Manitou trace (not much of an upgrade, but was only 40 bucks and was more plush than the RST), tires (teflon beaded ones... night and day from the stock tires), clipless pedals (SO worth it), and the saddle... the stock one just KILLED my butt.

    At some point Ill probably upgrade the fork again, but I'm keeping the bike as is until I brake components.

    which tire did you go with?

    I'm looking at some panaracer's, the oe tire is just kinda crappy, because they slip out all the time on me.

    you basically did the same mods I did, save for the seat...I was gonna do that, but I got some good shorts with chamois and it feels fine

  12. #12
    Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbsolutGT
    which tire did you go with?
    Not to steal the thunder from Sephiroth or anything, but it be a good idea to go visit your LBS and ask them what tires are good for your area. While I'm sure he got a great set of treads, he may riding trails that greatly differ from yours. There is a lot of knowledge at your disposal at the LBS if you use it. You might be able to jump on a mechanic's ride.

    Besides, do you really want to know the opinion of the guy who killed Aeris? That bastard!
    2007 Trek Fuel EX 8
    1999 Trek 7000 --- Dragonfly Green = Sexy
    2002 Trek 2100
    2008 Felt New Belgium Cruiser

  13. #13
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    How much was your 4300?

    I am actually planning on going to the local bike store to price out a 4300 without disc brakes. Just curious, OP, what did you pay?

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by play21cw
    I am actually planning on going to the local bike store to price out a 4300 without disc brakes. Just curious, OP, what did you pay?

    Thanks

    6months ago, I got mine for $445 out the door, and got a free Giro helmet

    I'm sure they are cheaper now.

  15. #15
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    I take it (from the price) your 4300 had the disc brakes?

  16. #16
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    Clipless is a pain in to learn, but it is awesome once you get used to it.

  17. #17
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    upgrade that rst 80mm/rigid fork...It is absolute trash and I don't know why Trek put it on any of there bikes. I also quickly tossed the trashy bontrager seat in favor of a wtb pure v. Cranks got stripped real fast too, I took the raceface XC external bearing bb/2 piece crank from my Coiler and slapped it on there. Avid bb7s if you want disc upgrades. New tires are cheap and effective as an upgrade. Everything else, just replace when it breaks.
    I live in Maine and I hate lobster.

  18. #18
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    do yourself a favor and get some better tires. I almost dropped it 7 times in a 5 hour session at my local trails (riding it bone stock). Conditions were very dry, but it just seemed like not matter how little air was in them, they where sliding out from under me on rocks or loose gravel. new tires also help the braking. There were some steep downhills that i could have taken slower if my tires would just take grip of something. It got frustrating. The seat is also not particularly comfortable. Everyone told me to get better derauliers because they shift hard, but i just try to better time when i shift, and let up a little on the pedaling. I think i'll stick with the stock deraulier setup until i get some other things for it. A lot of people say that the fork is hard, but after a while it seems to get broken in, mine is at the point where i can stand on the pedals and jump a little bit, and it will get very close to bottoming out, but it still lacks the reaction time needed to soak up smaller bumps.

    btw i purchased mine about 3 weeks ago at a larger local bike store (Bert's Bikes And Fittness) and it cost me 423 after tax. Its an 07 non disc, it says Sl on it, but i don't think that denotes anything important. The 08 4300, and 07 4300 disc was $10 more i think, but they didn't have any the right size.

  19. #19
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    I had my 4300 for 3 months before some B******* stole it last week.

    I hadnt done any huge revamping but there are a couple of things I did do.

    Changed the seat for a wider and more padded one, added front and rear lights, and added front and rear mud guards/flaps.

    The stock seat was too narrow and hard, as a previous poster said.

    The stock tyres catch rain water on the road and throw it back in your face. How? What happens is it gets trapped in the tread of the tyre so itgets picked up from the road, and then sticks with the tyre until it it 180 degrees from the road so it is flung forwards. Thus, the water is actually flung forwards from the bike.

    Then, the wind pushes the water up and backwards into the rider's face. The faster you ride, the more water gets flung into your face.

    Thus mud guards are essential.

  20. #20
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    I had my 4300 for 3 months before some B******* stole it last week.

    I hadnt done any huge revamping but there are a couple of things I did do.

    Changed the seat for a wider and more padded one, added front and rear lights, and added front and rear mud guards/flaps.

    The stock seat was too narrow and hard, as a previous poster said.

    The stock tyres catch rain water on the road and throw it back in your face. How? What happens is it gets trapped in the tread of the tyre so itgets picked up from the road, and then sticks with the tyre until it it 180 degrees from the road so it is flung forwards. Thus, the water is actually flung forwards from the bike.

    Then, the wind pushes the water up and backwards into the rider's face. The faster you ride, the more water gets flung into your face.

    Thus mud guards are essential.

  21. #21
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    I had my 4300 for 3 months before some B******* stole it last week.

    I hadnt done any huge revamping but there are a couple of things I did do.

    Changed the seat for a wider and more padded one, added front and rear lights, and added front and rear mud guards/flaps.

    The stock seat was too narrow and hard, as a previous poster said.

    The stock tyres catch rain water on the road and throw it back in your face. How? What happens is it gets trapped in the tread of the tyre so itgets picked up from the road, and then sticks with the tyre until it it 180 degrees from the road so it is flung forwards. Thus, the water is actually flung forwards from the bike.

    Then, the wind pushes the water up and backwards into the rider's face. The faster you ride, the more water gets flung into your face.

    Thus mud guards are essential.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirdrawn
    One of the most noticable differences between the 4300 and the 4500 is how much better the 4500 shifts.
    Does the 2007 Trek 4300 have a reputation for being a sloppy shifter? I'm not a racer, I'll be doing most of my riding on the street and on thick grass. But I will be attacking alot of hills. I read some of the reviews on the 4300 and some people complained about the sloppy shifting. But...all the complainers were commenting on pre-2007 4300's, and not the 2007 model.

  23. #23
    Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandiman
    Does the 2007 Trek 4300 have a reputation for being a sloppy shifter? I'm not a racer, I'll be doing most of my riding on the street and on thick grass. But I will be attacking alot of hills. I read some of the reviews on the 4300 and some people complained about the sloppy shifting. But...all the complainers were commenting on pre-2007 4300's, and not the 2007 model.
    How much performance can you expect from a sub-$400 bike? For what it costs, the 4300 does fine. There are plenty of faults in any bike costing $400, you've gotta look at it from certain perspective. Having said that, I think the 4300 is a great $400 bike. I think the 2007 model is better than the 2008 because I think the 100mm fork on that particular bike is stupid and jacks it up too much, but that's the upgrade that every newbie 4300 owner wants to make so I guess Trek has just pre-empted the purchase for the consumer.

    In summary, if the 4500 is in your budget, get it. The shifting and suspension upgrades are worth more than the $100 difference (although the 2008 4500s are ~$160 more - still a great value b/c of greatly increased tuneability of the Dart 3). If not, you're still getting a capable bike with the 4300. However, the maxim that "you get what you pay for" is completely true.
    2007 Trek Fuel EX 8
    1999 Trek 7000 --- Dragonfly Green = Sexy
    2002 Trek 2100
    2008 Felt New Belgium Cruiser

  24. #24
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    Alright...Alright...Alright... CityLubber. We get it now!

  25. #25
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    I kind of faced the same situation that you have. My old Giant got stolen so I went looking at bikes. I actually had every intention of buying a 6500 when I bought my new bike but my girlfriend at the time whined and moaned and groaned about her kids wanting bikes and if I were going to start biking more again they would want to come with me so I sacrificed. Instead of buying a 6500 I bought a 3700, an 820, and two kids MT 220s. To make a long story short I have had to do upgrades.

    Selle Italia Prolink Saddle
    WTB Motoraptor Tires
    Bontrager Race Flatbar
    Ritchey clipless pedals
    Vuelta Vision Wheelset
    Hayes MX-1 mechanical disc brakes

    The next things to go will be the cheapo derauliers and fork. I will probably ride the RST till it is shot and replace it then.

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