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  1. #1
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    Trek Alpha alum frame types

    Does anyone know the weight savings as you move up the grades of Trek alpha alum frames. On a hardtail mtb the Trek 3000 series uses regular alpha alum. The 4000 series bikes use Alpha SL. the 6000 series uses Alpha SLR . and finally the 8000 series bikes use ZR9000 custom alloy. I know a lot of my weight savings will come from components ie forks, rims, tires, brakes ect. But the frame weight I start with is what I'm interested in.

  2. #2
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    I tried to get a reply here along the same lines as what you are asking. I was curious of how the zr frames differed from the alpha alum frames. Hopefully someone here can clarify it. All the replies I got in my thread were along the lines of why upgrade, you have a 6700, you don't need a zr frame.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  3. #3
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    The advice you got wasn't simply that you dont need a ZR frame, but that there are better places to spend the money to get more tangible results. If you have $400 lying around, feel free to go buy a ZR frame straight from Trek; but you'd probably do much better getting a very nice wheelset or a new fork or one of many other things.

    As far as I know, the current generation ZR Frames are around 3.5 lbs, the SLR frames are about 3.75 lbs, and I would guess the SL frames are about 4 lbs. My old Alpha Trek 6000 frame was a little over 4 lbs. Frame quality is more related to how the frame is constructed than actual material however--for instance, an older top end 8900SL is about 3.6 lbs. IMO it's almost purely a marketing thing--the 8900 SL is going to be closer to that 8000 series ZR frames than then 'new' 4000 series SL frames despite its material nomenclature. So really, it’s not about this wunder material that has uber properties—they are all just aluminum alloys--it’s about justifying to the customer why this top end frame is better than this lower one. It’s just much clearer if you market that it’s constructed by this ‘special’ better alloy. However, generally, from what I’ve read, Trek frames are on the stiffer end of the spectrum anyway.

    Does knowing any of that help? Probably not much, because things like isolating how the frame rides and generally feels are going to be very subjective and hard to judge properly. A bigger difference between the upper end hardtails and recreational ones is likely going to be the geometry rather than alloy. And like you said, if you want to save weight, there are likely better places than to swap out the frame.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chupacabras
    The advice you got wasn't simply that you dont need a ZR frame, but that there are better places to spend the money to get more tangible results. If you have $400 lying around, feel free to go buy a ZR frame straight from Trek; but you'd probably do much better getting a very nice wheelset or a new fork or one of many other things.
    \

    The Trek's up for sale now anyways. I decided to go fs. The Trek was good to me but I should have just went fs right from the door. I didn't realize how much I was gonna enjoy MTB'ing and I think for the type of riding I do, and the places I ride, I'll enjoy riding a fs more.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info - and my real question

    My real question I quess is What Trek HT bike should I start with (buy)if I want a fairly light but well constructed frame that warents upgrading the other components as they fail or I want to improve performance or save weight. I don't want to end up with a bike that I,ve upgraded the forks (for performance and weight), the Brakes(same two reasons)
    tires (dito), the rims ,hubs , derailers ect. (you get the idea) and have all this great, not to mention expensive new stuff hanging on a frame that isn't up to snuff . I,ve gone to the LBS and ridden the 3900 and the 4900 (same geometry)but 4900 has SL frame I couldn't tell the difference, but i was only ridding around the parking lot. I also rode a 6500, different geometry the LBS guy told me and an SLR frame, I tried to ignore the shifters/ derailers performance (hard to do because they were noticable better as I went up in bike price). In the parking lot I couldn't tell the geomety difference or the frame rigidity or handling difference. That's why I came to this forum. Should i just buy the 3900 and start upgrading stuff from there. Would the 4900 or 6500 have a better ie ; lighter and higher quality constructed frame to start with that would warrent the price difference. I think you get the drift of my question. Thanks for your help

  6. #6
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    I have the 4500 and love it but if I had the extra cash lying around, I would have bought the 6500 or 6700. Those bikes have pretty decent components and are also on the higher end. I would just buy the 6500 and ride it hard until anything breaks and then replace the parts as needed. I doubt anything would break that quickly on it though.

  7. #7
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    If you can afford it, go for the 6700, it's a nice step up from the 6500. It has the Sram X-9 rear derailleur, and the hydraulic discs. It also has the Rockshox Tora which is a nice fork for the money. I picked up mine for 1,000 at my LBS and it was a good buy for the money and I love the bike. The only prob for me was I made a rush decision and should have went fs. If you are looking for a nice ht then go for the 6700. If it's a lil outta your price range then get the 6500 which is also a nice bike. I also owned a 4300 and I can tell ya from experience that the component levels pretty much suck on the lower model Trek's. If you are gonna do any kind of serious riding get the better bike right from the door and you will save alot of money in the long run by not having to upgrade certain components. I guess it all depends on what kind of riding you are doing though. For some people the 4300, and 4500, and other lower models might be perfect.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

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