Help with upgrading race bike
Currently I am riding an entry level 2012 Trek 4300 but would like something that rides smoother and faster. I am open to suggestions of both 26ers and 29ers.
The only 29er I have ridden is the Specialized S-Works epic Carbon 29 XTR. Needless to say this is WAY out of my price range but I loved it!
I am looking for something used because my budget is only going to allow me to spend around $700-$900. Right now I am looking at 2011 Specialized Rockhopper Pro 29er for $750, Trek Mamba 29er $700, Trek FSR XC COmp $900.
I am not sure if it is worth selling my bike and purchasing either of the first two mentioned. I really want something that is going to allow fast pace racing over rocky and rooted single track. The front fork on the 4300 feels cheap and doesn't seem to handle very well in these conditions.
I would suggest either trying to find a good used bike or waiting until you can afford something substantially better then what you have now. My thinking being that the bikes you are thinking of getting are only slightly better then what you have now and it may not be worth the time and trouble to sell your bike for one. You may want to look at used Spec Stumpjumper HTs or Giant XTCs that are a couple years old and close to your price range.
Defiantly get a used bike. Unless where you ride and race is unusually road like I would lean toward getting a FS bike. a FS XC race bike from about 2008ish in good shape should come in around your Budget. Nothing wrong with a hardtail and you will probably get something newer with better parts for your budget there.
Try your Local Craigslist and classifieds. Sometimes you can get things for less there because there are no ebay/paypal fees and no shipping. Also if you are new to bikes don't be afraid to ask them to take it to a shop where there is a mechanic you trust. It will likely only cost you a 6 pack, and they will tell you how stretched the chain is, if there are suspension rebuilds needed front or rear, brake pads/rotors worn etc. Its easy to spend 500 dollars on suspension rebuilds and parts for an older bike. Plus they could probably shoot you a ball park value.
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