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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-16-11, 01:35 PM   #1
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Using a Trek 4300 Mountain Bike for Commuting

Hello, I was wondering if this Trek 4300 would be a good idea to commute with. I will only be commuting about 4-5 miles a day, but there will be some steep hills so I don't know if the heavy weight will be too adverse. Also, how heavy is 30-33 lbs? I tried reading some reviews about this bike but half the reviewers complained it was heavy and the other half commended it for being light. Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-16-11, 01:38 PM   #2
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Bike weight is relative... 30 pounds is doable. Not light, but definitely suitable for 5 miles at a shot. I've ridden my 32 pound mountain bike 75+ miles at a shot, it's not that big a deal.

Basically, it's a good bike, and you will notice more improvement by getting in shape than buying a lighter bike.
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Old 05-16-11, 02:09 PM   #3
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A few decades ago anything under 32 lbs. was considered a "lightweight". The hills haven't gotten any bigger since then.

If there's a lockout on the suspension that will save you some energy climbing the hills. Getting some tires for it with a smooth tread will help in general.

Weight is relative which is why you don't get consistent messages from the reviews. There are a lot lighter bikes out there. The suspension is partly responsible for the extra weight and really isn't necessary on the street unless the roads are just terrible.
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Old 05-16-11, 02:18 PM   #4
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For about 5 miles probably any bike would work fine. Get some slicks and it can be a pretty quick and nimble street ride. As others alluded to, the weight thing is kind of relative. If you have nothing to compare it to then you won't notice a thing
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Old 05-16-11, 02:23 PM   #5
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I ride a 3700 14 mile RT with panniers, fenders, lights, etc, It is basically the same frame with less quality sets as the 4300. Mine loaded probably pushes well over the 40lb mark. Here in Central KY the hills are plenty too.
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Old 05-16-11, 02:30 PM   #6
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Should be fine. I commute with a similar bike and a 60L rucksack everyday (14 miles RT). I actually kept the knobby tires because the streets/paths are a little tough sometimes.
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Old 05-16-11, 03:57 PM   #7
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That bike would be fine for the distance you want to go. It looks like its already been purchased.

If I was in that area I woud be somewhat tempted to buy this. The weight would become an issue on hills. LOL
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Old 05-16-11, 04:11 PM   #8
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It is a "mountain" bike, suppose to go up and down hills.
Replace the nobby tires with a touring style tires [Conti Contacts or Schwalbe Marathon] - you will be fine.
My teenage son had an older Trek 6500, put Schwalbe Big Apple tires on it and replaced the front shock [after it blew] with a rigid fork. It was a great commuter for him, plus he did a couple of sagged tours with it.
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Old 05-16-11, 04:24 PM   #9
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I put about 14,000 miles on the 4300 disc I had and it never gave me a problem other than an occasional flat. It is a bit heavy, but about the same weight as the SOHO DLX I am riding now. I eventually swapped the forks for a carbon set I bought at Nashbar.
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Old 05-16-11, 06:12 PM   #10
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I'd check this out:

A tad overpriced, I know, but this should suit your needs well (and given the bike market based on your CL page, it's a good find). I don't think you'll need a suspension fork, anyway, this'll be a lot lighter, and it'll last for ages if taken care of. Rigid steel mountain bikes are awesome. Just put on some slicks and go.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:51 PM   #11
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+1 with everyone's advice. Knobbies will get irritating after awhile, put some slicks on and you will be fine.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:00 PM   #12
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don't spend a lot in case you change your mind about the type of bike you want.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:04 PM   #13
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I've commuted lots of times on my Trek 4300, on a 30 mile round trip commute. The 4300 makes it a fun ride.

I have 5 bikes. If I could only keep one, it would be the 4300.

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Old 05-16-11, 08:50 PM   #14
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It sounds like a perfect commute ride to me. Rugged,21 gears,what's not to like? Keep it and save up for a fun ride!
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Old 05-16-11, 09:43 PM   #15
derailleurs are overrated
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I used to ride a 4500 with slicks as my only bike. Hit the trails on the weekend, put the slicks on and ride 17mi round-trip all week. So yeah, rock the 4300.
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Old 05-16-11, 10:05 PM   #16
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I ride a 3700 4 miles daily. It's taken a beating and has worked well for me for the last number of years.
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Old 05-17-11, 01:20 PM   #17
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Unless you've got a ton of potholes and off road trails on your commute locking out the fork will save you some effort. Fenders, rack, bags. lights, frame-pump, etc. will fully commuterize it. Also, some sort of street tires will help as well. I rode a hardtail mtb 20 mi rt daily in heavy urban traffic for 5 years. The frame response is light and quick. Necessary, sometimes in dodgey situations.
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