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Old 05-17-05, 10:49 PM   #1
tim_pnw
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I had my 95 Moab stole last year and have used a POS loaner since...

Needs: financially strapped, but still want a capable bike
Usage: lesure, trails, and some fire roads

I saw and ad for a Schwinn Aluminum Comp 26-inch Mountain Bike $200 (GI Joes)
I started researching yesterday and found this forum.
It seeems that schwinns current quality at this price range is lacking,
But searching the forum has given a list of affordable and capable bikes....

Gianat Boulder SE
Trek 820 (steel) *
Trek 3700 (aluminium) *
Raleigh M20
Raleigh M40
Kona Lana'i
GT bikes
Norco
Specialized Hardrock XC


Store A (Bike Gallery) had the Trek 820 was $239 (saw monday, in and out, didn't have time to test ride)

Store B didnt have any Raleigh M20 $239 in my size, and all M40's were out of stock and my price range

Store C (small LBS) had a Trek 3700 $269 Love this Bike!
their 820 wasn't assembled but was $229
Anyone have experience between these?

Store D (GI Joes- had the Schwinn that was on ad) they also had Diamond Back, and Iron Horse...
I liked the Trek's over the Diamondback's
..They did have an Iron Horse Maverick Comp $269 ?? Anyone have any experience with this model ??
It was raining pretty good and I didn't really put it to much of a test...


So far, I like the Trek 3700, but also the Trek 820's price... which I haven't riden..
Is there a must try before I buy bike out there?
Finding the right size available seems to be an issue, and there are models listed I haven't seen....

Any input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated...thanks

Last edited by tim_pnw; 05-20-05 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Bike Chosen!
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Old 05-17-05, 11:05 PM   #2
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I think the hardrock XC has grip shifters, and a worse fork than the current low-end model (which I have), but it's probably still pretty good.

The treks (3700, 4300) are also nice for that price though, a few members on here have those and like them.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:19 PM   #3
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My wife has a 2005 Trek 3700 ($289 list). The front shock is useless IMO, but the rest of the bike is fully capable for path, trail, and fire road. I am very impressed with the frame welds/brakes/comps at this price point.
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Old 05-18-05, 05:35 AM   #4
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You might consider used if you can find one with better gearing than is normal in that price range.

Al
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Old 05-18-05, 07:48 AM   #5
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No last years models available? A friend of mine just got the Specalized Hardrock Sport for $330 + tax, if you can find one of those I would pick it up (pretty sharp looking). The 3700, if it has a junk shock (insync), probaly will not be that good. Look for an RST, Rock Shock, or Manitau on there so you at least have something that will work fairly proper. Here is anoter site for you, www.mtbr.com - good reviews to help you decide. I would go with an aluminum frame for a min as well.
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Old 05-18-05, 08:29 AM   #6
tim_pnw
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Thanks for the input, I saw a 04' Trek 820 but it's frame was felt too small 17.5...
I read that the 05' 820 has a lot of upgrades this year to match the 3700...

I saw an ad for an 04' Iron Horse at Performance Bike that I'll check on today, I believe it has insync forks though... think they have Giant there too...

I'll keep looking around and checking in here, probably pick something up this weekend

THANKS
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Old 05-18-05, 06:50 PM   #7
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Add a Mongoose Pro ALD to that list. Check out the specs and you'll see why.
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Old 05-18-05, 11:03 PM   #8
tim_pnw
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I checked out Giant and Iron Horse at another LBS,
the head bike builder really liked Iron Horse but they only carry models above Maverick... $

They Bikes were on sale!. I test rode a 17" and 19" Boulder SE.
I liked both, have to test ride again to see which size I really like...
the 17" was nimble around obstacles
the 19" felt easier for road travel
I Really liked the 18" Trek 3700 I tested yesterday...
Financially, here's my preferences so far:

Giant Boulder SE
Msrp/sale: $280/ $240
fork: SR Suntour XC60 75mm, w/preload Adjusts
shifters: Shimano EF29
f. derailleur: Shimano C102 (level 1)
r. derailleur: Shimano Acera (level 3)
brakes: Alloy Direct Pull Cantilever
brake levers: Shimano EF-29
cassette: Shimano 14-34 Mega Rng 7spd
chain: KMC Z51
cranks: SR Suntour GI100 28/38/48T
bb: TH BB7420
rims: Alloy 36H w/Brushed Sidewall

Trek 3700
Msrp/sale: $290/ $270
Fork: RST, 63mm
Shifters: Shimano EF29
f. derailleur: Shimano C051 (level 1)
r. derailleur: Shimano Acera (level 3)
brakes: Tektro V
brake levers: Shimano STI levers
cassette: Sunrace 13-34, 7 speed
chain: ??
cranks: SR 48/38/28
bb: ??
rims: Alloy hubs; Matrix 550 rims


Giant Rincon
Msrp/sale: $330/ $290
fork: SR Suntour XC60 75mm, w/preload Adjust
shifters: Shimano EF29
f. derailleur: Shimano Acera (level 3)
r. derailleur: Shimano Alivio (level 4)
brakes: Alloy Direct Pull Cantilever
brake levers: Shimano EF-29
cassette: Shimano HG50 11-30 8-spdT
chain: KMC Z72
cranks: TruVative ISO Flow 22/32/42T
bb: TH BB7420
rims: Alex CR18 36H Double Wall


I'll search for a Mongoose Pro ALD and possibly a Raleigh M20 to test ride,
Hopefully I can find a better sale price on the Trek 3700, EVEN BETTER a 4300!

Last edited by tim_pnw; 05-18-05 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 05-19-05, 06:59 PM   #9
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Actually, I'm not sure that there is an ALD for 05. If you find a brand new 04 or 03 (there are still some around and if you don't mind a 16'' frame and shipping costs I know of a shop that has one left) you can save even more money.

Still, I think that the LBS level Mongooses are an amazing bargan when matched up against the likes of Trek and such.
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Old 05-20-05, 12:13 AM   #10
tim_pnw
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I test road a 17" Jamis Cross Country 2.0, which was good really...

Then, the 17" Giant Rincon....
Prefer the nimbleness, but almost wish it was an 18" like the Treks..

I Bought this bike Today!!!

Why? Highest Components offered at this Value, Equal ride to others given size and components.

Here's the details...

Yesterday I searched the forum and I'll summerize some of the general opinions I gathered.
The Giant Boulder SE was prefered over the Trek 3700
The Giant Rincon was more or less equal to the Trek 4300 that costs much more...

On paper the Rincon's derailleur components spec'ed highest in this price range.

Here's what I learned today though...
The Giant's brakes are Tektro V which the spec's didn't specify.
The Rincon I saw when I tested the Boulder SE was actually an 04'...
...the 05's alloy tubes are improved...
--kinda triangular, one flatter side on the outside top and botton, the other sides kind of in an arch.
--where they mold to the steering tube is flared without needing doubling braces, ... really beautiful.

The Rincon was on sale $40 from MSRP at a LBS (Performance Bike).
Performance Bike has a 10% coupon code in the Affiliated Sponser section of this forum...
--The LBS honored the coupon!! if I bought today. (they weren't sure if it was web only or not)
I bought a cycle computer for $25 (on sale for 50%) which they installed for free.
Oh, and a water bottle and bracket...
I also spent $20 for the Mebership discount card,
I'll get 10% of todays purchases (about $30 bucks) in store coupons...

For under $300, I feel I got the most bike (quality and value) , which equal the Trek 4300 that I cant afford.

Giant Rincon
Msrp/sale: $330/ $290
fork: SR Suntour XC60 75mm, w/preload Adjust
shifters: Shimano EF29
f. derailleur: Shimano Acera (level 3)
r. derailleur: Shimano Alivio (level 4)
brakes: Alloy Direct Pull Cantilever !! Tektro V !!
brake levers: Shimano EF-29
cassette: Shimano HG50 11-30 8-spdT
chain: KMC Z72
cranks: TruVative ISO Flow 22/32/42T
bb: TH BB7420
rims: Alex CR18 36H Double Wall

Trek 4300
Msrp: $470
fork: RST Gila T5 80mm, w/preload adjust -- this is better
shifters: Shimano EF29
f. derailleur: Shimano C050 (level 1) this is the tourney group
r. derailleur: Shimano Alivio
brakes: Tektro V
brake levers: alloy levers
cassette: SRAM 850 11-32, 8 speed
chain: ??
crankset: SR 42/34/24
bb: ??
rims: ??

Last edited by tim_pnw; 05-20-05 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 05-20-05, 11:20 AM   #11
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I've seen the 05 Hardrock Sports for $319 + tax in my area. I think it would be worth the $20+tax to get that bike. I test rode one and it was a pretty decent rig. I ended up deciding on the Hardrock Comp Disc though... The bike had a better feel to it and I liked the gearing a lot better.

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Old 05-20-05, 11:32 AM   #12
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I bought a "like new", really it was prestine Rincon SE for my soon from my lbs. It was on consighnment for $200, no tax. The bike has been sweet so far and he is quickly catching up with the old man. He will be using it in his first adventure race in September. I think you got a good bike.
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Old 05-21-05, 10:17 AM   #13
tim_pnw
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Of course my cost on the Giant Rincon was below MSPR with the sale, which brought it into the sub $300, and then the additional 10% and such.... just makes it all worth while.

Without the sales and just comparing MSRP...
I'd still have intrest in the Trek 3700 since it's a 18", but with the 63mm non-adj. forks,
I'd have choosen the Giant Boulder SE because of the 75mm adj. fork.
Plus everyones suggestion about it too.

It does end up being a bit more dificult to make an equal comparison when you can buy the next step up version due to a sale and such
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Old 05-21-05, 11:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_pnw
Of course my cost on the Giant Rincon was below MSPR with the sale, which brought it into the sub $300, and then the additional 10% and such.... just makes it all worth while.

Without the sales and just comparing MSRP...
I'd still have intrest in the Trek 3700 since it's a 18", but with the 63mm non-adj. forks,
I'd have choosen the Giant Boulder SE because of the 75mm adj. fork.
Plus everyones suggestion about it too.

It does end up being a bit more dificult to make an equal comparison when you can buy the next step up version due to a sale and such

Sounds to me like you made a good choice. Now get out there and get it nice and muddy.
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