Footballus vita est
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Trek 4500, Kona Dawg
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unless your budget is tight and you're not sure if you're really interested in mountain biking, I generally recommend going with the nicer of two choices. While the 6500 is not a giant leap ahead of the 4500, there will be some subtle differences, and I think a lot of people, myself included, often regret not dropping a few extra bucks at the start.
That said, I own a 2002 4500 and I'm very pleased with it. Sure, I wish I had a smoother drivetrain and a better fork and wheels and that it weighed less, but it's proven to be a good bike overall. There is one positive result in not spending more in my case. I've decided I want to do more intense riding, so that decision left me a little bit more to spend on a really nice full-suspension trail bike. The 6500 has slightly better components and a more XC-oriented geometry due to the lower stem.
By the way, don't forget that Trek isn't your only option. There's also Specialized, Giant, Kona, Jamis and a host of smaller companies that all produce good mountain bikes. There's small differences between each in the component packages and geometry and you may find some fit your body and riding style better than others.
"The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad