Hi, all...I'm a newb!! I found this forum, which looks like a great one, by doing a search on the infamous Trek Y 26. The thread I found was sort of heated, and I understand why.
I am not totally new to the sport of mtn biking...I've had a KHS Montana Descent for about 11 years now...ridden some of the best trails in SE Florida, Oleta, Markham, and even done some riding up in some mountains around Chattanooga on that bike. It is tired, old, and non-upgradable, due to a one inch steerer tube, which has had RST forks in place for some time....better than nothing, believe me!!! It also has Deore LX components, but it was time to make a change.
I was given a Trek Y 26 by the good folks at Scion, in appreciation for my having purchased a new vehicle from them...pretty damn nice gesture on their part. So, it got me stoked to think about what this bike is like, and what I might get with a hardtail in about the same price range. So, local Sports Authority supplied me with a GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc. It only took one ride of both steeds to decide to not look a gift horse in the mouth...I promptly returned the GT and hung on to my freebie Trek.
I realize I'm not in the majority here....most would choose the hard tail over the cheap full suspension. My thoughts on that...and in a side by side, the componentry was virtually identical, with the only real exceptions being that the GT has an eight gear cassette as opposed to the Trek's seven. Big deal...I've dealt with seven x three for years and did just fine. The Trek is two pounds heavier....again, who cares...I ain't racin' and I live in Florida....where's the mountains?!?! Also, the Trek has v-brakes as opposed to GT's disc...ANYTHING'S better than my KHS's cantilevers!!! Note...the Trek is disc-ready, if I ever decided to go that route, but I doubt I will. That'll be a future bike altogether.
Now, here comes the fun part ....I'm dismanteling my KHS and robbing some parts from it to accessorize the Trek. I now have two wheel sets ...had to change out the cogset on the old KHS, since it's lowest gear was a 28 tooth....and the smallest was 10...that bike was meant to go DOWNHILL only!!! So, I now have two wheel sets....and I'm going to clean up the LX rear derailleur and try it out....not to mention the use of some much better "goin' dirty" tires than the Bontragers that came with the Trek.
I totally see the benefits of hard tail vs full suspension at $350. However....when a bike is free, it's free. I've seen people on this board bash low cost FS bikes, but I've also seen just as many, if not more, praise them. As I've witnessed from years of motorcycle riding, the real riders are those who appreciate those that RIDE, regardless of their pony. Same seems to hold true in the bicycle world.
All that being said, I think it's only fair to say that I'm a 45 year old fart who just loves the outdoors...and biking is a great way to get deep into the woods or the prarie. I will never be one to bound off a 12 meter drop, or race slalom, or try to keep up with Tinker Juarez...although he isn't far from my age, so there's hope!!! However....I primarily ride dirt roads, dirt track, maybe some minor technical riding, but nothing too freaky...I'm too old for that!!!
One day I hope to have a bike that is 20 lbs, cost as much as my new car, and makes me about 25 years younger...until that time, I'll enjoy the ride with whatever I can afford....and hope to meet some of y'all along the way.