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  1. #1
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    Northside trail or Trek 4300 or Hardrock

    So I want to get into the mtb sport and need a bike. Went to LBS and locked on "Trek 4300" and "Hardrock" for the same price $350. Before I pulled out the wallet, got the email from REI and found out they have the Marin "Northside Trail 2005" on sale for $410, was $590.

    One major difference is Marin comes with disc break, others don't.
    Another difference is Marin uses Spinner Edge 3 fork but others use Gila T6; Marin uses 7005 AL
    Front, rear derail are the same on Marin and Trek; hardrock uses sram parts.

    Could any give me some suggestions about those bikes? Is Marin worth $60 more? Another bike I am thinking is NOVARA ASPEN from REI.

    I will use the bike a few times a week for commuting, and hit the open fireroad on the weekends with friends. Tried Trek 4300 and Hardrock already. Feel better with Hardrock. Waiting for Marin to try out. REI rocks since none of the LBS allowing return.

    Thanks and here are the links:

    Marin Northside Trail:
    http://marinbikes.com/bicycles_2005/...ide_trail.html

    Hardrock:
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec

    trek 4300:
    http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1018600&f=19

    Novara Aspen:
    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...vcat=searchnav
    Last edited by burnass; 06-18-06 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    Definately not the Trek or the Novara. It's between the Marin Northside trail and the hardrock. I'd pick the hardrock because of the better fork it has.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason222
    Definately not the Trek or the Novara. It's between the Marin Northside trail and the hardrock.
    Its helpful to actually give reasoning.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason222
    Definately not the Trek or the Novara. It's between the Marin Northside trail and the hardrock. I'd pick the hardrock because of the better fork it has.
    So you mean Spinner Edge 3 fork is worse than RST Gila T6? in what way?

  5. #5
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    Which hardrock are you looking at? I see the hardrock pro disc when I click on the link. The Hardrock and Marin(especially the marin) are more of hard usage almost Dirt jumping hardtails. The other two are XC hardtails. If you're looking for Comfort choose the Trek 4300.

  6. #6
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    The hardrock Pro disc is basically the best of both worlds, it's comfortable, and yet you could make a dirt jumper out if it if you wanted.

  7. #7
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    yea but..., I think the pro disc comes up as the default setting on the specialized page but it's the sport we're talking about, right?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason222
    Which hardrock are you looking at? I see the hardrock pro disc when I click on the link. The Hardrock and Marin(especially the marin) are more of hard usage almost Dirt jumping hardtails. The other two are XC hardtails. If you're looking for Comfort choose the Trek 4300.
    Sorry, it is Hardrock Sport, the $360 one. For now I am just thinking of open fire roads and sidewalks.

    So Hardrock Sport = $360,
    Trek 4300 = $360,
    marin Northside = $409,
    Novara Aspen = $450.

    Haven't tried Marin but ordered already since it can be returned. So I guess the major difference between Marin and the rest are: shocks and disc break. Do they justify the $50 difference? Thanks.

  9. #9
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    Just my personaly preference, but I'd take the Marin because of the more agressive geometry. Those forks kinda blow tho, literally.

  10. #10
    Why Be Normal? Gorsar's Avatar
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    Potato Potata, choose the one you find most comfortable. You are looking at comparable bikes where none offers kit that makes it shine above the rest. It's all personal preference and since it's your money, it should be your preference..

  11. #11
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    Yeah the Marin is the better bike, the fork may not be the greatest thing, but neither is the RST Gila and the fact that Marin has disc brakes gives it a good advantage over the others, disc brakes are THE thing to have, I would only ever consider Vs (the shimano v-brake non hydraulic kind lol) if I was on a budget, yeah MX2 might not be all that great, at least they are not Promax/Shimano Alivio and you have the peace of mind upgrading to better discs will be a hassle free option since your bike is disc ready.

    Yeah, the Marin Northside Trail would be my choice too.

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    Burnass, check out sierratradingpost.com. They had/have the 2005 Marin Hawk Hill at $410., then 20% off that and gets you to about $330. The sale was this past weekend and not sure if it's still on. The shipping on checkout is less than $20. Very nice bike, Deore rear der, rapidfire shifters, Marzocchi COmp III fork which handles my 215 well. I had this bike and just gave it to my nephew so we can ride together. BTW, the hubs are ready for disk too. Solid bike, great bike.

  13. #13
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    Thank you guys for all the feedbacks.

    Jimx200, thanks for the info. But I think I will pass on this, even it is a great deal. Since I have limited MTB experience, and never owned a MTB before, I would rather take the forum's FAQ suggestion, "Never buy the bike online". I ordered the Northside Trail from REI is because 1) I can return the bike if I don't like it; 2) they don't charge shipping and restocking for store pickup/return; 3) they put together the bike for me. So the total is $443.75, tax included, I think it is a good start.

  14. #14
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    by the way, where can I find the def for all those terms, i.e. XC, DH etc. etc...

  15. #15
    Why Be Normal? Gorsar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burnass
    by the way, where can I find the def for all those terms, i.e. XC, DH etc. etc...

    http://www.AllAboutBiking.com/glossary/

  16. #16
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    I have both a Hardrock Sport and a Trek 4300. The Trek is more upright and has skinnier faster tires on it (a bigger difference than the specs would lead you to believe). If you are doing a lot of riding on paved surfaces or smooth dirt paths you will probably prefer the Trek--it is both faster and more comfortable. Serious off road is a completely different story. The Enduro tires on the Hardrock are very plush--run them at 30PSI and feels almost like a short travel full suspension bike. The grip is much better, the riding position is much better, and the bike is noticeably stiffer. The Hardrock feels completely in its element on a difficult offroad trail; the Trek feels out of its element once the trail gets technical.
    Last edited by svendsenjoel; 06-23-06 at 09:18 PM.

  17. #17
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    You'd get a pretty nice dividend from REI if you bought the bike they have.

  18. #18
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    If you are doing a lot of riding on paved surfaces or smooth dirt paths you will probably prefer the Trek--it is both faster and more comfortable.
    I will use it mainly on paved road since I will use it to commute. But will do dirt road during some weekends. I don't care too much about speed. More resistance means more exercise for me. If it really bothers me, I guess i can just get a cheap set of rims/tires and replace them out.

    You'd get a pretty nice dividend from REI if you bought the bike they have.
    I wish I could. But since this bike is on clearance, I won't get that sweet 10% return. The extra 20% off code does not work for bikes either. Or this will be totally no-brainer

    My Marin will come in on next Tuesday. Will post a pic if I am keeping it. Thank you all for the advises.

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