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  1. #1
    CityMtnBiker CityMtnBiker's Avatar
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    Upgrading Later vs. Laying Out Cash Up Front

    I'm looking to upgrade to a decent bike from my wrecked Target-store Schwinn S60 DSX.

    Thanks largely to help on this forum and others, I've narrowed it down to a few ideas... but they range widely. I don't have a lot of money to spend (I'd like to spend $400 to $500), but I don't want to end up with another bike that falls apart like the Target Schwinn did. I use my bike almost daily for commuting and weekly or bi-weekly on the trails.

    1) I want disc brakes, but some reviews I've read of the Trek 4300 Disc have me considering a higher price range -- Trek 6000 at $660. (For some reason, the Trek 5000 doesn't have discs.) In your experience, is it worth spending the extra cash that I'm hesitant to spend? Is the 6000 that much better? Will I wish I had spent extra on the 6000 over the 4300 disc if I don't?

    2) Does it ever make sense to buy a new bike KNOWING that I plan to upgrade one or several components? Isn't it usually cheaper to buy a better bike upfront than to buy components and add them (even doing the labor myself) later?

    3) I've heard some people compare the Trek 6000 to the Fisher Piranha, and I don't think I've heard anything about the Piranha yet (except that Fisher's are for people that are taller than me... I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs.). If you guys have strong feelings about Trek v. Fisher (or any other comparable bike), I'd love to here your ideas. Essentially, I'm looking for bang for the buck.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CityMtnBiker
    1) I want disc brakes, but some reviews I've read of the Trek 4300 Disc have me considering a higher price range -- Trek 6000 at $660. (For some reason, the Trek 5000 doesn't have discs.) In your experience, is it worth spending the extra cash that I'm hesitant to spend? Is the 6000 that much better? Will I wish I had spent extra on the 6000 over the 4300 disc if I don't?
    The 6000 is a better bike. You will not be able to bring the 4300 up to 6000 spec as cheaply as you would if you just bought the 6000 outright. (unless you've achieved "God" status on eBay and really know what you're looking at.)
    Quote Originally Posted by CityMtnBiker
    2) Does it ever make sense to buy a new bike KNOWING that I plan to upgrade one or several components? Isn't it usually cheaper to buy a better bike upfront than to buy components and add them (even doing the labor myself) later?
    Everybody does it. Even if you buy the better bike upfront, there's always little tweaks that every rider's "gotta have".
    Quote Originally Posted by CityMtnBiker
    3) I've heard some people compare the Trek 6000 to the Fisher Piranha, and I don't think I've heard anything about the Piranha yet (except that Fisher's are for people that are taller than me... I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs.). If you guys have strong feelings about Trek v. Fisher (or any other comparable bike), I'd love to here your ideas. Essentially, I'm looking for bang for the buck.
    Trek and Gary Fisher are made by the same company (Trek) There are some feel differences between the two, test ride before you make any decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by CityMtnBiker
    Thanks for your help!
    No problem

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CityMtnBiker
    I'm looking to upgrade to a decent bike from my wrecked Target-store Schwinn S60 DSX.

    Thanks largely to help on this forum and others, I've narrowed it down to a few ideas... but they range widely. I don't have a lot of money to spend (I'd like to spend $400 to $500), but I don't want to end up with another bike that falls apart like the Target Schwinn did. I use my bike almost daily for commuting and weekly or bi-weekly on the trails.

    1) I want disc brakes, but some reviews I've read of the Trek 4300 Disc have me considering a higher price range -- Trek 6000 at $660. (For some reason, the Trek 5000 doesn't have discs.) In your experience, is it worth spending the extra cash that I'm hesitant to spend? Is the 6000 that much better? Will I wish I had spent extra on the 6000 over the 4300 disc if I don't?

    2) Does it ever make sense to buy a new bike KNOWING that I plan to upgrade one or several components? Isn't it usually cheaper to buy a better bike upfront than to buy components and add them (even doing the labor myself) later?

    3) I've heard some people compare the Trek 6000 to the Fisher Piranha, and I don't think I've heard anything about the Piranha yet (except that Fisher's are for people that are taller than me... I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs.). If you guys have strong feelings about Trek v. Fisher (or any other comparable bike), I'd love to here your ideas. Essentially, I'm looking for bang for the buck.

    Thanks for your help!

    Always buy as much bike as you possibly can. By much more then the minimum that you feel you need. Tweeking a bike after the fact is just a way of life but don't buy a sow's ear and try to make it into a silk purse (I'm feelin' positively country today ).

    The upgrades on the 6000 over the 4500 (I'm guessing since there isn't a 5000) are significant. You get a better drivetrain, a slightly better shock and a better gearing range. You could get a 4300 and try to make it into a 6000 but it's gonna cost more than the $150 you spend up front.
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  4. #4
    Should be riding Bike Lover's Avatar
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    This is what always gets me in trouble. I look at something and say, "it's not much more and it's got XXX improvements." That being said, you'll never be able to build a bike for the same price you can by a new completed one. If you're planning on upgrading and you can spend the coin now, I'd do it. If not, then just upgrade as you can.

    That's assuming the frames are identical. If there's something you like about the frame, lighter weight, slightly different geometery, etc. then the frame alone could be worth it.
    Regret lasts longer than pain
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  5. #5
    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    Build a custom bike, it's only money, you'll make more. on top of that, who wants to have the same bike as other riders on the trail, be different, stand back and look at your bike and be proud of what you did.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Breitling's Avatar
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    i just got a fisher piranha about a month ago and i love it. I'd go for the piranha or the 6000 over the 4500. and i'd go for the piranha over the 6000. i was trying to make the same decision a month ago.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live." -Mark Twain

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  7. #7
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    Focus in on the frame, fork, drive train & buy the best you can afford. The rest of the stuff can be upgraded as it breaks, wears out, or when you're feeling flush.
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breitling
    i just got a fisher piranha about a month ago and i love it. I'd go for the piranha or the 6000 over the 4500. and i'd go for the piranha over the 6000. i was trying to make the same decision a month ago.
    Yeah. Get one because he did. Look, the Trek 6000 is easily the best bang for the buck in the Trek mountain bike line right now, this also covers Gary Fisher, since Trek owns them. In fact I would go as far to say that the Trek 6000 is the best bike you can get for under $700.

    Why? Because i own one? No. Because when i was shopping a few months ago, i learned that it is such a great deal. You get the same frame that Trek has on their $1100 bike. THis is a big deal to me because i bought for the frame. I ride a lot and will wear stuff out and replace as I upgrade.

    The SLR frame is a very good frame and much better than the SL frames from trek. I have two Trek 4300's (sl frame) as well so I have a pretty good reference when comparing them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Breitling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    Yeah. Get one because he did. Look, the Trek 6000 is easily the best bang for the buck in the Trek mountain bike line right now, this also covers Gary Fisher, since Trek owns them. In fact I would go as far to say that the Trek 6000 is the best bike you can get for under $700.

    Why? Because i own one? No. Because when i was shopping a few months ago, i learned that it is such a great deal. You get the same frame that Trek has on their $1100 bike. THis is a big deal to me because i bought for the frame. I ride a lot and will wear stuff out and replace as I upgrade.

    The SLR frame is a very good frame and much better than the SL frames from trek. I have two Trek 4300's (sl frame) as well so I have a pretty good reference when comparing them.
    I researched the differences for about a month and talked to tons of ppl at a lot of LBSs before deciding. Honestly, the bikes are about the same, and it really comes down to personal preference. The SLR frame that is used for the 6000 is pretty comparable to the piranha's gold series aluminum frame. so just ride them both and see what you like better.

    I was saying that you should buy one b/c i bought one b/c it's pretty much a coin flip on which is better.
    "Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live." -Mark Twain

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  10. #10
    CityMtnBiker CityMtnBiker's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Thanks, everyone, for your ideas. I don't know much about components, but it seemed to me that the 6000 was a big step up from the 4300 ... I'm glad you guys agree. I'll test that vs. the Piranha and probably go with one of those. I'm much happier to invest in something now that will last a long time and be reliable. Thanks!

  11. #11
    fart knocker Oleanshoebox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIC0
    Build a custom bike, it's only money, you'll make more. on top of that, who wants to have the same bike as other riders on the trail, be different, stand back and look at your bike and be proud of what you did.
    hells yeeuh.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIC0
    Build a custom bike, it's only money, you'll make more. on top of that, who wants to have the same bike as other riders on the trail, be different, stand back and look at your bike and be proud of what you did.
    For an experienced rider whose gone through the "upgrade cycle" this is sound advice. They've researched the various parts of a bike and have a decent idea of what they are looking for, what is good and what is bad.

    For a beginner who doesn't know which parts are good and which are bad, this is a confusing enterprise. They may barely know the difference between XTR and Acera.

    OP, buy as much bike as you can. This will save you money in the long run.

    Regarding Trek vs. Fisher

    Fisher are not for people "taller" then you. They have longer top tubes and this favors people with longer torsos vs legs. The way to tell which is best for you is to ride both bikes. The other thing to remember is that shorter top tubes are also typically shipped in "sport" model mountain bike where the riders are expected to be more upright. Experienced riders typically are more "stretched" out on their bikes.

    The only way to tell which one is right for you is to try some. And BTW, try some Specialized, Giant and ... whatever else is around to find the bike that fits "right" for you. All the other components are upgradeable. The frame determines most of the ride characteristics of a bike so it's important to get one that you're really comfortable with.

    Finally, if you want to get into the $800/$900 range, look into 29ers. The bigger wheels make them smoother rides when compared to 26er hardtails. Ask the Fisher dealer about them.
    Last edited by willtsmith_nwi; 06-29-07 at 09:25 AM.

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