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Old 07-02-09, 05:04 PM   #1
texasgreg
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trek4300 or hardrck

I've been saving a while and I am about to buy my first new hardtail. I had my mind set on a Trek 4300 from my LBS. I really like the guys at the store and was about to buy, but after reading on this forum some, it seems that a lot of people like the Specialized bikes too. I felt that I owe it to myself to at least go look at them right??? So I go to a different bike shop here locally and looked at Specialized Hardrock. I liked it pretty good, but don't know much about them, and the guys at this shop were all pretty much a**holes. I walked around the store about 20 minutes and not one person even asked if I had been helped. I would NOT buy from this store, but does anyone have any suggestions if this Specialized is even comparable enough with a 4300 to even pursue looking at any further, or should I just buy the Trek from the store that I like? I have a budget of around $450 if you all have any other suggestions too (cheaper would be better, but I am willing to pay for quality).
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Old 07-02-09, 05:21 PM   #2
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Are they both current year models?
Are there any Specialized dealers nearby?

Trek 4300 or 4300 disc?
Hardrock, HR Disc, HR Sport, Sport Disc?


All play a factor.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:07 PM   #3
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Somebody pointed out awhile ago that the base model Hardrock is 7-speed with FREEWHEEL. You need to go to the Hardrock Sport or Hardrock Sport Disc to get 8-speed with a CASSETTE gear system. Those bikes are out of your price range, though. The 4300 that you are considering is 8-speed cassette and within your price range. And it's from a cool shop that you like. Just get that. Good luck.
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Old 07-02-09, 11:01 PM   #4
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I just had a similar debate and I ended up with a 4300 (non disc). The premium price for disc brakes just isn't worth it to me and it seems that if you are considering a bike like the 4300 you probably aren't going to be doing a lot of hardcore riding where those brakes will make the difference anyway.

I decided on the 4300 because:
1) It felt good on a test ride (so did others, though)
2) Seemed like the best components for the price
3) I liked the color too (I got the Matte Black)

One thing I noticed with the components was that you had to go "all in". To get better components you usually had to go with a model that also had disc brakes which jacked the price up even more. I paid $440 for my 4300. I would have gone to $500 or more if I could have found a bike I liked with upgraded components but no disc brakes.

The 4300 is an excellent choice at that price I think. I also had my shop put on a cyclo computer, saddle bag and I bought a bottle of lube. The best part is I still have a few bucks to spend on water bottle cage, pump, etc.
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Old 07-03-09, 04:58 AM   #5
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I have the 4300disc , its a great bike. I am glad i went with it myself , so far the bike has put up with everything i have thrown at it without a scratch.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:38 AM   #6
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I started on a 4300, I still blame it for my lack of skills to this day.
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Old 07-03-09, 06:24 AM   #7
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I started on a 4300, I still blame it for my lack of skills to this day.
Skills dont belong to the bike they belong to the rider. Ive seen guys take walmart bikes and make riders on more exspensive bikes look stupid.
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Old 07-03-09, 06:41 AM   #8
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Somebody pointed out awhile ago that the base model Hardrock is 7-speed with FREEWHEEL. You need to go to the Hardrock Sport or Hardrock Sport Disc to get 8-speed with a CASSETTE gear system. Those bikes are out of your price range, though. The 4300 that you are considering is 8-speed cassette and within your price range. And it's from a cool shop that you like. Just get that. Good luck.
That's not correct. The base Hardrock is a seven speed, but with a cassette, not a freewheel. Big difference on a mountain bike.
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Old 07-03-09, 03:23 PM   #9
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I like the hardrocks, but then again it does matter what one it is.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:18 PM   #10
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Skills dont belong to the bike they belong to the rider. Ive seen guys take walmart bikes and make riders on more exspensive bikes look stupid.
I guess your sarcasm meter needs fixed?
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Old 07-03-09, 05:31 PM   #11
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I guess your sarcasm meter needs fixed?


Probably , thats what happens when ya post from work when everyone else had the day off....
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Old 07-03-09, 05:36 PM   #12
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HOnestly the specailized geo, fits me better. But the 4300 got me riding. In the end the best bike in the world is the one that get's you out there. Even if it comes from wally world. MY Recommendation is the OP rides as many in his Price range and choose the one he feels best on.
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Old 07-03-09, 05:54 PM   #13
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That's not correct. The base Hardrock is a seven speed, but with a cassette, not a freewheel. Big difference on a mountain bike.
Actually base model Hardrock is 7 speed freewheel. I have a bent 7 speed rim with freewheel from my 09 Hardrock in my garage to prove it. I did upgrade to a 7 speed cassette tho after I bought a new rim.

And if you ask me go with the Trek it has 8speed and looks cooler.
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Old 07-03-09, 07:53 PM   #14
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That's not correct. The base Hardrock is a seven speed, but with a cassette, not a freewheel. Big difference on a mountain bike.
Just because Specialized calls a freewheel a cassette doesn't make it so.
Google Shimano's part number for the "cassette" spec'ed on the base model Hardrock. It's part number MF-TZ31. It's a freewheel.
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Old 07-05-09, 08:58 AM   #15
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Newb question: What's the difference between a cassette and a freewheel?
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Old 07-05-09, 09:09 AM   #16
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Newb question: What's the difference between a cassette and a freewheel?


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Old 07-08-09, 07:50 PM   #17
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Specialized is usually better than trek because of the frames but the 4300 is kinda like a step above the hardrock sport but a step below the rockhopper so its in between the two and specialized doesnt make something to compete with the 4300 in that price range. Id go with the 4300. but, this is an excellent bike http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ne_500HT07.htm i have a motobecane outcast and am pleased with bikesdirect and with motobecane. plus its $400 and has great components.
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Old 07-08-09, 07:56 PM   #18
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You're saying Specialized frames are usually better than Trek...but you're trying to sell the statement that a 4300 frame is better than a hardrock frame...but the ribbon on the package is to buy a Motobecane?

I can tell you that I have seen the inside of a Motobecane frame (Fly) and it wasn't anything that I'd trust between my legs.
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Old 07-08-09, 08:04 PM   #19
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he wanted something cheap yet better quality than a walmart bike. why not a motobecane? i have one and its a tank. and yes. a 4300 is better than a hardrock. specialized doesnt make a bike to compete with that. like i said, its a step up from a hardrock sport and a step down from a rockhopper.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:21 PM   #20
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I was talking about frames, dood. I'd take a Hardrock frame over a 4300 any day. Frames are what you pointed out...I was illustrating the irony.

Yes, Motobecane is better than Walmart. I concur. For you to blanket Specialized makes better frames than Trek, yet the 4300 is better than the Hardrock, yet you recommend the Motobecane...is just bass-ackward or misleading to your point.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:06 PM   #21
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Ok, I am going to throw in a twist to this debate and all just for $19.95.

Both frames quality wise and part wise are equal.What it comes down to is fit and feel. If you like the 4300 better get the 4300, if you like the hardrock, then get the hardrock.
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Old 07-08-09, 11:06 PM   #22
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Ok, I am going to throw in a twist to this debate and all just for $19.95.

Both frames quality wise and part wise are equal.What it comes down to is fit and feel. If you like the 4300 better get the 4300, if you like the hardrock, then get the hardrock.

I agree here...the bikes are to much alike to say one is better than the other. On a choice like this its gonna come down to how you feel sitting on the bikes.
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Old 07-08-09, 11:14 PM   #23
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For the price you paid. That is a pretty nice starter bike, that should get you interested in the sport. If for whatever reason you do not, it wont be the bikes fault, it will be a decision made by you. And if that is the case then you throw it up for sale and recoupe 60-70% what you payed for it. If you do get into it, then again sell the bike and buy a nicer one.
A few years back, I bought a brand new Gary Fisher Wahoo, "V-brakes" for $375 from a shop. After a few months, I really started to get into riding and also learned alot more about nicer bikes. Then I started to wish I spent more on a nicer bike. I went back to the shop I bought the bike from to price out upgrades, like disc brakes and a better fork. Found out then, due to parts cost, I really should have bought a nicer bike in the first place. At first I was really PO'ed at myself, but after talking to one of he guys in the shop I bought the bike from. He said something to me I will never forget. he said to me. "Joe you spent less than $400 dollars to find out,you just found a hobby and passion that you love. Do you know how many people come into this shop and spend anywhere from $1000-$4000 on a bike they end up riding a couple of times, only to end up collecting dust in there basements or garages."
That statement has stayed with me. I hope you enjoy your bike as much as I did to the point where it takes over your life and you end up with a stable of bikes. Its all about having fun.

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Old 07-12-09, 11:25 AM   #24
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Newb question: What's the difference between a cassette and a freewheel?
In addition to the diagram shown by ExtremeMTB'er, the advantage of cassettes is the placement of the axle bearings. A freewheel hub has the right side axle bearings located just inside the threaded segment of the hub. A cassette hub has the bearings located near the end of the freehub. THis means the cassette/freehub setup has the right side bearings located about 1 inch closer to the end of the axle and provides better support thus reducing bent axles. The bent axle problem was not too bad in the 80s when road bikes had 5 and 6 speeds, but when MTBs came on the scene along with 7 speed it became an increasing problem. Shimano came out with the freehub design that allows the bearings to be located closer to the end of the axle, thus reducing the chances of bending an axle. Obviously, this whole problem would have been larger when 8 speed came along.
If Specialized put a freewheel on their 7 speed Hardrocks, that's a huge mistake in my opinion. While I've never bent an axle, I've flipped enough bikes that I purchased with bent axles (mostly 7 speed) to validate the concern.
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Old 07-12-09, 06:35 PM   #25
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Thank you for all of the feedback. Just an update, I still have not purchased my new bike yet, but will be buying in 2-3 weeks hopefully (got a few items on craigslist for my bike fund). I'm still pretty much sold on the Trek 4300 (with V-brakes) for $449.00 at my LBS, but they also sell Gary Fisher there too. I will ride both, and get whichever one feels better to me. I stopped by a different bike shop in town that is a Jamis distributor though, and they are trying to sell me a Jamis Cross Country 3.0. I guess it is last years model because I cannot find it on the Jamis website. The store wants $489.00 for the Jamis, and of course the sales guy tells me that it is way better than the Trek for the money. Anyone out there know the real difference between these two?
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