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  1. #1
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    What do you know about Trek 4500 ALPHA? Need buying advice

    Hi there guys.
    I am abut to buy a bike and can get this trek 4500 alpha. It is stock. Price is 200 dollars. How is this bike overall. Should I think about upgrading? I really like the looks but......


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    Does it fit you, what condition are the gears (crank, cassette, chain, F & R derailluers) in? does the fork work? low end Judy's wern't that good BITD, can you live without discs, as that frame doesn't have any mounts for them.

    If you were looking to buy to upgrade, why not just get a new bike with everything on it in the first place, it will be cheaper in than buying indvidual parts, you will also have a warranty on a new bike, which you won't on this.

  3. #3
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    That looks like a ten year old, 02 model. The comment above about checking out the shock is right on. If the shock has crapped out, you're in for a big expense right up front. As was said, buying this bike to upgrade it is not a good idea. If you're looking for an entry level bike on a limited budget, and if the shock and other components are all working correctly then maybe that's a decent buy. BTW, I picked up an 03 version of that bike from a neighbor. It was a fun bike for riding on gravel MUPs. Then I took it on a Technical single track. I don't remember if I made it past the Beginner trail or not and I know it never made it to the advanced trail, it just didn't handle well with a low end Rock Shox fork. I have to admit, I like the paint job on the bike you're looking at.
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    I've got an '05 version of the same bike, and it's been very good to me, both on the trail and road. I'm a relatively novice rider on the trail, but put well over 1000km of road and trail use (mostly road use). Make sure to inspect closely. It's hard to tell from a picture, but it looks like that bike has been cared for, considering how old it is. Assuming it is in good shape, I'd say $200 isn't a bad price at all. Make sure to check the fit.

    It looks like the fork has disc mounts, but I can't tell if either hub or the frame does. Was the fork replaced? Make sure it's in good shape. Judy TT is low end, but chances are it will do the trick for you if you are just getting into the sport or if you are not downgrading from a high end bike. Even if you can't put discs on it, I'm betting you could get a fair amount of use out of it before considering an upgrade to a better bike. The frame is actually quite good if you ask me, but be wary of irrational-upgrade-itis when it comes to components. It would make an excellent beater, too.

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    What is your intention for it? I started out on a ridged 94' Giant Yukon beginning of last year. I put XTR V-brakes on it, deore 9sp rear wheel/derailer, and hit the trails. About 1/2way through the season I upgraded to a 2000' suspension fork(medium-high end). The bike was great, durable, fun, and totally decent enough to get me into the hobby of MTBing. I'd guess that Trek is as good as the bike I was riding. If you're just getting into MTBing and that bike fits you well and the drive-train is in good condition and works well, I'd say it's probably a solid buy. I know others are saying it's not worth upgrading, but I disagree. I think that if you're on a budget(as in don't have the money, not "I have it but don't want to spend it) then upgrading a bike like that might be a good option. If it shifts and fits you well, riding it as is, then upgrading to a better 1yr old NOS (new-old-stock) fork and new BB7 disk brake in the front as you progress could be a great way to go. Depending on the hub on that bike, the upgrade option will include a new "on sale" wheel-set or finding yourself a front disk-compatible wheel on craigslist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

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    Well Guys. Talked to the guy and it looks like he is a good friend of a friend. The bike was servised last summer and all is in great shape. Got it for 50$. How good is the frame. Is it light compared to other bikes? I know it is no carbon, but is the bike worth upgrading? It turned out he just needed to get rid of it out of the garage as he got a better one. Here is a picture I found on the net. It seems to have a mount for disc brakes.


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    Weight matters more depending on what kind of riding you plan to do, and it generally matters more in things like wheels and tires more-so than the frame. Your bike(which was an awesome buy at $50, btw) is more of a beginner bike. Just ride it as is until you get some more experience and get a feel for what kind of riding you want to do. Carbon is also not at all a determining factor of a frame being worth upgrading. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. Carbon is the current big name bike company sales pitch. It is advantageous for some things, but it's not some sort of super material that's best for everything. For what it's worth, it's also more harmful to the environment than AL or steel. If you appreciate the nature you're riding around in then you might want to avoid the material that will s*** all over that nature in the long run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

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    I mainly use the bake for all kind of riding. I use it offroad, but now I will be manly commuting and on the road. Its going go be all purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatandre View Post
    Well Guys. Talked to the guy and it looks like he is a good friend of a friend. The bike was servised last summer and all is in great shape. Got it for 50$. How good is the frame. Is it light compared to other bikes? I know it is no carbon, but is the bike worth upgrading? It turned out he just needed to get rid of it out of the garage as he got a better one. Here is a picture I found on the net. It seems to have a mount for disc brakes.

    Bike Specs: 2002 Trek 4500

    For $50 it's a bargain.

    Upgrade parts as they break, get worn or don't work as well as they should. The old fork would be a good part to upgrade. If you're doing a lot of road riding get some road friendly tires.

    The frame/bike is for XC riding and would of been classified as either 'Recreational' or 'Beginners' model, it's not a expensive super light XC racing frame and it's not a cheap rubbish department store frame.

    The 2002 4500 frame doesn't have disc brake mounts on it, but you can bolt a IS disc brake mount onto it.

    Trek bolt on disc mount:
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...wards-ec012048
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Trek-Klein-G...item2a1c92f9f1

    Trek recently started using this brake mount again on the 3 series bikes, if you do decide to put a disc brake on the frame you should be able to get this mount from a Trek dealer for a lot less then what the ebay sellers are asking for it.

    The current wheels on the bike wouldn't be disc compatible so that's another cost if you were to put discs on it.

    Disc brakes aren't essential on a bike, plenty of people still ride with v-brakes without any problems.

    First thing to do is to ride the bike and see how well it performs.

  10. #10
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    For $50, that's a very good buy. The recommendation to change the tires for the road is a good one. Otherwise, I'd just ride the bike for a while, then decide what you want to change/upgrade.
    Have fun with it, you got it for an excellent price.
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  11. #11
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    The bike rides good. You say the frame is good? I will start with some road tires and some horns. Is ok ok to put 26"x1.0 on it?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatandre View Post
    You say the frame is good? I will start with some road tires and some horns. Is it ok to put 26"x1.0 on it?
    Yes the frame is good.

    Read the following page, it'll give you an idea of what size tires to use.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    The 2002 4500 frame doesn't have disc brake mounts on it, but you can bolt a IS disc brake mount onto it.
    I'm confused. The bike in the second picture has disc brakes on it, but the bike in the first picture doesn't. [Edit: whoops. Apparently I can't read.]

    Either way, I agree it's a great deal at $50.
    Last edited by corvuscorvax; 04-25-12 at 08:04 AM.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

  14. #14
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    If you were to upgrade the fork, the new one would most likely be for disk brakes. That solves the brake problem if you wanted to go that route, but then you've got to find yourself a disk brake to put on it and a disk compatible front wheel. If you're mostly riding on the road, certainly don't worry about upgrading it right away. Just get out and have some fun on it first.
    90 Miyata 914 with full Dura-Ace
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  15. #15
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    So this bike is going to stay. What is the first you would upgrade? I am also looking for some horns. What do you recommend?

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    Any help?

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    What do you think needs upgrading and why ?

    How much money are you willing to spend on the bike ?

    A lockout suspension fork would be good if you do a lot of road riding, a rigid fork would be better if you only ride on the road.

    Disc brakes are good in wet weather.

    Clipless pedals and bike shoes ?

  18. #18
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    The one thing that has been on my mind are bike shoes that attach to the pedal. isnt that dangerous when offroading? Sometimes you have to be fast unattaching your foot

  19. #19
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    Once you have used clipless pedals a couple of times, it becomes second nature to unclip in time, if you aren't / don't want to use clipless, would look at a DX or flat type pedal, some grippy shoes, and shin pads

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    What do you think needs upgrading and why ?

    How much money are you willing to spend on the bike ?

    A lockout suspension fork would be good if you do a lot of road riding, a rigid fork would be better if you only ride on the road.

    Disc brakes are good in wet weather.

    Clipless pedals and bike shoes ?
    Well, if I were upgrading it then why not make it rather nice one.
    What I am starting with are some handle horns and will be looking out for some disc brakes
    Maybe I should also upgrade the seat. What do you recommend?

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    How much are you willing to spend on upgrades ?
    You mightn't see much on improvements with some upgrades.

    I see from another post that you've ordered some Continental City Contact Tires which looks to be the same as the Continental Comfort Contact Tire, maybe they changed the name for the new models, you also enquired earlier about putting 26"x1.0" tires on the bike.

    How much off road riding will you be doing ?

    Will you be swapping tires ?

    If you'll be mostly riding on the road you should definitely look at buying some clipless pedals and bike shoes.
    With some models of clipless pedals you can adjust how hard or how easy it is for the shoe to release from them, there is also different cleats for these pedals too, some will release easier then others.
    Last edited by cobba; 04-29-12 at 12:32 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatandre View Post
    handle horns
    Can you advise what these are? Do you mean bar ends? if you have riser bars, which the first picture in this post shows, you really don't need bar ends, as the riser give more leverage than straight bars did.

  23. #23
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    The OP mentioned 50km one way trips 2-3 times a week in another post, the extra hand position you can get with bar ends mightn't be such a bad idea.

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    Yes, I ment bar ends. Just didnt know what they were called.
    Any specific bar ends that you recommend? I have read that the Ritchey are not bad. I was also looking ad Tune RH1, but they are rather expensive. 80 dollars where I live. The Ritchey are 20 dollars

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