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Old 08-16-09, 10:41 PM   #1
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Is a Trek 4300 FRAME worth sinking money into (or a Canondale M500)?

I got a cheep, cheep 4300 and I thought that I'd strip it for parts. I had no idea what a 4300 was other than a brand-name bike so the parts must be OK to use on other projects. Well, the thing LOOKS like a big BMX bike with gears so I said to myself (with three other entry-level MTBs) let's build it up and ride it like a big BMX bike and see what happens. Well, in expenditures, now about 1/2 way to the cost of a brand spanking new 4300 and I'm not nearly done yet. Sure, the components will be a step or two up from stock when I get done and the MAIN point of the build is the experience of the build but I'm starting to wonder if I am throwing good money after bad. I also have a HUGE M500 frame that I was saving for another project. Would I be better off putting my shiny new bits on THAT and calling it a day or will the 4300 frame hold out and make a serviceable platform for a middle-aged BMX/trail bike with gears?
"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL

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Old 08-17-09, 12:10 AM   #2
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Um, I'm not sure what you mean by 'BMX/trail bike'. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by 'huge'. If you want to trail ride, you should ride a trail bike. You should ride a trail bike that fits you.

Whenever you start a project, of the bicycle sort or any other, you have to decide two things at the outset - 1) purpose. What do you want this thing to do? 2) budget. Decide what you want to pay at the beginning.

I don't think there's any significant difference between these two frames, frankly. They are both low-end, mass-produced aluminum frames. I also don't think it makes sense to build one up, because I don't think it's possible to do that economically. It's always more expensive to build a bike than buy one. If you don't care about that, because you 'just want the experience', that's fine and probably a good way to learn things about your bikes. In this case, keep the purpose of the bike in mind, and stick to your budget. Good luck and have fun.

Consider the build kits at jensonusa, or pricepoint to keep costs down, if you haven't already.
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