Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Discuss & ask about mountain bikes and frames here. Need help with what MTB to buy, model specific questions/comparisons, or just want to discus your bike modifications & builds.
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Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby JT2811 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:05 pm

Hello everyone, I am just getting into MTB and have a question. A lot of people ask questions about bikes, so i figured i'd add to the count...

I am looking at the Trek 3700 or the Trek 3900. The 3700 has an 80mm front suspension while the 3900 has the 100mm suspension. Is there a noteable difference with how he bike will handle the terrain, and is it worth the extra money? My price cap is right around $400, which the 3700 meets and the 3900 is about $50 over.

Im not looking at doing anything advanced, but if I end up liking it, I would be moving into more difficult riding.

If you have any other knowledge or recommendations you would like to pass on, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby GoldenGoose » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:29 pm

You probably won't notice a major difference in how the bike handles over a change of 20mm of suspension, especially if you are a beginner to mountain biking. The only other major difference in the two you are looking at is the drivetrain. The 3900 is an 8 speed setup and the 3700 is a seven speed setup. Most manufacturers have stopped making 7 speed parts and they are now a lot harder to find; not impossible to find, just harder. In the case that you need to replace a part later on, this could be an issue.
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby FBTrek321 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:05 am

not only that but the 3700 only has single walled rims which are not at strong as the double walled rims, you should fork out the extra dough and go with a 3900 disc, then later upgrade to BB7's trust me you WON'T be sorry. thats what i started on and i have about 2500 miles on my bike and its still going strong, replaced a chain and the cassette in the rear but thats it! love the bike


mine an '09
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby BikerPanda » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:07 am

I would certainly go double walled rims. I have disc brakes and I cant wait to upgrade to the Avid BB7's.
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby JT2811 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:07 pm

So it sounds like the 3900 is what I want then. What about the disk brake model, what added benefits does that give for the money?
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby BikerPanda » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:31 pm

I love my disc brakes. We have some trails with creeks so I am never worried about stopping after having a muddy or wet encounter with a trail. V-brakes wont respond that way. If they are wet or have debris it can compromise their stopping power until they are dry or cleared. Also, rumor has it V-brakes destroy rims but I have never seen it happen.

V-brakes are nice, but I love my disc brakes. I prefer my disc brakes. I FEEL I can regulate the stopping pressure better than with my old V-brakes and to me, they feel more smooth.

They do take some more TLC though. It seems I am always adjusting them before I ride, just an extra 5-10 mins though, no biggie.
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby FBTrek321 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:06 pm

disc's all the way man, its not that it will ruin rim but that it can easily warp them out of true

the heat on the rims from braking, plus getting it wet or hitting a bumpier section

but you should go disc, plus i think the wheelset is better in the disc model too
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby sevendaysoff » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:54 am

3900 disc for the win!
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby rmanla » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:13 pm

have you looked at what 400 bucks will get you on craigslist? Or have you thought about putting a bike on layaway and pay off a higher end bike over time? Also what about the bike shops rental or demo fleet (if applicable).

I bought a fisher piranha 09 at a discount price with plans of upgrading parts in the future. All said and done i wanted those upgrades after my first year of riding with my clunky sram x5 setup. I liked the bike, but i just wanted more. Maybe if i had a stronger engine it wouldnt matter what i was riding, but i upgrade my frame with a used specialized epic and moved what i couldnt buy over to it.

But you dont need it i suppose, definately get disc brakes if you plan to ride that bike for awhile.
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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby USAFbiker » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:46 pm

Everything I have ever read says to skip the 3 series and start right at the 4300. Double walled rims, lockout on the fork, etc.

At my bike shop here a brand new 4300 can be had out the door for ~450. I was told by several people just to skip the 3 series.

Plus, disc brakes are still an option. If you are just starting, means you are probably just starting to tinker, and V-Brakes are much easier to adjust and repair/replace pads. Your wheel is the biggest disc on your bike already. V-Brakes adjusted properly will throw you on your face. I don't know that discs are much better unless you bring weather into the scenario.

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Re: Trek bike buying advice, which do you think?

Postby 8valvegrowl » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:54 pm

Or long downhills, or creek crossings.

I would go to a shop-sponsored bike swap or look on craigslist personally. I know here in VT, you can get a 4-5 year old bike that was in the $1000-1500 price point for $400-500. Often in ready-to-go condition.

If you are going new. Ride a bunch of different bikes around that price point Try the 4300 and the 3900 back to back (most shops around here have a test trail network you can ride on).

Other bikes I would try and consider: Giant Rincon, Kona Fire Mountain, and the Gary Fisher Advance.
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