The Purchase – Trek 4300 (2009)Friday March 6, 2009
This is the second bike I’ve bought since starting this blog last year. This time it’s a mountain bike and a pretty cool looking one from Trek: the 2009 model 4300.
This is only going to be a summary of the purchase, as opposed to a more detailed review, for the following reason: the Trek 4300 is a mountain bike, popular and widely available and there are many industry reviews available online and in print.
I put some extra effort into writing my Dahon D7HG review as I couldn’t find many reviews online when I was looking to buy a Dahon so I thought that my experiences would help other people. The Dahon is a little bit… special! ;-)
I hadn’t bought a mountain bike for probably more than 15 years so buying this machine was an exciting experience. Quality and technology has definitely progressed over the years and the Trek is certainly much lighter than my old mountain bike (a Peugeot).
I ordered the bike online with Evans Cycles. The website notified me that the bike would be delivered in 7 to 10 days. I chose the Ship2Store option and the Gatwick store as my chosen store. Then I settled back for the long wait for the bike to arrive.
7 to 10 *working* days – they didn’t mention that on the website and I didn’t think about it at the time so was a little frustrated as the days passed by. But they kept their word and the bike was at the Gatwick store within the 10 working days stated.
During the waiting period I phoned the Order Helpline to get updates on the delivery date and the team were very helpful, talkative and willing to discuss the purchase and answer my questions. Nice to deal with a company who apparently values their customers as opposed to treating them as an inconvenience.
Picking the bike up from the store was quite exciting and I was looking forward to seeing my new acquisition.
Debbie was my Sales Adviser and she was excellent: helpful, patient and knowledgeable – another thumbs-up for Evans Cycles. The Gatwick store was very nice. Clean, well laid out and plenty of stock. I grabbed a Cateye Strada Wireless, some Shimano shoes and some Shimano M545 clipless pedals whilst I was there.
The bike itself is very good quality. The parts appear to be high quality and branded. Despite it being a 19.5″ frame, it’s surprisingly light and easy to handle. The suspension in the front fork soaks up the bumps of the road and as a result the ride is noticeably smoother than the Dahon D7HG with its smaller wheels and no suspension.
This isn’t a high-end bike. The websites, Trek and the staff at Evans Cycles all point this out. However, at £350 it certainly isn’t cheap (well, it is cheap compared to Trek’s £4,500 top-of-the-range bike!). Having said that, the 4300 is a well made bike with some excellent parts on it. I personally do not know what I would get out of a bike costing twice the price or more. Perhaps I’ll find out at some point in the future.
One of the downsides to this bike, as mentioned in a previous post, is its size. I’ve recently become accustomed to the Dahon’s small size and convenience so moving the Trek around the house is an eye-opener and a struggle. I’m going to take a photo of the two bikes next to each other tomorrow to show the size difference and to illustrate how much easier cycling life can be with a Dahon if you’re short of space!
Some photos of the Trek below, more on my Flickr pages.