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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.

http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/bikes/mountain/product/trek-4300-8986 (previous model)

http://www.dirtworld.com/productreviews/details.asp?id=3709&rn=9&rt=4 (previous model)

http://www.bikemagic.com/review/reviewproduct/mps/RPN/44930/RER/6/v/2

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.

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7 comments

  1. Thanks for posting this review of the 2009 Trek 4300.

    I am trying to decide between this bike and the 2009 Specialized Hardrock Sport.

    Do you know if it’s easy to upgrade the components such as brakes, etc?
    I plan to eventually add some disk brakes and maybe change the suspension forks when needed.


    • Hi Chris.

      It should be relatively straight forward to upgrade the components. However, if you’re after disc brakes, the 4300 is available with discs fitted for only an additional £20.

      I like the bike, it’s really good and feels really well made. I have no complaints with it. Highly recommended.
      David


  2. i have the same bike… bought it last sept.2008. i can say that this bike is a great entry level mountain bike for beginners and can easily be upgraded when you become a serious xc biker. happy and safe riding!


  3. Hi!
    Thanks for the info!
    I am thinking of buying this bike. Can anyone tell me if it’s good for urban/street/road riding? I love mountain biking, but at least half of the riding I do is around town on the road. Is this bike good for that, as well as trails?

    Thanks!
    –Nate


    • That’s all I use it for. I haven’t taken mine off-road yet. I’ve been thinking about changing the standard tyres to something like semi-slicks, this should improve the on-road ride. I’ll post something here if I do get around to upgrading. I’ll probably go for something from Schwalbe.
      It’s a great bike.
      David


  4. […] for me and my cycling.  Got up to quite a bit and bought my second new bike in less than a year (the Trek, February).  There were quite a few cycling-related purchases as I continued to kit up with cycling gear as […]


  5. […] Trek Review is here) 51.389789 […]



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