For new riders on a budget, reviewers say the Trek 4300 is a good choice among inexpensive mountain bikes. This aluminum hardtail bike has a durable frame that is covered by a lifetime warranty. Experts say the bike survives crashes better than most budget bikes, and it handles well on most types of terrain -- with the exception of technical or rocky trails. The Trek 4300 is also a good choice for commuting or general fitness riding on paved trails. You can find cheaper mountain bikes at big-box stores, but reviewers say the Trek 4300 is a better investment. The stock components aren't the best, but you can add better components as your skills improve. Trek doesn't publish weights for its mountain bikes, but many reviewers say the Trek 4300 feels heavy -- a common complaint for budget bikes. Users would also like to see better tires, and some say the saddle is hard and uncomfortable. If you can afford to spend more, the Specialized Rockhopper (MSRP: $720) offers a better selection of components.
Professional reviews for budget mountain bikes are few and far between, so user review sites are the best source of information on the Trek 4300. Buzzillions.com has the most reviews, including a good selection of recent comments. MTBR.com and SingleTracks.com also have a good number of user reviews. Bicycling magazine reviews the Trek 4300 Disc, which has more powerful disc brakes.
Buzzillions.com compiles nearly 300 owner-written reviews for the Trek 4300. Most users are very pleased with the bike, saying it is a great value. It handles well on trails but is still comfortable enough for riding around town. Some say the saddle is too hard.
Review: Trek 4300, Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Nearly 100 riders review the Trek 4300 at MTBR.com. Reviewers say the bike is durable and well built, and most owners recommend it for beginning riders. Some users complain that the frame is too heavy.
Review: Trek 4300 XC Hardtail, Contributors to MTBR.com
More than 30 riders comment on the Trek 4300 at SingleTracks.com. Durability is a high point, as many owners say the bike has easily survived crashes and wrecks. However, some of the components, including the fork, could use an upgrade.
Review: Trek 4300 Reviews, Contributors to SingleTracks.com
4. Bicycling Magazine
Bicycling magazine reviews the Trek 4300 Disc, which is identical to the Trek 4300 except that it has disc brakes and upgraded tires. Editors say the frame is "strong and stiff," and they like that users have the option of V-style brakes in order to save some money.
Review: Trek 4300 Disc, Editors of Bicycling, April 2010