Entry-level MTBs: Trek vs. GT vs. Specialized

Hi Lee,
I read a previous post GT Avalanche vs. and Specialized Hardrock (Jan 2006). I had looked at both prior to reading it, and really liked the Hardrock, too. But I was also considering a Trek 3700. Any opinion on that bike compared to the Hardrock?

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Hi Pamela,

First, these are all fine bikes. All of the major manufacturers offer bikes at the entry-level price point, and the bikes are remarkably similar. Here’s how these three shake out in the $380-390 range.

Trek 4300 – $390. The 4300 is a “real” entry level mountain bike. The $310 Trek 3700 is made for bike paths and some dirt road.

GT Avalanche 3.0 – $380. Very comparable to the Trek 4300.

Specialized Hardrock Sport – $390. Another “real” MTB, with a better spec than the GT and Trek.

Trek 4300

GT Avalanche 3.0

Specialized Hardrock Sport

My suggestion: For beginning off road riding, these are all good choices. I would pick the Specialized because:

– Longer top tube and shorter stem handles way better than short top tube and long stem.
– Slightly slacker head tube is more stable at speed.
– You can get the seat lower for aggressive riding.

DISCLAIMER: Specialized helps me with bikes. In my opinion, the Hardrock has a more contemporary design and a better spec.

Good luck and rip it up!

— Lee

See also: GT Avalanche vs. Specialized Hardrock

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