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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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.
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!
See also: GT Avalanche vs. Specialized Hardrock