Is my bike trail worthy?

J

joshjonah

Guest
Greetings fellow New Jerseyans! I recently purchased a mountain bike - a Trek 3500 - @ $199 + tax. Guy at the store said this is a great price because it's a 2006 model and they're getting rid of 'em. Not sure what this retailed for (Trek doesn't have it on their website anymore, mostly 2007s now). Anyway, I've been riding it every weekend for the last month around my area (street and paved bike paths), for exercise and I love it.

As you all know, I hope I don't jinx it but the temps right now in NJ are great! I'd like to go to the next level and would like to attempt a ride on dirt trails (singletrack). I'm located in Union county (Roselle). My questions and concerns because this bike apparently is an "entry level"?

- my bike does not have front suspension. Does anyone here ride their rigid bikes in trails? Your thoughts? (aka bent fork?)
- something is bound to break I know but will the components on this bike be able to handle an "easy" trail?
- I would like to go to trails where people with no-suspension and hybrids will feel comfortable riding. Maybe the trail I'm looking for is just your basic fire road with small hills. which trails in this site would fit this description?

Really, my question is should I just stick on the road/paved bike paths if I want this bike to last. Don't have the luxury of having 2 bikes or a $$$ bike - married with kids, a mortgage, and outrageous property taxes... :eek:
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
The hard truth is that while you may have scored a good deal on the bike it is not really going to cut it for the long haul offroad.

Go out and ride it.. Just don't put any more money into it. if you put 400 into a 300 bike it is not a 700 bike. It is a 300 bike.

Good luck.
have a blast and wear a helmet..

J
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
you can have fun on that bike off road, but as you know, it's really not built for the rigors of trail riding. it would do fine, however, on rail-trails. check out: http://www.railstotrails.org, and click on the trailfinder link for new jersey.

i know you were hoping for a better answer, but that bike won't hold up if you take it on anything rocky and even mildly steep.

to answer your specific questions:
yes, people ride rigid bikes on all types of trails, from entry level to some of the most technical stuff. it does require more skill than a front suspension bike on some trail sections. a decent off road rigid fork is generally made of chromoly steel, titanium, sometimes aluminum, and rarely carbon fiber. the fork on your bike might not hold up as well as one on a more expensive bike.

your componenets could handle an 'easy'(very subjective) trail for a little while, but again....

the third question will be answered sufficiently by that link above.

i'm really not trying to be down on your bike here. it's great that you found and love riding. we almost all went through the same exact situation you're in right now. my first mountain bike was a free spirit, and i destroyed it really quickly. good luck with it!
 
P

Phatbiker

Guest
hummm, okay, my 2 centavos. i would ride that bike on any trail you feel you can handle. why do i say this? i have seen bikes evolve at great length over the past decades. the first rock shox were no better than the shock your bike has now and people were riding them as if they were downhill bikes! most of the bike compenents have also improved drastically. so don't worry about your bike being worthy. just ride it.

now, i agree with one of the other posts; do not upgrade anything. ride it until you kill it. then, buy yourself something that your new found skills would appreciate. who know, you might just wind up making a single speed out of that trek someday! good luck and enjoy your new bike.

phat


joshjonah said:
Greetings fellow New Jerseyans! I recently purchased a mountain bike - a Trek 3500 - @ $199 + tax. Guy at the store said this is a great price because it's a 2006 model and they're getting rid of 'em. Not sure what this retailed for (Trek doesn't have it on their website anymore, mostly 2007s now). Anyway, I've been riding it every weekend for the last month around my area (street and paved bike paths), for exercise and I love it.

As you all know, I hope I don't jinx it but the temps right now in NJ are great! I'd like to go to the next level and would like to attempt a ride on dirt trails (singletrack). I'm located in Union county (Roselle). My questions and concerns because this bike apparently is an "entry level"?

- my bike does not have front suspension. Does anyone here ride their rigid bikes in trails? Your thoughts? (aka bent fork?)
- something is bound to break I know but will the components on this bike be able to handle an "easy" trail?
- I would like to go to trails where people with no-suspension and hybrids will feel comfortable riding. Maybe the trail I'm looking for is just your basic fire road with small hills. which trails in this site would fit this description?

Really, my question is should I just stick on the road/paved bike paths if I want this bike to last. Don't have the luxury of having 2 bikes or a $$$ bike - married with kids, a mortgage, and outrageous property taxes... :eek:
 
J

joshjonah

Guest
Thanks for all the responses! Well taken. It sure was not what I wanted to hear :-( but hey, at least I'll have a bike with no broken parts. I guess I'll just stick to the streets and park bike paths... Another thing that makes me feel good about this is I bought a non-Dept store bike (a good move if I read all these forums right) at a good price - I just learned this bike retailed for about $270 - at $199, I can't complain! :)

Thanks again and ride safely all!
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I say just ride it wherever you want. Start on something not too drastic then work your way up. Conventional wisdom will say that you should spend muhc more than you did. But so what? Just go out and have a blast. The bike isn't going to be your limiter right away. You're going to be the limiter. So go nuts, and make sure you inflate the tires enough for your first few rides. And wear a helmet. And have fun. If you like it that much, you'll ride this thing until you trash it then find a way to buy a bike more suited to what you want to do.
 

heythorp

New Member
no reason whats so ever you cant take that bike down Patriots path and into lewis morris. I may be a drive for you but we all drive to go ride.
 
D

DANSPANK

Guest
My first bike was a $200 trek in the UK. I loved that bike but compared to todays bikes it was heavy and basic. I took it all over the place and, as is mentioned above, the limiter was the size of my twig 'n' berries. I was new to riding so didn't go crazy on drop-ins and stuff but I learnt the basics on it.

The time will come when you'll begin to damage the bike and damaging a $200-$300 bike is a lot easier to deal with than damaging a more expensive bike.

As your confidence grows perhaps check-out ebay, especially around the end of the season, when bike shops dump the prices of unsold, year-end bikes.

Have fun, it's a blast!
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
the only reason you can't ride that bike anywhere is your skills, which will get better with time. if you recall, a little more than 10 years ago, shocks were brand new and people actually rode on bikes with no suspension. i may be wrong, but with the advances in technology, i would bet that the bike you bought today is on par with the trek i paid over $1,000 for in 1993 with zero suspension. pretty much on line with what phat said.

and FWIW, heythorp is right- no reason you couldn't ride patriots path and lewis morris on your bike. just take it easy for you sake, not so much the bikes.
 
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