Jack of all trails, master of fun

Fuel EX is up to get down

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The 13 Best Mountain Bikes You Can Buy Right Now

These stellar cross country, trail, and all-mountain bikes can go anywhere and do almost anything.

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How We Tested

🚨 best mountain bike deal 🚨, 🍁 best fall special 🍁, best mountain bikes, types of mountain bikes.

pivot shuttle am

The Best Mountain Bikes You Can Buy Right Now

  • Best Mountain Bike Deal: Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Elite Alloy
  • Best Fall Special: Cannondale Trail 5
  • Best Budget Hardtail: Specialized Rockhopper Elite 29
  • Best Budget Full Suspension: Marin Rift Zone 27.5
  • Best Sub-$1,000 Mountain Bike: Giant Talon 29 1

Our team of experienced testers spent many hours and miles using these mountain bikes for their intended purpose, as well as pushing the bikes’ limits outside of their primary intent. We raced them, rode them on our local trails , and hit the bike park. Often we swapped tires and other components to get a better understanding of each bike. After a lot of sweaty, dirty miles, we considered the full picture weighing not just performance and handling, but also, price, comfort, value, and reliability.

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Elite Alloy

Specialized stumpjumper evo elite alloy.

Stumpjumper EVO Elite Alloy

It’s not often you see a benchmark trail bike stacked with a highlight reel of features on sale for $1,900 off, but that’s exactly what’s happening with the Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Elite Alloy right now.

The Stumpy Evo took home a Bicycling’s Best Bike award in 2022 , and over a year later that shine has not faded. This model packs generous travel (150mm rear, 160mm front) which is enough for all but the most ridiculous trails but is short enough that the bike still climbs and covers flatter ground well. Plus, multiple adjustments—three head tube settings, two BB-height settings—let the rider customize the bike’s feel and handling for their terrain.

The Elite Alloy model gets a nearly perfect build too. It has an aluminum frame with the awesome SWAT Box in-frame storage and a UDH hanger for future upgrades. The drivetrain is SRAM GX Eagle AXS mechanical shifting (no batteries to charge!), and the suspension consists of top-of-the-line Fox Factory bits: A 36 fork with a 4-way adjustable GRIP2 damper and a Fox Float X shock with adjustable low-speed compression damping (more tools to let the rider fine-tune the ride). A trusty, and easily user-serviced OneUp Dropper handles seat position, and SRAM Code brakes with 200mm rotors handle the stopping.

Cannondale Trail 5

Trail 5

If you’re looking for a comfortable and easy-to-use bike for getting around campus, and a bit of exercise, Cannondale’s Trail 5 fits the bill. This budget-priced mountain bike features an upright position with a flat bar for great vision and confident handling on various surfaces. 29-inch wheels (sizes medium through extra large) roll fast, and smoothly over bumps and holes, with a suspension fork to take the edge off bigger impacts. The one-by (1x) drivetrain features the simplicity of a single chainring (no front derailleur to shift) with a wide-range 10-speed cassette which offers plenty of gearing for climbing hills, and whizzing on the flats. Hydraulic disc brakes work in all weather conditions and require little maintenance too. And if you’re looking to make your bike a bit easier to live with, the Trail 5 has mounts for a rear rack, and a kickstand too.

Best Budget Hardtail

Specialized rockhopper elite 29.

Rockhopper Elite 29

Though overshadowed by its legendary Stumpjumper line-mate, the Rockhopper has been a mainstay of Specialized’s product line longer than most mountain bikers have been alive. Specialized offers a bevy of Rockhopper models between $650 and $1,400—We consider the Comp ($950) , Elite ($1,150), and Expert ($1,400) models most suited for trail riding use. We recently tested the Elite and found it a well-rounded bike that climbs quickly, is stable on descents and capably handles a variety of trail conditions. It’s a good-looking bike too, and the parts—particularly the fork and forceful hydraulic brakes—are up to par for mountain bike duty. The price might be budget, but its performance on the trail is refined.


specialized rockhopper

Best Budget Full Suspension

Marin bikes rift zone 27.5.

Rift Zone 27.5

Best Sub-$1000 Mountain Bike

Giant talon 29 1.

Talon 29 1

The biggest surprise of our six-hardtail shootout , Giant’s Talon offers plenty of character from a bike that you might overlook because of its subdued profile. A lot of its standout performance comes from the house brand suspension fork which boasts a list of features not commonly found on bikes priced under $1000. Those features include aluminum stanchions and steerer tube for weight savings, an easily adjustable air spring that lets riders fine-tune the fork for their weight and riding style, and adjustable rebound damping for refined performance on the trail.

giant talon

Best New XC Bike

Trek supercaliber sl 9.7 gen 2.

Supercaliber SL 9.7 Gen 2

When Specialized debuted its new Epic World Cup in April 2023 , a lot of riders rightly pointed out how similar it was to the Trek Supercaliber that debuted in 2019 . Four years is a lifetime in the world of top-flight race bikes, but Trek is now ready to battle back against its doppelganger with a heavily revised Supercaliber.

Trek cut the Supercaliber’s frame weight, and added 25mm of rear travel, bringing the total to 80mm, while bumping fork travel up to 110mm. With today’s rowdier cross country courses in mind, geometry was revised as well with Trek adding more wheelbase and a slacker head angle for greater stability. Those courses are also why Supercal models come with a dropper post from the factory.

In testing, we found the new Supercalimber every bit as fast as expected, and reveled in how it flew up hills. It requires precision and care to get the most out of it in rough terrain, but with a deft touch, this light and efficient race bike will fly through terrain on its way to the finish line.

Most Balanced Trail Bike

Yeti sb140 t3 tlr x01 eagle axs.

SB140 T3 TLR X01 Eagle AXS

Born from the excellent SB130 , Yeti’s new SB140 is a superb example of a modern trail bike. It does everything well: It’s efficient and capable on climbs both long and technical, it can truck tricky technical descents like a bigger bike, and it’s lively and responsive enough that it is an engaging partner in flatter terrain too. It’s also a bike for the long haul. Not only does it have a solid lifetime frame warranty (and a decent crash replacement offer), it has a lifetime warranty on the Switch Infinity suspension link. SB140 also has a standard threaded bottom bracket, sensible hose, and housing routing (NOT through the headset ) with full-length tunnels that make repair and replacement a breeze, and a short seat tube so many riders can fit a longer travel dropper if they desire.

yeti sb140

Fastest Trail Bike

Spot ryve 115 4-star.

Ryve 115 4-Star

The second-generation Ryve 115 leaves its roots as an XC bike behind and leans more toward the trail category. Up front is a longer travel, now 130mm, fork, accompanied by a handful of geometry updates: Most notably, a slacker head angle and a longer wheelbase. Expecting riders will push the new Ryve harder than ever, Spot also stiffened the frame and increased the rear suspension’s progression. But while the new Ryve is a different beast than the V1 Ryve , some of the original version’s best traits carry forward. Most notably, the lively suspension and superb pedaling manners.

spot ryve 115 v2

120mm Redefined

Santa cruz tallboy.


Tons of Tech & In-Frame Storage

Trek fuel ex 8.

Fuel EX 8

Best Aluminum Trail Bike

Norco fluid fs a1.

Fluid FS A1

Best Electric Mountain Bike

Pivot shuttle am pro.

Shuttle AM Pro

e-Mountain bikes, like unpowered mountain bikes, have diversified. But if you’re not interested in spending huge coin on a “quiver” of e-bikes, Pivot’s Shuttle AM is as well-rounded and capable as you’ll find. Powered by Bosch’s latest Performance Line CX motor with 85 Nm of torque and smooth tractable power delivery. The 750 Wh battery (Pro and Team, 625 Wh in the Ride) offers plenty of juice for epic rides and lots of climbing. Wrapping around the electronics is a wonderfully balanced Pivot carbon frame with the proven performance of dw-link rear suspension with 148mm of rear travel and a 160mm travel fork. It almost goes without saying with Pivot, but the suspension is courtesy of Fox.

On the trail, the Shuttle AM is just awesome. It’s balanced, it handles well across a wide range of speeds, and it’s great when the trail is rough and crisp when the trail is smooth. It’s a great all-arounder, something that’s perhaps more scary than it should be as e-bikes splinter into niches.

pivot shuttle am

Read Full Review

Best Trail Bike Deal

Canyon neuron cf 9 sl.

Neuron CF 9 SL

Canyon’s Neuron is a lovely lightweight trail bike with 130mm rear travel and 140mm fork. Using modest modern angles, a lighter frame and build, and a proven four-bar suspension design—the Horst Link variety—enhanced by good kinematics and damper tuning, the Neuron leans towards the light and efficient end of the trail bike spectrum rather than baby-enduro. It climbs very well, and once you get to the top, it’s a sprightly dancer on the descents. There’s enough stability and suspension travel to let ‘er rip, but its real gift is its reactivity and balanced handling that is free of surprises and largely keeps the rider out of trouble. It’s a great all-around mountain bike for riders who prefer something with a touch of XC vibe. And the top-of-the-line model stands out as a freakishly good deal. It sells for $5,000 with the carbon frame, Fox Factory suspension, DT-Swiss XMC 1501 wheels with carbon rims (30mm internal width), SRAM GX Eagle AXS drivetrain, SRAM X1 carbon crank, SRAM Code RSC brakes, and a Race Face NEXT 35 carbon bar mated to a Race Face Turbine R stem. For comparison, a similarly equipped Trek Top Fuel 9.8 GX AXS which sells for over two grand more.

Headshot of Matt Phillips

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling , Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race. 

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Trek 4300 Review: Is It a Good Bike or Waste of Money?

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Trek 4300 belongs among one of the most iconic mountain bikes .

It was introduced in 2000 and kept in Trek’s lineup until 2014. So, it’s a pretty old bike already.

The question is:

Is Trek 4300 a good bike?

By today’s standards, Trek 4300 it’s outdated. However, many still ride it today because of its sturdy aluminum frame, quality components from Shimano (like brakes, shifters, derailleurs), front fork suspension, and relaxed geometry, allowing a comfortable ride.

Are you keen to learn more about this iconic bike?

Let’s dive in!

Is Trek 4300 a Good Bike?

Trek 4300 was a very popular bike worldwide thanks to its quality and reliability.

Trek 4300 mountain bike in front of a wall

Its price slowly increased from around $359.99 in 2000 to $549.99 in 2011. ( Source )

So, it was a great entry-level mountain bike suitable for beginners, commuters, and people who wanted a bike they could rely on.

It was available in multiple sizes (13, 16, 18, 19.5, 21″…), and it came in different colors and slightly modified components every year.

Trek 4300 was sold with rim and disc brakes and also an option for women with specific geometry, making it easier for women to get on.

The last generation of Trek 4300 was released in 2014. Then, it was discontinued and replaced by newer lines.

Pros and Cons of Trek 4300

Here I summarized the pros and cons of Trek 4300.

Pros of Trek 4300

  • Quality and sturdy aluminum frame
  • Available for men and women
  • Excellent price-value ratio
  • Comfortable geometry, allowing upright riding position

Cons of Trek 4300

  • 26-inch wheels
  • 3X drivetrain (2X and 1X became more popular thanks to their simplicity)

To fully understand the pros and cons, I recommend reading the following section where I compare its features with today’s mountain bikes.

Main Features of Trek 4300

Let’s now dive deeper into Trek’s 4300 components so you better understand its value.

Aluminum Frame

One of the main features of every bike is its frame. All Treks 4300 were based on an aluminum frame.

Aluminum frames are durable, reasonably lightweight, and affordable. That’s why aluminum is still one of the most popular bike frame materials .

Trek 4300 can take a lot of abuse. In the end, it’s a mountain bike, so it must be durable to withstand rough terrain.

Trek 4300 in front of a wall

26-Inch Wheels

Trek 4300 was equipped with 26-inch wheels, which are agile and allow you to accelerate quickly but are not as fast, stable, and comfortable as 27.5 or 29-inch wheels.

Trek 4300 mountain bike 26-inch wheels from left side

You probably won’t find adult mountain bikes with 26-inch wheels today. However, kids’ mountain bikes, dirt bikes, etc., may still use them.

The mountain bike market shifted toward 27.5 and 29″ wheels. They are more comfortable, stable, and faster.

If you can, I recommend trying them in person so you can feel the riding difference.

Trek worked closely with Shimano, which supplied components like the shifters, brakes*, front and rear derailleurs, etc.

*Some models came with Tektro brakes.

Surprisingly, some components were supplied by other manufacturers. For example, SRAM supplied cassettes, Suntour forks, and cranks.

Trek 4300 mountain bike left crank

Other components like the saddle, seatpost, handlebar, stem, etc., were made by Trek’s brand Bontrager.

By the way, the Trek’s 4300 handlebar was pretty narrow (600-620mm). Today’s mountain bikes come with 700 to 800mm.

The older generations of Trek 4300 came with a 3×8spd drivetrain, offering 24 gears. This range is wide enough for fast downhill and steep sections.

Trek 4300 mountain bike rear deraileur

However, the disadvantage of the 3X drivetrain is its complexity. It’s heavier, more things can go wrong, and there is a high chance of cross-chaining.

That’s why 2X and 1X drivetrains are more popular nowadays.

Suspension Fork

Trek 4300 is a standard hardtail mountain bike with a suspended front fork (unlike the Trek 800 , for example).

Entry-level mountain bikes don’t offer too long suspension travel. It ranges from 70 to 100mm. Newer Trek 820 is one of the examples.

Trek 4300 suspension fork

So, it can absorb some bumps, but it’s not enough for hard trails or downhill.

Treks 4300 were equipped with different forks from manufacturers like InSync or Suntour. However, due to the low price of the bike, these forks were pretty low-end, and you shouldn’t expect much from them.

Trek 4300 Specifications

Below, I summarize the most important technical specifications. Remember, they differ based on the year:

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: ±13 kg (28.7 lbs) depending on frame size, brakes, and year made
  • Wheel size: 26-inch
  • Brakes: Rim or disc
  • Groupset: Shimano Alivio, Altus, Acera
  • Gears: 3×8spd, 3×9spd (11-32T or 11-34T cassette)
  • Fork: InSync Grind, Suntour
  • Colors: Differ based on the year

The following pictures show the detailed specifications of the Trek 4300 and Trek 4300 Disc from 2004.

Trek 4300 Disc 2004 specifications

Although the Trek 4300 is a pretty old bike, it’s safe to say it was timeless.

It’s a well-built bike you can rely on, suitable for commuting and rides in terrain.

If you are considering buying it second-hand, aim for a price of up to $250 for mint condition and around $150 for decent condition.

Or, you can check out what mountain bikes Trek sells today. For example, the Trek 820 (also available in step-through option ) is also a mountain bike worth considering.

Trek 4300 FAQ

Trek 4300 mountain bike is still worth it today if you find it in good condition for less than $250. It’s a little outdated (read this entire article for more info) but still ideal for people looking for an affordable and reliable bike for commuting and biking.

Trek 4300 was made between 2000 and 2014.

Trek 4300 weighs ±13 kg (28.7 lbs). Remember, the weight differs based on its size and year made. Also, Trek 4300 with disc brakes is heavier than with rim brakes.

Check out Trek’s official bike archive or Bikepedia.com to compare their pictures with your Trek 4300.

About The Author

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Petr Minarik

3 thoughts on “trek 4300 review: is it a good bike or waste of money”.

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Hi Barry, Yes. Trek 4300 uses Presta valves so you can use any Presta compatible tire pump . – Petr

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