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

Trek 4300 review: Is it a good bike? Trek 4300 in front of a wall

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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By today’s standards, Trek 4300 it’s outdated.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
Trek 4300 | Photo courtesy of Gabe McCoy

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
Trek 4300 | Photo courtesy of Gabe McCoy

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
Trek 4300 equipped with 26-inch wheels | Photo courtesy of Gabe McCoy

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.

Components

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.

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.

Gears

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.

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
Trek 4300 suspension fork | Photo courtesy of Gabe McCoy

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
Trek 4300 Disc (2004) specifications | Source: vintage-trek.com
Trek 4300 (2004) specifications | Source: vintage-trek.com
Trek 4300 (2004) specifications | Source: vintage-trek.com

Trek 4300 FAQ

Conclusion

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.

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