Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hardtail Hits 5K

Readers of this blog know that I ride my bikes a lot. In April 06, I bought my first mountain bike - a Trek 4300. Today, this bike turned over 5000 miles! I have never ridden over 5000 miles on one bicycle before.

My Trek 4300 has been a workhorse. It is the bike I rode when I first learned the enjoy of riding singletrack. That first year, I logged over 1100 miles on the 4300.

A couple years ago, I bought a pair of studded tires for the bike. The 4300 became my snow/ice bike.

In 2008, I bought a Trek Fuel EX7, full suspension mountain bike. The Fuel EX7 did not handle as well on the Wabash Trace (crushed limestone Rails-2-Trails) but loved riding in the dirt. My trusted 4300 became became the ride of choice for The Trace.

Another duty for the 4300 was trail work. When helping maintain the mountain bike trails at Lake Manawa, it became my trail work bike.

For 3 years, when I took a car trip, it was the Trek 4300 that was on the rack. It was used to explore trails in Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, and of course, Iowa.

Now, the bike was not without problems. The biggest item was failures of the seat post to saddle bolt. After a second failure (which caused me riding standing up about 4 miles on the Wabash Trace), it was time to buy a different seat post with a stronger attachment system.

In addition to normal maintenance items, there was a broken deraileur, and rear wheel failure. Yet when it fell off the car rack at 55 mph on the highway, the only sustained scrapes and abrasions.

It has been a great first mountain bike and is still going strong. It is my "go to" bike. If I can only bring one of my 4 bikes, it will be the Trek 4300. If/when I have to replace the hardtail 4300, it will be a TREK hardtail like the 4300, but with upgraded components.

The upper photo shows the computer showing 5000 miles this afternoon. The lower photo is the bike on Hopp Creek Bridge (Wabash Trace between Malvern and Silver City, Iowa) where I recorded the 5000 miles milestone.

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