Trek 4300 or Trek Navigator 3.0 ?


Sep 29, 2005
Hi dougadam. Haven't seen you on here much lately.

The two bikes that you have listed are pretty close to being identical. The 4300 has lower gearing than the Navigator, 42-32-22 versus 48-38-28 cranksets. But the 4300 is a dedicated MTB while the Navigator is billed as a recreational hybrid. Both have accommodations to attach rear racks and they both have front suspensions, although you can lock out the suspension on the Navigator. The Navigator has a suspension seatpost and road tires. The 4300 has regular knobby MTB tires which are not really good for road riding. You would probably need to change them when you got the bike unless you are riding gravel roads.

Anyway, from the riding that you have described, I would probably go with the Navigator unless the roads that you are riding are gravel. If they are all paved, then the lower end should be sufficient for riding up the long hills. If they are gravel or extremely rough, then the 4300 would probably be better for the grip that you get from the knobby tires and the lower low end would help with the hills. I would get a rack with either bike for the 30 lbs of stuff that you are carrying. You know your routes though. Go to your Trek Store and ask to test ride them both and take that into account when you make up your mind.
Just a note; if you are looking at new the 2010+ Trek 4300 has a lockout fork too. I was using my 4300 for commuting as well as for dirt riding but mostly for commuting to work. This meant me having to fit my 26X1.50in. road tires for commutes and using the factory installed 26X2.0in. for dirt. I even had the triple crank changed to add 6 more teeth on each front cog for more road like gearing.

I recently picked up a hybrid bike and the larger wheels, thinner tires, lighter frame, and road bike gearing is indeed noticable on my 12.58 mile commute to work. I agree with kdelong; if most of your commuting is paved roads the Navigator 3.0 is most likely the better choice. With a few mods the Trek is more than capable of fitting the bill too and is a great bike IMO.

BTW my 4300 is a 2010 (B-day gift from wife and love it!) Hybrid is a 2011 Giant Escape 2 (purchased personally by myself). The Trek has been returned to dirt duty as I don't have to use it to commute anymore.

Very good looking bike im just getting back into cycling . I was wondering who manufactures the bag that is pictured on your bike . Thanks will loose