Trek 4500 Review: The Unsung Quality Mid-range Bike?
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Even though the most expensive bikes are the ones that attract the most attention of enthusiasts, it is usually the mid-range to low-range bikes that bring the more money to a company. And this is the case with the Trek 4500 – a mid-range bicycle which everyone loves.
The Trek 4500 is merely an all-rounder, a bike that will please almost every biker without problems. It offers everything everyone wants – the perfect comfy design, high-quality hardware, reliability, and top-notch performance both in trails and on the road.
However, the bike is not perfect. Even though it is one of the most sought for bikes for its mid-range cost – it is still not the best. But overall, it is a bike worthy of analysis.
Advantages of the Trek 4500
Any experienced biker who has tried the Trek 4500 knows that maybe the trickiest part of the bike was the V-brakes. However, since 2008, Trek started to make the 4500 model slightly different – and the change was, of course, mainly on the brakes.
Since 2008, the company started using Shimano Hydraulic Discs brakes instead of the V-brakes from before. This didn’t only help to promote a much better experience while riding, but also to make the bike even more appealable than before.
Especially in wet roads, the Trek 4500 was usually unreliable. With the change, however, all this changed. The improved brakes made the Trek 4500 one of the best bikes out there, fixing may be the only problem the most serious fans could mention about the bike.
Even though the tires of the Trek 4500 were 26’’, the smallest tire size for mountain bikes, they were still one of the most appealable you could find. Any biker who knows what quality is wouldn’t change the tires unless it was needed.
Especially if you were a beginner in mountaineering, you would feel like this size was just perfect. Getting a Trek 4500 and being inexperienced was seemingly the best formula to enjoy a fun time at beginner-level mountaineering.
Being smaller in size improved the overall handling and agility the bike had on the road. During the hardest of paths, even, the small size of the wheels alongside the tires made it incredibly reliable nonetheless.
When you look at the components of the Trek 4500, you could see how well-made a mid-range bike could be.
Despite having mostly entry-level parts that wouldn’t impress any expert – the bike was still was one of the most solid for its price range. Actually, the components the Trek 4500 uses are the ones other more expensive bikes also use.
Taking an in-depth look at the derailleurs, for example, we find some Shimano decent parts. The shifters, similarly, are also made by Shimano and offer 8-speed reliability not many bikes for the same price range could offer.
Then we have the frame, the overall design, and the top-quality tubes, downtubes, and the rest of the little pieces that make up for an incredible mid-range performer. And what’s even better, despite being incredibly reliable, the Trek 4500 was still one of the lightest and most comfortable to use.
If you’ve ever tried a bike with many speeds, then the Trek 4500 will feel like a fantastic ride. Not only because it comes with a 27-speed transmission with its 3-speed crankset and its 8-speed shifters offering more versatility, but because it actually makes going uphill a lot easier than any other bike on its level.
Even if you have longer legs than most people, with the excellent gearing plus the extra-large rear sprocket the Trek 4500 offers, you will feel like going downhill when steep climbing. And of course, it feels incredibly smooth on any speed; you won’t miss any pedal while riding for sure.
Best Reliability at Mid-Range
A bike that ’s a little heavy than others on its type, but lighter than the majority on its price range, means that it may be built not in the best way possible. However, the Trek 4500 offers an entirely different result.
For a bike that feels slightly different than many other bikes in its price range and type, it still offers one of the best reliabilities you could hope to get.
It gets the job done without problems, lasts longer thanks to its solid-quality components, and despite being built differently than others, it is still incredibly reliable to use – as long as you don’t try to go over-the-top with it.
Disadvantages of the Trek 4500
A Little Unstable Build
The stability of a bike falls heavily on the tires, the wheels, the rims, the fork, the handlebar, and the overall shape and form of its build. The 4500 is not a bad bike, but due to its slightly different build, it may feel a little unstable for most users.
Especially when you don’t change the 26’’ tires, you may feel like the bike is not as resilient as expected. But this doesn’t change its excellent performance at all. It’s just that when it comes to being stable – the Trek 4500 loses a few points.
It’s a decent contender overall, of course. But for those who love to go hard on the pedals, who enjoy high speed, and who like to go downhill, faster than everyone else, and maybe just do some technical stuff – then the bike will feel a little unfitted.
This drawback, however, is so little that only an expert would find out about it.
Not Recommended for Hard Use
As said before, the lack of perfect stability makes the Trek 4500 a little unreliable for those who like to go harder when biking.
Like downhill runs? Technical trails? Slickrock? Tricks and more? Well, this may not be the best bike for you. As long as you can handle the average frame size and its starter-level orientation, then it will feel great. But if you are a demanding person, very likely the bike will let you down.
Trek 4500 – Full Specs
- Frame: Alpha Black Aluminum with semi-integrated head tube - formed down tube with integrated gusset - formed top tube -mono stay seat stay - forged dropouts with rack and fender mounts - replaceable derailleur hanger
- Sizes: 13, 16, 18, 19.5, 21, 22.5, 24"
- Wheels: Shimano M65 hubs
- Rims: Bontrager Ranger
- Tires: Bontrager Jones XR, 26x2.25" front, 26x2.20" rear
- Shifters: Shimano M410 8-speed
- Front derailleur: Shimano M310
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore
- Crankset: Shimano M361 42/32/22
- Cassette: SRAM PG830 11-32 8-speed
- Pedals: Wellgo alloy platform
- Saddle: Bontrager Race Lux
- Seatpost: Bontrager SSR, 31.6mm, 20mm offset
- Handlebar: Bontrager SSR, 25mm rise, 6-degree bend
- Stem: Bontrager SSR, 10 degree
- Headset: VP-A42E, 1-1/8" semi-integrated, sealed
- Brakeset: Shimano M486 Hydraulic Discs
Is the Trek 4500 a Top Mid-Range Contender?
As you acknowledge what you're getting – the Trek 4500 will easily become one of the best bikes you’ve ever ridden.
Almost every user who got the 4500 knowing that it is what it is – got a pleasant surprise to experience what it can offer overall. But for those who were expecting a top-quality mountaineering bike like those of highest price ranges – the bike undoubtedly disappointed them at least in a slight way.
But if you know that the bike offers the best performance for on-road biking, and for light, casual, and recreational use – then you will feel outstandingly satisfied with its quality.
Is the Trek 4500 a top contender? Totally, as long as you know what you’re getting.