Trek has consistently created high-quality bicycles for many years. One of these bicycles is the Trek Navigator 300 released from 1999-2006. Without a doubt, Trek’s modern bicycles are amazing, but how do older bicycles such as the Navigator Compare, and meet modern standards? Is the Trek Navigator 300 still a good bike?
The Trek Navigator 300 is a comfort-hybrid style bicycle with an emphasis on control and comfort. Constructed on an aluminum frame, it comes with 26 x 2-inch tires, a 50mm front suspension, a suspension seatpost, and comfortable 50mm riser bars. This bike is a good all-rounder and can easily accommodate smooth dirt path riding, as well as asphalt roads. The Navigator 300 has reasonable build quality and is sure to last many years to come given that it’s looked after well. Although it is no longer produced, they’re often available used in local markets or bike shops for a steal of a deal.
Who It’s For
The Trek Navigator 300 is for riders who want a comfortable ride on many mixed surfaces ranging from dirt paths to asphalt roads. If you’re looking for a bike to ride to the beach or to ride casually with family and friends, this is an excellent choice that will get the job done.
The wide 2-inch tires work in harmony with the 50mm front fork, and suspension seatpost to create a smooth, cushy ride. In the front, the Navigator 300 comes with 50mm riser bars that not only give you excellent control and stability but lets your spine rest in a more ergonomic position.
If comfort is important to you, you should consider this bicycle. If you’re looking to ride long distances fast, this may not be the best option as it makes your pedaling less efficient and requires more energy. In that case, you may consider buying a road bike.
Trek Navigator 300 Specs
- Frame: Alpha Aluminum
- Fork: 50mm Spring
- Wheelset: Alloy front, Shimano RM60 rear hub; Alex alloy rims
- Tires: Bontrager Comfort Hardcase, 26×1.95″
- Shifters: SRAM MRX Pro, 8 speed
- Front derailleur: Shimano C102
- Rear derailleur: SRAM X-7
- Crank: Bontrager Sport 48/38/28 w/chainguard
- Cassette: SRAM PG830 11-32, 8 speed
- Pedals: Dual density platform
- Saddle: Bontrager Suburbia w/elastomer bumper, flashing lights
- Seatpost: Alloy adjustable suspension
- Handlebar: Alloy, 50mm rise
- Stem: Alloy, adjustable rise
- Headset: Threaded Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
- Brakeset: Tektro V w/Tektro alloy levers, Kraton inserts, bell
The Trek Navigator is very versatile and is ready to tackle many different riding surfaces. From gravel and dirt to asphalt and sand, it will maintain a high level of control and maneuverability while still feeling comfortable. This is a bike that you could ride to the beach, and then along a sandy boardwalk with almost no hesitation.
Not only can the Navigator 300 handle a large variety of surfaces, but it can also double as a light commuting bike. It has many mounting points for racks, fenders, and baskets that will enhance your trip, increase your carrying capacity, and give your bike an extra customized feel. Fenders are a great way to stay dry and clean while riding after rainy weather.
When compared to modern-day bikes with modern-day prices, the Navigator 300 boasts an unrivaled value. Although not available to buy new, they circulate local marketplaces for a price of anywhere between 100 – 150 USD and had an MSRP of 440 USD. At this price, the aluminum frame, wide tires, front fork, and 3×8 gearing setup are comparable to bikes that are three times the price.
If you’re looking to cycle recreationally while avoiding some of the large price tags on bicycles, the Navigator 300 is a great choice that will give you those big price-tag features for a small tag price.
A very essential part of any bike that can make or break the deal is the level of comfort that it provides. The Trek Navigator 300 was designed with ergonomics in mind, allowing riders to sit with their spine resting vertically. This is thanks to the 50mm high-rise handlebars. These handlebars lift your hands higher, naturally letting you sit straighter. If you have back issues, this is a common remedy that you might use.
Not only is the Navigator ergonomic, but it provides good all-around comfort. To dampen vibrations on rides for that cloud-like feel, the bike is equipped with a 50mm front fork, a suspension seatpost, and 2 Inch tires.
Having wide tires on a bike is beneficial for many reasons. The Trek Navigator comes with 26 x 2-inch wide tires that provide comfort and control no matter what surface you’re on. Having wide tires increases the surface area of your tires that touches the ground. This gives you more grip, not only allowing you to feel more in control but making your ride safer.
Wide tires also mean you can use less air in your tires, making your ride feel more cushy and soft. Another bonus is that you lower the chance of getting a tire puncture and cutting your ride short.
Along with all of the features that come on the Navigator 300 comes a lot of weight. Wide tires, suspension, a riser bar, and a suspension seatpost all come at the cost of weight. The Navigator comes in at around 33 lbs depending on the model and size.
If you plan on using this bike to ride through hills or areas of changing elevation, you might want to consider a lighter bike. 33 lbs can make a big difference in a bike’s agility when accelerating or going up hills. However, if you don’t plan on riding a lot of hills, then this is an easily overlooked negative.
When it comes to riding long distances, durations, or just riding fast, the Trek Navigator 300 isn’t anyone’s first option. While the long, stretched-out ergonomic position allows you to feel comfortable on the bike, it can hinder your ability to produce power. A more leaned-over feel on a bike will be more efficient and leave you feeling like you have more left in the tank at the end of the day.
In addition, wide 2-inch tires increase rolling resistance, again making the bike less efficient than some other options. If you’re looking for a bike you can go long distances on, you may want to consider a road bike or a hybrid with a more aggressive leaned-over stance.
With the Trek Navigator 300 being first released in 1999, and the last release being in 2006, cycling technology has evolved. New standards have come to life in the cycling world, one of which is disc brakes. The Navigator is equipped with rim brakes, which are less powerful and consistent.
When rain, mud, or even sand touches rim brakes, it can significantly lessen the stopping power of the brakes, and make your riding feel a little less predictable. Modern bikes are equipped with disc brakes which provide superior stopping power in all conditions.
How Much is the Trek Navigator 300 Worth?
The 2006 Trek Navigator originally retailed for 440 USD, but is now found in local marketplaces for anywhere between 100-150 USD. Often you can strike an even better deal on these bikes from yard sales and local forums. Keep in mind you may want to schedule the bike for a tune-up from your local bike shop after purchasing it to ensure a safety check-up is done.
At a price of 100-150 USD, you really can’t compare this bike to any new bike on the market, because it’s a fraction of the price for a whole lot of quality. The Trek Navigator 300 is a great value, so be sure to keep an eye on your local markets for one of these hidden gems.
Is the Trek Navigator 300 Worth buying in 2022-2023?
The Trek Navigator is an affordable, versatile comfort cruiser that’s the perfect choice for those who want a comfortable bike for casual rides, but can handle some light commuting. This bike has an amazing value that will last you many years if you take care of it properly.
With 50mm of front suspension, 2-inch tires, a suspension seatpost, and ergonomic riser bars, the Navigator is a comfortable ride well suited for both smooth dirt paths, and asphalt roads. While you may not be winning Le Tour de France on this bike, you will love every second of riding it.