Trek 3500 Vs 3700 Mountain Bikes (6 Key Differences Explained!)


Trek 3500 and 3700 aren’t just entry-level MTBs. These two hardtails have everything to suit even the most experienced trail riders. But how do Trek 3500 vs 3700 compare?  

Trek 3500 comes with linear-pull brakes, a 75mm suspension fork, and a 21-speed drivetrain, while Trek 3700 comes with mechanical disc brakes, a 100mm suspension fork, and a 24-speed drivetrain.

So, essentially, Trek 3700 is a better climber as it offers you more suspension and gears and better brakes. In the end, the advantages make Trek 3700 slightly costlier than Trek 3500.

In terms of weight and stability, however, Trek 3500 scores a massive win as it’s lighter by at least 1 pound and enjoys a shorter standover height that makes it more stable.

But overall, these two hardtails have so much in common, making them almost inseparable. So, we’ll look at the things that separate them and those that make it hard to decide between them (the similarities).

Let’s get started!

Trek 3700 Review

Trek 3500 Vs 3700 Table Comparison

Below is a table summary to compare Trek 3500 and 3700.

 FeaturesTrek 3500Trek 3700
BrakesTekro alloy linear pullMechanical disc Tekro Novella
Suspension ForkSR Suntour with 75mm travelSR Suntour with 100mm travel
Drivetrain3×7 Shimano drivetrain3×8 Shimano drivetrain
Shifters7-speed Shimano shifters8-speed Shimano shifters
Gearing21 speed24 speed
Stand-Over HeightShorter standover heightLonger standover height
Average Weight31.3lbs32.5lbs
MSRP$350.00$467

About Trek 3500 – Trek 3500 Review

Trek 3500 bike in an affordable entry-level hardtail bike with a 75mm SR Suntour suspension fork for exceptional bump-absorption. It comes in an alpha aluminum frame, which is pretty lightweight and stronger and enjoys a longer life.  

Trek 3500 is a decent performer off-road, bragging its exceptional high-traction tires, stronger wheels, and decent linear-pull brakes.

The hardtail has a shorter standover height, making it more friendly to shorter people and women, but more importantly, it offers you a neutral handling position.

Moreover, the bike comes with a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain, characterized by a 7-speed cassette and triple chainset to enable you to maneuver across challenging terrains smoothly.

Trek 3500 Size

About Trek 3700 –  Trek 3700 Review

Unlike Trek 3500, Trek 3700 promises more suspension, speed, and better disc brakes.

With its 100mm suspension fork, this hardtail allows you to take on just about any terrain. So, if you are a serious trail rider looking for something decent on a budget, you can never go wrong with a Trek 3700.

Its 8-speed cassette and triple chainset give you a combined 24 speeds, making trail riding fun. The gearing enables you to quickly and efficiently shift when taking on different terrains.

As for the brakes, you get mechanical disc type, which outperforms their linear-pull siblings in performance and life. Their only issue is that they are costlier to maintain and even replace.

Sadly, Trek 3700 does not have the standover advantage that Trek 3500 has. In that case, it has a slightly longer standover height, making it more ideal for taller people. Some shorter people may find it somewhat uncomfortable to stand over. 

How Many Speeds Is A Trek 3700

Trek 3500 Vs 3700 Differences

Although the two Trek bikes share the most common features, they are not identical. Below is a list of the notable differences between them.

1. Brake System

Trek 3500 comes with Tekro linear-pull brakes, while Trek 3700 features Tektro disc brakes.

Tekro linear-pull lever brakes are decent. They stop on a dime with the correct adjustments, especially on dry surfaces. Their primary issue is that they are less responsive in wet conditions. But cost-wise, they are cheaper to replace than disc brakes.

On the other hand, disc brakes, especially Tekro, are ever-reliable. They stop the bike almost seamlessly and generally offer you better control in all conditions. They are, however, costlier to replace and maintain.

2. Fork Suspension

Trek 3500 comes with a 75mm suspension fork, while Trek 3700 enjoys a 100mm suspension fork.

Overall, a longer suspension travel range promises more comfort over longer periods. Therefore, you can count on Trek 3700 for a smoother cycling experience off-road, more when taking on bumps.

Additionally, it enables you to ride much faster without succumbing to fatigue.

That, however, doesn’t make Trek 3500 a bad choice. No! It’s just that it doesn’t match Trek 3700 off-road, but the bike is a decent performer in other terrains.

3. Drivetrain

This is where Trek 3500 and 3700 differ most, explaining why Trek 3700 is costlier than Trek 3500.

While both bikes offer you a Shimano drivetrain with a triple chainset, Trek 3700 comes with an 8-speed cassette. That gives you a combined gearing of 24 speeds, which is enough to shift across just about any terrain smoothly.

Trek 3500, on the other hand, comes with a 7-speed cassette, which combines with the triple chainset to offer you a 21-speed gearing. While you have fewer gears on Trek 3500, the shifting performance is undisputable, and you may not even realize the difference when riding both bikes.

4. Average Weight

There is at least a 1-pound weight difference between the two bikes depending on the MTB generation. On average, Trek 3500 weighs 31.3 pounds, while Trek 3700 averages 32.5 pounds.   

That makes Trek 3500 more lightweight and thus a better commuter choice as it’s more portable.

5. Stand-Over Height

This is another area where Trek 3500 has an advantage over Trek 3700. Overall, Trek 3500 has a shorter standover height than Trek 3700, making it more beginner-friendly and better for shorter riders.

Though the difference is marginal, it’s easier to stand over a Trek 3500 than over Trek 3700.

However, that is not the only advantage of standover height. A shorter standover height means the bike is more sturdy and offers you a more neutral standing position.      

6. Trek 3500 Vs Trek 3700 Price

Overall, Trek 3700 is slightly expensive than Trek 3500. On average, Trek 3500 retails at $350.00 while Trek 3700 cost about $467.

So, if you are on a budget, Trek 3500 is the best fit for you.

What Does A Trek 3500 Weigh?

Similarities between Trek 3500 and Trek 3700

Now, here are the specs that the two Trek bikes have in common

a. Frame Material

Both Trek MTBs feature alpha aluminum, which relishes a few advantages. For one, alpha aluminum is pretty lightweight, making the bikes more comfortable to pedal.

Secondly, alpha aluminum is more fatigue-resistant and stronger. It allows you to load huge weights without yielding to excess stress or fatigue.

b. Weight Limit and Limited Lifetime Warranty

Due to their stronger and fatigue-resistant alpha aluminum frames, Trek 3500 and Trek 3700 all enjoy a 300-pound load capacity. You can count on the bike to hold your vast weight and load, as long as your combined weight doesn’t exceed 300 pounds.

The best part is that Trek warrants the frame for life. You can count on its outstanding strength and performance for as long as you own the bike.

c. Wheelset

Both Trek 3500 and 3700 come with 26-inch wheels with a 2.0-inch width and enjoy the same rim and tire types. Their Bontrager 36-hole alloy rims are sturdy, offering strength and off-road stability.   

On the other hand, their Bontrager connection tires come with a much smoother profile that enables them to roll smoothly off-road. As a result, these bikes are faster on trails.

Trek 3700 Vs Trek 3500 Size

Both hardtail bikes come with the same frame sizes, as shown in the table below:

Frame Size (Inches)Preferred Rider’s Height
13”161cm
16”165cm
18”176cm
19.5”180cm
22.5”192cm

Other Features

These two bikes also share the following features:

  • Riser flat bars for a more upright-position cycling
  • Schrader valve for easy pumping
  • Water cages and rack mounts
  • Nylon platform pedals that are lighter, thus comfortable to use.

Is Trek 3500 Mountain Bike Worth?

Compared to Trek 3700, Trek 3500 falls behind in brake quality, speed, and suspension range. That, however, doesn’t make it a wrong choice. Quite the contrary!

Its 75mm suspension is more than what you get from most entry-level MTBs, making it decent for entry-level cycling.

Its 21 speeds are also more than enough, given that most mountain bikes have fewer gears, and yet they are decent performers. And on the aspect of brake type, though linear-pull v-brakes are not a match for mechanical disc brakes, they are cheaper to replace.

So, yes, Trek 3500 is worth it. Besides, this bike is lighter than its 3700 siblings and enjoys a shorter standover height, making it more beginner-friendly. So, if you are on a budget but looking for a casual trail bike, you cannot go wrong with Trek 3500.

How Much Is A Trek 3700 Worth

Is Trek 3700 Mountain Bike Worth?

Trek 3700 excels in areas where Trek 3500 fails. For instance, its mechanical disc brakes are better performers than Trek 3500’s linear-pull brakes. Its 24-speed drivetrain and 100mm suspension forks outperform Trek 3500’s 21-speed drivetrain and 75mm suspension fork.

Those reasons make Trek 3700 a better trail riding choice. It also enjoys incredible specs like an alpha aluminum frame, stronger wheelsets, and comfortable handlebars.   

Perhaps the only area where they fall slightly short, especially for shorter guys, is their standover height which is marginally shorter.

That aside, this bike is affordable, making it a decent pick for serious trail riders who are budget-tight but want a proper MTB for their casual adventures.

People Also Ask (About Trek 3500 and Trek 3700)

1. How Much Is a Trek 3500 Worth?

Trek 3500 retails at about $350 or slightly higher. However, you can trade in this bike for cheap, almost half price.

2. What Does a Trek 3700 Weigh?

Trek 3700 weighs 32.5 pounds on average (without factoring in the pedals)

3. How Much Is a Trek 3700 Worth?

Trek 3700 costs $467.91 on average, but you can trade it for cheap. You can also get it for almost half price if you buy secondhand on eBay.

4. What Does a Trek 3500 Weigh?

Trek 3500 isn’t heavy for its price. The bike weighs 31.5 pounds.

5. How Many Speeds Is a Trek 3500?

Trek 3500 comes with a 7-speed Shimano cassette and a triple chainset, and the two give you a combined speed of 21.

6. How Many Speeds Is a Trek 3700?

Trek 3700 comes with an 8-speed Shimano cassette and a triple chainset, and the two combine to give you 24 speeds.

Relevant:

Trek 3500 Vs 3700 Closing Thought                    

While Trek 3500 and Trek 3700 have a lot in common, the differences are apparent. On the one hand, Trek 3500 wins the weight and cost battle as it’s lighter and cheaper.

On the other hand, Trek 7300 wins the performance battle as it has better brakes, suspension, and gears.

Bike Finest Team

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