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BEWARE: full of bikers stuff.
A long long time ago I was an avid mountain bike fan. There were times when I was covering over 100 miles a day and clearing 10000 miles a year. So I ran quality bike s that would get me around quickly and with minimal effort.
I was a cycle courier for a time whilst I decided what to do with myself and on starting a career jib stopped cycling and eventually sold my expensive bikes on.
About 3 years ago I bought a Trek 8000 mountain bike. I bought this in a sale for £1100 pounds. I did my home work and came up with the 8000 as a good all round cross country bike that would give me all I needed for a lot less than I used to pay.
FRAME. My bike has to be big as I am 6'3". So I opted for the largest I could get. They come in various sizes in inches which your local supplier can advise you on, which roughly equate to Small, Medium Large and extra large.
One of the main reasons I went for this bike is the material the frame is made off. I used to ride a Klein in the olds days. Those of you who know your bikes will have heard of these godly machines and may know that its frame is made up of ZR9000 aluminium. Well the trek 8000 is made of the same stuff, making the frame super light yet very strong. As it is aluminium you get far more stiffness in the frameset over the standard flexible steel.
The 8000 dimensions are pretty good for a bike to use either as a normal about town machine or for serious off road havoc. There is a little extra length in the frames top tube to allow you that extra distance from the bars on a downhill section. The seat stays join in to a single wishbone giving you yet more stiffness in the rear of the bike where your going to need it the most.
I wouldn't say the welding finish around the tube ends is the best I have ever seen but at least it is even around the entire frame. I can't really understand why the don't make a little effort to finish this off as it would make the frame look that bit more special.
The 8000 frame also comes with a replaceable rear dropout. This is a hand thing to have and not all bikes have them for some reason. If you have a fall and bend the rear derailleur then it is possible that the derailleur wont break but bend the frame at the same time. This is very difficult to repair and in some cases means you need a new frame. Being able to replace the area with only a new art and some screws can save you hundreds of pounds over buying a new frame.
COMPONENTS AND MOVING BITS My Trek came with full of Shimano Deore XT groupset. This comprised of the front and rear derailleurs, rear hub and crank set. For some strange reason Trek slipped a little and fitted Deore LX rapid fire shifters / brake leavers.
The rest of the bike was kitted out with Bontrager components, maybe not the best but at least strong and durable.
Trek also fitted a set of Rock Shox Duke's. I have replaced these so cant remember exactly which ones, but for all the adjustment dials you could play with they weren't really that good. I never found them to give a good quality ride no matter how much adjustment you made.
My 8000 also came with a pair of Bontrager Tyres which I think I could have got more traction with if I had covered them in chip fat and cycled down a fresh tarmac road..in the rain. They were useless.
The Trek came with AVID V brakes which for me are fantastic. There is a bit of a fad on these days for disc brakes but for me you just don't need them for day to day stuff. If you have the Trek 8000 you wont need them, unless you plan to hammer down a cliff face at 60 mph in the rain. The new models of the 8000 can come with discs but at a price. All frame and forks come with disc mounts though. I would buy the cheap diskless option and get some of your choice if you really want them.
DETAILS The 8000 does have a very good paint finish. Mine goes from metallic silver at the front to Black at the rear with some red bits included here and there for good measure. The decals are all large and clear . After 3 years average use the paint is still in A1 condition.
In general the bike looks really good. The overall geometry of the bike makes it look like a proper racer, ready to travel anywhere.
THE RIDE The ride on the Trek 8000 is superb. Combine the rigid frame with good quality components and your off to a flying start.
When your on a hill climb you feel that all of the power is heading up the hill through the bike and nothing is getting wasted.
When your on a good descent on special downhill the steering is precise and accurate, taking you exactly where you need to go. You always feel that your in control. A few months ago I headed up to the hills and ran in to a guy with some fancy Scott full suspension bike. Don't get me wrong, it was nice but I didn't see the point. Anyway, on the way down the other side with this guy we both began to peddle a little faster and it crossed over in to a strangers race. I hadn't cycled for a long time so wasn't that fit where as he was fitter and had a better bike…. Well long story short, I had to wait for him for a good couple of minutes at the bottom. I did have a quick shot of his bike and was amazed at how loose and flat it felt to ride. Compared to the trek which probably cost half it made it clear to me how good the Trek actually is for the money.
OVERALL I would say this is a great bike but if it was me making it I would make a few changes. Firstly, decent tyres, there is no point in specking a bike out to be mid / high end cross country and putting basic tyres on it. Like buying a decent 3 series BMW and putting steal wheels on it. I would also avoid the LX gear / brake levers….personal choice only but I hate them. They are not the quickest and most responsive breaks and gears about. SRAM offer much better, cheaper better quality with less weight than these.
Would I buy it again. Yes I probably would if I was looking for a good all round machine to take the hits of the trail and overall to last. I did see one the other day for £999. If like me you are married and object to or are not allowed to pay thousands for a bike then get one of these. You get far better value for money than the equivalent Cannondales. I have owned one of those aswell and would even say that the Trek is a better