a Cross Country Rider
from New York
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2008
Strengths: Very easy to ride, feels strong and sturdy, looks great...actually it turned heads when riding down the road.
This Trek YSL300 model had been out to the market for like 9 years already I believe. I bought it online, like 3 years ago. I think the previous owner said he had it for like 4-5 years from new, so it added up the bike's age around 8 I guess.
It's still running, so it has a lots of strengths.
I paid $2500, because the previous owner added a lot of components on it. Carbon wheels, handle bar, seat post; XTR, Manitou front. etc.
The bike is just looks really with everything together.
Weaknesses: It's difficult to find the original sticker for the bike. They worn out, and I want to change them.
There aren't many of the Trek YSL300 out there, so it's quite rare. Because at the time, when the bike came out; it was very expensive.
So, not many could pay for it.
If you can get hold of one, you should definitely get it and give it a try.
Similar Products Used: Somehow other Trek Y designs are not quite the same as the YSL 300, not as hot. They are from the same company, but I think the YSL300 is the best Y they have ever produce.
from Las Cruces NM
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2006
Strengths: Comparably equiped rivals still fall short after all these years. Buy it if you like sticking with it for a meaningful stretch, cause it will grow on you, and serve you VERY well indeed once you dial it in to your likings, all the while easily upgraded to keep up with industry
Weaknesses: Was phased out due to copy-cats muddying the water. Don't buy it if you are thin skinned, it has been around for a LONG LONG time, and as such has amassed more than its fair share of the bandwagon haters.
An exerpt from http://www.users.bigpond.com/cool386/trek/trek.htm reads; "The models in the initial OCLV Y frame series were the Y50 (pronounced Y Five-0),Y33, Y22, and Y11. The Y33 was intially the top of the range bike but was overtaken by the Y50 in 1997. All these models used the same frame and differed only in the body graphics and components fitted. The Y50 did not appear with the new frame in 1998. Instead, the "Y Superlite", YSL200, and YSL300 appeared to take its place and were then the top of the range. The URT for all these models was 6061 aluminium. The 1995-1997 URT's are made of rectangular section tubing, with a replaceable derailleur hanger for the 1997 models. With the new frame in 1998, the URT was now made of oval section tubing, also with a replaceable derailleur hanger. The URT's are interchangeable and some of the new style frames were fitted with the older URT's. Note that the Gary Fisher Joshua uses the same URT. Hardly suprising as Gary Fisher is owned by Trek.'
The last line is nice to know, since quality begats quality. Never mind those who bash Trek in favor of Fisher, or visa-versa.
Anything worth having usually benefits from upgrades and personalization... the most significant upgrade on any OCLV Y frame Trek IMHO, is addressing the slight tendency of bobbing when ridden very hard,(overstated by opponents). Several companies make rear shocks that mimic a hard-tail with just the throw of a lever, instantly affording uphill grunt with no bobbing efficiency issues. That is an upgrade I might make someday, as I have tried similarly equiped MTN bikes, but for now I don't sense the need for the complexity of another cable. Perhaps the hours of dialing in my current shock, resulted in serendipitous function. Who knows? After 20 years of humping packs and drag-bags up Sheep-Sh*t Hill, and Mt Mutha-F****r in the Marine Corps infantry, maybe a little suspension glitch on a 21 pound MTN bike seems trivial at best. Sure beats combat boots and fingernails to reach the top. Whatever you ride, be glad you're free to ride it when ever you like. Semper-Fi.
Bike Setup: Switches from road bike to MTN with... tire changes, and front Winwood forks. Also using Rohloff Speedhub 14sp when it gets muddy, adds about 500 grams, but the mud adds 1,000's, and being able to shift is priceless.
a Cross Country Rider
from New York, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2005
Strengths: This is properly one of the most DROP DEAD GORGEOUS bike in the bike industry ever. It's a sex machine...can you just imagine I can actually pick girls phone number with my bike! Seriously, it's not a harley; but work like one with the ladies!
Weaknesses: The bike is light...and I didn't allow my friend who is 200lbs to ride on it. Because Trek does NOT recommend anyone from 180lbs and above to get on this bike. Don't break the rule....because it's your own risk!!
As a OCLV Carbon Fiber, the bike pretty damn tough; and i didn't have even one problem with it at all.
Personally, i think this bike is/was the best looking bike ever built by Trek. It's a super cross country bike. I guess i am yet to find another bike in the market that have the great performance and looks at the very same time. I suppose that's why make this Trek YSL 300 so hot and special. This bike have been with me for some years already, and it's hold its own ground nicely.
Bike Setup: XTR disk wheels w/Hays hydrolic, XTR for everything else, cranks, headset, etc. Easton carbon riser bars and seat post
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2004
Strengths: Light Weight and Bullet proof
Weaknesses: Pogo's without Lock out shock
The Bottom line is when this bike came out it was so far ahead of everyone else's technology that everyone badmouthed the bike. I have tortured this bike to no end and have ridden it for 10 years now. I have replaced Shimano XTR parts on this bike more than a few times but the frame itself has stood the test of time. go ahead and critisize the company Trek for it's fame and fortune but remember they remain one of the few that still build their hyline of bicycles here in the USA and havent had to sell out to US companies that import everything form China. Schwinn, Mongoose, GT etc. Not one part is made here. So as you put down the famous Trek name brand remember who has collaped along the way, to either be swept up by Chinese or kept alive and well in the USA by Trek. No need to thank me Mr. Klien or Mr Bontrager. I will soon retire this piece of history and count the numerous patents it took to develop her as she hangs on the wall like the tropies she has been presented and earned.
from Chattanooga, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2003
On a whim i read the Y reviews. I recently parted mine out and have given the frame full honors by hanging it on the garage wall. It's sad to read such harsh reviews of what really has been a great bike. It's true, the suspension design sucks if you don't have a lockout. With a lockout, however, there really isn't many full suspension bikes that can match its weight and performance as a cross country bike. I, too, have witnessed broken Y-bikes. Guess what, some people have no grace on a bike and could break an anvil. I'm 6'2", 215, and not fat. I've broken numerous cranks sets, seat posts, bars, pedals, you name it; but my Y-frame has never let me down. As far as freeride, it's not designed for that. But don't watch a Mountain Dew commercial and think you can ride. I hear all this about 5 ft this and 10 ft that, blah, blah, blah. Listen, I've ridden my Y in British Columbia's Dump and Kamloops (spelliing?), raced it in Mexico, and run the downhill courses at Big Bear and Mammoth. It didn't break. So, drink your Big Gulp, play Nintendo, and keep getting your feedback from the latest Bike rag. It was an outstanding bike in its day and still hold its own as far as featherweight full suspensions go. Try to build another 4" travel bike that weights 24 lbs! -Cheers
a Cross Country Rider
from Denver, Co
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2002
Strengths: Strip it for the parts. Make glider out of the frame, trash the rest
Weaknesses: Trek. The ultimate yuppie bike, no technology behind this thing
Anyone who buys this junk based on the unified rear triangle needs to go back to school. This is the dumbest thing ever created on a mountain bike. THis isn't really full suspension. Sure, if you sit down, you're fine... but who sits down on a down hill? This was designed specifically for yuppie freeks that ride 3 times a year. Anyone giving this a good rating needs to go ride other bikes (no I'm not biased, and some of the newer treks are better). Ever since Giant took over some of the design process, Trek became a better ride. Oh, you didn't know that Giant builds Trek? Take your Jetta back too you loser.
Similar Products Used: trek cycling shorts, rst,limar helmet,giant bmx bike aleoca bike (it sux!!!!!1the worls worst bike !! stupid *downhill*fork has only 10 mm !!10mm!!!10 not 100 of travel!!
Bike Setup: trek ysl 300 , roxkshox sid sl , rear rockshox sid sl, bontrager saddle , ricon seat post and handle bar , shimano xtr 27 speed , shimano deore xt v brakes , rolf wheels , botrager tires, lizard skin anti chain slap protective cover
a Cross Country Rider
from North Carolina
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2001
Strengths: absolute sexiest machine around, this bike will turn heads. if i only had a buck for every compliment i'd buy 10 more
Weaknesses: no damping adjustment on rear shock
This bike is the daddy of all bikes. Sure it bobs a little, but nothing a good spin wont fix. decends great. Im always a little sketchy with all the busted frame tales ive heard , but ive hucked 5 foot drops with no problem. Oh yea and this is the only bike made that will pick up chicks. Some people have fast cars or money, but I got my Y enough said
Similar Products Used: haro escape, jamis dakar, c-dale killer v
Bike Setup: mostly XT with z.2 atom bomb
a Cross Country Rider
from Caracas, Venezuela
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2001
Strengths: Sexist looking bike ever made, easy to put on shoulder and carry, light with change in components.
Weaknesses: Flex in rear end, cannot install XTR front derailler due to frame geometry. Had annoying creak that sounded like it emanated from Monoque frame, but after pulling off and judy buttering the rear triange pivot, and doing same with rear shock mount points, creak went away.
A true warrior. I have ridden on the roughest terrain Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela has to offer, sometimes where no mountain bike has been seen before. The bike is scratched and bruised but never broke. Components have broken (crank, chain ring, seat, etc, etc), and worn out over years yes, but frame is a champ. I agree with some of the other reviewers about the problem some relate with bobbing, etc, etc, you learn how to ride the bike, it becomes an extension of your body, you fight it, you won't be happy with any bike. I have read about Y22 breakage, I must have got lucky, getting one of the first off the manufacturing line of Y bikes, because I have pounded this bike!!
Favorite Trail: Pachacamac, Peru, around lake Neusa, Colombia
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Bogota, Colombia
Similar Products Used: Nishiki hardtail, Orange robot bike, AMP B-3, Santa Cruz
Bike Setup: Y22 frame 1994? vintage, Cook cranks, XTR bottom bracket, Chris King head set, XTR rear derailler, LX front, Avid brakes, Cane creek rear shock, Rock Shox XC front shock with speed springs, TNT Ti hubset (rear finally broke at flange, replacing with Hugui, VooDoo rims, Specialized team control and master tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Jupiter, Fl. USA
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2001
Strengths: Ahead of time design! A bold attempt at using a new material in bike design (Carbon Fiber). Fore-runner of other URT concepts. Simple! Very plush ride. 4" travel. Introduced Lock-out shocks. Great Warranty. The Coolest, Sexiest design to date.
Weaknesses: They lied, it is not totally active. It does bob when hammering. It does break! The design is not well understood. Yes, now outdated, but still very ridable for the masses.
After reading all of the above reviews, I felt a totally unbiased review was in order. Most people either loved the Y-Bike, or hated it. Myself, I love my Y-Bike, but will buy something different this year (Not just because they are not available). Trek made a bold statement when they introduced this design, and put a lot on the line to prove this new wave in technology (Carbon Fiber). They didn't totally fail, and as a result, other companies were able to avoid those pitfalls while Trek is still paying for it in their continuing warrantees. I am riding my third frame. Carbon fiber is now being used in many components by other manufacturers. Some respect for Trek's effort is in order! The Trek Y-Bike though troubled, is still around today and going strong. I still ride mine and now have another. They probably will be worth some money one day. (Did any of you think of that?) When several bikes are hanging of the rear of my Jeep, the Y-Bike still gets all the nods. It is still the coolest look! Finally, let me tell you that all bike companies lie. They all claim: Totally Active, No Bob, 4" plus travel, and so on and so forth! Today, all designs that have claims of active suspension have also reduced travel to accomplish this. My new bike, whatever it might be, will have full travel and probably require a Lock-out shock to make it work. Few riders have experienced not just the lock-out feature, but the on the fly compression dampening you get to tune in any ride, cross-country, or mild off-road terrain. Also, active bikes will absorb much of your energy when you pull up on the front to clear logs (something again never talked about), added compression dampening transfers that energy into a front wheel lift or Wheelie. It should be standard equipment on any bike. They all need it. My problem with the Y-Bike lies in the instability of the rear triangle. It simply wags too much! None of that was mentioned in the above reviews. On bumpy turns, the rear will bump-steer the bike around corners, causing rider over-control to compensate. My next frame will resolve that, but will certainly have a Lock-Out Shock! My freind's Intense Uzzi needs this in the worst way! It's very Plush and Full of Bob! In summary, you shouldn't buy this bike because you can't. It is no longer available, but if you find a used one, you will be happy with it, but you will void of warrantee from Trek. A definate Classic!
After reading the reviews on this bike I have found myself disgusted due to the ignorance and narrow minded punks that try and make everyone else miserable. Look, if someone enjoys their ride (or any other activity or product) don't diss them for so just because you do not. If you don't care for the product, plead your case and move on. I will have more respect for a person who does so than some punk telling me that I'm a wannabe for being interested in something. Mountain biking is about getting out and having a blast and enjoying a certain comradery that most bikers share. To understand what I'm talking about, go check out a local race.
As for the bike, I have riden a friend of mines and found it to be a solid ride. Yes, the shocks pressure was high, and I found that fine for I prefer hardtails. The bike excelled in fast, tight turns and and provided just enough travel on rutted trails to make the ride a little more pleasurable. Climbs were no problem due to the lockout. With the air pressure low the bike is a po-go stick. I was on a 40 mile plus ride when I screwed with the air pressure. I finished the ride with the lockout engaged. If set up correctly this bike excells as a XC racing bike that that takes advantage of some of suspensions characteristics. If you are looking for a bike that will give you a solid active feel (that you get with linkage) forget this bike, you will regret buying it. I plan on purchasing an STP 400 soon, but if anybody is willing to get rid of their YSL in an XL frame, I would be more than happy to purchase it from you!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Bethlehem, PA
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2000
Strengths: Great compromise. Light.
Weaknesses: none thus far...
I got my YSL as a replacement after I my Y-50 broke b/c of 3 years of hard riding. The SL is a leap forward for the Y design and I'm very sorry to see trek leeting it go. The top tube length is longer which creates a much better racing position and the suspension geometry has been tweaked to be a tad bit more active. Now the catch on this bike it is NOT a fully active suspension and it was NOT designed to be. It was designed specifically to be a light and semi-active full-spenesion race bike. The lock out was included to make climbing as efficient as possible by eliminating the bobbing. Learn to use it correctly and you'll love it. I have read all the reviews on this page and I assure you that after you learn to ride a bike and control your spinning there is no pedal induced bob. As with any new bike you must change your style a bit to accomodate the geometry. You don't buy a Camry and and expect to drive it around like a Ferrari do you? The Y-frame is a race specific product that is not intended for weekend warriors. It was meant to perform solely under a skilled person pushing his or her limits. This bike is a 24lb racing machine. If you want a cushy ride go buy a downhill bike.
Similar Products Used: Y-50, GT LTS, Gary Fisher Z0
Bike Setup: all stock 98 Y-50 parts: Full 8spd XTR, 747 peddles, 'trager race post, Ibis Ti bar + stem (the stem is beautiful), Cane Creek C5 headset
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2000
Strengths: Looked pretty when new, was state of the art at one time (1995).
Weaknesses: Made by Trek, piss poor warrenty service and backing, antiquated design, constant failures, need I go on.
The Y bike was great in 95 when it first came out, but has quickly fallen behind other designs. If I had a dollar for every broken Y bike I've heard of and seen, (counting two of my own) of I could afford to get rid of my POS and get a better bike, or maybe even own a bike company. Be careful of giving Trek too much praise for their warrenty, how many of you received a second y bike in return only to break it in a couple of months, and good luck trying to get anything else out of them. Bottom line is I weigh 140, and ride XC, and I cannot trust the design anymore as it almost sent me to the hospital twice. Thanks for the quality and customer service trek, my current one wears a big "sucks" decal after the trek name and I have the reasons to back it up. Thankfully five years of being a bike mechanic give me some clout in steering people away from this design and Trek altogether, unfortunately our shop still sells them (only to suckers).