Strengths: I usually do not post like this, but this bike was an exception. I bought my 8700 in 92, and put a lot of hard miles on it till 1996. I weighed 170 - 180lbs, and rode rough WV trails. I even rode it in the 24hr of Canaan race. Great bike, lots of good memories, It has been laying as a scrap frame in my out building for some time now, I am thinking of converting it to a beater single speed. Could not bear to just trash it.
Weaknesses: It was a great bike, very light and responsive, however the stock DDS2 air/oil shock was always an issue. Hard to adjust, and you had to leave brakes loose due to the sway. Was not the best at holding a line on a rutted trail. (I did not know exactly how bad until I replaced it with a Cannondale). For my larger size, it had a little too much flex.
Rough and tough, light frame. It took abuse, and is still in one piece today. No glue joint issues, just scratches.
a Cross Country Rider
from louisville,ky usa
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2011
Strengths: Its is a beast.
Weaknesses: I had to bye it
Thi thing is crazy how it will go were you point it,if you get a chance to bye one do it you won't be sorry.
Similar Products Used: I have had 2 of these bikes my other one was full xc pro,this one is xt.
Bike Setup: It is now a singlespeed easton carbon monkey bars 24 spoke wheels salsa quick releases carbon seat post.It is now a bit over 20 pounds it is awesome.
a Weekend Warrior
from kent, ohio, u.s.a.
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2010
Strengths: light, responsive
Weaknesses: no suspension
the only mtn. bike i've ever had. bought it in 1993 off a racer who was upgrading. The shock that came with it weighed 2X the weight of the frame (1st gen air/oil shock), so I ditched it and put on a Kinesis aluminium fork. Ridden it in MN, CA, NY and now OH. Eventually I'll get around to putting a modern suspension fork on it, but I'm having too much fun
Bike Setup: xt shifters, derailleurs, cranks. heavy, early 90's vintage bars, bar ends, seat post. LX hubs with crappy rims. avid brakes. Kinesis rigid fork
a Cross Country Rider
from North Carolina, USA
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2007
Strengths: Very light and responsive. Absorbs alot of impact on the trails.
Weaknesses: Eventually this thing is going to die with me on it. I weigh roughly 250 dressed out, these carbon tubes can't last forever.
I'm going to send this frame to TREK when I'm done with it, they can use it as a marketing campaign. I purchased the frame barely used in 2000 just to build a bike spec'd out like I wanted without paying too much. I originally built it with titanium rims, and carbon bars, this thing was superlight and fast. Someone fell into me passing on a trail and taco'd my rear wheel and in the ensuing fall I killed a Profile Carbon flatbar. So out came the Mavics. I have literally rode thousands of miles on this bike. Frame has held up extremely well under my Clydesdale weight of 250 pounds. Granted I steer clear from the freeride section at the local trails and I don't get much air on jumps, I do punish it on log hops, small jumps and few crashes over the years. There are no signs of cracks or separation from the carbon and aluminum joints. I have been wanting to replace the frame with something more up to date, but this thing is so lightweight it's silly. It is the mose responsive hardtail frame I have ridden. My local Trek dealer can't believe how it's held up under my weight and the fast singletrack punishment it has seen over the years. So as a true testament to Trek's quality and design, I've decided to ride her till she can't take it anymore. Let's see how long she'll last.
Similar Products Used: Past bikes; GT Pantera, Specialized Stumpjumper, Trek Fuel, Schwinn Homegrown, Klein Attitude
Bike Setup: Full XT group except for XTR rear and Race Face crankset. Mavic tubeless wheelset w/Michelin XC race tires, Chris King headset, SID Race Dual Air shock. Thompson seatpost, Specialized BG saddle, Easton Bars w/titec shorty carbon ends.
a Cross Country Rider
from Costa Mesa, CA
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2007
Strengths: Very smooth and precise, light if built right, unique.
Weaknesses: Things loosen up on the frame - nothing a little epoxy won't fix, though.
I bought the frame for 40 bucks, just because it was so 1st-Generation-Carbon funky and I had all the other parts laying around. What a cool bike it turned out to be! I built it with lots of light parts and it's light, fast, and fun. I had one problem initially, 1st generation carbon variety. The aluminum cable stops are riveted to the carbon top tube with a single rivet. Over time they worked themselves loose and pivoted a few mm in each direction, which is not real good for shifting and braking. I solved the problem with golf shaft epoxy, which is specifically designed for metal-to-carbon applications. Worked great. Bike looks like hell, all scuffed and scratched, but I'm not going to paint it. If you find one, buy it cheap and have fun.
Similar Products Used: All kinds of other mountain bikes, for a long time.
Bike Setup: 8700 frame, XT Biopace crank, SRAM X9 triggers and derailleurs, Avid 7 brakes, Rhino Lite wheels.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2006
Strengths: Lightweight, very responsive
Weaknesses: LX shifters, Judy shock, and the stock wheels didn't last long. After the first ride, I had to replace my rear wheel, and within 2 months, I had to replace my shifters. Once I upgraded to XT, all has been good.
I have had this bike since 1998, and it has been great. It is super light, and I have been hesitant to go to a full suspension. I have put thousands of miles on it,and it still rides strong. Now that my shock leaks pretty bad, it is time to either buy a new fork, or just suck it up and upgrade to a full suspension. I will keep this bike for a road/around town bike.
Weaknesses: -my clydesdale friend finds it too flexy -the original Tioga pedals nearly killed me on several occasions
I spent about a year's allowance on this bike when I was in highschool (1995). I consider it the best purchase I have ever made. I usually ride it at least once a week - it has been on a lot of crazy rides including 50 miles of pannier-loaded camping and a few muddy races. I still love the bike. I have upgraded it a bit, but I haven't had to replace any of the original drivetrain (LX/XT).
This frame has really crisp handling and it's an easy climber. Its flexier than the harsh aluminum frames my friends are all riding these days - which is a great thing in my opinion. I weigh 155 pounds, and I love the way this bike dampens bumps and how it smoothly handles shooting down a gully and flying up the other side. I love this kind of smooth ride - if this frame hadn't been around, I'd have had to get a heavier steel bike or saved even more allowance for titanium.
Trek shouldn't have stopped making this bike - it is one awesome hardtail and it nicely fills the niche for people who like a smooth ride but don't want the weight/rust of steel or the cost of Ti.
If you come across a deal on a used 8700, the carbon's not too scratched up, you aren't a heavy person, and you like a smooth-riding frame, BUY IT.