Trek 1999 Elite XC 9.8 Hardtail Bike

4.11/5 (35 Reviews)
MSRP : $2699.99


Product Description

1999 Trek Elite XC 9.8, mountain bike, front suspension, Mountain Mix components, Rock Shox Sid XC, 2.5" travel fork


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Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by augustus Bowman a Weekend Warrior from portland

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Jeff Grotjahn is a real piece of s*hit. Good luck trying to get this jerkoff to approve warranty on anything bought from trek if there is *ANY* way whatsoever he can weasel his way out of it. When you buy a trek, just think of Jeff Grotjahn, ask them to throw in some chain lube for when Jeff Grotjahn and trek bikes screw you in the ass

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Favorite Trail:   oregon

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jeffrey Barnes a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2005

Strengths:    This review is actually for an earlier version of the 9.8, the OCLV 9800. I have owned the bike for quite some time but have only started using it consistently in the last few years for any real mtn biking (since I moved to Colorado). The bike is extremely light, fast and responsive.

Weaknesses:    The Carbon Fiber is just too weak for a mountain bike. I would imagine it would be great as a road bike where it doesn't take as much punishment. Recently, while doing support on a Kokopelli Trail trip, mine exploded in three places on a relatively minor crash (as a testament to Stan's NoTubes my front tire was still full and nothing else on the bike including myself was hurt). However, similar to some of the reviews below, the frame did explode and I had to walk it back to camp passing all the other Kokopelli trip riders.

Bottom Line:   
I just don't think that the OCLV is strong enough for x-country riding where there is any chance of a crash. It is light and fast and does absorb much of the trail, so I liked the performance of the frame, but it just doesn't last. My mechanic compared it to the egg trick from chemistry class, where you can press down on the egg as hard as you want and it won't break, but you just tap it on the side and it shatters into pieces. One scratch really weakens the integrity of the bike and the carbon fiber can shatter upon any future impact. As far as the Trek 'lifetime warranty', all the guys at the bike shop were great and said I'd probably get a new frame, but Trek denied it. I'm appealing it now, but I'm not holding my breath. I suppose that I did get at least 2 years of riding out of the bike here in Colorado and it was an older frame (one of the original carbon fibers) so I should be somewhat satisfied.

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Favorite Trail:   Chutes and Ladders

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Village

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper


Bike Setup:   XT brakes and raceface shifters

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sam a Racer from rex, Ga Usa

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2002

Strengths:    Super lightweight frame, extremely fast in decents, Sid SL forks are nice.

Weaknesses:    Icon Components, Almost a little to light for me.


Bottom Line:   
Sweet bike for the money, A little to light for me, I found it to be great on climbs but terrible on decents, hard to hold a line. However its not a downhill bike. Overall great bike for its intended use Racing!!!!! This is the second Trek I have owned and I would definately reccommend this brand and model for XC racers.I have gotten nothing but good service from Trek.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1220.00

Purchased At:   Individual

Similar Products Used:   Trek 7000, Schwinn Moab 1, Cannondale SuperV 500

Bike Setup:   XTR derailliers, Easton CT2 Carbon bars, Thompson elite seatpost, Sid SL front fork, Answer orbit stem, XTR shift pods/brake levers, XTR V-brakes, Panaracer Fire XC pro tires, XT cassette, Icon graphite crankset.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Stewart Crouch a Racer from Felton, Delaware

Date Reviewed: September 2, 2001

Strengths:    Awesome climber, light, versatile

Weaknesses:    nothing comes to mind, black finish shows scuffs easily (that's a stretch, what doesn't)

Bottom Line:   
I did not put in a purchase price because I originally bought a leftover 1995 9800 in 97 for $1500. In December of 1998 a crack was discovered at the bottom bracket. The frame was sent back to Trek and after 3 (long) months I got a 9.8 frame. I bought some new components and used some upgraded parts I had on my 9800 so it is hard to figure an amount paid.
I am a 43 year old who may go on a 3 hour trail ride (mini race) with buddies, enter a Sport race (I have won 3), go ride a 24 hour event (24 Hours of Snowshoe twice), or go with my wife on her horse for a 4 hour cruise. This bike does it all! Could other bikes be better at one particular type of riding, sure but I have not discovered one that does it all, is somewhat comfortable (I use the USE post on rougher rides), accerates and climbs so quickly. On fast trail rides (woods trails not North Shore type drop offs or super rocky terrain) it changes direction quickly and is still competent on downhills. I consider getting another bike until I ride this one and just smile and that's what it is all about!
As far the chilis go, I give 4 as a value how the bike comes off the shelf, it seems there could be better components for the price. But upgrading is half the fun. As overall rating from my experience I have to give it a 5.

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Favorite Trail:   Fair Hill Maryland

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Bike line

Similar Products Used:   Trek 9800

Bike Setup:   X Fly fork, XTR frt&rr derlr (I bought a spare frt when I found them), Race Face crank, XTR brakes & levers, Thomason post and stem (USE post on epics or last 2 laps of 24 events), King hubs and headset, Bontrager Valiant wheels, Monkey Lite bars, Sram twist shifters (I also ride dirt bikes).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nick a Cross Country Rider from Cincinnati, OH USA

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2001

Strengths:    Beautiful, fluid, stiff frame. Great SID fork. Trek USA build quality, Rolf Dolomites, Avids work exceptionally. Icon parts are "so-so" (they get the job done--pretty nice crankset in my opinion).

Weaknesses:    Yeah, the parts aren't the greatest. But, I look at it like this: why pay top dollar (I know this bike is already quite expensive, but go to the Litespeed level) for a bike and get a bunch of great components that aren't EXACTLY what you wanted? I myself would much rather customize a bike to my preferences. Yet, you still have those "get you by" parts to last until you get it all tricked out the way you want it.

Bottom Line:   
The best there is...PERIOD. The frame looks so fluid/space-age. The sculptured arches create great strength. Rolf wheels are light and also look great. If you're looking for an XC bike that is among the world's best, than here it is. Save your money...look for a deal and buy it...you will not regret it. This bike is my definite prize posession. If you don't ride everyday now, then the sheer joy of owning/riding this bike will make you.

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Favorite Trail:   Harbin Park (Cincy)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Bike Setup:   Kore Elite stem, Azonic WorldForce bar, Chris King headset, Shimano M636 peds, Bontrager Revolt SS semis, XTR rear derailleur, a lot of SRP red anodized bolts (add nice touch), and lots of others I'm still working on...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Richard Ogden a Cross Country Rider from Stoke-on-Trent,Staffs,England

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2001

Strengths:    Climbing, asthetics, acceleration, trail damping

Weaknesses:    Very nice paint job is easily chipped. Heavy components increase an otherwise very light cycle.

Bottom Line:   
The frame is very quick, yet extremely comfortable. The steering is very light yet still provides confidence. The Rolf wheels are light and resonably strong, and coupled with the Hayes disc brakes (which are a must with this cycle) are an excellent combination. The overall package is let down by cheaper then expected peddles, LX front mech and bottom bracket. However, all these components are easily changed as and when they give up the ghost. This is a cycle which unlike the Specialised M4 does not transfer every lump and bump to the rider, and can be riden for longer.

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Favorite Trail:   Anything technical

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Stonefield Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Specialised M4

Bike Setup:   Stoke components

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Super X a Racer from WA

Date Reviewed: January 10, 2001

Strengths:    A fast, light, climber.

Weaknesses:    NOTHiNG

Bottom Line:   
I upgraded to this bike, from my previous Titus Racer-X. The 9.8 is much fster, and you don't have to worry about switching that annoying lockout lever. It is also an awsome descender- it handles better than my old Racer-X did. 5 flamin chilis!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Favorite Trail:   TRAILS I MAKE

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   MAIL ORDER

Similar Products Used:   NONE

Bike Setup:   ONLY THE BEST (stock sucks)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jeff a Cross Country Rider from Columbus

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2000

Strengths:    I must give Trek credit. It took a little while during peak riding time but they did come through. Thanks to Eric and Shawn from Trek. These two guys I'm sure got tired of hearing from me but they still treated me like a valued customer. Thanks for that Trek.

Weaknesses:    My earlier review pointed out the lack of E type componets for this frame. SHORTLY after writing the prior, my seat tube cracked near the top. At first Trek informed me that it was my problem and they would not be able to warranty. WELL....After looking at the crack closer, I found that the ID of the tube was actually closer to 32 than 31.6. This small difference was the problem. Clamping down on the lug compressed the carbon to the pont of failure due to the void. I sent the frame in and Trek sent me another frame. Prior to assembly (at the dealer) we used a mic to measure the ID and found the same deal..32. Trek sent another frame and finnaly the ID was correct. The seat tightened correctly and seems to be holding up for now.

Bottom Line:   
I still love this frame. I do hear of other fram problems, like the BB housing breaking lose..Lets just HOPE Trek keeps coming trough for their loyal customers.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   Xt/XTR USE XCR Post..

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Jeff Sorge a Cross Country Rider from Columbus Oh

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2000

Strengths:    If you want to climb..Here's the bike. Great geometry and a very comfy ride.

Weaknesses:    Poor group of componets.
Here's the catch. Look closely and you will find Shimano E-Type BB and Front D. This would not be a problem if you can find Shimano E type componets. Good luck. You can try all the mail order and meet a dead end. You can call Shimano and they will tell you they are trying to locate parts. You can call Trek and they will lead you down a long and empty path.


Bottom Line:   
Be carefull if you are buying this bike. Ensure your dealer can order (within 90 days) these parts YOU WILL NEED TO REPLACE>>>>!!!! BB=un52(LX)..Front D=LX Bet on it.... Remember..Your bike will sit in the garage until your new parts come in!!!!!!!!

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Favorite Trail:   All Trails

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Too many to list

Bike Setup:   XTR/XT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jay Reis a Racer from Lansford PA USA

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2000

Strengths:    Tight frame i love it. The carbon is the best. I am only 17 i ride hard rode alot of bikes at races and when i race i take my 9.8 i recomend it to any1..Rolf's Rule!!!

Weaknesses:    For the price we pay we should have at leatd somethin XTR that came stock.and for the brakes as soon as i saw them they came off

Bottom Line:   
Honstally it is a crazy bike but ya gotta ride a bike till ya find what fits u and the 9.8 fit me and my budget,if ya can go to your trek dealer and get it very light bike climbes are so easy u will love it...Go TREK

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Favorite Trail:   single track, XC, DH

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Zaszar LE By GT

Bike Setup:   Full XTR(like it shuld have came)bontrager race lights for race days. and hayes disc brakes WOW

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Lee Highsmith a Weekend Warrior from Chapel Hill, NC USA

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2000

Strengths:    Seems lighter than it weighs out - very quick! Maintains the outstanding ride that my 9800 has

Weaknesses:    Disappointed to see LX - My 9800 had all XT other than the crank

Bottom Line:   
I took my 9800 to get tuned up and they found a crack - I've been told that Trek will replace with a 9.8/9.9 frame. I am a little nervous having seen the postings on this site - surely Trek is a good enough company to follow through with their LIFETIME warranty on the frame - I was shocked that I had to pay to tear it down and ship it (not to mention that some of my old components won't fit on the new frame...). However it turns out, I have to say that this bike is tremendous fun and will return each and every dollar you put into it with an hour of fun, really fast riding. I think it gives climbers and downhillers a very good platform. I would consider building up from the frame to get max fun & weight.

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Favorite Trail:   Chapel Hill High

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Trek 9800

Bike Setup:   LX - Judy - Standard

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by casey mojo a Racer from gallup, nm, u.s.

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2000

Strengths:    so sweet and plush for 6 months.so light, great ride.

Weaknesses:    the piece of crap broke in 6 months now i have to wait for the stupid thing to come back, i should have bought a anfsr m4. for this price it should last longer than a year, and i will never buy another carbon fiber bike again.

Bottom Line:   
if you want your bike to be an awesome bike for a little while then buy this, if you want a bike that lasts, buy something else. but this gets 1 chile for the value and for the little time it lasted i give it one chile.

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Favorite Trail:   mountains everywhere

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   yeti,specialized, diamond back

Bike Setup:   carbon seatpost, handlebar,kings, xtr, mag brakes, hugi 240s, specialized tires, koobi seat.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Joel a Racer from Qc, Canada

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2000

Strengths:    Not the most important, but the bike as a killer look. goemetry, SID SL, Dolomite wheels. The bike accelerate extremely well, climbs great. Absorbs vibration. For a HT, this bike is easily ridden 3 hours and you don't get beat up)

Weaknesses:    LX bottom bracket, cassette, shifters, icon cranks and front LX derailleur. Bonty revolt tires(to race specific (dry conditions!)). Not that light

Bottom Line:   
This bike's ride is incredible. Once you tried carbon, you will never want to go back to anything else. The frame as the ability to disperse all vibration so you dont feel them very much. But the frame doesn't flex when you're out of the saddle so it accelerate very well. I'm getting back to racing shape this year and I will be racing the bike latter this summer, I'm anxious to see my results.

The geometry is very nice. It climbs very well, and descend's great. It gives you confidence going downhill and trough technical sections (wich is my weak point). The front wheel being pushed forward a bit gives you added control and paired to the sid SL, who performs admirably well, its gives a great ride. Some people don't like the sid cause they say it flexes, I'm not gonna lie and tell you it's as stiff as a Marzocchi, but it very near. Maybe those who don't like it have flexy wheels, but the dolomites are very stiff, they are staying true and are very light and they compliment the fork very well.

I can't speak for the pedals since I had them changed to Time's when I bought the bike.

So the bike ride's so well, the feel is incredible, I've never owned or tested such a great bike. Like Cartman would say...sswwweeeeettttttt!

Now, for it's weaknesses:

Well, it's not that light. I have an 8 years old Kona Hot still in riding condition and it's lighter by about a pound than this bike. kona: 23.2 pounds and the 9.8: 24.1 pounds. The problem...Shimano LX...I suspect that with a crank replacement, BB, cassette, saddle (wich is comfortable but heavy), seatpost, handlebar and stem, I'll surely go under 23 pounds. (the kona as titanium BB, with very lightweight components, this explains the low weight)

The LX cassette and BB performs alright but are to heavy. The biggest problems lies with the combination of the cranks and LX front derailleur...they do not work that great togheter. no amount of adjustements can get them to shift good under pressure. When I come around a corner to find a steep hill, I hope the chain will go from the middle ring to the granny without a problem. Sometimes it doesn't shift at all depending on how muddy and wet the bike is. I get horrible chain suck after about 2 hours on the bike in muddy conditions. Once again, as Cartman would say "I hate you Kenny", I would say "I hate you Icon" and "I hate you LX".

Trek should put XT cranks and front derailleur on this otherwise fantastic XC race bike.

I'm planning on putting XT Hollowtech cranks with XT BB, XT cassette, and probably swith to kore elite seatpost, stem and handlbar and a ti flite saddle...then the components will be worthy of the frame/wheels and fork.

I'll give it three for value (cause I would have at least liked XT front derailleur and crank for al that money), and 4.5 for overall (because the ride quality is so much superior to anything I tried before. (The only prob is the front shifting)

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Favorite Trail:   Bromont XC trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Rockhopper, GT avalanche, Kona HOT

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Time pedals, XT shifters and Bonty jones front and rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Larry Chimolski a Cross Country Rider from Ridgefield, CT

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2000

Strengths:    Agressive as all hell. Good lord--this bikes accelerates like a cat on crack! And..this bike weighs less than my first bigwheel (KnightRider classic with pull action brake--sweet). Sid XC is a nice addition. Rolf's have Arnold qualities and ride quite nicely.

Weaknesses:    Maybe the stock LX, but we'll see how it runs. Upgrades are always an option. $Pricy$, but if you can still find one you'll save a heapload on a '99 (and I suggest you find one).

Bottom Line:   
I'm a lightweight (160), so I think I'll be just about flying on this thing. When I test rode it I couldn't believe the difference between the feel of carbon vs. aluminum--my boy at the LBS was right, once you go carbon, you never go back. For the money, I don't think you can buy a better bike. I'm a XC fanatic and this bike is built to do just that--ask Travis. If you're a hardtail fan, want an aggressive ride, and wish to hop on something to make your nether regions quiver--pick up a 9.8 "cause when this baby hits 88 miles an hour...you're gonna see some serious S**T!"

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Favorite Trail:   Mt. Snow XC Course

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Trek 9800, Zaskar, my old steel Marin--yikes!

Bike Setup:   Stock right now. Thinking about a Thompson Elite post, CT2 bars, and maybe a new mojo for the stem--but I need to save some ca$h first.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joe B a Racer from Indy

Date Reviewed: April 23, 2000

Strengths:    Full-on hard tail monster! Climbs like a goat. Sprints like Ben Johnson on steroids. Solid specs.

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
It's easy to get excited about a new bike. But that usually wears off after a couple of weeks. Not with this one! I have ridden some quality rigs and never have I enjoyed riding as much as I do with the Elite. I have been beating my fellow riders soundly in our "non-competitive" rides and I attribute part of that to this bike. It is super light (yet feels as sturdy as my 3Al/2.5V road frame) and has geometry that transfers power like none I have ridden before.
As for the specs, I do not get hung up on manufacturers putting LX shifters and front deraileurs on a bike worthy of only XTR stature. If it works, no problem. And so far, it's all been great. Rolf wheelset is a nice touch. They're so much more than easy on the eyes; super light and virtually indestructable (I hear).
This is an honest review. I do actually own one of these bikes (as I suspect others may not, when reading other reviews of the Elite). I have only had this bike for a short time, but have spent a lot of time on it since purchase. I fully intend to kick some NORBA butt this year thanks to training and my 9.8.

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Favorite Trail:   Buffalo Creek, CO.

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   S-Works-M2, Homegrown, Ibis Spanky

Bike Setup:   Standard production: (XTR/LX/Icon combo with Dolomite wheelset and SID XC)

Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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