Product DescriptionTrek 9700
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Date Reviewed: September 24, 2002
Strengths: 2.8 lbs.
READ: 2.8 lbs, and it's not stupid light stuff.
Weaknesses: It'll probably break eventually, then I'll have to get a 9.8 frame...
The geometry could be updated, but that's crazy-intesive/expensive work for Trek to make new moulds for the carbon
This frame rocks.
It's hard to describe the feel of riding the bike -- not aluminum (too "harsh"), not steel (too "soft"), not whippy, not like a brick... it just moves beatifully.
Every time I think of getting a new frame, I can't justify any need to replace my OCLV frame. I think it'll be around for a while...
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Bike Setup: '96 Gary Fisher Supercaliber frame (aka 9xxx series Trek OCLV), mix of old (original!) XT and new LX/XT/XTR, AtomBomb, Eggbeaters, RF XY post, Ti Bontrager saddle ...
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2000
Strengths: Trek's OCLV frame is lightweight yet rides like a steel frame. Hill climbing is its specialty. It handles technical singletrack perfectly. Fast downhill turns requires full attention to keep traction on the rear wheel, which is FUN, because you learn to ride with finesse.
Weaknesses: I would only fault the rear braking performance. A brake booster would probably improve this without adding too much weight. Also having to put frame tape on the downtube and seattube to protect the frame from dirt that comes off the tires.
Similar Products Used: Haven't tested any other Carbon frames lately. But, compared to my DBR butted Steel frame bike, weight makes all the difference.
Bike Setup: I have a '96 OCLV 9700 bought in '97. Came stock with Gripshift and STX/LX parts mix. Immediately swaped on a White Brothers crankset (Lighter) and XT shifters(personal preference), Susp. fork was switched to Manitou SX(already using). Seatpost is ANSWER Susp. shockpost(heavy).
Date Reviewed: October 27, 1999
Light, Stiff where it needs to be, a little flex saves your butt. Great warranty service. Current frame is brand new to replace one purchased in '95 that cracked. No Charge! Awesome dealer!
Santa Ana RIver Trail - San Bernadino Mtns (not the concrete bike path duh)
Duration Product Used:
more than 3 years
Similar Products Used:
Various aluminum hardtails, Specialized Stumpy XC Pro FS (not really the same thing)
Full XTR, XMO XC/O2 Shock, 747 pedals
Date Reviewed: November 4, 1998
After reviewing the the comments of others in this forum, I have to agree with many of the views given here. I started with an 8700 4 years ago and rode it into the ground. When the chainstay cracked it was repaired and repainted by Trek in record time (2 weeks). The rebuilt ride lasted for 6 months and then the chainstay failed again. Trek replaced it with a new 9800 Pro Issue frame set that was a great performer. Oh so light,responsive and a climbing fool! Unfortunately, it to succumed to torque and cracked at the chainstay after 6 months. The current replacement arrived again in a short 2 weeks and having just built it up I'm again hammering the thing and inspecting daily for failure. It is touted as the lightest production frame made and I've seen nothing lighter custom or production to unthrone it. The downside is that it is a very trick piece of work and will eventually fail as you use it to it's potential. The upside for me anyway is that Trek backs the warranty 100%,no questions asked. I know it will only be a matter of time until I'm again shipping off for another ride, but, the next one will be the new 9.9 which I understand has been beefed up considerably with additional weight reduction! unreal!!! To close this I'll have to say, GO TREK AND RIDE HARD!!!!!
Date Reviewed: October 26, 1998
I HAD A HEAVY STEAL BIKE BEFORE THE OCLV AND THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES COMPARED TO THE TWO ARE WEIGHT AND FEEL. YOU GAIN IN ACCELERATION UPHILL BUT ON ROCKY DOWNHILL IT IS VERY STIFF NOT AS FLEXIBLE AS STEEL. YOU NEED TO HAVE MORE FINESSE WITH THE OCLV, BUT LIKE ANYTHING YOU CAN GET USE TO IT. ALSO NOT STABLE AT HIGH SPEED BECAUSE IT'S SO LIGHT. I'M 150LB RIDER AND FOUND 40LBS OF AIR PRESSURE COMPENSATES FOR THE STIFFNESS. IT IS AN EXCELLENT FRAME AND I LIKE THE LIFE TIME WARRANTY I GOT ON IT WHEN I PURCHASE IT IN THE END OF 94'. ONE PROBLEM I DID HAVE ON THE REAR BRAKE BOSS, THE BOND HAD A CRACKED THAT APPEARED WHEN I APPLY THE REAR BRAKES. I INSTALLED A BRAKE BOOSTER AND IT HELPED SIGNIFICANTLY. THE BRAKE BOSS AND SEAT STAY NO LONGER FLEXED. AND BRAKING WAS A LOT STRONGER. I LASTED THE XC RACE SEASON WITH THE CRACK BOND, SENT THE FRAME IN AND THEY TOOK ABOUT A MONTH TO SEND ME A NEW ONE WITH A COLOR PAINT I REQUESTED. I WAS STOKE WITH THE AWESOME ORIGINAL PAINT JOB. I SENT IT IN DURING THE WINTER, THEY WOULD HAVE TAKEN LONGER, BUT AFTER 2 WEEKS GONE BY I JUST KEEP BUGGING THE GUYS AT THE FRAME SHOP AT TREK AND THEY DONE A GOOD JOB RESPONDING QUICKLY. THESE FRAMES SHOULD HAVE CAME WITH BRAKE BOOSTERS STOCK. BUT STILL A SATISFIED CUSTOMER!
Date Reviewed: September 28, 1998
I purchased a '96 9900 several year back and the only complaint I have is the position I couldn't attain with the 19.5 frame. I had the seat about 2 from max and a 150 stem and still couldn't get enough length on the top. Going to a 21 would only give me 1/4 of length more and I know it wouldn't be enough. I still rode the frame for several years and other than feeling slightly cramped, the frame performed with gratutious aplomb.:) A disclaimer for all of you reading this-I am a roadie first and am used to a stretched position on the top and I sometimes wonder why they disbanded Campagnolo's Record OR group.
Anyway, I was able to build this frame into a relatively inexpensive 21 lb offroad machine and raced several local races with pretty good results. Overall, I would still own this frame if it would have fit me better.
Date Reviewed: September 2, 1998
I have the 97' 9800 OCLV Trek! I enjoyed it for a year while it was working! But now it has to go in for repairs. I had bent the rear drive dropout from flopping over and over again due to the pedal adjustments, but surprising enough, it did not ruin my ESP 9.0 derallieur. But a month ago I fell down a hill and the frame smacked up against a concrete slab with iron rods in bedded into the slab. I found that the frame had cracked an inch below the brake mount on the non-drive side. The crack is about an inch in length. My bike company tells me that if had been an aluminium or cromoly frame, it would had bent into the rear wheel itself! So the frame is really strong and light. The frame does flex, which is excellent since it help you stay in control had high speeds on rough terrain. I don't regret buying an OCLV frame, instead I would recommend it! But when you buy one, make sure you have some cash on the side, just in case of accidents. For me, it is costing me about $500 to repair the dropout and the crack. The new frame do come with replaceable dropout which is really excellent. Definitely buy an OCLV, it is perfect, light weight, minor flexing, strong, durable, and come in colour unlike Ti frames. The best carbon frame is definitely made by TREK since it is weaven carbon and not carbon composite.
Date Reviewed: July 19, 1998
This frame set is a piece of crap. It's weak, I broke the chainstay when the bike fell over on a stump. It fell over due to it's own weight. It's flexy in the brake bridge and there is also a bit of sway in the BB area. II took TREK 3 months to fix the broken stay and then they dinged me $400 bucks for it. After getting dicked around for a few months I finally got my frame back. Complete with ugly ass paint job. TREK SUCKS. Don't sell out to TREK!!!!-Phil
Team Rockc Shox Devo/
Old Town Bicycle,
Gig Harbor, WA
Date Reviewed: July 3, 1998
I had the OCLV frame fore less than a year. Then the bottom bracket shell went in to two pieces and the bottom bracket and cranks and pedals was on the floor. Happily itis did not happend in a downhill section... After 1 month I got a new frame. After 8 monts sudently the rear drailur went of and the rear dropout (in aluminum) was bend. It was impossible to replace the bent dropout in any othe r was than I have to ship the frame cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Trekfactory ON MY OWN EXPENSE. I bought an Ti-frame from Parkpre instead which is much more durable and nicer to ride. Why on earth cant Trek just put on replaceble dropout on their OCLV-frames? So many other brands can do it (i.e. Cannondale, Park Pre, Marin, Scott....)
Date Reviewed: June 24, 1998
i have an TREK 9700 OCLV and it is so sweet!It is all the things i look for in a bike:Light,durrable,good warrenty and strength.I used to have an old trek 850 made out of cromoly, those were the days!LOL! I raced twice on the 850.now, with my 9700 i race at least every month(except winter, i train then)!!!!!!!!I give the 1997 TREK 9700 five flaming peppers!!!!!!!!!
Date Reviewed: June 15, 1998
I'm rapped with my OLCV frame (it's the Gary Fisher version). Stiff and so light. It also has the best pose value any Hardtail bike! Can't fault the fame. My only concern is longevity, just how long will I be able to keep hammering it for? The non-replacable re-deralier hanger is also a bit of a worry.
If you own one could you suggest a suspension fork up grade from my Q21R's?
Date Reviewed: June 14, 1998
There aren't many frames where you can slap a bomber on and have the whole thing weigh in just below 22lbs for an 18inch. If you are a gram counter, this is the best frame. It is ugly, though. Trek uses ugly colors and then splays their fisher price looking decals all over the place. Besides that, it is easily one of the best frames on the market, especially at that price.
Date Reviewed: May 26, 1998
I had picked up a sponsership from Trek before the last racing season. They hooked me up with a 9800 frame set. Innatialy thought this was the best frame anyone could have, but after one season of racing an training on it I am starting to change my mind. Innitialy the frame was relitivly stiff and extremely responsive, but after hundreds of miles the frame has started to flex an extreme amount in the bottom braket area. The ride has becom a little more comfortable to ride in the process, but it has lost the snappyness of a race bike. It is an ideal frame if you can afford to replace it after a season of hard riding. Keep in mind that this is the lightest production bike in existance, and it comes with a great warranty, so I am currently waiting for mine to break to get a new one.
Date Reviewed: May 11, 1998
Well I've been riding OCLV's for four years now and I'm on my second... the first broke! (4 head/downtube crack) Fantastic singletrack bike with handling that inspires, no doubt about that. Not sure this frame was built to last for a lifetime, but I cannot fault Treks warranty, a new Pro Issue with a just lurvly paint job.. just always looking for cracks!
Date Reviewed: April 28, 1998
Of the frames I've ridden and tested, I definitely must say that this frame rules! I own the 1995 9900 model. It is a nude carbon, so there is no added paint weight. Consequently, it weighs in at 2.44 lbs. I believe this to be the world's lightest production frame. Despite this measly weight, it is strong and it is ultrastiff. Especially with clipless pedals, power transfer is virtually 100 % effecient. That, along withe the weight, make this frame a true climber. I have no had any problems in the BB/chainstay area as some have had and I do ride rather hard. Scratching the carbon is not a problem, either. There are plenty of clearcoats protecting the carbon. However, preventative maintenance is best, so I regularly brush matte-finish polyurethane on any scratches. The only thing which is slightly sub-par is the amount of brake induced flex on the seat stays. It is more visible on this frame than on any other I've seen. Simple solution: Odyssey Ti brake booster. Problem solved. If you're considering a CF frame, check out Trek's lineup. By the way, I believe that the CF frames with paint tip the scales @ 2.8 lbs.
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