from Chula Vista
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2006
Strengths: Very solid bike. Fun to ride anywhere, especially downhill. Very stable in the air. Great suspenion, and balance.
Weaknesses: Race fork is to soft, you'll need to get stiffer springs from Rockshox or just buy another fork.
Can take a punishment and is very agile in tight situations. Can be flickered in the air easily and also stay stble. By far the best, most solid feeling bike I've ever ridden. The best value for your money anyday.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Big Hit, Turner, Intense, and RM-9.
Bike Setup: Stock except for stiffer fork springs, looking to get better forks soon. One chain ring set-up for DH riding.
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2003
Strengths: - Brakes, 8 inch hydraulic disks can handle anything. - Long travel suspension can make you a better rider the first time you take the bike out for a ride. The fox shock is adjustable, yet simple so you don't have to be a bike genius to set it up right. - Shifting. So smooth. - Quick release on the seat post. It's about time these made a comeback on all bikes! - Tires. The Michelin tires have great grip. I run about 32 psi, this gives them great climbing traction, and when descending...they are perfect!
Weaknesses: The only weakness I've found so far are the Shimano M545 pedals that come with the bike. My first ride out with the bike involved mud, snow, and ice. Once any of this stuff got into the pedal, or near the cleats, entry was very difficult. But, the platform grips nicely, so this made up for some of the entry problem.
I took out this beauty for its maiden voyage today at a trail in the Golden, CO area named Dakota ridge, which has a steep climb to begin with, and ends with lots of rocky descending. Immediately after starting the ride and beginning the climb, I was surprised at how well the bike climbed. The tires hooked up really well, and the suspension seemed to help, not hurt, my climbing. I'm not using the chain torque eliminator, which is supposed to eliminate much of the pedal feedback this bike has a reputation for having. I imagine that with the CTE, it would climb even better. Now, I'm not saying this bike climbs like a billy goat. Once I hit some sustained, uneven, rocky climbs, I needed to rest more than usual. But, this could be more of the pilot's fault, not the bike. It's heavy, but not too heavy at 43 lbs. But to be honest, you don't really feel the extra weight it has over cross country suspension bikes until you pick it up to carry it. It feels lighter than it really is on the climbs.
Dakota ridge is a great place to test a bike out, it has climbing, flat terrain, and downhill. In between the steep climb in the beginning and the downhill at the end is some flat terrain. The Diesel pedals nicely on this type of terrain too. No complaints here.
Of course what goes up, must come down. Once I pointed this bike downhill I realized that this type of bike, freeride and downhill bikes in general, will soon make all other categories of suspension bikes (such as short to medium range bikes) obsolete soon. To let you know where I’m coming from, I’ve ridden suspension for years, including a Gary Fisher Joshua with 4 inches of travel in the back, 3 up front, and also a Giant NRS which gets 3 up front and I think around 3 in the back. I’ve ridden the NRS on Dakota ridge before, and the terrain seemed to control my riding, such as which line to take, and how fast I could go. On the diesel, I cleaned sections I couldn’t before, went really fast, and remained comfortable and safe while doing it. I can’t believe how much more enjoyable mountain biking can be on long travel bikes like the diesel. This was my first ride on it, I’ll try to post some follow up reviews as I get to know the bike better. But for first impressions, I was blown away. And no, I don’t work for Trek and any bike shop which sells Trek! I’m just a normal guy who bought a fantastic bike and I want to get the word out.
Similar Products Used: None. I've never owned, or ridden another freeride/ downhill bike before.
Bike Setup: Stock freeride setup. I'm not using the chain torque eliminator right now. With it, there is supposed to be far less pedal feedback in the suspension. But if you use it, you need to remove the front derailleur. I didn't want to do this because I need the gearing in the lower range when I have to climb.
from Gp Alberta, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 31, 2003
Strengths: this bike as it is only being tested right now is hella light and component and add ons just blows my mind. xt/xtr, hayes mags, dt swiss hubs, holzfellers. suspension is plenty active(although the stock spring is 400lbs) +floating brakes mount and cte packaged all in one.
Weaknesses: stock spring is very active for average weight people.
This is one helluva expensive bike, if any of yous can get a deal jump on it right away. Ive found a new respect for lightweight dh/fr bikes thanks to trek. This bike is raked out in primo parts -boxxer race After riding the bike without the cte, i can see why so many will put it back on in a heartbeat. Coming from a dhi pedal feedback is noticeable, granted its probably from the active spring. Trek isnt all aboot xc and rec bikes. Test out one of these badboys and youll know what i mean. because i work at a shop i get deals, 5 on value, 5 overall once its dialed in to my liking
Bike Setup: stock, but will swap out for possibly a dorado or 888r. and swinger 6way rear shock.
from Bellingham, Wa, USA
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003
Strengths: I recieved the complete bike and it was loaded with super high end parts Hugi hubs, xt/xtr, michelin tires, titec stuff, floating disk brake, and holzfeller cranks awesome deal, super stiff frame, adjustable wheel base, super tunable, light (complete bike out of the box was 43 pounds), great geometry enabling it to be extremely nimble
Weaknesses: The Boxxer race fork is not necessarily a weakness but its not really a strength either, brake therapy arm not being centered and rubbing against rotor, stock spring is too soft for average body weight, bike padals like sh@t uphill without the Chain Torque Eliminator on the bike but then again it peadals amazingly with it on
I was extremely hesitant about getting this bike but now I'm glad I did. The bike is amazingly versatile it can handle super technical situations up on the shore and then dominate everything up at Whistler (although it does tend to enjoy speed more than techy stuff). One thing that aggrivated me was that I had to overhaul the Boxxer Race right out of the box because it came set at 6 inches and not seven. But it wasnt that hard to change the travel. I've been riding the bike hard and it hasnt let me down. It doesnt squirm on miscalculated landings and can suck up the gnarliest lines you can think of. However I'm not very impressed with the fork and feel inclined to throw on a Shiver or a 888 R. The rear shock has helped fine aside from the things ive heard about fox shox. And know the part youve probably wanted to hear about anyway the CTE (Chain Torque Eliminator). With the CTE i felt absolutely no pedal feedback the diesel is a completely different bike without it though but at least its provided with complete bikes. I would like to see a beefier fork on here as well as some beefier rims such as some Double Wides or Trail Pimps.
Bike Setup: DH Diesel frame, shivers, tubeless, chris king, dura ace, xt brakes etc
from Mountain View Ca USA
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2003
Strengths: Bullet proof frame, stiff great selection of components from Boxxer fork to single track wheels to truvativ cranks. Smooth landings from drop offs to dirt jumps. The fork is stiff and easy to control. Soft compound tires stick like glue and stop quick. It is a sweet balance in the suspension and frame. The one I own is a 14". And Trek's lifetime warranty to the original owner. Really, top that!
Weaknesses: The only thing I didn't like about the bike is the pedals that came stock on it. The shimano M545 clipless pedals. I swapped them out with the sun zuzu platform pedals.
It is a versitile bike between Freeriding and downhill. I thought that I would miss a larger chainring but it is geared high enough for me in the cassette to work for me. And you get the chain touque eliminator if you want to fix that. It weighed in at 43.2 pounds. For that weight it has a quick pickup for speed. I honestly don't notice a real bobbing problem with the single pivot design. I feel it more in the fork than anything else. I think Trek did an exellent job in the design of this bicycle. The frame is so reinforced from front to back. That's what sold me on the Diesel. I was planning to build up last years frame then Trek came out with the freeride setup and i jumped on it. If you get the chance I really encourage you to take one for a test ride.
I just saw a 2003 Trek Diesel Freeride in a shop for $2300. I can get a similar deal on a Giant DH Team, and I know the Giant would be a better DH bike, but I'm trying to find something I can use for beginner downhilling, and for freeriding, too. The Giant looks to be DH only, period.
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