Trek 8500 2003 Hardtail

4.57/5 (21 Reviews)
MSRP : $1649.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mike a Cross Country Rider from maricopa az usa

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2005

Strengths:    I bought the trek 8500 10 years ago when it was even more top of the line thatn it is now. Not much has changed in the design of the bike that I can tell and I have never had a major problem. I bough the bike to race then and while I don't race anymore my 8500 has seen the mountains of colorado, arizona, wyoming, NY, virgina and more.

Weaknesses:    Given the improvements in wieght and lateral stiffness with regards to rear suspension there are times when I wish I had a soft tail. But if you are simply getting into racing XC and cannot afford the rear suspension then this is an awesome bike.

Bottom Line:   
If you are wieght crazy and like the lighter bike for the dollar you can forgo the rear suspension and ride the 8500 on most all trails with sucess. Keep in mind you are sacrificing weight for a little comfort and probably some control over very rough stuff (assuming you stay in the price range)

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   All kinds of MT bikes in the $2K+ range

Bike Setup:   XT all around with Manitou Mach 5 fork. Titanium seat and handle bar.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Les a Cross Country Rider from Penetang, Ont ,Canada

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2004

Strengths:    Stiff and extremely lightweight frame. This allows rear tire to bite into dirt for explosive starts and accelerations out of turns.

Weaknesses:    Perhaps a little expensive unless you are a serious rider, going out more that just on the weekend.

Bottom Line:   
Trek is a great company. I shattered the weld of the rear stay (during a night lap of a 24hour race *what luck*). The Bike Guy at Georgian Cycle sent the frame to Trek and they upgraded me to the 8500 FREE!! Despite hard riding on rocky trails, the new aluminum frame holds up well. I have recently added the Thudbuster Suspension Seatpost for added comfort. The best of both worlds....Great Hardtail and Plush Suspension post!!

For the Awenda Mountain Bike Trail where I ride, which has a range from very technical singletrack, to hardpaked 4X4 trails, this hardtail does the best job.

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Favorite Trail:   Awenda Mountain Bike Trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   Georgian Cycle, Penetang

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6500

Bike Setup:   Duke front suspension, variety of midrange rear deraillers smashed often. caliper breaks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by roce a Weekend Warrior from Boulder, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2004

Strengths:    Geometry, ZR9000 alumnium, xtr rear derailer, xt front derailer, foxx float!
hand made in usa.


Weaknesses:    Bontrager Crankset
shifters/breaks in 1 unit(xt)
quality of break housing(not a big deal)


Bottom Line:   
This is a perfect bike. I've ridden many and this one fits me better than the rest. The alumnium used for the frame is great. All the stock components are just fine. If you are stuck with them you won't be dissapointed. It's a good component set that will get you on the trail fast. The xtr delrailer is awesome as well as the foxx float. If this bike fits you I recommend it highly!
(there is no change between the 2003 and 2004 framesets. only the components change. also the trek fuel 90 2004 is the same geometry and the 2004 model has a better rear shock than the fuel 2003, other than that they feel much like this hard tail!)

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Favorite Trail:   HALL RANCH

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   most bikes in price range (all major brands)

Bike Setup:   Swaped out the bontrager cranks and stocked bottom bracket for xt 2003. Stock wheel set is not bad and I'm going to leave them on. Break housings need to be upgraded when possible but are ok as is for now. I even threw on a riser bar to get the geometry just right for me. Everything else stock. foxx float stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by drew a Racer from boston, ma

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2004

Weaknesses:    worried about rolf dolomite wheelset, no actaul problems yet though

Bottom Line:   
I'm haven't raced yet, getting into racing, doing some dualthalons and some xterra races. In the mean time, i do ride this bike daily, and hard. I usually ride a 20" BMX in the city, but its waiting on a wheel replacement after a bad crash wasted my front rim. This bike has stood up to everything I've done to it so far, jumping, bunny hopping, ledges etc. a little wobbly at real low speeds, but track stand wonderfully at lights. also, this bike can fly!!!! I'd recomend it for people.

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Favorite Trail:   whole globe

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   online

Bike Setup:   bontrager race parts, xt, rockshox sid hydra airs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 47mphman a Cross Country Rider from Chester UK

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2004

Strengths:    Bike is beautifully light and responsive and comes ready to seriously ride. Not really looked at Fox Floats before, but factory-fitted R80's are real plush. Owned a set of Marzocchi Pro Air for 2-weeks before my old bike got nicked, but the Fox seem to be much smoother.

Weaknesses:    So far, after a foul Winter and not much riding, only downer is the cheap Cane Creek Aheadset that TREK fit as standard. Mild steel bearings cannot cope with UK climate and the bugger siezed up on me 3rd time out!! Copious quantities of 3-in-1 oil required to release it. This w/end I'm fitting a Raceface Thermo SP.

Bottom Line:   
For the £1000 I paid for the bike, its brill. The factory set-up is really light and Fox forks are dead plush. The geometry of the bike means that its 2" longer than the Giant XTC SE2 I also tested. This helps overcome my fear of going over the bars on steep downhills!
Message to TREK - stop fitting crap headsets to your UK-bound bikes. If your going to keep making bikes with an rrp of £1300, don't cut corners on the not so noticeable components!

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Favorite Trail:   Marin - N Wales

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Factory, Chester

Similar Products Used:   Previous bike TREK 7500. With insurance money, also looked at Giant XTC SE2 (too small) and Specialised Stumpy (no price deals at the time)

Bike Setup:   XR9000 frame, Fox Float R80 forks, XTR drive and Bontrager everything else (for now!?!)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daniel a Weekend Warrior from El Cerrito California USA

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2004

Strengths:    Pretty light (25.2lbs) I weighed an Elite 9.8from 2 years ago and I weighed the same despite the fox float, the discs, and the many more spokes! Also the bike has versatility. You can race out of the box or if you are more of a trail rider you can open up the fork and remove some spacers to give the fork 4" of travel to help slacken the head angle to a more trail rider 70. The discs are awesome once you break them in (one ride down a long hill) the dual control levers are completely intuitive! no problem with the rapid rise shimano parts. The XT cranks are amaxingly stiff! And the wheels are tubeless compatable! This bike has all the new tech out there! sprints like a dream! XT can e found on top of the line bikes up in the $4000 range. It can be yours for less than half that

Weaknesses:    It's a hard tail take it how you will. Discs rub if you are lazy has the new larger diamater bars. Came with bontrager cranks (shop called, trek stopped, all others should have XT cranks. Roll x tires not good for mud

Bottom Line:   
If you want a light feeling bike that can be raced but still handle rough stuff and trail riding look no further... unless you want a f/s

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Summit Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Giant Iguana Giant Ranier trek 8000 Giant xtc2

Bike Setup:   full 04 XT Bontrager race disc wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by margo a Cross Country Rider from san francisco

Date Reviewed: December 16, 2003

Strengths:    everything all the 04 xt components and the fox float rl its great at climbing and even better at going downyhill. This bike climbs like a billy goat. anyone who is looking for a light racing hardtail should get the 04 8500

Weaknesses:    it came with an bontrager race crank instead of an xt one

Bottom Line:   
this is the best bike i have ever had the privlige of owning. Its great for everything you could throw at it. the zr9000 aluminum alloy is light. though i suppose the bike might be a bit much for beginners

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1699.00

Similar Products Used:   nothing compares

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Cross Country Rider from NM USA

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2003

Strengths:    This is the 2004 Trek 8500.
2004 Trek 8500. Yep, it's already 2004 already.
Components to Price Ratio.
Mucho bangs for the bucks.
Clean monochrome color scheme.


Weaknesses:    The Trek Catalog specs the 2004 XT integrated crankset/bottom bracket. When I went to pick it up, it had a Bontrager Crankset. When I pointed this out, my bike shop agreed to switch in the XT Crank/Bottom Bracket.

Bottom Line:   
I finally retired my beat up and fractured 7000. In contemplation of doing the warranty exchange/upgrade on my cracked 7000 frame, I had been doing some research on the Treks. I ended up just buying a complete 2004 Trek 8500 outright.

The 8500 is SWEET. It has complete 2004 XT, including the dual-control shifting and the two-piece crank/bottom bracket (after the switch out for the ST Crankset). Bontrager Race Disc tubeless wheels, XT disc brakes and Fox 80RL fork. The Fox fork is unbelievable. It is an entirely different experience than riding my 7000 with its comparatively stiff and sticky Manitou carbon air fork (an after market add on). The Fox fork eases smoothly into the bumps and drops and just rolls out and over everything. Going up and over rocky trails that used to knock me around was smooth and stable cruising. The 8500 is also crisp on acceleration and sweet on climbing. It weighs between 25 and 25.5 pounds. Considering the Fox fork and the disc brakes, that's A-OK. It is a great trail bike set up. Ahhhhh, new bike. And I like the whole STI rapidrise shifting thing--and disc brakes rule.

At $1,550 (after discount from the shop) the 8500 was too sweet a deal to pass up. (So what if I don't pay any of my bills until the new year.) It is amazing. I paid a grand for my 7000 4 years ago (with a bunch of LX and off the shelf Bontrager components). Today, for a mere $550 more than I paid for the 7000, I get a much better frame, tubeless race wheels, disc brakes, full 2004 XT group, and top notch Fox fork. I think Trek must have Santa on staff.

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Favorite Trail:   Dona Anas, Las Cruces NM

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   Local Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Rode a Trek 7000 for 4 years

Bike Setup:   Stock, after I got the XT Crankset Bottom Bracket.
Took out the tubes and put in Stan's sealant to run the stock tube tires as a tubless set up. Go Stans.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Racer from cockeysville, md

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2003

Strengths:    This bike is the best hardtail I have rode to date. I have raced it in 12 races at the Sport level this year. I have one a race on it and podiumed many other times. It handles great and the Fox shock is the best fork I have ridden. I put this bike through a lot tough race courses like Michaux Maximus and Terror of teabury. The bike climbs great and going down holds its own.

Weaknesses:    I had to replace the bottom bracket. Not really a weakness considering all of the rain and mud we have had this year in Maryland.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is an expert level climber with sport level descending abilities. Get this bike if you are a first or second year racer or just like to ride XC. Don't get one if you live somewhere that descending is the majority of your riding. Although, this bike can take a lot of punishment for being a hardtail.

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Favorite Trail:   Seminary at Loch Raven

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Giant Iguana, Trek 8000, Rocky Mountain Vertex

Bike Setup:   Pretty much stock. Conti explorer pro rear tire and mythos front. Love that conti tire.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Simon a Cross Country Rider from Stoke-on-Trent, U.K.

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2003

Strengths:    Fast on the uphills and rails any singletrack, not bad on descents either.
Nicely finished hand built frame with good quality parts that should last a long time, lightweight as well.
Sweet gear shifting, powerful Hayes brakes and smooth, stiff Fox fork.


Weaknesses:    Rear end can be a bit harsh on rough stuff.
Bolt on disc mounts and poor hose guides.
Finish on Bontrager seatpost wears off easily.


Bottom Line:   
Great bike for XC racing as well as general trail riding.
Disc brakes and quality Fox fork are ideal for typical British Winter conditions and even at the RRP it is still ace for value compared to bikes like the Stumpjumper Disc that is £100 less. If you're into fast riding buy it. As Dr.Who would say it is velocity transdescent (or in other words fast). Only improvement would be better disc and hose mounts.

(Big up to the guys at Stonefields for the ace sale price even though it was brand new and the upgrades they did for me to save money, free shock pump is a bonus as well.)

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Favorite Trail:   Barlaston Downs

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Stonefield Cycles

Similar Products Used:   GT Tequesta, Klein, Cannondale and Trek 8500LT hardtails.

Bike Setup:   Standard except Flite Gel saddle, XT cranks, X-Lite Stubbie bar ends, Panaracer Fire XC 2.1 tyres and cool looking Hope hose guides (soon to have Hope XC headset).

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brett Houser a Cross Country Rider from Long Beach, Ca. USA

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2003

Strengths:    This bike is strong and light weight. Im 6'3" 247 and it keeps on rolling along. This is the best hard tail I've ever owned. A great climber.

Weaknesses:    To be truthful, I can't think of any. I'm going on my 9th month using this bike and no problems.

Bottom Line:   
I ride at least 3 time a week and pound the trails.You can't beat the high quality of Trek. This is a magnificent bicycle and my first trek product and I will continue to purchase Trek products in the future. This is a great bike for someone looking for a fast, durable, and light weight hardtail.

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Favorite Trail:   All of them

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   Jax's Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   raliegh, gt, specialized, and soon to be, Santa Cruz.

Bike Setup:   Easton riser monkey bar, thomson stem and seatpost,chris king headset, fitzik saddle, full xt groupo except rear derailleur/xtr, mavic 519 wheels, avid mechanical brakes, manitou black elite front shock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam a Cross Country Rider from St. Louis, MO

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2003

Strengths:    Awesome custom build by Mark and the guys at Touring Cyclist. Trek's new ZR 9000 frame is lightweight (lighter than the previous edition, I believe) and super rigid. The 2003 has some sweet geometry . I'm a bigger guy (6'5") and the longer top tube is very comfortable.

Weaknesses:    Too bad Trek ommitted cable routers for a disc brake set up. I also needed a bracket for my discs. The bracket is probably the heaviest part on my bike!

Bottom Line:   
Excellent bike! Tight, fast and very responsive. Can't go wrong with this bike.

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Favorite Trail:   Berryman, Trace Creek

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Touring Cyclist (Richmond Heights)

Similar Products Used:   Older Treks, Konas, Specialized

Bike Setup:   2001 Marzocchi X-Fly Z1. RaceFace Low Risers, 2003 XT shifters, with XTR derailleurs. XT disc hubs, Thomson post. Hayes disc brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Vera a Cross Country Rider from Cooper City, FL

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2003

Strengths:    Well built, strong while light, balanced, excellent value

Weaknesses:    Sizing perhaps, as I could have used a 16.5" frame instead of the 17.5", otherwise, no complaints

Bottom Line:   
This is my first custom bike that I had built from from scratch. I relied on the reviews from everyone in this site for the various parts. I think I built a superb bike for my purpose and at a great value that should last a long time.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Local and Internet

Similar Products Used:   Fuji with LX stuff

Bike Setup:   17.5" frame, 2002 XTR deraillers, brake levers and shifters. XT crank, cassette and chain, Duke 100mm fork, Chris King headset, Avid disks, Mavic tubeless Roc rims, Panaracer Tires, Duess Raceface Stem, Thompson post, Performance titanium railed seat, Bontrager Crowbar handlebar, Avid steel casing cables for the brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike P a Cross Country Rider from Easton

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2003

Strengths:    Very Light, Strong, beffy welds, what else do you need?

Weaknesses:    They removed the shim in the seat stay which made for a nice universal 27.2 in seat post. It is now 31.6. Had to scrap my RaceFace post to buy a new one:( I don't know if than's a weeknes, but it was dissapointing.
Had one case of chain suck which scaped away the paint in the same area where I cracked the last frame. No worries, just needed a touch up and a lizard skin.


Bottom Line:   
Got the 8500 frame back in 09/02, after I cracked the frame of my 98' 7000. Used what parts I could, from the 7000 and then bought the remainder of an XT package from JensonUSA. Great deal once I got it all together. Very light and stong with the parts I've got on it. It could be insanely light if I really wanted to spend the money on XTR and what not.

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Favorite Trail:   Chimney Rock, NJ

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Genesis

Similar Products Used:   Trek 7000/8000 1998.

Bike Setup:   Bomber fork 02, Full XT group, Salsa shaft, Chris King H/S, Titec stem/bar/bar ends, Shimano 545 peds.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Codey May a Weekend Warrior from Toronto ON Candada

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2003

Strengths:    Frame geometry feels great, frame is very light, and climbs like nothing else ive ridden.

Weaknesses:    The paint is chipping all over the frame, came stock fulled with Bontrager components that weigh so much more than their claimed weight

Bottom Line:   
Its a great bike once you get it lightened up from all the heavy bontrager components. Except for the paint chipping, this has been a great bike, and a pleasure to ride. Riders who race XC or just want a fast hardtail for smooth singletrack should definitly buy this bike as its well worth the money. I traded the fox for the sid straight up, as everyone wants the Fox forx's now. IF you are into freeriding, this is defintly not the bike for you. You will trash the frame. ALL in all an excellent bike

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Favorite Trail:   Mansfield Outdoor Centre Rules

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Skiis and Biikes - in Missaussaga

Similar Products Used:   Trek 8000, Trek 9.8 Fuel 100, Fuel 98, Rocky Mountain Oxygen Race, Gary Fisher Supercaliber, Trek 7000,

Bike Setup:   Rock Shox Sid Race 03' Full Xt with an XTR rear derailler, Easton CT2 bar, ritchey stem, thomson post, selle itiala flite saddle, Red x517 Wheels, Kenda Kosmik Tires, Wrench Force superlight tubes, singletrack solutions mini plastic bar ends

Reviews 1 - 15 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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