a Cross Country Rider
from Acworth Georgia
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2007
Strengths: Lite, agile, soaks up the trail, looks are important!
Weaknesses: Nothing so far
I built this bike up to be the best of the best to ride. I agree with a lot of the MTBR review guys. This bike does need to be upgraded from stock to make it worth while. This is my third 9.8 I built up but this is the first time I used full xtr. This is by far one of the fastest bikes I have ever built up. If you ever ride a carbon bike you will never go back to aluminum. That is why I never went back to the Zaskar LE frame. This is the best bike in my opinion that Trek ever put out on the market plus you get the life time warranty of the frame. You can't beat that! If you really want this bike though just look for a frame on e bay. I have seen a 9.8 frame go for 180 bucks which insane. Good luck
Similar Products Used: GT Zaksar LE, Trek 9.9, Giant XTC
Bike Setup: 9.8 Frame, Full XTR w/ XTR 975 Disc Brakes, XTR Rapidfire Chris King Headset, Sid Race Carbon world Cup.
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2006
Strengths: I bought this bike used from my LBS shop last spring and road it for my first season of XC racing. It was awesome. Pros: Light. I've built the bike at 21.6 lbs. and it feels super nimble. I'm only 5'5" and the medium (17") fits me very well. I own both a hard tail and two full suspension bikes and there is something about climbing on this hardtail that is unlike any thing else I've tried; it's fun as can be!
Weaknesses: I've had some creaking problems crop up once or twice for a week or so during my last season but then they go away. My LBS told me that they would gladly send it to Trek to be fixed as it has a Lifetime Warranty on it. Other than that, it does not bode well on super bumpy courses but that has more to do w/ the fact that its a hardtail than the setup of the bike.
If you are looking for a very light, well spec'ed hardtail for racing w/ a good warranty to back it up then I'd recommend the Trek. They are becoming increasingly more expensive but I've been told that is due to Trek's desire to get people riding their Fuel line-up instead. I'm going to continue to enjoy this bike for seasons to come!!
Similar Products Used: Trek 8500, Specialized Epic, Trek 9800 carbon fiber, GT RTS2, GT Avalanche, and Bianchi mountain bike
Bike Setup: The 2005 will be setup with XT components.
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2004
Strengths: Best climbing mountain bike in the world, absorbs bumbs very well, and is fairly light
Weaknesses: The frame wears out, The wheel base is increadibly long so its hard to go through tight single trak
HC technoligy hasn't been figured out yet. caron starts to flex more and more when you use it, just like a hockey stick the more it flexes the faster it wears out and is easier and easier to flex. My 9.9 frame wore out to the point were my chain rings rubed hard core on both sides of the fornt derailler. It also made weird creaking noises. However when the head tube's carbon started chiping off, and peaces from inside the frame started falling out is when I got it warenteed. I have also had problems with there rolf wheels. before the chewamigan last year I went to spin my wheel to see if the brake was rubbing and found my wheel would only spin a few times around because there was somthing screwed up the berings. I had to use an 11 year old wheel. after the race I took it to the Trek tech. He blamed the problem on me. at first I listened to what he had to say but when i relized he was talking out of his butt I got a little mad and started yelling about how rolf wheels are terible. He then said that I was the first person that had problems with the wheels, then some of the trek riders took his side. During my argument at least five people came up claiming to have problems with there rolf wheels. I also talked to a person that works at a bike shop and told me all about the propblems of rolf wheels. I went back to the trek teck and he wisperd to me that they do have problems and that I would get new wheels. I never did. I wrote a 7 page report on the poor design of my rolf wheels. So if u are at a race and u see a trek tech name Ken don't trust him. I am however happy that trek replaced my frame and believe it is the best frame in the world as long as it lasts. Thank God for warintees. If you only want a frame that last four years this is the bike for you, if you want your frame to last longer and don't trust trek. Don't get this bike. Even with my ordeal with the trek tech, I can't let one person give the company a bad name. I do trust there warenty department
Bike Setup: stock 9.9 set up in 2000 except now with 9.8 frame and egg beater pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from burbank ca usa
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2004
Strengths: the looks, its cool!!!
Weaknesses: the price $$$$$$
This is an awesome frame. Like others say, buy the frame and build the ultimate bike. The stock components are weak, but the manufacturers have to do that to keep the price down. Tubeless tires suck, try getting a thorn in one on a ride, i could not patch it. It was a long walk home. Damn those tires!!
from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2004
Strengths: Responsiveness, cushy, light weight, carboness, looks, technology - all the changes made to the oclv frames have made an already great frame absolutely unbeatable.
Weaknesses: looks - I'm not crazy about the big honken Trek stickers, or the decal striping. not pleased it's heavier than the fisher or trek 9900 (been spoiled, ah well...)
Love this frame! I had the Fisher oclv (procaliber) that I could have kept forever. Sadly a spill took my forks out and after chopping the steerer on my new ones, installing them, and looking closely I noticed a newly developing crack behind the headtube at the top and down tube junction. Dealing with the local cyclepath dealer and trek was a no-pain process. I expected some troubles considering I had a fisher and now wanted a trek (I did not want aluminum). the dist. for fisher took in my frame, trek sent me a '04 9.8 one month later - simple as that (except of course, now the steerer on my new forks is too short...but nothing a simple swap from a syncros to raceface deus stem didn't solve - big diff in stack height)
Without running at the mouth any further - top-notch professional quality frame from an awesome bicycle company. Service and products like this - I'm definitely a Trek rider for life...
Similar Products Used: This is the 1st carbon frame for me.
Bike Setup: 9.8 frame,Skareb Super,New XTR cranks & front der.,X.O rear der. and shifters,Ritchey WCS handlebar and stem,Bontrager Race seatpost,Selle SLR etc.
from Kenosha, WI
Date Reviewed: January 20, 2004
Strengths: Light, stiff, soaks up all the hits,and climbs like a goat.
Weaknesses: I don't understand?
I raced the 2002 9.8 frame for 2 seasons problem free and then found a crack in the seat stay last december. Turned it into the shop and had a new 2004 frame in five days. Pretty good customer service from my shop manager and from Trek. The new frame rides as well as the old and I expect to get a bunch more seasons out of this one. If you want a hardtail that soaks up hits like a softtail this is the frame to get. plus after replacing most of the stock parts you can come up with a pretty light racing bike.
Bike Setup: 9.8 frame, SunRingle' RPMlite wheelset, Maxxis Tires, Sram 2X9 drivetrain, with SunRingle' bar, stem, and post. Weight is just over 21lbs depending on what tires I have on.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2003
Strengths: Very light and resposive frame. Climbs like a animal
Weaknesses: My frame has major cracks around the bottom bracket sleeve. Other cracks at the carbon joints but Trek says they are common. That is no big deal.
I am rating my 2000 9.8 on the newer bike section just so other can know that the frame is very strong but can have problems. I took my frame into the local dealer just yesterday. I have had to deal with Trek's warranty department a couple of times. My frame came cracked brand new out of the box. I had to wait 3 months to get it back. Instead of them just sending a new frame they fix the old one and sent it back. I hope that there warranty department has gotten better and will take care of this problem. I have read several post that claim that Trek is very bad at handling warrany issues. That was my experience the first time we will see what they do this time. I hope they will take care of because there are way too many good bike companies out there to be errogant and not stand behind you "lifetime warranty". We will see. I will post later once I find out how Trek treats this problem. But for now it will get a low rating only because of the warranty problems from the past.
Similar Products Used: Trek 8500, Marin Bear Valley
Bike Setup: XTR, Race Face North Shore, Thomson stem and seat post, Rolf Propel, Black Elite Air.
a Cross Country Rider
from Decatur, Il. U.S.A.
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2003
Strengths: Light, strong, cool color scheme, doesnt flex when hammered like aluminum hardtails.
This frame is a warrenty replacement for the aluminum frame I broke (had to fork up extra loot), so its built up as a frame set. I'm an agressive rider and have pushed this frame to its limits and it begs for more! Does not flex when hammering climbs yet smooth like a soft tail on small bumps. accelerates like a striped bass and carves single track. Best frame I've ever ridden. Kudos to Treks warrenty dept. for excellent service. I will always ride Trek bikes! Buy This Bike if your a hard tail retro grouch like me! I never touch my X.C. full susp. bike anymore after riding this one.
Similar Products Used: Diamondback V10, Gary Fisher h.t.,
Bike Setup: Speed Dream Wheels (sweeet!), Sram XO, Thompson, Race Face cranks, Ti b.b.
a Cross Country Rider
from brewster, ny
Date Reviewed: November 10, 2003
Strengths: The frame, wheelset, fork, handling at any speed. climbs like a champ. light.
Weaknesses: sid sometimes a little whimpy, crank must go. (the 2001 had a bontrager p.o.s. the '04 has the new xt...)
i picked up a leftover 2001, the frame is unchanged, the 2001 sid is light but sometimes flexy, this bike climbs, accelerates, and descends even faster than my 6700, in fact it makes riding my old bike seem sluggish. i absolutely love the frame. it takes the edge of of pretty much anything, i like the rolf wheels that came on the bike too, they seems light and strong. words cannot desribe the all around feel of this bike, its truely amazing. the '04 still seems like a really solid bike even with the price hike, give this bike a chance, its worth it.
Similar Products Used: trek 6700, moots rigor mortis, demoed
Bike Setup: 2001 frame, 2001 sid sl, easton ct2 bars, sette stem, rolf dolomite wheels, xtr levers and breaks, xt rear dr. lx front dr. sram 9.0 cassete, crap bontrager crank (not for long)
a Cross Country Rider
from Sonoma, CA
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2003
Strengths: Light, strong frame. Absolutely flies when you mash the pedals. Nimble on the single-track, carbon frame rides smooth like my Trek 5200 on the road. Very comfortable for a big rider- I'm 6'4" 230 lbs. I haven't put it through a heavy workout, but the carbon is pretty much bullet-proof.
Weaknesses: Components are good but average for a high-end bike like this. People are complaining about the price hike on an '04 9.8 considering the change from XT and XTR to full XT on the new models. My bike guy says that new XT is better than full XTR- they've reconfigured the XT so its not really comparable to the old stuff.
Great bike- even if you are a weekend warrior and you think you might want start carving out some bigger and badder rides, this bike will grow along with your abilities. Unless you decide to start making 10-foot drops, you won't ask too much from this bike. Perfect option if you don't want full suspension. Awesome bike if you do a lot of road riding to get to your mountain rides.
Really impressed with bike and set-up. It just carved through the single track, seemed to absorb some of the jolting when compared to aluminum. Did I say light! If I get a new rig and stay true with hard tails, this 50+ year old body will choose this FRAME.
Looking at Traks 2004's it is mind numbing that the bike has gone way up in price, yet the componetry has gone down. As a previous writer stated, get the frame and build it up with the componentry you want
Similar Products Used: Trek 8000 and trying to make decision between HT and FS
Bike Setup: Stock except for Sram shifters and rear der Sun Ringle (?) Rims King Hubs,Maxxis minitaurs 380
a Weekend Warrior
from Ankeny, Iowa, USA
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2003
Strengths: Power transfer, stiffness, weight.
Weaknesses: It is a little dicey on soft sand, I get thrown around a little more than my previous heavier bike. Pricey, but worth it. It could use more XTR considering the price. I'm positive that the Trek factory is experiencing a substantial profit margin on these.
I am not a hard core racer like many of the other reviews. I just like to go out and have fun. If you are thinking about a bike and have the budget, this is your bike. It climbs like a billygoat and is a lot faster than my old bike with the same amount of effort. I never new what they meant about power transfer until I purchased this bike. When I push it goes and it goes fast. That is why I can easily get it up hills that my old bike made me struggle on. This bike rocks and it has a great warrantee to back it. It is a little pricey for all XT with one XTR component.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2003
Strengths: The carbon frame is stiff, light, and responsive and yet it soaks up vibrations to provide a fast and comfy ride. It also looks great.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I bought the 9.8 frameset and built the bike with the components I really wanted rather than buying the complete bike with parts I didn't want. The bike looks sweet and rides great. It puts my old Specialized RockHopper to shame. Every aspect of my riding has improved since getting on this bike. I was amazed at how the carbon frame takes the harshness out of the ride. Life is too short to ride aluminum. Long live hardtails!!
I live in Thailand and own TREK mamba 29er, which I have upgraded with a complete Shimano XT drive train, DT SWISS 1600 Spline wheels and a DT SWISS XMM 100 SS fork. I am now looking for a second bike for more technical single track and because of where I live availability is somewhat limited espec ... Read More »
Hi Trek Crew -
My story - Broke an old GF Big Sur, bought a Mojo, decided to check warranty replacement on the GF, got a NOS Elite 9.8 carbon (mostly red and black - google fail on the image search for which year and Trek website fail on showing the 2011)
I was originally thinking about sellin ... Read More »
I have a 18.5" 2010 TopFuel 9.8 and I am thinking of going to the 29wheels on a superfly 100 (elite is more my price range). I love this size option that Trek offered on the TF's by the way!!
My trails have turned to **** the last 15-20 years and I think the larger 29" wheel will level some of t ... Read More »
I have done a deep research and have selected these three bikes. The market price is almost equal and configuration is practically the same.
Could you please advise me on pros and cons of these bikes? What would be your choice?
Thx!Read More »
I am looking to buy a new 'race' bike, and it has basically come down to these two bikes from which I will choose. Please help me decide.
I am 5'8," and weigh 150- (soaking wet)
Experience level: I am a sport rider/racer- with about 5 years of riding experience. I climb better than I decend (b ... Read More »