I bought my 1995 6500zx brand new. I previously owned a 15 speed Giant that I bought new in 1985. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BIKE!!! I replaced the front suspension with the stock stiff fork, ( I didn't want to lose any energy), the rotating shifters were replaced with Rapid fire shifters, changed the seat to a Serfas Gel saddle, and installed an adjustable goose neck that brouught the handle bars up closer to me...all from the get go. I bought that bike when I was 25. am now 43 and that bike is still riding strong. Except for the initial changes I made when I first bought it, (for about $600.00), around $150.00 worth, the only other things I have changed were adding a headlight and tail light, Thats it! For the last 18 years I have ridden thousands of miles on it, with almost all of the original parts. I have ridden it in California, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. I am currently planning a 2100 mile trip from NYS to Colorado...all with my 1995 Trek 6500 zx. I am however dumping about $1500.00 into the bike for a complete overhaul and upgrades for the trip. I biked all four seasons with it and the bike has been solid from day one. I am a big guy, 6' 4 " and over 300 pounds, I can exert a massive amount of force on the frame, especially when sprinting up hills. Although 90% of my riding is on pavement, I have flexed that frame time and time again and it remains, at least in my mind my most favorite bike to date!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2011
Weaknesses: Older shock and original mid -low range components
I had a number of mtn bikes over the years. I started with steel Norcos, Diamondbacks and other makes.
This Trek has looged thousands of miles, I've owned it since new. There are so many new parts it's hard to recall what it looked like new.
Having just bought a newer commuter style bike I'm putting the knobbies back on this and getting it out on the trails a lot more.
The original fork was weak and is pretty much cooked now. Will replace it and continue to ride this thing for ever!
Great frame, good geometry, easy to work on, still competes with newer bikes for weight.
Bike Setup: Easton riser bars, new wheels, crankset, original Judy shock, clipless pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from olympia washington
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2010
Strengths: Light weight, beautiful and seamless joints, still riding
Weaknesses: not the stiffest frame... also not suited for forks over 80mm
I bought this thing new when I was 15 with my own $. I am now 30 and have ridden this trek for hundreds and hundreds of trips up and down the trails here in WA. The only original part is the seatpost. When I lived in Bellingham, my buddy and I would take these funky frankinstein hardtails up to some gnarly drops and and like at Gailbraith Mountain, drop the seats down and have at it. This thing in it's current iteration is one part climber, one part mud bogger, and one part downhill. I still put on 20-40 miles a week on it. I've been thinking about getting a bigger bike but I will NEVER buy a $6000 DH piece of crap! Made in the USA when this country still made good stuff to buy!
Similar Products Used: lots of mountain and road bikes
Bike Setup: currently have a recon 351 fork, eggbeaters, 2.35 kendas, 8" avid code front brake, xt and lx stuff, downhill bar, mud profilactics, sun rhinolite rims
a Cross Country Rider
from la habra,ca usa
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2007
Strengths: Frame, wheels
Weaknesses: headset, derailers
The bike has lasted me for 9 years now and still going strong. It still has the original bontrager wheels and hubs( soon to change). For the time I have used it I have rode it hard from trails to downhill it has held up great! Nothing really bad to say about it.
Bike Setup: shimano delore crank, cassette, tora 302 fork
a Cross Country Rider
from Minneapolis, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: August 13, 2007
Strengths: VERY Stiff. Bonded Easton AL frame (no welds). Super Long Life. Super High Durability.
Weaknesses: VERY Stiff. non-replaceable derailleur hanger, no disc tabs. Largest possible rear tire is 2.125
Stock, this bike was mediocre by modern standards, but I've rebuilt it about 7-8 different times, each time making it a little better than the last. Ive used 4 different forks on it and 4 different wheelsets, The only thing left on it thats stock is the paint. Ive thoroughly thrashed and crashed this bike on numerous occasions and it soaks it up ever time. Takes a lickin' keeps on tickin' Hands down, this is the most longlived / worthwhile atb frame ive owned or worked on.
Similar Products Used: Fisher Super Caliber, Fisher Marlin, Trek 6000, Trek 8000
Bike Setup: Been rebuilt MANY times. Current Rendition: '07 Mavic Crossland Wheelset, '07 Rockshox Revelation w/ CC S-3 headset, Avid bb7 front disc @ rear XT linear brakes, Avid SD 2.0 levers, '06 LX shifters, Deore Octalink crankset, XT derailleurs, Ritchy 4x stem and Bontrager select bars (31.8)
a Cross Country Rider
from glenmoore, pa
Date Reviewed: October 14, 2004
Weaknesses: shifters, pedals, rock shox indy c (they are horrible)
This bike is a great buy for the money. The frame is as good as a bike two times the amount. Light and agile! Also, the frameis tough and can take can take a beating. No need to buy a new frame till this one dies. The components are weak but they can be upgraded easily. The rock shox indy c is too forgiving and will be relaced very soon. This is a great buy! I would recommend this to anyone from beginner to advanced.
Bike Setup: azonic love seat rock shox suspension seatpost egg beater pedals
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2004
Strengths: Frame is very light and stiff, and is generally well made. The frame is good so makes a good platform to upgrade from. I'm also pleased i can fit a Tioga 2.1 DH in the frame as well because my skinny little 1.95s made it ride badly.
Weaknesses: Crappy factory components fitted. Paint is a bit easy to scratch... thats about it so far. I don't know how strong the frame is because it was 5 years old when i bought it and i've only had it 6 months.
Overall this bike is really good for cross country and all round riding, its strong enough for anything except jumping and drops etc obviously. This frame can take a fair bit of abuse considering that it is really light. It is comfortable to ride and looks good. For the money you won't be disappointed...
Similar Products Used: Marin Hawk Hill, Schwinn Mesa GSX, Specialized A1 comp + FSR Elite
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Z4s on front, Shimano STX RCs(soon to be replaced because they are flexy and are getting old), Mavic 519s on LX hubs.
a Cross Country Rider
from Hartford, CT, US
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2002
Strengths: Strong frame - makes a good base to work with. The frame is excellent and great componenets can be added to get a top-notch bike.
Weaknesses: Came with cheesy components, but still worked out good because I didn't have a whole lot of capitol when I purchased and wasn't sure if I would *really* like mountain biking.
This is an awsome starter bike. I bought mine in 1995 and the frame finally broke on the chain stay tube 4 weeks ago. I put the bike through 7 years of serious abuse; riding an average of 1.5 times a week, year round. I live in New England so the weather is never really pretty or condusive to clean, dry rides.
It comes with good enough components to get you through your first year - if you ride hard. If you don't ride hard, the components will likely last forever. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like biking when I bought it, but I quickly fell in love with the bike and sport.
A year after I purchsed the bike a replaced the drive train (except the front STX derailer). Three years after owning the bike I replaced everything except for the seat post, seat, front derailer, and bottom braket. I did all the work myself and it was like driving an entirely new bike! I'm not sure how much weight I shaved off, as I purchsed all XT parts - but the bike was significantly lighter and performed excellent. Then, last year, which was 6 years after buying the bike; I replaced the drive train again and did the rest of the parts, i.e. bottom bracket, seat, seat post, and front derailer. Then, four weeks ago, I cracked my frame and blew out my free hub.
I sent the frame back to Trek and am awaiting an answer as to its replacement. If they do repalce it, i'm probably just going to try to get things back together over the next few months and try to sell the 'whole' bike - as I have found a new bike... the Trek Fuel 90 Disc. I'm going to see if I and wheel-and-deal with Trek to get a discount on the Fuel, but either way... I'm gonna buy the sucker.
So, to sum it up: if you are looking for an awsome frame to get many years of hard riding out of but are not sure about the sport and are short on cash, the Trek 6500 is the way to go.
Bike Setup: I replaced everything excepet for the frame. XT v brakes; Manitou FS Front shock; Mavic 517 rims; XT 4 arm cranks; XT hubs; XT rear cassette; XT bottom bracket; Syncros seat tube; and I can't remember all the other stuff off hand.
from sf, ca
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2002
Strengths: strong, quick frame. great bike to build on.
Weaknesses: mediocre components
Great frame for the money. Super fast & agile. Components are what you get for 600 bucks... but fun to build up on. Don't see the need to change a frame till I wreck this one or win the lotto.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2001
Strengths: Handles great, no twist shifters, frame is solid
Weaknesses: bottom bracket is worthless, stock seat is unbearable
I've had this bike for almost four years now. The bottom bracket has made noises almost from day one. THe bike shop would tighten it up, only to have it act up again. However, it's never failed on me. The only things that have failed on me are the rear derailluer (recently) and the plastic end for the cable housing at the rear derailluer. Otherwise, this bike has taken a lot of abuse and keeps on delivering great rides. Minor tuning has always made this bike shift and brake very well.
Bike Setup: Specialized saddle, Michelin Wildgripper Jet S
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2000
Strengths: Frame, Fork, Wheels, Rear Der., Tires
Weaknesses: Seatpost (clamp), Crank, Cassette, chain, pedals FRONT DER
New to the sport in '98 when i bought this bike. Great ride. People might complain about the fork, but I have ridden everwhere and everything with it and put it through any known condition to man. The frame is great, And VERY stout. At 180 pounds, I am not really heavy, but not all that light either, and the frame had put up with my unexperienced bulls**t without a moan. After upgrading extensively, the bike is now Dial and is SWEET. I have had the opprontunity to upgrade to a Schwinn Homegrown and the new, Giant Team Carbon, but have elected to stay with this frame.The seatpost started creaking soon after I got it, but a little WD-40 (yikes, huh?) took care of that (no, grease didn't work). As well, the front derailleur was improperly placed from the factory, and is also easy to fix with a skilled machanics hand. Other than that, the crank is very low cost, and the rings wear quickly, as does the suntour cassette. Other than that, All it needs is some C-less pedalsGreat lost cost bike. If I didn't have such a lust for high end, I wouldn't have change very muchFive for the frame, performance and value, Four for the bike over all
a Weekend Warrior
from London, England
Date Reviewed: October 23, 1999
Strengths: Good, light solid US built frame for the money. Rear der. and shifters. Bonty saddle. Good overall weight.
Weaknesses: Parts which I destroyed within a year: chain; rear cassette, front der, crankset. Those pedals with the straps.
When I bought this bike I was new to mountain biking and I considered £550 to be a lot to pay for a mountain bike. However I was seduced by the nice colours, paired with the nice saddle and fork, into parting with my money. Like many a newbie I was also attracted by the fact that it had a Deore LX rear der. On the test run I was impressed by the light and responsive feel of the bike, which compared favourably with my old steel lump of a bike which I had owned for 5 years. My initial euphoria at owing my Trek began to wane after a few week of use as I found the pedals with the straps difficult to use and I quickly ditched them for a clipless pair. After six months use I had worn out both the crappy stock chain (replaced with a Sachs powerlink PC-91)and the rear cassette. The brakes flexed far too much and the pads dissolved in the rain within a couple of months, to be replaced with a set of koolstops. Within 9 months I had managed to bend the big ring of the crankset and because it was a solid block I had to replace the entire thing (Race Face crank and rings), I also bent my front der. which was replaced with an XTR. However the biggest improvement with the bike came when I replaced the wheels and the tyres(Conti Ave. Semi Slicks in summer and Dual fighters the rest of the year). I found that the frame can give a harsh ride which I have softened with a sus. seatpost. Overall this was a reasonable bike for the money, however as i began to spend more and more time cycling I soon became unsatisfied with some of the parts which I have now upgraded. I have also spend a considerable amount on upgrades (fork, headset,brakes) after these parts were stolen. Thank God for Insurance. If you have a limited budget this is a good place to start, however with more and more money to spend I bought better parts.
Bike Setup: Now has: 99 SID XC long travel; Mavic crosslinks, USE SX post, Race Face Cranks and rings, XTR brakes, Chris King headset, XTR front der, xt cassette, shimano clipless pedals and continetal Dual fighter tyres. XT bottom bracket.
a Cross-Country Rider
from Hull, Qc
Date Reviewed: September 24, 1999
Strengths: Frame Rear derailleur Shifters Fork
Weaknesses: Crankset Front derailleur Seatpost
This is a pretty good bike for cross-country. But like you've seen below, there are some weaknesses in this bike, that's why I've changed things on it to make it better. Bike like any mountain biker, it's time for me to change this bike because I'm doing competition. If you're interested in this bike, you can see the full details of it here: http://www.mtbr.com/market/messages/16530.html
What's going on. First off I'm new to the forum and I just want to say what a great site. Very useful information here.
I just wanted to get some opinions on my new bike. It's a Trek 6500SLR. I'm not sure of the year but a buddy of mine was moving and ... Read More »
I want to sell both of my bikes due to a car accident that has kept me from riding. I do not HAVE to sell it because i do not need the cash, so i do not want cheap offers. both bikes are used, but in awesome conditions. $700 for the trek mtb and $2,000 for the SWorks. pictures are available upon req ... Read More »
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]I’m French and I hope I’ll not make too much mistake so you can understand me correctly (don’t hesitate to correct me).[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]I try to find new tires for my Trek 6500 (2012).[/FONT][/COL ... Read More »
[COLOR=#000000]I went into my LBS to check out some 29er hardtails, specifically Trek's, Mamba, Cobia and X Caliber. I love Treks. I told the LBS that my price range was 1K-$1200. This would be my first mountain bike, but I have no plans to upgrade components. She looked ... Read More »
So I've been on 29ers for the past 4 or 5 years.... I went to a hardtail 29er from a FS 26", and I'm getting that "time for a change" feeling... based on my experience on both extremes, and riding style, I'm really leaning towards a full suspension 650 for my next bike.
I was reading what I coul ... Read More »