Strengths: Very light and responsive. Easy to manuever through technical singletrack. Hayes discs work great.
Weaknesses: Icon stem, bars, and seatpost. Bike creaks a lot, but I was able to fix it. Not very impressed with the sid so far after coming off of a 100mm manitou x-vert. I guess the shock is lighter, but it doesn't perform like a manitou. I'll give it a few more months and see.
So far I like this bike. It handles the singletrack nice. The sid is a little unforgiving, but it's very light. The only thing I didn't like about this bike so far is the awful creaking coming from the frame. I was able to fix all the noise pretty easily. If you have the same problem listen up. The seat tube has a shim in it that comes loose over time. You need to get green loctite retaining compound to fix the problem. I think the number is like 640 or 680. Makes sure it's not threadlock or it might not work. It specifically has to be retaining compound. It gets into any gaps between the shim and fills them. First take the seat post out. Dribble plenty of loctite compound down the seat tube. Let it get past the shim(about 3-4 inches). After it passes the shim, turn the bike upside down to let it work into the gaps. Let it sit this way for a day or two. Turn the bike over and put the seat post back in. The noise should be gone. I also noticed the cranks and BB creaking. The cranks just need to be tightened and the BB was loose too. So far the bike has been beaten up pretty good on rocky singletrack and it's still quiet. I've only had the bike used for a couple of weeks and I've had to do these few things to it. It just needed some tweeking to get it set for my riding style. The times I had it out I loved it and the hayes brakes are awesome...
Bike Setup: xtr, xt, hayes discs, hugi hubs, bontrager mustangs
a Cross Country Rider
from Now Where Special, IN, Fair
Date Reviewed: January 2, 2002
Strengths: Very few, but if I had to list a couple I would say the fram is very light and well constructed, also the OEM hayes brakes are worth every penny
Weaknesses: Anything that says Icon, Bontranger or Rolf. Please read below for futher detail.
OK, excuse the the diatribe but I simply can't take it any longer! I purchased my 8900 on a year end close out, got a great price which I am not complaining about. I am a roadie first and Mt. bike in the off season to maintain some level of fitness. I purchased the bike thinking I was buying something that I could ride for years (more than three seasons) without making any major upgrades too. Geez did Trek see me coming. The first rides were great, no complaints at all. Then came the three years of replacing stuff that said Icon, Bontranger and Rolf (for those who do not know Bontranger, Icon and Rolf are Trek's in house components). What it boils down to is Trek made a good frame and then hung wanker parts (other than the Hayes disk brakes) on the thing. The bike creeked from the the get go and I have replaced nearly everthing on the bike to get it some level that was predicatble and dependable. After three years and more than several dollars I gave up. Over the past year I decided to go full suspension and was looking for something affordable. Needless to say anything in the Trek line did not make it past the first cut. I decided on the GT I-Drive team frame frame through one of the internet liquidation deals. I salvaged as much as I cared too (Hayes Brakes and Rolf Dolomite disk wheels) from the 8900 to reduce cost of the bike change out. Only after building up the GT did realize how bad the 8900's set up really was. The GT handles predictably and dependably as expected. As I mentioned, I keep the the Rolf Dolimite disk wheels to use on the GT, it was only during the build up that I found out that the rear hub has loose bearing! Are you kidding me, no sealed bearing hubs for a bike that retails over $2200! That was the last straw, I must tell anyone who is considering buying a Trek to review the equipment list very carefully. Trek, as well as any major bike manufacturer, will make short cuts on the parts to keep the thing affordable for the masses. I made a bad purchase and that is my own %^@$@*! fault, which I take full responsibility for. My only hope is that someone will read this long winded rambling and take gain some knowledge that will make there next bike purchase a more memorable experiance. Someone in an earlier posting mentioned that Trek stood for "Trek=T(trail)+R(riding)+E(everday)+K(kickass)". I propose that that Trek stands for what is wrong with american bike maufacturing. If you choose to bulid a Huffy then call the bike a Huff and be proud of what you build. But by a all means do not build a "Dork Cheriot" and decide to call it a Trek.
a Cross Country Rider
from West Springfield, MA
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2001
Strengths: Hayes Discs, SID, RR XTR Rear D, Michelin Wild Gripper Lites, Duh, the Alpha Frame
Lite, stiff, quick, climbs like a banshee, brakes are better than my YZF-R6. I've ridden this bike for 3 years, haven't found a single problem. Those of you who complain too much about the squeaks should stop your whinnin and just ride already. For the dough you can't beat the value. Also to the guy who launched his and complained about the rear D snapping off, learn how to ride or get back on your BMX and go hang out with the other little prepubescent boys. If your want an American made racer for little dollars that will help you win races, look no further, and contact me if you want to buy a primo condition 8900sl, I need a 2001 Fuel, hehehe. Peace
Bike Setup: Hayes Discs, SID, XTR RR Rear D, Bontrager ASYM Mustang Rims, ICON Componentry, Michelin Wild Gripper LiteS, removed bar ends
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2001
Strengths: light, nice geometry
Weaknesses: lots of little noises
great ride,this is the free ride bike. it smokes uphill and cuts up the single track. i bought this bike used,it has not been without its troubles.squik squik sure. but if you tighten up the cranks she runs like a mouse.im pretty rough on her but thats what shes made for. this bike really promotes your downhill confidence. with the right set up this bikes capabilities are endless. i takes the pain out if the uphill,and destroys the single track. it is the total package.
Bike Setup: manitou,hayes monkey bars,mavic 517,xt & xtr componets
a Cross Country Rider
from Sarnia, Ontario, CANADA
Date Reviewed: February 26, 2001
Strengths: light weight frame
After One Year of riding ~2500 miles, this bike is quite fast as my "road bike", and is also quite capable on the minimal "off-road" it does. Built up custom with Mavic 517 rims, ti spokes, GT rear, White Industries front, and CT-2 stuff to give me a 19.25 pound lightweight..
I don't believer in suspension, but hey everyone is different (:
from melbourne, Australia
Date Reviewed: January 12, 2001
Strengths: I BOUGHT JUST THE FRAME OF THIS BIKE WHEN I WAS 13. IT COST 400 (AUS)WITH A WARRANTY. IT LOOKED GOOD AND WAS FARELY RIGID. I ONLY HAD 4 INCH FORKS ANS SHIMANO STUFF ON IT.
Weaknesses: OHH DONT GET ME STARTED.... THE FRAME STARTED OFF WITH A LIGHT CREAKING IN THE B/BRACKET AREA, THEN 2 MONTHS LATER I DID A 3FT DOUBLE, YES IT IS HARD TO BELIVE BUT ONLY 3 FEET HIGH AND THE REAR END COMPLETELY SNAPPED OFF AND I STACKED HARDCORE.
IT IS HARD TO BELIVE THAT PEOPLE PAY THOUSANDS FOR THESE COMPLETE BIKES THAT SUCK SO BADLY IT MAKES ME FEEL SICK. OHH YEAH, TREK SAID, "NO FRAME FOR YOU"
Bike Setup: MANITOU X VERT, SHIMANO STUFF MAINLY LX AND V-BRAKES
a Cross Country Rider
from Pasadena, CA
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2000
Strengths: nice light xc frame
Weaknesses: creaking in the seatpost area of the frame
The 8900 is a really nice aluminum frame. I has excellent excelleration and handeling. However, as many have noted it creaks. Having worked at a trek dealer for 2 years, the creaking has to do with a seatpost shim that is glued into the frame to step down the seatpost size to 27.1 - This shim is what normally caueses the creaking. sometimes locktight helps - but sometimes it doesn't. You might notice that the new Trek SL frame went to a bigger seatpost to eliminate this problem. Otherwise this is a nice hartail.
Great bike overall but as others have noted, the frame creaks and moans too much. This summer I nearly gave up because the seatpost had such a loud creak with each stroke. In fact, when I put my hand on the seat tube, I could feel this massive snap in the metal when I pedaled. By chance, I happened to put in another post and that solved it. But with colder weather, this post made the frame creak like crazy again. It's so loud it even drowns out the Hugi rear hub. I've tried grease, no grease, and WD-40, but the creaking comes and goes on its own. Any suggestions?
Brian "He-Man" Buell
a Cross Country Rider
from North Richland Hills, Tx.
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2000
Strengths: this is a bad a$% frame! I custom built mine because I had a Trek 850 frame.. and after about 3500 miles of riding.. the damn thing broke.. but.. it had agood time while it was here. this frame is so stiff I LOVE IT! has a bit of horizontal flex around teh BB.. but hey... what bike doesn't the graphics are wicked cool
Weaknesses: it made a creaking noise for a while... shows what a sledge hammer and a little inginuity can do hehe, j/k... (it creaks no more)
this frame is awesome, sure it creaks.. the guys at the bike shop I used to go to told me.. OH that's normal for an aluminum... you know what I say to that.. BULL SH*T! Now that I work at a bike shop I figured out what it was.. and for those of you with the creaking problem listen up, I tightened the cranks, it let out one last creak while I tightened it.. and hasn't creaked since... it's been 2 weeks now since I did that so if you have the creaking problem... you may want to try that, it wasn't on teh seat post as many may think.. or atleast for me it wasn't.. but otehr than that.. it ROCKS!! I have beaten this frame to hell and back MANY a times.. and it has never let me down, well not yet atleast, but until then.. this frame ROCKS!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Hardrock, Trek 850
Bike Setup: Manitou SX Ti, mixed parts.. XT, LX, Alivio, Mavic rear rim, alloy front.. not done upgrading
a Cross-Country Rider
from Sapporo, Japan
Date Reviewed: November 11, 1999
Strengths: This is a truly great bike. I've had any number of excellent rides on this machine. The whole package is just great. We're lucky with the 98 because they stuck with the SID and had XTR cranks. The reviews of the 99 are not so hot. The Hayes disks are a dream come true. In two long seasons of hard riding, I haven't even had to adjust them once. What a shame that they changed the 99 model and will discontinue it in 2000. We've got a classic on our hands.
Weaknesses: The bike hasn't been without its troubles. Let's start with the SID. My buddy Jay also bought an 8900 and when he brought it up to ride, he found that one leg wouldn't hold air. He rode anyway, but the other leg blew out soon, so he was stuck. Later, I found that one of my legs wasn't holding air either. To this day, the valve is hit and miss. The frame also cracked. Last year, my right crank would sometimes nick the chainstay, but I couldn't figure it out, nor could my dealer. He sent the bike down to Trek's shop in Osaka, and they found a crack around the BB. To their credit, they replaced the frame for free with a beefed up 99 model (which is a nicer cooler anyway--but you've got to cover up the excess decals with red tape to appreciate it). The icon pedals were weak and noisy but at least we got the XTR parts. Finally, there's a lot of creaking going on. My seatpost has started to creak again and no amount of lube will silence it. I hope it's not a frame problem again.
I can't imagine ever having a better bike. This bike is a natural trail bike. I don't care what the conditions, this thing makes it feel great. Hats off to the Trek team on this one.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 26, 1999
Strengths: brakes fork frame components, hummmmmm
This bike kicks so much ass! i came off of a long travel FS and onto a harsh aluminum frame... i thought it was going to be tough for a little while... NOPE! This bike is very sweet! if you see one used (the only way the 98's come now) pick it up!
I BOUGHT MY 8900 FRAME USED. AS YOU CAN SEE I HAD A TI GT. WHICH WAS A NICE RIDE. HOWEVER I JUST FELT LIKE WHEN I PUT THE POWER DOWN IT FELT SLUGGISH. WELL WITHIN THE FIRST 5 MINUTES ON THE 8900 I KNEW THIS WAS ONE NO B.S. FAST RIDE. IT CLIMS LIKE A MULE ON STEROIDS ,AND CHOPS UP THE TIGHT SINGLETRACK LIKE A FORMULA 1 CAR. ON THE DOWNHILL IT IS PREDICTABLE. WHICH IS ALL YOU COULD ASK FOR FROM A RACING HARDTAIL. IF I COULD MAKE LOVE TO THIS BIKE WITHOUT MY GIRLFRIEND LEAVING ME I WOULD. I'AM NOW A LOYAL TREK 8900 BUYER
Similar Products Used: GT ZASKAR GT ZASKAR LE GT XIZANG
Bike Setup: 98 JUDY SL XT/ XTR MIX
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: February 28, 1999
I'd delivered death sentences to 3 of my previous bikes. This bike's worth every single buck I paid. Though I've had it for almost a year and been punishing it like a dog every weekend, the frame's suffered no damages. It climbs like a cougar and accelerates like a wind. I love it. I do have 2 complaints though. The SID leaks and semi-slick just does not work in muddy condition at all. However, when consider getting the whole performance package for 2,200, it's definitely worth it. Trek rules. Trek = T(trial)+R(riding)+E(everyday)+K(kick ass).
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: January 27, 1999
I just got my 98 8900 stock bike except 99 sid xc 80mm and use xcr post and essp 9.0sl front and rear der. and boy do I love it. This bike really flies. The hayes discs stop the bike on a dime. I ve put 500 mi on it so far and I cant's wait till I race it when the weather gets warmer. 5+ stars and then some.