Trek Y Series Bike Bike 1998 or Older

4.08/5 (374 Reviews)
MSRP : $3199.00


Product Description

Trek Y33


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Reviews 1 - 15 (374 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by charles a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2013

Strengths:    Durable, light, Chain length fixed under suspension, looks cool, climbs well

Weaknesses:    They don't make it anymore.tricky to dial in.

Bottom Line:   
15 years of uphill, down hill, rock gardens, jumping, technical and still going! Truth is I did upgrade recently (2013 Giant Reign) but there was no way I was letting my Y frame go. Converted it to a BMX style cruiser with fixed chain gearing. So freak in lite! What they say about balancing is true. Just be sure to play with the right stem/handle bar configs, you'll find a happy place and love this bike. TO Trek.... you shouldn't have listened to the critics...we die hard Y bike fans didn't. Bring back the Y for a new generation! Let the critics ride what they want.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by HCS01 a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA US

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2011

Strengths:    Light weight (under 25 lbs), simple suspension (easy maintenance), comfortable, durable, Unique style, best iteration of the URT design

Weaknesses:    benefits greatly from suspension lockout (front and rear), High clamp derailleurs will not fit (interfere with the frame mount on the swing arm), Mounting a rear disc brake requires some creativity

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. It is very fun to ride. Mine is currently in the upgrade process. I use it as an urban commuter and cover up to 20 miles in a day. This bike is light weight and comfortable. I hit a lot of rough roads crossing various parts of this city and consider this bike an excellent value.

It very necessary to play with the suspension a bit to find the sweet spot. It has to be dialed in to your weight. The rear is plush when dialed in, though, so a rear shock with a lockout option would be nice during a long hill climb. On that note, I have found that if I have a problem with pedal bob, I need to stop hammering on the pedals and shift into a higher ratio.

One more thing to note is that this bike is very sensitive to front/rear weight balance. You have to be conscious of how your riding position affects this balance until you know the bike, but it is very rewarding once you do.

With a little TLC, my Y has been an excellent companion... and its lighter than my 20" BMX racer

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Favorite Trail:   All over the city

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Used

Similar Products Used:   First Mountain Bike

Bike Setup:   SLX derailleurs, 09 Deore LX Crank, RockShox Tora fork, Fox Vanilla rear shock (Original)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mauistardog a Weekend Warrior from Wailuku, Hawaii

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2011

Strengths:    Light, strong, fast. Full sus. The Y-50 came with top of the line xtr parts, ibis bar. Light weight frame with life time warranty.

Weaknesses:    None on the frame..Front shock got old fast. Adding disk brakes is not stock, but can be done.

Bottom Line:   
14 years later the bike is still going and getting an extreme make over. The carbon Y frame is still THE lightest full sus bike frame. I think only the Scott Spark RC or LTD is in the same range. For the amount of riding I do now, I can't justify 9k for a new bike. People will make fun of the URT design, but as others have said and pointed out, the new shocks today along with balance setup of the front and rear shock makes the criticism of the frame design moot.

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Favorite Trail:   long climbing

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   South Maui Bike..Fra

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   In the upgrade process now. Replaced rear shock with Fox rp23, sid race for front, avid bb7 disk brakes front and rear, 09 easton xc one rims, gravity dropper turbo seat post. Original xtr all around, ibis ti bar and bar stem.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by lfinardi a Cross Country Rider from Brazil

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2010

Strengths:    Light, breakthrough frame for its time, extremely comfortable to ride yet strong to take on long x-country rides.

Weaknesses:    Noisy (if rear suspension pivots are not extremely well greased, frame cracks when pedaling force is applied). Rear suspension design (the moving triangle) not yet ideal to avoid sagging when pedaling uphill (a lot of the momentum from pedaling is lost as suspension flexes and absorbs it!!!). I recently replaced original rear shock with a new "intelligent" SPD shock with auto lock-out - improved, but not yet there...

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. It is not perfect and there are many better models today, but it feels great and it has accepted all the upgrades gracefully. People still turn their heads when I pass them by on the street riding it. This bike has been with me since brand new for the past 14 years and it will probably stay will me until one of us can no longer handle the other! I think Y-33 will win...

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Garage Bloom

Bike Setup:   Upgraded most of its original components. This is how it stands now: yellow 1996 Y33 Trek, Rock Shox SID front suspension, Manitou rear suspension, Sram XO rear derailleur, Shimano XT front derailleur, Mavic SLR wheels (superb!), Shimano XT v-brakes, Continental slick tires (for city rides), stem and seat-post in carbon. Bikes weighs now 22.88 lbs - not bad for a 14 year old full suspension, right?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Roy a Weekend Warrior from denver

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2010

Strengths:    Y-33 is if anything lite. The xtr is the best and v-brakes for the time were great. Cane creek wheels were fast and true.Fox rear shock w/ lockout was before its time.

Weaknesses:    none to speak of...

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike new in 1999 to race NORBA xc and took 3rd place in overall points standing.(great year)I have replaced everthing on that bike but the seatpost.It now has xtr dualshifters,hays disk brakes,fox float rl, rockshox revelation,and sun rims w/ hays superlite hubs.
many of miles and plenty of downhilling have been put on bike.It is now being revamped to be given to my brother to continue rolling over the rockies. This bike has proven the teast of time. when i take it out to ride for fun people stop me to look at it and are amazed that it over 10 years old and so lite.
dont let the na sayer keep you away from an oldie but goodie.

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Favorite Trail:   cetennialcone(co)porcupine (moab)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3200.00

Similar Products Used:   Y-3,Raleighs,Yeti 575,Yeti dh9

Bike Setup:   oirg..xtr all around with cane creek wheels,rockshox sl up front and fox w/ lockout in rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Huppertz a Weekend Warrior from Tijeras, NM USA

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2006

Strengths:    Very light, strong, and compliant. Can't find a worthy replacement for under 4K.

Weaknesses:    Rear aluminun swingarm cracked under extreme abuse. Factory pivot wears out, replaced with oilite bronze which tightened it up very well.

Bottom Line:   
I have bombed on this bike ruthlessly. The terrain here is some of the best anyware, and provides everything from terrifying unridable downhill to smooth gradual stuff. I weigh 185 and with he exception of a newly discovered stress crack in the rear swingarm that bike has taked everything I have thrown at it. I'm going to tig weld the frame and use the thing as long as I can. This bike has spoiled me to the point that I won't be happy with anything less than a $5,000 Kestrel carbon fiber FSB, and that ain't going to happen any time soon!

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Favorite Trail:   Tablazon Canyon

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Gift as a basketcase

Similar Products Used:   This is my first REAL bike, and I have ridden it hard for about 4 years, average 2 times a week (once a week in winter, two to three times a week summer).

Bike Setup:   Replaced nearly every component. It was a basketcase when I got it. Manitu oil damped front fork, v brake conversion, Mavic wheelset, carbon riser bar, carbon/titanium rail seat, XT components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Huppertz a Weekend Warrior from Tijeras, NM USA

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2006

Strengths:    Very light, strong, and compliant. Can't find a worthy replacement for under 4K.

Weaknesses:    Rear aluminun swingarm cracked under extreme abuse. Factory pivot wears out, replaced with oilite bronze which tightened it up very well.

Bottom Line:   
I have bombed on this bike ruthlessly. The terrain here is some of the best anyware, and provides everything from terrifying unridable downhill to smooth gradual stuff. I weigh 185 and with he exception of a newly discovered stress crack in the rear swingarm that bike has taked everything I have thrown at it. I'm going to tig weld the frame and use the thing as long as I can. This bike has spoiled me to the point that I won't be happy with anything less than a $5,000 Kestrel carbon fiber FSB, and that ain't going to happen any time soon!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tablazon Canyon

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   Gift as a basketcase

Similar Products Used:   This is my first REAL bike, and I have ridden it hard for about 4 years, average 2 times a week (once a week in winter, two to three times a week summer).

Bike Setup:   Replaced nearly every component. It was a basketcase when I got it. Manitu oil damped front fork, v brake conversion, Mavic wheelset, carbon riser bar, carbon/titanium rail seat, XT components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Trekrider a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2006

Strengths:    Light weight, simplicity of design, a known bike with parts still around, and of course, the look!

Weaknesses:    Haven't found any yet.

Bottom Line:   
Well if there was ever a perfect mountain bike, the Y bike is it. Bio pacing is a non issue: 1)use a lockout shock, or 2)don't sit on the saddle when ascending, or 3)set up the shocks right.
Lightness puts most current duallies to shame. These bikes fly. As I don't have a death wish when I go riding, frame breakage, or anything breaking for that matter is also a non issue. Why do people complain about the frame noise? It's just there to remind you that you're riding the best bike design ever invented. And that look! I really need to frame one on the wall. Ultimately, it has got to be the most sensibly designed frame I can think of...so simple and yet works so well. Just a word of warning; the Y3 and Y1 are heavier bikes (chromoly URT) and are getting up to 14kg.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Previously a Malvern Star Outlaw FS...one wonders if a Trek Y3 had been borrowed by their designers.

Bike Setup:   1997 Y5, 1998 Y33, 1998 YSL200, and a concocted Y22 with 96-98 parts. Yes, I collect Trek Y bikes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Philippe a Weekend Warrior from Quebec, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I have one to sell. This is an amazing bike. Logical and Experienced bikers, not racers, should buy it. The key is to upgrade it correctly and avoid unbalacing it. If you're not stupid, you can own one.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   used

Bike Setup:   1998 Y33

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave a Cross Country Rider from Jax, FL

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2003

Strengths:    Carbon,Carbon, Carbon...very lite and fast.Very plush ride!!!

Weaknesses:    they don't make it any more.

Bottom Line:   
This Bike Rocks!!!! It may not be a fast race bike By todays standards, But thats what the 9.8 is for. If your going for a all day ride on the trail this is the bike for you. this bike climbs great and decendes just as well. the extrem lite weight (23.2 LBS) makes it a dream to take on long rides. the plush shox take out all the bumps, small & large. I've done 5' drops with no proublem. The fox shox w/pro pedal and rock shox sid take almost all the pedal bob out!!! It only bobs when standing in the pedals and then its very little. all in all this is the best cross country bike I've ever ridden. I love this bike, too bad Trek dont still make them. i think they are the plushest biks ever made!!!!

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Favorite Trail:   razzorbak, Jons Gap, NC

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Ect. (LBS)

Similar Products Used:   trek 9.8 (my other bike) also rode fuel 100 very fast but not near as plush Kinda in the middle (9.8 & y-33)

Bike Setup:   95' Y-33, Full 2003 xt, 2002 Rock shox Sid race (carbon Crown), fox AVA Float RL, Easton Carbon bars,seatpost,stem,Sette Italia SLR Gel Flo Saddle, Bontragger xxx race wheelset, Panaracer Fire XC tires, shimano PD=M959 pedals, Yette grips, I've Got the new shimano FC-M760 Crankset on order Merry X-MAS!!!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Endo Boy a Downhiller from San Diego, CA USA

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2002

Strengths:    Simple bike design which is easy to maintain. The life time frame warranty has come in handy twice. Xlnt customer service for frame warranty replacement. The URT works good for most terrain and the component group is a good selection for this type of bike. TREK was trying to hit the Freeride market with Cannondale in 1998 and the Y-Glide Deluxe was a great bike at that time. The Manitou triple clamp X-Vert and the FOX Vanilla RC were a good choice for shocks. The Hayes Hydraulic front and rear 6" disks were the perfect choice for brakes. Tires were the IRC Missles 2.25 which were and still one of my favorite tires. Overall the bike had a good component groupo other than the H-bar and stem which is a easy swap.

Weaknesses:    Again some of the components were not really suited for freeriding, but what the hell was freeriding in 1998. I really like my Y-Glide Deluxe, But I really did not like the stick on raised TREK letters on the top tube of the frame. Either the letters were peeling off or my shorts would get caught on a corner of a letter and put a hole on my inner thigh of my shorts.

Bottom Line:   
Even though I ride an Intense Uzzi DH and Specialized Big Hit Pro I still really like riding my TREK Y-Bike. I plan to keep the bike and just get the frame replaced every time I bend the top tube. Some riders laugh, make K-Mart comments and some friends tease my Y-bike, but I just laugh with them and tease my friends back. The main point to my riding is spending time riding with my kids and friends, exercising, meeting new friends, sharing bike stories and just getting my butt outside and enjoy life!! Thats the bottom line!!

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Favorite Trail:   Noble Canyon

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Centre

Similar Products Used:   I now ride a Intense Uzzi DH and a Specialized Big Hit Pro. The only similarities in product design is that they are all bikes. The Uzzi is set up for DH and the Big Hit is set up for Freeriding!

Bike Setup:   My TREK Y-Glide Deluxe is all stock other than the H-bar and stem. I now use the IRC KUJO DH 2.35 front and rear. Thats all I have changed out since I purchased the bike in 1998! Oh ya, I also changed the brake pads a few times.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daniel Rispolie a Cross Country Rider from Toronto,Ontario,Canada

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2002

Strengths:    Light,nimble,quick handling,fast,cross country plush,reliable, just plain fun.


Weaknesses:    I do not know if this is considered a weakness but with the URT design you must set up the suspension according to your weight.If you set it up properly with the right amount of sag,preload, compression, rebound,etc. the ride quality is quite plush with little bobbing.I think the complaints about URT bobbing is due to improper suspension set up.A 4 bar linkage can feel really harsh if not set up properly.
So what I am saying is suspension set up based on your body weight is the key.Also ensuring that you have a balanced suspension(your front shock is the same as the rear)meaning if you set up your rear shock with too much rebound damping with your front with no rebound damping it causes your bicycle to react poorly.A balanced suspension is the key to a great ride.


Bottom Line:   
The bicycle really is designed for xc and will ride very plush if one learns how to set up a balanced suspension.

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Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Canadian Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   gt hardtail
gt hardtail


Bike Setup:   carbon y33, XT/XTR, Mavic, Raceface, Manitou, Stratos.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Christian a Cross Country Rider from Toronto

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2002

Strengths:    It is light and nimble. Climbs over rocks and roots comfortably and quick. Came stock with top components (XTR gruppo), Titanium bolt kit and seat post, OCLV carbon fibre bar ends etc.
The bike has been easy to sevice, and has proven very durable. It also happens to be they best looking FS bike ever made. Don't argue or deny it.


Weaknesses:    The Matrix Voodoo rims (A Trek brand I think). I pretzled the front wheel within two months. The back wheel hub is a bugger to service. The rear derailleur hanger is not replaceable. One of the rails on the Vetta saddle broke when the bike and I became seperated by gravity.

Bottom Line:   
I like this ride. I bought the first Y-33 available in Canada, a few weeks after I saw it in the 1995 Toronto MTB show. At the time it was way ahead of other FS bike designs. I think people are forgetting how far things have come since then. I consider the Trek Y frames raised the bar with this bike back then, as is evidenced by the widespread adaptation of the fundamental Y design by other manufactuers proves. The first model year was a beautifully laquered deep Indigo Blue. Yellow Judys and decals and completely chrome rear triangle, fork crown, headset/stem etc. make this a real eye catcher.

Climbing characteristics are superb. I also think it descends well (but does require a little more finesse and rhythm at high speed to tame the rear if you are out of the saddle skimming over bumpy stuff). But I still feel more confident on technical terrain than any of my hardtail buddys. They seem to think I attack descents with aplomb and marvel at the fact I rarely go off course. I think its a combination of riding technique and good hardware. The Y-frame is best suited to experienced, smooth spinning and mid-size riders.

I was a hardcore road racer for years before going mtb, and I think that has helped my peddling style on a FS bike. I never experience Pogo effect, unless I'm hammering recklessly out of the saddle with too little preload. I like a fairly stiff ride, so I set the preload to between 210-215 psi. I'm 5'10' 165-170lbs. Pogo isn't a problem 'cause I pedal in complete revolutions, using hams and calves to assist and smooth out each stroke. I can sprint out of the saddle on pavement with the proload pumped to 220, and hard slicks on the rims with only the very slightest loss of power (while in a big gear at low rpm). But once I get the cadence up, it is a great accelerating and fast bike !! Rhythm and Cadence are the keys to getting the most out of my Y-33.
If you can't ride this way you will not fall in love with a Y-frame, and you should probably stick to a hardtail anyways.

With regard to the noisy frame issue, i've never noticed it in seven years of riding. You nit-pickers should be listening to your drivetrains, respiratory breathing rhythm and other environmental feedback anyways !! lol:) And as for frames busting, I've had my share of hard knocks, and the frame has proven worthy of the punishment. Seemingly, I'm more likely to break myself into pieces than the frame.

Bottom line:
220 lb newbies and hacks stay away!
Mid-weight spinners with finesse looking for a plush,light,quick and hot looking ride should search for a used Y33 (or Y22, Y50), cause I think they are under valued right now.

Happy trails everyone.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bruce Trail from the Beaver Valley North

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2900.00

Purchased At:   Sport Swap

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain Blizzard, Bontrager, Merlin Titanium.

Bike Setup:   Stock (XTR)throughout, except replaced front wheel with Mavic/Chris King rim/hub combo. Titanium bolt kit, Carbon fibre bar ends, Titanium post, Dia-Compe headset, Shimano 747 pedals, Judy SL front, Fox Alps4 rear shock, Selle Italia Flight Ti saddle, Vetta C-500 wireless computer. Also added a seatpost mounted waterbottle cage. Continental Goliath tires which are good on and off road. I avoid riding (damaging) wet, muddy trails, so I don't need a full knobby on the rims.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Camouflage a Weekend Warrior from Germany

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2002

Strengths:    I liked the bike for its great design and the lightweight construction. Suspension performed well. I had no problems with the bob but I usually stay seated on uphills. At the time I bought it, the suspension characteristics were good compared to other bikes, but is not competitive anymore today. And the component mix is good value for money (if it works and does not brake).

Weaknesses:    Many unreliable components:
- The oil cartridge of the RS Judy XC fork broke twice. Damping characteristics got worse in the time despite regular maintenance.
- I had to replace the bearing in the front hub soon.
- Front rim (Bontrager/Matrix) bent.
- Original cantilever brakes were without braking power so I had to upgrade to V-brakes.
Frame:
- Acts like a loudspeaker. It is difficult to figure out where the noise actually comes from.
- No proper place for water bottle.
- Rear triangle very flexible which makes the bike feel unstable especially on downhills or fast corners. Even with V-brake and brakebooster it is difficult to bring power to the rear brake.
- Frame broke (see below)


Bottom Line:   
I rode Y 22 for almost 5 years and was happy with it most of the time.
I bought the bike for a discount price but had to invest a lot of money to upgrade or replace broken components.
Afterall I lost my faith in carbon. The frame broke, but Trek did not accept this as a warranty case. They said the damage was caused by improper use. However they did send me a used ´97 Y22 frame in size M which did not fit because the original frame was XL. After negotiations with Trek and my local dealer I got the Fuel 90 with a major discount.
2 Chilis in value rating due to the many broken components in this bike. I hope other ones had more luck!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR
Trek Fuel 90


Bike Setup:   Y 22 year 96; XT-V brakes and shifters, Syncros seatpost, longer stem, small crankring (20), Mavic 517 rims, Michelin Wildgripper tires, Shimano SPD 545 pedals, Biogrips

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nick Pappas a Cross Country Rider from Randolph

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2002

Strengths:    All around great. Especially if the front and year shox are dialed in for downhill, the bike just grabs the ground at high speeds. But dont think you'll do 90mph, ya fool.

Weaknesses:    The factory rear Fox Air Shock doesn't hold air well and thats why in my case you experience the bobbing motion like on an excersize machine. I believe a new shock that can be stiffened to the hilt or locked out would make any carbon fiber bike by trek #1 in my book.

Bottom Line:   
Best money besides my trek 8900 SL or my original trek 8000 (ever made), I think. Money and value when buying a high end trek can take you a long way!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gas Can, No Fat Chicks, Super Highway, High Roller, and more if you know where!

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   XT-brakes, shifters, derailluers, new (but original to the bike) Judy fork, Chris King headset(everyone should have one), Continental tires, and more!

Reviews 1 - 15 (374 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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