Trek 8.4 DS XC Hardtail

If you’re looking for that one perfect go-anywhere bike, DS is it—equally adept on road or off.

  • Frame: Alpha Gold Aluminum
  • Front suspension: SR Suntour NRX, adjustable w/lockout, 63mm travel
  • Wheels: Alloy front hub, Shimano M475 alloy disc rear hub; Bontrager Nebula disc 32-hole rims
  • Shifters: Shimano M430 Alivio, 9-speed trigger

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Jeff   Weekend Warrior [Aug 26, 2015]
Strength:

Great all around bike, good on the road, rolls fast. Hydraulic brakes, shifting, geometry (for larger man). Looks

Weakness:

Single wall wheels on stock bike, pedals, Local Trek store (Pittsburgh area)

OK I am writing a review after riding over a 1000 miles on my 2014 8.4 DS Gary Fisher edition. It should be similar to the newer models.
I starting looking at replacing my 18 year old Trek 800 last summer. The bike had been nails for that entire time and was going with my son to school. I of course was focused on Trek, though my wife has a Giant(and loves it) and looked at those and a few others, though was partial to Trek. I actually was looking at the FX series but the guy at the Trek store pointed me to the 8.3 and 8.4 DS. I liked the 8.3, but noticed a big difference in braking and shifting in the 8.4 and absolutely loved. Also loved the fact that I could take off road (though not too off with the 700X38 tires) and it was much better on the road, where I do most of my riding, with the larger and narrower wheels.
I have ridden over 1000 miles since last August and have loved the ride. Until June it required no maintenance, not even a cable adjust. Just chain lube and pedals (see below). However in June, while riding on a flat, paved trail, a spoke broke. I didn’t think much of it, called the Trek store and they said it would be 7 to 10 days to fix. I took to my LBS I have been going to for years (Giant dealer) and fixed same day. When I broke another spoke in August, I thought this is not right. Took to the Trek store and they gave me some hassle about need to verify the warranty (7-10 days)and If I wanted it fixed it would be 5 days or pay an extra $22 to move up the line. Additionally they told me the wheels where not very good and I needed to upgrade components. I told the kid that’s not what you should be telling people that have purchased a $1000 bike (actually $900 with some add ons). I did say while I did not spend $3000 or more on a mountain or road bike, it is still a lot of money and I don’t expect that. I took back to my LBS and he fixed again in a day. He did tell me it should not be happening and though he thought that type of bike should have a double walled rim (like the comparable Giant) it should not have happened with the type of riding I was doing.
I emailed Trek customer service and within a couple days got a call. The guy on the phone was great, said he himself loved this bike and agreed this should not happen. He had a new TLR wheel sent to my local Trek store and they installed in about an hour. The mechanic I got this time was very nice, and agreed this should not have happened on the AT650 wheel. He was glad Trek was taking care of and said I should expect no more issues with the TLR wheel.
Overall a great bike if you are an all-around rider. If you are going to just ride roads, or trails, probably a purpose built bike would be better. But if you like to mix things up this is a great bike. It has the clearance for larger tires so you can do more off road. Hydraulic brakes are fantastic, shifting has been great. I have read on some other blogs that the front forks don’t have enough travel, but I have not had an issue with it. Again if you are going to do heavy mountain biking, probably a purpose built bike is better. Also read another blog that did not like the tires. The 700X38 tires that came on the bike have a low knob, and you do get some tire whine on the road, but the fact the tires can go off road is what I like so I have no issue with that. However if ride on loose surfaces a lot, my want to get a wider tire. Only other con is the pedals. They are aluminum cage with a resin spindle. They started clicking after about 700 miles and required lube ever 2-3 rides. I have since switched them out. Outside of the issue I had locally, this has been a great bike and would highly recommend.

Similar Products Used: Trek 800, Giant (wife)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
ybiker   All Mountain Rider [May 17, 2012]
Strength:

Strong frame. Strong brakes, once they break-in.

Weakness:

Fork seems loose and rattles. I thought at first the headset was loose.

I chose this bike for my latest electric conversion for the strong frame, large wheels, tall gearing, and hydraulic discs. I was able to mount 29x2 puncture resistant road tires, but the clearance to the front derailleur is tight. It only took me four tries to seal the front rim while converting to tubeless. With the suspension fork, 35 psi in the tires, and a Thudbuster seatpost, this bike is comfortable enough for everyday commuting.

I'm not sure about the manufacturing precision of the brakes, but this is among the lowest costing bike with hydraulic discs. I had to readjust the front after removing the wheel once, and the discs look slightly warped. For the road, they work very well. I have no problem slamming them on stopping at a light at the bottom of a hill.

I also had a lot of fun mounting the rear battery rack. The rear caliper was slightly in the way. It took a few washers and longer screws to mount securely.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
zerogravity   Weekend Warrior [Feb 06, 2012]
Strength:

Although it looks more like a mountain bike with skinny knobby tires, don't be fooled. The bike is FAST. It will pretty much take anything the road has to offer and doing it smoothly. Other than the knobbies on the road, the bike gets 4.5 outta 5 in my book. Traction was surprisingly very good uphill as well. I don't think I slipped once, unlike my Rigid with the Kenda the SB8's, if I stood up at all to climb, I’d lose traction. I also think the non slippage is due to the larger 700x38 tires. More surface to contact to the ground.

Weakness:

The Suntur fork with 63mm of travel is fine for most mild trail applications. For rock gardens and fast 30+mph down hills, this fork can be pretty uncomfortable. The 63mm of travel bottoms out on really hard hits and with just sitting on the bike, it sags about 30mm so in reality, you are getting only 33mm of travel. The only other weakness is that you are limited to going only a 29x2.0 rear tire and nothing wider or it will have no clearance for the front derailer. That is if you wanna go more hardcore MTBing, then i would recommend get a MTB.

Overall, the 8.4 did its job. Most riders told me I should have just gotten a mountain bike since I ride the mountain at least twice a week, get a purpose-built bike, etc., etc. I think that is just what I have done. Its purpose WAS to do BOTH Road and Mountain. And to test the 8.4 on the Loop is a great indicator of how the DS 8.4 can handle the abuse. The tires held up, but would definitely change them to wider tires if you plan on going mountain biking a lot. Same thing with on-road, if you plan on going faster, more on the road, go with the skinnier slicks. So to conclude my review and thoughts, the Trek DualSport 8.4 delivered. Those Trek Engineers along with Mr. Fisher himself did a great job! The only other thing that happened was the lock out switch popping off after bunny hopping over a branch. I didn’t notice this until I was done with the ride and saw it was gone. Luckily, it was on the ground at the beginning of the ride, but been run over by bikes and whatever else that went on the path. I can totally see why the remote lock out would be the better choice..the switch is plain CHEAP. Fail on this part. Nothing to hold the switch in but friction..so i put silicon on it to prevent it from popping out..hopefully it stays. I do like the remote lock out idea. For now, now that I know the 8.4 can take what I have to give it, I will be happy going to the Fullerton Loop and the Santa Ana River Trail for a while, enjoying the ride and staying fit.

Similar Products Used: Trek Mamba, Giant Sedona
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paulevans   Cross Country Rider [Oct 15, 2011]
Strength:

Good for light trails, fast on streets. 27" tires, strong MTB frame., Comfortable and fun to ride.Excellent Hydro Disk Brakes.

Weakness:

None to speak of.

Great all-purpose bike. Can be used as a commuter, street bike or on all but heavy trails. If you can't decide between a road or Mountain bike and only want one bike, this could be the one for you.

Similar Products Used: Specialized Disc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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