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  1. #1
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    First impressions of my new 2012 Trek DS 8.5

    It has been a long time coming. I first took a test ride of the Kaitai in March and knew that Trek's DS line was right for me. I placed an order in June and it took until yesterday for it to arrive at my LBS.

    So far, I'm very impressed and am satisfied that I've made the right choice. Visually it is a looker and the quality of the fit and finish is top notch. The matte paint and slight contour in the frame looks great in person. I know it is only day two but I'm quite smitten so far.

    Comfort - The ride position fits me well and it quite natural. I've heard mixed things about the saddle but so far so good for me. I am a daily rider on my old 26" mtb so my butt is pretty conditioned. I decided to give it a month before considering a saddle change but at this point the stock seat is fine. I'll rethink in another 500 km. The ergo grips was a feature I was looking forward to and am pleased so far but it does give the sensation of having your hand on the bar instead of wrapped around the bar. I think it will take some getting used to but I suspect I will like it.

    Brakes - It has hydraulic disc brakes and they are smooth. My last bike had v-brakes which were fine but these hydraulic discs are very nice. I've found I'm getting nice feedback with only using one or two fingers.

    Speed and Ride-ability - Compared to my 26" hard tail this thing feels fast and flies. My town is somewhat hilly but I've generally just kept it in the middle ring and there are gears aplenty back there. The drivetrain is silent and shifts smoothly.

    Weight - I asked the LBS to put it on their scale and it was 30 lbs and 10 oz.

    Tires - Had my first flat already. Hmm, coincidence or is there more to come? The jury is out on this one. Hopefully it was just one of those things.

    Remote lock off - There is a switch on the bar so you can lock the front suspension on the fly. It's turned out pretty handy. I've generally kept the suspension engaged so far but have locked it going up a couple of hills. This was a feature that I thought would be cool but assumed I wouldn't use much. So far it has come in handier than I thought which is a good surprise.

    So far I'm impressed and will keep you updated. I think this DS series will be a hit for Trek.

    IMG_1088.jpgIMG_1086.jpgIMG_1093.jpg
    Last edited by derf36; 08-20-11 at 10:58 AM. Reason: added photos

  2. #2
    Senior Member Deathly Hallows's Avatar
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    Great first review, sounds like you've found very nice bike. I am wanting to buy a hybrid myself and am torn between the 8.5 and the Specialized Crosstrail Pro Disc. I've ridden the 2011 Montare and found it to be quite fast and light, but I was wondering how the Promax brakes would hold up over time; and, unfortunately, the Trek dealership here seems a little iffy. At the moment, the Crosstrails are unavailable where I live (as are the Trek 8 series DS bikes), so I'm waiting until I can compare both to make a decision. I'll be looking forward to reading more about your 8.5.
    Last edited by Deathly Hallows; 08-20-11 at 01:14 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member load97's Avatar
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    The 2012 DS 8.5 looks identical to the 2011 Montare I just bought a week or so ago. Right down to the paint and graphics scheme. So far I like mine as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by load97 View Post
    The 2012 DS 8.5 looks identical to the 2011 Montare I just bought a week or so ago. Right down to the paint and graphics scheme. So far I like mine as well.
    You're right, the '12 is very similar to yours but there was a few small changes that appealed to me. The 8.5 has ergo grips and they've switched the hydraulics to Shimano.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the review and pics derf36. I'm thinking of getting the 8.2 or 8.3 DS This week. I don't think I need a lockout on the front shocks but what about the disc brakes. Are these that much better than pads? I could save about $100 on the 8.2. All in all it seems like a great street bike with good looks, it's fast, and it can go on grass and hard pack trails.
    Let's say I get the 8.2, could I upgrade to disc brakes later down the road?
    Once I get mine I'll write a review with some pics.

    Jimbo

  6. #6
    Thunder Whisperer no1mad's Avatar
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    There are tabs on the 8.2 for disc brakes (my eyes can't quite tell on the rear, though). Since the rest the line sports discs, I'd think the 8.2 would as well, but if you only had one disc brake, it's better to run it up front. However, if you think that you'll be wanting discs pretty soon, it'll be cheaper to pony up the extra dough for the 8.3 now- it'll cost you more to convert the 8.2 to discs.

    As to the whole disc vs v-brake debate goes, it boils down to this- if you want them, get them. After all, it's your bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  7. #7
    Trek DS 8.4 Rider! zerogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo007 View Post
    Thanks for the review and pics derf36. I'm thinking of getting the 8.2 or 8.3 DS This week. I don't think I need a lockout on the front shocks but what about the disc brakes. Are these that much better than pads? I could save about $100 on the 8.2. All in all it seems like a great street bike with good looks, it's fast, and it can go on grass and hard pack trails.
    Let's say I get the 8.2, could I upgrade to disc brakes later down the road?
    Once I get mine I'll write a review with some pics.

    Jimbo
    If you get the 8.2 make sure your wheels and fork are Disc-compatible. Also, I think it is better to spend the extra $100 and get the 8.3..you wont regret it. Getting disc brakes later on will be a minimum of $200 so the it is up to you what you think is best. If the $100 is not attainable, try putting the bike on layaway..that way you get exactly the bike you want when you have the $$.
    ''Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.''-- Thomas Alva Edison

  8. #8
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    I noticed the picture, that the bike is a 19". How tall are you? I just got a 21" DS 5 today and I am wandering if I should have gotten a 19". I am 6'1" tall. Over the rail I have just the min of 1" clearance when waring riding shorts. I am new to riding and am not used the seat being up high where your feet don't touch the ground when sitting on seat and you stop. I did have them change out the stem. to shorter one and one that put the handlebars a little higher. The LBS says I have the right size.

  9. #9
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    You said you ordered in June and just arrived in LBS this week. What took so long? I live in Dallas and they had one in stock and sold it. They ordered another and had it here in less than a week?

  10. #10
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    The 2012s didn't start appearing until about August. Sounds about right.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjdan View Post
    I noticed the picture, that the bike is a 19". How tall are you? I just got a 21" DS 5 today and I am wandering if I should have gotten a 19". I am 6'1" tall. Over the rail I have just the min of 1" clearance when waring riding shorts. I am new to riding and am not used the seat being up high where your feet don't touch the ground when sitting on seat and you stop. I did have them change out the stem. to shorter one and one that put the handlebars a little higher. The LBS says I have the right size.
    If you only have about an inch of clearance and you ride off-road, then you probably want the 19 instead. How is your saddle positioned in relation to the bars?

    I have not rode a bike where I was able to touch the ground while in the saddle. The trick to get into the saddle is to have the pedal pointing around 10 or 2 o'clock position depending on which pedal, and then stepping on it to get the bike moving while lifting yourself up.

  12. #12
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    I realize you are not suppose to touch the ground while you are in the saddle. I referring to what I remember from when I was a kid. Thanks for the advice about the 10 or 2 o'clock. I am kinda all thumbs at riding as my only experience is a kid.

    I got into biking and started riding with the grandkids (age 6 and 8--new bikes for Christmas). As for off-road--I don't plan on anything rougher than a rail trail. I wanted the DS vs. a road bike for the more casual riding. I had rented a 26'r mountain bike and then a FX 7.6 for test riding before getting the DS 8.5. The FX 7.6 was a 22.5 and I think too big for me even though I had the 1" clearance. I did have wreck on it going down hill in a paved city trail. I think I tired to slow with only the front brakes and I went over and got to go to emergency room for 5 stiches on my jaw. Was not gping very fast--had just start at top from a dead stop, but it was a steep downhill that had a 10 MPH speed limit. I was also distracted watching the grand kids already down hill. So I have now changed the process with them following me so I can control thier pace instead of me following them.

    I would also like to do some adult group riding once I can get my speed to where keep up with the group pace.

  13. #13
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    How did you decide on the 21" model? Did you test out the 19" before you purchased it? If you can still exchange it, my suggestion would be to test out the 19" and see how that feels. For example, not only do you want clearance, but you also need to consider to the distance from the bars to the saddle, for example too small and you feel cramped, too big and you feel very stretched out.

    For starting, you want the left pedal at 10 or right pedal at 2; basically it should be pointed forward above horizontal but not vertical. With one foot on the pedal pointed forward and the other on the ground, step up with the foot on the pedal so it gets the bike going and lifts you up at the same time.

  14. #14
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    I went to the Trek bike store in Fort Lauderdal yesterday and they only had the DS 8.2 21" in stock so I bought it and rode 20 miles. Felt like 5 miles because it rides so smooth and comfortable. I'm 6 feet 2 inches with a 33 inch inseam and the 21" fits great. I have the seat up high on mine. Can I get a saddle tube that acts like a shock absorber? This combined with a softer saddle would be real comfortable.
    The front fork and rear frame has two mounting holes for disc brakes so I at least have that option but the pad brakes are really good. Mine is pearl white and blue. Really great bike to ride.

    Jimbo

  15. #15
    Junior Member Mr Mojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo007 View Post
    Thanks for the review and pics derf36. I'm thinking of getting the 8.2 or 8.3 DS This week. I don't think I need a lockout on the front shocks but what about the disc brakes. Are these that much better than pads? I could save about $100 on the 8.2. All in all it seems like a great street bike with good looks, it's fast, and it can go on grass and hard pack trails.
    Let's say I get the 8.2, could I upgrade to disc brakes later down the road?
    Once I get mine I'll write a review with some pics.

    Jimbo
    not sure what condition you ride in but, I have the 8.4 and can say the disc brakes have saved my rear on two occasion.(i ride in a coastal community that gets loaded up with traffic this time of year and have had to hit the brakes to avoid cars exiting drive ways, once in the rain) the disc brakes will stop you on a dime.
    Mr Mojo risin.....

    "Opportunities multiply as they are seized"
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  16. #16
    Trek DS 8.4 Rider! zerogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo007 View Post
    Can I get a saddle tube that acts like a shock absorber? This combined with a softer saddle would be real comfortable.

    Jimbo
    You want this.
    ''Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.''-- Thomas Alva Edison

  17. #17
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    be careful with a softer saddle. too soft and you'll sink into it which puts your soft tissue in full contact with the saddle and bearing weight. you should bear most of your weight on your sitbones, which is really only possible with a medium to firm saddle. the absolute worst thing you can do is install one of those gel saddle covers. don't do it. get padded shorts-- buy MTB shorts if you don't want lycra-- and use a medium firm saddle at the least.

    the thudbuster has a place but it's heavy. for any bumps of significance or any jump, you need to be out of the saddle to use your arms and legs as shock absorbers. this will greatly reduce pinch flats and bent rims if you hit potholes, also.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjdan View Post
    You said you ordered in June and just arrived in LBS this week. What took so long? I live in Dallas and they had one in stock and sold it. They ordered another and had it here in less than a week?
    I started this thread last August, so ordered in June '11 and took delivery in Aug '11.

    I put 2,000 km on my new 8.5 before the snow started last fall. Since then it has been in my basement sitting on a trainer. The weather here is starting to spring up so it may be soon time to bring her back out.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjdan View Post
    I noticed the picture, that the bike is a 19". How tall are you? I just got a 21" DS 5 today and I am wandering if I should have gotten a 19". I am 6'1" tall. Over the rail I have just the min of 1" clearance when waring riding shorts. I am new to riding and am not used the seat being up high where your feet don't touch the ground when sitting on seat and you stop. I did have them change out the stem. to shorter one and one that put the handlebars a little higher. The LBS says I have the right size.
    I am 5' 10.5" with a 32.5" inseam. The 19 fits me perfectly with about 1-2" clearance. You shouldn't be able to touch the ground when on the seat. Seems like the 21" was a wise choice for you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zerogravity View Post
    You want this.
    Thanks for the recommendation. That looks like the best seat tube to get.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    be careful with a softer saddle. too soft and you'll sink into it which puts your soft tissue in full contact with the saddle and bearing weight. you should bear most of your weight on your sitbones, which is really only possible with a medium to firm saddle. the absolute worst thing you can do is install one of those gel saddle covers. don't do it. get padded shorts-- buy MTB shorts if you don't want lycra-- and use a medium firm saddle at the least.
    Thanks for the advice as I was about to buy a gel saddle because it was the softest seat out there.

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