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Old 06-25-12, 07:20 PM   #1
El_Guapo
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Any Other Trek 8.3 Owners?

Just wondering whether there are any other 8.3 owners around? If so, how do you like your bike? What do you use it for? Racing? Off road only? Do you ever ride it with the roadies? Overall, I'm curious as to what you think of your purchase?
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Old 06-25-12, 08:32 PM   #2
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I have an 8.3 I bought the last week of December. It is my first post-childhood bike. I absolutely love it.

I bought it to be the 'one bike to rule them all' for me. I started doing some road type biking (up to about 25 miles), started scoping out some trails, and got fenders and a messenger bag to do commuting with. It did all those things just fine for me.

On memorial day I had an accident on a trail and was off the 8.3 due to wrist issues until yesterday morning. Between buying the DS and now I ended up buying my wife a 7100 off craigslist, the one condition to the deal being that I bought a pair of them, one her size, one close to mine. While off the DS I spent a bit more time on teh 7100 which I was using for learning mechanical skills and doing some experimentation on. I decided to dedicate the 7100 to family/commuting type stuff and moved the fenders over to it, put a rack on it, and am working on panniers for it now.

I decided to take the commuting off the DS as I felt it and I were having a bit of an identity crisis trying to get it to do everything. Now I'm going to use the DS as my 'do everything sporty' bike. I'm looking into some 32c tires to replace the Bontrager H5's it came with. Every time I've gotten into anything other than road or dry hard dirt the h5's have been pretty worthless (my accident was on a sandy trail). Along with the 32c tire for road use, I'm looking at some 29er tires for the trail stuff. If all goes to plan I'm going to try to build a wheelset in the fall to put the 29er tires on so that I can just swap out the wheels between using it on the road and using it on the trails.

Probably too much info there, but I really do enjoy my DS, although it has been rought not being able to ride it for a month. I have ridden with roadies, but keep in mind I'm a newbie clyde getting into this to get in shape, so the roadies were either keeping it easy, or not fast to begin with, or a bit of both (as I'm sure they would claim). The only other person I've been on the trails with is my son, but we've had a decent time, and we are looking forward to doing more of it when I'm fully recovered. That is if we can find a trail easy enough for me!
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Old 06-25-12, 08:39 PM   #3
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I've had mine for a few weeks. I got it to be mostly a road bike with many of our roads in the farming bottom lands where I like to ride being in very bad shape, lot's of potholes. I got back into biking after being away for a few weeks to find my 22 year old Rockhopper gone missing. I hadn't been riding it much for the last 15 years or so and it was rusty and beat up. I was somewhat a newbie as far as bikes go and as i started looking around a hybrid seemed the best way to go. I read a few reviews and honed in the DS series but when I went to the LBS Trek dealer he didn't have any and had me test a couple from the FX series.I did really want to try something with front shocks but they weren't going to get any of the DS series for quite a while.The FX were very nice but I only rode in circles in a parking lot. Living in a small university town we have 4 good LBS shops so I spent the day trying a Kona Dew, a Giant roam and a Specialized Sirrus. The Dew was way to upright and the Sirrus very nice but the Roam was a great ride and it was a 2011 so it was marked down to $400.I realized I did want front shocks after that test ride. I went home and started pouring through the forums to get myself up to speed and then remembered there was another Trek dealer in Eureka just 15 minutes away. A phone call found that he had a couple sizes of 8.3s. I went the next morning, rode a 19" 8.3 and it was all over, the bike felt just right. The disc brakes were attractive although I knew nothing about them and I liked the idea of the shock lockout. The price was about 10%off list at $580 + tax and goodies were 10% off as well so I got a topeak rack and a good lock.They also give lifetime tuneups so I felt great about the deal.
So far I've been mostly on the road but found myself in our community forest yesterday and was so glad for the off road capabilities of this bike. I have no intentions of serious mountainbiking but I've already exceeded what I thought I would take on.
Oh, did I mention, What a great bike!
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Old 06-26-12, 08:56 PM   #4
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I just got my DS 8.3 this past weekend. So far I've put about 60 miles on it and I love it. I've done mostly paved trail and paved/rough road riding. In my area there are a few roads with quite a few potholes and some really rough pavement and the DS has handled it all without ever making me feel unstable. One of my frequently riden trails is on a short but fairly steep hill covered dirt and some loose rocks. I've ascended this hill once and decended in 5-10 times with no issues from the DS whatsoever.

I bought the DS intending to use it for my daily commute (about 5 miles each way). In support of that I have a Topeak Explorer rear rack with disc brake mounts on order.

One thing about the disc brakes, they start to squeak/squeal fairly quickly and I'm not sure how to get them to stop. Several previous posts on the issue suggest organic pads. I would not let that stop you from purchasing this bike but it is something to be aware of. Other than that the brakes are quite good. They are very responive and provide good control.
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Old 06-27-12, 07:15 AM   #5
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One thing about the disc brakes, they start to squeak/squeal fairly quickly and I'm not sure how to get them to stop. Several previous posts on the issue suggest organic pads. I would not let that stop you from purchasing this bike but it is something to be aware of. Other than that the brakes are quite good. They are very responive and provide good control.
I've seen products that are supposed to eliminate the squeal, but honestly I've had some luck with rubbing alcohol. Just put some on a rag, pinch the rotor in it, and spin the wheel. This cleans the area of the rotor that the pad touches. After cleaning it ride the bike very carefully and brake a lot. Braking will be reduced until all the alcohol is gone. I usually do this with a little alcohol still on there so that it cleans off the pads a bit.

That gets rid of the squealing for a while. Maybe a few days or even a week or two depending on how often you ride and in what conditions. The squealing seems to be caused by foreign matter on the rotors/pads and it will build back up as you ride.
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Old 06-27-12, 09:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tip on the alcohol as the squealing is my only complaint with this bike. The LBS I got the bike from didn't mention noise but did say there was a break in period. I wonder if there might be a glaze on them from production that needs to be either worn off or addressed in some other manner.I'll be going in for my 1st month checkup soon. I've watched a couple of Utube videos about a product developed to eliminate the noise and maybe someday if nothing else works I'll give it a try. Until then, ride on!
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Old 06-27-12, 02:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tip on the alcohol as the squealing is my only complaint with this bike. The LBS I got the bike from didn't mention noise but did say there was a break in period. I wonder if there might be a glaze on them from production that needs to be either worn off or addressed in some other manner.I'll be going in for my 1st month checkup soon. I've watched a couple of Utube videos about a product developed to eliminate the noise and maybe someday if nothing else works I'll give it a try. Until then, ride on!
I love the bike, but I've had intermittent problems with brake squealing as well and I've had the bike since last year. I think I'll try the alcohol method as well.
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Old 06-27-12, 04:10 PM   #8
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My experience was that they were very quiet new, then got noisier/started squealing as they wore in.

The squeal is caused by dust/dirt/pad material/etc getting between the pads and the rotor. The rotor vibrates due to the uneven surface. So as you ride they will probably start squealing again, but then you give them another clean.

I suppose it is possible in a very clean environment and with good pad material you might go quite a long way until they squeal again.

Supposedly pad glazing can cause squealing also. They say using some sandpaper on the pads can fix that.

I also had an issue where they made noise and then started squealing continuously while riding. Turns out my hubs had loosened up and there was very slight lateral play in the wheels ans rotors, causing them to rub the pads once per rotation. LBS fixed that for me. I think the pad to rotor clearance is much tighter than other brake types so the problem really showed up and announced itself where if I had v-brakes I may not have noticed.
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Old 06-28-12, 05:08 AM   #9
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I'm not sure about how disk brakes are on a bicycle but on cars we spray an anti squeal on the back of the brake pads that absorb the vibration/squeal. Before the spray we used duct tape on the back of each pad to absorb the vibration. All disk brakes squeal...The trick is to get the squeal at a pitch that the human ear cannot hear it. I'll post a picture of the spray on anti squeal ASAP. Also on cars ceramic brake pads are less likely to squeal. One more thing, brake dust is the number one reason for brake sqeal on a car. I just got back into bicycling....How long have disk brakes been on bicycles?

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Old 09-27-12, 02:25 PM   #10
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I bought my 8.3 in May and put some good miles on it, about 300. Some of which was on gravel, but most was on fairly smooth pavement. A good deal of commuting to work. I have had trouble with the breaks making noise. I have taken it back to the LBS for several things. For example, I am over weight for the bike trek has a 300 lb limit on mtn, cx, and hybrid. I started out at 350 so I was hard on the bike, so I had them build a new rear wheel. I was breaking a spoke a week. Each time I took it in I told them that the breaks were making noise they would lightly sand the rotor and it would be fine for a week or so. A conversation I with the shop owner makes me think that trek just puts really cheap brake parts on these. They work great and have great stopping power, but they are just really prone to take a few specks of dirt and make a big fuss (noise) out of it. I really like the bike I just recently bought a Trek Ion CX and love it. The DS has a rack so it is my grocery / hauling bike.
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Old 09-27-12, 02:51 PM   #11
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I've looked at the trek DS's and have a question, is the price difference between the 8.3 and the 8.6 worth it? I mean what exactly are you getting for the extra cash, I've read the page but about all I can really see is the hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes. I'd like disc brakes, I don't need them but I'd like them.

This summer I bought a Giant Sedona and while it's OK I find it very noisy and the derailers are constantly giving me grief, especially the front, the brakes are noisy and there is a rattle somewhere that is driving me nuts. I've had it in the shop twice and each time they say they can't find anything wrong.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:23 PM   #12
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I've looked at the trek DS's and have a question, is the price difference between the 8.3 and the 8.6 worth it? I mean what exactly are you getting for the extra cash, I've read the page but about all I can really see is the hydraulic vs mechanical disc brakes. I'd like disc brakes, I don't need them but I'd like them.

This summer I bought a Giant Sedona and while it's OK I find it very noisy and the derailers are constantly giving me grief, especially the front, the brakes are noisy and there is a rattle somewhere that is driving me nuts. I've had it in the shop twice and each time they say they can't find anything wrong.
The difference is in the components: The 8.3 is mostly Shimano Acera and the 8.6 is mostly Shimano Deore and SLX. The components on the 8.6 should perform better and last longer.
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Old 09-27-12, 06:28 PM   #13
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I love the bike, but I've had intermittent problems with brake squealing as well and I've had the bike since last year. I think I'll try the alcohol method as well.
It sounds like most of you Trek DS 8.3 owners have trouble with squealing brakes. There is also a thread on this forum from 8.4 owners complaining of the same thing: "Trek 8.4 DS - anyone else have a noisy back brake?". You may want to take a look at it. One guy actually got a new frame out of Trek because of it. But, currently the theory they are testing is that the squealing is coming from the Hayes rotor.

Two of us have Trek DS 8.5's with Shimano Alivio brakes and rotors and neither of us have any squealing.
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Old 09-28-12, 10:55 AM   #14
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I've had squealing brakes on my 8.3 as well, both front and back.I would wipe the rotors with alcohol and it would help for 10 minutes or so. The lbs I bought it from talked to Trek and they sent a softer set of pads to try and it has helped a lot.It hasn't stopped it but it's more random. I haven't been riding it near as much since I got a roadbike but with winter weather coming I think it'll see much more action.
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Old 09-28-12, 08:03 PM   #15
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I dont have any problems wtih squeeling rotors but i have changed them to 180mm Aligator Wind Cutters, and I still use the stock Tektro Novela calipars. I do have a set of Tektro Aquilla calipars on order. I went with them so I could still use the same 180mm brackets, and I wanted to keep the calipars white like the stock Novela's on my 2013 True Blue 8.3. The thing I dont like about the Novela's is the pads are held in by magnets. So when I ride off road I can hear the pads jingleing around inside the calipar. The Aquilla's also have a larger pad for more breaking action.

I didnt want to go with Hydro brakes because I prefer to stick with a cable brake.

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Old 09-28-12, 08:23 PM   #16
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So that's the jingly sound I hear as well. Didn't know that about the magnets
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Old 09-28-12, 10:34 PM   #17
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So that's the jingly sound I hear as well. Didn't know that about the magnets
Yea that is it. They do that so you can change pads with out having to remove a bolt. You slimply take the tire off then you can grab a pad and pull it out. When the rotor is in there there isnt enough room for the pads to fall out so the magent just has to hold them in place while the rotor is out of the calipar.
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