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Old 07-02-12, 03:59 PM   #1
Toenhi
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Question Trek DS 8.5 bound...almost

Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and just wanted to say thank you to all the DS owners for sharing their experiences and non-DS owners for sharing their opinions.

I found my way to this forum while looking for reviews of the DS 8.5. I haven't found a lot of reviews for the 8.5 around the web.

So to my question. Is the Trek DS 8.5 the right bike for me? I have a deposit on a DS 8.5 at a LBS, and I'm just waiting to go test ride it to make sure it's what I want. Initially I was looking for a new bike to take my daughter on rides with. 20 years ago I started mountain biking with a Diamondback V-Link FS bike. A few years later I bought a Gary Fisher Joshua F4, also a FS bike. While I enjoyed riding those bikes on trails, I always thought about getting a dedicated road bike because I like to go fast. Back then, I was considering a cyclocross because I know if I see a dirt path, I am going to take it.

Jump to present day. I haven't been doing any real riding in a long time. Maybe 10+ years. I have a hybrid Schwinn I bought a few years ago because the wife wanted to go biking with friends. I took it out on a couple dirt paths, but it was all flat. So now I want to get a bike to attach a baby seat called a Weeride, and take my daughter to the park and on some paved trails. I thought the DS 8.5 would be perfect for that and for scratching my itch to play in the dirt. So as I am waiting for the LBS to build the 8.5, I hit youtube to see videos of riders on the locals trails close to where I live. Now I really want to ride some of these trails, but worried the 8.5 with it's less aggressive 63mm Suntour won't be up to the task. I've seen Zerogravity's video of his 8.4 (tricked out) taking on some trails, but I do not have the time to tweak a bike to make it trail ready when I can just buy one. I'm trying to stay under $1,500 because I don't know how much I will get back into riding, let alone trail riding. Wife thinks it's a phase I am going through to recapture my youth. I'm turning 40 this year, so maybe she is right...

I guess I just need some reassurance that I am making the right choice by going with a crossover/dualsport instead of a mountain bike. I don't want to take the 8.5 on the trail and get hurt trying to push it beyond it's limits. See the link below to see what type of trail I want to take it on when not giving rides to my daughter. Sometimes you can not go back to recapture your youth. Or at least you shouldn't try.

Thanks in advance for all your input.

Tony

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Old 07-03-12, 03:42 PM   #2
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I don't have a 8.5 but I do have an 8.4 so I will give you my opinion. I would go for the mountain bike that way if you do decide to ride more aggressive trails you will have a bike for it (I now own a Trek Mamba in addition to the 8.4). I don't think this will apply to you but the 8.4 has a manual lockout on the front fork and this has come off of several bikes while riding (the 8.5 has a remote lockout and so the lever is attached differently instead of just pushed on). You can always buy a seperate set of wheels with street tires to ride on the paved trails and still stay under your $1500 cap. Again this is just my personal opinion. Maybe some of the people who already own 8.5s will chime in.
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Old 07-03-12, 03:49 PM   #3
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I've got an 8.3 but don't think I'd want to take it on the trail your video shows, at least not in an aggressive manner.If you put heavier shocks on I think the money would be better spent on a dedicated MB.
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Old 07-03-12, 04:47 PM   #4
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I was originally going to get a DS series, but I decided to convert my Trek Cobia to a hybrid and just get a new mountain bike. The Cobia as a hybrid is very awesome. All you really need to do is put some 700x38 tires on it and for the most part it's a DS, except it'll have a 100mm travel Recon air shock, which is much more versatile.
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Old 07-03-12, 08:03 PM   #5
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I was originally going to get a DS series, but I decided to convert my Trek Cobia to a hybrid and just get a new mountain bike. The Cobia as a hybrid is very awesome. All you really need to do is put some 700x38 tires on it and for the most part it's a DS, except it'll have a 100mm travel Recon air shock, which is much more versatile.
How does the geometry compare with these two? Is the DS more upright? I can never understand all those measurements. I wonder if the Cobia's brakes squeal?
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Old 07-03-12, 09:26 PM   #6
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How does the geometry compare with these two? Is the DS more upright? I can never understand all those measurements. I wonder if the Cobia's brakes squeal?
Geometry is almost identical. The DS will probably feel a little more upright just because its handlebars have a little more rise.
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Old 07-04-12, 12:07 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your input. I rode the 8.5 today, and love the speed I can generate with the front suspension locked out. I decided to get the 8.5 for now, and possibly buy a full suspension if I find out I can't do what I want on the trails.
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Old 07-04-12, 12:17 AM   #8
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Sure is a great riding bike. Enjoy!
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Old 07-04-12, 02:00 AM   #9
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Sure is a great riding bike. Enjoy!
I saw one at the LBS and agree, very nice bike. Truthfully, I can't see that it's any different than a 29er. Which goes to show how versatile a 29er really is.
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Old 07-04-12, 03:59 AM   #10
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I saw one at the LBS and agree, very nice bike. Truthfully, I can't see that it's any different than a 29er. Which goes to show how versatile a 29er really is.
The only major differences are the shock and the tire width. Everything else is subtle, such as with the DS, the gearing is a little taller and you have a little more rise in the handlebars over a Cobia.

I personally think the Cobia is a much better buy than the 8.5 DS because if you throw a couple 700x38 tires on it, it'll do everything the 8.5 will do. But you gain that 100mm air shock up front and you can take it out on mountain bike trails if you want.

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Old 07-04-12, 11:03 AM   #11
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I couldn't find the Cobia in Trek's catalog, is it now called a Mamba?
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Old 07-04-12, 11:04 AM   #12
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I couldn't find the Cobia in Trek's catalog, is it now called a Mamba?
No, the Mamba is a different model.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...r_race/cobia/#
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Old 07-05-12, 01:15 PM   #13
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Honestly, the 8.5 will be fine. I think the trails i have taken my 8.4 really ask for more travel, wider tires, wider bars, etc. The stock 63mm fork Handled those trails..although bottoming out with me weighing 225lbs, it still worked. I wouldn't go spending like i did unless you know you will start doing harder/technical trails on a regular basis. I say get your feet wet first. Settle for the bike that suits your needs now and at your budget. I only got teh Reba Fork about a month before i got my Rumblefish so for 6 months, the stock fork held up to about 95% of my videos you see on there. Regardless, get what FEELS best to you. Comfort should be #1 cuz it is you who are riding it.

I currently have an 80mm Fork on my DS 8.4. It still bottoms out, but does the job. I think the biggest one should go on a DS is 100mm.

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Old 07-12-12, 03:40 PM   #14
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Honestly, the 8.5 will be fine. I think the trails i have taken my 8.4 really ask for more travel, wider tires, wider bars, etc. The stock 63mm fork Handled those trails..although bottoming out with me weighing 225lbs, it still worked. I wouldn't go spending like i did unless you know you will start doing harder/technical trails on a regular basis. I say get your feet wet first. Settle for the bike that suits your needs now and at your budget. I only got teh Reba Fork about a month before i got my Rumblefish so for 6 months, the stock fork held up to about 95% of my videos you see on there. Regardless, get what FEELS best to you. Comfort should be #1 cuz it is you who are riding it.

I currently have an 80mm Fork on my DS 8.4. It still bottoms out, but does the job. I think the biggest one should go on a DS is 100mm.
I was looking at the 8.5 also. Weighing in a whopping 140 lbs me thinks the stock fork should work fine.
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Old 07-12-12, 06:59 PM   #15
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Thing to note is the price difference in the Cobia and 8.5DS is not much. And usually shops will drop the price on a Cobia more than on a DS.

With the 8.5DS, you get that heavy 5+lb spring fork that is set at a fixed firmness level. With the Cobia, you get a fully tunable air fork that's probably 1lb lighter, and it's a fully trail-ready mountain bike, so if you ever want to ride trails, you just swap the original tires back on.

My main point is there's really very little advantage in buying an 8.5DS over a Cobia, unless that extra $50 is really gonna strain you.
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