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  1. #1
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    Is the DS 8.3 worth upgrading?

    OK, so I know that a lot of folks here have Trek bikes - and so do I. When I decided to ride, I went out and checked around - a very, very little. I "knew" I wanted a front suspension and disc brakes. Why doesn't matter here, but it's what I had in my head.

    I had $1000 to spend and figured the $609 (plus tax) and the other stuff I needed meant the DS 8.3 was the bike for me.

    300 miles later, I find I really wish I'd bought a FX - or a more road-oriented bike, period. I also wish I'd left the "stuff" for later and bought a bit higher. To that end, I've upgraded tires to more road oriented Marathon Supremes (700x35), which I love.

    So here's my question, I'm definitely going to purchase a road bike in the summer. I'm going to keep the DS and I'm thinking of upgrading it. When I discussed this with the seller of the bike, I was met with blank stares and when pushed, a 'why?' attitude. Why would you spend $300 more on a $600 bike? I was thinking of upgrading the cranks, both derailleurs, and the cassette, shifters and chain to Deore. About $245 in parts and my real (local) lbs, who is a bike mech shop first, then a bike sales shop, said about $100-125 to install and set it up.

    I get the 44/32/22 crank, which I really need for the hills, plus a 9sp instead of 8. <- these are really the goal. I know I can get an 8-sp crank that can replace existing one (48/36/28) and leave the rest alone.

    I've read a lot of top end bikes within a manufacturer often have the same frame and the differentiators are the component levels. I know the 8.3 is NOT a top level bike and I'm not suggesting that. What I am wondering is if the frame I do have is worthy of these upgrades. Should I continue to spend money on it or sell it for the loss and buy a higher end hybrid? I just don't know enough ..to know. You know? Should I just change out the crankset for the lower gears and leave the rest?

    Suggestions are welcome.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
    www.ascendingparadise.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member bwilliams's Avatar
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    I guess it really depends on how much you like to personalize something,me i love doing it,i have changed my crank to 48-38-26,i have added trekking bars and a stem riser,i like a more upright position,added BB7 brakes,thudbuster seat post and a rear rack,ergon pedals,some mavic wheels,rock shox front fork,...

    Now going the direction that i am now with the DS,the only thing i probably would not have changed is the fork,when i did it was riding more woods trails,since then i have fallen in love with rails to trails so more of a road direction but as i lose weight and get more fit i can change to a offroad setup pretty easy..


    i to have thought about another bike but i just love how the DS works for me and any things i felt were short comings have now been corrected..
    2011 Trek DS 8.3
    2013 Trek Marlin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    You DON'T need to change the derailleurs!
    On my TWO 9 speed bikes, I'm running Tourney on one and ALTUS/ACERA on the other.
    They shift GREAT. It's a matter of having them adjusted correctly.

    Cassettes-
    IF you had a 7 speed and wanted to go to 8, I'd tell you to skip 8 and go to 9.
    Since you have 8, the "improvement isn't nearly as great per cost.
    I've found the variety of choices in 8 speed cassettes rather lacking. Either mountain or road with nothing in between.
    THAT can be changed relatively inexpensively.
    I assume you have one of those gawd awful 11-32's or similar?
    Pick up a 12-23 or 13-26, a lock ring removal tool and a chain whip.
    You can now separate the 2 cassette and build your custom by mix/matching cogs to fit your needs.

  4. #4
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    I do have a 11-32, which is stock on the 2013. I was thinking of switching to the MTB crank (which typically sport a 22t on the low end). I really need the low gear for now while I'm strength-building. I'm never really going to need the shocks - I'm just not going to grow a new back, so I'm not going off-road. No problems - I'll keep riding while it, get the new crank (it's a huge $40 new) and get a CX-type. I'm not going to a complete road bike and those seem to offer mostly road while retaining some trail ability. I recently was looking at a Norco Threshold Alloy.

    I 'spose once I finally get some strength in my legs I can just sell the DS. Till then, I'm gonna need the 22t or the only hills I'll be climbing will be with my Nikes. Pushing the bike.
    Last edited by MadProphet; 01-30-13 at 08:07 PM.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
    www.ascendingparadise.com

  5. #5
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    It all depends on how much you like the feel of your bike. If you really like the way it fits and feels, upgrade it and keep riding it. If you're not in love with it, sell it and move on.
    2012 Trek DS 8.3 (Gary Fisher)
    - Deore rear (upgrade)
    - Ergon GX2 grips and magnesium bar ends
    - Kenda Happy Medium Cyclocross tires 700x35
    - Bontrager Trunk - Deluxe
    - Shimano PD-A530 clipless pedals
    - CatEye Strada Wirelesss

  6. #6
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    It's not that there's anything wrong with the DS! You replaced the rd (and I sent you a pm about that, did you get it?) - I'm just wondering if, given the responses I've received from bike shops, it's worth it. Seems to me that all the way up to at least 8.5 they are the same frame, so I think new components could be worth it.

    I'm so new to this that much of what I think is a good idea turns out not to be such a good idea in real life. So I'm just asking is all!
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
    www.ascendingparadise.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    i am still running a 48 triple with a 12/32 cassette 8 speed. age has forced the low gearing, or like you stated i would be walking up most steep hills. my cassete was 11/32 but i picked up a used cassete from ebay and got the the tools to change the cassette. 13/32 might even work better for me as most of my hills going up or down are short. i would run the 44 crank as an 8 before you change to a 9 speed and see how it goes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    If you just need lower gearing how about just changing the inner chainring, way cheaper than a whole crank. I'm about to do that on mu road bike after lots of research. I've got a 8.3ds but rarely ride it as I found I really wanted to just road cycle. It's still a fine bike but so heavy.

  9. #9
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    I'm going to keep mine for the hills up here and the surrounding trails. But yeah - road bike time. I'm just having a hard time finding a road bike with good components, a non-carbon frame and disc brakes. Might end up with a cyclocross bike.

    I'm going Wednesday to ride a couple road bikes and next week to try a Norco Threshold.
    Last edited by MadProphet; 02-11-13 at 08:12 PM.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
    www.ascendingparadise.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadProphet View Post
    I'm just having a hard time finding a road bike with good components, a non-carbon frame and disc brakes. Might end up with a cyclocross bike.
    Road bikes with disc brakes virtually didn't exist 2 years ago and there are very few out there. The steel framed Volagi is pretty cool but may be out of your budget. You're going to have many more disc brake options in Cyclocross bikes.


  11. #11
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    Yeah..... no. $3500 is slightly out of my budget. Like about $2000 out of my budget. :-) But it is a gorgeous selection! Right now, my focus is on the Norco Threshold Alloy for a cyclocross or perhaps a Madrone if I decide to forgo disc brakes. Which I don't see me doing. Of course, my stupid stubborn decisions in the purchase of the 8.3 are what led me to the point I'm at now. So I'm trying to keep an open mind. Millions of folks ride rim brakes (to the podium at the Tour de France, for instance), so they can't be all bad and I shouldn't make everything dependent on disc brakes. Well, disc brakes and a minimum of a 105 group set. :-) And a budget of around $1500-1700.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
    www.ascendingparadise.com

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