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Old 03-07-13, 12:19 PM   #1
i4k20z3
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Trek 8.1 DS/Giant Escape

Does anyone have any information on this bike? Or any personal reviews? I tried looking online and searching here but not too many seem to pop up. I'm a novist when it comes to cycling and trying to determine what the difference is between a bike like the Trek 8.1 DS compared to the Trek 7.1/7.2 FX.

It seems like the 8.1DS can take some wider or skinnier tires. But clearly they are not nearly as popular as the FX line, how come?

My local bikeshop seems to have these on sale for $399 and i'm wondering if it might be worth a look. I've been trying to find a bike on CL but come up with no such luck. Though this is over my budget, it might be worth considering if it's a good bike.

My main goal is something to ride to get to work (about 7 miles away) and something to ride to get a workout in every weekend. I am a big guy, at 260 lbs, so i worry about how well the wheels/frame will hold up.

Thanks.

Last edited by i4k20z3; 03-10-13 at 12:49 AM. Reason: New direction of thread
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Old 03-07-13, 12:40 PM   #2
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Looks like the DS has front suspension. If you aren't going to be going offroad, you probably want the FX with the rigid front end. As a bigger person myself, I would question if that suspension would work correctly at your weight.
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Old 03-07-13, 01:31 PM   #3
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Looks like the DS has front suspension. If you aren't going to be going offroad, you probably want the FX with the rigid front end. As a bigger person myself, I would question if that suspension would work correctly at your weight.
Well, the 8.1 ds doesn't have a front suspension, only the other higher-end models.
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Old 03-07-13, 05:03 PM   #4
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Well, the 8.1 ds doesn't have a front suspension, only the other higher-end models.
You are correct that the 8.1 DS has a rigid fork. It also has disc tabs (front and rear) in addition to the v-brakes, which will make it easy to convert or experiment with disc brakes in the future should you decide that is something that you would like to do. Some people may not like that aesthetic but I could care less- beats having to figure out what fork is compatible and either make do with a disc only in the front (nothing really wrong with that option) or finding a framebuilder/shop welder to weld on the tabs in the back... and making do without the bike during that process, not to mention the added expense.

It will also take tires up to 700x42 without fenders, 700x35 with fenders, and you could always go smaller still.

I have taken one for a brief spin and I liked it. Main reason, aside from financial considerations, that I didn't get one was the tires. The bike comes with 700x38s and I wanted to run fenders. I inquired about swapping out for some 700x35s or getting some kind of partial credit for the stock tires and the shop flat out told me they'd put new tires on after I paid full retail for them... but they would waive the install fee.
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Old 03-07-13, 07:10 PM   #5
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You are correct that the 8.1 DS has a rigid fork. It also has disc tabs (front and rear) in addition to the v-brakes, which will make it easy to convert or experiment with disc brakes in the future should you decide that is something that you would like to do. Some people may not like that aesthetic but I could care less- beats having to figure out what fork is compatible and either make do with a disc only in the front (nothing really wrong with that option) or finding a framebuilder/shop welder to weld on the tabs in the back... and making do without the bike during that process, not to mention the added expense.

It will also take tires up to 700x42 without fenders, 700x35 with fenders, and you could always go smaller still.

I have taken one for a brief spin and I liked it. Main reason, aside from financial considerations, that I didn't get one was the tires. The bike comes with 700x38s and I wanted to run fenders. I inquired about swapping out for some 700x35s or getting some kind of partial credit for the stock tires and the shop flat out told me they'd put new tires on after I paid full retail for them... but they would waive the install fee.
thanks for all the info, this is extremely useful. I'm thinking the wider tires might not be so bad for a bigger guy? And i like that the bike has upgradable features if I desired. How much do tires run if I wanted to exchange them? I'm sure they range, but around how much would they be?

My problem is that there are a few used bikes for sale, such as a Trek FX 7.3, but these are going for $300-350 and are a good two hour drive away (each way). So i'm sort of thinking that for the price of a used bike (including gas & time), I can get a brand new bike and get the benefits from a LBS. I'm just not sure how this bike necessarily compares to the FX line, but it sounds like it might be comparable to a 7.2 FX?
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Old 03-08-13, 10:34 AM   #6
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Sounds like you answered your own question. And, with a good choice...........
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Old 03-08-13, 12:46 PM   #7
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$399 is a great price for a new 8.1 DS. Go take it for a test ride and if it feels good you really can't go wrong at that price. I recently tried both the 8.1 DS and the and 7.1 FX and liked them both. The FX felt a little bit better to me (mainly due to the more road-oriented tires I think) and was cheaper so I went with that, but for $399 I would have jumped on the DS. If you decide to sell it later you should get a lot of that money back.

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Old 03-08-13, 03:45 PM   #8
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$399 is a great price for a new 8.1 DS. Go take it for a test ride and if it feels good you really can't go wrong at that price. I recently tried both the 8.1 DS and the and 7.1 FX and liked them both. The FX felt a little bit better to me (mainly due to the more road-oriented tires I think) and was cheaper so I went with that, but for $399 I would have jumped on the DS. If you decide to sell it later you should get a lot of that money back.
yah but it looks like the LBS is playing some kind of game with me. Originally he said that the 8.1 ds was on sale because it was being discontinued and that they couldn't offer any different frame sizes (even on order). When i saw on their website you can buy and have it shipped at the $399 price for all frames (though some say ships from warehouse rather than in stock), i sent out a email and the person said the total price with kickstand and water bottle holder would be $600 (with tax). I'm assuming he is using the regular price of $529 to get to that price.

So idk, i'm feeling a bit iffy about this LBS. I did find an used Giant Escape 2 for mid 200's, so i'll go check that out this weekend and if it doesn't pan out, i'll ask the LBS what's going on. Unfortunately though there are only 2 LBS within 50 miles of me, so idk. The other one gave me a horrible vibe when walking in, and this one with the Trek is making me feel offput now too. I'm hoping the escape works for me, cause it is definitely more in my original price range.
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Old 03-08-13, 04:38 PM   #9
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That Escape is a pretty good bang for your buck type of bike. If it is in decent shape and is the right size, then I would probably go with that one. Saves you some money for accessories
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Old 03-08-13, 10:33 PM   #10
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That Escape is a pretty good bang for your buck type of bike. If it is in decent shape and is the right size, then I would probably go with that one. Saves you some money for accessories

yah the person said it's a 2013, which fits the mold based on the color scheme. i'm a bit worried because it's a 21 inch and i think a 19 inch is better suited for me. but idk, i'll go take a test ride and see how i feel on it. I'm 5'10, but have a short inseam based on my measurements (28-29 inches). The measuring calculators don't even go that low, so maybe i'm doing something wrong, idk.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:52 PM   #11
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So here she is!



Based on what i read, it is a bit big. When I straddle it, there is my uhm, privates go right up to the top tube. Definitely can't move it up or down. However, when I was riding it, there was just a slight bend in the knee at the lowest level..so idk. It seemed to ride fine. I figure i got it for an awesome price and it wouldn't be too hard to sell in the future if i really think I need a 19inch frame as opposed to this 21 inch, since i live by a college campus, i'm sure there will be a lot of bikes for sale at the end of the semester.

I think she was kept outside though cause the harsh environment wasn't kind considering it's only a 2013. There's a bike coop though that teaches you mechanic skills, so i figure if i need to in the future i can hit them up.







What does everyone think overall?
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Old 03-09-13, 11:42 PM   #12
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Nice looking bike, it should clean up fine. Congrats
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Old 03-15-13, 02:31 PM   #13
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No bike is worth the price if it does not fit. With a sloped top-tube like that, there is no way it should be hitting you in the crotch when you stand over it. You would have been better off with the new 8.1DS that actually fit.
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Old 03-15-13, 03:01 PM   #14
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With that longer upper torso, you may need that size, to stretch you out. If it is comfortable to ride, it's sized fine. It's easy to judge, but only you can be the jury.
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