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Old 11-28-13, 01:12 AM   #1
debrent
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Loving my new DS 8.4

Walked 5.5 miles to the bike store just so I could ride it home yesterday. Then took her on a nice little 10 mile shakedown cruise. After the walk+ride, it was enough for me for one day. I'm only just getting back into the whole exercise thing again.

Did a longer 21 mile ride today but it was a pretty pedestrian pace and took me over 2 hrs. I've got a long way to go but it's going to be fun getting there.

As far as the bike goes, it's a perfect choice for the riding I want to do. I'm mostly on paved roads and paths but I don't worry when the occasional dirt stretch of path comes up and adjusting the front fork is smooth and easy to do while under way. The shifting is smooth and precise and the hydraulic disc brakes are so much smoother and more predictable then the manual disc brakes I had on my last bike.

My only real complaint would be the same I've read from others and that is the saddle isn't exactly comfortable. In fact my sit bones feel bruised right now and I probably won't ride tomorrow as a result. I definitely need to look into a more comfortable seat especially since my rides are likely to be in the 2+ hr range.

I've also been using the "mapmyride" free app and I quite like it for reviewing my route, times, speed, and elevation changes as well as calories burned. Not bad at all for a freebie.

Anyway just wanted to jump on and shrare my first couple of days on my new hybrid with everyone. Take care...

Don B.

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Old 11-28-13, 01:37 AM   #2
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If you have not ridden regularly within the past few months your sit bones will hurt for the first month or so. Give the saddle a chance before you do anything.
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Old 11-28-13, 10:10 AM   #3
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Glad to hear you're enjoying it. I've had my Trek for about 6 months and I still get a big kick out of it each time I go and get it out of the garage.

I would give the seat a chance before looking into something different. It's a common complaint from people who haven't ridden in a long time.
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Old 11-28-13, 11:33 AM   #4
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Ditto on the seat. My Giant's seat is hard as a rock, but I can ride it for 60 miles with no trouble.
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Old 11-29-13, 12:00 AM   #5
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Are there any disadvantages to a softer or more padded seat?
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Old 11-29-13, 07:06 PM   #6
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Softer saddle can cause you to sink into the saddle and cause pressure in between your sitbones that are not meant to bear weight. It can lead to issues like numbness in your genitals in some situations.

Just make sure the saddle is wide enough for your sit bones.
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Old 12-01-13, 06:35 PM   #7
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New bike? Pics please!
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Old 04-30-14, 08:57 PM   #8
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Just got a 2013 Trek DS 8.4 myself, and also loving it!

I am coming from a 30 year old road bike, that has served me well. But was time for something new, and going on occasional trails with it just did not feel right! I am also now often biking with my slow wife, and 6 year old daughter, were comfort (my back isn't what it used to be) would come in more handy than an extra 2MPH average speed. Figured a hybrid should be versatile for my needs: Leisure biking on roads, paths, and mild dirt trails.

Tried an FX, felt as rough on bad pavement as my road bike, and the tires did not seem trail worthy. I already have a road bike. Tried a DS, much smoother, looks trail worthy, and just felt like what I was looking for!

Test drove a DS 8.2, but the non locking front fork became a deal breaker. Never having had a bike with suspension before, the bobbing up and down when peddling hard just did not feel right. The DS 8.3 with locking front felt better, although I was not crazy about the mechanical disk brakes ... I felt (perhaps incorrectly) that it had less stopping power, although the salesman said they have to be broken in to grab better.

Then I saw the last years model DS 8.4 discounted, and managed to bargain it to $240 off (they were not budging on 2014) ... at the same price as a 2014 DS 8.3, I figured this was the bike for me!

The DS 8.4 (vs 8.3) has hydraulic disk brakes that can really grab yet have great modulation, has a lockable front fork that can be adjusted for firmness and locked while riding, Shimano Deore rear, nicer handle bar and grips, and several other components are one up. Difference with the 2013 is the white colour, Hayes instead of Shimano hydraulic brakes, and Suntour instead of RST fork.

Enjoying the bike:
- Weighed in at 29.5lbs (for 17.5" frame) ... Trek for some reason refused to disclose weight.
- The hydraulic disk brakes just feel amazing. Even though the Hayes are not very well reviewed, I don't know how they could feel much better!
- I usually leave the front shock locked, but when the going gets very rough, nice to open it up to dampen things.
- Tires feel smooth enough on the road ... I notice when turning sharply it starts riding on the knobs, and you can feel the transition.
- Shifting is nice and smooth ... the cross chain extremes are slightly noisier but I assume that is normal and those gears to be avoided.
- I find the seat just fine.
- The better grips on the 8.4 feel great, where they contour your palms which can rest on them.
- Although I was not crazy about the matt white at first, it grew on me, and I find the blue accents tasteful. They are quite detail oriented, even the wire crimps are blue! (as well as pedals, seat lines, handle bar grip caps, and wheel stripes)
- When I removed the front wheel, and re-installed it, the front disks rubbed a bit ... this seems a common problem with disk brakes across different bikes since they have 1mm clearance between disk and pads. Found a common solution after a bit of googling: Loosen the two allen screws holding down the callipers that are facing towards the back of the bike, hold down brake handle to clamp brakes to re-center it, re-tighten screws while brake clamped. Rub 100% gone.

Added a large Topeak seat bag for pump, tools, and tire patch. Found a good side location to mount a Kryptonite U lock with no leg interference (middle triangle too small). And yes, I find a kick stand convenient, just call me Fred!


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Old 05-02-14, 01:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by steve_cay View Post
Just got a 2013 Trek DS 8.4 myself, and also loving it!

- Although I was not crazy about the matt white at first, it grew on me, and I find the blue accents tasteful. They are quite detail oriented, even the wire crimps are blue! (as well as pedals, seat lines, handle bar grip caps, and wheel stripes)


I love the white colour scheme of your bike.

That is pretty much the colour scheme I would love to get on my bike purchase later on this year.
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Old 05-02-14, 05:22 AM   #10
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- The hydraulic disk brakes just feel amazing. Even though the Hayes are not very well reviewed, I don't know how they could feel much better!
The one and only thing they lack is a reach adjustment. The dracos they put on my wife's Neko SL have that.

Just curious, how tall are you folks compared to with frame size?

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Old 05-02-14, 09:51 AM   #11
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5'9 17.5" frame
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Old 05-02-14, 10:03 AM   #12
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Also 5'9 with 17.5" frame. 31" inseam, and arm to arm reach slightly less than hight. Shop said this was the frame for me.

I am used to a 23" road bike (probably a tad large for me) for the last 30 years ... was not sure exactly how a hybrid was supposed to fit.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:26 AM   #13
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How is your seat height relative to the handle bar height?

I'm 5-11.5 and am on the 21" from last year. Never felt quite right, thought it was just plain too big for me.

Other than my person fit issue, I love the bike. Nice bit of hardware kit on it and it feels a little closer to a "29er with skinny tires" compared to others I looked at which were closer to "fitness bikes with a suspension fork".

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Old 05-02-14, 10:46 AM   #14
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How is your seat height relative to the handle bar height?

I'm 5-11.5 and am on the 21" from last year. Never felt quite right, thought it was just plain too big for me. I tried a super short (60mm) stem but after looking at pics of myself on it its not the reach that's my problem, its the height. I think Trek could have left me a little more steerer above the headtube. I'm going to order a 25deg stem and see what that does for me.
I ride (regular shoes) with the seat set as in the picture. There is the slightest bend to my knee on the full downstroke, and I can lock my knee if I want. Using a level, the seat is 1" lower than the the handle bar head-set, and 2.5" lower than the top of the handlebars themselves. When I stand, I can feel my private parts brushing on the top tube, but can also get my hand under between my legs as well. Hope that explains my fit

I obsessed over my fit after the fact as well (wondering if I should have gotten 19), every online guide says something else, and even the one googling "Trek bike fit" sounds dubious, recommending 19 for me, and 21 for you ... but it is just a "hybrid" category based on hight, instead of specific model and body type specific like some of the more advanced online calculators. The guy at the store just eyed me, and looked at me on the bike, and said that that was the correct fit, and just ruled out the 19 he also had in stock.

The consensus seems to be if in doubt, go smaller.

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Old 05-02-14, 10:52 AM   #15
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The consensus seems to be if in doubt, go smaller.
Yea, thats a little gem I could have used last spring.

I too obsessed about fit after the fact as well (to some extent still am).

Someone in another thread suggested that the DS is a continuation of the Gary Fisher Genesis 1 geometry, characterized by long TT, short stems, and seat (weight) moved rearward over the back wheel....but that doesn't really wash since most sizes come with a 90mm stem (mine came with a 105) and looking at the chain-stay and seat tube angle, we are no more over the back wheel than any other comparable bike from the other top brands.

I tried a crazy short (60mm) stem last week on the one day it wasn't raining and it definitely made my posture more comfortable, but it still feels like "too much" bike. Its like new though so I could probably recoup the lion's share of what I paid and get the 19.5" but I'm scared I'll trade one issue (reach) for another (stack height).

Pity because I REALLY like the bike otherwise.

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Old 05-06-14, 08:57 AM   #16
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I assume you already fiddled with the seat fore and aft adjustment?

Although it felt fine before, last night I did the plumb line from the bone protrusion below the knee cap, to the pedal spindle. Found I was foreword to the spindle, and had to move the seat all the way back to be centred!

Not sure if moving the seat to the extreme (although less than an inch) is a reflection of the bike geometry, or my body type to the frame size.

Will see if I feel any difference on my next ride.

P.S. Most fitting guides say never move the seat fore and aft to compensate for handlebar position, but centre knees to pedal first, and then adjust steering as a separate step.
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Old 05-07-14, 07:28 AM   #17
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This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I think its time for an unofficial DS owners thread.

On the 21" I have the seat just aft of center and it feels right in relation to the pedals. IIRC, when I tried the 19.5" last spring, we had the seat set back a fair bit. My wife has the seat as far back as it will go on her Neko SL (essentially a "women's DS"). She's 5'-10" on the 18".

Its interesting to note that in their first year, 2012, the DS line had even longer top tubes (by almost a full inch across the board) with shorter chainstay length (by about 3/4 of an inch) and more offset. Seems like those adhered to the GF Genesis1 philosophy, and probably were, in essence, "29er lites", though the standover was, and is, a little less than generous. The very next year though they went to the sizing we have now. I wish manufacturers were more conversational about the whys and wherefores of their design decisions.

I'd be inclined to stick it out on the 21" for another year, but the stand over (or lack thereof) preoccupies me a little. Like you my privates brush the bar when standing over it, though I can lift up the front a bit (measured when standing RIGHT in front of the saddle).

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Old 05-07-14, 09:28 AM   #18
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Yes, interesting. Between 4 samples on various frame sizes, all needed the seat back. A little back on a too big frame, and all the way back on just right or smaller frames.

So unless the three of us are abnormal, seems to be relate to the geometry. Now I wonder if the design intent of the DS is that you are actualy seated half an inch foreword to the pedals?

BTW, I felt just fine before this adjustment, and felt just fine on a ride after this adjustment. Either I am not as sensitive as yourself, or have a better fit Since I am coming from a road bike, I don't exactly have a preconceived notion of what a perfect hybrid or mountain bike fit feels like.

Still love this bike.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:37 AM   #19
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Are there any disadvantages to a softer or more padded seat?
If I go over 12 miles with a very soft saddle, I end up feeling numb in my rear as if there's not enough circulation. So to me I guess semi-hard over longer distances might be preferable. (There's a period of adaptation as people say here.)
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Old 05-08-14, 06:20 AM   #20
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So unless the three of us are abnormal, seems to be relate to the geometry. Now I wonder if the design intent of the DS is that you are actualy seated half an inch foreword to the pedals?
I have a theory, and that is that Trek didint give us enough head tube and/or steerer to get us out of the "race" posture and more into the a more upright "fitness" one. When I think of my test ride on the 19.5", and my wanting to push my bum backwards, I think it had less to do with the reach (which was generous) and more to do with the height of the bars (which, relatively to other hybrids, is rather low).

Let ignore ETT, Seat Tube angle and length. There is only one best position for our seat relative to the cranks and that same position can be achieved, within reason, on several different sizes. That leaves us with frame reach and stack, or "where the top of the headtube is relative to the cranks". Between the 19.5 and 21 frames, there is barely 1/4" difference in reach, but almost 1/2" in height. Roughly the same deltas for you between the 17.5 and 19.5. So, assuming the factory is leaving the same amount of steerer above the head tube on all of them, that stack height is the one subtle, but I think critical factor between the sizes.

The one massive difference between the frames of course: stand-over height, a solid inch and a half between each one.

It would be terribly interesting if I could test ride the 19.5" again with, say, a 25deg. stem, just to levitate the bars by a couple centimeters (dealer doesn't stock them though, and if they did I dont know that they want to set up a test like that without the promise of a imminent sale).

On a completely different note, have you thought about swapping out for the Paragon (or similar) down the road at some point? I think that would really be the caper for these bikes.

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