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  1. #1
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    Official Trek DS owners thread

    Lots of good info on the versatile Trek DS posted here and there on this forum! But like Sunsanvil suggested in another thread, it is "time for an unofficial DS owners thread. "

    Being a man of action (or more likely just bored), here it is! And I one upped him, and created an "official" one instead. If the FX gets an official thread here, the DS deserves one as well!

    So post your pictures and videos, show off your mods, give your opinions and reviews, and ask your questions ... DS owners, fans, and potential buyers unite!

    Let's see where this thread goes ...
    Last edited by steve_cay; 05-08-14 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Here are some photos of my 2013 Trek DS 8.4 to kick it off:






  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_cay View Post
    Here are some photos of my 2013 Trek DS 8.4 to kick it off:





    God! That is one gorgeous bike! I love it!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-09-14 at 06:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    I'm keen to hear from other owners what your height and DS size is, if you swapped out stem etc. I'm 5'-11.5" on the 21, swapped out the freekishly long 105mm stem for a 90 the day after I bought it. I'm wanting to try 75mm 25deg this summer to raise me up just a bit.

    Anyone done any upgrades? Planning any? Who will be the first to try the RockShox Paragon on one of these?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunsanvil View Post
    I'm keen to hear from other owners what your height and DS size is, if you swapped out stem etc. I'm 5'-11.5" on the 21, swapped out the freekishly long 105mm stem for a 90 the day after I bought it. I'm wanting to try 75mm 25deg this summer to raise me up just a bit.

    Anyone done any upgrades? Planning any? Who will be the first to try the RockShox Paragon on one of these?
    I'm 6'1" and was fitted for the 21" yesterday. And that was kind of big. The lady said I could do a 19 for a more upright ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly215 View Post
    The lady said I could do a 19 for a more upright ride.
    Less so than you might think. Because of the different seat-tube angles between the 19 and 21, you will likely end up moving the seat on the 19 back to get you in the same position relative to the cranks. The REAL difference between the frames is only a 1/4" in reach, BUT almost 1/2" difference in stack. In other words, assuming identical stems, the bars will be a little closer, but more-so lower on the 19 compared to the 21. I say "assuming identical stems" because they sort of fool you into thinking there is a greater difference in reach between the two by putting a 105mm on the 21 and a 90mm on the 19.

    If you want to be more upright, on either frame, I think you'll find you need to swap stems for one with an angle greater than the 10deg stock. As long as your stand-over is good (I cant imagine it wouldn't be), you should be able to get pretty much the exact same fit on either, though given your height I'd guess it'd be easier on the 21. Trust me, I've been obsessing over this for the past year.
    Last edited by Sunsanvil; 05-08-14 at 06:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    Well I liked the fit of the 21 so I think I might buy it. Would it be difficult or even make sense to convert it to a 1x10 or 1x8? 30 speeds seems absolutely ridiculous to me.

  8. #8
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    Which DS are you looking at? The 8.6 is the only one with a 3x10 drivetrain. Believe me 10 at the back is not too much choice. I know 2x10 is all the rage right now in higher end cross country, and it sort of makes sense to have finer range at the back, but when I test rode one recently I was in the top gear and felt I could use one more on the fast flats. Wished there was that 3rd chainring.

    Remember that its not really 30 speeds. You dont actually go through them sequentially like a car. Think of the chain rings (front gears) as a range choice you set based on the current riding conditions. If you are anything like me you'll spend 90% of you time on the middle chainring, and switch to the other two only when facing extended up/down hill sections.

    This is an impromptu calc on my part using Sheldon's, but on the middle chainring you'll have ratios from 2.2 to 6.5. The large chain ring will literally give you a couple more (up to 8.6), same for the small one (down to 1.6).
    For 700 X 35 / 35-622 tire with 175 mm cranks

    With 10-speed 11-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-28-32 Cassette

    48 33.3 % 36 38.5 % 26
    11 8.6 6.5 4.7
    18.2 %
    13 7.3 5.5 3.9
    15.4 %
    15 6.3 4.7 3.4
    13.3 %
    17 5.6 4.2 3.0
    11.8 %
    19 5.0 3.7 2.7
    10.5 %
    21 4.5 3.4 2.4
    9.5 %
    23 4.1 3.1 2.2
    8.7 %
    25 3.8 2.8 2.1
    12.0 %
    28 3.4 2.5 1.8
    14.3 %
    32 3.0 2.2 1.6
    Last edited by Sunsanvil; 05-09-14 at 08:20 AM.

  9. #9
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    Here is my fly ride. 2013 8.4



    Thats a Kleen Kanteen in their proprietary cage, and on the bars an antiquated, but functional, Garmin GPS used mainly for telemetry (not navigation).

  10. #10
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    For the absolute minutia obsessed, I've plotted the frames in terms of seat and head tubes to put some perspective on how they really differ.



    A few notes:

    - This is the 2013/2014 geometry (the inaugural 2012 models were notably different).
    - The seat/head tube thickness is approximate only, but the lengths/angles are 100% accurate (at least per their specs).
    - Top tube position is approximate (since I don't know precisely how far bellow the top of the head/seat tube it is).
    - Their site continues to be wrong in quoting the 19.5" as 19.

    Key take aways:

    - Trek has cheated a bit in terms of ETT measurements: By steepening the seat tube angle on the smaller frames it artificially shortens the ETT. Assuming that each rider has a single ideal seat position relative to the cranks, the saddle will be slid rearward on its rails on a smaller frame compared to the next size up (and/or slid forward on a larger frame compared to the next one down). Taking my seat height of ~31" as an example, the change in seattube angle between two frames nullifies more than 1/4" of the ETT (in other words, while on paper there might be 1/2" difference between frames, in practicality there is only 1/4").
    - They've also varied the headtube angle: steeper as you go up in frame size. While this has a negligible effect on reach, it does mean the trail gets progressively less.
    - The top of the headtube relative to the cranks (the frames' reach and stack) looks to be sensibly proportional, if affording only minor deltas between sizes. Beware of going down a size to reduce your reach: you will be dropping down by more than you are coming in. You may in some cases be better off staying with the larger frame and swapping out the stem for a shorter one (and/or higher rise).
    - The significant difference therefore between the frames is of course the standover and should likely be the driving factor when being fitted. As long as you have enough to be comfortable, but not so much as to have more seat post than tube showing, any two adjacent sized frames can, within reason, provide an identical fit between them (by minor change in stem).

    The one detail I dont know is if Trek varies the amount of excess steerer on the various frame sizes. Anecdotally, looking at other folks' photos, I would say not (and I've yet to see anyone flip the spacers to drop the bars).

    On balance, in my humble opinion, while I like my bike I think Trek can do better with their sizing. As demonstrated there is not a tremendous amount of actual size difference between them, which means that the posture for a tall person, even on one of the larger frames will be markedly different compared to shorter person on one of the smaller frames: the taller person will end up with the bars in a lower position relative to the saddle compared to a short person. This can of course be corrected to a certain extent with stem swaps, but I wonder if the starting point couldn't be a little closer to the mark.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Sunsanvil; 05-13-14 at 07:59 AM.

  11. #11
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    For the record, I am 5'9.5", and ride the 17.5" frame. That is what the store said was my size, and I feel just fine on it. I did slide my seat all the way back to get my knee centred on the pedal spindle. This is my first Hybrid, so I do not have other experiences on the feeling of a perfect hybrid fit.

    There are also two other forum members that stated in other threads that they are 5'9" and ride a 17.5" DS frame.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sunsanvil View Post
    For the absolute minutia obsessed, I've plotted the frames in terms of seat and head tubes to put some perspective on how they really differ.

    P.S. Being minutia obsessed myself, your diagram is very interesting. Seems a one size bigger frames makes only minor changes other than lifting the cross bar up, and having more seat tube instead of seat post exposed for a given seating hight. Considering my privates are brushing against the top tube already (when standing), there would probably not be much benefit to the 19" other than size envy
    Last edited by steve_cay; 05-09-14 at 04:02 PM.

  12. #12
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    Nice looking bike Sunsanvil! I wanted a darker one in black or charcoal, but the $200 and something off on the 2013 leftover white ones were too good a deal to pass up. And the white is growing on me.






    After my ride today, I broke out my old trusty road bike to go for another spin to see what I have been missing with this hybrid ... and to my surprise, nothing!


    I did not feel sudden effortlessness, and new found speed! In fact I could hardly notice if I was going much faster with the skinny tires and a couple of pounds shaving, perhaps instrumentation would show a small difference ...


    I did feel less comfortable in the hunkered over stance, with narrower arm spacing. The staring at the road under me view was less pleasant. And not being able to use the brakes when on the top bar became annoying fast. On the plus side, the slick road tires were silent, while on the DS they emit a hum at speed.


    After hearing and reading so many comments that there is no way I could enjoy a hybrid, coming from a road bike ... must say, for me at least, it is the opposite, at least in the first few weeks.


    And yes I do know the road bike stance would be a more comfortable and energy efficient posture on long journeys, and would win out on timed rides. But for leisure, exercise, and getting out in the woods, i believe I made a good choice in the DS!

  13. #13
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    Hi. How much did you pay for your DS?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrashy2004 View Post
    Hi. How much did you pay for your DS?
    C$699 in Canada, for a 2013 leftover stock DS 8.4 a month ago. ~US$640.

    They had them marked at 20% off, and I bargained a bit more. Every store I went to a month ago had 2013 models of various brands and models marked down, most of them only colour changes for 2014. Seems the way to go for the value oriented.

  15. #15
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    8.4 runs between C$825-$899 (in Atlantic Canada).

  16. #16
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    Is this the same as the Trek Neko?

  17. #17
    Senior Member deerfly's Avatar
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    The Neko is kind of the women's version of the DS line.

  18. #18
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    Anyone had problems with their ergo grips? One of mine has a bit of play to it and I cant figure it out. The outer metal clamp is snug but the grip itself can easily be "rolled" a couple degrees. I know it doesnt sound like a big deal but when you are riding it it annoying as heck. The other side is absolutely solid.

  19. #19
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    I love my 2012 DS8.4 (I liked the older beefier frame), I had a moment where I thought dam I should have gone for a FX or something roadier, but I love going off the road when I feel like it. My worries about the road worthiness of this bike were completely decimated this past weekend when I rode 150km from Toronto to Niagara falls with a couple of friends (who complained about back soreness on their road bikes all the way... I had to keep braking so that I don't pull ahead too far )

    I love this bike and ride it a fair distance just for fun everyway at least a couple of times a week. This bike solely has been responsible for a significant increase in activity in my lifestyle. Size wise, I am 6'2 and it is a 21" frame, on the roads I raise the seat for a more forward stance, in ravines and ditches I lower it for lower gravity, more upright sitting, and better control/balance.


  20. #20
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    Thats a fly ride bud. I have to admit I like the graphics on the 2012s and you are are not the first person who has said they like the longer reach of that inaugural year.

    I wish I could find the stack/reach figures for that year so I could plot them (only archive I see omits those critical measurements). They basically have the seat tube half a degree steeper, about an inch more ETT, and shorter head tube across the board which on the whole puts them closer to what they do on their X-cal series for example.

    Makes me wonder if I was a year too late and would have been happier with the 19.5 from 2012 compared to the 21 from 2013.
    Last edited by Sunsanvil; 06-12-14 at 07:14 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member deerfly's Avatar
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    Here you go, 2012 Trek geometry tables:

    http://www.trekbikes.com.ua/doctrek/geometry_2012.pdf

    I bought my 8.3 in late 2012 and could have gone with a 2013. I liked the look, feel and fit of the 2012 better so that's what I went with. I soon found out the Tektro brakes were horrible so I swapped them out for a set of BB7's. Much better.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerfly View Post
    Here you go, 2012 Trek geometry tables:
    Yea, looked at that. For whatever reason they omit Frame Stack and Reach (columns N and M) for the DS line (among others). Those are the most critical figures, cant plot the frames accurately without them.

    I soon found out the Tektro brakes were horrible so I swapped them out for a set of BB7's. Much better.
    The only thing I dont like is that the reach on the levers is not adjustable (shame on Trek for using the "sport" version of these Tektros). I will probably swap them out eventually.

  23. #23
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    2014-03-31 15.08.38.jpgI am glad to see that there is a DS thread. I currently am riding a 2013 DS 8.3 and love it. I am 6'2, riding the 19.5 frame and no doubt should be on the next size up. However, with bar extenders, and seat adjustment it feels fine. It definately deserves the dual sport moniker and is the best "hybrid" on the market if you want to spend some time off road. So far this spring I have ridden it in two metrics, communted as the weather and my schedule allow, and done a number of 30+ mile workout rides. I have also explored some local riding trails. The versitility can't be beat. I would love to hear about the riding experience of others on this thread. One improvement I would like to see Trek make to this bike is running the cables internally. Hopefully the company will strive to make this an even better bike in the future. I am considering moving to an 8.6 in the future but am waiting to see what changes may come out in the fall. If I do make the move to an 8.6 it would be for the better gearing, remote lockout, and next size up frame.
    Last edited by Sojourner62; 06-20-14 at 03:23 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojourner62 View Post
    2014-03-31 15.08.38.jpgI am glad to see that there is a DS thread. I currently am riding a 2013 DS 8.3 and love it. I am 6'2, riding the 19.5 frame and no doubt should be on the next size up. However, with bar extenders, and seat adjustment it feels fine. It definately deserves the dual sport moniker and is the best "hybrid" on the market if you want to spend some time off road. So far this spring I have ridden it in two metrics, communted as the weather and my schedule allow, and done a number of 30+ mile workout rides. I have also explored some local riding trails. The versitility can't be beat. I would love to hear about the riding experience of others on this thread. One improvement I would like to see Trek make to this bike is running the cables internally. Hopefully the company will strive to make this an even better bike in the future. I am considering moving to an 8.6 in the future but am waiting to see what changes may come out in the fall. If I do make the move to an 8.6 it would be for the better gearing, remote lockout, and next size up frame.
    Check out this thread --> 2015 - Trek’s Hybrid Range – IsoZone abandoned, Tubeless Ready rims now the focus
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the reply Colonel. Very interesting information. There is a utube video showing the alleged failure of the isozone component on a 2013 bike. I admit this made me nervous about this aspect of the bike in terms of durability.

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