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  1. #1
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    Hard time deciding between the trek ds line. Need pro advice

    I have half of my bike money saved right now, and I am not certain which bikes are available at my local bike shop in Canada.
    I really like the Trek 8.3, but I am roughly 250 pounds. I am not sure the suspension will be not a good idea. I was told I need 32 to 36 spoke double-wall rims, and 63mm travel (not sure what that is) and bigger tires. I have no idea what I am looking for. I am 5'11 too so I know the bike shop people will know a lot more than me.
    The bike will be used for getting to work every day and there are dirt roads and trails around my area.
    I looked at the Trek D.S line up and like the 8.1 to 8.3. The 8.3 really catches my attention due to the disc brakes, and in Canada it rains a lot.
    I guess what I am asking is if there are any other bikes I should could take in to consider? For a big guy like me. I have to consider that it has to be under 750$ after taxes too.

  2. #2
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    Hi Cav3man9

    I'm not a pro but own a DS 8.3. I do a lot of pavement riding, but there's also a lot of packed dirt trails where I live. I ride the trails for fun and my bike has held up remarkably well for all the hell I've put it through. I tend to ride fast too, so having the extra stopping power of the disc breaks has been handy.

    I'm not sure about the weight issue. I called my Trek store and they said a DS should take up to 275. I'd recommend you buy the bike you want and do some light paved road riding for a month or so. Trek has a free 30-day tune-up program. After they do the tune-up they can tell you if you need other wheels. You can always buy them later. Might want to factor that into your budget. The good news is that after three months of riding I lost fifteen pounds, so if you're a steady rider it might not be a factor

    I understand about the money. This was a significant investment for me. The DS bikes are very well built and feel damn near bomb-proof. If you're not going to do much gonzo dirt trail riding you might consider an 8.1 or 8.2. I probably could have gotten away with the v-brakes, but I don't regret the discs because I push my bike beyond what's recommended. If you're going to do slow and easy dirt road riding, then v-brakes should be fine even in rain. Arizona riding is probably different from Canada riding. No snow here, at least...

    Don't forget about accessories. You'll want a different saddle because the one that comes with the bike is too hard. It's a common complaint -- not just me. And you'll definitely want ergo-grips, and an expensive, high quality lock. Thieves will want this bike! I also bought a computer, light, blinky reflector, water bottle, a good air pump, and shorts. I probably added another $400 to my bike, but that's just me. It might be another reason to go with a cheaper model and spend the rest of the $750 on stuff.

    Anyway, I've been extremely happy with my bike and I'm sure you'll be happy with a DS too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    I'm no pro either, but here are my thoughts.

    Firstly I think the 2015 Model Trek 8.3 is perhaps the best value for money bike in their line up.

    It appears from the Trek Spec sheets that it has the same fork as the 2015 Trek 8.4(and thus comes with hydraulic lock out, vs no lockout on the 8.2 fork) and the same crankset as both the 2015 Trek 8.5 & 8.4.

    Also the two colour schemes available to it, are much, much better than the 2015 Trek 8.2 and you are already on top of the different braking options between the 8.2 & 8.3.

    I don't know if the 2015 models are yet available in Canada, I'd ask your bike store about that, but in the mean time, go to Trek's site and choose say "Australia" as your country and check out the 2015 DS models.

    At 250 pounds, unless you do some truly crazy riding, I doubt you will overly stress a 8.3DS too much.
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  4. #4
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    The Trek 8.3DS was the big I was planning on getting at first.

    HAd my eyes on the 8.4 as well, for the upgrade to hydraulic disc brakes over mechs, but the bikes otherwise were good IMO.

    But then I went and test rode at three different LBS, a number of bikes in the same price bracket and feature set.

    I ended up going another route, but still got the same stuff that the 8.4DS has. The reason I got a different bike was feel. I test rode a bunch of bikes, and one stood out above the rest as "feeling" noticeaby better. That bike is the Cannondale Quick CX3. (I mean to say, it felt better for ME. I felt more comfortable on it. Not that its a "better bike".. In fact, if you want to compare it to the 8.4ds, the 8.4 has some better components)


    The reason I wanted to respond is twofold.

    A-go ride as many bikes as possible. Seriously, go to the LBS, talk to them, and ride every bike you would consider owning. If its a good shop, they'll encourage it, and you'll thank yourself.

    B- Your weight is fine. Im a smidge taller than you, and a bunch heavier(hence the bike riding ), and Ive been fine. I did research weight limits and stuff, and there is some different and conflicting info out there... but if you wanna base it on weight limits alone... most hybrids either dont have a limit, or are 300lb. Even a lot of carbon road bikes, I was able to find "weight limits" of like 275-300lb suggested.

    A gentleman at one of my LBS's said to me when talking about weight limits and such, especially when talking about aluminum bikes which made good sense at the time.. IF you can get on the bike and ride it normally, you're not too heavy for it. Just make sure your tires are properly inflated before each ride, always. After that I pretty much stopped worrying about weight limits and all that jazz.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    I'll throw my 2 cents in here too, definitely not a pro but someone looking at biking as a way of getting back in shape, I hadn't ridden a bike in over 25 years. I'm also on the heavy sided at 6' 250lbs. At the time I got my bike I had just started riding again and had tried a GT 29'er that a friend lent me from Sportcheck, a Specialized Crosstrail, a Brodie hybrid (non-forked) and some other random Norco 26" MTB, I eventually settled on the Trek 8.4 DS just because of specs for the price. I sampled both V-Brakes as well as disc brakes and found that I really liked the responsiveness of hydraulic disc brakes over V-brakes and mechanical discs. Also after riding around a local trail that had a combination of pea gravel/singletrack/pavement I found a lockout capable fork to be what I wanted. At the time I did not have a bike rack so transporting a bike around meant taking the front wheel off before shoving into my hatchback (I quickly ruled out the V-Brake bikes because of that). Ultimately, due to lack of experience all the bikes felt the same and I made my decision soley on price vs components. In Vancouver last August I was able to get about $20 off MSRP during the end of season sale whereas every other shop was quoting full MSRP. I paid $899 rather than $919, (I ordered via my LBS's website as I had about $150 of Paypal credit kicking around)

    I was quite surprised on pickup (My colour/size was not available at the LBS and they had to move inventory from one store to another) that the Tektro brakes and hubs had been replaced by Shimano parts from the 8.5 DS, I can't say if this was due to Trek running out of parts late in the year and just using the next best thing? As you mentioned you are commuting, I got the Bontrager NCS fenders and a Topeak MTX rack installed, and I changed out the hard as heck saddle and now run a slightly thinner 700x32 more road orientated tire. Once I started riding a bit more I found I was having shoulder issues and had the stem changed out to a longer one, and the ergo grips on the 8.4 to be rather crappy and had a little bit of vibration/movement due to how they were designed, those came out and i got some new grips with bar ends just to change up the hand position.

  6. #6
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    Well that's a load of my mind. Thanks for people helping me. :-) I was stuck on a rocky Mountain hybrid at my lbs so they do have a lot of options.

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