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Is the Trek 800 a Good Bike in 2022-2023?

Is the Trek 800 a Good Bike

With Trek being one of the top cycling brands of 2022-2023, it should come as no surprise that they’ve been in the game for a long time. With expansive engineering facilities, Trek has evolved its bikes into some of the greatest around.

With that said, a question occurs; are older Trek bikes such as the Trek 800 still good in 2022-2023? 

Overview

Overview

Released in 2003, the Trek 800 is a fully Rigid, steel-framed mountain bike that is renowned for its durability and versatility. The Trek 800 is equipped with older-generation Shimano components, but still has a large gear range and is easily upgradeable.

Coming with 1.95-inch tires, the Trek 800 is capable of riding moderately rough dirt paths, while also feeling nimble on the road. The overall construction of the Trek 800 is very high-quality and it is a bike that is sure to age well.

 When compared to a hybrid or road bike, the steel frame paired with 1.95-inch tires provides much better vibration dampening on the road. For recreational riders who want to do minimal maintenance on their bike while riding on mixed surfaces, the Trek 800 is an excellent choice.

The steel frame paired with a rigid fork means very little maintenance compared to mountain bikes with shocks or forks. However, this also means there will be less shock absorption for some of those larger bumps. For many riders, this may not matter as they don’t often encounter this kind of terrain.

Specs

Specs

Frameset

  • Frame: High tensile steel and Cro-Moly. Shock absorbing and built to last.
  • Fork: High tensile steel ATB

Wheels

  • Wheelset: Matrix 550 rims; alloy hubs; 14G, black spokes
  • Tires: Bontrager

Drivetrain

  • Shifters: Shimano EF29
  • Front derailleur: Shimano C051
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano C050
  • Crank: Suntour XCC-100 48/38/28
  • Cassette: SunRace 13-30, 7spd
  • Pedals: Nylon platform

Components

  • Saddle: Trek ATB
  • Seatpost: Alloy micro-adjust
  • Handlebar: High tensile steel, 30mm rise
  • Stem: High tensile steel
  • Headset: 1-1/8″ semi-cartridge, sealed
  • Brakeset: shifters w/ levers

Trek 800 Specs

Strengths

Strengths

1. Steel Frame – Excellent Durability and Dampening

One of the best features of the trek 800 is its steel frame which provides vibration-dampening, and excellent durability. 

When it comes to strength, steel is without a doubt stronger and will last longer than a typical aluminum frame. On top of its strength, steel is also well-known for being able to flex while still being able to return to its original shape. This flexible attribute helps to deflect the impact of small bumps making the ride smoother.

 The construction of the frame allows the Trek 800 to last many years if properly looked after. However, if an accident occurs steel can be repaired or upgraded, which is a huge benefit over aluminum. 

2. Wide Gear Range

The Trek 800 is equipped with a 3×7 gearing setup. This means three chainrings in the front, and 7 gears in the back. While modern standards have gone apart from three chainrings up front, it’s still very true that they give an excellent gearing range.

A large gear range gives the rider many options to choose from when pedaling. This is especially useful in varying elevations where you may need a very low gear to make it up a hill, but then a high gear for speeding down the other side. 

3. Carrying Capacity

Thanks to the fully rigid steel-framed design, the Trek 800 can support lots of add-ons such as racks, saddle bags, top tube bags, and fenders. 

Thanks to all the possible add-ons, the Trek 800 is an excellent option for anyone commuting to work and has the gear to carry with them. The steel frame can support a rear rack and panniers that will support a lot of weight. This also makes it a viable option for getting small groceries, or just running errands around town. 

With the capability of adding fenders, the Trek 800 is a good option for winter riding and commuting (depending on where you live). The wider tires also pair well for all-season commuting as they’ll provide a better grip in wet or muddy conditions.

4. Versatile

The Trek 800 is an extremely versatile bike that can transition from the road to dirt paths without hesitation. Thanks to 1.95 Inch tires, the Trek has the perfect middle ground in terms of grip between dirt and asphalt.

Another reason the Trek 800 performs on both dirt and road is the lack of suspension. Without suspension, your pedal strokes don’t lose any power and you keep high efficiency. This is particularly important on the road, but can also be nice on rough surfaces.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses

1. Jack of all Trades, Master of None

It can be said that the Trek 800 is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. If you like to include a variety of terrain and asphalt when you ride, this may be a good thing. Just don’t expect to be riding gnarly mountain bike trails, or participating in century rides on the road.

 If you’re looking for a bike that will perform well on mountain bike trails, this may not be the best option for you. The narrow bars, long stem, and steep headtube angle will make your bike handle very “twitchy” and Jittery. A more stable option would have over 700mm bars, anything under 70mm long stem, and a slack head tube angle. Also, without suspension aggressive trails will throw you around, making it unfit for serious mountain biking. 

In terms of road biking, this bike won’t be as efficient as a proper road bike or hybrid. Generally, road bikes have narrow tires and very rigid lightweight frames. This minimizes lost power and increases average speed on the road. 

2. Older Standards

A large weakness of the Trek 800 is the outdated standards. While not necessarily a deal breaker, modern components are nice to have as they provide an extra level of reliability and proven technology. On top of that, it may be hard to find replacement parts that fit as modern sizing standards are always changing. 

One example of an older standard on this bike is the rim brakes. Compared to disk brakes, they’re much weaker and less convenient as they must be unclipped before removing the wheels. Since rim brakes use the rim’s surface, they’re also heavily affected by the conditions you’re riding on. If they get covered in rain or mud, then they will lose significant power and become unpredictable. 

Another outdated piece of technology on the bike is the 3×7 gear setup. While this gearing gives a very wide range, front derailleurs are often problematic and will almost certainly rub in the extreme ends of the gearing. 

3. Heavy

Riders who live in areas of varying elevations might take note of the fact that the Trek 800 is by no means lightweight. At around 30 lbs, the bike isn’t exactly going to fly uphill. However, most bikes with a similar build from this era will weigh about the same.

Lightweight bikes can be on the expensive side, so it depends on how much of a priority weight is to you. The weight of the bike can be easily dismissable for riders who avoid or don’t encounter hills in the first place. 

How much is the Trek 800 Worth?

How much is the Trek 800 Worth

According to Bicycle Blue Book, a fair price for a Trek 800 in 2022-2023 is about $131-$135.

For the amount of value that you get from this bike, this is absolutely a fair price. Being on the lower end of bicycle prices, the Trek 800 is great for beginners looking to try recreational cycling without breaking the bank.

Is the Trek 800 worth buying in 2022-2023?

Is the Trek 800 worth buying in 2022-2023

The Trek 800 is a durable, versatile bike that was produced by a reputable company, Trek, from 1989-2003. Without a doubt, the value you’re getting from this bike is much higher than any department store bike. With excellent carrying capacity, a wide choice of gearing, and wide tires for the road, this bike is great for commuting rain or shine. At an affordable price point, this bike is great for beginners.

When you think of your needs as a rider, if you want a bike that is reliable, affordable, and can handle a variety of surfaces, a Trek 800 is worth considering. If you can find one in good condition for a reasonable price, it is worth it in 2022-2023. 

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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