Pros:Inexpensive; Dependable; Nice Looking
Cons:A bit heavier than other mountain/trail bikes I've used
The Bottom Line: I really like the Trek 800 Sport. I wouldn't recommend it for hard core mountain biking, but for urban bike paths and dirt trails, it's great.
I really like my Trek 800 Sport. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there are many nice bike paths here. The Trek 800 is perfect for getting some exercise and taking in the sights. It looks pretty much like a mountain bike, but I don't think it's intended for hard-core off-trail work. It does come with wide tires, so you can take it on dirt paths, but I admit that I don't do much off trail riding. My Trek 800 Sport cost around $300.
Recommend this product?
My Trek 800 has 21 gears (3 x 7) and it's geared low. My top speed in slow enough that older riders with skinny tires pass me regularly, but that doesn't bother me. The advantage is that I can go up some fairly steep hills with relatively little effort.
The bike handles well and is pretty comfortable, though my bottom does get a bit sore after long (more than an hour) rides. There are no "shocks" but the ride is still smooth. All the equipment (shifters, brakes) are made by Shimano, which I am told is high quality. I have had no problem with the brakes.
When I couldn't shift into my highest gear several months ago, I stopped by the shop where I bought the bike, and a turn of a screw was all that was necessary to fix things. I've had no other problems with the bike.
Here in California, most bike shops sell bikes with what amounts to a (free) lifetime routine maintenance guarantee. I think this is a great thing and urge you to be sure your bike shop does the same thing. If your gears start slipping or your brakes need adjustment, they'll do it for you at no charge, usually while you wait.
My Trek 800 Sport is black and is nice looking, with handlebars that have just a touch of a rise, and thumb shifters that are easy to use.
If I had to find one negative, it would be that this bike is a little heavier than some of my friends' Trek and Specialized mountain bikes, including some that cost only a bit more (around $350). It might be a little bit hard to take up and down stairs if you're a smaller woman. But I like the sturdy feel of my 800 Sport.
Frankly, I'm surprised that more people don't use cycling as a way to get low impact (unlike jogging) exercise, fresh air, and a different perspective on where they live.
I see the Trek 800 Sport as an ideal entry level trail bike.
Note: I have moved this review to a more appropriate category. My Trek 800 is now three or four years old.