Pros:Durable, Light weight for its price.
Cons:Not great for street commuting. Did not come with shocks.
The Bottom Line: This is a great beginner mountain bike if you have the money, passion for dirt trails, and you want durability.
This is one of the best buys I have made in my life. Even with the abuse I have given it and leaving it outside in the elements, it still works and it not falling apart. I have had friends buy cheaper bicycles before and they would fall apart. I think they spent around $100 for theirs compared to my $300 at the time. Spokes came out, bolts loosened, etc. One friend had to replace all of his spokes because they kept coming out. Needless to say, I am very happy with my purchase and I have not had any of these problems.
Recommend this product?
I think this bike is the equal to a $600 bike today.
This is a generic review for my Trek Mountain Track 800 added by Openroad. I bought this in 1995 at Arcata in Humboldt county when I attended Humboldt State University.
This is a mountain bike. It has larger tires than a street bicycle and has better grip on dirt paths and off-roading. The only surface that I have had trouble with is sand. Other than that I have had great success on any other surface (but it does take more effort that a dedicated street bike when riding on asphalt and concrete).
The only reason you don’t want this bicycle is if you only ride on streets. This mountain bike is not as fast and requires more effort on the users part then a pure street bike. If you do a lot of dirt roads then this is a good option for a beginner.
This bike cost me $300 at that time. While it is made of good parts and a great frame, it was one of Trek’s cheaper models at the time (or at least from what I saw at the bike store). I also did not get the shocks on it which would have cost me $300 more at that time. Read below about my opinion on shocks.
I rode this bicycle regularly at Humboldt and somewhat when I came back home. I used it for groceries and doing field studies in the marsh. It has held up very well to my abuse. It has also been exposed to the elements outside for several years. I have not “had” to replace any parts (yet). The only part I replaced (3 years ago) was the seat. The stock seat is fairly uncomfortable and I wanted to replace it with something else. It was purely for comfort, not a necessity. Over a decade ago I didn’t care too much about pain. Now I do.
It is fairly easy to use. If feels comfortable down slopes and you can easily make tight turns. The tires really hold on to the road. The frame is solid and I don’t feel it flex while riding.
Are shocks mandatory? If you like to fly down mountain logging trails it is.
The first time I went down some steep and textured logging trails, my hands kept flying off my handle bars every time I hit a dip or bump. Kind of scary since I couldn’t hold on. But in my reckless days I still continued at full speed (my roommate behind me with his shock equipped bike and helmet was still behind me and freaking out a little. Ya I was a little stupid back in the day). I went back to the bike shop the next day and bought these fingerless gloves with padding on the palms of my hand. They did the trick. So if you do buy one without shocks, I recommend padded gloves of some kind.
The durability of this bike is amazing. There is literally nothing wrong with this bike (except rust, see below). Since I laid my motorcycle down in 01, I haven’t been able to ride it. So back in 08 I started riding again and it worked well enough but did require a few tweeks. I had to tighten some of the cables. The brakes squealed for a little while but that went away with more riding. But it has worked well. So besides the Wii balance board, this is my other form of therapy after my 3rd knee surgery.
The frame is relatively light. I believe it is an aluminum frame. In any case, it is lighter than the street bike I road in high school. At the time I easily carried it over small creeks, steep hills with lots of vegetation, etc; and I had no problem with the weight. Yes I was stronger back in college but I can still carry it short distances before my back screams in pain. Spend the money, get a relatively light bike. Now if you do a lot of abusing jumps and stuff, then you might want steel. Ask Openroad since he is a mountain bike junkie, he is the true guru. There is also fiberglass but the price of those is way way above my price range.
The stock tires are the textured mountain bike style. It really grips the road well. I have only had slipping in very loose soil like sand. Even in steep grades on regular dirt I have not had a problem. They have a great grip. I have no need to replace them at all.
The gear shifting mechanism on my bike is a little different. Instead of a thumb controlled shifter, these are controlled by twisting the inside part of the handle. It has one with 3 gears and the other has 7. So 21 settings.
The gear shift does take a little bit of time to get used to. I brought this camping recently and let my nephew use it. He found the gear a little difficult to use. He also found that the chain slipped sometimes. I just needed to do a little tightening of the gearing for him.
The gear does require a little getting used to but is easy once you do. I usually leave the 3 gear shifter in the 3 position unless I'm going up a hill. That just means I mess with the 7 gear shifter.
What would I want differently? Shocks for one. I also would want some lower speeds. Some times up a steep road I would like one gear lower than this bike has. I’m not in very good shape so a real athlete will be fine with the lowest gear. I also don’t like the seat (which was replaced.) Other than that, I like the bike. Even the stock tires are good.
There is also a place to install a cage for your water bottle. But it does not come with one in my case.
As far as optional gear is concerned, the sky is the limit. Other than the frame, you can replace everything on this bike. So no matter what bike you get, just make sure you get a high quality frame. I recommend aluminum due to durability, cost, and low weight. If you have money to waste than there is fiberglass frames. I just know I'll never have money to blow for that frame.
This is not a street bike. It is designed for trail riding. If you commute back and forth from work/school, then get a dedicated street bike that is lighter and has smaller/smoother wheels. This mountain bike is harder to commute in which is why I only tried commuting in it for a short amount of time. But it sure gave me a workout.
Who is this for?
Anyone that needs a bike for dirt trails and doesn’t have the money for the more expensive mountain bikes.
It is not the best choice for street riding.
It is also the bike you want if you are looking for durability.
I don’t do anything special other than to hose it down or wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Durability The only issues I have had is with the inflatable part of the tires (this is something you will deal with all bikes). The outside part of the tire is just fine. The tire is still stock. The chain will also start to rust if you leave it outside in the elements.
Weight: I don’t have a human weight scale but I estimate it is 30 pounds. It is easily carried on the shoulder when crossing bridges/streams/etc.
Who to contact if you have questions about mountain bikes. I am not the expert here, Openroad (Abe) is. I highly recommend talking to him if you have a question.
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