Trek 800 Review: Is It a Good Bike or Waste of Money in 2023?

Trek 800 review: Is Trek 800 a good bike?

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The Trek 800 is a popular mountain bike from the 20th century. It was first introduced in 1987, and production ended in 2003, so it’s an old bike.

The big question is: Is the Trek 800 a good bike?

Compared to modern standards, the Trek 800 is outdated. However, its benefits include simplicity, a quality steel frame, a wide gear range, and a low price. It’s possible to buy a used one for less than $100.

Do you want to learn more about this iconic bike? Let’s dive in!

Is Trek 800 a Good Bike?

Trek 800 was popular worldwide thanks to its simplicity, quality frame, and reliability. Unlike the Trek 4300, it features a rigid fork.

It wasn’t cheap at a retail price of around $300, considering the average salary at the time.

It came in various sizes (13″, 15.5″, 17.5″, 19.5″, 21.5″…) and different colors, with slightly modified components each year.

Trek 800 was sold with rim brakes and in multiple options:

  • Trek 800
  • Trek 800 Sport
  • Trek 800 Antelope

However, details about their differences are not available. The Trek 800 Sport was also available in a step-through frame option, making it suitable for women and people with limited mobility.

The last generation of Trek 800 was released in 2003, and since then, it has been discontinued and replaced by newer models.

Pros and Cons of Trek 800

I summarized the pros and cons of Trek 800 below.

Pros of Trek 800

  • Quality and sturdy steel frame
  • Available for men and women
  • Comfortable geometry, allowing upright riding position
  • Simplicity

Cons of Trek 800

  • 26-inch wheels
  • 3X drivetrain (2X and 1X became more popular thanks to their simplicity)
  • Rigid front fork

The following section provides a detailed comparison of the features of the Trek 800 with those of modern mountain bikes. It will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the Trek 800 better.

Main Features of Trek 800

Let’s now dive deeper into Trek’s 800 components so you better understand its value.

Steel Frame

The frame is one of the most important components of any bike, and the Trek 800 featured a high-tensile steel and Cro-Moly frame.

Steel is a durable, affordable, and stiff material commonly used for low-end bikes.

However, the bike’s weight of around 13 kg (26 lbs) was pretty heavy, especially considering it had a rigid fork.

On the other hand, you didn’t have to worry about its durability because Trek 800 was designed to last and withstand a lot of abuse.

26-Inch Wheels

The Trek 800 was equipped with 26-inch wheels, which are nimble and allow for quick acceleration but are not as fast, stable, or comfortable as 27.5 or 29-inch wheels.

In today’s market, it’s rare to find adult mountain bikes with 26-inch wheels. They are primarily used for kids’ mountain bikes and dirt bikes.

Trek 800 on a field with a forrest behind
Trek 800 outdoors (26-inch wheels)

The trend in the market has shifted towards 27.5 and 29-inch wheels, which are more comfortable, stable, and faster. They may not accelerate as quickly, but they have many other advantages.

The following video showcases the sprint of different bike types (and wheel sizes) over various distances. Keep in mind that their gearing may differ. However, the video effectively demonstrates the quick acceleration of smaller wheels (BMX vs. MTB).



The Trek 800 combined Shimano, SRAM, and other 3rd party components.

Interestingly, some components were supplied by other manufacturers, such as SRAM, which supplied cassettes, Suntour forks, and cranks.

Trek 800 on a field with a forrest behind
Trek 800 outdoors

The Trek 800 had a narrow handlebar, no front suspension, and a wide saddle compared to today’s standards.


Most Trek 800 models had a 3×7spd drivetrain offering 21 gears, while some had a 3×8spd gearing.

In contrast, modern mountain bikes typically use 2X or 1X drivetrains for simplicity, lower weight, and less chance of cross-chaining.

Trek 800 cassette and rear derailleur
Trek 800 cassette and rear derailleur

However, the Trek 800 had similarities to today’s hybrid bikes due to its rigid fork and geometry. Hybrids still use 2X or 3X drivetrains, providing a wide gear range for various terrains.

Rigid Fork

One of the main downsides of the Trek 800 was the rigid fork. The only “suspension” came from its wide, high-volume tires.

Trek 800 front fork
Trek 800 front fork

Riding through rougher terrain required more caution. The Trek 820 was a later model that addressed this issue by including a suspension fork.

Overall, the Trek 800 was best suited for paved, dirt, and forest roads without many bumps.

Trek 800 Specifications

Below, I summarize the most important technical specifications. Remember, they differ based on the year:

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: ±13kg (29lb) depending on frame size, brakes, and year made
  • Wheel size: 26-inch
  • Brakes: Rim
  • Groupset: Shimano Altus, Tourney
  • Gears: 3×7spd or 3×8spd
  • Colors: Differ based on the year

Trek 800 FAQ


The Trek 800 is a budget-friendly mountain bike mainly produced in the last century. Despite its age, it still makes a good choice for those looking for an affordable MTB, thanks to its depreciation and low price.

Since it has already been discontinued, you may find good deals on websites like Craigslist or eBay. For a mint condition bike, aim for a price of up to $150; for a decent condition bike, look for a price under $100.

Additionally, you may want to check out Trek’s current mountain bike offerings. The Trek 820, which also comes in a step-through option, is a mountain bike worth considering.

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