Trek 800 Review: Is It a Good Bike or Waste of Money in 2022?

Trek 800 review: Is Trek 800 a good bike?

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Trek 800 belongs among popular mountain bikes from the 20th century.

It was introduced in 1987, and the last models were produced by the year 2003. It’s safe to say it’s a pretty old bicycle.

The question is:

Is Trek 800 a good bike?

By today’s standards, Trek 800 is outdated. However, many people still ride it thanks to its simplicity, quality steel frame, and wide gear range. You can buy it second-hand for less than $100.

Are you keen to learn more about this iconic bike?

Let’s dive in!

Is Trek 800 a Good Bike?

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

It retailed for around $300, so it was not cheap considering the salaries back then.

It was available in multiple sizes (13″, 15.5″, 17.5″, 19.5″, 21.5″…), and it came in different colors and slightly modified components every year.

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

  • Trek 800
  • Trek 800 Sport
  • Trek 800 Antelope

Unfortunately, details on their differences are not available. Trek 800 Sport was available in a step-through frame option, which is suitable for women and people with limited mobility.

The last generation of Trek 800 was released in 2003. 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

To fully understand the pros and cons, I recommend reading the following section where I compare its features with today’s mountain bikes.

Main Features of Trek 800

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

Steel Frame

One of the main features of every bike is its frame. Trek 800 featured high tensile steel and Cro-Moly frame.

Steel is durable, affordable, and stiff bike frame material used on low-end bikes.

The bike’s overall weight of around 13 kg (26 lbs) was pretty high, considering the bike 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

Trek 800 was equipped with 26-inch wheels, which are agile and allow you to accelerate quickly but are not as fast, stable, and comfortable as 27.5 or 29-inch wheels.

Today, you won’t find many adult mountain bikes with 26-inch wheels. Only kids’ mountain bikes and dirt bikes use them.

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

The market shifted toward 27.5 and 29″ wheels. They are more comfortable, stable, and faster. They just don’t accelerate as quickly.

The following video shows the sprint of different bike types (and wheel sizes) on multiple distances. Remember, their gearing is different. However, the video perfectly illustrates the quick acceleration of smaller wheels (BMX vs. MTB).

Components

Trek used a combination of Shimano, SRAM, and other 3rd party components for the 800.

Surprisingly, some components were supplied by other manufacturers. For example, SRAM supplied cassettes, Suntour forks, and cranks.

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

Considering today’s standards, its handlebar was narrow, there was no front suspension, and the saddle was pretty wide.

Gears

Depending on the model, most Trek 800 came with a 3×7spd drivetrain, offering 21 gears. Some, however, had a 3×8spd gearing.

Today’s mountain bikes usually come with 2X or 1X drivetrains. This is because of their simplicity, lower weight, and less chance of cross-chaining.

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

On the other hand, Trek 800 was pretty similar to today’s hybrid bikes because of its rigid fork and geometry. Those still use 2X or 3X drivetrains, offering 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 provided to the rider came from wide, high-volume tires.

Trek 800 front fork
Trek 800 front fork

So, if you wanted to ride through rougher terrain, you had to be more careful.

This made Trek 800 more suitable for paved, dirt, and forest roads without a lot of 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

Conclusion

Although the Trek 800 is a mountain bike mostly made in the last century, thanks to the depreciation and low price, it’s a good choice for people looking for an MTB on a budget.

It was already discontinued. So, I recommend looking for deals on websites like Craiglist or eBay.

Aim for a price within $150 for mint condition and under $100 for decent condition.

Feel free also to check out what mountain bikes Trek sells today. For example, the Trek 820 (also available in step-through option) is a mountain bike worth considering.

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