Trek Elite 8.5 2013 model

My friend Robin has invested in one of these Treks this year.  It’s a mid range hard tail retailing for about £1000 so pitched well for those considering a Cycle to Work purchase scheme.  Last Sunday we went for a ride during the afternoon and although we stuck to the roads, Robin was quite chatty about his new investment.  “New” being about 10 weeks old and during this time he’s got the feel of it nicely.

Trek Elite 8.5 2013

Trek Elite 8.5 2013

Don’t be misled by the “as new” condition in the photograph – he’s a bit fastidious when it comes to keeping it in good working order.  Each time he rides it, it gets cleaned afterwards and finished off with a good spray of silicon to make the job easier each time.  So you’ll have to take our word for it, it is well ridden!

As for the bike itself, Robin is delighted with it.  He was after a decent do-everything bike that could be used on a forthcoming road / trail holiday in France and something that would be great to own over the longer term.  While the photo isn’t brilliant because of the wide angle lens, it is a good fit for Robin, he looks really comfortable on the bike and at ease with it.

He was able to keep a good pace going for the 20-30 miles we covered together through the Bedfordshire countryside.  We have some short steep hills and he was clicking through the gears smoothly although there’s no way you’d need the complete range on a ride like that.  The drive chain is based around a 10 speed 11-36t cassette and 42-32-24 chainrings at the front – this gives an incredibly wide range of ratios – a credit to Trek and Shimano for making this work so well.  The top end, surprisingly, is still sufficient high enough for cruising along at 20+ mph.  The shifting is nice and smooth courtesy of the DeOre shifters.

The frame is Alpha Platinum Aluminium with a beautiful high quality finish.  It’s a hard tail with a decent set of RockShox Recon Silver, with a remote lock out control; you get 100mm travel (the remote lock-out is not a needless gadget if you’re on and off the road). For techie readers it has an E2 tapered top tube and some internal cable routing to keep things neat. There are mounts for disc brakes and under the down tube you can use the allen key bosses for a front mudguard.  It handles well.

Robin loves the brakes and while we were out they proved their worth with a dramatic emergency stop (car pulling out from a side turning – wow that was close).  The brakes are Shimano M446 hydraulic discs.

Everything seems to come together well on this bike but I did ask where the AFIs are.  A thoughtful pause followed and then Robin came up with a couple of things:

  • handle bar grips could be improved, but remember contact points like grips are often down to personal choice by trial-and-error.  There are plenty of choices and changing them is appropriate, not really a reflection on the bike as a whole
  • the bottom bracket needs looking at, sorry we can’t report anything further right now.  With Trek you get a decent guarantee and the dealers are good so it’s anticipated this issue will be dealt with easily enough.  It’s a Shimano press fit design, common equipment on contemporary bikes

There are not huge numbers of reviews around on these bikes.  At the time of writing there’s a review on an Evans customer who is positive about it saying “great all round bike for the money, very impressed” and I think he’s spot on with his view.  For a grand, you can’t go wrong if you’re after a decent hard tail.

Available from Trek dealers which includes the excellent Evans UK chain or use the affiliate link on the right hand side for the complete range of bikes.

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1 Response to Trek Elite 8.5 2013 model

  1. jayige1 says:

    Your seat is to low. All the gear but no idea!

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