The Trek 8000 is a hardtail mountain bike which takes a non-nonsense approach to off-road performance.
It is kitted out with suitable components for its price bracket and benefits from a surprisingly light alloy frame that has plenty of professional touches apparent.
The heart of the Trek 8000 is its Alpha Platinum Aluminium frame with semi-integrated head tube setup and hydro formed tubing. This is one of the best alloy frames available in this category and it features pro geometry which is set up to give aspiring riders the edge during races. While it may be tuned for competition, the frame is compliant and capable enough to make the Trek 8000 suitable for everyday use, so it need not be only broken out on special occasions.
Air spring suspension comes courtesy of the Fox Evolution Series 32 Float RL fork, which offers 100mm of travel as well as full lockout if you need to eliminate frame flex for ascents and cross country courses. The drive train is made up of Shimano SLX and Deore XT components, which ensure swift shifts and fluid operation of the transmission. You also get Shimano SLX M666 hydraulic disc brakes, with the number of the beast indicating that these are very capable components that will not shy away from regular, hardcore usage that could leave other bits of kit compromised.
Bontrager Mustanh Disc rims, Shimano Deore XT M785 hubs and XR1 Expert tyres join forces on the wheelset of the Trek 8000. The hardtail setup needs some ruggedness from the wheelset and you certainly get it in this instance. There is also just enough compliance in the flat tyres to help soak up further degrees of typical impacts so that you are not shaken out of your saddle.
The Bontrager Rhythm Elite seat post lives up to its name, allowing riders to get into their groove and take on daunting climbs without losing the pace. Meanwhile the Evoke 2 saddle gives you a good platform for seated success when you are covering flatter sections of the trail.
Race Lite Low Riser handlebars from Bontrager are a good fit for this type of mountain bike, allowing the Trek 8000 to be controlled with what feels like fingertip precision and a flick of the wrist, so there is never a sense that you are having to wrestle the bike to keep it on the course that you have chosen.
Perhaps the best unsung feature of the Trek 8000 is its low weight, because the alloy frame it uses is found on the more expensive models like the 8500. The only real difference between these two bikes in terms of heft is made by the components, but the designers have been careful to make sure that the value of this model is preserved without simultaneously making it a bit more of a beast.
You would have to opt for a carbon framed mountain bike if you wanted to really see a major difference in weight, but doing so would require that you spend a lot more cash. In addition the stiffness and sturdiness of the Trek 8000’s alloy construction is difficult to match even with more advanced materials. The result is a bike that will appeal to both novice riders who are looking for something to improve their off-road experience as well as seasoned veterans of the racing circuit who have a desire for something a little different. Hardtail bikes may lack the kind of look-at-me gadgetry of their full sus contemporaries, but weight savings and uphill performance are difficult to match, particularly in this area of the market.