Image of Trek Elite 8.9

Trek Elite 8-series Review

The Trek Elite 8-Series consists of hardtail mountain bikes which rely on alloy frames and manageable pricing to appeal to riders who want to ride offroad, or just have fun in their spare time. These aren’t race bred bikes but they are very capable, well-built and have good components.

Trek Elite 8.5

The Elite 8.5 may be an entry-level model in this range but it is still a fully featured mountain racer, with an Alpha Platinum Aluminium frame that features comprehensively designed tubing and a race-ready geometry to deliver strength and speed on tough surfaces.

At the front is a RockShox Recon Silver fork which offers 100mm of travel and has remote lockout capabilities. The 26 inch wheelset consists of Shimano M435 hubs, Bontrager rims and XR1 tyres, while Shimano Deore components work together to provide forward momentum in the drivetrain.

Trek Elite 8.6

The suspension up front on the Elite 8.6 is still a RockShox unit, but the Recon Silver fork has been replaced with a Reba RL alternative, lowering the weight without compromising performance.

The brakset uses Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic disc equipment and you get SLX gear shifters from Shimano to handle quick changes effectively.

Trek Elite 8.6 Specifications 2014
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore Front Fork: RockShox Reba RL 100mm travel
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: Shimano SLX Brakes: Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic disc
Gears: 10 speed Rims: Bontrager AT-850
Chainring: 42/32/24 Tyres: Bontrager XR1 Expert
Cassette: 11-36 Weight: N/A

Trek Elite 8.7

There is yet more Shimano SLX hardware found on the Elite 8.7 as the hubs and front derailleur come from this family of components. Shimano M596 hydraulic disc brakes are present at the front and rear and the durable Deore XT crank is also onboard.

All of the models in this range benefit from a fully integrated headtube, which means that the weight is reduced because headset cups are not required. It is these little tweaks that add up to make a big difference.

Trek Elite 8.7 Specifications 2014
Front Derailleur: Shimano SLX Front Fork: RockShox Reba RL 100mm travel
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: Shimano SLX Brakes: Shimano M596 hydraulic discS
Gears: 10 speed Rims: Bontrager AT-850
Chainring: 42/32/24 Tyres: Bontrager XR1 Expert
Cassette: 11-36 Weight: N/A

Trek Elite 8.8

Shimano Deore XT hubs are used in the wheelset of the Trek Elite 8.8, while SLX hydraulic disc brakes are also brought to the table for this model. Mustang Tubeless ready rims from Bontrager, as well as a Race Lite handlebar, give riders plenty of options.

With a press fit bottom bracket, the Trek Elite 8-Series offers a stiffer overall setup, which is important for hardtail mountain bikes of this calibre which will often face steep climbs and need to transfer as much power as possible to maintain momentum.

Trek Elite 8.8 Specifications 2014
Front Derailleur: Shimano SLX Front Fork: RockShox Reba RL 100mm travel
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: Shimano SLX Brakes: Shimano SLX
Gears: 10 speed Rims: Bontrager Mustang
Chainring: 42/32/24 Tyres: Bontrager XR1 Team Issue
Cassette: 11-36 Weight: N/A

Trek Elite 8.9

Topping the range is the Elite 8.9, which uses a Fox Evolution Series 32 Float fork with CTD (climb-trail-descent) damper capabilities. A full Deore XT drivetrain from Shimano is present and correct, combined with Deore XT hydraulic disc brakes.

Bontrager XR1 Team Issue tyres are wrapped around Bontrager Race Lite rims.

Trek Elite 8.9 Specifications 2014
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT Front Fork: Fox Evolution 32 Series
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: Shimano Deore XT Brakes: Shimano Deore XT
Gears: 10 speed Rims: Bontrager Race Lite
Chainring: 42/32/24 Tyres: Bontrager XR1 Team Issue
Cassette: 11-36 Weight: N/A