Upgrade Trek 8000SL or go with new?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade Trek 8000SL or go with new?

    I do love the lightness of my Trek 8000SL, though I don't think I can upgrade to discs and I will be stuck with 26" wheels. I was impressed by the stopping distance of the hydrolic brakes, though still wondering about the turn ability of the 29ers in the switchbacks I love so much. When the LBS replaced my worn cassette a few years ago they replaced the 30T w/ a 28T. This has caused me grief in the up hills of the new challenging environment I now ride in. I spoke to them about going to a 34T and they said might be a problem, though I have seen others have done it: Help me lose weight - Weight Weenies

    I know my front derailleur is shot (doesn't shift smoothly), so I know I will need to replace that. Could I switch to a 9-speed with the current setup?
    1998 Trek 8000 - BikePedia

    I don't know if the rear derailleur has switched much in the past few years, though it looks like the Shimano Deore XT SGS I saw can do 8 or 9 speed. The shifter is a Shimano Deore LX RapidFire SL, though I am guessing I might have to replace it if I want to go w/ 9 speed.

    Some problems I noticed, when I go over a large pump or curb I do hear a creek/click noise sometimes. I don't know if that is something rubbing, the front fork, or if my frame has some type of fatigue. I haven't seen any cracks. Another problem is that people have complained about the Judy front fork, however I haven't noticed a problem.

    I need to also replace the grips as the ergonomic horns that jut out love to catch vines and bushes and feel dangerous in the area I ride.

    With a 34T, I wouldn't be killed on the hills anymore, though would replacing all the parts start to add up? This frame is old enough to drive...

    Things needed to upgrade/replace:
    Front Derailleur
    Grips
    Cassette
    Rear Shifter

    Possible Replacement:
    Rear derailleur
    Fork when/if there is a problem

    Modify:
    Add links to chain

  2. #2
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    Front derailures are amazingly simple, but if not setup and adjusted properly, just don't work. If you ever accidentally kicked it, it needs adjusted. I'd go through it, clean it up, and do a complete re-install. New cables don't hurt either.

    Shifters: talk to your LBS about cleaning them. Probably work great, just dried up grease gunk that needs cleaned out. Finish line spray or I've had luck with WD40 (the horror, the horror), but once you start, you need to clean it every now and then.

    Cassette - since it's 8-speed, I'd recommend a shimano 11-32T cassette. Even gear spacing through the entire range. If you go with the 11-34 megarange, the last jump goes from 24 to 34, which is an extremely jarring and annoying large gear jump. If you're having problems climbing, get the front derailleur issue fixed, and shift down to the 22 chainring. If you can't get enough gearing in a 22t/32t combo, something's wrong.

    Chain, just buy a new KMC 8-speed chain. They're only $10 off amazon, come with the missing link, and they are strong. Never try to "add" links back to a chain.

    If you want to do an entire drivetrain upgrade, go straight to 10-speed. cost about $200 for new crankset, bottom bracket, shifters, derailures, chain, & cassette.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion, how do you know if a bike can take a 32T? Also if I kept 8 speed, would I still need a new chain? Should I be worried about the creak at all? It also does it when I peddle hard. The front derailure needs to be replaced it looks like a part is about to break off it.

  4. #4
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    If parts are falling off, worth replacing. Online derailures are cheap (less than $5), but they are not universal. Unless you know exactly the right type/size of front derailure you need, just as easy to talk to the LBS and get it right the first time. Costs more, but worth the hassle. The following might work, but you'll have to verify. The nice thing about front derailures, SRAM and Shimano both use the same cable pull, so you can use a SRAM derailure with Shimano shifter. Do not mix & match rear derailure though.
    SRAM X7 9 Speed Front Derailleur | SRAM

    you replace the chain when it's worn out. If you've had the chain for a couple years of hard use, replace. If you do a lot of stand & mash, replace. If the chain skips a lot, replace. Standard rule of thumb is 12" link to link (exact same point on one link to exact same point on link 12" away). It has to be the exact same point though. Even 1mm of chain stretch will start excessive wear & tear on the cassette and chain ring. The LBS will also have a chain stretch tool to check it out (or you can buy one for $3). If you take it to your LBS to check for stretching, buy a new chain from the LBS. Otherwise, bad mojo and they'll start throwing axle grease at you. Basically, don't buy online after doing research at the LBS.
    Titan Chain Wear Indicator | Titan
    SRAM PC-971 | Chain | Powerlink | 9 Speed | Drivetrain | MTB

    The creak could be anything from loose crankarm bolts and chainrings (easy to tighten), loose bottom bracket (would need to take the whole crankset off to check), bad bearings (which would need a new bottom bracket), loose seatpost clamp, or loose seatrail clamp. Lot of things, and only you can verify where the creak is coming from.

    Research "freehub" rear hubs on the Sheldon Brown website. Basically, a freehub allows you to easily swap cassettes (7, 8, 9, & 10 speed cassettes with mulltiple different gear counts), but you need the right tools to do it. (chain whip, big crescent wrench, and cassette removal tool)
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  5. #5
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    According to two different sites, including the one I listed above, I have the following:

    Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore LX top-swing, top-pull
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT SGS
    Shift Levers: Shimano Deore LX RapidFire SL

    The front derailleur metal part is wiggling and on my wife's bike it is not. I am interested in doing things myself. I enjoy the mechanic part of it and I also slightly annoyed that some of the recommendations that the LBS has given me might have been a mistake. I can't seem to find a Deore LX, with the exception on ebay, any suggestions how to find what parts are compatible with what?

    OEM for this bike is a 30T, though the bike shop replaced it with a 28T, didn't really notice a problem, until I got into harder stuff later on and saw the 34T cog on my wife's new bike. I am thinking of going to a 32T, I am guessing I would need a new chain.

    Any suggested sites or guides on how to do this?

    Lastly I was riding my bike last night and was focusing on trying to get the creaking noise, it seems to have more to do with my seat than anything else. I bounced up and down went off a curb w/o my butt on the seat and it didn't make a creak. I guess I can tighten it?

  6. #6
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    Deore LX is one of Shimano's older groupset names. Basically the current Deore or Alivio stuff will be comparable quality. On the front derailure, you have to get the correct top vs. bottom pull, clamp diameter, and swing length. Luckily, most mountain bikes use a similar swing length, so it should be OK. Most modern derailures are dual pull for top & bottom, but something to verify when ordering. The clamp diameter will require you to measure your seat tube diameter, but according to the bikepedia spec page, you have a seatpost diameter of 27.2, which should lead to a seat tube diameter about 31.8mm. I'd make a good bet that the derailure I linked to above should work.

    Do a youtube search for videos on how to do the part swaps. Simple searches like "bike front derailleur adjustment" or "bike cassette swap" should show you want you need. PerformanceBike has some good youtube videos, but there are others out there too. For the holy grail of bike knowledge, check out Sheldon Brown. It covers pretty much everything you'd need to know about bikes.

    FYI, cassette swaps are common. If you stay with 36T or less, no problem with your current derailure. If you go larger, you might need to do some other adjustments or replace a few extra parts. And always get a new chain if you're changing the cassette and chainrings.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  7. #7
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    Thanks, the guy at the LBS was thinking it might have issues going over 30T. I am starting to question is judgement.

    I would like to get like for like quality replacements and don't want to put a cheaper part if I am doing this. If I am replacing the cassette, is there anyway to confirm if my rear derailleur is compatible as it looks like a lot of them are 8/9 speed compatible? I know this would mean I would need a new shifter. If I only need to replace the shifter (assuming the hub is compatible), I wonder if it is worth it.

  8. #8
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    That rear derailure is compatible with 8-speed shimano shifters only. If you want to go 9-speed, you'll need to get a new derailure, shifter, chain, cassette, and chainrings. For the price, you don't upgrade to a 9-speed system any more unless they are dirt cheap as someone's takeoff stuff. 10-speed upgrade, or stay 8-speed.

    IMO, I'd replace the chain, cassette, and middle chainring. Should be less than $30 total for parts off amazon, and the chain and chainring will be comparable to the OEM parts. The new cassette will be heavier, because nobody makes lightweight 8-speed cassettes any more. Clean the shifter with WD40 to break out the old dried up grease. New cables. Your bike is good, but technology has come a long way.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  9. #9
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    Would like a new bike, wife agrees I should get one, though she wants me to get one similar to her Myka, as I don't need that Superfly 5 or that Crave Comp that are both on sell for $200 off for this week. It would be hard for me to go from a Trek 8000SL to a heavier entry level Trek or Specialized. It is like going from a 5 year old Lexus to a new base model Corolla.

  10. #10
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    Keep the 8000SL. Compare it to a classic corvette. Not the latest technology, but great for it's time. Polished up and running good, it's a fun bike and good conversation piece. It cannot be compared to the new Superfly, but if it's working good, it's better than anything comparable to the Myka.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  11. #11
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    Yeah a Myka similar bike won't get me 29" tires or a disc breaks. Though it will get me a heavier frame and less quality parts. I don't see any advantage other than it have a 34T Cog on the cassette. Which I can upgrade myself, if I can't talk her into the new better bike, I will be forced to upgrade this bike. I don't know if I want the LBS to do the cassette as I am fixing a problem they created. I won't be replacing it, if they would have sold me the right part.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    ...or I've had luck with WD40 (the horror, the horror)..
    I've done a fair amount of freeing stuck shifters and WD40 is the best stuff I used for this purpose. It's mainly solvent (like OMS) with some light lube. The solvent penetrates and frees up the existing gunky lube and the light lube left over after the solvent evaporates dilutes the old stuff.

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