trek antelope 800 review

Trek Antelope 800 Review: Still a Rock-Solid Bike?

For many, the ideal bike is one that delivers outstanding performance for mountaineering, for others is the one that offers the most speed in roads, and for others, it’s the bike that resists the most use. All of these preferences are what make the Trek Antelope 800 – an all-around bike for anyone.

The 15-speed Trek Antelope is one of the most versatile bikes ever made. It is one of the most comfortable as well, and one of the most reliable despite its low-quality construction and affordable price.

The Antelope was first released in the 80’s, and since then it received hundreds of modifications until the 2000s, where its last model was released. Today, for the few people who still have it – there’s no doubt it was one of the most reliable & well-rounded of its time.

Want to know why? Then come further and find out!

trek antelope 800


  • Cheap But Reliable
  • Great Ease of Use
  • High-End Brakes
  • Unbeatable Frame Design
  • Superb Comfort


  • Really Low-Quality Construction
  • Lack of Stability

Advantages of the Trek Antelope 800

Cheap But Reliable

Coming with a Cro-Moly frame and a highly reliable crankset, you could say the bike would feel stable enough and provide smooth performance. On top of that, it is critical to note that it came with a 5-speed cassette that could deliver up to 15 speeds alongside the crankset – making it good enough for any mountaineering.

Overall it was pretty reliable. You won’t be able to sue it as a mountain bike – but very likely will help you go up on any steep, down on any street, and back and forward on any road as long as it is not too demanding.

The entire construction was made for the low-end user. And sure, that was what it offered.

Great Ease of Use

When it comes to the shifter, brakes, and overall gears – the Trek Antelope 800 doesn’t lack any quality either.

Yes, the components weren’t the best at the time but were good enough for those looking for reliable performance. However, the bike is slower than most bikes out there. It is not a road bike in any way – not a mountain bike either – but a bike that was designed to offer reliability for a low price.

To imagine how a bike with 15-speed availability behaves at low-end – you must consider the tires and rims as well. With the Araya MP22 on the rims and the original Trek Connection tires, you can experience a fast bike getting slowed by unstable wheels.

But the shifter of the bike was good enough to function at any time when needed. Whether it was in downhill, in a steep up, or just on a straight road – it would provide the necessary change without problems.

High-End Brakes

Then there are the brakes. Reliable and very responsive for a low-end bike such as the Antelope 800. The Shimano Altus C20 with Cantilever M-System brake-set was one of the best at its price for the moment. Yes, the only component of the bike that could deliver high-end performance.

trek antelope 800 brake

The rest of the bearings were low-end. They were cheap gearings that could deliver enough performance for anyone who wasn’t too demanding of quality – not the best in any way. Overall, the brake performance was good enough for such an affordable bike.

Unbeatable Frame Design

We already know what the quality of the Antelope 800 regarding construction is. However, it doesn’t mean that it could have something many people would perceive as high-quality. This was the Cro-Moly frame.

It was a well-attached bike with enough quality construction to provide exceptional performance in tricky roads. Not mountaineering per se, but enough for those who needed to travel through hard streets for a little while.

Superb Comfort

The Antelope 800 was also durable, but most importantly – it was incredibly comfortable for its construction. With a Velo Trek saddle, and a Steel-low handlebar at 600mm, anyone could use it comfortably.

Disadvantages of the Trek Antelope 800

Low-Quality Construction

The whole construction of the Antelope 800 is of low-quality. All the Trek 800 models, especially the Antelope models, were of the low-end of Trek bikes, meaning that they were a lot cheaper than most, aiming primarily to the low-end user.

However, this doesn’t mean that the bikes weren’t good enough for biking. Even though an experienced biker may find the Antelope 800 a little insufficient regarding stability and overall ruggedness – the bike is still worth using.

But all of this was pure on-road. For off-road, it wasn’t the best, not only due how unstable the bike was in the dirt, but how hard it was to maneuver during downhill and fast tracks.

Lack of Stability

By being a lot more comfortable than expected, it sacrificed a little stability. Yes, it wasn’t the most stable in any way. This affected both the comfort during long rides and performance as well. Nothing that could make the experience horrible, but still not enough for demanding users.

Sadly, it was all about the downtube and the wheels. Despite being some of the highest-quality parts of the bike, it had to sacrifice a little of them to provide more comfort.

Trek Antelope 800 – Full Specs

  • Brand: Trek
  • Colors: Yellow to Green Fade with Yellow & Purple Decals or Black Forest Green with Burgundy Decals
  • Sizes: 14.5’’, 16.5’’, 18’’, 20’’, 22’’
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Frame: Tange Cro-Moly Main Tubes - TIG Welded with tapered stays
  • Fork: Steel fork
  • Pedals: HTI-P15 plastic
  • Seatpost: Alloy – Adjustable Suspension
  • Saddle: Velo Trek
  • Stem: TIG Welded Quill
  • Shifter: Shimano Altus C20, 15-speed
  • Crankset: Shimano Altus C20 HyperDrive & Hyperglide 3-Speed
  • Derailleurs: Unilever Dual Levers
  • Hubset: Alloy Quick Release
  • Rims: Araya MP22 36h
  • Tires: Trek Connection -26x1.95
  • Brakeset: Shimano Altus C20 Cantilever M-System
  • Handlebar: Steel Low-Rise 600mm
  • Cassette: 5-Speed

Is the Trek Antelope 800 A Rock-Solid Bike?

If you are looking for excellent reliability, a simple design, and not too much of a performance or quality overall – then the Trek 800 will be good enough for you.

The Trek Antelope 800 is a rock-solid bike for those who are looking for excellent reliability both in the road and off-road performance. However, it won’t be the best for rugged activities, and not the best for fast or long-time biking either.

It is a very solid option for anyone who can’t afford anything better. A very worth it option nonetheless.

Is it the best option for its price? Not likely. But it is still a rock-solid bike regarding reliability? Totally!

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

j t w - August 31, 2019

Brought one new in 1984 . it’s been in the everywhere from the beaches in long island to the the mountians in virginia, on a boat in florida and in the snow in syracuse. i’ve had it for 35 years , Through roads , mud, salt, sand and snow it has been a great reliable, strong, and fun, all star bike.

Oak - November 22, 2019

Out of the vintage chromoly frame treks you cannot beat the 900 series, but the 800s have amore laid back and comfortable geometry which is nice.

Chris - April 2, 2020

I bought one of these in 92′ at a garage sale and spent a week replacing the bearings with high quality sets, rebuilt the derailleurs, adjusted and lubed the cables, replaced the chain, inspected the frame, and in all reworked the bike. After I finished, I spent the next 5 years riding hard through the high mountains of Northern Utah and Moab. I put this bike through allot of abuse, and it took every bit of it and never let me down. Definitely one of my favorite bikes. I currently have a TREK 970 that I have done similar work to and still put it through similar abuse. Even on the cheaper end, TREK bikes are built to last!

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