This is our review of the Trek 820 Bike. 

As an avid off-riding biker, I created a review of my favorite mountain bike for those starting out. The Trek 820 offers a classic mountain bike model, hailing all the way back from the 1990s. 

Trek Bicycle Corporation makes the Trek 820 mountain bike. As the Trek 820 implies, the most well-known brand name for the Trek Bicycle Corporation is simply, “Trek.” 

John Burke founded the biking company in 1975, and ever since Trek has famously and reliably manufactured bicycles and cycling products.

Despite the mountain biker community’s trust in the company, the Trek 820 bike is not without fault. This comprehensive review of the Trek 820 provides an overview of the product and analyzes features that make the bike worthwhile. 

We also discuss customer reviews and potential alternatives for this beginner mountain bike.

Let’s get cycling! 

Trek 820 Bike Overview 

Overall, the Trek 820 mountain bike is wonderful for novice riders and also the most affordable mountain bike for trails.

The Trek Cross Country Mountain Bike 820 

The bike’s solid build fares well on potholes and light trails. At just under 500 dollars, the affordable price of the bike makes it ideal for beginners, especially because of its street and off-road model hybrid. 

The Trek 820 serves people who have never participated in bike off-roading the best. Consumers may also want to refrain from buying a pricey model until they are committed to mountain biking. The bike’s hybrid features enable buyers to ride on city streets as well. 

Beginners beware— do not go past your bike and skill level. The suspension on the Trek 820 does not perform well on hills or intense trails. However, the suspension carries high quality, as it was made by the leading Japanese company SR Suntour. The suspension is short and works great on gravel roads, perfect for beginners. 

Trek built the Trek 820 for novice mountain bikers. Any deviation from your skill level potentially results in injury. Get acquainted with trails and your bike. Wear biking gear, including helmets. 

Beginners who only plan on riding in the city, a light track, or gravel and potholed roads should purchase this bike. Check out the National Park Service website to find beginner tracks at a park near you. 

Trek 820 Bike Feature Analysis 

The Trek 820 has old-school features, and the overall model differs significantly from new generations of mountain bikes. For starters, the Trek 820 has 26-inch wheels, while most newer bikes have a 27.5-inch wheel and 29-inch wheel option. The brakes are not disc brakes, and the 3×7 drivetrain screams throwback. 

The following 4 areas provide an in-depth analysis of the Trek 820 features:


For those that do not know, the frame of a bicycle is the body of the bike. In other words, the bicycle frame consists of the main component of the bike. The wheels fit into bike frames. 

The steel frame of the Trek 820 provides high durability. The bike weighs in at about 34 lbs., explaining the strength of the bike. Compared to other mountain bikes, the Trek 820 weighs on the heavier side. 

Most new mountain bikes consist of aluminum, which weighs much less than steel. Aluminum materializes lighter and permits riders to move around with ease.

The appearance of the bike shows off its high-quality design and finish. The paint does not wear without significant usage. However, not many color options exist for the Trek 820. The bike only sells in matte black. 

To combat the dull look of the Trek 820, change the look of the bike yourself. Users can cheaply accessorize the Trek 820, one of the bike’s best features. 

The hefty steel frame holds up well and endures customization. For example, common accessories include lights, kickstands, and fenders. 


The brakes on the Trek 820 mirror the bike’s 1990s origins with tektro alloy linear-pull rim brakes. Brakes that fall under this model force rubber pads onto the wheel’s rim. 

Newer bike models use disc brakes that have calipers that squeeze pairs of pads against a disc to create friction. Disc brakes are ideal for wet conditions, so Trek 820 owners should be wary of riding through muddy conditions. 

The Trek 820 rim brakes are still very effective despite being an older brake model. However, the bike’s rim brakes are not compatible with other wheels, so you will have a hard time customizing the Trek 820’s wheels. 


The wheels on the Trek 820 are solid enough that you will not want to change them anyway. The wheels are basic, reliable, and measure to 26 inches, another throwback to the 1990 Trek 820. Newer bike models do not have the 26-inch standard. Additionally, the Trek 820’s Formula hubs are reliable.

Bontrager makes the wheels and tires on the Trek 820. The company generally provides Trek with good parts, however, the Bontrager LT3 tires are not that great. On certain trails, the tires do not grip well. The Bontrager LT3 also does not provide a smooth ride on concrete or cement. 

Nonetheless, the tires will execute well for a beginner. 


For those who are not versed in mountain-bike lingo, the drivetrain consists of a bike’s pedals, chains, cranks, and anything else that allow riders to move the bike. 

The drivetrain on the Trek 820 is very durable and ideal for light and moderate climbs.

The Shimano drivetrain consists of 3 gears in the front and 7 in the back. 

The cheaply made Shimano drivetrains do not impact the Trek 820 too much. Shimano makes the Trek 820’s shifter and derailleur as well. With proper care, you will not have to replace the drivetrain of the Trek 820. 

Trek 820 Customer Reviews 

The Trek 820 has decent customer reviews.

Many Trek 820 customer review videos exist on YouTube. The reviews confirm that the bike tops other entryway bikes. Customers also rave about the value of the Trek 820 for beginners.

One YouTube reviewer claimed that the Trek 820 provides a smooth ride on novice tracks and has smooth brake mechanisms. 

Most complaints, though minimal, revolve around the weight of the steel frame. Customers explain that the heavyweight makes the bike unsuitable for climbing and higher-level trails. 


If the Trek 820 Mountain Bike does not cater to your wants and needs, there are other mountain bikes out there that are good for beginners. 

When it comes down to it, prospective consumers must decide how much they are willing to spend and how serious they are about mountain biking. Buyers must know that sale price factors in when considering the type of terrains you ride through with your bike. Check out these 3 alternatives to the Trek 820. 

Mongoose Impasse 

For those that want to stay within the same price range as the Trek 820, Mongoose Impasse costs under $500. 

The Mongoose Impasse lacks in the retro-arena. The aluminum frame, dual disc brakes, and 29-inch wheels mimic contemporary bikes, and some novice mountain bikers appreciate that. 

The Mongoose Impasse is ideal for beginners who are not crazy about the throwback vibe of Trek 820 and do not want to spend hundreds of dollars more on a different bike. 

Specialized Chisel Chomp

If you have the budget, buy the Specialized Chisel Chomp. The bike costs $1900, but the quality makes it worth every penny. 

This bike has versatility, like the Trek 820 hybrid model. You can ride this bike in city streets or while off-roading in tough terrains. The Specialized Chisel Chomp frame incorporates aluminum.

Like all new models of bikes, the wheel comes in a 27.5-inch option and a 29-inch option.

On top of all the mechanical perks, the Specialized Chisel Chomp has a sleek, modern finish. 

Giant Talon 2 

The Giant Talon 2 costs about $720 and is known as one of the best beginner bikes under $1000. The frame of the Giant Talon 2 also incorporates aluminum. The wheels come in two sizes, one at 27.5 inches and another at 29 inches. 

Like Trek, Giant peaks is one of the most trusted and popular cycling brands. The Giant Talon 2 features disc brakes and provides excellent tire traction without spending thousands of dollars on another bike. 

The bike performs well in city streets and on different terrains. 

Our Trek 820 Verdict 

We absolutely recommend the Trek 820 for new mountain bikers that appreciate the bike’s retro feel. Professional models cost up to $1000, and those just experimenting with mountain biking will not benefit from an expensive model. 

The quality of the Trek 820 holds well enough that buyers will learn how to ride well and have an overall pleasant entry experience. The heaviness and durability of the bike suits novice bikers. Experienced mountain bikers will not benefit from the heaviness of this bike. 

Those who occasionally bike off-road benefit from the value, versatility, and durability of the Trek 820.

Check out the Trek 820 and decide if mountain biking is the lifestyle for you! Purchase the Trek 820 beginner bike on the Trek website or at your local bike shop. 

Fun Outdoors Team

The FunOutdoors team is comprised of seasoned writers and editors with a passion for outdoor living. 

Happy trails!

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