Trek 6500 upgrades?


May 17, 2004
I got myself a trek 6500 2004 after saving up for ages was this a good choice for general cross country riding . I do alot of uphill gravaltracks and a good bit of downhill trials. I think the bike is great for climeing becaus it sooo light any thoughts on upgrades for my bike . The fork a bit lame rockshox pilot sl c it very stiff so good for uphill but i find my hands get sore on downhill trials any advice on a good shock with a stiffing option for uphill or somthing.


Brevity R Us
Aug 16, 2001
Lynnwood, WA
I don't have any usefull info. I am running a Judy TT right now.

I have been looking into Fox Vanilla's but the air sprung forks might work better for you. Marz line of forks are nice.

I don't know the level of the 6500 but I would try and keep it mostly XC oriented....to match the frame. Try and keep the travel at 4" 5 is going to kill the quality of your ride for XC.

I have a Spec Hard Rock Pro and it needs a new fork but I am getting by.....


May 25, 2004
Seattle Wa
Possebly a new bike:confused:

If your going to be riding it hard,.. yeah you'll want a more agressive frame

I ride a P.2. w/psylo xc's and it seem to do the trick.
Mar 30, 2004
Lexington, KY
id check out some zokes. For downhill a dj3 isnt too bad, but thats on my friends P3. Ive got a hardrock comp with a marzocchi exr pro, i have liked it but i need some with a little more travel some im upgrading to the dj3 pretty soon.check out marzocchi.com and look at some of the 03-04 models, once i went marzocchi, ill never go back


Darth Bailer
Jul 20, 2001
If you hands hurt get a pair of gloves.

My first bike was a 4500 and my second was an 8000 so I'm familiar with Treks. The 8000 I bought a Thudbuster suspension seatpost and it helped a lot.

You probably paid like 700 for the bike right? If this is your first bike don't go putting a $400 fox shock on it more than likely you aren't ready. Ride the bike for the summer and see what you think by the end. If you're ready for something better save up over the winter and get a better bike for next year. And that is how your collection begins!


Jun 18, 2004
I ride an 02 6500. Nice bike, don't know that I've ever upgraded anything. Take it out and ride it, and save your money for repairs. Not saying it will break, it is just more fun to pay for stuff that you broke cause you ride so hard!


Aug 19, 2004
Marin Co.
I'm riding a Trek 4300 (pretty much all their sub $1000 models are the same frame, just different components) and the first thing I did was replace the shocks - I bought a Rock Shox Duke, and it wasn't a whole lot better than the piece of @#$@# InSync 323 that came stock. (Okay, it was, but still not the performance upgrade I was led to believe.)

Returned it to where I bought it, and scooped up a Manitou Black Elite instead and I love it - makes a HUGE difference, and it's cheaper than the Rock Shox too - the 2003 model, which is better than the 2004 (Do NOT get the 2004 model, the oil dampening is awful, by all accounts) used to cost $500 but you can now snag one for $199 from Greenfish, then take it to your LBS and have it professionally installed for about $30.

If you're going to do any sort of downhill, for the love of God, get disc brakes (if you don't already.)

If you're having hand problems, try end bars, and wrap them with cork tape.


Turbo Monkey
Oct 8, 2002
Portland, OR
I'd suggest gloves and some new grips. I like the thinnest grips I can find, usually these are some no name brand so I won't suggest any specific brands. Also pay attention when you ride, are you clamping on the handlebars so tight your knuckles are turning white? You should only be squeezing the bars when you need to control the bike, if you're just riding up a gravel path relax your grip and let some blood flow through your hands.

For upgrades, get a jersey that matches your bike and a helmet that doesn't clash with the jersey then go ride.