Trek Bikes have released two new mountain bike models to satisfy riders looking for a fast, capable hardtail – and those under 5ft in search of a fully sussed companion.
The bike brand has been hard at work revolutionizing their Stache range to bring out a machine with the capabilities of a full suspension bike, and the efficiency of a hardtail.
Not only that, but they’ve brought ‘cool’ to kids riding, with a full suspension Fuel EX JR which will fit riders from 135cm to 168 cm and promises to be a lot more than just a little Fuel EX.
The reformed Stache uses wide 29×3” tyres, mounted on 50mm wide rims – though the Stranglehold Dropout means 27.5+ wheels upwards can be accommodated.
The wider tyres – classed as ‘mid-fat’ – provide greater traction when cornering, climbing and descending, and also mean that the rough terrain usually dealt with smoothly by a full suspension rig is just as manageable on a hardtail.
The range features an elevated “midstay” on the drive-side – that means the chainstays are out of the way of the crank and rear tyre, to allow sufficient tyre clearance, and shorter chainstays.
A combination of the confidence inspiring wide tyres and improved handling of the short, stiff chainstays make this a perfect trail companion.
The range is fully fledged, with two spec options available now, the Stache 5 (£1900) and 9 (£2800) and the Stache 7 available in June with a SRAM 1x drivetrain. There is also a frame only option for £700.
The bike is a genuine unisex design – we asked Trek’s Guru Chris Garrison about the choice to go with a gender neutral option, and she explained: “The Stache is meant to be a bike that will fit both genders well, sort of like a full-on fat bike. The sizes go down to a 15.5, which is in keeping with the rest of the range.”
She added: “Since it’s a hardtail, we don’t have the same requirements to make sure rear suspension is tuned for lighter riders, and for that reason the frame can be gender neutral. [Multiple US National Champion] Heather Irmiger is the woman in the pictures, and she’s not very tall herself.”
Next up, the Fuel EX JR. Every bit as capable as the hugely acclaimed adult version, the bike shares nearly all the same features as it’s big brother/sister.
Trek have brought out a bike that allows smaller rider to experience mountain biking as their taller companion do, rather than huffing and puffing away on smaller, less capable wheels.
The frame has been designed from the ground up to fit kids, or, in fact, adults up to 168cm. With 26” wheels, smaller riders get the benefit of fast wheels, with a frame designed to accommodate them, rather than simply opting for a smaller, less confidence inspiring wheel.
The rider gets 80mm travel on front and rear, all components are dialed in to fit the smaller rider, and the overall weight is 28lbs. Coming in at £1,400 – it’s quiet an investment, but a worthwhile one for the avid rider.