Thursday, May 30, 2019

Trek Full Stache Ten Month Review

Is the Trek Full Stache 29+ full suspension bike still as good as I thought it was in the beginning?

In my three month review I thought the bike was excellent. I rode it through November, after which I switched to the fatbike for the winter. By the beginning of April most of the ice was gone from the trails and the Full Stache again got out. With studded tires, like the Terrene Cake Eater 29x2.8, it would of course be possible to ride it through the winter, but I have a fatbike for that purpose.

Since then I've actually used it quite a bit, having done much more riding than last year's spring, and my opinion still stands. The Trek Full Stache really is an excellent bike for someone my size, 192 cm and about 100 kg with seasonal variations. While my weight isn't the actual point here, my height is. This is the first bike I've had that is fully proportional and in harmony with my own proportions. Head back to the first post I made about this, for a look at how ridiculous an otherwise fine FS enduro bike with 26 inch wheels looks in my size.

The main problem with smaller wheel sizes, including 27.5+ and to some extent 29" with more narrow tires, is that it is so easy to get thrown over the bar when encountering an obstacle like a root (or pine cone in the case of 26"). My height on the bike is so much higher than the hub of the front wheel, which easily becomes the axis around which I rotate if an unexpected obstacle is encountered. 29+ is a lot better in this sense. The difference to 27.5+ really is massive.

A Swedish first impressions review even called it mechanical doping, which might or might not have some validity for shorter riders. For me personally I just see it as evening the odds, by finally having a bike that actually suits me.

The only real criticism in my opinion is the rear end being a bit flexy. This has been blown up a lot on the net, but I cannot say it affects the riding. Maybe it would have some significance riding in bikeparks with long and fast downhill sections, but we don't have those here. You can feel it in some circumstances, but I only had a problem with chain rubbing going downhills with the lightest gear and that was before truing and tensioning the back wheel. It might very well be that the wheels are a weaker link here, I just broke a spoke a few days ago, which doesn't happen very often. Otherwise the construction of the chainstay is quite exceptional, allowing for a very short chain stay length which makes the bike very nimble, despite the size. A flexy chainstay does raise some questions about longevity, though.

While the frame has a lot of rubber/plastic protectors in the right places, hard use leaves marks.

The bike is in standard configuration except for the cockpit. I use a slightly longer stem (90 mm) and narrower bar (73 cm) than the default, since this fits me and is very comfortable. This is really a bit old school, since todays it seems like someone like me should use a very short stem and very wide bars, closer to 90 cm wide. Good luck using that wide bars on my trails...

A Rido R2 saddle broke a few weeks ago, and I finally tried an SQLab saddle that I've heard much good about. It is quite nice and works very well for shorter rides. It is not as comfortable as the Rido R2 and definitely needs chamois to be comfortable. For multiday rides I will put a Rido R2 on.

I don't think there is much more to say, without repeating what I've said in earlier posts. The bike is an excellent balanced bike, good for speed as well as slow technical trails. It eats rocks, roots and easily goes over small steps. The grip is almost unbelievably good and the bike is clearly the best climber I've ever had.

I still haven't tried it out in a bikepacking configuration, something I would like too. It just seems that most of my spare weekends are used for sea kayaking, both for my own things as well as professionally. I have no doubt that it would make an excellent bike for bikepacking trips in technical terrain, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment