BIKE TEST / TREK STACHE 7
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Trek Stache 7 is made for the rider who likes being out on
all kinds of trails but especially loves taking it to the singletracks.
We found the Stache to be a popular race bike with America’s high
school cross-country racers. If you are a lover of the mighty 29ers
and enjoy rolling over every obstacle that’s in your way, then the
Stache 7 is all you.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Stache 7 is made from hydroformed Alpha Platinum tubing,
which is Trek’s top-level aluminum alloy. Trek added extra rear-wheel clearance to the frame by flattening the seat tube near the
bottom bracket. Trek has included ISCG 05 mounts as well for
those who want to run a chainguide. The Stache comes with a
142x12mm rear axle and can run a 135x5mm option using adapters. Trek’s E2 tapered head tube has more material in the lower
section of the frame, which increases steering response. Trek tops
it off with internal derailleur routing to help keep your cables protected from the elements.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
With no rear shock, the front suspension becomes a very
important factor in providing relief on rough trails. In general, most
manufacturers spec 29-inch bikes with a 100mm fork because
they’re concerned that any more would raise the front of the bike
too much. However, when blasting down trails, every inch of travel
counts. Therefore, we were pleased to see that Trek added about
an inch more of front travel with the RockShox Recon Silver fork.
The lockout is nice to have when climbing long distances. It has a
built-in blow-off function that will allow some forgiveness without
creating any bobbing when fully locked out. There was one thing
that caught our eye with the fork; it has a delicate plastic rebound
adjuster that flexes quite a bit when dialing in the rebound, so go
easy on it.
The Race Face Ride Turbine crankset was a good choice,
because it adds more rigidity to the bottom bracket area, therefore
helping reduce crank flex when we sprinted.
The Bontrager XR3 Expert 2.3-inch tires feel light, tacky and easy
to control on the trails.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Trek’s plan when designing the Stache 7 was to
put smiles on the faces of its riders, and that’s exactly what it does.
There are some bikes out there that, as soon as you throw your
leg over them, they feel very comfortable and effortless to ride.
Trek nailed this with the Stache 7. As we hit our first hill climbs and
attacked ascents out of the saddle, there was very little rear tire
Cornering: The Stache has a certain knack for singletrack. The
bike flowed through the corners with ease and control. There was not
much flex coming from the Bontrager Duster’s wheels, just a sense
of calm confidence.
Braking: There were no problems stopping the Stache. The
Shimano M445 brakes were smooth and offered ample braking
power with minimal diving of the fork.
Descending: Charging downhills on an aluminum hardtail can
be challenging at times. Fortunately, the Stache’s slack head angle,
120mm fork and tacky XR3 Expert tires made descents feel more
enjoyable and less like you’re holding on for dear life. Surprisingly,
it eats up fast and loose fire roads, building confidence at speed.
The 29-inch wheels and stability of the frame geometry allow you
to plow through perplexing sections of trail by using the point-and-shoot method of riding. It isn’t designed to be a downhill machine, so
black-diamond trail riding quickly makes it apparent that the Stache
does have some limits.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The Stache 7 provides confidence and allows riders to charge
trails they might not usually think about doing. We found ourselves
dropping our seatpost to get every advantage we could. There is one
snag to this plan; the flattened seat tube near the bottom bracket
only allows you to drop your seatpost a few inches before it stops. If
you’re a rider who loves dropping your post on really steep descents,
we recommend getting a dropper post.