Trek Stache 9 – long-term

‘Plus-sized’ mountain bikes are just barely breaking ground but Trek is already bucking the emerging trend with its new Stache 9 hardtail, slapping 3in-wide tyres on 29in wheels instead of the smaller 27.5in ones.

Cast aside your images of a slow and cumbersome machine though – the wheels and tyres may be huge but the Stache 9 is remarkably nimble and far more entertaining than you’d expect on paper. If your main goal is just having fun when you hit the trails, the Stache 9 just might be the bike you’ve been waiting for.

This ain’t no lumbering big-wheeler

The Stache 9 may wear Sub-Ringlé rims that are the same diameter as on a standard 29er but they’re nearly twice as wide and end up about two inches taller in total when you account for the matching 3in-wide Bontrager Chupacabra tyres. Given such a massive disparity, then, it’s no surprise that those huge feet large define the Stache 9’s personality on the trail.

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The 45mm-wide rims and 3in-wide tyres make for a huge footprint on the ground

When you combine that bigger overall diameter with the huge increase in air volume and lower operating pressures – roughly 12psi for this 70kg (154lb) test rider – what you get is more akin to a hovercraft than a mountain bike in terms of isolation. With so much pillowy goodness underneath you, the Stache 9 positively floats over small-to-medium rocks and roots without so much as a hiccup to disrupt your flow.

You can’t escape physics

Fantastic frame, great kit

Wicked fun but also conditions-dependent

Complete specification:

  • Frame: Trek Alpha Platinum Aluminum
  • Fork: Manitou Magnum 34 Pro, 110mm travel
  • Headset: FSA IS-2, 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered
  • Stem: Bontrager Rhythm Pro
  • Handlebar: Bontrager Rhythm Pro
  • Grips: Bontrager Race Lite lock-on
  • Front brake: Shimano Deore XT BR-M785 w/ 180mm RT81-M rotor
  • Rear brake: Shimano Deore XT BR-M785 w/ 180mm RT81-M rotor
  • Brake levers: Shimano Deore XT BL-M785
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM X1
  • Shift lever: SRAM X1 trigger
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-1175, 10-42T
  • Chain: SRAM PC-1130
  • Crankset: SRAM X1 1400 w/ 30T X-Sync chainring
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM PF92
  • Rims: Sun-Ringlé Mulefüt 50SL, 32-hole
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350 Centerlock w/ Boost spacing
  • Front tyre: Bontrager Chupacabra, 29×3.0in
  • Rear tyre: Bontrager Chupacabra, 29×3.0in
  • Saddle: Bontrager Evoke RXL
  • Seatpost: KS LEV Integra
  • Pedals: n/a
  • Weight: 12.26kg (27.03lb, 17.5in size, tubeless, without pedals)

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

BikeRadar Bargains: road groupsets a go-go

‘Strong, light, cheap – pick two’, they said. Well not with our latest BikeRadar Bargains, scraped with care from the corners of the internet to bring you the very best road bike groupset deals.

Whether you’re looking for Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo, there’ll be something here to tempt you. Perhaps your Cycle to Work bike came with Tiagra? Bump it up to 105 and enjoy smoother shifting, better braking and – arguably – cleaner looks. 

Or maybe you’re feeling flush and wish to take the plunge on Campag Super Record. Lucky you! If you’re a SRAM fan, this might be the right time to step up from Rival to Force – or maybe even Red? Get ready for that eTap shifting we’ve been telling you about.

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Related: Buyer’s guide to road bike groupsets

Shimano

Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 11-speed groupset £2499 £1579

Dura-Ace is the pinnacle of Shimano’s road groupsets, and this version here is the one with Di2 shifting. Top-end materials, 11-speed gearing and proven electronic shifting, now with 36% off.

Buy it here

Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-speed groupset £999 £429

Shimano 105 5800 11-speed groupset £519 £294

Campagnolo

Campagnolo 2015 Super Record EPS groupset £3348 £2529

Campagnolo Record 11-speed groupset £1576 £1048

Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed groupset £1019 £799

SRAM

SRAM Red 22 groupset £1999 £949

SRAM Force 22 groupset £1124 £534

SRAM Rival 22 groupset £584 £339

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Quiz: can you guess the year from the team kit?

If you’ve been following pro cycling for a while then you’ll have started to quickly recognise the sport’s biggest names, no matter how obscured by their shades or sponsors.

Follow it for even longer and you’ll be able to guess the year from their team kit – which is exactly what our latest quiz is all about. Yes, it’s got many of the sport’s most famous faces, from Mercx to Vos, but we’ve made this one deliberately difficult with a view to stopping anyone getting 100 percent. Up for the challenge?

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Completed the quiz? Let us know how you did at our Facebook page.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Christmas gift ideas: 12 presents for the cyclist who has everything

You’ve been into a bike store, and come up null with ideas for what to buy your cycling-obsessed loved one/friend/co-worker. So what do you get the cyclist that seemingly has everything?

Below, we have a few ideas that range wildly in cost, but regardless of budget, there’s a good chance it’s something that the cyclist in your life would happily receive.

Park Tool Pizza Cutter

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The blue bicycle tool brand has long offered novelty-gift items, and the pizza cutter is an old staple. Featuring a large stainless steel cutting wheel, the dishwasher safe bicycle-shaped cutter is a classic and one that sits proudly in the kitchen of many cycling fanatics. 

Not into pizza? Park Tool also does bottle openers and BBQ tongs.

Specialized Road Tube Spool

Chamois cream

Cycling holiday leave pass

A good book

Cycology Underwear

TargetVelo N+1 Mini Bike

Apres Velo Sleepwear

Massage gift certificate

Campagnolo BIG corkscrew

Silca SuperPista Ultimate floor pump and HX-One Essential Kit 

Abbey Bike Tools HAG

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

The 2016 YT Capra AL is absurdly good value

YT is rolling out its 2016 models and first out of the gate is the company’s alloy Capra – which looks to have blown the value benchmark forward considerably once again. While geometry and frame design remain unchanged from the current Capra AL, the consumer-direct company has added a third, value-priced built kit and updated all the frames with new paint schemes.

Capra AL 

The new entry-level Capra AL comes equipped with a 160mm RockShox Yari fork paired with a RockShox Monarch R rear shock that serves up 165mm of rear wheel travel. The drivetrain consists of SRAM’s GX1 group with a Race Face Æffect crankset. SRAM also handles braking duties with the DB5 brakes.

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The claimed weight for the Capra AL is 30.8 / 14kg. The Capra AL will retail for US$2,899 / €2,299 / AUS $4,299, and for those of us in the UK that currently translates to just over £1,600!

Capra AL Comp 1 

The Capra AL Comp 1 gets the new RockShox Lyric in a 170mm version. Out back, it uses the RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 to provide 165mm of rear travel. Like the Capra AL, the Comp 1 relies on SRAM’s GX1 transmission, but upgrades the crankset to the lighter Race Face Turbine model. The brakes also get bumped up to SRAM’s Guide R model.

Capra AL Comp 2 

Shared components

Availability

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar