First Impressions: Trek Stache 29plus

Introduced a few years ago, the first Trek Stache was a conservative, if not somewhat boring entry into the 29er trail bike market. Well no longer. We were shocked when this 29plus trail slayer showed up on our doorstep a few weeks before it was officially announced today at Sea Otter.

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Looking more like a custom project rather than a production bike, the new Stache has a lot going on. The drive side chainstay is elevated, leaving room for that big tire and short chainstays (a tick over 16.75 inches at the longest setting). A 110mm Manitou Magnum fork (itself brand new) is raked out at 68.4 degrees and a long top tube and 760 mm bars should keep things under control. Even with those big tires, the wheelbase is a manageable 44.6 inches on our size 19.5 tester. Both front and rear are the new Boost hub spacing (110/148) and due to the short rear end and bent and shaped seat tube, front derailleurs are out of luck on this bike.

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Riders can also swap to either standard 29er or 27plus wheels while keeping geometry close to stock numbers by using a longer travel fork (140mm) and by adjusting the Stranglehold sliding dropouts. They also make the Stache an ideal singlespeed candidate and the elevated chainstay means a belt drive can be installed without a split in the frame. If you’re looking to build up tone of your own you will also have the option of a frame-only purchase.

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This new bike will replace the standard 29er version of the Stache, and most models will be at dealers as you read this. All models share the same aluminum frame in five frame sizes from 15.5 to 21.5. The Stache 9 (shown above) and Stache 7 will be 1×11 bikes with SRAM X1 or GX drivetrains and Manitou Magnum forks, while the Stache 5 will have Shimano Deore 1×10 with a Bontrager Bowie rigid carbon fork.

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Stache 9: $3,880

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Stache 7: $2,520

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Stache 5: $1,760

With just a few shorts rides in we can’t declare this bike a winner, but initial impressions leave us highly impressed. This bike is obviously not something that was the result of focus groups and marketing studies, and Trek gets a tip of the hat for taking some chances with a bike like this. It will be turning some heads.