By Karen Brooks
A small but pesky obstacle for women getting serious about mountain biking: it’s tough, if not darn near impossible, to make a full-suspension frame with complex linkages in smaller sizes. Granted, you don’t necessarily need complex linkages to enjoy dirt, but sometimes it really helps.
Trek’s new Lush lineup for women features 120mm of front and rear travel in sizes down to 14.5”, with truly low top tubes. These bikes actually looked smaller than they were—Ross, a Trek staffer (female) who helps outfit women for demos, says customers often assume they’re on a too-small size when they can stand over the frame comfortably. But no, they’re just right.
There are four models, one carbon (shown here) and three aluminum, available in mid-January of 2012. The Lush Carbon goes for $4,600 and is dressed with a mix of Shimano XT and SLX (mostly XT) brakes and drivetrain with a Bontrager cockpit. Both Fox suspension bits, a Float RP-3 shock and 32 Float FIT RL fork, feature their Dual Rate Control Valve internals. The rear shock has a shorter eye-to-eye length to stuff it in that small space, and it’s also tuned for lighter riders. The rear dropouts are Trek’s APB Convert using a 142x12mm Maxle Lite.