Trek’s Stache 29plus hardtail has opened many eyes to the wonderful weirdness of 29plus tires. Ever since the introduction of the SE4/XR4 29×3 tire in the Fall of 2017 I’ve been wondering if there might be a bike designed around the capabilities of this tire. I stopped wondering a few weeks ago when this weird animal of a bike showed up at Dirt Rag HQ.
To put is maybe too simply, the Full Stache is a 29plus version of Trek’s Fuel EX trail bike. Same 130mm of front and rear travel, same suspension system (ABP, Mino flip-chip, Full Floater shock, ReAktiv valve shock), similar geometry. The frame is aluminum front and rear, with Trek’s Knock Block headset and straight downtube.
|Frame Size||Mino Link||ST Angle||Head Angle||BB Drop||BB Height||TT||Reach||Stack||CS||Head Tube||Offset||ST||Trail||WB|
There is one obvious difference which Trek was nice enough to point out in a bright yellow hue on this otherwise olive drab frame:
Not exactly elegant, but how else are you going to fit 29×3 tires into 430 mm chainstays and 130mm of travel? Those chainstays are slightly shorter than the Fuel EX.
Few local trails that have been able to stand up to this spring that is the wettest in memory. The trails that are rideable are full of lots of slippery rocks, tight turns and low-speed dynamic moves.
I expected the Full Stache to feel cumbersome at the low speeds required on these trails, but the short chainstays must be working some magic, because in most conditions the Full Stache just feels like getting a skill upgrade. Bontrager’s rubber compound finds traction on the slickest of surfaces and the ReAktiv-valved shock stays stable while still absorbing the hits that make it past those big tires. The geometry is slacker than the Stache, but even with though Full Stache feels a little floppy at first up front, the feeling quickly goes away after a few hundred yards.
I can’t call this bike a very exacting tool, but for the slippery trails around me right now, hitting exact lines isn’t really an option. This bike won’t be for everyone, but for the target market, it is going to make a lot of riders happy. Expect a full review in the next issue of the magazine.
Long time Trek R&D rider, Travis Brown, got away from winter on the Full Stache on a recent trip to Argentina. Dan Milner captured that action:
Your local Trek dealer might already have one in stock.
Check out Trek’s website for further info or even to buy one right this minute.
$3,700 for the Full Stache 8
$2,000 for the frameset w/shock, headset, spacers, and stem.
FAQs from Trek:
What customer wants a full suspension 29+ bike?
It’s for riders who want trail bike performance from a backcountry-capable rig that lives for exploring primitive trails. It’s for riders who want the traction, stability, and flotation of a fat bike with the speed and momentum of a fast-rolling 29er. Anyone who likes to go long and get weird will like Full Stache.
Is the frame compatible with other wheel and tire sizes?
Full Stache is unapologetically committed to high-volume 29-inch tires. Riders looking for less weight or more agility can run tires as small as 29×2.6, though this will slightly affect the BB height.
What’s the recommended tire pressure?
As with any high-volume tire, the ideal pressure depends on a number of factors, including rider weight and specific terrain. We recommend starting around 16-18 psi and adjusting from there. If the tire squirms too much in corners or the rim bottoms out, increase pressure. If the ride feels too bouncy, reduce pressure.
Are there any other 29×3.0” tire options?
Yes. In addition to Bontrager, several other manufacturers are offering 29+ tire options, including: Surly, Maxxis, WTB, and Vittoria.
What is the maximum recommended fork length?
The Full Stache frame has been tested for up to 560mm axle-to-race, which is commonly 140mm travel. The stock fork is 550mm axle-to-race.
What’s the head tube angle? Does it have Mino Link?
Full Stache has a head angle of 67.4 degrees out of the box. It does have Mino Link, which will allow riders to switch to a slacker 67 degrees.
What is the maximum chain ring size?
Are there any compatible aftermarket rear shock options?
Full Stache uses the same 210×52.5mm shock size as Fuel EX, and there are several options available.
How does this bike ride compared to Fuel EX Plus?
Full Stache’s bigger tires carry more momentum and roll over obstacles easier than 27.5+ or standard 29er tires. That means Full Stache prefers to steamroll over rough, technical trails rather than slowing down to pick a line. Over smoother terrain, that momentum translates into more speed once you get rolling. The larger contact patch of the 29+ tires also provides more traction than other tire sizes, so it’s better at crawling up loose climbs.
Why isn’t it offered in the 15.5” size?
The short seat tube on a 15.5” frame would interfere with the tall 29+ tire as it moves through its 130mm of travel. The rider would also have to compromise on fit and handling, which would negate the benefits of this platform. Riders who fit a 15.5 should consider Fuel EX 29 or Fuel EX 27.5 Plus.
Is there a frameset option?
Yes. Full Stache will be offered as a frameset including: frame, rear axle, rear shock, Knock Block headset, Knock Block spacers, and Line 35mm stem.
Will it fit a water bottle?
Yes! A standard 24oz water bottle fits in all sizes.
How does it compare to the Salsa Deadwood SUS?
With more travel, shorter chainstays, and a slacker head tube angle, Full Stache feels more confident on steeper trails, more forgiving on technical trails, and more maneuverable in tight, twisty trails.
Are there any frame bags available for Full Stache?
Bedrock Bags offers custom frame bags designed specifically for Full Stache in addition to a variety of stock products that work well for turning Full Stache into a long-range adventure bike. For more info, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.bedrockbags.com.
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