Trek Bikes Stache 8  2013 Mountain Bike Review

Trek Bikes Stache 8 2013

Reviews / Hard Tails

Trek Bikes 1,642,047

At A Glance

The Stache is a new bike this year from Trek, aimed at anyone who likes having fun on the trail. It’s a hardtail 29er with a more playful geometry than an XC bike designed to be fun and lively. It should appeal to the hardcore hardtail fans out there, although it is only a 120mm travel bike those wheels are going to make it feel much more capable in bigger terrain. Trek have been building great 29ers for years now, and when this one arrived it looked stunning and instantly called out to be ridden, and ridden hard.

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Tech Heads

The frame is built using Treks Alpha Platinum Aluminium technology; it offers the lightest strongest alloy frame that they manufacture. It features an E2 tapered head tube, ISCG mounts, press-fit bottom bracket and internal derailleur routing. 142x12mm rear axle keeps the back end stiff and there is a stealth routing for the dropper post.

Front suspension is looked after by a Fox Evolution Series 32 Float w/CTD, E2 tapered steerer and a 15QR thru-axle.

Wheels are a Bontrager affair, as you would expect. Sealed cartridge bearing hubs are laced to Bontrager Duster Tubeless Ready 28 hole rims. Bontrager Expert 29x2.3 tyres offer the grip.

The drivetrain is a mostly Shimano affair with SLX 10 speed shifters an SLX direct mount front mech and a Deore XT Shadow Plus rear mech. 11-36t Shimano HG62 rear cassette with a rather lovely looking Race Face Turbine crankset with 38/24t gearing.

Stopping power is dealt with using the ever-reliable Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes.

Bontrager gear finishes off the rest of the bike, a Rhythm Pro 7 degree stem keeps the Race Lite Low Riser bars in place and a Bontrager Evoke 3 titanium railed saddle is held in place with a Bontrager Rhythm Elite seatpost.

Trek Stache 8 17.5in

Seat tube 419mm
Effective top tube 600mm
Head tube 103mm
Chain stay 445mm
Wheel base 1128mm
BB Height 31.6mm
Head angle 68.3°
Seat angle 72.5°
Reach 414mm

Weight w/o pedals 26lbs

On The Trail

The Stache is fast, that’s the first thing you notice about it, and yes 29ers are quick and all that, but here the geometry combines with the lightweight and stiff frame to offer some blistering acceleration. Just a couple of pedal strokes from the very responsive drivetrain and you are up to cruising speed and already enjoying the bike.

For a 29er the wheelbase is quite short, the compact rear end, 68.3° head angle and “short” travel fork combine to keep things playful as far as the corners go. There is endless grip in the dry, the Bontrager Expert tyres aren’t too capable in wet mud however, they definitely lean towards the race and speed side of the spectrum.

Trek have been working on the perfect geometry for 29ers for some time now and you can really feel it in the handling. I’m still a fan of the 26inch wheel in most situations, however jumping on the Stache I never felt as if it was cumbersome or hard to handle. The steering was responsive and the bike did exactly what you asked of it even in the tightest of single track.

Climbing on the Stache is excellent, the long top tube and longish stem keep the front end down on even the steepest of climbs and of course the hard tail rear end offers instant drive. Aluminium hardtails can often be a little “stiff” which can make climbing technical terrain difficult. The Stache’s bigger wheels and pliable rear end help to keep that to a minimum though.

Pointing the Stache down a steep hill is where the fun really begins though, this is a very capable bike make no mistake. I’ve ridden a few hardcore hardtails in my time and on a 26inch wheeled machine 140-150mm travel fork up front generally suits the really rough stuff. You could be forgiven for thinking that at 120mm the Stache is a little under-forked, yet during the course of our tests it never baulked, never stuttered and never felt under gunned. It was always planted and predictable, and blisteringly quick.


Achingly good looking, the Stache should be your go-to bike when you want to be fast and have fun. Its handling will surprise you, and might even change your mind about big wheeled bikes altogether if you aren’t already a fan. Reasonably priced it offers great value in terms of smiles for miles. Competent going downhill and responsive heading up, it’s a hardcore hardtail with the minerals for the big trails as well as the small.

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This review was in Issue 25 of IMB.

For more information visit Trek Bikes


By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

Tried this? What did you think?