Trek X-Caliber 29er Hardtail
|MSRP : $1589.99|
Product DescriptionFrom the Gary Fisher Collection:
- Frame: Platinum Series 6066 butted & hydroformed aluminum, cold-forged dropouts, G2 29" Geometry
- Wheels: Shimano M525 hubs, Bontrager Duster Disc 29 rims, Bontrager XDX tires
- Componentry: SRAM X.9 front derailleur, SRAM X.7 rear derailleur, SRAM X.7 shifters, Shimano FC-M521 crank, Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes
- Suspension: Fox F80 RL 29, 80mm travel, custom G2 Geometry 51mm offset crown
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Date Reviewed: January 30, 2017
Strengths: Good Geometry
Great for Upgrading
Weaknesses: Awful wheels, got warranty replaced
Derailleur was not clutch, as specified by Trek
Brakes aren't the most powerful
1. The wheels are terrible; it got to the point that I was breaking several spokes on easy rides, I got warranty wheels, it was handled very well
2. Almost immediately I got a narrow-wide chainring; neither of the 2 chainrings were a size I liked. It was very easy to go to a 1x by getting a new chainring. Was immediately so much better.
3. Seatpost has a little give in it, really helps smooth the ride
4. Came with a 29x2 stock rear tire. Was absolutely awful on all terrain. Put a 2.2 on and it has been much better.
Bike Setup: SRAM NX 11 speed drivetrain
otherwise all stock
Date Reviewed: October 13, 2016
Strengths: Solid frame and decent components line up. Rides great, wonder full cornering.
Weaknesses: Freehub, spokes, shock, cassette & brakes.
Now with that said. The bike rides great and handel's well. Frame is solid and other components are good. Nice and light and geared well for a 2x10.
Price Paid: $1500.00
Purchased At: Single track flagsta
Similar Products Used: Trek 3700, Trek 4300
Bike Setup: 2016 Trek X-cal9
Rock shox Reba rl
Bontager Rhythm comp front wheel
Stan's notube arch rear wheel with 3.30hub
190mm front brake rotor
Bontager XR3 tires tubeless
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2016
Strengths: Great frame, comfortable, great climbing, steady and smooth steering
Weaknesses: Spokes - keep breaking almost all the time, till fully replacement. Low cost components (chainset, breakes, fork)
So, after some mods:
- replaced spokes -> SAPIM
- replaced brakes from M395 to SLX '15 with ice-tech XT 180mm rotors
- replaced chainset from SRAM S800 to SLX '15
- replaced fork from RS XC32 100mm, to RS Reba DualAir 100mm
- replaced cassette and chain from ? KNC to SRAM PG1050 with PC1051
I would rate this bike to 5/5. I even sold my Banshee Rune, just cause this Trek give me great fun. It's suitable on almost every track. Great climbing in this XCal is new (best so far) experience. You just literally are able to go any rideable hill, knowing that only barrier is your mind. Just go and, replace some parts ;)
Purchased At: 11 april 2015
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Hookooeko
Giant Trance 3
Giant Reign 2
Bike Setup: Bontrager Mustnag Elite rims, sapim spokes, formula hubs
X7/X7 with X5/X5 shifters
Rock Shox Reba DualAir 100mm, G2, 9mm
SLX 2015 breakes
SLX 2015 chainset 36/22
rest -> original Bontrager components
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2016
Strengths: It looks so cool...
Great G2 geometry. Very nice to ride. Quite comfortable, for a sporty MTB. It's fun - cornering, climbing, descending, all of this. Nimble and fast even with its size and geo (69' 21,5' 29er). Good components, not only "for the price".
Weight - 12,9kg
Stunning look of X-Cal 9 blue/orange/black 2015 y/model
Weaknesses: Saddle -didn't fit me at all.
Nylon platforms - just a thing to replace, cuz it's just kinda starting kit pedals.
Frame head is not tapered -but it's not an issue for me...
A bit loudy braking when wet.
It's the best looking X-Cal ever and one of best looking MTB at all. No kidding. 2015 blue/orange/black - take a look.
Bike rides great. I smile every time I take it again. Easy, fun, comfortable, 12,9kg Everything works perfectly fine after 3000km made. First casette/chain set, lasted for 1700km.
What could be better than that? Maybe X-Cal 10 if they would make one.
No issues, not at all.
Beginers - yes, because it's comfortale and easy bike. X-Caliber 8 and 7 can be also good deal.
Experienced riders - yes, X-Cal 9 more likely. Yes because it won't broke so soon and every piece of this setup works great.
Duration Product Used: 10 months
Price Paid: $740.00
Purchased At: Local bike shop.
Similar Products Used: Cube Acid 29er, Scott Scale 960, Scott Scale 50, Kross Level B6
Bike Setup: Alpha Gold Alu G2 frame. 21,5 inch size
Components are great. Front derailleur-SRAM X7, rear derailleur Shimano XT Shadow, Shimano Deore brakes, Shimano Deore drive train with Race Face Ride crank set.
RockShox XC32 100mm solo-air fork.
Replaced drive train with Shimano XT, kevlar tires and Selle Italia Shiver saddle and it's under 12,9kg. That's for a 21,5' frame size of entry level 29er!!!
Others are entry level Bontrager parts.
Quite light Mustang TLR Elite wheels are tubeless ready.
I changed handlebar for an orange, rised- Dartmoor Nitro, pedals are Dartmoor Stream now and saddle - Selle Italia Shiver.
Tires are mud type Bontrager 2,2' XR1. For longer allround rides I pick Kenda Small Block 8 in 1,9' but for tough trails I pick XR1 -they do the job.
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2016
Strengths: Solid component group for the price, Rigid frame and the finish is beautiful.
Weaknesses: Tires are good for dry hardpack but not for loose gravel or wet and the drivetrain struggles with hard shifts
Purchased At: Bicycle Outfitters
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2015
Strengths: beautiful frame(xcaliber 4),lightish(14kg without pedals) and one of the best and finest geometry in 29er world and very smooth and responsive ride
Weaknesses: suntour fork m3030,its not too bad,actuly gives 75mm travel as advertised,but flexy,no lockaut and heavysh
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2015
Strengths: Drivetrain surprisingly decent (although, it is heavy)
Brakes work really well for the price point
Fork surprisingly decent
Weaknesses: The wheels are atrocious, mine failed first day on the trail (200lb rider) and caused injury
Tires are poor
The long and short of it is, I wish that I had just bought a higher quality, but used bike instead of getting a new X-Cal. There is nothing about these bikes that left me with a good feeling afterwards.
By far the -WORST- part is the wheelset, if you search around you'll find numerous instances of riders over 195lbs tacoing the front wheel. In my case, I came off a 3 -INCH- drop and the whole thing just folded over, sending me over the bars and a few inches from serious injury. I ended up replacing it in with a $250 (so 1/4th of what we paid for the bike) front wheel (Arch Ex) which held up really well. After spending over $1k on a bike, I shouldn't have a wheel fail the first day on the trail and have to buy a $250 wheel just to make the bike safe. Clearly Trek observed this, too, because they changed the wheel for 2015.
The tires are pretty bad too, at least I had a lot of issues with them losing traction at the worst possible time. I think moving to a 29x2.2 in the rear would help a lot, the 29x2.0 just doesn't cut it, for the trails I ride anyway.
Lastly, the fork isn't horrible, but an air fork would be a nice upgrade over the coil, mainly for ease of adjustment. Having to tap out the coil spring is kind of a pain and doesn't allow a lot of adjustment. I have to admit, though, I was surprised at how well the fork did most of the time, given it's limited travel and lower price point.
To be frank, I believe this is a city bike with some off road capabilities. I've read plenty of others that do "hard" trail riding on these bikes stock, but I don't see how. I found the bike to be very unforgiving of mistakes and in need of upgrades before you can do any serious trail riding with them (wheels, tires, as mentioned before). By the time it's all said and done, you'll end up spending another $600 on a ~$1000 bike.
The positives? If you really want a hardtail and plan on keeping it for a while, you could put a new wheelset, fork, and drivetrain on it progressively and eventually have a pretty decent hardtail. These bikes are great candidates for a 1x conversion too or even SS.
These are entry level bikes and priced as such, you get what you pay for, but I think they could do a lot better in some of the most important areas (fork, wheels) while still coming close to the same price point.
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2014
Strengths: ( For X cal 4) This bike can take a beating. It is light and nimble. Great bike for the money. Can handle tech and tight turns.
Weaknesses: Replace the pedals ASAP, you won't regret it.
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Price Paid: $550.00
Purchased At: Warrenton Bike Stop
Bike Setup: Trek X-Caliber 4 with Diablo Freeride Pedals
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2014
Strengths: The price is good for what you get, rolls well, brakes and shifters work well (smooth), tires are great for my style of riding
Weaknesses: None yet
Duration Product Used: 1 month
Price Paid: $600.00
Purchased At: CycleMania-Portland,
Similar Products Used: None
Bike Setup: See factory specs, I haven't changed anything
Date Reviewed: April 20, 2014
Strengths: Features and price
Weaknesses: Pedals are cheap but I think Tarek assumes you will replace them anyway.
Date Reviewed: March 13, 2014
Strengths: Great value for the money
Nice SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain
Weaknesses: Could use a wheel upgrade(rims and tires)
Get a better saddle on it ASAP
I have not had any problems with the breaking. I know people don't like the sound the elixer-1 brakes make but that is simply a noise and not a problem. I am a mechanical contractor in my day job and I have heard plenty of machines make plenty of weird noises. This is not a noise to worry about. The rotors that come stock on the bike have have over-sized vents so what you are hearing is actually really hot air "expanding" from the holes as the rotor passes through the break pads. As the breaks heat up from use, the air trapped in the rotor holes will heat up when passing through the break pads. When the trapped air passes through the other side of the pads it noisily escapes. This is Amontons' Law of Pressure-Temperature in action. You can simply get different pads and/or rotors to get rid of this noise. The bike mechanic at the TREK store I bought the bike is excellent so I don't have any problems throttling the breaks with the Elixer levers. If you find the breaks don't modulate well blame the guy who set the bike up not the bike.
The bike weighs 28lbs with my pedals on it. Not to shabby considering the price tag.
The Mustang rims are fine but a bit heavy. After you beat them up a bit get some better rims and lower the bike weight. You could also save some weight changing the saddle and seat post.
The tires that come stock suck. Duh. Hey so do the tires that came on that new car you just bought as well.
I like the simplicity of the Solo Air Rox Shocks. Very easy to set up and they have not leaked at all during the bike's first lengthy stay in the garage this past winter.
You cannot find a better riding position on a 29er than G2 geometry. The Fuji 29er I had before handled like a tank compared to this bike. This is a very good aluminum frame and and fork set-up. I plan on owning this bike for a good while and upgrading the parts as the old ones wear out.
I looked at the 2014 line up of X-Cals and I don't think even the most expensive set up is as good as the 2013. They even downgraded the frame material. If you can find a 2011-2013 edition of this bike buy it. You won't be able to spend your money any better.
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2013
Strengths: Ride feel,great starting point for a hardtail. SRAM stuff holds up well under hard use.
Weaknesses: Wheels and brakes just not that great. A little heavy.
I have changed everything on it parts wise so really it's not the same bike, but parts wise it held up well at the start. Go with some EA70 wheels and swap brakes to Shimano's and don't look back.
I ride this at least 4-6 days a week with 90% of it being off-road, my usual loop is 20 miles.
Duration Product Used: 1 year
Price Paid: $1300.00
Similar Products Used: Numerous hardtails
Bike Setup: Currently EA 70 F wheel,Stan's rear, full SRAM X9 2X10, Enduro X15 bb, Lynskey TI post, EC 90 stem and bars, orig. FOX RL fork updated by FOX
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2013
Strengths: Shocks, some components.
Weaknesses: Brakes have been very noisy since purchase. Wheels.
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2012
Strengths: Climbs very well, descending steadily, i am surprise and impressed with the great geometry.
Weaknesses: Original complete bike weight is 12.5kg, after some upgrading manage to bring it down to 11kg, is still heavier compare to my Trek 9.9Elite SSL (9.4kg) but i am not complaining as i want to test out how the 29er feels.
Date Reviewed: December 5, 2012
Strengths: Handling, fork, rides fast, good geometry
Weaknesses: Wheels, stock handlebar (too long), stock grips (wimpy)
Overall a very good deal and a good bike, but not without some factory decided oddities, such as the weak grips and the oddly long stock handlebar, which I can't fathom anyone not needing to cut down.
Like others have noted, there seems to be a problem with the wheels for this bike. My rear (where the hardtail exposes the problem) already had a couple spoke loss issues in the first months, and in a recent couple weekends of fast, non-technical single track riding the wheel has basically come apart at the spokes. It's getting warranteed out, so hopefully the next one won't exhibit this issue.
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