Trek X-Caliber 29er Hardtail

4.28/5 (104 Reviews)
MSRP : $1589.99


Product Description

From 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


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 15 (104 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BlueLgihtening a All Mountain Rider

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.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike a few months ago and rode it mainly on pavement, gravel, and grass until about a month ago. I took it on a trail with plenty of crazy downhills and climbs (98% technical) and the trail beat the snot out of me, but this bike just wanted more. This is a tough, light, nimble bike. Great handling but the pedals suck, replace them immediately. I use Freeride platforms on my bike and they have saved my life because of their grip. If you are a beginner or on a budget, get an X-Caliber 4, you won't regret it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Colvin Run Trail, VA

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Warrenton Bike Stop

Bike Setup:   Trek X-Caliber 4 with Diablo Freeride Pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary a Cross Country Rider

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

Bottom Line:   
I am new to the sport, last year I picked up a dept store mountain bike to see if it was something I wanted to get into more heavily...I did...the Mongoose was heavy and had 26 inch wheels with traditional brakes. It felt small. I had trouble with the shifting on that bike as well, lots of grinding and late shifting, not going into the gear it was showing on the shifter, etc...Those issues made me go looking/shopping this spring and after researching Diamondback, Cannondale and some others I settled on Trek...specifically the X-Caliber 5 and it has been flawless in the few weeks I have owned it, I don't shred trails by any means but it takes the bumps, gets really dirty and keeps on working well, which is all I can ask for. Also, the frame is light compared to the other bike I had, it rolls nice and climbs flawlessly. No weld breaks, or rim and tire issues. I put on about 75 miles a week typically. I highly recommend the bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Eastern Trail

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

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by HoyaTerp a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2014

Strengths:    Features and price

Weaknesses:    Pedals are cheap but I think Tarek assumes you will replace them anyway.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first foray into a 29" MTB. I actually purchased a X-Caliber 6 ($750.00 MSRP)—not the X-Caliber 9. I am primarily a recreational cyclist wanting to do some trail/mountain biking. As such, I was looking for the best bang for the buck under $1,000.00. The X-Caliber 6 fit the bill precisely. In assessing the bike, understand what you are purchasing and what you are not purchasing (i.e., a 29" MTB under $1,000.00). Yes, you can spend more on a better bike, but you would probably have to spend a significant amount more to purchase a bike where the components make a significant/noticeable difference to the average weekend cyclist. At the time I purchased the bike (April 2014), this one was the cheapest one with: 1) 29" wheels; 2) hydraulic disc brakes (worth the extra money); and 3) locking front suspension. I also found the bike surprisingly light and the frame to be plenty stiff. It was very nimble, notwithstanding the 29" wheels, due to Trek's design of the frame. An absolutely great MTB for first timers.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Griffin Cycles in Be


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nathan

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2014

Strengths:    Great value for the money
Nice SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain
Geometry


Weaknesses:    Could use a wheel upgrade(rims and tires)
Get a better saddle on it ASAP


Bottom Line:   
I am reviewing the 2013 X-Cal I got last fall. It has been a VERY GOOD bike for me so far. I have total confidence in attacking almost anything on it, even a decently large jump/drop on a super-d course.
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.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by MTB Dad a Cross Country Rider

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.

Bottom Line:   
Ok this is my third X-Cal frame as the first two Fisher X-Cal's broke, in exactly the same spot. As with the other two the selling point for me on this frame is the ride. The bike floats over terrain and climbs and descends very well. I am totally in love with the geometry. The Trek frame has a minor change to the frame where my two Fishers broke so maybe this will last longer then the other two. No worries though as each frame was replaced without issue under warranty.
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lots of them

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

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rick Goble

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2013

Strengths:    Shocks, some components.

Weaknesses:    Brakes have been very noisy since purchase. Wheels.

Bottom Line:   
This bike has had the most issues from the factory that I have ever experienced and the shop has not been very interested in repairing. They tell me that Trek is difficult to work with when it comes to warranty. My first and last Trek product.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sunny a Weekend Warrior

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.

Bottom Line:   
Overall the X-caliber is impressive, value for money, i just love this 29er...will be great to own the OCLV frame. (Upgraded to X0 drivetrain and Shimano XT brake, ZTR Crest wheelset with 12o'clock hub). To all the 26ers cyclist, do get this 29er bike and you'll be amazed.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chasty a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2012

Strengths:    Handling, fork, rides fast, good geometry

Weaknesses:    Wheels, stock handlebar (too long), stock grips (wimpy)

Bottom Line:   
When all is good, this bike glides over the single track and fire roads and handles well for a 29er. Gives you good traction for uphills and zips downhill without instability or unnecessary drag.
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.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Darin Sims

Date Reviewed: December 5, 2012

Strengths:    Good value. Good components.

Weaknesses:    Wheels.

Bottom Line:   
I ride the X-Caliber on a medium-level difficulty flow trail a couple of times per week. There are a couple of rock gardens, and because it is located on a mountain, there are sections that are generally rocky. Perhaps because of this I have been experiencing broken spokes on my rear wheel every third ride or so. I have probably replaced 12-15 spokes in the 5 months since I bought the bike, and it occurs on both the drive side and the brake side of the wheel. I am 6'1" and 178 pounds, which may be a factor. I think, though, that the wheelset is under-gunned for the bike. It being a hardtail a stouter wheel may be in order. Other than that I have no complaints about the bike. The components work smoothly and other than being a little on the heavy side it does everything I want it to do. I will probably replace the wheelset or trade it in for a full suspension. It is probably a matter of time before I get stranded on a trail somewhere.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Arstran

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2012

Strengths:    Fork and drivetrain

Weaknesses:    Deore wheelset and no tapered headtube

Bottom Line:   
This is my second 29er hardtail but my first that is a good quality. The Reba RL fork is really nice and the rest of the componentry is pretty much mid-level. My only real complaint is the wheelset, I broke the freehub on just the fourth ride but I took it to a local Trek dealer and they replaced it free of charge under warranty. Also, for some reason Trek set this bike up with a 3x10 drivetrain which I had immediately changed to a 2x10 with all Sram X7 components.

Expand full review >>

Bike Setup:   2x10 drivetrain with crank brothers accessories

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by jpalkowetz

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2012

Strengths:    big wheels great idea

Weaknesses:    keeps breaking spokes, even got new rear wheel, spokes break all the time. Seat just broke while ridding to trail, avid 3 brakes vibrate horribly, replaced pads and rotors that helped but need constant adjustment. Overall the bike is very unreliable.

Bottom Line:   
I am so disappointed with this bike and Trek's frame warranty on another Trek bike that I will not purchase another Trek product and I am changing to a different lbs. I have owned Treks for nearly 30 years. The overall quality has become very poor and the warranty is meaningless on frames and repeat problems.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jvader a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2012

Strengths:    The Reba front fork is excellent, SRAM drivetrain is more than enough, juicy threes seem to perform nice. ( a little squeaky but all disc breaks are). I think for the money your getting a great hard tail that is very upgradable.

Weaknesses:    Reading other reviews I would say the stand over height for me seems a bit tall. Other than that none.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this bike as my first 29ner hard tail. Decided to go to this level of a bike just to get out of the crappy sun tour forks they put on everything thing these days. Extremely pleased with my decision. I purchased a Trek 4500 first and blew up the front shocks in 2 weeks, warrentied them out, and they came back blown so decied to return the bike and go with this xcal on closeout. Technical stuff seemed to handle great, single track it flys down, and my buddy's on the 26 inch wheels have to jump stuff I can just plow through. Just riding around town was fun too, I have now purchased a road bike for that, but sine have 29 inch wheels and 30 gears it worked well on some hills. I constantly have been upgrading this bike and love it, if a hard tail is what you want this is a great bike! I do have the 2011 model I like the paint scheme way better.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sandy Ridge, lower hide and seek

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1150.00

Purchased At:   Bike Gallery, Lake O

Bike Setup:   Trek X Cal, wtb pure 5 seat, Thomson elite seatpost, Raceface atlas bars, ODI lock on grips, truvative hussfelt 40mm stem, easton Haven alloy 29 wheelset.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by MB a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2012

Strengths:    Light weight, climbs well, handles great on the trail.

Weaknesses:    Bottom bracket has fallen apart twice. Second time back to shop and they rebuilt the BB under warranty. Kudos to Bike Gallery, Lake Oswego, OR for quick fix but they told me the bearings were packed wrong and a plate was completely missing. Not good for a $1400 bike that is less than 5 mos. old.

All bolts on rear rotor with the exception of one fell out. Rotor was nearly hanging on. Only found out as their was a slight noise. Checked front rotor and bolts hadn't fallen out but were all loose. Whoever was on quality control at the Chinese factory must have been asleep. Unacceptable issues with BB and loose rotor bolts.

Front end also creaks and breaks squeak consistently. These aren't major issues but pesky nonetheless.



Bottom Line:   
Overall a good bike, but the lack of quality control is a major turn off. If you decide to purchase pay attention to a loose BB - it can go from just a little wobble to a shredded BB quickly. Also make sure to check and torque the rotor bolts (and possibly other bolts) lest your brakes fail. Should have spent more and bought a bike made in America.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by hangdogdaddy38 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2012

Strengths:    Shock, nice mat color. Sram x7 group

Weaknesses:    mis matched derailleurs

Bottom Line:   
I have owned a 2002 Mongoose Sommet Pro, 2009 Gary Fisher Tassajara(beautiful bike), and a Motobecane Fantom DS. By far I am faster on this X-cal than I have been on any other bike. I'm sold on 29er's. It's fast and with some upgraded wheels, post and bars it will be really fast. The bars that come with it may have a little too much sweep for some. I just changed mine out. I love mine.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Salem Lake, Winston Salem, N.C.

Duration Product Used:   Three months

Price Paid:    $1099.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Toy and Hobb


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by bishop29er

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2012

Strengths:    Decent components for the price
Reba fork is great
23" frame is perfect for a clyde


Weaknesses:    Noisy brakes
Saddle
High Standover height


Bottom Line:   
This is my first foray into what most would consider an entry level race 29er, but not my first bike. I'm a big guy at 6'6, 230 lbs and the frame of this bike is definitely big enough. I no longer feel like a circus clown on a tiny bike. Also, while not quite as nimble as a 26", especially in tight switchbacks, this bike has been a blast on single track and technical stuff. I guess the biggest complement I can say about this rig is that I always can't wait to get back on and ride.

I've replaced the crappy saddle with a bontrager evoke r(much better) and the grips with ODI rogues(big improvement). I consider both of these things to be personal preference items, so I can't really hold it against the trek. The one negative thing, for me at least, is the standover height. Even at 6'6" I can BARELY stand flat footed off the saddle...I wish the top tube slanted a little more. I've definitely had a few less then comfortable moments when hopping off the saddle in a hurry.

Reviews 1 - 15 (104 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

 

INTERBIKE

Contests





Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest mountain bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »

   

MTBR on Facebook