Trek X-Caliber 29er Hardtail

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

User Reviews (111)

Showing 1-10 of 111  
lukeschar   Cross Country Rider [Jan 30, 2017]
Strength:

Good Geometry
Rides Nicely
Trek Warranty
Great for Upgrading

Weakness:

Awful wheels, got warranty replaced
Derailleur was not clutch, as specified by Trek
Little heavy
Brakes aren't the most powerful

I've raced this bike, ridden it on long hard rides, and spent many hours in the saddle. Some things I've learned.
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.

Similar Products Used: Trek Mamba
Trek Wahoo
Trek Marlin
Redline Monocog
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Aj   [Oct 13, 2016]
Strength:

Solid frame and decent components line up. Rides great, wonder full cornering.

Weakness:

Freehub, spokes, shock, cassette & brakes.

2016 X-caliber 9. With in the 1st Mont I blew out the shock 2 times before upgrading it. I also chewed thru a cassette in the 1st month. About 3 months in I started eating up freehand. 5 to be exact. Then went thru 2 set of wheel upgrades due to this. I also upgraded the front brakes to a bigger rotor. The stock was too small to stop me.

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.

Similar Products Used: Trek 3700, Trek 4300
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
wegorz   Cross Country Rider [Aug 31, 2016]
Strength:

Great frame, comfortable, great climbing, steady and smooth steering

Weakness:

Spokes - keep breaking almost all the time, till fully replacement. Low cost components (chainset, breakes, fork)

X-Caliber 8, 2015. After 5kkm, chainset needed replace. Brakes was totally mistake on 29" bike. With my weight ~87kg, 160 rotors originally mounted Shimano M395 brakes couldn't stop me.

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 ;)

Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Hookooeko
Giant Trance 3
Giant Reign 2
Banshee Rune
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
HanSolo   Cross Country Rider [Aug 21, 2016]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

I purchased my Trek X-Caliber 9 after season for less than 3/4 of Trek web page price.
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.

Similar Products Used: Cube Acid 29er, Scott Scale 960, Scott Scale 50, Kross Level B6
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gigolfer   Cross Country Rider [Jan 17, 2016]
Strength:

Solid component group for the price, Rigid frame and the finish is beautiful.

Weakness:

Tires are good for dry hardpack but not for loose gravel or wet and the drivetrain struggles with hard shifts

Last year I purchased a cheap department store bike to see if I'd like mountain biking and I got hooked so after shopping around I bought a new XCal 8. It seemed the best value for what I wanted one $1000 budget. The bike allowed me to enjoy riding so much more than the cheap 26" department store bike. The XCal is efficient uphill and pretty stable on the single tracks I ride. Even though the fork is a RockSock coil spring, it works well at dampening most hits and I've taken the bike off drops 2' feet without issue. My only complaints are the tire grip on wet or loose conditions and hard gear changes. In all fairness to the bike the gear changes might be more user inexperience with not shifting early enough. Overall I'm very happy with my XCal which I ride ~30 miles per week. It allowed me to become a much better rider and now I'm ready for my first FS bike ;-)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
kristijan   [Sep 11, 2015]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

suntour fork m3030,its not too bad,actuly gives 75mm travel as advertised,but flexy,no lockaut and heavysh

i use to have german bike wich wose lighter,but traded him old for new in bikeshop and i didnt regret it! trek is simply faster,smoother and i Loove the frame! In my country you can buy tens of diffrent bikes brands,mostly german,polish,american etc,but i choose this one!If i hade more budget i wood buy xcal 7 but...Enyway a realy fantastic frame a class of itsown and beautiful smoot ride!With little better fork and lighter and faster tires it would be truly fantastic bike! I ride tested the german bike wich wose 200 hundred dollars more,but xcal ride wose better!And most important this bike rides like is kilo or two lighter wich is very good!Fantastic Gary Firher geometry!Thank's Gary (sorry for my english,not my native language;-)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
FB   [Jan 26, 2015]
Strength:

Drivetrain surprisingly decent (although, it is heavy)
Brakes work really well for the price point
Fork surprisingly decent

Weakness:

The wheels are atrocious, mine failed first day on the trail (200lb rider) and caused injury
Very unforgiving
Tires are poor

This is for the 2014 X-Caliber 8.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
BlueLgihtening   All Mountain Rider [Aug 14, 2014]
Strength:

( 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.

Weakness:

Replace the pedals ASAP, you won't regret it.

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary   Cross Country Rider [Jun 26, 2014]
Strength:

The price is good for what you get, rolls well, brakes and shifters work well (smooth), tires are great for my style of riding

Weakness:

None yet

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!

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
HoyaTerp   Weekend Warrior [Apr 20, 2014]
Strength:

Features and price

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 111  

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