Trek has just announced quite an oddball new addition to their range in the form of the Full Stache. It uses the same basic outline and 130mm of travel as their Fuel EX trail bike, but rolls on 29" wheels shod with super fat 3" tyres. Why? Adventure, that's why.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you'll be aware that 'adventure' is the next big thing in the bike world - and if you do actually enjoy hiding under a rock, you're exactly the sort of person Trek is after with this new bike. With a decent portion of bounce at either end as well as that extra fat rubber, they say: "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.".
The big fat 29x3" tyres you can squeeze into the bike - you can go down to 2.6" if you prefer - are designed to give a huge contact patch and allow you to run lower pressures for more grip and confidence, both climbing and descending - though from experience this comes at the expense of steering precision.
Basically, it looks very much like they're after the part of the market that's not that fussed about how much more enduro ready and rippable their next bike is but want to go out and do big rides in the back of beyond - possibly over a couple of days - but still have fun on technical trails.
As you'd expect, the Full Stache shares a lot of technology and features with the more conventional Fuel EX trail bike, with the aluminium frame getting features like the 'Active Braking Pivot' axle concentric pivot rear suspension, non-kinked 'Straight Shot' downtube and 'Knock Block' headset to prevent damage from spinning bars or fork crowns all present and correct.
There have been a fair few modifications needed to jam both a 3" tyre on a big wheel and 130mm of travel in the whole affair, with the extremely elevated chainstays probably the most obvious. They've managed to get a very respectably short 427mm chainstay in there, which should keep the handling reasonably lively, while the 67º head angle and 338mm bottom bracket height can be tweaked via the 'Mino link' on the seatstay by 0.4º steeper and 5mm higher should you wish.
There's only one spec available, with a SRAM GX Eagle 12spd drivetrain, RockShox Pike RL fork, SunRingle rims and Bontrager's own finishing kit including the knobbly XR4 tyres for £3,200. No word on whether beard is a prerequisite for ownership, but head to their website for all other details...
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