Updated: Trek 6700 £1200

Sorted if not outstanding all-rounder

BikeRadar score 3/5

The top dog in Trek’s 6000 range is a reliable, responsive and obedient ride, and it’ll have a decent go at most things, from racing to trail centre red routes. However, at this price we’d expect a better fork and overall kit level on what is an adequate rather than outstanding frame.

Ride & handling: Well-balanced overall ride that’s ready for anything

With a long (105mm) stem and a PopLoc remote lockout lever under your thumb, the first impressions of the 6700 are that it's designed for racing rather than more casual use. This also sets up a swift but safe rather than cut-and-thrust handling character that’s carried right thought the bike.

The mid-width 660mm low-riser bar gives enough leverage to coax it into corners without too much effort though, and it’s well balanced enough to surf the slippery-when-wet Bontrager tyres through boggy sections, or otherwise treacherous corners.

The neutral feel was appreciated by less aggressive riders, and the general feedback from all our testers was that it was a “safe and confident ride”. It’s not the lightest bike at this price but still hops and pops around well if you need to lift it over rather than roll through.

It climbs and drives out of corners with encouraging purpose too, and it’s comfortable enough to make day-long rides easy rather than a test of endurance. The reduced control of the TurnKey (rather than Motion Control) damping circuit of the RockShox Recon fork becomes more noticeable the harder you push the bike, though.

While the low (11.75in) bottom bracket aids stability, it sometimes makes itself noticed by pedal-to-ground strikes when you’re riding through bumpy corners. But you soon get used to such limitations. It’s essentially a well designed and reasonably equipped all-rounder that’s sprightly enough to make £1,200 seem well spent.

Frame & equipment: We'd hope for a better chassis and fork at this price

The 6700 is the most expensive model that uses Trek’s mid-range Alpha Black aluminium frameset. It’s a competent chassis with a balanced cross-country-style geometry. Features include a twin taper reinforced down tube, a big hydroformed top tube and a semi-integrated head tube.

There are three sets of bottle cage bosses and eyelets for a rack and mudguards, all of which point to the bike's all-rounder credentials and workhorse rather than thoroughbred breeding.

Going with the relatively cheap frameset doesn’t reap the dividends you might expect when it comes to kit. Specifically, while the TurnKey damper equipped Recon SL fork offers reasonable compression and rebound control, it's definitely lacking in composure compared with the RockShox Motion Control or Fox forks found on some other hardtails at this price.

The Shimano XT chainset and rear mech spec is diluted by SLX front mech and shifters, although these keep shifting just as slick and precise as XT. Avid's Elixir brakes are powerful performers, well suited to the bike's intended use.

The fat-carcass 2.2in XDX tyres on broad Bontrager Ranger rims add a welcome dose of float and comfortable buoyancy to the bike, as long as you’re prepared to ride the slide of the non-directional tread. The wheels aren't especially light but they're tough enough to take a bit of punishment.

The rest of the finishing parts are mid-range Bontrager tagged offerings, including a 660mm low-rise bar, comfy saddle, lightweight single-bolt seatpost and decent stem. The whole thing isn’t as light as we’d hope for a £1,200 racer though, at 11.7kg (25.8lb, without pedals).

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