Trek Lush review£1,500.00

A plush full-susser with a host of female specific tweaks

BikeRadar score4/5

Trek was the first brand to develop a range of women’s-specific bikes back in the 1990s. It's been evolving the designs ever since.

Properly female-specific setup

The Lush is the cheapest of the four full-suspension bikes in Trek's current range and offers significant extra control and smoothness without sacrificing easy-riding efficiency.

Trek really does make its women’s bikes different to its unisex/men’s bikes. That’s in contrast with brands whose ‘female’ and ‘male’ frames have identical geometry but different paint jobs and size assignments.

Unlike some makers, this isn't just a scaled-down and repainted men's bike – geometry and contact points have both been purpose-designed: unlike some makers, this isn't just a scaled-down and repainted men's bike – geometry and contact points have both been purpose-designed
Unlike some makers, this isn't just a scaled-down and repainted men's bike – geometry and contact points have both been purpose-designed: unlike some makers, this isn't just a scaled-down and repainted men's bike – geometry and contact points have both been purpose-designed

Unlike some makers, this isn't just a scaled-down and repainted men's bike – geometry and contact points have both been purpose-designed

While some might prefer a more stretched frame, most of our test team synced with the more compact dimensions of the Lush. The frame sizing is properly small, so try it out in person rather than just guessing.

As you’d hope, the contact points are all sized to suit, with 670mm bars and 65mm stem on our small Lush. Grips are smaller in diameter and the Evoke saddle proved a comfortable perch for everyone.

Pocket rocket

There’s nothing downsized about the ride of the Lush. The 32 spoke Bontrager based wheels are probably overkill for the size of rider that’ll be riding a small sized Lush but they’re still noticeably rapid to accelerate. The RockShox Recon fork is slightly heavy, but at 14kg overall weight is respectable despite all the extra suspension.

The recon maxle fork and monarch rear shock make a winning suspension combo: the recon maxle fork and monarch rear shock make a winning suspension combo
The recon maxle fork and monarch rear shock make a winning suspension combo: the recon maxle fork and monarch rear shock make a winning suspension combo

The Recon Maxle fork and Monarch rear shock make a winning suspension combo

It doesn’t take long for that to prove its worth – and Trek has made it as easy as possible for less technically minded riders to get set up. While a good shop should help you, clip-on plastic sag guides for shock and fork make it easy to find a good ballpark suspension pressure. From there you can rely on the damping of the Recon Maxle fork and Monarch rear shock to suck up impacts and keep control. The Maxle and Full Floater, ABP rear suspension are a great control- and confidence-boosting double act.

Travel might sound relatively short at 120mm, but the design extends the perceived performance with a concentric rear pivot taking brake input out of the equation. While the narrow bar limits ultimate leverage, the base geometry is stable at speed without wandering on climbs and it’s routed for an internal dropper post. The dropouts can be switched for a stiffer 142x12mm axle too.

The Lush has a sorted, easy to ride persona and the more we rode it the more it justified the cost with boosted speed, confidence and enjoyment.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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