Trek 69er singlespeed review

For those seeking speed rather than comfort

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,600.00 RRP | USD $2,199.99

Our review

One of the most uncompromising race bikes we’ve ridden, but it’ll rattle you to pieces
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US singlespeed superhero Travis Brown has epitomised top-class single-gear racing for years. All his experience is distilled into this unique machine, but it’s not one for comfort seekers.

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The most interesting aspect of the frame is its wheel size concept. The 69er uses a 29in front wheel with a 26in rear to create, as Trek says, “the inverse mullet – party in the front, all business in the back”.

Ride & handling: Super-swift but bruisingly stiff

It’s obvious that the monster-width pipes of the 69er will be super-stiff. Just how bruising this frame is still comes as a shock though. There’s such a direct foot-to-trail link that everything else we’ve ridden recently seems positively noodley.

Weight is reasonable for an off-the-peg 69er at 24.2lb (11kg) and the smaller rear wheel accelerates quickly. Add the smooth rolling front wheel and you’ve got one of the purest race dragsters around.

The most obvious casualty from all this speed is comfort. Standing won’t help either – this thing is so stiff it can bruise the soles of your feet. Front and rear wheels react differently to the trail too, with the back wheel getting kicked around and hung up on stuff the front just flows over. However, a loss of rear traction is inevitable with the quicker acceleration of this unusual format.

The race-ready 69er sacrifi ces comfort for out-and-out speed: the race-ready 69er sacrifi ces comfort for out-and-out speed
Russell Burton

Frame: The most holistic singlespeed around

The 69er frame has been around for a while, but it’s still the most holistic singlespeed frame solution around. While the weight-saving butting and cutting inside the frame is hidden there’s no mistaking the extensive hydroforming on every tube – even the seat tube flares to full BB shell width. 

Big braceless chainstays and wishboned seatstays keep the rear tight while hollow-section terminals carry the dropout sections with inbuilt screw adjusters.

Fox forks keep the front dialled, whatever the rear’s up to: fox forks keep the front dialled, whatever the rear’s up to
Russell Burton

Equipment: Classy Fox fork and Seventies-style detailing

Fox’s F29 RP24 100mm fork with custom Bontrager crown offset gets the party started. Bontrager also provides the singlespeed-specific chainset and single-cog cassette with neat chainguards on each end. 

The ovoid link Shimano chain is super tough and flex free. We’re big fans of Bontrager’s fat, tubeless-ready Duster tyres, which with the broad tubeless-ready rims let you run lower pressures if the frame proves too painful. 

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The wide, flat bar gives power-assisted steering without raising hands too high. Kit is colour co-ordinated with the frame, with brown rims, brakes, grips and saddle backing up Seventies psychedelic graphic detailing.

Avid’s elixirs are a potent cure-all for all control ills: avid’s elixirs are a potent cure-all for all control ills
Russell Burton

Product Specifications

Product

Name 69er Single Speed (09)
Brand Trek

Available Colours Black/Tan
Rims Duster 28mm
Seat Tube (in) 19.5
Chainstays (in) 16.6
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.1
Weight (lb) 24.2
Year 2009
Weight (kg) 11
Stem Race X Lite
Seatpost Race Lite
Saddle Race Lite
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.2
Available Sizes 15.5 Inches 17.5 Inches 19.5 Inches 21.5 Inches
Pedals Custom Candy C
Headset Type A58
Handlebar Race Lite Big Sweep
Front Tyre Size 26x2.2
Frame Material Alpha Red Aluminum w/internally and externally relieved head tube
Fork F29 RP24 Custom Trek
Cranks Race Lite Single Speed
Cassette Bontrager 16T w/cog chainguide
Brakes Elixir R
Top Tube (in) 24.6