Trek Stache 5 review

An unconventional 29er for the trails

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,100.00 RRP | USD $1,600.00

Our review

With a rigid fork and 29in plus wheels, the Stache is far from conventional, but it works. Beware big hits and blow outs
Buy if, Want a low maintenance 29er for rocky/rooty trails and aren't worried about suspension
Pros: Amazing small bump, rough surface rolling speed and crazy traction from the rubber dinghy sized tyres. Surprisingly agile handling and no suspension set-up, maintenance or extra weight to worry about
Cons: Expensive frame, rolling stock and carbon fork mean average, not advantageous, components. Once bigger blows start it bouncing it’s hard to stop and it’s as pressure sensitive and as likely to puncture as other plus bikes
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When it came to supplying a bike for testing, the Trek demo cupboard was almost bare apart from the uniquely freaky Stache 5. We’d heard consistently great things about this monster wheel machine all year though, so we were keen to find out if this radical head turner was a genuine opinion changer on the trail.

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It’s immediately obvious that the Stache 5 is far from conventional, even in today’s broad reaching MTB landscape. 3in wide Bontrager Chupacabra 29er plus tyres sit on windowed, 50mm wide Mulefüt rims. The result is a similar ground smoothing low pressure footprint to a 27.5in plus-tyre, but amplified in terms of bump shrinking speed sustained by the shallower contact angle of the 29in diameter.

Trek has managed to keep the Stache 5 feeling genuinely agile in terms of steering

Once you’ve got these rubber dinghies rotating, the smoothing effect on rolling, rocky or rooty trails is genuinely amazing. You’ll only miss not having any suspension when you start hitting bigger blocks and drops and the tyres start bottoming out and bouncing. As long as you get the tyre pressure right they’ve got the same traction levels as a slug on a wet window too.

By using a radical curved tube, asymmetric raised chainstay frame, Trek has managed to keep the Stache 5 feeling genuinely agile in terms of steering. The carbon rigid fork keeps weight down to an effervescent 12.18kg that’s easy to pop and hop over potential trouble and amplifies its feeling of float even further.

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With the frame-only option costing £700, single ring component spec is okay rather than outstanding. It’s equally tyre pressure dependent and potentially puncture prone as other plus rides too, although the ‘Stranglehold’ dropouts make it compatible with conventional 29er or 27.5in plus wheels too.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Stache 5
Brand Trek

Description Geometry based on size 18.5"
Rear Tyre Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, aramid bead, 29x3.0"
Top Tube (in) 60.1
Standover Height (in) 80.3
Seat Tube (in) 44.5
Chainstays (in) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 31.3
Wheelset Alloy hubs, SUNringlé Mulefüt rims
Stem Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, 7-degree, Blendr compatible
Shifters Shimano Deore, 10-speed
Seatpost Bontrager alloy, 2-bolt head, 31.6mm, 8mm offset
Seat Angle 70.8
Saddle Bontrager Evoke 1.5
Rims SUNringlé Mulefüt 50mm 32-hole w/cutouts
Rear Hub Alloy CenterLock disc, Boost148
Available Sizes 15.5in 17.5in 18.5in 19.5in
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore, Shadow Plus
Headset Type FSA IS-2, E2, sealed alloy cartridge
Head Angle 70.3
Handlebar Bontrager Low Riser alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise
Front Tyre Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, aramid bead, 29x3.0"
Front Hub Alloy CenterLock disc
Frame Material Alpha Platinum Aluminium
Fork Bontrager Bowie rigid carbon, 15mm thru axle
Cranks Race Face Aeffect, 32T Narrow Wide
Chain KMC X10
Cassette Shimano HG50, 11-36, 10-speed
Brakes Shimano M395 hydraulic disc
Wheelbase (in) 110.3