Trek have debuted an all-new carbon cyclocross bike called Boone for team riders Sven Vanthourenhout, Katie Compton and current world champion, Sven Nys in his home town of Baal, Belgium. While expectedly lighter and more efficient than the company's current aluminum Crockett, the addition of Trek's fantastic IsoSpeed seat tube 'decoupler' should make this bike remarkably smooth and comfortable too.
Of all the features Trek has included on the new Boone, it's the IsoSpeed 'decoupler' at the seat cluster that is far and away the most significant. By allowing the seat tube and top tube to pivot relative to each other, the top of the seatpost is thus free to flex down and back far more than would normally be allowed with a more rigid connection.
It's dramatically effective on the Trek Domane endurance road bike and should pay even bigger dividends on a bumpy cyclocross course where the softer ride would allow riders to stay seated longer and continue to put down power while other riders might be forced to stand and coast.
Trek has also borrowed the Domane's fundamental fork design, which features more forward-swept blades than typical and dropouts that reach rearward to allow for more flex.
New Trek signing Sven Nys won his first race aboard the new Boone
"It handles perfectly, carves turns and is feels super smooth to ride," Compton told BikeRadar shortly after finishing the GP Sven Nys. "When I'm riding here I used to avoid certain road loops since there were bricks and cobbles and I hate those. They don't even bother me now and I don't try to avoid them. The IsoSpeed just takes the edge off of riding rough terrain and makes it pleasant. The Boone is pretty much just a sweeter, lighter, smoother version of my Crockett which I also love. Sorry to gush, but I really do love this bike and think anyone who rides will be grinning ear to ear."
Other features we speculated about earlier have now been confirmed. These include a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in steerer tube with drop-in bearings, a wide-profile BB90 bottom bracket that allows for greater chain stay separation and increased mud clearance, quick-release axles front and rear, a chain stay-mounted caliper for disc-equipped models, convertible internal cable routing, the company's excellent 3S integrated chain catcher, and Trek's long-standing integrated no-cut seatmast design.
That last feature brings a pleasant surprise: a supposedly "weather sealed" frame that will presumably allow owners to power wash at will without having to worry about frame and cable contamination.
Meanwhile, dual bottle braze-ons and hidden fender mounts should prove handy for training rides while the molded-in rear housing stop and crown-mounted front housing stop on cantilever-equipped bikes should make for chatter-free braking.
Geometry is carried over wholly intact from the aluminum Crockett down to the last millimeter, meaning bottom brackets that are substantially lower than Trek's soon-to-be-retiring Cronus platform (65-70mm of drop instead of 62-64mm) for a more stable feel, shorter chain stays, and – finally – true size-specific steering geometry to maintain consistent handling characteristics regardless of frame size.
Trek will build the new Boone using its 600-series OCLV carbon fiber tubing. Official claimed weight for the frame is 1,000g while the matching all-carbon fork will add another 400g.
Trek will offer the new the Boone in five complete models in the US – three with cantilever brakes and two disc variants – with prices ranging from US$2,839.99 to US$6,299.99. Framesets will be available in both disc and rim brake-specific versions and will cost US$2,299.99.
UK customers, on the other hand, will only see the Boone 5 Disc (£2,400) and the rim brake-specific frameset (£1,750) for now.
All of the new models will become available beginning January 15.