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  1. #1
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    Trek 69er SS review

    Okay, so I have been wanting to build up a single speed and couldn't decide between 26 and 29 - I had been riding a borrowed 26 steel hunter that climbed like a mountain goat but as I told a friend, I feel like I have been spending the last eight months on the verge of going over the handlebars when going downhill.

    I stopped by a local LBS this weekend with the intention of looking at the Rig when I noticed a 2008 Trek 69er for more than half off. I figured I would give it a go and if I didn't like it, I could sell it for not much of a loss.

    Rode it for the first time yesterday and love it. I feel like I have been living in a cave for the past few years by not jumping on a 29er (I did test a specialized but didn't like the way it felt and just sort of thought the 29er thing wasn't real or for me).

    The first thing I noticed was how much better I feel going downhill - I can attack just about anything and not worry so much about going over the handlebars. I still ate $hit - but that is mountain biking. The second thing I noticed was that I could attack rocky lines that before I knew there was no way I could get over without again, getting hung up and pitched. Amazing the way the 29er wheel just eats everything up!

    I also could sense the difference in the wheels. I like the easy acceleration of the rear 26 inch wheel, but when going downhill, you really rely on the front wheel for a sense of where your traction/no traction point is. I could go around bends with the front 29 wheel sticking but then would all of a sudden feel the rear wheel losing traction - somewhat unexpected given that I was at the same time getting solid feedback from the front. A strange feeling that I will get used to, but at the same time a real world example of the difference in contact patch size of the two wheels.

    The only downside to the bike is 1) the frame material - I have never ridden an aluminum hard tail but man, it almost shook my teeth out. The second downside to the bike is the weight. At 24 lbs. it is porky for a single speed. Given that the fork is only 3.75 pounds I suspect it its mainly the wheels, post, and bars - may have to upgrade those to carbon although I don't think it will help much in dampening the heinous, bucking ride of aluminum.

    I have been a skeptic of 29ers for some time, but these are for real. I really like the 69er but maybe the future will hold a full 29 for me down the road, a steel one.

  2. #2
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: driver bob's Avatar
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    No more 69'ers for '10.

    GF has 29'ers, Trek has 26'ers.

  3. #3
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
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    Wha...? No action shots? Glad you are digging your ride though. Keep having fun.

  4. #4
    Kiss my Grits!
    Reputation: Chim Chim's Avatar
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    Trek 69'er

    I have been on a 69'er for almost two years and I love it. You are right about having more confidence on the down hills; I also feel a lot more confident in the turns, as compared to my 26" bike. It does accelerate like a Ferrari, but it does not roll as fast as a full 29'er. I have two friends with GF Rigs and, even though I out weigh them both, they will coast faster than me on the 69'er. Oh well.

    I ride some very rocky trails and I don't notice that I am getting beat up by the aluminum frame. Maybe I have just gotten numb.

    Enjoy the ride, there is no way your selling that bike for a while.
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  5. #5
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    I also ride one.

    Got the 2009 Model.
    Truth to be told , the bike does beat me up.
    During my first few rides on it, I felt all those good things you listed - great acceleration, confidence on the DH's etc.
    But lately I also started noticing how harsh this bike is. Especially on techy single trek.
    I feel this especially on those rides when I'm a little tired or simply weak.
    The last few days I'm trying to decide what to do with this bike.
    I rode a Rig in the past, and it coasted better and although aluminum too , it felt a little softer than the Trek.
    The Trek simply shakes my old bones...

    edited - spelling.

  6. #6
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    pizza see if you can fit a 650b rear wheel on it. That should relieve some harshness.

  7. #7
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    Glad to hear you gave the 29er a chance. I hear so many people say they tried some el cheapo 29er in the past and thought it was bulky, slow and sluggish. When you ride a bike with lx wheels at best, anything probably feels sluggish.
    Kind of scary that you are already thinking 29er front and back huh?
    Since i got my 29...going over the bars is no longer an issue i worry about, it still happens but it's only happened once so far this summer!!
    Aluminum is a tough material when riding a HT.
    I hope you don't know anyone riding a steel or a titanium 29er. If you take it for a test ride it could become a really expensive test ride.
    Have fun with the new bike!!!

  8. #8
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    thought about that , this equals buying a new wheel which is something I cant afford right now. Also this would mess with the geo a little. I dont even know if it would fit.

  9. #9
    Love,peace and baby geese
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    suspension seat post

    Cane creek makes a great one
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.
    Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Contains no juice.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    I have an old Cannondale CAD 3 that I have set up as a singlespeed. It doesn't really rattle my teeth much, but it's pretty damn light. So I think if you lighten the rig up, you might lose some of that jarring.
    At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.


    DJ Trump

  11. #11
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    Not all aluminum franes are created equal ...

    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450
    Aluminum is a tough material when riding a HT.
    That's not necessarily true -- much of that is dictated by design and production bikes are usually overbuilt. I run a Siren 55 SS (the 55 is Siren's 69'er) built with a lightweight aluminum frame for my 150 lb frame and it's smoother than my 853 Kona Hot, hands down. That's mostly because I can run 25 lb of pressure tubeless but the frame has plenty of "spring" in it as well.

    I'll second the thoughts on cornering and acceleration -- last year I was pack fodder in the "B" class of cyclocross. So I sold my cross bike, put on some light tires and raced the Siren 55 cross last night for the first time -- 3rd in SS and I caught all but 3 of the B riders who started a minute ahead of the single speeders. At ~ 19 pounds the bike flies!

    http://cyclingaction.exposuremanager...img_9358_6_4_1

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