Trek Full Stache first look

130mm travel 29-plus bike that's ready for backcountry adventure

29er Plus
Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

Behold an all-new trail bike with 130mm of front and rear suspension and other unique design elements that take the capability of 29-plus tires to the next level. Photo by D. Milner

What is it?

New from Trek is one of the most unique full suspension bikes we’ve seen recently, the Trek Full Stache. It is a trail bike with 130mm of front and rear suspension and other unique design elements that take the capability of 29-plus tires and put it to good use. It’s built for riders looking to tackle rugged trails during epic backcountry adventures, but also have fun and rail some corners and hit some jumps along the way. In an age where bikes seem to be converging into one formula for trail riding, it is refreshing to see Trek take a different approach.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

the pivot has been moved forward to make room for the 29-plus tire. Photo by D. Milner

The Full Stache’s unusual appearance reveals the new engineering required to maintain fun and nimble handling with such large tires and 130mm of rear travel. Trek feels that the plus tire moniker needs to apply to 3.0 tires with real knobs, not just the 2.8s that many use. They also like good handling bikes even on their wilderness capable creations. The new suspension layout was designed for 29-plus tire clearance, and pedaling and rolling efficiency.

Every new suspension bike is a jigsaw puzzle where different needs vie for the same real estate. Short chainstays, dropper post, water bottle, big tires, mud clearance, suspension travel all seek attention and it would appear that Trek has serviced all customers. And with a 29-plus tire up to 3.0 and 130mm of rear travel, that was no small challenge.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

Dramatic landscape in Argentina. Photo by D. Milner

How did they do that?

Trek stepped up to the plate and delivered a bike with 427mm chainstays on this 130mm travel bike. This is a significant achievement that is easier to understand when compared to its peers. The Salsa Deadwood with same tire compatibility and 90mm of travel has 449mm stays. The Trek Fuel EX with standard 29er wheels (and space for up to 2.5 tires) has 432mm stays. And the legendary Santa Cruz Hightower at 135mm rear travel and 2.5 tire compatibility has longer 435mm stays as well. The only casualty seems to be the non-support of front derailleurs, a dying icon, but still desired by some adventure seeking enthusiasts.

Chainstay Length

Great lengths were taken to minimize this figure.

The frame features the full range of Trek technologies, including Active Braking Pivot, Mino Link adjustable geometry, Control Freak internal routing, and Straight Shot downtube with Knock Block frame protection for a stiff and sure-footed ride.

The Full Stache is offered in just a single model with a robust spec package, including a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, RockShox Pike fork, and a Fox Float shock with Trek’s RE:aktiv damper. Price is $3700 and claimed weight is 33.8 pounds. All-new Bontrager XR4 29×3.0 tires with aggressive tread and tough sidewall are also notable. ABP, Mino Link Adjustable geometry, and full internal cable routing are employed on this bike as well. The Knock Block limits the range of motion on the steering preventing the fork crown from hitting the frame which it does not clear.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

This is the iconic frame feature of the Full Stache. Photo by D. Milner

Mtbr just took delivery of a test bike so stay tuned for initial ride impressions. In the meantime, we spoke with Trek’s Travis Ott and Ross Rushin to learn more about the Trek Full Stache.

Mtbr: What customer wants a full suspension 29+ bike?
Trek: It’s for riders who want trail bike performance from a backcountry-capable rig that lives for exploring primitive trails. It’s for riders who want the traction, stability, and flotation of a fat bike with the speed and momentum of a fast-rolling 29er. Anyone who likes to go long and get weird will like Full Stache.

Mtbr: Is the frame compatible with other wheel and tire sizes?
Trek: Full Stache is unapologetically committed to high-volume 29-inch tires. Riders looking for less weight or more agility can run tires as small as 29×2.6, though this will slightly affect the BB height.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

Exploring with the Full Stache in Argentina. Photo by D. Milner

Mtbr: What’s the recommended tire pressure?
Trek: As with any high-volume tire, the ideal pressure depends on a number of factors, including rider weight and specific terrain. We recommend starting around 16-18 psi and adjusting from there. If the tire squirms too much in corners or the rim bottoms out, increase pressure. If the ride feels too bouncy, reduce pressure.

Mtbr: Are there any other 29×3.0 tire options?
Trek: Yes. In addition to Bontrager, several other manufacturers are offering 29+ tire options, including Surly, Maxxis, WTB, and Vittoria.

Mtbr: What is the maximum recommended fork length?
Trek: The Full Stache frame has been tested for up to 560mm axle-to-race, which is commonly 140mm travel. The stock fork is 550mm axle-to-race.

Mtbr: What’s the head tube angle? Does it have Mino Link?
Trek: Full Stache has a head angle of 67.4 degrees out of the box. It does have Mino Link, which will allow riders to switch to a slacker 67 degrees.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

The 10-50t cassette does the job. Photo by D. Milner

Mtbr: What is the maximum chain ring size?
Trek: 32 teeth.

Mtbr: Are there any compatible aftermarket rear shock options?
Trek: Full Stache uses the same 210×52.5mm shock size as Fuel EX, and there are several options available.

Mtbr: How does this bike ride compared to Fuel EX Plus?
Trek: Full Stache’s bigger tires carry more momentum and roll over obstacles easier than 27.5+ or standard 29er tires. That means Full Stache prefers to steamroll over rough, technical trails rather than slowing down to pick a line. Over smoother terrain, that momentum translates into more speed once you get rolling. The larger contact patch of the 29-plus tires also provides more traction than other tire sizes, so it’s better at crawling up loose climbs.

Mtbr: Why isn’t it offered in the 15.5 size?
Trek: The short seat tube on a 15.5 frame would interfere with the tall 29-plus tire as it moves through its 130mm of travel. The rider would also have to compromise on fit and handling, which would negate the benefits of this platform. Riders who fit a 15.5 should consider Fuel EX 29 or Fuel EX 27.5 Plus.

Suspension Arm

Suspension arm has been shaped for functionality.

Mtbr: Is there a frameset option?
Trek: Yes. Full Stache will be offered as a frameset including: frame, rear axle, rear shock, Knock Block headset, Knock Block spacers, and Line 35mm stem.

Mtbr: Will it fit a water bottle?
Trek: Yes! A standard 24oz water bottle fits in all sizes.

Trek Full Stache 29+ FS

Rocky outcroppings in Argentina are a good match for the Full Stache. Photo by D. Milner

Mtbr: How does it compare to the Salsa Deadwood?
Trek: With more travel, shorter chainstays, and a slacker head tube angle, Full Stache feels more confident on steeper trails, more forgiving on technical trails, and more maneuverable in tight, twisty trails.

Mtbr: Are there any frame bags available for Full Stache?
Trek: Bedrock Bags offers custom frame bags designed specifically for Full Stache in addition to a variety of stock products that work well for turning Full Stache into a long-range adventure bike. For more info, contact them at info@bedrockbags.com or check out www.bedrockbags.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • guysmiley says:

    elevated cs and + tires are here to stay cause it works.

  • Plusbike Nerd says:

    What I like about the Full Stache.

    Pike fork.
    Eagle drivetrain.
    i36 rims which will reasonably accept 2.4-3.0 tires.
    Flip chip raises bottom bracket and also makes it possible to use 2.4-3.0 tires.
    Full Stache is very similar to the excellent 29 Fuel EX but might make the 29 Fuel EX obsolete – especially if you prefer 2.4 or wider tires.

    What I would do differently.

    It would have preferred that this bike came with 2.8 tires. Bontrager please release a 29×2.8 tire
    I would have preferred that this bike came with a longer top tube and a slacker head tube angle.
    I would have preferred if this bike came with a 140mm fork.
    I would have preferred that this bike have a different name. What the heck is a Stache?

  • benito says:

    love the look of the bike. after a couple years now riding many of the wheel/tire size variants out there, I’m not sold on 29+ as an everyday trail bike. But billing this bike as a trail-friendly back country explorer seems right on the mark. I bet it’s a ton of fun.

  • Ben says:

    I was lucky to find a Full Stache at the Trek Superstore in San Diego, great service, twenty hour trip to get the bike, but it was nice to walk on the beach in 80deg weather and shred some trails on the way home.

    Overall I really like the Full Stache, it’s way more capable than the short travel suspension would suggest. The Knockblock is not my fav, but I can deal with it. I’ve been running in the low suspension setting, steering is a tad heavy but that’s to be expected with the large wheels and long front to center.

    Improvements: Shorter stem, 60mm stock is way to long, I’d spec a 50mm and have the shorter and longer options available in house to swap; Trek is out of 50mm and 35mm Line stems which is a problem with the exclusive Knock Block system.

    Shorter cranks, stock on the large frame is 175mm, I’m getting 165mm, but 170mm would make more sense out of the box on a bike with a low bb that is meant for exploring.

    More fork travel, 130mm is okay for an XC bike but the Full Stache is made for going downhill, so I’d spec 140mm; I’ll be upgrading mine soon. I’d also be curious about a reduced offset fork.

    Weight, yeah, the Full Stache is hefty, 34# solid, much of the weight seems to be in the backend. I’d like to see them stay with an aluminum triangle and go with a carbon swingarm, avoiding the price tag of full carbon but dropping weight where it matters.

    Wheels are nice, but the rear hub really needs to be built to last. I’m running custom DT 350/Duroc 40 wheels which improved ride and reduced flex to nil. Reports of frame flex are greatly exaggerated, at 200# with hard riding habits, I don’t notice any flex; it is an 8# frame, how could it be flexy?

    Dropper length, well, I have the inseam for a 175mm, so that’s probably where I’ll go though the Bonty 150mm dropper is functional if you can overlook the awkward lever angle.

    For the price, it’s a solid package. Good on Trek to build on the success of the Stache.

    Hey Trek, what’s with the color scheme, seriously?! That said, it’s a much better looking bike in person, I trimmed mine out with varying shades or green and yellow.

  • Ben says:

    Stache, as in mustache, so a Full Stache is play on words…

    Watch the Trek Video, check out the announcers stache ;)

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