First Ride Review: Trek Pro Caliber 9.9 29er XC bike

Sub-20 pounds right out of the box, this race-ready bike needs no upgrades

27.5 29er Cross Country
Our $8000 size medium Pro Caliber 9.9 29er test bike weighed 19.8 pounds out of the box, and came draped with top-of-the-line Shimano XTR components.

Our $8000 size medium Pro Caliber 9.9 29er test bike weighed 19.8 pounds out of the box, and came draped with top-of-the-line Shimano XTR components (click to enlarge).

We got our first look at Trek’s innovative Pro Caliber cross-country bike at a grand launch event back in early July. Since then our ace XC race bike tester has spent some intimate time aboard the bike and been equally impressed with this race-ready rocket.

With dual suspension XC racing rigs becoming lighter, it seemed the need for a traditional cross-country hardtail would fade the way of V brakes and tubed tires. Even on the ultra-competitive World Cup circuit, races are being won on full squish bikes. But Trek isn’t giving up on the rigid rear category just yet. Earlier this year it launched the Stache, a hardtail with plus-size wheels. Now comes the Pro Caliber, which has all the bells and whistles to eek out every possible speed advantage.

We were able to sit and spin more thanks to the innovative Isospeed decoupler.

Our tester was able to sit and spin more thanks to the innovative Isospeed decoupler (click to enlarge).

Our $8000 size medium Pro Caliber 9.9 29er test bike weighed just 19.8 pounds out of the box, and came draped with top-of-the-line Shimano XTR components. But what really impressed was the Isospeed decoupler, which allows the seat tube to move independently of the connection between the seatstay and the top tube, adding a small but detectable amount of ride smoothing compliance, traction and control, without weight penalty or loss of pedal efficiency.

Isospeed technology is a natural fit for mountain bikes, allowing riders to deliver pedaling power on rough, choppy trail. Here’s an explanation of how it works on the Domane road bike.

It’s technology that originated with Trek’s Domane road bike endurance line, then moved over to the Boone for cyclocross. Now mountain bikers get to reap the rewards.

Continue to page 2 for more on the Trek Pro Caliber 9.9, including first ride impressions »

About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.


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