Trek have done a good bit of jostling to their XC lineup as of late. A revamp of the Top Fuel last year gave it 115mm of travel, which increased its trail capabilities, but left a gap where it previously stood as a World Cup race bike. The Supercaliber quickly followed to fill that spot, and now Trek has unveiled an updated version of their Procaliber hardtail. The bike, historically available in both carbon and alloy models, makes a move to carbon-only for 2021 and 29" wheels for all sizes (previously, small sizes were 27.5") while pulling notes from the geometry book of the Supercaliber
There are four complete bikes in the Procaliber range, starting with the 9.5 which sells for $2,000 USD up to the $4,000 9.7 shown here.
Procaliber 9.7 Details
• Wheel size: 29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 100mm fork
• 68.75-degree head angle
• 432mm chainstays
• Weight: 23.7 lbs / 10.75 kg (complete size M, 9.7)
• Sizes: S-XXL
• Price: $4,000 USD
The 9.8? It's only available in Europe and sells for around €3499, depending on which country. The bike is available as a frame only for $1,500 USD. All bikes use the same OCLV carbon frame and, the bike is not available in Trek's Project 1 custom paint program.What's New?
The big story on the new Procaliber is an update to the geometry. It's still an XC racing thoroughbred, but it did get the longer and slacker treatment compared to the previous version. With a 100mm fork, the hardtail has a head angle of 68.75-degrees, a 73.75 seat angle, 432mm chainstays, and is built around a 42mm offset fork for all models. Reach for a size medium is 420mm.
The bike still uses Trek's IsoSpeed junction at the seat tube and seat stays, which decouples the seat tube from the stays and top tube. Trek says this increases compliance while seated while not sacrificing power or lateral stiffness when you're hammering uphill on the pedals. All bikes are now also 1x only.
The IsoSpeed junction decouples the seat tube and allows for a smoother ride while seated.
Internal cable routing for everything from braking to a dropper post is full-length tubes to make running cables easy and the Knock Block gets an expanded range.
Internal cable routing has been improved with full-length tubes for the rear brake, derailleur, and for a dropper post. The Knock Block feature is still there, but it gains 4-degrees of range, opening up to 62-degrees from the 58-degrees of X-up thwartingon the previous bike. While it is annoying at times, it also prevents the controls from damaging the top tube of the bike in the event of a crash.
All sizes of the bike fit two water bottles. Tire clearance has been increased to happily accommodate a 2.4" tread and all bikes come set up tubeless from the start, with tape, valves, and sealant pre-installed. Finally, the bike uses SRAM's UDH to make finding a replacement hanger easy and inexpensive if necessary.Build Options
There are four different build kits available for the new Procaliber starting right at $2,000 USD for the Procaliber 9.5 and going up to $4,000 for the 9.7. The 9.8 translates to a bit more and is only available in Europe.
The 9.5 has a 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, RockShox Judy Air fork, and Shimano MT200 brakes. The 9.6 sells for $2,650 USD and is outfitted with a Shimano SLX/XT 12-speed drivetrain, RockShox Recon Gold fork, Bontrager Kovee Comp Rapid Drive wheels, and Shimano MT4100 brakes. The European only 9.8 has a Shimano XT drivetrain e*Thirteen carbon crank, Fox 32 Stepcast Performance fork, Bontrager Kovee Elite carbon 30 wheels, and Shimano XT brakes.
I've been riding the Procaliber 9.7 for a couple of weeks now. The bike is spec'd with SRAM's new wider range GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, a RockShox Reba RL fork, Bontrager Kovee Elite carbon wheels, and Shimano MT501 brakes. It sells for $4,000 USD.Ride Impressions
The Procaliber was built to be an XC race bike, made to go fast and to win races. I've ridden the Procaliber on a variety of terrain, and there's no doubt that the bike is efficient, and the power that's put down goes straight to the wheels. There's no discernible flex in the frame, and it's very comparable to what I've come to expect from other top players in the XC race hardtail market in that respect.
When seated, the bike does offer a more comfortable ride than a traditional hardtail. It's noticeable right away, and even more so after being out on the bike for a couple of hours. Fatigue by no means disappears - it's still a hardtail - but it doesn't build as quickly, which allows for more comfort on longer rides, and less soreness the day after.
Geometry-wise, the Procaliber isn't exactly pushing boundaries, but keep in mind that it's built for XC racing and it's right in line with what an XC race bike should be. It handles as if it's ready to go uphill and down with no regard for anything except stopping to get on the podium. For the money, Trek have put together a high-end carbon package for a fairly reasonable price and that should bode well for many riders, especially racers on a budget.