Trek's 29+ Stache
hit the market three years ago, a hardtail designed for riders looking for something a little out of the ordinary, and who harbored desires to monster truck over everything in their path. Now Trek has taken those oversized wheels and created a full suspension frame to accommodate them – the Full Stache. The aluminum Full Stache has 130mm of front and rear travel, and uses an interesting looking elevated driveside chainstay to create enough clearance for those 3.0” tires.
Trek bill the Full Stache as being for backcountry adventures, a bike you could load up with gear and disappear into the wild for a few days or weeks, or cruise around the woods at a more casual pace than all those enduro bros racing for KOMs.
Trek Full Stache Details
• Intended use: adventure
• Wheel size: 29" x 3.0"
• Rear wheel travel: 130mm
• Aluminum frame
• 427mm chainstays
• Weight (size large, with tubes): 32.7 lb / 14.8 kg
• Sizes: M-XL
• Price: $3,700 USD
It's a decidedly niche bike, which is why there's only one complete model for now, along with a frame-only option. That complete model comes with a SRAM GX 12-speed drivetrain, Guide R brakes, and a 130mm RockShox Pike RL up front for $3,700. The frame with a Fox Float RE:aktiv shock retails for $1,999 USD. Frame Details
The silhouette of the Full Stache's front end doesn't deviate much from the look of the rest of Trek's trail bike lineup – it's at the swingarm when things take a turn for the strange. The Full Stache's driveside chainstay curves upwards, passing over the chain before reaching the main pivot, which has been shifted forward to create more clearance for the big rear tire. That clearance also allowed Trek's designers to give the bike a chainstay length of 427mm or 430mm, which is quite short for a regular 29er, let alone one with 3.0” tires.
For riders with dreams of turning their Full Stache into a bikepacking rig, Bedrock Bags, a small company based in Durango, Colorado, have bags available that are specifically designed for that purpose.Geometry
As far as geometry goes, the Full Stache's numbers are close to what you'd expect from a typical, non-plus 29er. In fact, in some ways they're a step ahead of what you'll find on the current version of the Fuel EX, Trek's 130mm 29er trail bike. The Full Stache has a longer reach (484mm for a size large), as well as a steeper seat angle, at 75.9-degrees in the high position. With a 130mm fork the Full Stache has a 67.4-degree head angle in the high position, which drops down to 67-degrees in the low setting.
Smaller riders will have to look elsewhere, though, as the sizing is limited to M, L, and XL. That's due to the fact that the seattube on a 15.5" frame would get in the way of the rear wheel before it had a chance to go through all 130mm of travel.
I haven't been able to take the Full Stache to anywhere quite as exotic as Argentina (the location of the riding photos featured in this article), but I have been able to get out on a few rides on my local trails. Granted, the Full Stache is a different breed of bike than what I usually ride, but I have spent time on the Stache hardtail, as well as on the Salsa Deadwood, a 90mm 29+ bike, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with the whole 29+ concept.
It takes a little extra effort to get the Full Stache up to speed due to the big tires and the overall weight of the bike, but once you gain some momentum it'll truck right along. Slower speed, chunky climbs are where the Full Stache really earns its keep. There's loads of traction, and I was able to easily spin up and over sections of roots that typically require all of my concentration to successfully clean. It's hard not to laugh a little as those 3.0” tires 'blump, blump' their way over everything in their path -- it's kind of like bumper bowling, where you're virtually guaranteed a strike, or in this case, to get up whatever obstacle lies ahead.
For as comically large as the Full Stache appears, it's not a cumbersome beast. Sure, it's more of a rock crawler than a rally car, but it's easier to maneuver through tighter sections of trail than I would have expected, in part thanks to the short chainstay length.
Get the Full Stache onto a high-speed straightway, and before you can blink the green machine will be rocketing down the trail like a tractor-trailor in search of a runaway truck ramp. Those big wheels can generate a serious head of steam – I wouldn't have minded even larger rotors, or maybe a tiny parachute, to help keep those speeds in check.
There is a limit to just how much you can push things, though, and hard cornering and really aggressive riding in rough terrain are when the Full Stache's limits start to appear. The maneuverability is there, but the precision you'd find with a typical trail bike is lacking, which can feel a little strange when really diving into a corner, or muscling through a chewed up section of trail. There's a noticeable amount of lateral movement from the back end, likely a combination of frame and wheel flex, and every so often it'd feel like the front end was going one way while the rear wheel still hadn't received the message. Of course, I doubt that most riders who are considering adding a bike like this to their quiver have high speed cornering performance very high on their list of 'must-haves,' but it's still worth a mention.
The Full Stache isn't a bike for the masses, and it's not meant to be. This is a bike designed for riders with a slightly different approach to mountain biking, the adventure riders rather than the adrenaline junkies. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but I still found myself thoroughly entertained every time I rode it.