‘Anyone who likes to go long and get weird will like Full Stache’ is how Trek is introducing its new 29+ full suspension bike. And, having been a champion of the super-big plus tyre size, along with Surly and Salsa, since the original Stache came out, Trek has doubled-down on this jumbo wheel size – of 29in x 3.0 and has introduced a full suspension trail bike!
How long ago was it that the original Stache hardtail came out? Wil guessed around 2010, or perhaps 2012, but no! It was only in 2015 that we got to see the brand new Stache hardtail at the Sea Otter. At the time, Trek had lots of pretty convincing graphs and video to show that the 29+ wheel size was the plus size to be getting behind. And while the argument was strong for 29+ and its huge contact patch, it looked like unless other manufacturers got behind the tyre size, it might fall by the wayside.
Now, three years on, there still aren’t any other big companies (apart from the original Surly and its stablemate Salsa) that have jumped on the big-hoop wagon and we thought that it might, quietly go away again, but no, Trek has come back with the new Full Stache.
So what is it then?
Trek reckons that “More riders are asking for a capable bike with an oversized appetite for rugged backcountry riding. Trek is the first major manufacturer to make a bike in this unique category and it is unquestionably the benchmark. Full Stache fits a niche in the market that our competitors have yet to fill.”
Yes, but what is it?
It’s a 130/130mm full suspension trail bike with giant, tubeless-ready, Bontrager XR4 29 x 3.0 tyres. The big tyres add to its ‘adventure’ credentials and help to set it apart from all of the other plus bikes that Trek (and, well everyone else) is making. The elevated chainstay helps keep that back end short (to 430mm, which is impressive), even with 130mm of travel, and helps with the visual relationship with the hardtail Stache. There’s a Mino-link for adjusting the geometry by a half degree too – the chart is below.
There’s even a video!
(Can’t see it? Try here)
Along with some lovely photos shot by top photographer Dan Milner in Argentina, Trek has anticipated many of our (and your) questions and produced a Frequently Asked Questions section to allay any fears or misconceptions. Shall we see what they are?
What customer wants a full suspension 29+ bike?
It’s for riders who want trail bike performance from a backcountry-capable rig that livesfor 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. Is the frame compatible with other wheel and tire sizes? 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.
What’s the recommended tire pressure? 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.
Are there any other 29×3.0” tire options?
Yes. In addition to Bontrager, several other manufacturers are offering 29+tire options, including: Surly, Maxxis, WTB, and Vittoria.
How does this bike ride compared to Fuel EX Plus?
Full Stache’s bigger tyres carry more momentum and roll over obstacles easier than 27.5+ or standard 29er tyres. 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+ tires also provides more traction than other tire sizes, so it’s better at crawling up loose climbs.
Why isn’t it offered in the 15.5” size?
The short seat tube on a 15.5” frame would interfere with the tall 29+ 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 EX27.5Plus..