|Trek Stache 9.6 Image courtesy of Trek|
The point here is that Trek has a bike which is Boosted, obviously, and is 1 X only, which is understandable, what with the short wheel base and funky bottom bracket/chain stay junction. What is interesting about the carbon version is that it has a bit longer reach and a lower bottom bracket than the aluminum bike. The top-o-the-line 9.8 version gets Rock Shox's plus bike version of the venerable Pike. Yes.......it is expensive. A Stache 9.8 is $4700.00. The 9.6 shown here is a more reasonable $3000.00.
Keep in mind that the Stache can run regular 29 inch wheels, which makes for the possibility that this could be your cross country race bike. Yes......extra wheels that would compliment this bike are expensive. Figure on between a grand and twice that. But......another XC carbon race bike would cost more, so...... In the end, all this, this bike can take different wheel size stuff probably will not be taken advantage of by very many riders. Most folks will just run what come wit da bike, and buy something else for other disciplines. Options for wheel sizes sell bikes though, and help justify $4000.00 purchases, so there is that. You will have to decide in the end if any of this, or none of it, matters to you.
|The aluminum Stache 1. Image courtesy of Trek|
But getting back to the $1500-$1600 range. That's where the "real mountain bikes" are for price now. We see it all the time. Yes, there are some that go for less. The new 29"er version of the Salsa Timberjack comes in right under a grand, but these bikes are getting rarer, and at that 1G price you are starting to see some not so solid spec choices, which leads me to say that real mountain bike worthy bikes are going to cost you more now.
I remember back in the early 90's we used to tell people that "real mtbs" were costing at around the $500.00 mark. You got an all chro-moly frame and solid spec at that price that would withstand actual trail riding. That's about $790.00 in today's dollars. That would get you a frame and fork, with a little left over for some bars and a seat post maybe in 2016. Also, we have much more sophisticated parts and pieces nowadays. Disc brakes, tubeless ready tires, ten speed cassettes!! Front suspension that makes those old versions of Mag 21's look like department store fare. So, adding in all of that value, I feel confident that $1500.00 is the new line of demarcation between the "real" mtbs and the "mountain bike shaped objects". The area between 1000.00 and 1500.00 is a grayer area nowadays that I feel won't have a lot of selection in this "real mountain biking" category in the time to come.
But this was about the Stache......
Yeah, that Stache 1, which will "street price" for a bit less than MSRP, I think, is the bike that either puts 29+ on the map or doesn't. Time will tell.