|Superfly SS (Image courtesy of Trek's Twitter feed)|
NOTE: Large doses of "my opinion" will be handed out in gloppy dollops today. You've been forewarned.....
I remember almost ten years ago when going to Trek World was a really big deal. Fisher, the brand Trek killed off several years ago, was the banner bearer of the 29"er bicycle and seeing the new goods was a huge deal. Every bike was something new, pushing the boundaries. New tires from Bontrager, the promised TLR tubeless system, and "real suspension" forks. Ahh........those were some times, weren't they?
But now Fisher is a hollow June Bug shell and everybody has 29"ers, (or used to), so a new swash of colors and a couple of spec changes are all that you see anymore for the most part. This is why there were really only three bikes worth talking about from Trek's latest "Trek World", a world where you have to be a "preferred dealer" to attend, or as a "lower tiered Trek dealer", pay Trek $500.00 for the privilege to just walk into the door to look at their bikes. Weird that, but that is another story altogether now.
Anywho....remember the Rig? That long standing single speed 29"er model. Gone. Well......think name change. Now it's the Superfly SS. Not the carbon one of old- this is aluminum. Nice looking "rig". (<====HA!) Oh, and is that a 51mm offset carbon fiber rigid fork I see there? A timely addition to the line, says 2008. (sarcasm)
|The Trek 920 (Image courtesy of Trek's Twitter feed)|
The next thing I noted was that it comes with a bent top tube. Again- bad. That will make hanging a top tube bag or frame bag you may have now a frustrating proposition. Obviously, you can get any number of custom made bags, but c'mon Trek! This just shows Trek's seeming arrogance and refusal to take notice of bikepacking needs. How hard would it have been to make this with a straight top tube? Oh.....never mind! It's a bagger bike. That's forward thinking for a bike to tour off road with.
It also is not suspension corrected. I like non-sus corrected looks, but trust me, when the going gets rough, (and where this bike is designed to go, it will be that), you are gonna beg for a squishy fork. It's as if Trek noticed that Salsa made a 2008 Fargo, copied it in the wrong material, and took a giant step backward.
I saw somewhere that it was suggested that this is a great choice for a gravel bike. It's an "okay" choice, but Trek is sitting on the best gravel bike design anybody could come up with and not putting it out there. (Domane Disc) With a bit more tire clearance and a slightly slacker head angle...BAM! Too bad they won't do that. Oh wait.......maybe there is a six year development cycle for great ideas. That would explain the current 920 and the carbon 51mm offset fork. Bet that's it.......
|Remedy Carbon (Image courtesy of Trek's Twitter feed)|
So........that's it. Not that I would expect anything really earth shattering, because 27.5" stuff has really pulled R&D dollars out of 29"er development as a whole across all brands for the last several years. Now that this is mostly behind many brands, we may see the return of some innovation on the 29"er side, and certainly on the B+ and 29+ stuff, which to my mind will eventually be the thing that overshadows both 29"er development and fat bike development in the near future.
As for this Trek World, it was the biggest dud from the standpoint of 29"ers since the early 2000's, and that's saying a lot, since as I said, anything Fisher did back then was a really big deal. So, are 29"ers done? It's a funny thing, but from the standpoint of pushing any boundaries in any real, palatable way, yes. 29"ers are a done deal. Could Trek, (or any other brand, for that matter), do something really cool with 29"er wheels yet? Totally. Yes, they could, but they won't.
All I know is that the notable bikes this year, for the most part, are visitations from the Spirit of '08, and that in itself seems rather strange and shocking, really, for a company like Trek to be doing.
NOTE: Trek info and images used here were scraped from various Internet places where I could scare up the info. While I work at a Trek dealer, I guess this is how it goes these days. Half a G to get in the door just didn't trip my trigger. My bad.