Spy Shots! Trek 29er Downhill Mountain Bike Prototype

prototype trek 29er downhill mountain bike concept

MTBR.com grabbed these photos while on a tour of the Trek factory…looks like that whole 29er downhill bike thing we explored a while bike is getting some play by the big boys. They also hinted at (in code, no less) that a redesigned 140mm Roscoe-like-but-Trek-branded all-mountain bike is in the works!

Apparently, this prototype has seen some action at Whistler already, has 7″ of travel and is still undergoing design changes. More pics after the break, or head on over to MTBR to see all of them.

trek bicycles 29er downhill mountain bike prototype concept

Note the ABP rear axle pivot and ample clearance afforded by the rearward placement of the seatstay bridge and bent seat tube…necessary to handle all that travel with the big wheels!

UPDATE: Related links added below:

Comments

ohioguy - 02/23/11 - 6:19pm

Could you do a survey of people that actually buy and ride these bikes?
I would say it’s a small small contingent of your readers? no? prove us wrong.

RumbleBee - 02/23/11 - 7:18pm

I ride’em!

djjazzynick - 02/23/11 - 7:35pm

I would, I’m 6’4 and 26″ wheels seem so small.

Adam - 02/23/11 - 8:15pm

Ohioguy: It’s a DH bike. I’m sure not many are sold in places with 2-dimensional terrain, like Ohio (lived there for 3 years). Nobody has bought this bike though, because it’s a prototype.

29ers make big obstacles much easier to handle, but are heavier. Seems perfect for a DH bike. The only reasons they haven’t caught on sooner is because 1) Necessary wheel strength/stiffness is more difficult, or costs a lot of weight 2) Long travel is difficult to work around big wheels..

If they can solve those, I think 29er DH bikes will really catch on.

michael - 02/23/11 - 8:20pm

I will never ride a 26in bike again.
29ers are superior in every way!

brick - 02/23/11 - 8:23pm

Ya, you should post a bunch of stuff on $500 bikes because that is the really cool stuff! hmmmmm

topmounter - 02/23/11 - 8:30pm

That’s the first Trek that I’ve seen and had a positive impression of since the early 90′s, Trek should really consider selling all their bikes without decals.

Jordan Hukee - 02/23/11 - 9:43pm

@ohioguy – if you think statistics should drive content, Bike Rumor should be reporting on sub-2k hardtails because they are by far the most common MTB sold. Boring, eh?

morpheous - 02/23/11 - 10:46pm

Bigger wheels for DH are a logical progression (esp the front wheel) Personally I think that 650b is a better size at 27.5″ as you preserve the strength of a shorter spoke length, and still get the benefits of the larger diameter wheel, rollover and traction aspects. We just need a 650B DH tire produced to try it out. With 650B you can also maintain the geometry of 26 inch designed frames. What happened to the intense 929 prototype from two years ago? Ill bet that the taller riders like Minnar and Peat could really benefit from these bikes if they tried them. This progression has taken longer than I thought it would.

Bob Packwood - 02/24/11 - 1:37am

Trek, as of late, makes THE DH bike. The Session is probably the most lauded rig.

I have one and an M9. The “10 Session is my fave. The geometry, suspension and ABP (ABP is friggin awesome).push it over, IMO.

look forward to a niner version.

jonah - 02/24/11 - 2:08am

not to get into a debate on wheel size but if the spoke length and strength is such an issue on 29inch wheels as opposed to 26
why dont they just make propotionally larger flange hubs for 29 inch wheels. wouldn’t that do shorter spokes making the wheels much stronger?
I mean 29 inch wheels will always weigh more than a 26 of equal design and strength right, so why not make the weigh proportionally the same
and make a taller flange on the hubs?
Any thoughts on that?

ohioguy - 02/24/11 - 8:35am

Folks,
I guess I should have been more clear, in no way do I have issue with 29er’s.
it was more about the size of the suspension and what is the market for these large travel bikes?
You are correct Adam, there is no terrain here, but for real, who wants to pedal a 40 lb bike around? period. I can get one of those at target.
Do these 8″ travel bikes make up what? 3 percent of sales for the manufacture?
or 10 percent?
They are almost very downhill specific and unless you live near a ski resort with a track, or have red bull as a sponsor, I am not really seeing the market?

FoTallica - 02/24/11 - 9:12am

“They are almost very downhill specific and unless you live near a ski resort with a track, or have red bull as a sponsor, I am not really seeing the market?”

Downhill specific is exactly what it is. Not really meant to be pedaled around on trails.

Conor - 02/24/11 - 11:06am

Gravity takes care of the 40 lbs… you don’t pedal it much on uphill or even flat.

You have to go to Tahoe, Whistler, etc. to see how large this segment has become.

All that said, this is an ugly bike to me. the shock placement just looks cluttered and too high. That frame looks like it needs the fox/scott/cannondale pull shock.

oilcanracer - 02/24/11 - 11:50am

can anybody say specialized big hit? very revolutionary……..

dan - 02/24/11 - 4:31pm

As the owner of both 26″ and 29er mtn bikes I can say one of the big deterrents to freeride/DH on 29er is the height of the wheels making the bike harder to deal with. Much like dirt jumping on a BMX being way easier because the bike has more clearance and maneuverability. Trying to pick and choose lines through rocks or adjust in the air is more cumbersome the bigger the wheels you have. Granted this all relative to your size, if your 6’6″ that is not as big of a deal. But there is not getting around the fact that the smaller the bike is the more you can toss it around.

Also rotational weight is an issue in DH as you often have to brake and then accelerate repeatedly in a race. And for those of you who think weight doesn’t matter in DH, you haven’t been paying attention.

I will say I think the bike world should look to motocross, as they have been doing mix match wheels forever and it makes a ton of sense when you are trying to fit wheel travel into the equation.

jacko - 02/25/11 - 12:04pm

Good thing “Conor” isn’t designing bikes. Trek has aerospace engineers, not hacks.

derp derp - 02/25/11 - 7:45pm

who buys these bikes? ever gone to whistler on crankworks weekend or visited pinkbike?

Paul - 03/02/11 - 8:45am

Bring it!

Former Ohio Guy - 03/03/11 - 10:52pm

Plenty of gravity riding to be had in ohio…don’t have to go all the way to crankworks to see it

dogs dinner - 04/16/11 - 6:25pm

as mentioned above by a couple of others, if you are a big guy, this is totally going to work for you, if 29er’s ever made it to competitive DH (there’s another good item on here exploring why that is unlikely), would those with a height advantage riding a 29er dominate, relative to how they perform on a 26,” Steve Peat for instance, 6’3″ or something, would he see an advantage? or would the extra weight negate it?

aronraymon - 06/26/11 - 3:06pm

Hmmm…Looks like a Lenzsport PBJ to me, actually looks like they changed the design a little..but not much! I Still go with Lenzsport!!!!

Lethal - 10/16/12 - 12:32pm

Ohio guy are you actually bonkers. Dh bikes within bike sales (of what you call decent bikes) is quite high, and if you dont want to ride one, why do you give a shit anyway.

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