Trek has debuted a radical new XC dual-suspension racing frame called the Supercaliber.
A collaboration with Fox has enabled Trek to create an absurdly light 29er dual-suspension race bike, with a claimed frame weight of only 1950g – shock included.
Scrutinise an image of the new Supercaliber and you immediately notice the shock being nearly hidden in the bottom section of the top tube. Trek’s design rationale was to simplify the Supercaliber’s suspension, providing just enough rear travel for an XC racer, while ensuring the lowest possible build mass and reduced pivot and linkage complexity.
To achieve this Fox produced an isostrut damper, which is mounted in a top tube recess. It acts as a fully stressed member of the Supercaliber’s frame and with a pivotless rear triangle, weight is kept down.
The Supercaliber has very limited rear travel, only 60mm, but Trek claims this is an entirely sufficient number for most XC and marathon racers. Fox’s isostrut damper provides 55mm of the suspension travel with the frame’s rear flex stays adding the other 5mm.
Geometry numbers are typical of a the Supercaliber’s intended purpose, with a 69-degree head angle and 455mm of reach, in a size L.
A curious element of the Supercaliber’s configuration is that with a 100mm front fork, it becomes one of the very few production dual-suspension bikes which has two-thirds more suspension travel up front, compared to the rear.
Trek will market four derivatives of the Supercaliber, within the brand’s familiar specification range of 9.7, 9.8. 9.9 and as a range-topping variant, the 9.9 with AXS electronic componentry. A Supercaliber build unconstrained by budget will come in at 9.5kg.
Limitations? The rear triangle can only accommodate 2.2in tyres, which mean that if you run wider rims and like the ride comfort of a fast rolling 2.3 tyre, you’ll have to forgo its benefits.
Sizing is very broad, with frames available in S to XXL. Pricing starts at £4000 for 9.7 and peaks at £9200 for the 9.9 AXS. The Supercaliber replaces Trek's Top Fuel as the brand's premium XC and XCO race bike.