Human-powered equivalent of a Land Rover
The rugged Trek Full Stache 8 can pretty much go anywhere and roll over anything, making it the human-powered equivalent of a Land Rover.
Trek Full Stache 8 need to know
- 29er trail bike with 130mm travel and 3.0in Bontrager Plus tyres
- Elevated drive-side chainstay allows for a short 427mm rear end, even with the monster truck wheels
- 40mm wide rims increase tyre stability at lower tyre pressures
- With a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain and stacks of grip the, Stache can for grinding up anything
Back in the early days, mountain bikes were just as commonly called ATBs or ‘All Terrain Bikes’. In the UK at least, that was probably a more appropriate moniker than the mountain bike/MTB tag that stuck.
And it’s the perfect way to describe Trek’s Full Stache 8; a 130mm travel 29er with 3.0in Plus tyres. Go anywhere.
And, just like the robust 4×4, with an amazing amount of grip, balance and control, the Stache 8 is not optimised to cover large distances in a hurry. It’s surprisingly agile though.
Despite the massive wheels, Trek’s clever engineering wraps the lower shock mount and chainstays round the seat tube and elevates the drive-side chain stay to keep the back end short.
The aluminium frame has modern numbers too. With a 484mm reach measurement, the 19in Full Stache has the roomiest cockpit of any 19in Trek. It’s also packed with all Trek’s latest tech. A Knock Block headset prevents the fork crown from hitting the stiffer Straightshot down tube and even with the reconfigured rear end, the Full Stache still benefits from Trek’s ABP suspension that helps keep the rear end fluid under braking.
Trek’s neat Mino-link flip-chip can alter the geometry between high and low positions, and the Fox Float EVOL shock uses RE:Aktiv technology; a smart, regressive damping design that cycles seamlessly between supportive and open modes depending on trail conditions.
In the wild, Trek’s tank-coloured rig has a big attitude and barrels along, with traction for days climbing or descending. Cruising trails, it’s super smooth like a hovercraft, but there’s no escaping the extra weight of the bigger wheels and tyres that also deaden spurts of acceleration or rapid changes in direction. There’s a ton of security ploughing through the roughest rocks then, but less precision slicing berms or pumping rollers, when compared to a regular 29-er.
Carrying over the shortest-chainstays-possible idea from the original Stache to keep the ride nimble and manoeuvrable is a smart move, but with 130mm travel, the backend here isn’t as ridiculously short as the Stache hardtail, which makes it a different beast altogether.
In that respect the Stache hardtail was totally unique, somehow managing to pull off the feat of feeling like a 20” BMX-wheelie-machine in terms of agility and cornering speed. So while the Full Stache 8 is equally innovative, it will appeal more to regular riders than jump bandits.
Despite being relatively pedestrian uphill, this hard-to-pigeon-hole bike feels ridiculously surefooted down the gnarliest, most technical descents, and by steamrolling through the rough stuff you feel like a bit of a superhero blasting at high speeds.
That said, I wouldn’t want the Full Stache 8 as my only bike, but fair play to Trek for delivering a machine that floats over the sea of dull, copycat MTB geometries and attitudes. It’s a properly good laugh, amazing at technical climbing and super stable downhill. OK, so it maybe not be the optimum do-it-all rig, unless of course you relish the chance to smash a new off-piste line every time you head out for a quick spin.