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Trek Boone 7

Review: Trek Boone 7

scottmares's picture

Right Out of the Box

5

So this review is on the frame set. It seems that the complete bike is quite popular as complete bikes were all gone in our size. Luckily, getting a frame set in was another thing all together. Pulling the Boone 7 out of the box was quite a chore as it was wrapped up like it was to prevent a 12 year old from opening this present before Christmas morning. Anyway, I got the box open and pulled the frame out and put it on the stand in the sun to get a really good look at it. The frame is 3 colors, black, white and a fluo green/yellow. And let me tell you its pretty bight. Some times I wonder why companies choose to go with certain colors. You can do a lot with paint. You can draw the eye to look at certain areas. You can also camouflage things as well. When we think about camo we usually think about greens and grey. This and some kind of foliage pattern so that the item silhouetteis broken up and disappears into the back ground. You can also get a geometric pattern to fool the eye about depth again hiding the silhouette. But in the case the the Trek Boone 7 they went a totally different approach. I think its to make you be so preoccupied with the color that you don't see all of the unique features that make this frame set one of if not the biggest departures in conventional construction that I have seen.

Road Test Ride

5

So one of the unique things about this bike is the seat tube junction at the top tube. Its called IsoSpeed decoupler and this is Trek's version of rear suspension. Doesn't look like much but when I got on the road and started riding the bike it felt like my rear wheel was not round but oblong. I thought I had a flat or that the rear tire was not seated properly. After spending some time looking around I figured out that it was the IsoSpeed decoupler. Now if your reading this you might be thinking that is a bad thing. Well its not I'm the bad thing. What was really going on was the bike was telling me that I was pedaling in squares and not in smooth circles. As soon as I started to focus on my pedal stroke the bob went away. Now if you think along the lines of the "Lord of the Rings" one to rule them all, you might be disappointed as this frame will not take a 53T chain ring. 46 is pretty much what you will have to work with. So the Trek Boon is defiantly a pure cross rig and not meant for road racing.

Back to out on the road. The Trek Boone 7 is a pleasure to ride on the road. There is a lot of things that are going on with this frame set. The fork, bottom bracket and IsoSpeed Decoupler. Smooth and stable with some zippy get up to it. But its not all the frame we have the Bontranger wheels on this bike and the DT Swiss 240 hubs spin up really quickly. Initially you have to make a point to focus on your pedal stroke,making sure that you are pedaling in circles and not squares. Otherwise, the Boone will tell you and you will start to bob a little as you grind out the miles. We put in about 400 miles on the road with the Boone 7 and I can say that its a easy bike to go for long rides on. Its not a noodle and it won't beat you up either. Mile after mile was just a joy. From how the Boone 7 cross bike rides I can only image how Trek's road bike rides. Maybe we will get lucky and get a frame set in.

Dirt Test Ride

5

So we headed out to our favorite stomping grounds at Powell Butte park. The reason we go out there is because this play ground has a wide variety of terrain to make any cyclocross racer happy. There is everything from single track to fire roads. Taking the Trek Boone 7 out here proved to be a lot of fun. Bottom line in the dirt the bike is awesome. Its light, Its very stable but quick. Now what I mean by this is some times you will see something that your going to hit at the last minute and you have to flick the handle bars to avoid it. When you do this you run the risk at high speed of over correcting and the bike will dump you. We didn't feel that we were in any danger the couple of times we had to flick to avoided a hazard like a rock or a tree root.

Not only is the Trek Boone 7 a high performer its also very comfortable ride as well. Out on the road we noticed that the coupler was moving and by all of the bobbing that we were doing. No fault to the bike its our square pedaling to blame for that. However we didn't notice the bobbing like what we had out on the road. On the dirt the coupler that trek had made seemed to smooth things out a lot for us.

Then it was no surprise when when got out onto the fire roads and put it in the big ring and was able to turn the screw a bit. Stable and comfortable at speed is how I would describe the bike. The fire roads are a bit of a mix of dirt and gravel rock so for the most part they are smooth but they can be a little bumpy. But the IsoSpeeddecoupler did wonders and made the bike surf over the rough stuff.

Race Test Ride

5

So by the time we go this frame set together it was the end of the season and we owed it to take the Boone and race it. So we packed it up and flew down to southern Cali to do a race at what was going to be the Masters World Championships. At the time the race was still on and it was only until about a few days before the race that the race was canceled. Either way we were committed to going down to San Jose and turning the screw on the Trek Boon 7. Needless to say we didn't do as well as we had wanted to but the Boon made it a lot more fun. We had a great time except for the run ups. But that our running not the Trek's fault. diving off the run ups was a hoot and the promoter had a nice balance of straights to sections that tested your ability to turn. When it all came down to it basically, way more bike than motor in our situation.

We Liked

  • Light weight
  • IsoSpeed Decoupler
  • Flat underside of top tube
  • Plenty of mud clearance at the chain stay bottom bracket junction
  • internal cable routing is clean
  • Vanishing fender mounts
  • Nice fork
  • Through Axel fork
  • Good race geometry

We Didn't Like

The only thing that we would change is make the front deraileur hanger adjustable. For example the way it is set up now, the biggest ring you can run is a 46. What is you wanted to have a 50 or a 53 on it for road season. Granted the bike would not accelerate like the road version but you could use it for training in the winter and if you could just move the hanger up a little bit you could run a larger ring on it.

Upgrades

Can't really upgrade the frame set.... Just how you dress the bike out..

The Final Say

There is a lot of engineering that went into this frame set. Its not just a bunch of round tubes that were bonded together and painted a pretty color. There are two way to appreciate the Trek Boon 7. The first one is to go to a TREK dealer and take a look at one on the floor and then take a close look at the frame set and you will start to see that the Boone 7 is not your average carbon fiber cyclocrossframe set. Its easier to see the differences when the Boone 7 is just a frame set and not a complete bike. You will notice the head tube the large down tube the off set of the down tube and the oversize bottom bracket. In hind sight I don't think that there is really anything that is standard/common or shared by any other cyclocross bike out there except for internal cable routing. I can say this frame set is one of the best if the best we have tried for a long time. Its light, lots of innovations went into the frame set and it all works together. The only thing that we can say was kind ofdisappointing was that it can only accept up to a 46T chain ring. The ability to put a 50 or a 53 tooth ring is not a requirement or a deal breaker for us for a cross bike. So we can not take away from the otherwise stellar features and performance of the Boon 7. This is why we are giving this bike 5 cowbells. Well done Trek.

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