What pulled my attention to this mountain bike was the Maxxis, 27.5 x 2.80″ tires. I knew I needed more grip and especially at this time of year when the sandy ground becomes slimy and slick. Was 2.80” going to be the answer? Sliding out on narrower tires had become monotonous, I needed a fix to keep the line on technical trail sections and there is no shortage of those where I typically ride. But the wide tires weren’t the only reason I needed to assess this ride. Its impressive range of features were enticing. Let’s look at those first:
|Product||Trek Roscoe 7 Bike|
|Riding Type||Trail, Cross Country|
|Sizes and Geometry||XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL (See Geometry chart at the end of this review)|
|Frame Material Details||Alpha Gold Aluminum|
|Fork||RockShox Judy SL, Solo Air spring, TurnKey hydraulic lockout, tapered steerer, 42mm offset, Boost110, 15mm Maxle Stealth|
|Fork Travel||120mm on S/M/ML/L/XL/XXL
100mm on XS
|Head Tube Diameter||Tapered 1.125-1.5″|
|Headset||Semi-integrated, cartridge bearing|
|Handlebar||Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 15mm rise, 720mm on XS, 750mm width on S/M/ML/L/XL/XXL|
|Stem||Bontrager Rhythm Comp, 31.8mm, Knock Block, 0°, 50mm on XS/S/M, 60mm on ML/L/XL/XXL|
|Grips||Bontrager XR Trail Comp, nylon lock-on|
|Brakes||Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc, 160mm rotors|
|Brake Levers||Shimano MT201|
|Shifters||SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed|
|Cranks||SRAM SX Eagle, GXP, 170mm on XS/S, 175mm on M/ML/L/XL/XXL|
|Chainrings||30 tooth, steel|
|Bottom Bracket||SRAM Truvativ Powerspline, 73mm, threaded cartridge, 118mm spindle|
|Pedals||VP-536, nylon platform|
|Chain||SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed|
|Cassette||SRAM PG-1210 Eagle, 11-50 tooth, 12-speed|
|Rims||Bontrager Line 40, tubeless ready, 28-hole, 40mm width, presta valve|
|Hubs||Front: Formula DC-511, 6-bolt, Boost110, 15mm thru axle
Rear: Formula DC-2241, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, Boost141, 5mm quick release
|Tires||Maxxis Rekon, tubeless, 60 tpi, 27.5 x 2.80″|
|Saddle||Bontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width|
|Seatpost||TranzX JD-YSP18, internal routing, 100mm on XS/S, 130mm on M/ML/L/XL/XXL|
|Seatpost Clamp||Standard single bolt|
|Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions||Boost 5x141mm, quick release|
|Bottle Cage Mounts||Yes|
|Weight||32 lb 8.6 oz (14,760 g)|
|Miscellaneous||Internal derailleur and dropper post routing
Rack and kickstand mounts
“Roscoe 7 is a mid-fat trail hardtail for riders who favor a fun and lively ride. Confidence-inspiring 27.5+ wheels and plus-sized tires, a plush suspension fork, and a wide-range drivetrain with plenty of gears make Roscoe 7 stable enough for new riders, and playful enough to make even the most experienced shredders smile”. Trek Bikes
A meandering cross-country / trail ride started off with a 2.4 KM climb up a narrow country lane. Plenty of time to click through a few gears, including those the hill didn’t demand. Three things struck me:
- How easy it was to select the next gear down or skip a few up on the SRAM Eagle SX 1x. No front derailleur to think about. Very simple and every gear change clicked smoothly into place.
- Spotting a log on the road, I pointed the bike toward it despite the steep incline and easily lifted the front and then back wheel to clear the 20-centimetre log.
- On my previous mtb (now a spare), I always noticed tension at the back / top of my thighs at about two-thirds point on this hill. The tension didn’t come. I felt comfortable and relaxed. I fall almost exactly between medium and large frames and accepted the opinion of the pro-rider in-store that a large frame might be better suited. He wasn’t wrong, I felt completely at ease and looked forward to getting off-road onto something challenging. Was this because of better or, more appropriate geometry for me? I will let you know on that after more testing.
Hitting The Trails
After leaving the road (well partially tarmacked), I switch to another climb up loose gravel and the wide tires grabbed the surface and propelled me forward noticeably faster than usual up to a roller coaster of sand and mud. Approaching a sudden downhill with a sharp left uphill climb, I noticed that my line is usually center of the trail. Today I found myself nicely and easily hugging the left and smoother line and exiting into the next downhill section and considerably faster than usual. A slight feathering of the brakes set up a perfect (rutted) switchback and exiting that, I noticed a long airtime that didn’t usually happen. The responses from the bike were exceptional into a very muddy left switchback where I don’t mind admitting to a few wipe-outs. As one, bike and rider carved the turn into the next ascent where weight in the right place was essential to maintain traction. It felt as though the bike was moving perfectly with my body position. Smooth and responsive.
The main thing that struck me at this point was how I felt a part of the bike. Together we had become one. Everything felt right. In efforts to improve my position, I count loss of grip on sections like this. Usually, I count three, today I counted zero, but I did almost overshoot the 180° right at the top due to greater speed than usual. Correcting was easy and there was no need to drop a foot as I allowed the bike to tilt at a sharp angle to my right. Still, no loss of traction.
Well, one of three on this route. The first involves a rocky 200-metre descent, not particularly steep but fast, before a hard left into a bush tunnel where the center of this steep and bumpy singletrack is the essential line. Too far left or right gives at best, some sharp face slaps from branches. Yes, I did say bumpy, but the Rockshock Judy took all the bite away leaving me to concentrate on relaxing into the horseshoe at the bottom and a perfect exit into a short climb and cruise through the forest to the next downhill.
Drop The Saddle
This one would need it and a quick push of the switch got the saddle out-of-the-way thanks to the mid-range TranzX dropper post. The difference between having and not having a dropper post on this hill was phenomenal.
It’s a series of two “S’s” with a 50-meter straight between. A surface of pebbles and 2-meter wide trail. It’s fast on a slow day so, I rested both index fingers on the brakes and decided to see how hard I could push before braking. This was exceptional “in the flow” riding and I must admit that I was disappointed when I took the hairpin at the bottom and out onto a wide, muddy trail where the tires came into their own.
This is how I felt at the end of the ride. Had I just been given a skills upgrade? I’ve been riding for many years and I can’t honestly remember riding this well even though I have been out on and owned some great bikes. I did wonder if the words on the Trek website were just sales hype. No, not at all. The Roscoe 7 is superb, and it really does make the rider feel like they just got a skills upgrade.
Size is everything, take advice and get the bike that fits you.
|137.0 – 155.0 cm|
|4’5.9″ – 5’1.0″|
|64.0 – 73.0 cm|
|25.2″ – 28.7″|
|153.0 – 162.0 cm|
|5’0.2″ – 5’3.8″|
|72.0 – 76.0 cm|
|28.3″ – 29.9″|
|161.0 – 172.0 cm|
|5’3.4″ – 5’7.7″|
|76.0 – 81.0 cm|
|29.9″ – 31.9″|
|170.0 – 179.0 cm|
|5’6.9″ – 5’10.5″|
|80.0 – 84.0 cm|
|31.5″ – 33.1″|
|177.0 – 188.0 cm|
|5’9.7″ – 6’2.0″|
|83.0 – 88.0 cm|
|32.7″ – 34.6″|
|186.0 – 196.0 cm|
|6’1.2″ – 6’5.2″|
|87.0 – 92.0 cm|
|34.3″ – 36.2″|
|195.0 – 203.0 cm|
|6’4.8″ – 6’7.9″|
|92.0 – 95.0 cm|
|36.2″ – 37.4″|
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