Review: Trek CrossRip

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Trek’s CrossRip is part of the Urban Utility line. Two models are offered, the basic Crossrip and the upgraded Elite. Both are spec’d with a drop bar for versatility and comfort, and differ only in the parts package.

The frame is made from Trek’s 100 series Alpha aluminum, with a Bontrager Satellite carbon fork. The tubes are shaped to create a stiff front end and bottom bracket that doesn’t flex when standing and pedaling, but also to keep frame weight to a minimum.

The shift and brake cables are internally routed, and the non-driveside chainstay has a pair of holes for mounting a proprietary kickstand that will be available in the U.S. mid-spring. (The Euros already have it.) There are mounts for full-coverage fenders and front and rear racks for all-weather commuting, grocery shopping, or light-duty touring. The bike accommodates a 35mm-wide road tire with the fenders, or a small 29×1.8 mountain bike tire without fenders.

Geometry for the CrossRip Elite reflects its all-purpose demeanor. Its long 17.10-inch chainstays create a 41.29-inch wheelbase for stability, which is especially important when carrying a load. The semi-sloping top tube has decent standover clearance, and the front triangle is spacious enough to shoulder the bike. The 72-degree head tube angle is similar to other bikes of this nature and delivers steering that is quick enough to dodge car doors, but not twitchy.

Frame sizing throughout the lineup runs large or at least long; my 56cm frame has a rangy 58.4cm top tube. Trek designed the long top tubes to provide clearance for toes when using large tires and fenders, and spec’d the bike with a shorter stem than what a typical road bike would have to keep the handlebar reasonably close. Even so, I still felt too stretched out, but a quick swap to an 80mm stem dialed in my fit.

The bike’s handling is simply trustworthy. Flex from the frame or wheelset was unnoticeable when the bike was under stress on climbs. With a grocery load on a rear rack, the rear triangle flexes slightly, but still provides an acceptable ride. It’s just a comfortable, straightforward bike.

The Shimano Sora shifters’ hoods are wide and flat, a great fit for my hands, and shifted the 9-speed drivetrain without a problem. The FSA Vero compact double crankset and 11-32-tooth cassette were perfect for the hilly terrain and gravel trails I rode on.

For those that don’t mind riding in rain and snow, and like to stop reliably and predictably, there’s a set of trouble-free Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes. I applaud the spec of a larger 160mm front rotor for more stopping power. I also like the Tektro top-mount auxiliary brake levers. Some folks dislike them, but I love having my fingers near the brake levers at all times, regardless of my riding position, and they didn’t create noticeable drag.

If you’re looking for one bike to use for road riding, city utility, light touring, rail-to-trails, and even an intro to cyclocross racing, the CrossRip delivers. It is a solid base for a beginning commuter or as an upgrade platform that you won’t likely outgrow. It’s perfect for adding accessories or making tweaks to fit your year-round riding needs.

Vital stats

  • Country of Origin: China
  • Price: $1,270
  • Weight: 25.6 lbs.
  • Sizes available: 50, 54, 56 (tested), 58, 61
  • Online: trekbikes.com
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