Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Trek CrossRip LTD

Last year at the Bicycle Center we sold every CrossRip we could get our hands on. It's a fun and practical bike for the Pacific Northwest, designed to take wide tires for those folks whose adventures aren't limited to smooth pavement. The CrossRip has the clearances and braze-on bosses for both fenders and luggage racks to be easily mounted, so this is one bike that can be used for commuting, light touring, go fast riding, gravel road and trail exploration and I guess you could use it for cyclocross racing if you're into all that mud stuff.

While we've managed to stop our bikes for the past hundred years or so with rim brakes and, yep for a lot of bikes they work just fine, disk brakes are pretty much standard these days on mountain bikes because they really do stop well when the going gets grubby. Disk brakes are somewhat heavier than rim brakes and require stout frame and fork mounts so we may never see them on every road bike, but for a do-all bike like the CrossRip they make a lot of sense.

Trek makes various versions of the CrossRip, including the canti-brake equipped CrossRip, the CrossRip Comp and CrossRip Elite featuring cable activated disk brakes, and the bike I'm showing here, the CrossRip LTD. With its polished aluminum frame, the LTD is a sharp looking bike (although I had one customer tell me it was too flashy for his tastes) and for years I've felt that Shimano's 105 group hits the real sweet-spot in terms of price, performance and durability.

The CrossRip LTD has some interesting brakes. Currently nobody is really making a hydraulic road lever (both SRAM and Shimano have them in various stages of development but they haven't hit the mass market yet) but hydraulic brakes do offer a several advantages over cable disk brakes. First, while cable disks typically feature one moving pad and one fixed pad (the disk itself flexes as you apply the brakes), with hydraulic brakes the pads move in from both sides, making the braking action smoother. Second, as the pads wear, hydraulic brakes auto-adjust to the thinner pads. With mechanical disks, you have to fiddle with the cable tension. Finally, hydraulic brakes let small mechanical inputs translate into very powerful braking so less frantic grabbing is needed to stop a slow or stop a speeding bike.

The CrossRip LTD is equipped with TRP HYRD hydraulic disk brakes. The HYRDs feature the hydraulic reservoir and and caliper in a single unit. While the brakes are cable activated, the final braking mechanism is hydraulic. When I first saw the brake, I was a bit skeptical, but they work very well.

The rear brake is tucked into the rear triangle and is paired with a 140 mm rotor.

Up front, the brake is paired with a 160 mm rotor.

One of the very nice bits of gear to come out of the world of cyclocross racing are cross-top levers. These let you brake from the hoods, the drops, or the flat part of the handlebars. Unlike those weird extender levers we had in the 1970's, cross-top levers actually work.

If you're looking for an unbiased review of the CrossRip LTD, you'll have to look elsewhere. I put the bikes together, maintain them and sell them, so yeah, I'm biased. But my years of riding, wrenching and just having fun with bikes make me biased in favor of bikes that I think make sense. The CrossRip LTD is one of those. And it's a blast to ride.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah, WA USA


Alex said...

Interesting brakes although I would cite one of the great strengths of a hydro system (esp in the UK weather!) is that it does not require a steel cable in an outer which is the first thing to gum-up and make things unpleasant.

TRP are also making a road caliper that is cable operated and both pads move, although I have yet to notice any disadvantage with BB7s and one fixed pad...maybe that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Not for sale in Poland, Europe :(

Bob Foss said...

Just have had my Limited about 6 weeks. My question is the following. What is the widest tire that this bike will accept? Looking to do some gravel riding. Thanks. Bob

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Bob,

I think you can fit 35 mm tires there and still fit fenders. If you don't care about fenders, something as big as a 42 mm should fit.

Soul said...

Hey Kent Thank you for this review.

I am looking into buying the TREK cross rip COMP since it is the only one in my budget (1000€ in France) what do you think about the Claris groupset?

To be honest, my only experience with a bike is internal hub (nexus 8) I do not ride a lot but I am wuiete heavy (100kg which is around 220pounds), would you consider buying this bike if you were me?

Is it comfortable? Thank you in advance for your answers

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Soul,

I think the COMP would be a good bike for you. All the Crossrips are pretty comfortable, having what Trek calls an endurance fit (a bit higher in the front than a full on race fit). Also 32 mm tires make for a softer ride.

I don't have any long-term data on Claris components in terms of durability but my initial impressions of them in terms of construction, finish and mechanical action is positive.

I hope this helps,


bali cycling said...

I've had this bike, which I liked best was: strong frame and gear are easy to maintain. to track in bali is perfect. beginning of the year I will probably buy 2 more

albert antonie said...

bike gear that looks good, and chrome makes a clean and neat look.

Ben Mills said...

How much does the LTD weigh? I've heard that some people are disappointed at the weight of the Elite and I was wondering if the LTD is much lighter.

I'm not a weight weanie, but if I spent this much on the LTD, I'd like to think that this is going to be my bike for a while and I won't be wanting to upgrade to something lighter in another year.

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Ben,

I just weighed a 56 cm Crossrip LTD. It weighs 24 lbs.

Alex G said...

I've had mine for a little over a month and have put just over 500 miles on it. I think it's a great bike but am thinking of changing the seat because I can't seem to get comfortable on it. Also my bike has developed an annoying creaking noise on the left side when I'm pushing downward. Other than that it is a great bike.

AtlantaCyclist said...

I own a 2013 Crossrip Elite back in January of 2013. A year later I have over 3000 miles on it. I replaced all the stock components with Shimano Ultegra, 3x10 setup. I also replaced the stem, handlebar, and seat post with carbon ones. I got my 58cm one down to 23.5 lbs. It is my go to bike for commuting and bad weather.

Vig S said...

What do you think about the Crossrip compared to the older Tricross models with the carbon forks? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great review ! I love my LTD. I put Clement X'Plor MSO 40mm tires on its stock wheels and it's an amazing all-terrain bike for both commuting, trail riding, and light touring. Also added a light weight Tubus Classic Fly rack for pannier bags, Shimano A530 dual platform pedals, and a thudbuster seatpost.