Trek recently released their new Boone, carbon-fiber cyclocross bike. It has attracted some positive media attention, particularly after Sven Nys and Katie Compton both won their first race on the new bike. The Boone is available in both a canti and a disk brake version, ranging in price from $2,899 to $6,299 for complete bikes (or $2,299 for a frame set). All feature the same frame design, carbon and carbon layup, so the price differences account for different paint jobs and components. The top-of-the-line model has 11speed Di2, Shimano hydro brakes, HED Ardennes wheels, and some other niceties.
All of the models feature the IsoSpeed Decoupler–essentially a joint on the seat tube that allows it to flex independent of the top tube, adding greater vertical compliance to the bike without inducing flex in the bottom bracket or wasting efficiency in the drivetrain. This feature is pulled from the Domane, a bike which I have ridden quite a bit, and like a lot.
I had a chance to take a look at a Boone frame set at North Central Cyclery, where they brought in a canti-equipped frame for a custom build for a friend of mine. One of the most important points to note about the Boone is that it has substantial tire clearance. Click through to here for some thoughts on that point. That tire clearance means that it will likely be an effective gravel bike as well. It has pretty aggressive geometry, so I’m not sure how it will be for long rides in the gravel…the IsoSpeed will undoubtedly help dampen vibrations and chatter, but a 600 series carbon frame + aggressive geometry means that one will have to give a lot of thought to position in order to ensure long-ride comfort. The good news is that with clearance for big tires, a tubeless setup is a no-brainer and that, in and of itself, will do worlds of good for rider comfort.
I snagged a few (crummy) pics…
BB90 bottom bracket, internal routing, 2 bottle mounts….uses same seat mast cap as Madone / Domane.
One very nice touch is that Trek has come up with weather sealing for the decoupler, protecting it from gravel/mud/rain/whatever else.
Headtube has echoes of Madone/Domane in it.
Chad and I have had a sense that this bike was coming since Solvang, and it’s great to see it out now. There may be other applications for some of the technology shown on the bike, and it will be interesting to see how broadly IsoSpeed is used in the Trek lineup In seeing the Boone, I’m quite happy about the tire clearance–that’s a huge deal and makes the bike a lot more versatile.
I’ll have access to this bike for a while, so if there are other questions, let me know.