The nimble and funny Trek X-Caliber 7 makes for a great riding experience.
Trek X-Caliber 7
- Price: $949
- Weight: 13.4 kg
- Travel: 100mm front
- Frame: Aluminium
- Drivetrain: 1 × 10
- What we like about it: Attractive in price and quality and a stiff fork. 29’er gives me much more straightaway speed and reduces my effort.
- What we don’t like about it: The grip is not ergonomic and my hands feel tingly on long trips.
- Rating: 4.7/5
The mountain bike introduced today is the X-Caliber 7 known as the track conqueror, and for 2014 Trek will give it a whole new meaning: a new line of entry-level 29ers.
The frame of the new X-Caliber series borrows heavily from their World Cup winner’s superb design and will be unveiled with a fresh look.
Needless to say, everyone knows: the X-Caliber7 has always been the best-selling model among mid-priced mountain bikes, bar none.
Nowadays, if you want to get a brand new X-Caliber7, you need to buy it in the hands of collectors. Of course, we can see it on second-hand trading websites such as eBay.
Trek put all the hardtail experience of XC racing in this brisk bike. It not only incorporates the light and precise racing frame technology of the Trek XC racing car, but also the extremely rigid wheel system, the extremely smooth transmission system, etc., bringing you an unparalleled driving experience. Sports and fitness are not a problem, cross-country laps, marathons, 24-hour endurance races or single-track races are all excellent choices.
You can have wheels that fit your frame size for every frame you choose.
Is The Trek X-Caliber 7 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 7 Review]
Is Trek X-Caliber 9 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 9]
Is The Trek X-Caliber 8 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 8 Review]
Regardless of the type of race, a fast descending is one of the best roads to outpace your opponents. And hardtail mountain bikes don’t get a lot of credit for comfortable descending.
When our testers rode the X-Caliber7, they were impressed with its light and nimble frame.
Even though it only has a RockShox Judy SL air fork with 100mm of travel, it’s more than enough for off-road terrain. In addition, the Trek X-Caliber 7 has 2.2-inch tubeless tires, which are fast and light, and can easily paddle over gravel on the way to fast descending.
What we marveled at in our many ride tests was its ability to descend quickly and nimbly. But all this performance can’t hide the fact that it has no dropper, has some vibration from rough ground, and is not as comfortable as its sibling, the Trek X-Caliber 9.
Combining its descending performance, we believe that it is not suitable for long-distance trail riding, but is more in line with the positioning of the Trek X-Caliber 7. The strong performance of off-road terrain is enough to let you participate in a race.
The Trek X-Caliber 7 is a fast climber in our opinion. This is also aided by its large 29-inch tires and 69.3° head tube angle.
Our testers have given the Trek X-Caliber 7 high marks with multiple rides on steep uphill roads and long uphill terrain, and while it’s not a brand new mountain bike, its performance still no less than the Trek X-Caliber 8 2022.
In the steep uphill road test, soft dirt was one of the obstacles to climbing. We needed to climb it fast to experience the comfort of the Trek X-Caliber 7. Of course, this also brings a problem, when we climb slower, it will be a little difficult. That doesn’t mean the Trek X-Caliber 7 doesn’t have room for improvement, and its front and rear tires can be expanded up to 27.5×2.80″ or 29×2.40″ wide tires. If you like to ride on winding uphill roads, you can do some replacements at the tires.
Since it’s equipped with a Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain, it feels a little underwhelming, and this is the biggest compromise this bike has made in components.
We like to ride it on long, gentle uphills, regardless of tire width. The 73° seat tube angle also keeps the body in a comfortable riding position, which can give full play to the rider’s riding skills.
For a lightweight hardtail mountain bike, our main concern when riding in general terrain with little undulation is its ability to ride long distances.
The Trek X-Caliber 7 has designed the head tube angle, seat tube angle, and reach length to be as comfortable and fast as possible in the geometric design, so it still uses the same frame geometry in its follow-up models.
This bike converts well into a recreational mountain bike. It has a rear seat out for a rear rack, and two water bottle holders. In addition, he is also compatible with fenders, and has the characteristics of both adventure riding and leisure riding. It is hard not to like it.
It’s not easy to get tired on a long 20-mile ride. And the 10-speed drivetrain is exactly what you need.
If you want to travel by bike, it can support up to 20 pounds of weight in the back seat, so it is easy to take it to the campsite and go on an adventure with friends.
The X-Caliber features an Alpha Gold aluminum frame. Trek’s unique technology, the lightweight aluminum alloy is continuously cold-pressed to a fixed thickness, making it more durable.
This material allows engineers to better design and shape the tube according to your needs, and adjust the stiffness and adaptability of the tube accordingly. It’s designed this way to create a lighter, more responsive quality that’s ready to go with you anytime, anywhere. The frame reserves a large number of functional settings for competition use.
This bike is available in a variety of specs and price options. The X-Caliber is available in 7 different frame sizes to provide a more suitable frame for riders of more heights and comes with a Dailed Fit system.
The high-quality RockShox fork is equipped with a locking function to ensure smooth, reliable, and adjustable suspension, able to absorb bumps caused by uneven road surfaces. The locking function on smooth surfaces allows the body to run at full speed while achieving greater riding efficiency.
In order to match the Boost 141 rear hub, the rear triangle of the frame has become wider, providing more tire clearance. At the same time, the length of the chainstays has been shortened, making the rear easier to handle when you are cornering.
The secret to the Terk, from my years of riding experience, is in its frame. Putting aside the drivetrain, this frame has a feel that sends power to the rear wheels almost every time you pedal. This feeling is very relaxing, and it gives the feeling that you want to leave others far away. It is not as slow as other mountain bikes, and the starting time will be longer.
When it comes to 29in, there is no other line with more history than the Trek and Gary Fisher lines. The X-Caliber inherits the sophisticated body geometry of the series, including Trek’s patented G2 design: a distinctive fork drift that makes the ride feel more dynamic.
G2 Geometry, advanced frame geometry, and a custom offset fork that allows precise handling of the 29ers at low speeds without compromising stability at high speeds, we call it G2 Geometry. Because our 29er handlebar is better than any other in its class.
The SR Suntour XCR fork has a diameter of 32mm, which helps to maintain stability in tight corners and rough roads. The rear shock is the base model, but it’s good enough, and the fixed rebound setting provides balance in the face of impact. I feel that the medium-sized bike tested is very suitable for riders of 70~85kg, and it can handle both large and small collisions with ease.
The front fork can be controlled remotely and can be locked in different positions to better cope with different terrains. The head tube uses a 1-1/8″ threadless, hidden bearing headset, taking into account the weight and strength, the large Trek Logo on the front of the car is very eye-catching, and the head tube has been reduced in diameter.
The short head tube and ample steering tube Length. The short head tube and long steerer tube provide plenty of handlebar height adjustment, and I was able to get to the right height easily with room to spare, which is not common on entry-level 29ers.
Components and Specifications
Given the entry-level price of the X-Caliber 7, compromises on components are inevitable. The X-Caliber 7 makes some compromises on the drivetrain, but it’s a wise decision.
Trek’s design philosophy has always been to configure high-end transmissions, and others can be ordinary, allowing customers to configure on the basis of Shimano.
For the 27-speed drivetrains on traditional older bikes, they have a lot of room to shift, and the Shimano Acera and Shimano Altus mix are surprisingly good, but the rear derailleur isn’t stiff enough to hit the chain. The Acera has a good feel in the hand. This basic Shimano chainring is heavy and replaceable for convenience.
The transmission line tube adopts the inner wiring of the upper tube and the lower wiring of the whole tube, which can effectively avoid the problem of unsmooth shifting caused by muddy water pollution.
The cable fixing port is far away from the head tube, which can effectively give the shifting cable tube relaxation space and reduce the friction between the cable tube and the head tube. Built-in wiring provides a cleaner body appearance and easier transitions.
Tubeless-ready wheels are designed to reduce tire pressure for greater traction and control on bumpy, complex surfaces while reducing body weight.
The specifications of the wheels also reflect design excellence. We know that bigger wheels are faster, but smaller riders often have a hard time getting used to larger wheels. So we went with 27.5-inch wheels for smaller riders.
The medium and large frames are equipped with 29-inch wheels, which are more suitable for the fastest speed. This design approach is also known as smart wheel sizing.
The 29- and 27.5-inch wheels feature Trek off-road mountain-bike geometry, with short chainstays and a long top tube, which allow you to better distribute power and control the bike in the best way possible.
This is where the X-Caliber takes you to the winning finish on the mountain track.
The Bontrager XR2 tires rolled smoothly and had good traction on dry ground, making them a perfect fit for this X-Caliber.
This tire has a good performance. The center tread on the tire surface is not only uniform and orderly, but also has a relatively compact connection in the center tread, so it provides good low rolling resistance and strong grip.
The front and rear wheels are different sizes, the front wheel is wider to increase traction, and the rear wheel is slender to reduce weight.
These configurations fully demonstrate Trek’s thorough understanding of off-road sports.
Hydraulic disc brakes for better braking performance and control.
The Shimano M395 hydraulic brakes on the 2020 Trek X-Caliber 7 are high-performance, quiet, and affordable.
The only complaint is that the brake disc material is resin, so more durable hot-pressed brake pads cannot be used. Tektro adjustable brake levers are another highlight.
The rear brake caliper is installed inside the rear triangle of the frame, which can effectively improve the strength and make it more convenient to install the rack.
In the latest 2021 Trek X-Caliber 7, the brake system is upgraded to Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc, which improves the braking performance and makes it safer for mountain off-road.
Most models come with a 100mm front shock. It reduces the force of a collision, allowing you to maintain control at all times.
The smaller 13 5 size comes with an 80 mm suspension fork. Because of this, the center of gravity can be lowered even further while ensuring good control.
The X-Caliber’s fork has a locking lever that improves riding efficiency on smoother roads, long climbs, or standing sprints. The X-Caliber 7 design also has this suspension lockout feature.
A locked suspension means your fork remains inactive, increasing pedaling efficiency, and making it ideal for long stretches of road. In this condition, efficiency is more important than shock absorbers.
X-Caliber 7 Spece
|Frame||Alpha Gold Aluminum, tapered head tube, internal derailleur & dropper post routing, rack & kickstand mount, Boost141, 5mm QR|
RockShox Judy SL, Solo Air spring, TurnKey lockout, tapered steerer, 42mm offset, 100x5mm QR, 100mm travel
|Size: M, M/L, L, XL|
RockShox Judy SL, Solo Air spring, TurnKey lockout, tapered steerer, 46mm offset, 100x5mm QR, 100mm travel
|Max compatible fork travel||120mm (XS: 100mm)|
|Hub front||Formula DC-20, alloy, 6-bolt, 100mm ThruSkew|
|Hub rear||Formula DC-2241, alloy, 6-bolt, Shimano 8/9/10 freehub, Boost141, 5mm QR|
|Rim||Size: S, M, M/L, L, XL|
Bontrager Kovee, double-wall, Tubeless Ready, 28-hole, 23mm width, presta valve
|Size: S, M, M/L, L, XL|
Bontrager Kovee, double-wall, Tubeless Ready, 32-hole, 23mm width, presta valve
|Spokes||14g stainless steel|
Bontrager XR2 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 27.5×2.20”
|Size: M, M/L, L, XL|
Bontrager XR2 Comp, wire bead, 30 tpi, 29×2.20”
|Max tire size||Frame: 27.5×2.80″ or 29×2.40″ Fork: See manufacturer|
|Shifter||Shimano Deore M4100, 10 speed|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Deore M5120, long cage|
|Crank||Size: S, M|
Shimano Deore M5100, 30T steel ring, Boost (52mm chainline), 170mm length
|Size: M/L, L, XL|
Shimano Deore M5100, 30T steel ring, Boost (52mm chainline), 175mm length
|Cassette||Shimano Deore M4100, 11-46, 10 speed|
|Chain||KMC X10, 10 speed|
|Pedal||VP-536 nylon platform|
|Max chainring size||32T|
|Saddle||Bontrager Arvada, steel rails, 138mm width|
Bontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset, 330mm length
Bontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset, 360mm length
|Size: M/L, L, XL|
Bontrager alloy, 31.6mm, 12mm offset, 400mm length
|Handlebar||Bontrager alloy, 31.8mm, 5mm rise, 720mm width|
|Grips||Bontrager XR Trail Comp, nylon lock-on|
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 60mm length
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 70mm length
|Size: M/L, L|
Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, Blendr compatible, 7 degree, 80mm length
|Headset||Semi-integrated, loose ball bearing, 1-1/8” top, 1.5” bottom|
|Brake||Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc|
|Brake rotor||Size: S, M, M/L, L, XL|
Shimano RT26, 6-bolt,160mm
|Size: L, XL|
Shimano RT26, 6-bolt,180mm
|Weight||M – 13.39 kg / 29.53 lbs (with tubes)|
|Weight limit||This bike has a maximum total weight limit (combined weight of bicycle, rider, and cargo) of 300 pounds (136 kg).|
- How do I determine what Bottom bracket I need?
An X-Caliber 7 bottom bracket that fits 73x113mm square taper is supported by the 2018 model.
- What is the width of the handlebars?
The Bontrager alloy is 31.8mm, has a 5mm rise, and measures 720mm wide.
- Hi, I was wondering if there were any differences between the 2017 and 2018 models? Thank you.
Almost all the parts on the bike are the same except the 2018 crankset is a double while the 2017 had a triple. The most significant change is in the frame! Unlike the 2017 frameset, the 2018 frameset is droppper post compatible.
- Is it possible to upgrade the 1×11 drivetrain on my 2018 X caliber 7?
Yes, the frame is compatible with 1×11 speed. Depending on the system you choose, you will need a new crank, bottom bracket, drivetrain, shifter, and perhaps a new rear wheel as well. For specific pricing and labor, please contact your local retailer.
- What heights of riders is this bike suitable for?
Trek X-Caliber 7 size chart：
|XS||145 – 155 cm 4’9″ – 5’1″||69 – 73 cm 27″ – 29″|
|S||155 – 165 cm 5’1″ – 5’5″||74 – 78 cm 29″ – 31″|
|M||165 – 176 cm 5’5″ – 5’9″||79 – 83 cm 31″ – 33″|
|M/L||173 – 180 cm 5’8″ – 5’11”||81 – 86 cm 32″ – 34″|
|L||177 – 188 cm 5’10” – 6’2″||84 – 89 cm 33″ – 35″|
|XL||188 – 195 cm 6’2″ – 6’5″||89 – 91 cm 35″ – 36″|
|2XL||195 – 203 cm 6’5″ – 6’8″||91 – 97 cm 36″ – 38″|
|BIKE||PRICE||Front Travel||Wheel Size||Drivetrain||OFFERS|
|Pivot Switchblade Race X01||＄6,399||160mm||29″||SRAM GX Eagle, 1X12 speed||CLICK VIEW|
|Trek X-Caliber 9||＄1,929||100 mm||27.5″ / 29″||Shimano SLX M7100, 1X12 speed||CLICK VIEW|
|Trek X-Caliber 8||＄1,599||80 mm||27.5″ / 29″||Shimano Deore M6100, 1X12 speed||CLICK VIEW|
|Trek 820||＄499||75 mm||26″||Shimano Tourney EF41, 3X7 speed||CLICK VIEW|
Trek 820 vs Trek X-Caliber 7
Both the X-Caliber 7 and the 820 are hardtail off-road bikes. The X-Caliber 7 has an aluminum frame, 27.5″/29″ wheels, better components, better, larger forks, and a 1×10 drivetrain that offers more gears; while the 820 has a steel frame and 26″ wheels. Explore the differences below.
Many customers complained to me about the weight of the 820. The steel frame of the 820 makes the overall weight reach 15.3kg, while the X-Caliber 7 uses an aluminum alloy frame and weighs only 13.4kg.
The X-Caliber 7 uses hydraulic disc brakes, while the 820 still uses rim brakes. Rim brake systems require heavy tracks for the pads to rest on. This requires the 820’s rim brake rim to be much heavier than the X-Caliber 7 disc brake rim.
The 820’s saddle is Bontrager Sport, which is so stiff that many customers change the saddle to a larger, more padded one after receiving it.
820 is the most affordable we introduce a series of mountain bikes, are those who are interested in mountain bikes, but still want to have a car as well as for hybrid bicycle light rail and city streets of beginner’s ideal choice.
Learn more: Is The Trek 820 Mountain Bike Really Suitable For Newbies?
Trek X-Caliber 8 vs Trek X-Caliber 7
Likewise, the X-Caliber 8 drivetrain is a 1 × 12 and the X-Caliber 7 drivetrain is a 1 × 10. So, the X-Caliber 8 is better for descents and sprints, while the X-Caliber 7 excels on climbs. And in terms of price, the two are closer. Of course, the X-Caliber 8 is a bit more expensive.
In terms of geometry, the two are exactly the same. The X-Caliber 8 is a replica of the X-Caliber 7.
In terms of kits, let’s talk about some of the models used by the two. Brakes, both use Shimano MT200 hydraulic discs. For the chain, the X-Caliber 7 uses a KMC X10, 10 speed, and the X-Caliber 8 uses a Shimano Deore M6100, 12 speed.
For the rear derailleur, X-Caliber 7 uses Shimano Deore M5120, long cage, and X-Caliber 8 uses Shimano XT M8100, long cage.
As can be seen from the above, the X-Caliber 8 is manufactured with special attention to value and the parts that have the greatest impact on performance.
Learn more: Is The Trek X-Caliber 8 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 8 Review]
Trek X-Caliber 9 vs Trek X-Caliber 7
The Trek X-Caliber 9 weighs 12.5 kg and the Trek X-Caliber 7 weighs 13.4 kg, not much difference.
The X-Caliber 9 drivetrain uses a 1 × 12 and the X-Caliber 7 drivetrain uses a 1 × 10. So the X-Caliber 9 is better for descents and sprints, while the X-Caliber 7 excels on climbs.
The geometry of the X-Caliber 9 and X-Caliber 7 is basically the same.
If we really want to compare, let’s take a look at the Top Tube Length. The X-Caliber 9 has 20 mm more top tube length than the X-Caliber 7.
This means you’ll be slightly stretched forward while riding the X-Caliber 9 than the X-Caliber 7.
Although the stack height and reach of the X-Caliber 9 are slightly longer than those of the X-Caliber 7, the stack height/reach ratio is still slightly larger than that of the X-Caliber 7, but there is only a gap of 0.03. I think it can be neglected.
In conclusion, the X-Caliber 9 is the high-end model in the X-Caliber family. It is a fully race-ready off-road mountain bike. The RockShox Recon fork, 1×12 Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain, and a wide-range cassette make it the best choice for fast singletrack riders.
Learn more: Is Trek X-Caliber 9 Worth Buying? [Trek X-Caliber 9]
Pivot Switchblade Race X01 vs Trek X-Caliber 7
The X-Caliber 7 is 27 mm lower than the Switchblade Race X01 stack. This means the X-Caliber 7 will keep you leaning forward during the ride, while maintaining a more comfortable upright position on long Switchblade Race X01 rides.
Therefore, we can see that the X-Caliber 7 is more inclined to be dedicated to competition, which can make you more aerodynamic.
The Switchblade Race X01 is better suited for some longer endurance road riding, its geometry puts your body weight further forward, helping you transfer power to the pedals more efficiently.
The length of the head tube (Head Tube Length) raises and lowers the rider’s position on the bike, the X-Caliber 7 is 90mm long, while the Switchblade Race X01 is 102mm, which is 12mm higher than the X-Caliber 7.
Under the assumption that the same wheel size and the same effect on the head tube angle result in the same head tube angle for the X-Caliber 7, the head angle is 3.5° higher.
The X-Caliber 7 head tube angle is steep enough to effectively climb technical singletrack at low speeds, yet slack enough to keep you from flying over the bars on descents.
The X-Caliber 7 is 21 mm lower in reach than the Switchblade Race X01. Compared to the Switchblade Race X01, the X-Caliber 7 will keep your weight farther away, helping to maintain rear-wheel traction on slick terrain or steep climbs.
Alpha Gold Aluminum is used in the construction of the X-Caliber 7, tapered head tube, internal derailleur & dropper post routing, rack & kickstand mounts, Boost141, and 5mm QR. The Switchblade Race X01 still uses the Switchblade, there is nothing special about it.
Final Evaluation (4.6/5)
The X-Caliber 7 is a full-featured 27.5-inch/29-inch hardtail cross-country mountain bike with mid-to-high-end components at a low-end price point for X-Caliber models, making it the perfect entry point for fast trail riding and racing.
The X-Caliber is the perfect choice for off-road racing, or it can take you on a variety of road conditions. Even if you’re not familiar with mountain biking, it can keep you hooked on the activity.
With its excellent frame design, lightweight alloys, and easily upgradeable body components, this affordable mountain bike with racing pedigree is the perfect entry-level mountain bike for many riders.
So we think the Trek X-Caliber 7 is a mountain bike worth buying. We ended up with a rating of 4.6.