Trek’s 69er singlespeed is already a fairly outré bike to be coming from a major manufacturer. One gear, wheels of different sizes and a Maverick DUC32 dual-crown fork make for a very distinctive bit of kit.
But Trek racer Travis Brown, who had a lot to do with the stock 69er, wanted something a bit special for the 2007 Singlespeed World Championships (held in Scotland the weekend before the slightly better-known geared bike World Championships kicked off in Fort William). And here it is.
In profile, Travis’s 69er special looks like the standard bike – the tube profiles are the same, the forks are the same, the wheel diameters are the same (albeit different front and back) and the forks (with travel reduced to 4in to accommodate the 29in front wheel) are the same. But it’s all about the details…
The most obvious change is the finish. Rather than the metallic coppery finish on the bikes in the shops (the fork on this bike retains the colour, known behind the scenes as “Travis Brown” – see what they did there?) this on has been hand-polished to within an inch of its life. Multiple coats of clear lacquer keep it shiny.
Look closer and a couple of other tweaks come to light. The standard rear dropouts have been ditched for more compact versions – no threaded adjusters, considerably less range of adjustment, but a fair bit lighter. They’re less user-friendly than the standard ones so are unlikely to be seen on a production bike.
More likely to make production is the BB setup. Like the Pivot bikes we rode at Interbike this year, Travis’s 69er runs a 90mm BB shell with the bearings pushed into the ends, a bit like an integrated headset on its side. Stock Shimano Deore XT cranks (with, of course, a single chainring) are used. We fully expect this arrangement to become a lot more widespread over the next couple of years.
Most of the kit on the bike is, unsurprisingly, drawn from the Bontrager stable. Brakes are Avid Ultimates. We haven’t been able to weigh this bike, but a car-park heft suggests a weight of “not very much”.