21 Aug The 2018 Trek Crossrip 1: Hands-On Review And Ride
While bike purists may scoff at the idea, bikes are more and more being built for riding in more than one condition and terrain. You aren’t confined to mountain bikes just for mountain trails, or road bikes for roads, and hybrid bikes are now a dime a dozen. The Trek Crossrip 1 isn’t a hybrid bike per se, but it is an excellent, affordable road-worthy bike that is ready for everything from your morning commute to your long weekend ride with some light trails mixed in – everything except offroad, all-mountain riding.
We had the chance to ride the CrossRip around the Napa Valley for a week and give it a shot. Here’s what we thought about Trek’s latest commuter/all-city/road bike.
The CrossRip 1 is the cheapest model in Trek’s CrossRip line, a line of touring/commuter bikes built to take on virtually any road riding. The Crossrip line is built on the 200 Series Alpha aluminum frameset, and at first sight, look more like a straight-up road bike than a hybrid of any sorts. Which is, actually, what it is: a road bike built for a variety of riding scenarios, and not true hybrid bike.
As such, the geometry and wheelbase are designed to be touring and commuter-friendly, with wheelbases of over 3 feet on every model, and softer, shallower angles on the headtube and handle bars than your regular mountain bike. This allows for more comfort and easier handling for your everyday rider, but does slow things down somewhat compared to a true racing bike. If you’re like us, and do this for fun rather than speed, you won’t notice much a difference. But when seen side-by-side with a racer, the Crossrip definitely gives a more laid-back, upright kind of ride.
The Alpha 200 Series Frame feels sturdy, while still being relatively lightweight: while each build and size is obviously a little bit different, you can count on the Crossrip 1 coming at about 24-25 lbs for a small or medium. That’s certainly not a poor weight for a touring bike or your morning commute but is hardly “light” when it comes to true racing. The frame is paired with a sturdy alloy fork with lowrider mounts.
Trek included some cool features with the Alpha 200 frame, including built-in rack and fender mounts for storing gear, bags and water on either your morning commute or for longer rides and all-day excursions. This provides a nice level of customizability for
They’ve also routed the brake and shifter cables internally; standard on higher-end bikes but not always found on cheaper bikes like the Crossrip. If you’ve never ridden a bike with internal cable routing before, you’re in for a real treat; it cleans up the bike like nothing else, providing a slimmer, simpler and less-messy silhouette and riding experience.
Cassette and Chainring
Trek outfitted the Crossrip 1 with a 48/32 FS Vero Pro crankset, which is a good option for a bike that straddles the line between everyday rider and occasional long-distance road bike. This is paired with a Shimano HG200, 11-32 9-speed cassette. In our experience on the Crossrip, we never felt we were wishing for anything lower or higher; the Vero Pro provided us with all the speed and ease we could ask for. Gears shift relatively smoothly (though they did get hung up on one or two occasions) and made riding a relative breeze. The front and rear derailleurs are both Shimano Sora, which again, we found relatively smooth. We hear the Sora 11-speeds, found on the higher-end Crossrip 3, are even nicer.
We weren’t, however, a big fan of the paddle shifters. While they were easy to use, they feel a bit cheap and weak – almost like you were going to break them every time we shifted gears. It’s not that they aren’t high-quality, but they just don’t seem to inspire confidence when actually handling them – perhaps the only part of the bike that felt so.
Brakes and Stopping Power
The Crossrip 1 is outfitted with disc brakes, so it can stop on all kinds of terrain. In this particular case, they are TRP Spyre C 2.0’s, paired with Tektro levers. We found them quick and responsive at high speeds and on flat ground, but when bombing down steep hills and some very steep grades, we definitely wished for a bit more braking power. For 90% of what you’re going to be tackling in this bike, they’ll do totally fine; if you frequently ride mountains and winding downhills, you may find yourself wishing for an upgrade soon.
You can stop the bike with the traditional levers up front, but the Crossrip 1 includes cross-top/inline brake levers up on the top handlebar. This is an awesome addition when you’re riding a bit more casually and slowly and means you don’t have to quickly reach for the paddle levers when using the crossbars. You likely won’t use them as much when doing high-speed braking, as the cross bars simply don’t provide the same level of control and steering power as the drop handles, but we love them and found ourselves using them quite often on this weekend of mostly-flat, often easy, riding.
Overall, they’re nothing fancy, but they are good brakes for a good bike.
Wheels and Tires
Certainly another important component we can’t forget about: the wheels and tires. The Crossrip is outfitted with Bontrager Tubeless Ready Disc 32h rims, which are paired with Bontrager H5 700x32c’s. At 32cm, they’re wider than standard racing or road bike tires. This means they’re slower and heavier, but provide more comfort, traction and control, and allow you to go a few places and do a few things that super skinny tires won’t. The standard H5’s provides a good amount of traction on both road and gravel, as they’re knobbier than racing tires. The option to go tubeless is also nice, and provides some flexibility if you ride a lot, and see yourself upgrading to a lighter, more-durable for longer rides. We haven’t tried it that way but would definitely be interested in it.
On The Road: How The Crossrip 1 Performs
Okay, so features and specs are nice – if you’re a bike nerd. What you really want to know is how nice does this thing ride?
For the price range…it really can’t be beat. Smooth and fast enough to get some speed on the open road, nimble enough for city riding, and with excellent stopping power from the TRP spyres for stop lights and traffic. As mentioned, we wish they provided a bit more on steep and winding downhills, but that’s overall a very small part of most people’s riding experience. And having the top brake levers near your fingertips at all times is both convenient and reassuring. Overall, for 30-50 mile rides through the breathtaking Napa Valley, with a combination of flat riding and uphill, this bike was more than perfect.
At 25 pounds, it could be lighter, but is overall plenty light. If you’re coming from a more traditional hybrid-style bike, you’ll find it very light and pretty fast. We found our sweet spot for flat riding on the upper-end of the first gear, and we’re able to keep a good pace and cadence of 10-12 mph without expending too much energy at that level. This makes it perfect for daily riding and still an excellent choice for long-distance rides or weekend adventures. Biking into the wind was, predictably, pretty tough, but that’s not necessarily a problem of the Crossrip itself.
Overall, we’re big fans. For roughly $1000, you can’t go wrong with the Trek CrossRip 1. It’s a solid bike for commuting, fun, and everyday, year-round rides of all lengths, and an excellent entry into the world of touring bikes.