Since posting the first photos back in July the 2012 Trek Lush has been a buzz around Bike Shop Girl. The Twitter stream gets many comments, Facebook gets many questions and my email has its own little folder of women waiting to hear more on first test rides and availability. As I mentioned a few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be loaned a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon for review and demo purposes from the East Coast Women’s Trek Demo rep.
Initial Impressions of the Trek Lush
It took a full ride to get used to riding a 26″ full suspension bike again. Lucky for me the Trek Lush is very forgiving and climbs well even when wrenching out of the seat like a single speed freak.
The bike is responsive, with the DRCV rear shock and full floater design on the backend the bike rides very well uphill. The 26″ wheels allows you to whip around the turns and cut short angles as needed. Going down hill is the most fun you can have on a non-all mountain bike. The 120mm of travel (just shy of 5″) is more than enough for cross country riders, while the DRCV rear shock and sturdy fron Fox Shox is confident inspiring to push you a bit harder and faster.
Comparing the Trek Lush to EX Series
I’ve been riding an 2009 Trek EX-8 since it came out. It has treated me well and after riding the Lush it inspired me to pull it out of the attic where it has been sitting, hibernating, since the spring. Riding the two I need to say the suspension works pretty much the same for me. The biggest difference is my EX-8 doesn’t have the DRCV rear shock, and I would love to have the 15-mm thru axle on the front fork as it really stiffens up the front end in the corners.
The other thing you will notice is the geometry and of course weight. The Lush fits women better, has a better stand over and everything I have read on test rides, the Lush reacts better to lighter weight women with the suspension setup. I’m 160lbs, so I don’t need to worry about the lighter weight suspension setup!
Since the Trek Lush Carbon was a loaned bike from a traveling rep I didn’t have the bike as long as I normally do. I didn’t make as many long 5 hour rides in the mountains as planned due to weather but I did ride the bike a good amount.
The Trek Lush, is a great riding women’s designed full-suspension mountain bike. It is straddling the line of cross country machine and light all mountain. I believe having a completely redesigned bike like this will push the targeted market. Hopefully get more women to try new things and go confident as this bike does inspire confidence.
The handling of the bike tracks very well, allows you to make some errors that other bikes would make you regret. That has always been the way of the Trek “full-floater” suspension design.
The Trek Lush in the carbon model will be a stretch for some women. I am sure Trek didn’t stock as many of this model, but I do believe there is opportunity to sell a sub $5k mountain bike and the person interested in it will want the spec that Trek put on the bike. A good drive train, carbon bars, light components and stout yet reasonably weight wheels.
It was a very, very, fun bike to ride. Personally I don’t think I would go for the carbon mostly for the cost. If you are a woman in the mountain bike market, the Trek Lush series starts at $2,199 which is rather reasonable for the bike build. If you can find a local demo and take one for a spin.
Things I Would Change
There were two main points on the bike that I highly disliked.
The grips – some folks like those foam basic grips. I am not one of them. The whole time I was missing my Ergon‘s!
The crank – I wanted a compact double on this bike. It would make the shifting and chain slap a ton better, plus I don’t see myself climbing on a 120mm bike in the granny gear or jamming in the big chainring/small cog very often.
Disclaimer: Trek Bikes provided this bike free for review, I wasn’t paid or bribed.