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Trek Factory Racing mountain bike racers were spotted on a new bike this weekend at round three of the USA Cycling US Cup. They were racing a new hardtail from Trek equipped with the brand’s IsoSpeed decoupler system. Male team riders as well as Rebecca Henderson, winner of Sunday’s short track were spotted aboard the frame.
Not much is known about the new frame, besides that it’s using a version of Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler, a system that was first unveiled on Trek’s endurance road bike, the Domane, and then on its carbon cyclocross frame, the Boone. Based on the photos, it’s hard to tell if the new system is using a Boost 148 rear hub, but with Trek spearheading the new standard, it would be easy to assume as much.
The IsoSpeed decoupler is essentially a pivot — but don’t let Trek hear you call it that — that allows the seat tube to move independently of the top tube. A sealed bearing keeps the seat tube and top tube in contact, and the movement — at least on the Domane and the Boone frames — is quite small, taking out small bump vibrations. The IsoSpeed decoupler on this frame is likely a beefed-up version that could offer a significant increase in comfort for hardtail riders.
Trek’s Travis Ott had little to say about the new bike, seemingly copying and pasting a a reply he’s used many times with the media. “Trek’s athletes are actively involved in helping Trek build better bikes by racing and evaluating new ideas in various stages of resolution. We will acknowledge and inform media, dealers and consumers of a new bike when it is ready.”
With so many of its top athletes already racing painted frames, one can imagine the new frame will be launched this season, maybe sooner, rather than later.