This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Trek's recently launched Boone introduces new frame shapes, new cable management and thru-axles, but most importantly its proprietary IsoSpeed decoupling system is now found on the front end.
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2018 Trek Boone 5 Disc specifications
- Frame: 600 Series OCLV carbon w/ IsoSpeed (flatmount; 12x142)
- Fork: Trek IsoSpeed Cross (flatmount; 12x100)
- Drivetrain: SRAM Rival 1
- Bottom bracket: BB90
- Wheels: Bontrager TLR
- Tyres: Bontrager CX3 Team Issue 32mm (120tpi)
- Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Comp
- Size options: 49/50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61
- Weight (size 56): 18.05 lbs / 8.39 kg
- Price: £2,800 / $3,299
Like the previous edition of the Boone, Trek employs the IsoSpeed decoupler technology to the seat tube
In search of speed
Despite seeing professional racers riding the Boone last season, Trek delayed the Boone's release until the product satisfied its own standards, which included the watchful eyes of Sven Nys and Katie Compton.
This meant Trek retailers weren't seeing framesets in August 2017, with complete bikes hitting the showroom floor in October.
Compared to the previous-generation Boone, Trek claims the entire bike has seen an overhaul. Trek's road product marketing manager Tony Lemke lays it out cleanly: "new front IsoSpeed, 12mm thru-axles (front and rear), new frame shapes, new control centre in the down tube, but same geometry as before."
The new tube shapes were required to accommodate the front-end addition of IsoSpeed, but Trek went further and removed the braze-on front derailleur mount. Due to the uniqueness of the seat tube shape, the new clamp is proprietary to Trek.
The newest version of the bike neatly hides IsoSpeed technology in the front end of the bike
As exciting as new frame shapes and internal routing strategies might be, the real interest has to be the addition of IsoSpeed technology at the front end.
Trek pushed front IsoSpeed on the Domane, its staple endurance road bike, well over a year ago. While the rear end of the Domane (and previous-generation Boone) already possessed the decoupling technology at the seat tube cluster, the front lacked the same forgiveness.
With some fancy engineering at the fork, the technology was well-received on the Domane as a way to knock the edge off the cracks and potholes, which was already being managed by IsoSpeed on the rear end of the bike (and quite well).
The critical aspect of the IsoSpeed addition to the front is that it's quite subtle, at least that's my experience from the Domane. Of all the trends towards comfort on road and gravel bikes, IsoSpeed has to be tops — minimal weight penalty, easy to service (if needed at all), and it's easy on the eyes.
But it remains to be seen if a cyclocross bike benefits from the IsoSpeed technology on the front.
The complete package?
In addition to the updated IsoSpeed tech at the front, the Boone gets a new cable management system that complements natural lines of drivetrain and brake housing and keeps things tidy on the underside.
Trek product managers leverage the in-house Trek Precision Fit knowledge base by adding cockpit components that are truly ready to ride straight out the box. The Montrose Comp seat and Race VR-C handlebar accommodate a wide variety of riders and complement cyclocross riding.
Additionally, for those fortunate enough to have a Di2-equipped CX or gravel rig, the Boone possesses a clever internal battery mount at the down tube. While this may not speak to all riders due to the exclusivity of Di2, what it shows is an attention to detail, overall versatility, and upgrade potential.
As a final eye-catcher, like the Crockett, the Boone has a solution for the tedious task of removing and installing bottle cages between races and training days — introducing the CrossLock cage system.
Install the frame and cage mounts to their respective positions and mate them when training or remove them when racing. Clever.
The remaining componentry goes to SRAM with its budget-oriented, yet predictable and durable Rival 1x11 group. The Rival clutch rear derailleur and wide-narrow chainring system create such a dependable system that it can be difficult to rationalize more expensive kit, unless you've just got the cash and desperately seek the lightest machine you can get.
The past few months have proven busy putting the Best 'Cross Bikes of the Year to their paces — will the all-new Boone hold up against the challenging standard?
2018 Trek Boone 5 Disc price and availability
The 2018 Trek Boone 5 Disc, and other CX models, are currently available from Trek retailers worldwide for £2,800 / $3,299.