The Trek Cobia is a hardtail mountain bike with an affordable price point and a decent selection of components, making it a good choice for riders who are looking to get into the more serious side of off-road cycling.
The Trek Cobia is built around an Alpha Gold Aluminium frame which features butted and hydroformed tubing to keep everything light and strong. The stiff back end means that this model is well suited to tackling tough climbs, while the 29 inch wheels make sure that it is also adept on cross country courses where smooth, fast rolling performance is of value.
Sometimes this type of 29er can end up feeling a little bit less engaged than mountain bikes with standard 26 inch wheels, but the Trek Cobia’s G2 geometry on the frame and fork means that this issue is averted. Handling is precise and responsive without compromising the bike’s compliance.
This has been achieved thanks to the offset crown, which manages to cut down on the trail of the fork and thus deliver handling that might surprise those who have become accustomed to vague-feeling, sluggish 29ers in the past. You no longer need to plan your moves ahead as if you are playing chess, but can expect on the fly adaptive handling in the twists and turns that you face.
You get a RockShox Recon Silver TK 29 fork at the front, delivering the 100mm of travel that is typical for this kind of well specified all-rounder. There is a turnkey lockout setting to stiffen up the entire frame if the circumstances require and this mid range component does a good job of delivering the travel that it does provide without feeling too staggered or half-baked. In addition its use of an air spring rather than a full coil means that it is lighter than some alternatives, making it more suitable in a setup that looks to counter complaints about excessive weight.
Bontrager AT-850 rims, Shimano M475 alloy hubs and Bontrager XR3 tyres make up the 29 inch wheelset onboard the Trek Cobia. This gives it a durable grounding and also means that rugged terrain poses less of a problem, with the wheels able to smooth out potentially troubling surfaces and let you swarm up slippery slopes with ease.
Power is provided through the SRAM X5 drive train, with a 10 speed cassette allowing you to choose your gearing effectively and transfer your energy through the pedals efficiently. The Hayes Dyno Comp hydraulic disc brakes do an equally decent job, stopping you with subtlety and letting you retain control even in poor conditions.
The Trek Cobia is a 29er designed to be good in a variety of situations, not just a single specific event. There are 26 inch alternatives available in a similar price bracket, but this bike is perhaps a better choice for budding riders who have yet to find a specialism which they want to develop. It offers greater speed and a less jarring ride than 26 inch models, which means that you can build up your confidence and improve your skills with ease.
The comfort of the bike means that all day events and long distance slogs are more manageable. While its weight may be held against it when put up against lighter competition, it is worth remembering that off the line speed is not necessarily as important as long term momentum, which the Trek Cobia can generate in spades.
The Trek Cobia manages to make its mark in part because for the price it is tough to find something that offers the same features put together in a package that functions as coherently.