Trek Ion CX Review

If you want an affordable cyclocross bike that can still go the distance, then one of the two models in the Trek Ion CX range might be a suitable companion. Each is designed to be sensitive to the needs of cross country racers who want to be able to get up to speed quickly, cover long distances and handle tough corners while feeling confident at all times.

Trek Ion CX

The base model Trek Ion CX may be a more value-oriented option, but that does not mean that any real sacrifices have been made in the performance stakes. The basis for the bike is its 200 Series Alpha Aluminium frame, which has fender and rack mounts at the front and rear to give it that extra touch of utility whatever the conditions that are thrown at you.

At the front is a Bontrager Race X Lite Cross fork, which in combination with the FCC control column is able to offer excellent handling and decent shock absorption without reducing overall bike stiffness.

Alloy rims from Bontrager and the same firm’s CX0 tyres are a good match for this bike, blending grip and durability with lightness and accelerating potential. Speed is controlled via Avid Short 4 cantilever brakes at the front and rear.

The transmission of the Trek Ion CX is made up of SRAM Apex components, across the shifters, derailleur and crank. The BB86.5 bottom bracket has been included to help make pedalling more efficient and also give you the ability to be quicker off the market than your rivals, which is important in any competitive situation.

The lightweight alloy Bontrager Race Lite seatpost with infinite tilt adjustment is partnered with the Evoke 1 saddle, while at the front is the Race Anatomic-C handlebar which puts you in touch with the excellent overall feel of the ride.

Trek Ion CX Pro

The Trek Ion CX Pro represents a tweaked and tuned recipe when compared to its sibling, which means that the designers have preserved the basic elements without wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The alloy frame and lightweight fork remain, but this time they are paired with SRAM Rival components for the drivetrain, delivering good power transfer while lowering the weight of the bike to make it less of a burden over long distances.

The wheelset is from the Bontrager Race stable, with the same CX0 tyres present as before. The result is the same stability and endurance, but with a lower weight that fits in with the more svelte setup of the bike as a whole.

The Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes also match this package well, while the lighter Bontrager Evoke 3 saddle, which sits on titanium rails, lets the rider cover ground in comfort without being weighed down.

The Trek Ion CX Pro is similar in terms of component spec to the Cronus Ultimate, albeit without the carbon frame. But given that this higher end model is almost twice the price, you can see that the affordable yet capable nature of the alloy frame really works in favour of the bike in this instance.

Both of the Ion models feature good tyre clearance at the rear, which means mud accumulation is unlikely to stifle your ability to perform. The lateral stiffness means that you can tackle technically challenging terrain and hold your line, leading once more into the precise nature of the handling that gives you the confidence to push yourself harder than you might on a less stable bike. Whether you are accumulating new skills or improving on your existing set, these are a pair of cyclocross bikes to help you achieve more.

Trek Ion CX Pro Specifications

Front Derailleur: SRAM Rival Front Fork: Trek carbon
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Rival Rear Shock: N/A
Shifters: SRAM Rival Brakes: Avid Shorty 6 cantilever
Gears: 20, 10 speed Rims: Bontrager Race Tubeless
Chainring: SRAM S300 46/38T Tyres: Bontrager CX0, 700×34c
Cassette: SRAM PG-1050 11-28 Weight: N/A

Bike: Trek Ion CX
Date Published: 13th May 2013
Rating: 4 / 5 stars