Trek Mamba

Trek Mamba 2012 Bike Review

The Trek Mamba is a mountain bike which will have you zipping across countryside tracks like a Lycra-clad rocket. It is a 29er which means its 29 inch wheels give you that extra momentum and the power to accelerate and keep up the pace whether you are in competition with others or simply cycling with thrill and fun as your only rewards. It is a step up the ranks of Trek’s cross country mountain bikes, sitting above the Marlin in terms of price, which means you can expect a number of enhanced components and a fresh new design for 2012.

The Trek Mamba makes use of the same Alpha Gold aluminium frame which a number of its more affordable mountain bikes come equipped with this year. The butted and hydroformed tubing is very light and will feel effortless to manoeuvre when you are out and about. Meanwhile the G2 geometry is perfect for cross country competition, giving you plenty of clearance and allowing the fast rolling 29 inch wheels to do their jobs.

The front suspension comes in the form of the RockShox XC32 coil spring fork which features TurnKey lockout and 100mm of travel, letting you adapt it to whatever perils you might face. You might expect this shock to take away some of the efficiency from the stiff hardtail setup but by investing just that little bit more money you will see the difference.

Shimano Alivio shifters and bits and bobs from the Acera and Deore ranges make up the drivetrain of the Trek Mamba. The mechanical brakes of cheaper models have been ditched in favour of Shimano M446 hydraulic disc brakes. This is a welcome addition, enhancing the sensitivity and responsiveness of the breaking and making you feel like you are far more involved in manipulating the bike’s speed as well as its direction.

The saddle, seatpost, handlebar and stem all come from Bontrager and these are ultimately the same functional items you would expect to find on both the Marlin and the Wahoo mountain bikes. Their presence on the Trek Mamba is the main indication of its budget-based roots, but in this category of bikes there is no reason to feel cheated. The Mamba is shod with Shimano hubs, Bontrager AT-850 rims and 29-3 tyres, a good combination that gets the balance right between impact-absorbing softness, high speed momentum and overall lightness.

The exterior design of the Trek Mamba is an unfussy affair and for the 2012 season you will be able to choose quite a subtle colour (see image above). There are admittedly some better looking bikes out there, if you are into something with more garish colours and manufacturer logos, but for straight forward style the Mamba is more than adequate.

The Trek Mamba is a progressive mountain bike which looks to help leisure riders build up their skill set and improve their confidence in all conditions. If you want a 29er which has plenty of potential for performance then give it a look.

Model: Trek Mamba
4 / 5 stars
*****