Trek Rumblefish Mountain Bike Review

The new 2012 Trek Rumblefish is a full suspension mountain bike with 29 inch wheels. Trek is hoping that 2012 will be the year that it can convince a large number of riders previously happy with their 26 inch wheels to upgrade to the larger 29er category. This move obviously requires that you sacrifice a little of the lightness associated with the smaller wheels, but when it comes to handling technically challenging trails and terrain the Rumblefish is streets ahead.

Trek Rumblefish Elite

The base model Rumblefish Elite comes with an Alpha Platinum aluminium frame. This features the popular G2 geometry that provides good obstacle clearance and also lets the momentum and handling capabilities of the 29 inch wheels come to the fore. At the front you get Fox 32 Float RL forks with Trek DRCV air spring, lockout, rebound, custom G2 Geometry, 51mm offset crown, E2 tapered steerer, 15QR thru axle and 120mm travel, all of which is tuned by Trek in California. The rear shock is a Fox Performance Series Float RP-2 which has been specifically modified by Trek in order to make sure the bike is set up for varied conditions straight out of the box.

Trek Rumblefish Pro

The Trek Rumblefish Pro comes with Fox 32 Float RLC front forks with 120mm travel, whilst at the rear are the Fox Float RP-3 shocks.

Both the front and rear shocks, on both the Pro & Elite bikes, have DRVC technology, which Trek has installed because it believes that most full-sus mountain bikes do not truly take into account the kind of control that is required when tackling the biggest hits. It points out that while typical bikes that use air shocks will choose small volume canisters to minimise the amount of energy which is expended when you peddle. The dual air chamber setup on the Trek Rumblefish means that for general usage only a single chamber will be active, ensuring that the bike feels stiff and responsive. However, significant impacts trigger a secondary chamber, giving you much more absorbing power but never sapping your speed unnecessarily.

The drivetrain is made up of Shimano components and the 29 inch wheels are comprised of Bontrager Rhythm rims; Pro rims on the Pro and Elite on the Elite – thank heavens it wasn’t the other way round eh? Both bikes have Bontrager 29-4 tyres, Team tyres on the Rumblefish Pro and Expert tyres on the Rumblefish Elite model.

These are matched with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes which can really help you keep the Trek Rumblefish under control, even on the slipperiest of surfaces, whether that includes slick mud, gravel or dust. The Bontrager Evoke 2 saddle with chromoly rails is comfortable and helps compensate for uneven surfaces while still being light.

Trek is aware that UK riders are a little sceptical of the benefits of choosing a 29er over a standard 26 inch mountain bike, but the 2012 Rumblefish should go some way to persuading cynics to make the leap. The main benefit it wants to hammer home is the increased momentum made possible by the larger wheels, since this translates into better performance over rough surfaces and obstacles. Larger wheels also allow you to have lower tyre pressures and thus absorb even more of the bumps and lumps that littler the ground beneath you on trails.

The Trek Rumblefish comes in at a compelling price points and it lets you know that it means business. It may not be able to make every rider a 29er convert, but makes several convincing arguments.

Trek Rumblefish Pro 2012 Specifications

  • Front Forks: Fox 32 Float RLC 120mm travel
  • Rear Shocks: Fox Float RP-3
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR M980
  • No. of Gears: 30
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore XT M780
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore XT M785 hydraulic discs
  • Wheels: Bontrager Rhythm Pro 29
  • Tyres: Bontrager 29-4 Team

Trek Rumblefish Elite 2012 Specifications

  • Front Forks: Fox 32 Float RL 120mm travel
  • Rear Shocks: Fox Float RP-2
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano SLX
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT M780
  • No. of Gears: 30
  • Shifters: Shimano SLX M660
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore SLX M666 hydraulic discs
  • Wheels: Bontrager Rhythm Elite 29
  • Tyres: Bontrager 29-4 Expert

Model: Trek Rumblefish
4 / 5 stars