Trek Roscoe – Series Review
Trek’s 27.5” Roscoe hardtail MTB range is aimed at recreational riders looking to hit the dirt track and have some weekend fun in the backcountry. The series consists of three bikes ranging in price from just above $1,000 to just below $2,000, with varying specs and women’s versions.
Although not intended for competitive riding, the top-shelf bikes in the Roscoe range come with some high-quality components.
In This Review
4.5 / 5 out of 70+reviews
MSRP $1,049 – 27.5 x 2.8″ / Alpha Gold Aluminum frame / SR Suntour XCM 32 fork 100-120mm / Alex MD35 TLS Wheels / 1 x 10 Shimano Deore M4100
The Roscoe 6 is the entry-level bike of the range with a Deore drivetrain, hydro disc brakes, Alex rims, and Schwalbe tires. As you can see, Trek hasn’t really cut any corners, even on the most affordable Roscoe.
The 2021 version of the Roscoe 6 has the same Alpha Gold aluminum frame that all Roscoe bikes have plus a few minor upgrades from 2020, including better tires and cassette. The Deore groupset is tried and trusted so no surprises with the quality there, and the Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes work well.
KEY MTB FEATURES:
- Dropper seat post
- Suspension lockout
- Internal cable routing
- Rack, fender, kickstand mounts
- Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes
- Shimano RT26 160/180mm rotors
The Roscoe 6 feels very sturdy and handles well on a bumpy dirt track, cutting hard into corners without any wobble or slip. The upgrade to Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires on the 2021 model is a very nice addition and they compliment the better handling provided by shorter chainstays. This isn’t a bike designed for intense downhill riding so you might notice some struggles here but the dropper seat post is certainly appreciated on the steeper declines.
The only noticeable negative is the Suntour XCM 32 fork, which provides front suspension with 100 to 120mm of travel (depending on size) and lockout. It’s not a bad fork but it’s definitely entry-level and adds significant weight to the bike. If you aren’t pushing the bike too hard on extremely rocky terrain or big jumps you should be fine but at times it sticks and the coil springs can be noisy. Although that said, at 34.8 lbs (15.8 kg), it may raise some eyebrows with more weight-conscious cyclists.
The 2020 Roscoe series trail bikes are lighter, without a seat-post dropper and some minor differences in components.
- MSRP $1,020
- Internal dropper-post compatible
- Kenda Havok 30tpi 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires
- Deore M6000 Shifters & derailleur
- SunRace 11-42 10-speed cassette
- Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc
4.7 / 5 out of 180+ ratings
MSRP $1,260 – AlphaGold Aluminum Frame / RockShox Judy SL 100/120mm forks / Bontrager Line 40 Rims / SRAM Eagle 1×12 11-50T Cassette / Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
The Roscoe 7 isn’t a lot more expensive than the Roscoe 6, at only $210 more, so you might not expect a big upgrade. However, with RockShox air-sprung front suspension and an SRAM Eagle drivetrain, the minor additional cost seems like a no-brainer – spend that little bit extra!
On paper, the Roscoe 7 certainly seems like incredible value-for-money, so does it hold up in the field? Weight wise it feels nice, coming in at just under 33 lbs (14.8 kg) which is pretty average for a hardtail MTB. You feel the difference too –
It offers lighter float when leaving the ground and lands more smoothly than the Roscoe 6.
Other than the 12-speed SX Eagle drivetrain, the Roscoe 7 also has an upgraded Truvative Powerspline bottom bracket which is a nice addition. The RockShox Judy SL air-sprung forks are definitely the winner addition here though, giving the Roscoe 7 a smooth and silent downhill ride even on steep and volatile descents. The fat 2.8” Maxxis Rekon tubeless tires certainly help in this regard too, providing excellent traction.
Naturally, Trek has had to keep some costs down to provide such a good price. The SX Eagle is a slightly downgraded version of SRAMs popular NX drivetrain but it still delivers smooth gearing with a barely noticeable difference. Serious riders may consider upgrading the basic saddle and nylon pedals and grips but otherwise, the Roscoe 7 is a top-quality bike ready-to-go straight out the box.
4.8 / 5 out of 225+ ratings
MSRP $1,790 – Alpha Gold Aluminum frame / RockShox 35 Gold RL 100/120mm / Bontrager Line 40 TLR Rims / 27.5″ x 2.8″ / SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed / Shimano MT501 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
The most notable additions on the Roscoe 8 are the fork, drivetrain, and the large price increase of $530. The upgrade to an SRAM Eagle NX drivetrain is only a minor change but the RockShox 35 Gold RL DebonAir fork is a considerable addition that serious riders will appreciate. So does it justify the price difference?
The SRAM Eagle NX 12-speed drivetrain is undoubtedly a quality component that is complemented by a quality Truvativ crank and bottom bracket. It would have been nice to see a full SRAM groupset but the Shimano MT501 hydro disc brakes fit in well. So what else makes the Roscoe 8 a killer hardtail MTB?
At 32.3 lbs (14.65kg) it’s a bit lighter than the 7 but not enough to make it very noticeable. However, the Roscoe 8 certainly rips up the trails and not just on singletrack or gravel.
For a hardtail bike, the Roscoe could even put up some competition to dual suspension MTBs
This bike aggressively attacks downhills – helped by the dropper seat post and amazing suspension – and makes short work of uphills with smooth gearing and tight traction on the 2.8” Maxxis tires.
Overall, the Roscoe 8 may not provide the same incredible value-for-money that the Roscoe 7 does but it certainly does feel more professional. If you have the extra cash to spare and want a fully-fledged hardtail with top-quality parts in all aspects, you can’t go wrong here. You’ll struggle to find a better-specced hardtail for the price.
4.7 / 5 out of 25+ reviews
MSRP $500 – 24″ wheels / 24 x 2.8″ fat tires / 8-speed / SunRun 11-34 Casette / 25.75lbs (11.7kg)
24″ Wheel Size for kids in height – 4’3.2″ – 4’11” (130 – 150cm)
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Roscoe Series – Why should you buy it?
For somebody looking for a tough and competent trail-tackling beast of the bike, you can’t go wrong with the Trek Roscoe. The Trek Roscoe 7 is probably one of the best value hardtail MTBs in its price range and will impress even the most adventurous off-road riders. For bikepackers, single track racers, or gravel explorers, the Trek Roscoe range would be a welcome recommendation.
Trek MTB Size/Height recommendations
|XS||4’6″ – 5’1″||25.2″ – 28.7″||137 – 155cm||64 – 73cm|
|S||5′ – 5’5.6″||28.3″ – 31.1″||153 – 166cm||78 – 79 cm|
|M||5’3.4″ – 5’7.7″||29.9″ – 31.9″||161 – 172cm||76 – 81cm|
|ML||5’5.2″ – 5’10.5″||30.3″ – 33.1″||165 – 179cm||77 – 84cm|
|L||5’9.7″ – 6’2″||32.7″ – 34.6″||177 – 188cm||83 – 88cm|
|XL||6’1.2″ – 6’5.2″||34.3″ – 36.2″||186 – 196cm||87 – 92cm|
|XXL||6’4.8″ – 6’7.9″||26.2″ – 37.4″||195 – 203cm||92 – 95cm|
Salsa Timberjack vs Trek Roscoe
The Salsa Timberjack range very closely resembles Trek’s Roscoe bikes. It also offers mid-range hardtail MTBs with quality components in a price bracket slightly above what amateur riders would spend. With similar specs and price, it may simply come down to brand or personal preference.
While the Roscoe also fits 29” tires, it’s marketed as a 27.5” bike which seems more focused on rough terrain and mountain riding. The Timberjack, on the other hand, has a more relaxed frame geometry that is designed for faster singletrack and gravel trail riding.
Max weight capacity of the Trek Roscoe series?
The max weight capacity of Trek Roscoe mountain bikes is 300 lbs (136kg)