Beauty or the Beast: Trek 69er Single Speed

I was browsing the Trek website today and I came across a photo of the 69er Single Speed that gave me pause. This must be either the ugliest bike I’ve ever seen – or the most beautiful. Like the Cannondale ‘lefty’ series, most mountain bikers will either love or hate this bike, starting with the paint color.


On the copper color, I have to give this bike a thumbs up. The color feels a little earthy but also familiar, like a two-year old penny that’s been shined to a dull sheen between two sweaty fingers. The copper also makes the bike feel a little industrial, almost like a steampunk rendition of a mountain bike.

The Trek 69er is, by definition, out of balance. The front wheel is bigger than the back wheel which makes the bike look off kilter in profile. Anyway, there’s probably a reason that Trek is the only major bike company making a 69er. Despite all the supposed advantages of a 69er the bike gives the illusion that the rider is rocking a flat rear tire.

Finally, the Maverick fork used on the Trek 69er Single Speed is just plain ridiculous looking. I guarantee if you show up to the trailhead with this bike everyone will be asking if you realize your bike mechanic installed your fork upside down. Sure, there may be technical advantages to such a design but somehow I doubt this will become part of standard mountain bike technology either. They did manage to match the fork color to the frame so that’s a plus.

Love it or hate it, the Trek 69er Single Speed is a unique bike. I’m still not sure what to think but I’m leaning toward mild disdain at this point. What’s the ugliest mountain bike you’ve seen lately?

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