Trek has quietly unveiled the latest bike in their touring and travel lineup… the 2018 Trek 1120, a 29+ dirt-tourer complete with a proprietary and thoughtfully designed rack and harness system, and a full mountain bike spec…

Posted by Logan Watts

UPDATE: We have published the Trek 1120 full review. Trek has an extensive history making bikes specifically for adventure travel and touring. First the longstanding 520 and 720 touring bikes, and then the more recent gravel and dirt-road drop-bar tourer, the Trek 920. Now the Waterloo, Wisconsin based juggernaut has introduced a bikepacking-specific rig to this lineage, the 2018 Trek 1120, which many might dub ‘the bikepacking Stache’ due to several design characteristics and the 29+ tire format shared with their popular Stache hardtail mountain bike.

2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

While the Stache is a great bikepacking rig in it’s own right, the new 2018 Trek 1120 brings a few tricks of its own to the table. The most obvious is the proprietary aluminum rack system. The front rack is designed to cradle a dry bag and/or other assorted cylindrical objects and set the center of gravity slightly lower than a traditional handlebar roll. This unique rack also prevents bag and cable interference and eliminates the need for handlebar straps freeing up valuable real estate on the bars.

2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

  • 2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache
  • 2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

The rear rack is even more distinctive. It’s designed to secure a proprietary dry bag harness system on either side (fitting up to 10L dry bags) providing a setup similar to two small rear panniers — albeit much more secure — to allow a bit more packing space than that of a traditional seat pack. This concept was developed to move weight that would normally be carried in a large cantilevered seat pack down low, also clearing the space between the seat and top of rack for use with a dropper seat post… or for smaller riders who simply can’t fit a large bag between the saddle and the top of a 29+ wheel/tire. In addition, the rear rack provides an angled upper platform useful for lashing down cylindrical items, such as a tent or sleeping pad, without interfering with the 1120’s 125mm Bontranger dropper seat post.


  • 29+ Tires for added traction and floatation.
  • All-new proprietary rear rack system for two 10L dry bags and top storage.
  • Front rack cradle for secure front dry bag loading.
  • Carbon adventure fork with two sets of triple mounts.
  • Wide range 1x drivetrain with disc brakes and dropper post.
  • Internal derailleur and dropper post cable routing.


  • PF92 Bottom Bracket.
  • 31.6mm seat post.
  • Tapered Headtube, 1 1/8” to 1.5”.
  • 440mm chainstays.
  • 148mm thru-axle rear end and 110x15mm front.
  • 70.3° head angle, 73.5° Seat Tube Angle, 7.5cm BB Drop.

2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

Trek 1120 vs the Stache

While the look and overall design of the new 2018 Trek 1120 shares many of the same characteristics as the Trek Stache, its geometry is quite different. The most obvious similarity is the signature mid-stay chainstay layout — designed to place the driveside stay over the chain to allow a shorter chainstay length. However, even though the 1120 shares this feature, it has a slightly longer chain stay than the Stache (440mm vs 420mm on the Stache). The Trek 1120 also gets a slightly shorter top tube, a 3mm lower BB, and a steeper 70.3° head angle (versus the 68.4° HTA on the Stache). All this is likely Trek’s recipe to mold the 1120 into a more stable ‘dirt-road touring’ platform than their ultra-nimble, trail-shredding Stache.

2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

The 2018 Trek 1120 Frame and Fork

The new Trek 1120 bikepacking-ready frame is welded from Trek’s own Alpha Platinum Aluminum. The rear-end features BOOST 148 spacing and a Stache-like Midstay design. Other frame highlights include a tapered head tube, internal derailleur and dropper post routing, a PF92 bottom bracket, and Trek’s own Stranglehold dropouts.

The suspension corrected fork is called the Trek 1120 Adventure HCM Carbon Fork and has 110mm BOOST spacing as well as triple mount rack and accessory bosses on either side.

The Trek 1120’s build, as expected, has a selection of Bontranger components. However, Trek made some nice choices in the bike’s bombproof drivetrain featuring mostly Shimano SLX components with a wide-range 11-46 11spd cassette matched with a RaceFace 30t chainring. This provides a granny gear with about 19.9 gear inches for loaded travel even with the voluminous 29×3″ Chupacabra tires. Here is the full build list.


  • Front Hub Bontrager sealed bearing, alloy axle, Boost110
  • Rear Hub Bontrager alloy, Boost148
  • Rims SUNringle Duroc 50 SL 28-hole
  • Tires Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 29×3.00″


  • Shifters Shimano SLX M7000, 11 speed
  • Rear derailleur Shimano SLX M7000, Shadow Plus
  • Crank Race Face Aeffect, 30T Direct Mount Narrow Wide
  • Bottom bracket PF92
  • Cassette Shimano SLX M7000, 11-46, 11 speed
  • Chain Shimano HG-601


  • Saddle Bontrager Montrose Comp
  • Seatpost Bontrager Drop Line 125, internal routing, 31.6mm (15.5: Drop Line 100)
  • Handlebar Bontrager Crivitz, 31.8mm
  • Grips Bontrager Race Lite, lock-on
  • Stem Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, 7 degree, w/computer & light mounts
  • Headset Integrated, cartridge bearing, sealed, 1-1/8” top, 1.5” bottom
  • Brakes SRAM Level T hydraulic disc

The 19.5″ 2018 Trek 1120 weighs 14.07 kg (31.01 lbs) and is available for order from dealers for US $2499. Stay tuned as we are slated to get our hands on the new 2018 Trek 1120 and report back with a more detailed review.

2018 Trek 1120, bikepacking Stache

  • Nailed it! A thoroughly modern and integrated concept. I can’t believe something this forward-thinking is actually coming to market. The rear rack concept is dynamite. Despite being proprietary, it is brilliant. Hoping to see more of this from the big companies.

  • Nathan Fenchak

    There are all sorts of weird little things to criticize about this bike, but those weird little things don’t really matter 99.99% of the time.

    The price does seem a bit high though for a rigid aluminum bike. The new ECR and a Surly 8-pack rack would be cheaper by approximately one one-way plane ticket to somewhere in the USA, and one checked bike fee.

  • Rob

    I currently own a Stache 7 that I use for Bikepacking currently and it does a great job in that role, but I feel that the Trek 1120 would be better, more mounts and the ability to free up the bars along withintegrated racks, which I would prefer over my seat-bag. I don’t see the harness for the rear rack included in any of the picks, can you confirm it comes with the bag attachment harness!


  • Trek hasn’t released all of the details, but we’ll know more soon.

  • The rack concepts are very interesting indeed. I will be curious to see them in person and test the system…

  • Oilcan Racer

    The dropper post is confusing. No front suspension fork, so not gonna see super rocky decents, steep drops or jumps. Why would you want to lower the seat then?

    Also a carbon frame and p1.18 pinion gearbox version would be better. Bring the weight and durability to complete with rival new bikes.

  • TheStansMonster

    A lot of bikepackers are adding them because it makes it easy to swing your leg over to mount/dismount without leaning the bike over, which can be disastrous with a fully loaded touring setup.

  • Ryanisinallofus

    One of the big companies actually nailed gearing?

  • Chris Evans

    Any idea if a Rohloff hub and Gates belt drive will work on this frame?

  • Scott Felter

    I think the handlebar system is the most interesting, and exciting, thing here. As most here have encountered, fitting an off-the-shelf handlebar carry system on your MTB can be a frustrating affair, due to cables/hoses/whatever. This solves that problem by moving that load away from all those problem areas. Like you said, Trek-proprietary, but altogether quite smart.

  • Grant Cleveland

    A belt drive should work since it works on the Stache due to the high drivetrain side chainstay

  • Matt M.

    Trek should pay their parking tickets and get that boot taken off.

  • Oilcan Racer


  • Michael Wisth

    I’m interested in seeing the proprietary bags for this system.

  • Hanoch

    Have u ever tried putting your leg over the bike, after 10 days of 21 hours in the saddle..?

    A dropper post is a nice touch…

    Especially if you’re planning on the HLC race in Israel 🇮🇱

  • True, you could do something similar with a standard rear rack. The front system is more unique, but sadly won’t work with any other bike or even a suspension fork. In total, both front and rear rack systems may be a success.

  • Dan

    Looks to me like it might be possible to use the front rack with an inverted suspension fork. I wonder if it’s something Trek has considered.

  • Paul Nilsson

    Great read!

    Do you know if the racks will be sold separately and fit to other bikes too or is it trek specific?

  • Thanks. I believe they will only fit this particular bike…

  • Paul Nilsson

    Thanks for the quick answer.
    That sucks, would’ve been awesome to have the rear one on my hardtail.

  • Scott Felter

    Or, a reverse-arch fork (with a proprietary crown), like the Manitou forks that the Stache has traditionally been spec’d with…

  • RZR Sharp Productions

    Yep, great bike and great article! We just picked up ours last Wednesday. I just uploaded a little intro run down on my YouTube channel, RZR Sharp Productions is the channel.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the video, but you missed out on showing us the stuff that makes this bike unique! You talked about all the stuff that’s common to bikes these days, dropper post, 1×11 drivetrain (BTW, it’s an 11-46 cassette, not 11-42), wide tires, etc. What I’d really like to see is the new stuff. How the racks mount and work, how the rear harness on the rack works, how stable they are, weight, etc…. Also no mention of geometry changes from the Stache, ie longer stays and top tube, steeper HTA…

  • RZR Sharp Productions

    Hi. Thanks. Great requests and we’re working on getting the bags to match the bike, then we will create another video with that set up and provide the info you requested! Thanks and Please Subscribe for those updates!

  • Carl Gauger

    Some of us also like riding super rocky descents, steep drops and jumps on rigid bikes! Wouldn’t be the first rigid bike I’ve had one on…

  • Stefano Ruggeri

    two main “problems” for me: 1st aluminium, should be steel. 2nd i d prefere drop bar.

  • Todd Brockway

    I just bought this bike. I love it. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I converted all by back packing gear over and have fit it on. The only items I bought were 5 Sea to Summit dry bags and two Blackburn Out post cages for the fork. I have 3 8L and 2 2L dry bags. All my gear fits with room to spare. I’m doing a 3-5 day bikepacking trip in October to test it out,it will be a mix of terrain from road to fire road to single track can’t wait.

  • bwhittenberg

    I was looking at the 1120 for the same type of trips as you describe. Please let me know it does. I really like this one but none of the dealers around me have one in stock to look at. Also, post some pics of your setup! Thanks!

  • Brian Fowler

    The more I read about this bike the more impressed I am. By the same token, I’m surprised Surly or Salsa, considering how focused they are in this genre of bike, hasn’t developed a rack system of this type and got to the market sooner.

    I’ve got a feeling they just got the inspiration they needed. Just surprised they couldn’t find it within themselves or feedback from their customers.

    Honestly, I’d rather buy this type of offering from a smaller offerer, though I’ve heard surly and salsa are apart of larger subsidiaries.

    Nevertheless, exciting! Go Trek!

  • bwhittenberg

    Yes, the harness is included for the rear rack

  • Kyle Trebotich

    How did your trip go? Considering buying this bike this weekend.

  • Todd

    Hey Kyle! My trip went great. The bike performed outstandingly. I couldn’t be happier. It was mostly fire roads I traveled and it was really exploretory. I’m trying to get a feel for what to pack for when and different weather conditions very new at this, but I figure I have to start somewhere. I bought the bike site unseen just based on the few reviews I read, what I wanted and didn’t want, videos and generally researching bikepacking in general. I’m a trek bike fan and they have never steered me wrong. I very pleased so far and nothing I want to change with the bike so far. Just what I pack and how I pack it.

  • mebaru

    If only Trek have offered this as a frame with racks…

  • Kyle Trebotich

    NIce man! I ended up buying it friday! Ripped it around my local singletrack on saturday. had an awesome time. Cheers!

  • Kyle Trebotich

    bought this friday. includes the bag holsters.

  • Jim Perkins

    Hey Todd thanks for the write up. I’m curious what size bike you got/ride and how tall are you as well as your weight? I’ve been looking at the 1120 and Surly ECR. My local trek dealer has a 19.5″ 1120 which would fit me but they won’t let me ride it off the pavement:( My local Surly dealer let me take a brand new ECR on a 18 mile single track ride which it performed really well. I’m 6’1″ at 175#’s so the large works for me. Also what do think about the aluminum vs steel?


  • Maurice Lefferts

    Rohloff has a 148mm Boost 12mm thru axle hub. I believe you can outfit this bike with a Rohloff hub.

  • erich

    Wow, very interested. Is that a suspension corrected fork? … in other words, can I add a suspension fork if needed? Also, can that frame take a front derailleur and big ring? I can tell you right now I’ll be spinning that top gear out in no time with no big ring. I like to use a 48t big ring, but 44t will work for me.

  • Maurice Lefferts

    Hi Logan, did you have a chance to review this bike yet? Curious to hear what you think about this bike. Anyone else perhaps?

  • Zublah

    Seems perfect for a igh and belt drive. I wonder if a belt tensioner could be put on the elevated stay to put downward pressure on the belt?

  • el duke

    Surly and Salsa are cool companies and keep it pretty real but are owned by Quality Bicycle Parts, the second largest bike stuff distributor in the US. I really like Trek actually over other big American companies and I didn’t plan to. Trek employs lots of people and it’s not like all the small companies don’t just outsource to Taiwan anyways. I’m buying the 1120 for it’s convenience and light weight.

  • el duke

    I’m guessing larger rings will hit the frame and the frame doesn’t appear to have a fr derail. mount. They designed this to be very tightly fit together: plus tires, shortish chain stays, single ring up to 32t, maybe 34t. Again i’m speculating a little.

  • el duke

    I kinda agree but consider the 70 degree head tube angle. The dropper starts to make sense..a little…

  • Cem Dilekci

    Why isn’t anybody talking about the lack of suspension? Isn’t it necessary for mountain biking?

  • James Shotter

    why would the front fork not work with any other bike? say custom frame?

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