Trek's Roscoe 6 Is the Entry-Level MTB We Want and Need: $1,200 of MTB Magic

Roscoe 6 8 photos
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
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Let's face it: it's difficult to know just where in the whole MTB game each new rider fits in. In the spirit of helping you find some solid footing, I've decided to bring to light Trek's entry-level Roscoe 6. Just so we're on the same page, entry-level means something else entirely for crews like Trek, so pay attention.
Most people would never consider dropping $1,200 (€1,100 at current exchange rates) on an MTB, but Trek's freshest Roscoe 6 is just the sort of machine to give the new rider a solid taste of what this sport and lifestyle has to offer. Let's dive deeper and see just why you should pay the price for this bike.

First of all, the minds and hands behind the magic is Trek, the one and the same that's been around since 1976 and can now be seen carrying countless riders across finish lines. In short, you're in good hands.

As for the Roscoe 6, this beast is crafted using aluminum tubes and built around a maximum 29-inch tire with a 2.6-inch cross-section. This does, of course, depend on the fork and frame size; the XS is built on 27.5-inch tires.

Roscoe 6
Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
What I can remark about the frame design is the way the top tube and seat stay create a beautiful and fluid line with massive clearance. The down tube curves and runs into the chain stay, while frame armor in all the right places ensures that this bike sticks around through your learning curve, rocks, roots, shoots, and all.

Now, the Roscoe is a hardtail by definition, but some squishy bits do exist. For example, the front end is rocking an SR Suntour XCR 34 fork with 140 mm (5.5 in) of travel and hydraulic lockout. That sort of travel is more than what you might need at first, but the lockout feature will prove indispensable if you also plan on rocking the Roscoe around town.

While the following feature isn't a suspension, the fact that this Roscoe 6 includes a TranzX JD-YSP18 dropper post with internal cable routing is a feature that new riders are sure to get a kick out of, on and off the trails. Go ahead; brag to your friends and grow the Trek bandwagon.

Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Up next, let's take a look at the sort of drivetrain this bugger is equipped with. For this sort of price tag, don't expect anything to wow, but a Shimano Linkglide LG300 with an 11-46T provides nine speeds to work with, and once coupled with a 28T FSA Alpha Drive crank, I'm seeing a decent range to work with as a beginner. If you manage to keep the frame in a healthy state, you might even want to switch out this drivetrain for something 'cooler' in a few months or so.

The rest of the Roscoe 6 is decked out with Bontrager components, and if you don't know much about this crew, they're one of the brands operating under the Trek Bicycle Corporation umbrella and responsible for everything from the stem to the handlebar and saddle, grips, and wheels and tires.

Brakes, on the other hand, are covered by good old Tektro with 180 mm (7.1 in) or 203 mm (8 in) centerlock brake rotors, depending on what your components allow for. Oh, and all that wiring is routed internally, just like the dropper post line.

As for this bugger's geometry, Trek says they aimed for a bike that's "confidence inspiring, yet still nimble and fun." What does this mean? It means a rather slack head tube angle of 65 degrees, with the seat sitting at 73.1 degrees and a reach of at least 39 cm (15.3 in), depending on the frame size.

Photo: Trek Bicycle Corporation
Now, there are certain reasons why you should start off with something like this rather than a beefy and adrenaline-filled full-suspension bicycle, and one clear motive is the lack of all the extra and often pricey components. Since there's very little to mess up or destroy, go nuts. If you do, just replace the gear, as it's not the most expensive around. Heck, why not go for some upgrades while you're at it?

If you still need a comparison, think of the Roscoe 6 as one of those cars that was born before the electronic age began; with tender love and care, it'll still start up after decades and turn heads as you drive around town.

However, there is something I would have liked to see on the Roscoe 6. As an MTB that is destined for the newer riders and ones that aren't always whipping their beast around the local woods and doing backflips like the boys in the video below, maybe a cargo mount or two would have been nice.

Go ahead and crucify me for asking to add cargo mounts to this beauty, but the truth is that even veteran riders use a cargo rack here and there. Luckily for us, plenty of aftermarket gear is available to transform the Roscoe 6 into more than just your first MTB; make it your go-to mountain goat. Just a little something-something to think about, considering Christmas is a month away.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of Roscoe frames.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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