Trek Crockett 7 review

Premium aluminium frame is a real rival to carbon counterparts

BikeRadar score4/5

Trek’s two-tiered cyclocross lineup consists of the carbon Boone and aluminium Crockett. The slimmed-down range consists of two bikes of each model.

Lustrous grey paintwork and fairly smooth welds give the Crockett 7’s main tubes a hint of carbon fibre construction, but this frame is all cleverly manipulated metal.

Only the seat tube and seatstays have round tubes, the stays are kinked outwards to maximise tyre clearance. Hydroforming is responsible for the extensive shaping of the others, the top tube is subtly curved and flattened precisely where your shoulder will support it.

The chainstays are intricately formed, slimming by differing amounts immediately behind their bottom bracket attachment to ensure huge tyre clearance. The driveside stay has the forged dropout spliced to it. The other side’s forging includes the extended dropout and adjustable flat-mount disc calliper mount.

Trek’s Stanglehold dropouts allow you to fine-tune your geometry
Trek’s Stanglehold dropouts allow you to fine-tune your geometry

The 12mm thru-axle dropouts are Trek’s Stranglehold design, a recessed slot with adjustable axle guide, which allows adjustment of the wheelbase.

Up front, you get an IsoSpeed carbon fork, a well-proven design with curved blades and axle position that’s behind the fork’s sweep, increasing its flex and stability.

SRAM’s Force 1 drivetrain dominates cyclocross, but here it’s diluted with a Praxis Alba crank and 40-tooth Wave Technology direct-mount chainring, and Trek adds its 3S chain keeper.

Whether starting at a trot or a sprint, the Crockett has superb directness, from the stiff Bontrager alloy cockpit to the rear wheel’s response to every crank input. This is a race bike, but its ’cross geometry of 72-degree head and 73.6-degree seat angles make it a fairly placid go-anywhere bike too.

The Paradigm wheels were impressively keen to accelerate
The Paradigm wheels were impressively keen to accelerate

The alloy Paradigm wheelset impresses with its willing, accelerative nature, thanks to its 23mm height and 26mm external width lowering mass and raising performance.

Bontrager’s CX3 tyres are 32mm wide, which the rims increase to 33mm. The key to their performance is the relationship between the two, the wider rim almost aligning with the tyre side wall for support. This equates to fantastic feel and reactions, perfect for technical riding.

The IsoSpeed fork allows the Crockett to ride the rough stuff with composure, helped by the IsoZone bar’s additional cushioning. With its 27.2mm alloy seatpost, rear-end comfort doesn’t match the front, despite the best efforts of the Montrose saddle. An easy carbon seatpost upgrade would help.

The Crockett’s light frame and great build make it fast, direct and very competitive
The Crockett’s light frame and great build make it fast, direct and very competitive

The drivetrain shifted faultlessly, and the chain remained firmly in place, with good cyclocross ratios that bottom out with a 40x32. Traction is excellent in all but deep mud from the CX3 tyres, and they’re not too draggy on tarmac.

Heaving out of a tight corner up a short, steep climb then back down again, the Crockett has climbing performance to spare, and descends with total confidence, lap after lap.

Its weight of 8.6kg is impressive, considering the only carbon parts are the fork and levers. On paper it’s not the best value when carbon bikes can be found for less, but this is a highly tuned, durable aluminium bike with great wheels and drivetrain.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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