The Crosstrail Reminds Me Why I Bought The Trek

Since I bought my Trek 2.1 last September, there has been an uneasy truce between me and my broken down Specialized Crosstrail.  The Crosstrail (aka “Old Ironsides”) has served me well in its reduced role as inclement weather/night-time/family bike.  No more flats, no more broken spokes, and no maintenance issues to speak of.  A rational person would say this is due to the decrease in load and the Crosstrail can handle the work it is now assigned.  I think that may have something to do with it, but I believe another factor was at play: Old Ironsides learned its lesson and realized its continued existence hinged on its good behavior.

Today, Old Ironsides lapsed into its bad habits.  I suppose it cannot help itself.  It cannot deny its fundamental nature – to break down.  I didn’t even ride it today.  All I did was clean it. 

After taking the wheels off and thoroughly cleaning every part and lubing the chain, I put the wheels back on and noticed the back wheel was no longer true.  I checked the seating five times and the wheel is most definitely where it should be.  Apparently, I brushed a spoke just a tick too hard or perhaps I simply looked at it the wrong way.  Hard to say.

I was going to take the Crosstrail to my LBS for its final free tune up (we’re coming up on the 1 Year Annivesary of its purchase).  That was going to be a formality – a way to close the book on that rough restart to my cycling hobby.  Now, there will be an actual purpose.  Once again, I will turn to the LBS mechanic and say, “Fix my bike.”

I love my Trek.

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5 thoughts on “The Crosstrail Reminds Me Why I Bought The Trek

  1. I have so far had 6 broken spokes on the rear wheel of my Crosstrail in about 8 months of use. After the fifth broken spoke I had the wheel rebuilt with all new spokes, but broke another just a few weeks later. The bike is still under warranty, but I get the feeling that the dealer will just keep replacing spokes until the warranty runs out instead of replacing the wheel with a stronger model. I am seriously considering getting rid of the Crosstrail 😦

    • That sounds all too familiar to me, Mikkel. Eventually, Specialized agreed to upgrade my wheels at no cost and that seemed to solve my spoke problem. I still got tire punctures, but at least the spokes stopped breaking.

  2. 4th broken spoke on my Crosstrail in a year (1500 km). Never had a broken spoke on my Avanti Blade.
    Steve, what was involved with the upgrade? thanks

    • After numerous broken spokes (about seven, I believe) my bike dealer threw up his hands and spoke with Specialized about remedying my problem. They sent out a new wheel free of charge. The wheel was a sturdier version from the stock wheel and had double rims. Things improved after that point, but I still have had a couple of broken spokes on the Crosstrail.

      I have not had nearly the same level of spoke problems with my two Trek road bikes (2.1 and Madone 3.1). To be fair, these are 3-4 times more expensive than the Crosstrail and one would expect the components to be more durable. I have come to the conclusion that the stock wheels on the Crosstrail simply weren’t up to the task of carrying a clydesdale like myself for the 3,000-4,000 km I was hoping to ride each year. It does just fine as a “family bike,” when I keep it on relatively short rides and for only a few hundred km per year.

  3. Well I’ll see what happens when I get the wheel back from the Specialized shop. I want this bike to work and I bought it for its disk brakes for wet weather cycling.
    By pure coincidence today the Department of Transport put up a video on its website promoting a bike path that I often use and I was riding the Crosstrail. I make an appearance at the 10 min 44 sec mark!
    http://www.adelaidecyclists.com/forum/topics/how-much-quicker-is-it-to-commute-by-bike-in-adelaide-watch-this-

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