BIKE OF THE YEAR 2019
For 2019 we have over 150 bikes in our range, covering road & mountain bikes, adventure, hybrid, kid's & more. We've got high end models ready to race, great value starters that can help the beginner get out riding, and plenty in between. With all the choice, it's been a big decision picking one bike above all others. After much deliberation, many questions, more pondering, quite a few miles and more than a few heavy legs we've picked a winner: the quite fantastic Trek Roscoe 8.
The Roscoe platform ticks a lot of boxes for the cyclist, but it's all founded on superb handling & great value for money. Read our full review below to see why the Roscoe 8 is our Bike of the Year, or Shop Now.
"In a word: brilliant. So much fun to ride, it just feels right. It's a whole load of enjoyment for a great price." - Sam P, Alpine Bikes Buyer
At £1,100, you won't find any carbon on the Roscoe, but what you do get is a beautifully sculpted aluminium frame featuring Trek's Alpha Gold material. Using various techniques to shape the metal creates a frame that's strong and light, and bang-up-to-date with all the features of a high end mountain bike: internal cable routing, tapered head tube, dropper post routing and Boost hub spacing. There's even rack mounts which makes carrying luggage particularly easy if you fancy a weekend bikepacking. What really steals the show though is Trek's current generation G2 geomtery. The relaxed angles combined with the large offset fork and big tyres make a superbly confidence-inspiring ride, allowing you to tackle technical terrain with real purpose. Altogether it's a lovely looking frame with everything you need for trail-centre hooning or big days exploring.
The defining feature of the Roscoe platform is the bulbous tyres. 27.5 x 2.80 tyres are a good chunk larger in volume than standard MTB tyres, providing several benefits: a larger contact patch with the ground increases traction, as does the ability to run lower pressures. The downside to this is more rubber in the tyre and thus more weight, and the increased traction can feel a little more sluggish when trying to accelerate quickly. However, the upside when riding is a super secure feeling on rough ground, to the extent you can choose some interesting lines on the trail and come out the other side unscathed. Combined with the modern geometry and supple Rockshox suspension fork, the bike tracks incredibly well over roots & rocks, yet putting a bit more air in the tyres and locking out the fork make road work quite easy. It's not cross bike quick, but the Roscoe can cover miles quite impressively.
The Roscoe is draped in a 1x12 SRAM NX groupset, which is modelled on the range topping SRAM XX1 Eagle. Providing virtually the same spread of gears as bikes at 6 times the price in a tough package is quite brilliant. Shifting is smooth and tactile, and we had no problem with mis-shifts. The clutch in the rear derailleur does a great job of keeping the chain from flapping around. SRAM are really leading the way in one-by drivetrains just now, and the NX groupset is tough, smooth and ideal for beginners and experts alike. With such a wide gear range, you're not likely to run out of gears at the top or bottom. Really, other than weight, there's no reason to have anything more.
"What I love about the Roscoe is it's versatility. It's a riot on the trails but surprisingly fun loaded up for a bikepacking adventure too. The handling just feels spot on." - Heather W, Head of Alpine Bikes
Completing the Roscoe are capable Shimano brakes, some well finished Bontrager components and an own brand dropper seatpost. At this price, the spec is spot on. For faster, harder riding the brakes could be more powerful, but it's also an easy fix down the line. As they are, the Shimano's are decently powerful and easy to change pads etc. Likewise, wider bars might be a worthy upgrade for experienced riders, or those who forgo distance for outright fun. The dropper is sound: internal routing and a solid lever makes it easy to use and it has been reliable. It's also easy to service, requiring minimal tools and an average level of mechanical competency. Considering a dropper post on it's own could cost a quarter of the price of the Roscoe, it's an excellent performer.
What to say other than there is a good reason the Roscoe 8 won our Bike of the Year award. From the first pedal stroke it's immediately apparent how much fun the bike is to ride. Agile and sure-footed, it certainly allows you to ride aggressively. The Maxxis Recon tyres don't have the biggest tread but in everything but soaking wet mud they roll well and hook up nicely in turns. It's those same tyres and their volume that really make the bike come alive. The extra volume allows you to almost float over trail debris: small rocks and stones can barely be felt which gives you more time to think about the bigger features coming up. Yet adding a bit of air allows the Roscoe to really move and it devours fireroads with ease.
The build kit worked faultlessly and other than personal preference there's little you would want or need to change on this bike, no matter how hard you ride it. Weight is a factor, and at 14kg, the Roscoe is no lightweight. However, it rides well despite the weight and as a longer term investment, there are changes that could be made to lighten it up. As it stands, the Roscoe's emphasis is on durability and practicality - you can ride it every day with minimal maintenance and maximum performance.
For all that fun on challenging terrain, the Roscoe surprised us with its versatility. Loaded with bikepacking kit it handled very well, again down to the oversized tyres smoothing out the trail. Everyone who rode the Roscoe came back surprised at how well behaved it was, and more than a few of our testers came to love the big tyres.
The biggest take-away from riding the Roscoe is the fun factor. Despite riding lighter bikes, or full suspension enduro bikes, all our testers loved the simple fun of the Roscoe. It handles so intuitively that hopping off jumps and throwing it into berms is instantly second nature. Arriving breathless at the bottom of the trail, the smiles said it all.
"It's easy to be seduced by big full suspension bikes, but everyone who rode the Roscoe came back with a smile. The plus tyres are comically grippy and allow you to ride some interesting lines you probably couldn't otherwise." - Keith T, Alpine Bikes Manager
The Bottom Line
We've ridden plenty of fantastic full suspension bikes, lightning fast road bikes and everything in between, but for the best balance of fun, performance and value, the Roscoe takes the crown. A superb mountain bike at an accessible price point, and backed up by a lifetime guarantee. Give it a go, you're going to love it.
"I loved riding the Roscoe. It likes nothing better than charging down a trail, and yet it's no slouch on long fireroad climbs either. When you think about the value and versatility, it's just a phenomenal bike for the money. Even for serial mountain bikers, the Roscoe is a superb addition to your armoury." - Colin S, Alpine Bikes Edinburgh
If you like the sound of the Roscoe 8, have a look at these great options too:
|Finance*||From £50.63 pcm||From £65.22 pcm||From £123.75 pcm|
|Best For||Budget||Off Road Cruising||Trail Ripping|
*Finance based on 0% rate over 12 months. Full T&Cs apply. Finance available up to 36 months on selected models. Click for more info.
Getting your enduro on this weekend? Maybe your planning an epic bikepacking trip or a long training ride on the road. Possibly a spin round the park with the kid's or a sprint to work in the morning. Whatever riding you do, follow us on Instagram for all your riding inspiration.Alpine Instagram Home
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Alpine Bikes are proud to work alongside Trek Bicycles & Bontrager to bring you the biggest range of bikes, apparel and equipment in Scotland. Whether you want to test yourself on the road, feel the thrill of speed through the forest, or pack your bags for a big tour, we've got you covered. Pop into your local Alpine Bikes store to see the full range.See More Trek