Trek X Caliber 7 Vs X Caliber 8 Bike (Which Is Better?)


Hi-tech frames, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless-ready wheels, and wide-gear drivetrains! Those are some of the specs that describe the X-Caliber mountain bike family by Trek. But how does Trek X Caliber 7 vs X Caliber 8 compare?

Trek X Caliber 7 comes with a 1×10 Shimano Deore drivetrain with 10 gears, while X Caliber 8 comes with a 1x12SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain with 12 gears. Overall, SRAM SX is lighter, sleeker, and more high-end than Deore, making X-Caliber 8 costlier.

But while the drivetrain, gear number, and price are their crucial differentiator, these two bikes also differ in weight, suspension range, and suitability.     

Ironically, X-Caliber 7, slightly low-end, weighs less than X-Caliber 8, which is more high-end.  In terms of suspension, while both bikes come with a 100mm RockShox Judy SL fork, X-Caliber 7 offers you the option of an 80mm travel on its extra-small bike frame.

And when it comes to suitability, Trek X Caliber 7 is a better entry-level racer, while Trek X Caliber 8 suits serious mid-level cyclists more.

Note that I’m talking about the 2021 versions of these two bikes. If you look at the generations before 2021, they are likely to differ in a few specs.

Below is a breakdown of the differences between the 2021 Trek X Caliber 7 and the 2021 Trek X Caliber 8.

Trek X Caliber 7 Vs Trek X Caliber 8

Trek X Caliber 7 vs X Caliber 8 Table Comparison

 Trek X Caliber 7 (2021 Model)Trek X Caliber 8 (2021 Model)
Drivetrain1×10 Shimano Deore1×12 SRAM SX Eagle
Gears1012
Suspension100mm RockShox Judy SL fork80-100mm RockShox Judy SL fork
Bike Weight29.5 pounds (13.39Kg)30.4 pounds (13.80Kg)
Bike PriceAU$1,599.99AU$1,999.99
Best forEntry-level racing, more so cross country racingMid-level fast laps and long trail rides

About Trek X Caliber 7 – Trek X-Caliber 7 Review

Trek describes Trek X Caliber 7 as ‘the perfect entry-level bike for racing and cross country (XC) riding.’ By looking at its specs, it’s hard to argue with this statement.

For one, this bike comes in a lightweight alpha gold aluminum frame with a tapered head tube that makes it stiffer, thus faster.

Secondly, its 100mm RockShox Judy SL suspension cushions your rides and comes with an adjustable turnkey lockout to allow you to tune it to your weight.

Other selling points are the MTB’s hydraulic disc brakes, quick-handling geometry, and robust wheels.

Its hydraulic disc brakes are reliable all seasons regardless of weather and terrain.

As for the quick-handling geometry, it makes it easy to maneuver the bike on technical terrains. That’s also thanks to its robust wheels.

This bike weighs 29.5 pounds (13.39Kg) and retails at AU$1,599.99. Overall, X-Caliber 7 is a decent choice when you want an XC hardtail that you can grow with.

Trek X Caliber 8 Vs X Caliber 7 2021

About Trek X Caliber 8 – Review Trek X-Caliber 8

The X-Caliber 8 is best for fast laps and long trail rides, according to Trek. But still, you can use this bike for competitive racing, more so when you want an upgrade of its previous model, X-Caliber 7.

Its 1×12 SRAM drivetrain promises more gears, which means more speed, terrain adaptability, and comfort. Though this bike weighs more (30.42 pounds) and costs more (AU$1,999.99) than X-Caliber 7, its superior drivetrain makes it worth it.

Trek retains most of X-Caliber 7’s specs, including an alpha gold aluminum frame, RockShox Judy SL suspension, tubeless-ready wheels, and hydraulic disc brakes.

Perhaps the other difference is that a Trek X Caliber 7 limits you to 100mm suspension while Trek X Caliber 8 comes with 100mm and 80mm travel ranges, depending on the frame size.

Overall, if you are looking for an XC bike that suits more serious cyclists, even if you don’t plan to compete, go for Trek X Caliber 8.

Is Trek X Caliber 8 A Good Bike

Trek X Caliber 7 vs X Caliber 8 – The Differences

Trek X Caliber 7 and 8 differ primarily according to the drivetrain, gears, suspension, weight, and price.

1. Trek X Caliber 7 Vs Trek X Caliber 8 Drivetrain

This is where the two X-caliber XC bikes differ most. Trek X Caliber 7 comes with a 1×10 Shimano Deore drivetrain, while X-Caliber 8 features a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, which is slightly more high-end.

While both options come with a traditional simple, lighter, and easier-to-accelerate 1x drivetrain, they differ in weight, speed, aesthetic, and shifting experience.

Overall, SRAM SX Eagle is lighter, more aesthetic, and offers you a smoother experience than Deore, thanks to its 11-50t 12-speed cassette, 12 gears, and 12-speed chain.

Below is a table showing how the two compares.

 Trek X Caliber 7’s Shimano DeoreTrek X Caliber 8’ SRAM SX Eagle Drivetrain
WeightSlightly heavierLighter than Deore
Gears1012
AestheticLess aestheticSleeker and more aesthetic
Shifting ExperienceSlightly less smoothSmoother shifting
Cassette11-46t 10-Speed Shimano Deore cassette11-50t 12-Speed SRAM SX Eagle cassette
ChainKMC x10 10-Speed chainSRAM SX Eagle 12-Speed Chain

2. Speed and Gearing Experience

Given that Trek X Caliber 8 offers you a 1×12 drivetrain, which translates to 12 speeds, two more than what you get from X-Caliber 7’s Shimano Deore (which is 10).

Overall, X-Caliber 8’s higher gear count makes it a better climber. Additionally, it allows you to ride faster, even though the speed depends on other factors and not just the drivetrain.

It’s also worth noting that a higher gear count is gentle on your body. It makes hill climbing comfortable, and that’s what you get from SRAM SX Eagle.

And when it comes to terrain adaptability, a wide-gear bike is likely to be more adaptable than a narrow-gear bike. Though both bikes are wide-gear, the two-speed difference gives Trek X Caliber 8 an upper hand.

3. X Caliber 7 Vs X Caliber 8 Suspension

While both bikes come with a 100mm RockShox Judy suspension fork, X-Caliber’s extra small frame has an 80mm option. Though this factor doesn’t make much difference, it means you can count on Trek X Caliber 7 for uniform shock absorption across all frame sizes.

Is Trek X-Caliber 7 A Good Bike

4. Bike Weight

Though you expect X Caliber 8 to come in a much lighter build because of its more lightweight drivetrain, that’s not the case. X-Caliber 8 weighs 30.42 pounds.

While X-Caliber 7 averages 29.5 pounds. That makes X Caliber 7 nearly a pound lighter than X Caliber 8.

5. Trek X Caliber 7 Vs 8 Suitability

Trek X Caliber 7 suits entry-level trail racers more due to its easier-to-handle geometry, lighter frame, and a reliable drivetrain.

On the other hand, X Caliber 8’s high-end 12-gear drivetrain makes it best for longer trips and faster laps, especially by mid-level cyclists.

So, if you want something more serious, though not for elite competition, then go for Trek X Caliber 8.

6. Bike Price

I couldn’t get the latest price for the two bikes on Trek’s U.S website, but according to the Australia website, Trek X Caliber 7 retails at AU$1,599.99, while X-Caliber 8 goes for AU$1,999.99.

That means that Caliber 8 is at least AU$400 cheaper.

Note, however, that with Trek X Caliber 8 comes more high-end specs and a better bike for mid-level racers and tour cyclists. So, that makes up for the price difference.

Trek X Caliber 8 Vs X Caliber 7 2021 – The Similarities

While the differences between the two X-Calibers are apparent, so are their similarities. Let’s discuss the latter next.

a) Frame Type and Size

Both XC bikes come with an alpha aluminum gold frame that is superior to alloy aluminum in weight, stiffness, strength, and durability.

Their stiffness and lighter weight make them better racers. On the other hand, their strength enables them to bear up to 300 pounds, while their durability is the reason they have a limited lifetime warranty.

Trek makes both bikes in all frame sizes to suit all adults. Below is a table chart that Trek uses on both X-calibers.

Frame SizeRider’s Inseam (inches)Rider’s Height (cm)
X-Small25.2-28.7”64-73cm
Small28.3-31.1”72-79cm
Medium29.9-31.9”76-81cm
Medium/Large30.3-33.1”77-84cm
Large32.7-34.6”83-88cm
X-Large34.3-36.2”87-92cm
XX-Large36.2-37.4”92-95cm

b) Wheelset

The two bikes’ wheelsets are similar in size, tire type, and rim build. In terms of sizes, both bikes offer you 29-inch and 27.5-inch wheels, with the latter suiting smaller frames.

As for the tires, both feature Bontrager Comp tires with a wire-bread profile for better trail traction. The two tires are 2.2-inch wide, thus slightly narrower than most MTB tires, giving them a rolling advantage. Simply put, their narrowness enables you to ride faster.

And when it comes to the rims, they both come with double-wall 8-hole Bontrager rims, which are tubeless-ready and robust, thanks to their 14g stainless steel spokes.

Trek X Caliber 7 Vs 8

c) Brakes

Both bikes come with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes that self-adjust with usage, unlike mechanical options. Hydraulic disc brakes are usually high-end promising crisp and powerful stopping, regardless of how wet or steep the terrain is.

Their only downside is that they are costly to replace and even maintain.

Other Components

These two bikes also resemble each other when it comes to these components:

  • Bontrager alloy seat post
  • Bontrager Arvada steel-rail seat
  • Blendr stem
  • Bontrager alloy handlebar
  • Nylon platform pedals
  • Kickstand and rack mounts

People Also Ask

1. What Is the Difference Between Trek X-Caliber 7 And 8?

The biggest difference between Trek X Caliber 7 and 8 is their drivetrain. Trek X Caliber 7 comes with a 1X10 Shimano Deore with ten gears, while Trek X Caliber 8 comes with a 1×12 SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain with 12 gears.

2. Is Trek X-Caliber 7 A Good Bike?

Trek X Caliber 7 is a good bike for entry-level racers, especially cross-country racers. It comes with an ultralight frame, fast-rolling wheels, easy-handling geometry, and a 1×10 Shimano drivetrain to enable you to ride faster and confidently.

3. Is Trek X Caliber 8 A Good Bike?

Trek X Caliber 8 gives you a slightly high-end drivetrain and 12 gears to take on more technical terrains. The bike is generally good for serious cyclists. It’s equally lightweight and comes with durable components.

Relevant:

Trek X Caliber 7 vs X Caliber 8 Closing Thought:   

In summary, while a Trek X Caliber 7 is a decent entry-level bike for cross country racers, serious racers, especially long-distance riders, cannot go wrong with Trek X Caliber 8. So, your decision depends on your cycling level just as much as it depends on the specs.

Bike Finest Team

We’re passionate about bikes and love sharing everything we learn about them. Bike Finest is your ultimate resource for learning everything about bikes and cycling or any information when trying to find the right bike for you.

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