A good cross-country mountain bike should come with a quick-to-handle geometry, adequate bump-soaking suspension, and weight-conscious components. With that in mind, only two Trek bikes come to mind: Trek X Caliber 8 Vs Trek X Caliber 9.
While Trek X Caliber 8 is cheaper and has a more comfortable stand-over height, Trek X Caliber 9 has a more high-end Shimano drivetrain, lighter RockShox suspension, more accommodating geometry, and lighter build.
When speaking of a more accommodating geometry, I’m talking about a longer wheelbase, frame reach, top tube, and stack height.
That, however, doesn’t mean that these two bikes are very different. After all, Trek X Caliber 9 is the upgrade of Trek X Caliber 8, which means they share numerous features.
We’ll look at their similarities and the differences in detail to help you have a perfect idea of what between the two you should get.
But before we do, below is a table comparison of their 2022 models!
Trek X Caliber 8 Vs Trek X Caliber 9 – Comparison Table
|Trek X Caliber 8 (2022 Model)
|Trek X Caliber 9 (2022 Model)
|Slightly low-end 1×12 Shimano Deore drivetrain
|More high-end 1×12 Shimano SLX drivetrain
|Slightly heavier 80-100mm RockShox Judy suspension fork
|Lighter 100mm RockShox Reckon suspension fork
|28.77 pounds (13.05Kg)
|27.60 pounds (12.52Kg)
|Slightly smaller wheelbase
|Good stack height
|Greater stack height
|Effective Top Tube Length
|Slightly shorter top tube
|Longer top tube
|Comfortable stand-over height
|A slightly taller stand-over height
About Trek X Caliber 8 – Trek X Caliber 8 Review
Trek X Caliber 8, an upgrade of Trek X Caliber 7, is a decent cross country (XC) mountain bike designed for fast laps, cycling marathons, and group tours.
This XC bike is for cross-country racers who want a funnier but speedier single-track off-road bike. It’s also for new adventurous bikers who want a racer bike that promises performance and value.
Its 1X2 Shimano Deere Drivetrain may be occupying a much low rank on the Shimano MTB hierarchy but promises quick-shifting and wide gearing.
Its 80-100mm RockShox Judy Suspension Fork, on the other hand, assures you of adequate bump absorption while its hydraulic disc brakes are ever-reliable in all weather.
What’s more, it comes with more robust tubeless-ready wheels with puncture-resistant tires for an unparalleled off-road adventure.
The bike generally weighs 28.77 pounds (13.05Kg), and you can get it from Trek at $1,529.99 (price is subject to change).
About Trek X Caliber 9 – Trek X Caliber 9 Review
Trek X Caliber 9 is currently the top-end XC bike on the X-Caliber chain. So, expect it to come with more high-end components than the previous generation.
One improvement is the drivetrain. While Trek sticks with a 1×12 Shimano drivetrain, they go higher up the rank and settle for Shimano SLX. Shimano SLX is lighter and more high-end.
The other improvement is the weight. This XC bike generally weighs 27.60 pounds (12.52Kg), making it lighter than Trek X Caliber 8. You, however, have to pay more for it as it retails at $1,929.99 on Trek (price is subject to change).
You’ll also notice a difference in the RockShox suspension. Here, Trek settles for the RockShox Reckon fork with a 100mm travel range to promise optimal bump softening.
However, the other specs, other than the geometry, which is more accommodating, are intact. So, expect it to come with hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless-ready wheels, puncture-resistant tires, to name a few impressive specs that run in the Trek X caliber family.
Trek X Caliber 8 Vs Trek X Caliber 9 – Differences
While these two bikes have so much resemblance, as you’ll later see, they differ in their drivetrains, suspension forks, weights, and geometry, and the differences also affect their prices.
Let’s dissect everything next.
1. Trek X-Caliber 8 Vs X-Caliber 9 Drivetrain
Yes, both bikes employ a Shimano 1×12 drivetrain, making it easy to assume that they have the same drivetrain. But wait a minute!
Trek X Caliber 9 has a Shimano SLX drivetrain, ranking higher on the Shimano MTB groupset hierarchy. Not only is SLX drivetrain lighter and sleeker, but it’s also a better performer. Simply put, SLX is more high-end than Deore.
The difference is that X-Caliber 8’s Deore drivetrain is cheaper than X-Caliber 9’s SLX.
2. Trek X Caliber 8 Vs 9 Suspension Fork
When it comes to the XC bikes’ suspensions, they both employ RockShox forks. The difference is that Trek X Caliber 8 employs RockShox Judy suspension while Trek X Caliber 9 employs RockShox Reckon suspension.
RockShox Reckon is smaller in size, thus lighter, and enjoys a more powerful motion-control damper than Judy’s turnkey damper.
The other difference is the range, where you have 100mm travel across all Trek X Caliber 9 bikes and 80mm travel on Trek X Caliber 8 small frame and 100mm on the other sizes.
3. Trek X Caliber 8 Weight Vs X Caliber 9 Weight
Though Trek X Caliber 9 enjoys a more expansive and accommodating geometry (discussed below), it weighs more than its counterparts.
According to Trek, X-Caliber 9 weighs 27.60 pounds while X-caliber 8 averages 28.77 pounds. That makes Trek X Caliber 9 at least 1 pound lighter.
4. Bike Price
While Trek X Caliber 8 retails are $1,529.99, Trek X Caliber 9 goes for $1,929.99. That makes Trek X Caliber 9 costlier by $400, and it says a lot about the quality of the two XC bikes.
Overall, you pay more for the Trek X Caliber 9 because of its more high-end specs.
5. Bike Geometry
If you observe these two cross-country racers closely, they differ significantly in their geometry. Overall, Trek X Caliber 9 enjoys a more expansive and accommodating geometry, making it more comfortable for long rides.
Let’s dig deeper into the various aspects of geometry:
The wheelbase highly determines a bike’s stability. Usually, the longer the wheelbase, the more stable the bike is, and that’s where Trek X Caliber 9 has the upper hand.
Trek X Caliber 9 has a slightly longer wheelbase than Trek X Caliber 8, making it more stable on slippery roads and over bumps.
b) Frame Reach
Trek X Caliber 9 enjoys a more extended frame reach, which offers more maneuverable room. That is what I mean by the bike being more accommodating.
The other advantage of a longer reach is that it allows you to run a shorter bike stem, which offers you a more responsive feel and better handling than s longer stem.
c) Frame Stack
Trek X Caliber 9 enjoys a greater stack height, allowing you to sit more upright whenever you want to ride at a slow speed. As a result, X-Caliber 9 is more comfortable on long rides.
d) Effective Top Tube Length
This is where Trek X Caliber 8 has a slight advantage over X-caliber 9. Trek X Caliber 8 has a slightly shorter top tube that allows you to handle the bike at high speed better.
e) Stand-Over Height
This is also another area where Trek X Caliber 8 has an advantage, depending on how you look at it. Generally, Trek X Caliber 8 has a good stand-over height, which means you don’t struggle to step off the pedals and put your legs on the ground.
Trek X Caliber 9, in contrast, has a slightly taller stand-over height, which means some shorter guys may struggle standing over the bike, especially if they get the frame size wrong.
Here are the things that these two XC bikes share:
- Frame – Both bikes come with alpha gold aluminum, making them lighter, more maneuverable, speedier, and comfortable.
- Other Aspects of the Geometry – Both frames have a more tapered headtube and chainstay for confident handling.
- Drivetrain and Gearing – Both options come with a 1X12 Shimano drivetrain, which offers you wide gearing (12 gears).
- Wheel Size – Both options are available in 27.5-inch and 29-inch wheels.
- Tires and Rims – Both of the tires have a puncture-resistance encasing, and their rims are tubeless-ready and enjoy a Presta valve setup.
- Seat and Seat Post feature a Bontrager Arvada steel rail saddle with a suspension seat post.
- Handlebars and Bike Stem – Both have a 31.8mm Bontrager flat bar with 5-15mm rise and a Blendr stem, which you can clip cycling gears on.
- Brakes – Both have hydraulic disc brakes, reliable in all conditions.
- Pedals – Both employ nylon platform pedals, which are lighter and user-friendly.
- Frame Size – These two bikes come with the same frame size, ranging from extra-small to extra-extra-large. So, you’ve to pick a frame size that matches both your height and inside leg (or inseam). Below is a size chart that Trek recommends for the X-Caliber bike family.
|Rider’s Height (cm)
|Extra Small (XS)
|Extra Large (XL)
People Also Ask
1. Is Trek X Caliber 8 A Good Bike?
Trek X Caliber 8 is the second most high-end cross-country bike in the Trek X-Caliber family (second to Trek X Caliber 9). So, it’s is generally lighter and has better specs than the generations before it, making it good for fast laps, cycling marathons, and long group tours.
2. Is Trek X Caliber 9 A Good Bike?
Trek X Caliber 9 is the most high-end cross country bike in the Trek X-caliber family. That means it has more high-end specs and a lighter build, making it good for serious racers, especially at a competitive level.
3. What Is the Difference Between Trek X-Caliber 8 And 9?
The primary differences between Trek X Caliber 8 and 9 are that the latter is lighter and enjoys a more high-end drivetrain, a better suspension fork, and a more relaxed geometry than the former.
4. Is Trek X Caliber 8 Tubeless?
Trek mentions that Trek X Caliber 8 is tubeless-ready. That, however, doesn’t mean that the wheels are tubeless. It means that you can swap the existing tires with tubeless options.
Trek X Caliber 8 Vs Trek X Caliber 9 Closing Remarks:
Now you know the things that set Trek X Caliber 9 and 8 apart. Overall, X Caliber 9 is more high-quality and lighter but costlier. It, however, doesn’t make Trek X Caliber 8 inferior. After all, it’s the cheaper alternative to Trek X Caliber 9 and the second most high-end in the X-Caliber family.