I first took notice of the Trek Sawyer back when I was working at a Trek dealer in San Diego. I was looking for a rigid steel bike to mess around on and maybe eventually try out the single speed thing. The 3 bikes I was seriously considering were the Surly Karate Monkey, Soma Juice, and the Trek Sawyer. In the end, I fell in love with the swoopy lines of the Sawyer and the price made it the best buy out of the three.
When I bought the bike I essentially stripped everything off and built it up as a single speed. At first it felt a bit strange – my first single speed, my first rigid mountain bike, the alt-type Bontrager Crivitz bars, and a relatively long reach (due partially to the bars). Riding around on the street, I quickly became familiar with the geometry and was antsy to get it out on the dirt. Finally, after a few agonizingly long weeks I took it over to one of my favorite trails (Sweetwater) to see how it felt off road. I was instantly impressed with how it rode on fireroads and it even surprised me on singletrack! The handling is great due to the G2 geometry and the ride is actually not bad considering there’s no suspension. I rode this bike side-to-side with Sean’s rigid aluminum Trek Superfly and it was pretty incredible how much the steel frame of the Sawyer absorbed chatter and bumps in the trail.
I was never really expecting the Sawyer to be a “go-to” mountain bike for me, but in the 9 months since I purchased it, I’ve literally only ridden my full suspension Rumblefish twice. Yes, this bike is that much fun. It just makes ordinary/boring trails fun again. And the best part about it? It’s so simple. No suspension to adjust, no stanchions to clean, no BS. And it’s cheap. Go get one, tear around on it, and see for yourself why less is more.
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