Ben is a member of our Fulham store team, and one of our most adventurous riders. We caught Ben as he’d just got back from his latest bikepacking trip in Wales, so he’d not even had a chance to clean his bike up yet! He apologised for the mud but we felt like it made the photos feel very authentic! Find out more about Ben’s bike below.
Frame: Trek X-Caliber 9
Forks: Rockshox Judy Silver
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT
Brakes: Shimano Deore 2-Pot
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb dropper post (Upgraded from rigid post)
Wheels: Bontrager Covee
Bars: Bontrager Alloy
Stem: Bontrager Elite 31.8
The bike is a Trek X-Caliber 9 2021. A mixture of Shimano SLX and XT, along with Bontrager finishing kit. I upgraded the shifter to Shimano XT as I can rip through the gears for fast descents and suddenly having to change down to head up steep climbs. And I’ve taken out the standard seatpost for a Rockshox Reverb dropper post with 150mm travel, which gets the saddle completely out the way and makes for fun descents when I don’t have a saddle bag on.
I mainly ordered the bike because I was waiting for a gravel bike, but liked the look of it and thought a mountain bike could be good fun. It certainly has been! And really got me into bikepacking.
It’s my ultimate bikepacking machine with all I need on it. I first did a mini trip up to the Pennine bridleway/Peak District in March, then Brother in the Wild Dorset event in May, Isle of Wight in June, Isle of Purbeck again in July, which was preparation for West Kernow Way also in July, and did some chilled riding in Burgundy (France) in August. Lots of other day rides in between, even some of the trails around Peaslake! Just been to the Brother in the Wild Shropshire event, after which I cycled from Ludlow through the Brecon Beacons to Newport over two days. Hoping to bikepack around bothies in Scotland and head abroad somewhere warm on it eventually this autumn/winter.
And here’s Ben’s bike fully loaded on his recent trip to Wales!
You can find the X-Caliber and more over on our website here.