As a bit of background before this post begins, I did a summer internship with Trek Bicycles back in college and took full advantage of their employee discounts and got myself a few bikes that were far nicer than I could ever afford on a college budget. I’m much more serious road biker than mountain biker so apologies for my unfamiliarity with mountain bike group sets and suspension forks. Also, the guys and gals who I worked with back then were super cool, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Trek product to anyone in the market.
So anyways, when I worked at Trek I wanted to take advantage of their company trail network so I bought a brand new 2018 X Caliber 7 the first week they were available in the US, had it delivered straight from the warehouse to my desk lol.
What a great bike, I immediately taco’d the front rim going off a jump within the first 5 miles of riding. I chocked it up to manufacturer fault and asked the warranty department to provide a new wheel, the one they had in stock wasn’t an exact match so for the next couple years I had different rims front and back.
I road the hell out of the bike and when I moved to Michigan after graduation I was excited because there were tons of well groomed state park trails available to ride. Well a few months after moving in, my bike gets stolen out of my locked storage locker. Someone got into my locked apartment building and then cut the storage locker’s lock and they stole just my bike and nothing else. That was really shitty for me because I couldn’t afford to buy an equivalent one even with renters insurance so I went without a mountain bike, riding my carbon Domane SL-5 on dirt rail trails to get my fix.
Over one year and one apartment move later I get a call from the police saying they found my bike abandoned in a park a mile from my old apartment. The thing was trashed. Absolutely ruined.
I think the bike was stolen and then sold cheap to someone needing transportation. The thief replaced both rims with rims drilled for schrader valves likely because the cheap pump they bolted to the down tube couldn’t work with presta valves. The bike once again got matching wheels. The thief also replaced the stock hard saddle with a padded fat beach cruiser monstrosity. The derailleurs, sprockets, crank arms, and cassette were all completely broken and unsalvagable. Pretty sure someone with work boots had ridden it to death with the scarring on crank arms. The tires were completely bald from tons of road riding too. There was a magnet for a bike computer zip tied to the fork and a cheap bottle cage too.
I decided to rebuild it because I figured it would likely be cheaper than buying a new one... well that wasn’t true but I didn’t know that yet.
I stripped the bike down and decided to go to a 1X system. I didn’t have the time or knowledge of interchangeably of cassettes and derailleur so off to the bike shop it went. I had them install a Deore XT set which was a takeoff from another customer. One of the wheels was wrecked so I had them replace it too with a cheap stock replacement. At this point I was wishing I still got employee pricing...
The matte paint was trashed so I lightly buffed it to a satin finish to remove some scratches and used nail polish as touch up for the silver and blue. I ordered tires, a new saddle, grips, and a bunch of other stuff online from a bike shop in the UK that had a great thanksgiving deal. Well, that package got lost in customs in Ohare and neither the store or USPS could do anything. I waited a whole year (2020) before giving up. That was a waste of $130. Last week I went on Amazon and ordered parts to replace the lost shipment and got the bike put together today.
Ah it feels so good to ride a mountain bike again. I did find that the fork needs a rebuild, it is super cushy and the lockout isn’t working. It was giving serious collapsed land rover suspension vibes. Ive already ordered the rebuild kit for its budget tier Rockshox Silver 30 fork, it doesn’t look too hard based on the posted instructions online. What’s another week worth of waiting anyways after two years? All in it probably cost the same as buying a better condition used 2018 X Caliber 7 but that’s how these things always go.
I even found my old spare employee trail pass bracelet/tag to add the finishing touch, hung on the seat post like on the second pic which I took back when the bike was new.