This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014
With the success Trek has had with their long-travel Remedy line—first in 26-inch form, then 29—it was inevitable there would be a 27.5-inch sequel. True to form, Trek has embraced the middle wheel size, quickly coming to market with full-carbon 27.5-inch models and jettisoning its 26-inch predecessors on both their 140mm-travel Remedy 9 series, as well as their 160mm-travel Slash platform.
Perhaps even more surprising than their speed to market, however, is who they’re ahead of in the game—archrivals Specialized and Cannondale. And while Trek enters the 27.5 arena simultaneous with Giant, they’ve not quite made the same head-first commitment to the wheel size. How it will all shake out long-term is anyone’s guess, but for the here-and-now, we’ve got a lot of exciting new product to play with, so let’s take a look at the new Remedy 9.8.
OCLV Stands for Lean, Clean, Durable and Strong
The Remedy 9.8’s frame is a clean-looking affair with traditional lines and a multitude of tubing shapes selected to maximize strength, rigidity and light weight. Underneath a beautiful, race-inspired paint job is Trek’s tougher, off-road-tuned version of their proprietary carbon layup, OCLV Mountain. In addition to using the more durable material blend, Trek doubles-down to fight rock chips with a downtube under-shield called Carbon Armor.
For better or worse, Trek has integrated as many items as possible to keep the bike clean and its weight low. On that list—a cup-less integrated head tube, an integrated press-fit BB95 bottom bracket, integrated ISCG mounts, a direct front derailleur mount, and a direct-to-caliper post mount for the rear brake.
The bike’s rear triangle is OCLV Mountain as well, and connects to the main frame and shock via Trek’s magnesium EVO Link one-piece rocker arm. At the rocker/rear triangle pivot resides the Mino Link, a reversible chip that adjusts the Remedy’s geometry from slack and stable, to steep and maneuverable with the turn of a nut.
Trek’s Mino Link is an adjustment on the EVO Link that allows fine tuning of the head tube angle by a half-degree, and the bottom bracket height by up to 10mm. The low setting gives you a 67.5-degree head angle and 13.1-inch BB height, while the high setting results in a 68.2-degree head angle and 13.6-inch bottom bracket.
Buoyed by Full Flotation
Construction and geometry aside, the heart of Remedy’s design success is its proprietary Full Floater suspension that colludes with a Trek-exclusive Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) Fox Float CTD shock to create a rear end that feels bottomless and supple across the entire range of travel. Filtering out braking forces from the suspension action is Trek’s Active Braking Pivot (ABP) system that keeps the rear end plush even during heavy braking.
Burning Down the House Brand
An in-house logo on wheels, handlebars and other components used to mean a company went to Asia and slapped their label on some mediocre off-the-shelf product. For years now though, Trek’s had the accelerator to the floor on their Bontrager accessory and component brand, using it as a platform to create some truly best-in-category product.
Perhaps their most notable advancements have come in tires, where Bontranger’s collaboration with legendary motorsport designer Frank Stacy have paid huge dividends. Our Remedy came shod with the Stacy-designed high-volume XR3 Team Issue tubeless-ready 2.35-inch meats—tires we’ve ridden before and found extremely grippy, predictable and fast. Equally impressive are the company’s Bontrager Rhythm Comp TLR wheels, which should be a great match for the XR3s. Rounding out the Bonty booty is the handlebar, saddle and stem—all newly redesigned, and looking a proper accompaniment to this all-mountain steed.
With every model year, Trek has continued to refine the tight, light and ready Remedy, and we can’t wait to see how it does with the jump up to 27.5 in 2014.
2014 Trek Remedy 9.8 27.5 Key Specs
- Weight: 27.82 pounds (size medium)
- Wheel size: 27.5-inches
- Frame Material: Carbon
- Travel/Suspension: 140mm
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT 2×10
- Brakes: Shimano XT
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
- Wheelset/Tires: Bontrager Rhythm Comp tubeless ready
- Bar/Stem: Bontrager Race X Lite
- Head Tube Angle: 67.5/68.2 degrees
- Seat Tube Angle: 67.5/68.2 degrees actual
- Chainstay Length: 16.95 inches
- Bottom Bracket Height: 13.1/13.6 inches
- Bike MSRP: $6100 (XT Build)
For more information visit www.trekbikes.com.
This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.