René Wildhaber’s EWS Trek Slash Race Bike

The Swiss Muscle or The Modest Pro?

27.5 All Mountain Trail Enduro News
René races the EWS aboard a Trek Slash, which he helped design.

René races the EWS aboard a Trek Slash, which he helped design.

René Wildhaber has been called the Swiss Muscle by his fans and the Modest Pro by his sponsors, but we know him best for his many podiums and video segments. These days, René’s focus during the riding season is the EWS series. He tackles these events on a 27.5 Trek Slash, which he was heavily involved in developing.

René’s Slash is decked out with Trek Factory Racing decals and a custom paint scheme.

René’s Slash is decked out with Trek Factory Racing decals and a custom paint scheme.

His frame is completely stock, except for the Trek Factory Racing paint scheme and decals.

Rene has mounted a number of tools to his frame for trailside emergencies.

Rene has mounted a number of tools to his frame for trailside emergencies.

The cockpit setup is relatively normal, but you will notice a few small details. For example, he has mastic tape over his Fox D.O.S.S. lever to help with grip in the wet. There’s also a thick strip of tape wrapped around his handlebar for emergency repairs.

The Dynaplug kits are small but work well in a pinch.

The Dynaplug kits are small but work well in a pinch.

Under his handlebar, he has mounted a small tube for carrying a Dynaplug Tubeless Repair kit. 

Wildhaber missed the first two rounds of the EWS due to injury this year but is still ranked 58th overall. Last year he came in 18th.

Wildhaber missed the first two rounds of the EWS due to injury this year but is still ranked 58th overall. Last year he came in 18th.

Like many EWS pros, René keeps a sticker mounted to his top tube with the start times for stages. This one has been mounted to his frame since the Emerald Enduro held last month, where he came in 29th overall.

Best Garmin mount ever?

Best Garmin mount ever?

One trick item on this Slash is this custom Garmin mount. Trek 3D printed a small number of these units for testing, but never brought to market. René likes this mount because it keeps his GPS unit tucked out of the way, while still easy to read.

A C02 cannister and additional Dynaplug kit are kept handy for emergency repairs.

A C02 cannister and additional Dynaplug kit are kept handy for emergency repairs.

If you hadn’t noticed, René prefers to ride without a backpack. That’s why he keeps a number of tools strapped to his frame.

With his current Di2 1x drivetrain, René finds that a top chainguide is more than enough protection

With his current Di2 1x drivetrain, René finds that a top chainguide is more than enough protection

While Tracy Mosely prefers a 2x drivetrain, Wildhaber uses a 1x Di2 XTR setup. For training rides. he generally uses a smaller 30 or 32T chainring, but will go up to a 36T for race day.

Power meters have become increasingly popular with the gravity crowd in recent years as training regimens have improved.

Power meters have become increasingly popular with the gravity crowd in recent years as training regimens have improved.

One incredibly important tool for training and racing is a power meter. This unit from Stages allows Wildhaber and his trainer to dissect his runs to ensure he’s at his most efficient.

The geometry of many of Trek's full suspension models is adjustable via something called a Mino Link. For EWS races, most Trek racers set their bikes as slack as possible.

The geometry of many of Trek’s full suspension models is adjustable via something called a Mino Link. For EWS races, most Trek racers set their bikes as slack as possible.

Wildhaber finished in the top ten overall during the first two seasons of the EWS. Injuries last year prevented him from racing all eight rounds, which pushed him down the standings into 18th for the season – hence the plate number.

The Shimano 11-speed cassette has a 42T cog, while the XTR model tops out at 40T.

The Shimano 11-speed cassette has a 42T cog, while the XTR model tops out at 40T.

René pairs his 1x XTR Di2 drivetrain with an 11-42 XT cassette because it has a slightly wider range than the lighter XTR model.

Four piston brakes a must at the EWS.

Four piston brakes a must at the EWS.

Many of the tracks on the enduro circuit resemble full-blown DH courses, so Saint brakes and large rotors are an absolute must for René.

While Bontrager offers a range of tires with an enduro-specific casing, Wildhaber prefers the security of a DH tire.

While Bontrager offers a range of tires with an enduro-specific casing, Wildhaber prefers the security of a DH tire.

Considering how rough the tracks are, tire choice is critical. One flat can make or break a weekend, so in addition to keeping Dynaplugs handy, René runs DH rated tires. For some events, he may switch to a lighter casing, but he prefers to play it safe.

Rene Wildhaber Trek 27.5 EWS Race Bike -14

In general, he tends to run his front suspension relatively stiff and keep the rear end softer. This pays off on steep terrain and also offers a small margin of safety when overcooking turns or drops. To learn more about René or see how he’s fairing this season, check out his website here.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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