Photo by Tyler Frasca.
Would you like some Bontrager with that?
Trek uses its sub-brand Bontranger to outfit most everything else on the bike. Notable exceptions being the well-balanced FOX Performance Series 34 Float CTD fork, the adjustable seatpost—a RockShoxReverb Stealth—and the headset—FSA’s IS2. After that it’s all Bontranger, all the time—which isn’t a bad thing.
Lest you dismiss the Bontrager kitting as label-slap-house-branding, let it be known that every bit of the brand’s gear featured on this bike would be top-notch fare not only for OE spec but for aftermarket upgrades as well. The high-volume Bontrager XR3 tires are noticeably more grippy than their 26-inch brethren and feature a medium knob height for a good ratio of rolling resistance vs. traction.
The tires are mounted to a pair of Rhythm Comp TLR wheels, which combine to make not only one of the best tubeless systems in our test, but on the market in general. Bontrager uses a molded tubeless rim strip with integrated valves that, in conjunction with the XR3 bead/sidewall design and sealant, makes the system’s ease-of-use barely more intricate than traditional tubes. Additionally, the wheels felt stiff and responsive under load—all together a great package.
Photo by Tyler Frasca.
Sizing and adjustability
Our Trek Remedy 9.8 was definitely one of the smaller fitting size medium frames in our test. If you like to run a short stem and wide bars—50mm/740mm—consider the next size up, but in all cases test fit and test ride before you commit.
As far as geometry, Trek’s clever Mino Link system allows you to alter the frame geometry—head tube angle, seat tube angle, and bottom bracket height—for different riding styles and trail conditions. The low setting gives you a slacker 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.
While we mostly ran the Remedy 9.8 27.5/650b in the slacker setting, the option to make it a quicker-steering steed is a plus wherever tight handing is more prevalent.
Who is this bike for?
One of our test riders likened the Remedy 9.8 to an “XC bike dipping its toe in enduro.” Similarly, pro rider Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski—who chimed in on our How to buy an enduro bike sidebar story—used a Remedy as his transitional bike when he switched his racing focus from cross country to enduro. Which is a good point-of-reference—if you’re a rider coming from an XC background, but looking to go bigger, the Remedy 9.8 27.5/650b is an excellent choice.
If you’re torn between this and the 29er Remedy, consider your riding style—if you like to throw it around on jumps and want a little bit more maneuverability and playfulness, go with the 27.5. If you want to point-and-shoot and go fast, the 29er is likely the better choice. If you’re truly an aggressor on a bike, then the Slash 27.5/650b (which we hope to review very soon) is an option to consider as well.
The Trek Remedy 9.8 27.5/650b is as solid a trail bike as you’ll find. Its Full Floater suspension and DRCV shock provides excellent low- to mid-stroke performance and it’s equally impressive ABP Braking system keeps the bike active even when squeezing the lever hard. A solid Shimano XT parts mix, adjustable geometry and complimentary Bontrager componetry—along with a respectable price—make this bike not only a Remedy, but a contender as well.
- Great small-to-medium bump compliance
- Great traction and good climbing ability
- Best of breed carbon fiber technology
- Excellent tires, wheels and tubeless technology
- Smart Mino adjustable geometry
- Good suspension performance during braking
- Can run out of suspension on bigger hits
- DRCV shock is proprietary—not many aftermarket options
- Dear Trek, please call it 27.5 or 650b, not both
2014 Trek Remedy 9.8 27.5/650b Key Specs
- MRSP: $5560
- Weight: 27.82 pounds (size medium, without pedals)
- Wheel size: 27.5 inches
- Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Color: Carbon grey with red/white accents
- Frame Material: Full carbon
- Fork: FOX Performance Series 34 Float CTD, 140mm
- Rear Travel: 140mm
- Rear Shock: Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) FOX Float CTD
- Headset: FSA IS2
- Handlebar: Bontrager Race X-Lite
- Stem: Bontrager Rhythm Pro 70mm
- Grips: Bontrager Rhythm, dual lock-on
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
- Brakes: Shimano XT, 180mm front/160mm rear, IceTech rotors
- Brake Levers: Shimano XT
- Shifters: Shimano XT
- Front Derailleur: Shimano XT
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
- Cassette: Shimano XT 11-36
- Crankset: Shimano XT 2x, 38/24
- Rims: Bontrager Rhythm Comp Tubeless Ready
- Hubs: Bontrager Rhythm Comp
- Spokes: NA
- Tires: Bontrager XR3 Team Issue Tubeless Ready, 27.5 x 2.35-inches
- Bottom bracket type: Shimano
- ISCG Tabs: ISCG-05
- Chainguide: –
- Saddle: Bontrager Evoke 3, titanium rails
- Head tube angle: 67.5/68.2 degrees
- Seat tube angle: 73/73.7 degrees (effective)
- Chainstay length: 16.95 inches
- Bottom bracket height: 13.1/13.6 inches
For more information visit https://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.