Trek Remedy 9.8

Gateway to long travel steed

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

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.

Bottom Line

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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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.


About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • r1Gel says:

    @FrancisCebedo, a well-written review 🙂
    Regarding the sizing/fit, would you say the test bike (a medium) fit OK for your height (5’8″?) with the 70-mm stem?

  • r1Gel says:

    How does the Remedy climb, in or out of the saddle?

  • Peanut says:

    I will add my 2 cents as i have test ridden the 18.5″ and 19.5″ remedy and the 18.5″ slash. For reference i am 5’9″ and 145-150lbs. I come from an xc race background elite open/pro class in the mid atlantic super series. The 18.5″ remedy was too small for me. I felt crowded and too upright like on a town bike. The remedy is, like this article says ” an xc bike dipping its toe in enduro”. The geometry is certainly geared to that imo. Taking this into consideration i tested the 19.5″. I fell in love with the bike. Climbing in and out of the saddle felt xc-bike-ish and of course going down was fun too. The slash, on the other hand, is not the same as the remedy, but with more travel. The front wheel felt, as it should with a slacker HTA, farther out in front…so much so that i would not consider this bike for my riding. I felt it was definitely geared towards 60-70% shuttle, lift served etc type riding and not a bike that wanted to be ridden uphill. Going up the front end was twitchy and didnt like to stay down. Again my .02.

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