Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, angle shot

I must admit I wasn’t super excited to hear there was a Trek Remedy waiting for me to test ride during Crankworx, as the plan was to spend the day in the Whistler Bike Park. If we were hitting the trails I would have been thrilled, but before I actually saw the new bike I thought ‘I’m going to have to tread lightly on the mountain.” A few years ago I was riding the park on a 160mm bike, but eventually bought a DH in the pursuit of pushing my limits further. Since then I’ve never looked back, but…

Before the ride I found out the Remedy’s travel had grown to 150mm in the rear and (on the 9.9 Race Shop Limited Model tested) 160mm up front. Knowing that I was much more optimistic about the bike, and by the end of my first run I was having fun. The frame felt stiff and strong, and I was enjoying the nimble handling in tighter corners. The lighter weight bikes also pop off jumps with ease, so I quickly put my reservations aside and went full speed ahead…

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, technical section

As soon as I found out the bike’s travel had grown, I asked if the frame had been beefed up accordingly. Trek said yes, it has- As the Slash has turned into an Enduro-specific bike, the Remedy is stepping up to fill the ‘do everything’ role in Trek’s lineup. With 27.5” wheels and 150mm rear and 150/160mm front travel (depending on model), it shouldn’t find its limits too easily. Since we were riding the park, I was glad the top-tier Remedy 9.9 gets a two-position 160/130mm Rockshox Lyric RCT3 up front.

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, straight shot down tube

One notable change Trek was happy to implement is their Straight Shot frame design. After developing the idea for a few years, it was a partnership with FSA that made the concept possible. Where the Remedy frames used to have a bend in the down tube right behind the head tube, the new version does not. A straight down tube makes for a much stiffer frame with no weight sacrifice, but the problem was that the fork’s crowns would then contact the frame.

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, knock block headset

While Trek still places protection on the down tube the problem is basically solved by Trek’s new Knock Block headset design that features built-in steering stops, keeping the crowns about 2mm away from the delicate carbon. Clever stuff!

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, rocker

The Remedy frame looks beefier to the eye versus previous models, and the redesigned down tube is huge. No doubt this attributed to the bike’s impressive stiffness, which gave it the ability to plow straight through rocky or rooty patches and stubbornly maintain any chosen line. The bike also features Boost 148 rear (and 110 front) spacing.

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, cable routing, top Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, cable routing, bottom

The Remedy keeps a smooth profile with internal routing for the rear brake and derailleur, plus a stealth dropper post.

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, no joke

I was loving the plush, sensitive feel of the Lyric fork, and found the Rockshox Deluxe RT3 Re:Aktiv shock did a great job of sucking up hits for its travel. It’s no DH bike, but only once or twice did I feel the need to choose mellower options than my usual lines. I also noticed despite the great bump absorption, the Remedy rocketed forward when pumped through undulating trails (and that’s with the rear shock wide open).

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, Sram Eagle 12 speed

The 1x specific Remedy 9.9 is also set up with Sram’s Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. This was my first taste of the new Eagle components, and I was surprised to find I had dropped a chain on my first lap! After that I had no issues over several more runs, so I’m not writing off a non-DH drivetrain over a single fault, especially one with such crisp shifting and massive range.

Trek Remedy 9.9 RSL, actual weight
With a medium frame our scale showed the complete bike’s weight at 29.1 lbs (including pedals).

Throughout the day the Remedy 9.9 held up with no mechanical issues, and reminded me that riding all-mountain bikes in the bike park could be fun once in a while. I was pushing the bike’s boundaries, but came away impressed with how stiff the frame felt and how well the rear suspension balanced it’s duties of absorbing bumps but maintaining forward momentum. I didn’t really get a chance to climb on it, but the Remedy handled the jumps and rough stuff like a champ- and what we all want to do is just point it and go, right?

trekbikes.com

5 COMMENTS

  1. The straight downtube and subsequently necessary “knock block” headset is hands down one of Trek’s worst design details to date. They may not have had problems in professional testing, among people who know how to ride bikes well and understand what this stuff is, but these things are going to break. They rely on a little tab that sticks up that a key in the headset smacks against. Just like aluminum freehub bodies, the headset upper cover is going to get dented and scored over time, bashing inward until they eventually get busted enough to have the fork crown smack into the downtube. That or the little tab gets sheared off and metal shards are ground all over your carbon frame’s top tube under the headset. The however miniscule stiffness increase is not worth the headache. This is a problem that had been solved for years and years, and solved effectively! The rest of the bike is well sorted for sure (apart from the usual bent and nearly-kinked cables out of the box as is the norm on most Treks I see in bike shops), but that damned headset is too big an issue to overlook.

  2. @Simon; wow, did Trek hurt your feelings in the past? This headset feature is nothing new. Acros have been offering that for years and f.e. Canyon bikes have had this for some time. Yes, the tab is going to break, but that is the intention. With small impacts, it protects the frame. With big impacts, it is designed to break as the weakest link, much like a derailleur hanger is, to protect everything else. The only thing I do not understand, is why Bikerumor or Trek links it to the downtube design. Even with a downtube with enough clearance, it’s still a good feature, because it keeps your brake cables from damaging and shifters from hitting the top tube.

  3. Yes, ditch the Knock Block. Next, every dirt bike in the world must be completely redesigned to eliminate steering stops, a similar concept which has been working quite handily for decades.

    Also, Boost 148 is ridiculous, and will never catch on. Oh, wait……

    Just say no to innovation.

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