Given the fact that the Fuel EX and The Remedy represent Trek’s flagship Singletrack trail, and Technical trail bikes, it was no surprise that we spent the majority of our time in Mayrhofen on these two bikes. For 2012, the bikes have improved a lot with new technology, more features, and proof that Trek’s engineers are listening to the consumer.
There is a lot to digest, but to get the scoop on the new Fuel EX and Remedy, jump past the break!
As you may have already read, one of the biggest changes for both the Remedy, and the Fuel EX, is the expansion of DRCV technology. In addition to the already proven DRCV rear shocks, DRCV is now offered in the Fox forks as well, which really made a noticeable difference on the trail.
To go along with the improved fork performance, both the Fuel EX and the Remedy now offer 1° slacker head tube angles for better control when pointed down. This is one of those areas that consumers were yearning for a slightly more relaxed geometry, and apparently Trek listened. Even though the head tubes are slightly more raked, it didn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the climbing ability of either bike.
Looking to take geometry tuning one step further, the Remedy also now includes the Mino link which allows you to make a .5° change should you be so inclined. You will also notice that Carbon Armor isn’t just for the down tube anymore, and is now placed on the outside of both seat stays.
New for the Remedy 9.9 this year is the addition of an OCLV carbon chainstay, that is protected by a massive metal chain strike plate that is molded into the carbon. Also, all of the Trek mountain bikes feature an improved molded rubber chain stay protector to help keep the paint looking fresh.
Full rear derailleur cable housing was yet another often made request, and again Trek obliged. Going along with the improved cabling theme, the front derailleur cable is now internal through the top tube, and all Remedy frames are Stealth dropper post compatible! It should be noted that a lot of thought was given to the Stealth cable routing, as Trek wanted to make sure you could pack your bike for shipping and be able to remove the post if necessary. To make this work, the hose for the Stealth is externally routed until it meets the bottom of the down tube. From here, the hose is routed inside the frame and up the seat tube to the bottom of the seat post. If you need to remove the seat post to pack the bike simply unbolt the lever from the bar, undo the fasteners on the frame, and pull out the seat post. You will have more than enough hose available so that you can pack the seat post and seat along side the frame. Smart, right?
One big improvement for the carbon Remedy, is the long overdue inclusion of ISCG tabs to the frame. I personally feel that any “Technical Trail” bike should be equipped with ISCG tabs, especially if the bike has a press fit bottom bracket. There have been many times that my chainrings would have appreciated the protection of something like an MRP XCG gaurd that wasn’t able to be installed on the old carbon Remedies.
For 2012 the Fuel EX receives many of the same upgrades as the Remedy. With the exception of the Stealth seatpost option, Mino Link, and ISCG tabs, the new Fuel is lighter, slacker, and ready to rip. Overall the carbon frame is 100g lighter than the 2011, thanks mostly to new tube shaping.
Just like the Remedy, some of the Fuel EX models will be equipped with the new DRCV RP3 rear shock. Rather than have an RP23 with a damping selector that is difficult to use while riding, the RP3 has three distinct settings: Climb, Ride, and Descend. The new shock is definitely much easier to use while riding, meaning you don’t just set it to one setting and leave it. Kashima Coat will be offered only on the highest end bikes.
Also like the Remedy, there are plenty of clever touches throughout the frame as far as protection is concerned. Carbon armor is now at home on the seat stay, and like the Remedy, a metal chain strike plate is bonded to the 9.9’s carbon chainstay. You would expect bikes of these prices to last, and these little add-ons will certainly help.
Thankfully for most consumers, nearly all of the improvements at the top end are also found on the lower end aluminum models as well. With all new frame designs, and front thru axles on Fuel EX 6 and above, these are the best Fuels and Remedies to date.