Trek Remedy 9 RSL (2017)
The Trek Remedy has become firmly established as the aggressive, do anything, trail focused mountain bike. Strong and capable, it is able to soak up pretty much anything you care to throw at it. As a result Remedy has fairly well defined the category when it comes to the all rounder mountain bike. Indeed, it is so accomplished that it becomes harder with each generation of Remedy to imagine how it could be improved. Maybe a tweak here and there of course, but nothing too radical surely. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
So when Criterium Cycles visited the Trek World preview show last year we were delighted. Not only had Remedy been upgraded, the upgrades were material and had resulted in making a great bike even better. There are plenty of variants available for Remedy with various Alloy or Carbon and Women Specific options although it’s now 27.5” only for 2017 (with Slash taking Remedy’s place in the 29er model variants). In this article though, we are going to focus on one of the most sought after models ever – the Remedy 9 RSL (or Race Shop Limited).
First of all, it looks absolutely stunning in Race Shop colours. OK, we know that it’s the tech on the bike that’s really important but let’s face it – when you are out on the trail it’s nice to look good and get noticed. And why not? This bike definitely fits that bill as it looks sensational from the get go.
The Remedy has always had a fairly aggressive geometry and the 2017 upgrades are no exception. Lower, longer and slacker, this bike is a nailed on Enduro slayer. The RSL model showcased here comes up with some neat features such as the Rock Shock Lyric Dual Position front fork with selectable 130mm / 160mm travel.
So it looks good and at first glance it looks like Trek have got the numbers right. But the devil is always in the detail so let’s dive on in.
One of the real challenges for bike designers looking to make the perfect Enduro frame (lower, longer, slacker etc) is how to design a frame and fork combo such that the fork will clear the downtube when rotated under the frame – usually in the event of a crash. The usual response is to produce a cantilevered or goose necked front triangle design. This gives the forks a space behind and beneath the headset within which to rotate without coming into contact with the downtube.
However, Trek wanted to create a bike with much improved frame stiffness and also weight reduction. So they came up with a straight tube design (called Straightshot). This is linear from the bottom bracket to the headtube. Good news say Trek – the frame is now stiffer and lighter.
Bad news though is that without any modification, when the fork is turned in extreme rotations, it (the fork) will strike the downtube. To resolve this issue, we welcome Trek’s Knockblock system. This is an ingenious combination of keyed headset spacers that lock into the headset and stem. The Frame itself has replaceable components that prevent the headset from over rotating. As a result, they prevent the fork from striking the frame. A brilliant piece of engineering. Who was it said that the most brilliant things are often the most simple – but it usually takes a genius to spot it! Not sure, but it applies to whoever came up with Knockblock.
We’ve mentioned the dual travel fork already but it’s a great feature normally found on pricier bikes. Being able to select 130mm or 160mm travel means you are really going to struggle to find much this bike can’t tackle. For the rear suspension, Trek have kept their Full Floater and ABP (Active Brake Pivot) system as well as the Re:Aktiv regressive damping system. ABP allows the rear suspension to remain fully active during even the heaviest braking meaning you retain absolute control. Re:Aktiv regressive damping adjusts the piston stroke depending on the strength of the input received (in terms of shaft velocity). Whatever surface you are riding over, Re:Aktiv will automatically adjust to give you a smooth, controlled ride. Plus it’s fast – as soon as you get back pedalling you’ll find Re:Aktiv is already reset and ready.
The rocker arm incorporates Trek’s patented Mino Link system. This neat device allows the rider to fine tune both the head tube angle by ½o and the bottom bracket height by 10mm. Fancy making slack even slacker? Well with Mino Link you can without compromising suspension performance.
Trek have incorporated Boost on both front (110mm) and rear (148mm). Boost works by increasing the spacing between the dropouts (to the values above). This in turn permits a steeper bracing angle for the wheel spokes thus increasing their strength and stiffness. A fair analysis would be to say ‘26” wheel stiffness from a 27.5” wheel’. However, you can also now run wider tyres increasing grip and performance further. According to Trek, Boost allows you to run those wider tyres with a larger chainring without affecting Q Factor and pedalling efficiency.
Frankly, this is where Trek have absolutely nailed it with the Remedy 9 RSL. Even with the recent price rises thanks to Sterling’s devaluation, this bike comes in at £3,200.00 which considering the tech and feature list is just superb.
The downside? They are in high demand and short supply. The 5 we bought in December 2016 sold out in 10 days. Good news though – we’ve got another 5 and they are all in stock although we don’t expect them to stay in stock for too long. So give us a shout on 0131 663 6220 to get your hands on one of these beauties.