TREK REMEDY 9.9 RACE SHOP LIMITED TEST

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The members of the Mountain Bike Action crew have long been fans of Trek’s Remedy. The previous version was a bike that could ride anything, any time. With 27.5-inch- and 29-inch-wheeled versions and options to suit anybody’s preference, if you were going mountain biking, the Remedy could probably handle it. For 2017 Trek decided to shake things up and offer the Remedy as a 27.5-inch bike only. The new Remedy is still incredibly versatile; Trek just shed the wagon-wheel format in favor of the streamlined 27.5.

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WHO IS IT MADE FOR?

We would be hard pressed to put the Remedy into one category with its progressive geometry, ample suspension travel and lightweight chassis. With 150 millimeters of rear travel, the Remedy falls into the aggressive trail and enduro category and is designed for crushing technical sections of trail and hard riding that requires a climb to get to the top. It also wouldn’t shy away from an occasional day doing laps in the bike park or an endurance XC race, although that isn’t its primary purpose. The 9.9 Race Shop Limited is the top-of-the-line build, but riders can get into a Remedy at a lower price point with an aluminum frame and less-fancy components. The bike is also available in a women’s version this year.

WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?

The Remedy brings plenty of new technology to the table with an all-new frame design. To improve the stiffness, Trek built the 2017 Remedy with a new straight downtube that’s very oversized. This downtube is used on several other bikes in Trek’s line of trail rigs and is claimed to significantly improve overall stiffness. The impressive architecture of the front triangle is mated to a rear triangle that uses single-ring-specific stays to improve tire clearance and Boost 148-millimeter axle spacing to further increase stiffness. As an added bonus, Trek includes its Knock Block headset system that keeps the handlebars from over-rotating into the top tube.

The Remedy’s geometry has a new, more aggressive setup that features a slack 65-degree head angle and relatively steep seat-tube angle. The rear shock uses the new metric sizing and SRAM’s Trunnion spacing to keep options open for riders. The RockShox Deluxe uses Trek’s RE:aktiv technology to give riders a little extra support when pedaling and offers special damping that was developed in partnership with Penske Racing, the same company that does suspension for several NASCAR and Formula 1 teams.

WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?

trek-7Fly high: This is the first test bike we’ve received with SRAM’s Eagle drivetrain. Our testers enjoyed the gear range and were eager to jump up to a large front chainring for a little extra speed. The Remedy comes stock with a 32-tooth front ring that will be a good starting point for riders to get a feel for the new gear range.

trek-6A little extra protection: One of the new Remedy’s most subtle innovations was the introduction of the Knock Block headset that keeps the bars from over-rotating into the top tube. The Knock Block still allows for a good range of motion and doesn’t prevent riders from throwing the occasional whip.

We have been able to spend quite a bit of time on RockShox’s new Deluxe line and have been impressed with the overall performance during our testing, especially with the RE:aktiv treatment. This is the first OEM-spec’d Eagle that we’ve had come through, and we enjoyed the massive gear range combined with the SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes This was the first time we got to ride the new Drop Line post from Bontrager, and we found the performance to be on par with other heavy hitters, especially with the ergonomic under-the-bar lever.

HOW DOES IT PERFORM?

trek-4Top of its class: Trek’s ABP suspension technology has become one of our favorites on the trails over the years. The linkage, combined with a RE:aktiv shock tune, gives riders a supported feel while pedaling, but feels plush when the trail gets rowdy. The new Deluxe shock from RockShox adds to the plush ride with new internals and a longer body. Trek’s Mino Link design allows riders to adjust the geometry and slightly raise or lower the bottom bracket height depending on the type of trails. Our testers preferred the lower setting during their testing.

Suspension setup:

Setup is similar to other bikes that we have ridden in this suspension category. We ran the shock at just under 30-percent sag with 20 percent in the fork. At first we ran the fork with two bottomless tokens, which gave the fork a very smooth feel, but we ended up going with three tokens most of the time to give the fork more support on big hits, drops and jumps.

trek-8Charge the mountain: The Remedy likes to push riders and go fast. The 27.5-inch wheels give the bike an incredibly playful feel and don’t hold back when the trail gets technical.

Moving out:

Our test bike came with 780-millimeter-wide bars and a shortish 50-millimeter stem that felt perfect for most of our large-sized test riders. Depending on height and rider preference, some riders might want to make a change, but we wouldn’t recommend going to a wider bar, as the 780-millimeter-wide Bontrager provides more than enough leverage on even the most technical trails.

trek-9Lean a little more: As a do-it-all trail- and enduro bike, the Remedy has a wide range of capabilities. The stiff frame and 2.4-inch wide tires gave our riders confidence when pushing hard in corners and leaning the bike over.

Cornering:

The stiff frame gave our riders plenty of confidence, especially pushing the bike hard into corners. The 2.4-inch-wide SE4 tires hooked up exceptionally well in a variety of terrain, including loose dirt that closely resembled something like kitty litter. Our test riders felt that they had good leverage with the 780-millimeter bars, and the rear tire felt firmly planted for additional traction. The relatively short chainstays allowed us to whip the Remedy around tight corners and switchbacks with ease.

Climbing:

Our test bike came stock with an adjustable 130–160-millimeter fork. For the first couple rides we dropped the fork into the lower travel on longer climbs, but we determined it wasn’t really a feature that we needed. The RE:aktiv technology gave the rear shock good support, even when we ran the shock completely open. Out of the saddle the frame felt stiff and responsive when we were pushing hard on steep sections of trail.

trek-10A Remedy for every trail: Whether you’re riding the gnarliest lines in B.C. or groomed singletrack in Southern California, the Remedy has the ability to deliver. Between the quality suspension package, new frame design and solid parts spec, there is little that this bike won’t do.

Descending:

We rode the Remedy over a fairly diverse range of terrain and discovered it was more capable than the suspension travel would indicate. At high speeds, the Remedy felt stiff and stable, and when the trail got steep, it was easy to reposition our weight to keep the bike balanced.

Over technical rocky sections of trail, the Remedy picked its way through and held a line with ease. Riding some jump lines in the bike park, we discovered a playful side of the Remedy that put unexpected smiles on the faces of our testers. This bike is far more than a cross-country bike that can descend. We’d go out on a limb and say it is more like an enduro bike on a diet— strong enough to handle the gnarliest lines without paying a weight penalty.

TRICKS, TIPS OR UPGRADES?

We chose to run our fork with an extra RockShox Bottomless Token for a more progressive feel than what is recommended stock. Adding an extra token helps the fork resist bottoming more, although lighter and less aggressive riders may prefer to stick with the stock setting if they aren’t getting full travel.

Stronger riders will benefit from installing a bigger, 34-tooth chainring, especially with the Eagle’s huge 50-tooth pie plate of a granny gear in the rear.

The Drop Line post worked well during our testing, but we would have appreciated a little more travel than the stock 125 millimeters.

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BUYING ADVICE

The Remedy delivers on overall performance with a well- thought-out geometry and efficient suspension design. Aspiring enduro racers and even all-around trail riders will find themselves with a more-than-capable bike that has enough modern features to keep it relevant for the foreseeable future. If you want a bike that will allow you to confidently ride just about any trail, the Remedy is a great option. If you have the budget for a cross-country racer and a big-travel enduro crusher, you may want to look at Trek’s other impressive offerings, like the shorter-travel Fuel and longer-travel Slash. Still, if you want one bike to ride it all, the Remedy is up to the task.

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