by Matt Letch
July 22, 2010
Day two of the Trek launch saw us set free on the Remedy. A possible remedy to my fireroad-weakened legs from the day before?
I’m going to put my hand up here and say straight away that the Remedy was the bike I was most looking forward to trying. Theoretically (I think) I’m the median of who a Remedy owner should be. Defintely not a racer. Yet someone who climbs to the top, but does so for the descents. An all round rider with a gravity bias. Anyhow that’s my theory so let’s have a look at the bike in question.
Direct mount front mech.
Fox DRCV shock and rubber pad to protect the carbon downtube from rocks.
“Cola Bottle” headtube.
One piece magnesium link.
There’s a lot of carry over from the Trek Fuel in terms of new stuff; across-the-range OCLV frame material, carbon armouring and the DRCV shock.
The rest of the componentry was a smogasbord of SRAM XX, DT Tricon wheels, Avid and a smattering of Bontrager components to finish. A particularly nice touch is the cable routing for the Joplin seatpost.
Sitting in at a not terribly slack 68º head angle with 71.25º seat angle, it really is like a longer travel Fuel.
Travel this year is 150mm each end again with Fox forks custom tuned to match the rear shock.
After the previous day’s “death by fireroad climbs” I was very keen to get to ride some proper trails. We were in the Alps for Goodness sake!
Trek promised much more technical riding for the day. We weren’t disappointed. We did however start with same fireroad climb to the first uplift. So we got to test the Remedy’s accending prowess.
Spoilt journalists though we are, I still can’t quite believe how good light bikes are uphill. The Remedy is one of those. You can turn the cranks in circles, squares, octagons… in or out of the saddle. And it just winches away. The Bontrager saddle needs a mention again, for being so… invisible. I was still aware of my gender at the top of every climb. I didn’t feel the need to take a a peek “down there” at the top of the hill to check it was still attached. With ProPedal off it was fine – no real bob. Although out of the saddle thrutching could make it move a bit if you tried. With ProPedal on and it felt taught and efficient.
A quick mention must be made of the BB height here. We’ve ridden a lot of American bikes of the “All-Mountain” moniker that seem to combine quite steep angles (relative to travel) with high BB’s. Thankfully the Remedy doesn’t. In fact, when sagged its BB is just 5mm higher than the Fuel – and that’s with 30mm more travel either end. I’m sure it’s part of the reason it felt good to climb on; none of that ponderous tip-toeing feeling you get with other bikes.
Very, very good. As usual for me, the Trek recommended shock set-up felt a little soft. But with more air and quite a bit more compression damping for the forks and I could push the bike into things. Other journalists claimed the stock settings were too firm, so horses for courses there.
It was very grippy in a kind of mini-DH bike way. With the ProPedal off the back end was incredibly good at swallowing up stuff, it also cornered a lot more aggressively than I hoped. It felt a little short as you tipped into a berm, but the suspension just clung on through the corner.
The more I rode it, the more I hankered for a bigger fork or for it to be a bit slacker. This isn’t really a complaint about the bike so much. It’s more of a compliment to the back-end and overall chassis stiffness. I’m sure Trek would argue that doing that would ruin the balance of the bike and they may well be right. Climbs for me are always quickly forgotten (they’re something to be tolerated) and I think my view of “All Mountain” might may differ from Trek’s, and of course they have the Scratch Air and Scratch Coil for stuff like that.
One last thing, sizing. I went up to an 18in frame which felt a lot more stable and useable both uphill and downhill. So make sure you try for size before you buy.
I’d love one in 18in.. with a bigger fork.. and massive bars.. just to see how much you can wring that frame’s neck.