Today, we’re seeing the launch of the brand new 2021 Trek Slash. It’s not just a warmed-over version of the previous version, but a completely re-made range, from entry level up to top end, with a load of new features that riders have been asking for. Let’s get stuck in!
The Trek Slash has been a very popular bike for Trek. Initially launched in the early days of EWS-type enduro racing, no one was quite sure what to make of a big wheeled bike racing on the tight and twisty European enduro courses, but riders like Tracy Moseley immediately took to it and showed that bigger wheels weren’t any slower in the tight stuff and the bump-swallowing ability of a big wheeled bike was an advantage on the rougher tracks. The new 2021 Trek Slash takes that idea further, with changes in geometry, suspension and travel to make the bike an even more attractive machine for riders looking to ride flat out.
So what’s new, apart from ‘everything’? In brief, the 2021 Trek Slash gets a 10mm bump in travel, up to 170mm front, 160mm rear. The effective angles are a degree slacker at the head tube, at 64.1° and steeper in the seat at 75.6° (with a 750mm saddle height). And talking of saddle height, the new Slash gets the bigger 34.9mm seatpost size for longer and ‘more reliable’ dropper posts.
The bike has got longer, with a size Large now having a reach of 486mm, up 32mm from the previous Slash. British riders in particular will welcome that the 2021 Trek Slash range has been designed around short 35mm stems, rather than the 50mm of yore.
The suspension has not just increased in travel, but the new RockShox Super Deluxe Thru Shaft is brand new for Trek. This offers a reduction in small bump resistance and Rockshox and Trek are keen to point out that the low shaft speed bumps (2-10in per second, the kind of movement usually caused by the rider, are ironed out while leaving the bike free to react to those bigger, harder faster hits generally caused by hitting bits of the landscape.
One of the pioneering things from Trek’s previous Slash, was the Knock Block, a feature that limited the travel of your steering so that you didn’t tear out your hoses in a crash, but also so that Trek could use straighter (and cooler looking) downtubes without fear of the fork crowns taking a chunk out of them in a crash. However, the 58° a side movement was a little limiting for riders, especially on those French switchbacks, so for the 2021 Trek Slash, there’s a redesigned the Knock Block 2.0 that allows 72° movement a side for much greater movement. As a bonus, the new frame allows fork crowns to miss the downtube anyway, so even if you remove the Knock Block, your downtube is safe.
And in addition, it’s extra safe as there are new dual density guards that run the full length of the downtube to protect from rocks and pickup truck tailgates alike.
And all bikes get internal downtube storage. We first saw this on the Trek Fuel EX with its downtube ‘frame burrito’ and this has proved popular enough to build it into the Slash range – including the alloy frame models too, which is a first.
The 2021 Trek Slash range
There is going to be a huge range of bikes in the 2021 Slash range, starting with the very reasonably priced aluminium Trek Slash 7 at £2650 and Slash 8 at £3100. An alloy frameset will be £2200.
On the carbon fibre front, bikes start at £4000 for the Slash 9.7, followed by the Slash 9.8 which comes in XT and SRAM GX versions for £5250. After that there is the Slash 9.9 for £7500 which comes in either XO1 or XTR flavours. A carbon frameset is £3500.
All bikes go on sale today (assuming you can find one that isn’t pre-sold) and details are, as always, on trekbikes.com