The Trek Remedy has long been up there as an appealing option for aggressive riders who seek a capable, confidence-inspiring bike with the versatility to be as adept on long trail rides as it is taking laps in a bike park. And now, building on the success of their completely redesigned 2017 model, Trek have returned with some significant upgrades to make the Remedy even more tempting. Want to push harder? Want more travel? Need a more capable build? Touted by Trek as the �mountain biker's mountain bike�, this could just be your next new bike.
For the new design, stiffness was paramount to the Trek design team. Tube sizes have been increased and pivot points have been beefed up to better resist any twisting or flexing between the main frame and the swing arm. The Straight Shot downtube that was introduced for 2017 continues, and has been key in creating one of the stiffest mountain bike frames Trek has ever produced, with an even more responsive ride. This pretty unique downtube design has been made possible by the Knock Block frame defence headset which keeps the fork crown from hitting the frame and has allowed Trek to bypass the inclusion of a kink or curve in the down tube. The final piece in this stiffness puzzle is the use of Boost hubs with a wider 148mm rear and 110mm front hub spacing which creates stronger, less flexy wheels and allows for wider tyres, shorter chainstays and more chain ring options.
RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft - the shock that keeps up
All of the 2018 Remedy models feature Trek's revolutionary RE:aktiv suspension technology with its instant response and uninterrupted tracking. Borrowed from Formula 1, the goal for RE:aktiv was to achieve a high degree of hold and contact with the ground, while still being supple enough to handle the big hits that you'll find on most trails. Trek argue that this system offers the best of both worlds - firmness under pedaling efforts, but with a smooth transition to plush control, providing the confidence to ride as you like - and rather than having to flick between two different settings, the RE:aktiv system allows you to tackle every obstacle as it comes.
So, how does it work? Whereas most traditional shocks uses digressive or progressive damping systems, RE:aktiv uses a regressive profile which is more sensitive to shaft velocity, or how quickly the shock moves. The system uses a shaft velocity threshold to gauge responsiveness, so the shock will retain a level of hold for anything below the threshold (like the small bumps associated with pedaling), while big hits which exceed the threshold will immediately and dramatically change the damping of the shock. Trek argue that this system is like having two shocks on your bike with no need to choose between efficiency or control, and no trail-side adjustments - just more flow, and more enjoyment.
For the 9.8 model, RE:aktiv is upgraded with Thru Shaft, a ground-breaking, unconventional shock design which is the most responsive available and responds to changes in terrain faster than any other shock on the market. Also borrowed from motorsport, the system provides more control and connection to the trail by removing the lag associated with traditional air shocks. This usual lag is a result of a secondary gas chamber known as the internal floating piston which deals with the change in volume displacement when a shock compresses. Thru Shaft does away with by retaining a constant oil volume with no volume dispersal as the shaft extends the whole way through the shock - without the volume dispersal, lag is obliterated, providing a quicker response and better traction.
In addition to the extra performance afforded by the new shocks and boosted stiffness, the 2018 Remedy gets more travel (160mm front, 150mm rear) and slacker geometry to make it more capable when combined with the playful feel of 27.5� wheels, as well as the full suite of Trek mountain bike tech:
Active Braking Pivot
Trek's ABP system keeps your suspension performing under braking to improve traction by isolating braking forces from suspension forces which means the rear tyre can track the ground better, for better control.
Mino Link's adjustable geometry allows to steepen or slacken the headtube, as well as lowering or raising the bottom bracket, so that every rider can adjust their bike to suit their own riding style or preferred terrain.
With the vast range of shifting, braking, lockout and dropper post options available there is a huge number of possible component combinations - 54, in fact, according to Trek. Control Freak uses different plugs and openings to allow any combination of lines to be routed through the frame for clean looks and light, quiet, versatile cable management.
New for 2018 is the Remedy 9.7, which brings the performance of Trek's OCLV Mountain Carbon to a price point that will appeal to a wider range of customers, while still being packed with features. This new model retains the RE:aktiv shock (albeit without Thru Shaft, as found on the 9.8 and 9.8 Women's), and is specced with SRAM NX 11-speed in place of the GX Eagle 12-speed groupset found on the 9.8. On a bit more of a budget? Trek carries all this performance over to its Alpha Platinum Aluminium for the Remedy 8 and Remedy 7 so you can still the trails hard without such a hole in your pocket.