Trek Remedy 9
Trek’s ‘technical trail’ (all-mountain by any other name) Remedy has been out for about four years now, and has undergone a gradual process of evolution over that time. For 2012 it sees probably the biggest change to date, with plenty of tweaks to the frame and geometry, as well as a new fork designed in collaboration with Fox. The previous Remedy garnered almost universal praise, so you’d expect Trek to be cautious about messing with such a proven recipe. No need to worry; whatever mountain biking illness afflicts you, the 2012 Remedy will almost certainly cure it!
For 2012 Trek will only be bringing three versions of the Remedy into Australia; the carbon-fibre framed Remedy 9.8, kitted with Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain plus an XTR Shadow Plus rear mech (and topped off with a Rockshox Reverb Stealth seatpost) at $5,999; our $4,299 aluminium Remedy 9, which loses the dropper post but is otherwise mostly the same in regards to the component spec; and the $3,299 Remedy 8, which drops theFITcartridge on the fork, has a simpler RP2 rear shock, and runs a predominantly SLX drivetrain with heavier wheels and a 135x5mm rear axle. The geometry and frame features are shared across the range, so you’d expect a lot of similarities in performance traits between the three. These prices clearly show that Trek is working to make their pricing competitive with the other major brands inAustralia. Our 18.5-inch test bike weighed 12.9kg without pedals, with a frame and shock weight of 2,960g; not bad at all for a full alloy bike with 150mm of travel at both ends.
Shape of Springs to Come
Trek’s Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) rear shock is not new, and has featured widely across their previous Fuel EX and Remedy ranges. For those who haven’t come across it yet, this slightly odd-looking shock has a smaller secondary air chamber which sits atop the main air can; at around 30% travel an internal pushrod opens this extra air chamber to increase the shock’s air volume. The underlying theory is sound, and simple; the initially small air chamber keeps the bike from feeling mushy and provides more sprightly pedalling performance, but when you go deeper into the travel the larger air volume provided by the additional chamber makes the suspension more linear and plush. The transition between these two modes is utterly seamless, and the shock works exactly as claimed; pedalling is generally taut and controlled, and yet you’ll still use full travel on big hits without smacking the bottom-out bumper.
Whilst the Remedy 8 uses the familiar Fox RP2 with DRCV, the Remedy 9 and 9.8 get a DRCV-equipped RP3 shock; that’s not a typo, but another very neat feature from Trek and Fox. It uses a three-position Pro Pedal lever, with the three positions corresponding to a fully-open damper setting for descending, a light Pro Pedal setting for general riding and technical climbs, and a firm Pro Pedal setting for long, smooth sections of trail and fire roads. Apparently some of the Trek riders have been asking Fox for this configuration for some years now, and it’s great that they’ve finally listened; it’s far easier to flick this three-position switch on the fly than it is to fiddle with the dial on an RP23 shock. Interestingly, Fox used to employ this three-position configuration in their top end aftermarket shocks before they decided that the RP23 format was the way to go. I found it very easy to use and very effective; love it, love it, love it!