Trek Remedy 9.9 $7,000 29.1 pounds without pedals
You may have to squint to see how Trek updated the Remedy for 2019, because it’s mostly the same. It still has 27.5-inch wheels, 150 millimeters of rear suspension and 160 millimeters up front. It has the same reach, same head angle, same chainstay length, same wheelbase and so on. Because of its little wheels and the way the numbers add up, it’s still a frisky and spirited little whip.
Considering that Trek redesigned most of its high-end mountain bikes— including the Remedy, Slash and Fuel EX—just a couple seasons ago, it’s too soon for a full-fledged overhaul. So, this year the Remedy gets more of a version release than an entirely new operating system. Bug fixes, security updates, deleting excess code for faster performance—that sort of stuff.
The most noticeable change is the move to a fixed lower shock mount, away from Trek’s ‘Full Floater’ design. Shock technology, including the stuff Trek has been doing in partnership with Penske Racing like RE:aktiv and Thru Shaft, has improved so much that having a moving lower shock mount just isn’t necessary anymore, especially on longer-travel models. Trek got rid of it on the Slash when it was redesigned in 2017, so it makes sense for that update to trickle down to the Remedy. Eliminating the excess code that is Full Floater simplifies the chassis, saves around 100 grams, increases stiffness and creates more room for potentially shorter chainstays or improved tire clearance. Ditching the moving lower shock mount has also improved mid-stroke support and smallbump compliance, according to Trek.
Speaking of small-bump compliance, this bike is off the charts. The vast majority of the Remedy’s minutiae-hoovering abilities stem from its proprietary RockShox Deluxe RT3 RE:aktiv Thru Shaft shock. I’ve probably said it before, but it deserves to be said again: Trek, through its own suspension lab and its partnerships, has the most advanced stock suspension in the bike industry.
It’s astounding how fast and effortless pedaling through rough terrain is on this bike. Most of the trails where I live are soft and loamy, but there are some sections of singletrack that have been rebuilt through timber clear-cuts, that instead of being covered by the canopy, bake in the sun and harden like concrete. These sections are potholed, rough and tedious to ride. I’m not one to skip a singletrack option, but I find myself riding past these areas of clear-cut mess on the logging road, and hopping back on trail once it ducks back into the trees. Not so much on the Remedy, though. This bike smooths that junk out better than anything I’ve ridden there before. And the Fox Factory 36 Grip 2 fork does an excellent job of keeping up with the bike’s ultra-supple shock.
The bike somehow makes all that little trail noise disappear, but without having pedal bob or feedback, or exuding any other efficiency-robbing tendencies.