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There’s plenty of sup­port to pedal, which makes the Rem­edy be­have fast and lively. If there’s some­thing on the trail you want to hop over, you can preload the sus­pen­sion and get good pop out of the bike, in­stead of it just suck­ing your en­ergy. Bikes with as much noise-can­cel­ing ef­fect are typ­i­cally much more lethar­gic, but the Rem­edy is pure fun.

As if the Rem­edy wasn’t al­ready good enough at smooth­ing stuff out, it now comes stock with some beef­cake 2.6-inch tires, thanks to ex­tra frame clear­ance. There’s ac­tu­ally now enough room, ac­cord­ing to Trek, to fit 2.8inch tires.

While we’re back on the topic of up­dates, let’s rapid-fire through the rest of them, shall we? There’s 10 mil­lime­ters more seat­post inser­tion on the big­gest three sizes to sup­port longer drop­per posts. The un­der­side of the top­tube has some threaded holes, be­cause for some rea­son it’s be­come pop­u­lar to clut­ter up and weigh down beau­ti­ful, light­weight bikes by lash­ing spare tubes and tools all over them.

Trek also steep­ened the seat tube by a de­gree, mak­ing the ef­fec­tive seat an­gle 74.5 and 75 de­grees in low and high, re­spec­tively. Yes, the Rem­edy still has two ge­om­e­try po­si­tions, even though you can’t see those Mino Link flip chips from the out­side any­more. Trek re­lo­cated them to the in­side of the link, which fur­ther re­fines and sim­pli­fies the look of the bike. And that pretty much cov­ers the up­dates.

It prob­a­bly won’t come as a sur­prise to read that I pre­fer the Rem­edy in the low set­ting. That’s what ev­ery­one says, but this is ac­tu­ally a new de­vel­op­ment for me, thanks to the steeper seat an­gle. Now, in low, it climbs like it used to in high, without sac­ri­fic­ing ca­pa­bil­ity on de­scents. When the shock is in ped­al­ing mode—which, be­cause of the RE:ak­tiv valve, it’s sort of de­signed to be in all the time—the bike offers sup­port for ped­al­ing and a nearly per­fect bal­ance of sus­pen­sion move­ment for trac­tion and track­ing.

If you want to take advantage of the best sen­si­tiv­ity and re­spon­sive­ness the shock has to of­fer on de­scents, run it in its open po­si­tion. On fast, steep and rough de­scents, this is the way to get the ul­ti­mate grip and con­trol. But, if you pre­fer a no-fuss, se­tand-for­get sit­u­a­tion, leav­ing it in pedal mode all the time lets the special RE:ak­tiv valve shine, which means the shock can au­to­mat­i­cally switch back and forth be­tween pedal and de­scend modes. I some­times pre­fer the feel­ing of de­scend­ing in pedal mode be­cause, in­stead of the bike feel­ing like a fully-open squish­fest, the shock will pro­vide these ex­tra lit­tle hints of low-speed com­pres­sion sup­port when it can. Al­though, with the ex­tra bit of mid-stroke sup­port, leav­ing the shock in pedal mode is now more of a pref­er­ence than the ne­ces­sity it was on the first RE:ak­tiv shock.

There’s re­ally not a lot to com­plain about on the new Rem­edy, but I’ll give it a go any­way. First off, I won­der if Trek could have added an­other 10 mil­lime­ters of reach and raised the seat an­gle an­other de­gree, to 470, and 75.5. I got used to it just fine, but my very first thought when I got on the bike was that it felt a bit short. Spec-wise, I’d like to see a longer-travel drop­per post and an X01 cas­sette in­stead of the much heav­ier GX one. And, I hate say­ing this next part be­cause I had such high hopes, but the new Shi­mano XT four-pis­ton brakes didn’t amaze me. They are grabby at low speeds, and the finned pads rat­tle loudly, mak­ing an ex­pen­sive bike feel not-so-ex­pen­sive.

Seven grand is still spendy as hell, but Trek has dropped the price of the top-level 9.9 sig­nif­i­cantly. Re­cent 9.9-level models ran up­wards of $8,400, so this is a steal, right? There might be bet­ter-priced, sim­i­larly-spec’d bikes out there, but Trek’s sus­pen­sion is worth pay­ing it. And if pay­ing this much isn’t in the cards, the Rem­edy 9.8 comes equipped with the same ex­act shock and func­tion­ally sim­i­lar spec for $5,500.

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