Trails, Lifts, Parties, Send. The East Coast’s largest bike park is a playground like no other.
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.