Cam McCaul – Suburban Escape
Bike Check – Trek Shremedy
Name: Cameron McCaul
Weight: 165. Or 170 after a burrito
Favorite Food: A burrito
Favorite Bike: This one.
TLW: Before we get too into the details, how should we address this bike? Does it have a name?
CM: Through the process of making this thing, Ted Alsop (the engineer) and I have been calling it “The Shremedy.” Just sounded right but we never really talked about what it means. I’m gonna say it’s short for a really shreddy Remedy.
TLW: What was the motivation behind building this bike? What was your vision/goal?
CM: I’ve dreamt about a bike like this for ages. I’ve tried to piece together builds on existing frames to get what I’m looking for but for one reason or another I could never come up with exactly what I wanted – which was a hybrid of 3 things – a trail bike, a slope bike, and a freeride bike.
I’ve had a slope bike with full 11-speed and a dropper post but it really lacked the amount of travel and cockpit space to feel good on a trail or in desert terrain. I’ve had a Session Park built with a single-crown but couldn’t do a dropper post or full 11-speed because of rear axle spacing and seat tube length limitations.
Luckily, Trek and Ted specifically, are always psyched on weird ideas and after a few years of me babbling about my dreams for this bike, it became a real project. Ted is the dude who came up with the idea for the Stache (29+ hardtail with 420mm chainstays) Just goes to show he’s down to try anything that may be exciting.
TLW: How many tries did it take before you got it just right?
CM: This is version #1 but I’ve tried two different front triangles. One carbon and this aluminum one. I like the aluminum one because I can have my BB shell drilled and tapped for the friction bolt to make sure the cranks don’t spin during tailwhips etc. Dream version #2 would be a carbon front triangle with a threaded insert for the BB bolt, and then a straight seat tube so I could slam a 150mm dropper post. As far as geometry goes, it felt perfect right away.
Ted took into consideration everything I liked about the stock Remedy and also the Session Park rear end, which has 420mm chainstays; and then found common ground between those two frames. The front triangle is a stock Medium Remedy that has a spacer in the bottom of the headtube to give room for the fork crown to clear for barspins and tailwhips. We also bypass the Knock Block. Instead we call it the “Not Block”.
TLW: What have been some of your favorite rides or projects with this custom rig?
CM: Three things –
- Taking it into the desert terrain and having so many possibilities open up for bringing slopestyle-esque tricks into that environment. I’ve only done one desert video on it so far, but more to come.
- Going for a trail ride and being able to throw the bike around so much – flicking the rear end into and out of corners, manualing rollers, popping, etc. A 27.5 will be faster and more efficient, but when I’m going for a trail ride I feel like the purpose is to have fun and enjoy the trail as much as possible. I’m not racing a clock or a Strava satellite, I just want the bike to dance.
- Going on a trip where the riding types on tap are either varied or unknown. I can take just this bike and know I’ll have fun absolutely anywhere.
TLW: Let’s get into the details a bit more. Beyond the 26-inch wheels, what makes this bike different?
CM: Short chainstays are the most important part. Then the barspin and tailwhip capability, which required the “Not Block” bypass spacer and special cable routing (dropper post lever on the right rather than the left so it can live in harmony with the rear brake and shifter lines.) Then the BB bolt for crank friction.
TLW: Have you measured any of the angles to see where she lines up to the latest trends?
CM: Hahahaha yeah, that’ll be the day.
TLW: How much does the bike weigh?
CM: I can’t remember the exact weight but I want to say its right around 30 lbs.
TLW: What were some of your biggest concerns or focuses while building and designing this bike? Knowing what you wanted to accomplish, how did you select parts?
CM: Because I knew I wanted it to have the mandatory elements of a trail bike such as an 11-speed drivetrain and a dropper post, I knew the challenge would be keeping the build at a weight that would still be comfortable for tricks that involve tailwhips and barspins. It’s crazy how much of a difference you feel doing those rotating tricks when the bike is just a few pounds heavier. I did my best to combat the added weight of those parts by using things like Shimano XTR cranks, brakes, and drivetrain.
TLW: Is 26 dead?
CM: As long as riding purely for enjoyment is still alive, 26 will never die.
TLW: Now that we’ve learned a little bit about your bike, let’s hear about your suburban escape loop. How stoked are you?
CM: Every parent needs a way to burn off a little steam every now and again. I just happen to be lucky enough to have some open space behind the house where I could build an escape route. This video was really fun to make and I gotta thank everyone involved for allowing this excuse to ride, play music, and find some humor in the day to day stuff that every parent is familiar with.
We’d like to extend a special thanks to Trek Bicycles for helping make this project a reality and the McCaul family for their superb acting skills!
Frame: Aluminum; 150mm
Fork: Fox Factory 36; 160mm
Shock: Fox Float Evol
Brakes: Shimano XT
Handlebar: Bontrager Line Pro
Saddle: Chromag Overture
Seatpost: Fox Transfer; 100mm
Shifter: Shimano XTR; 11s
Stem: Bontrager Line Pro
Hubs: Shimano XTR
Rims: China Carbon
Tires: Bontrager XR4
Bottom Bracket: Shimano
Cranks: Shimano XTR
Derailleur: Shimano XTR; 11s
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