Words by Chili Dog | Photos by Margus Riga, Chili Dog
As I rolled into Mammoth Mountain, California under smoke filled skies there was a lot of uncertainty. For one I was uncertain as to what bike Trek would be unveling at the media camp, but more importantly I was nervous we wouldn’t get to ride it because of the wildfire that was burning behind the resort. Lately it seems like the west coast has had two seasons; bad winters and summer fires. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we awoke to clear skies and an empty bike park.
Trek must have sensed there had been enough smoke puffing already so they kept the product presentation to a minimum. Instead, they stuck to the point and simply covered the updates on the Remedy in a short presentation. Trek was intent to let the bike do the talking. I’ll be honest though, after the ride I was doing plenty of talking. I wanted to know how Trek nailed the performance on this bike. The combination of on trail handling and lower pricing, even for the top of the line model is simply top of the pack. Wait, did I already blow the surprise?
The Remedy has long been a staple bike at Trek and one that we personally think is quite stellar in its existing form. Due to it already being a crowd pleaser, Trek didn’t embark on a massive redesign with the new Remedy. Instead, they opted for subtle and incremental changes to address the constantly evolving needs of riders. The adage, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ definitely rings true.
In line with most brands these days, Trek improved the Remedy’s tire clearance, and now specs the bike with beefy Bontrager 2.6” tires. Should the 2.6 rubber not be enough, the bike has clearance for up to 2.8″ tires. Trek achieved this by removing any provisions for a front derailleur and eliminating the Full Floater suspension design that they have relied on since 2010.
According to Trek, the design was introduced back when shock technology was a limiting factor. At the time, air shocks were either large volume and offered excellent compliance but pedaled poorly, or small volume with the opposite affect on performance. Air suspension technology has improved to the point that Trek feels the Full Floater is no longer needed. As a result, their frames now have a fixed lower shock mount with more room for larger tires and shorter chainstays. The change also means the Remedy is approximately 5% stiffer and 100 grams lighter across the board, in both aluminum and carbon.
Trek also made changes to the seat tube. With more riders opting for longer dropper posts, Trek increased the insertion length 10mm over the outgoing Remedy seat tubes. To firmly align the Remedy in its all-around trail bike niche, Trek also steepened the seat tube angle to 68.5 degrees. The extra degree over last year’s bike will put the rider in a better power position for climbing exertions. Adjustable geometry remains, thanks to Trek’s Mino Link flip chip. The chip offers a low and high setting with a half-degree change to the head angle and raises the bottom bracket height from 13.70-in to 14.01-in.
One of the most visible changes to the Trek line is the color palate. Trek has traditionally maintained a conservative approach when it comes to paint schemes, but this year each bike in the line up will be offered in one conservative, and one loud color. For the Remedy, Trek chose Miami Green, and we’re definitely digging every bit of it!
At the launch, Trek gave us a full day aboard the bike in the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. Thankfully, we were also able to take a bike home with us for a long-term review, so we’ve had the opportunity to put some solid miles on the new machine since our initial first impressions. While we haven’t quite had enough miles to conclusively speak about the bike in all conditions or speak to its longevity, it was instantly clear Trek has a beast on their hands!
As one would expect, the new Remedy isn’t a massive departure from the outgoing model, in terms of initial appearances. Only the most discerning of Trekies will be able to notice the slight changes in tube thickness or alterations aside from the obviously missing Full Floater. On the trail however, the Full Floater is the last thing on your mind. The Remedy is snappy, responsive and accelerates like a rocket ship. While 5% stiffness gains aren’t anything you’ll feel in the saddle, the Remedy’s stiff chassis made for precise and nimble cornering and something experienced riders will notice in the corners.
Trek’s work on the rear shock tune also didn’t go unnoticed. The Remedy is able to strike an impressive balance between small bump and low speed compression resistance for climbing. Not surprisingly it also handled the unforgiving granite rock gardens at Mammoth without batting an eye. Having just ridden the Trek Powerfly the day before on the same terrain, it was eye opening just how much faster the Remedy was through the same sections because of its agility.
While we at TLW may not be as fond of plus tires as some of you, there is most definitely a demand in the market place, especially among riders looking for stability over agility. The new Remedy allows for those tires, but doesn’t stop guys like us from swapping on some 2.5″ rubber.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Overnight, the Remedy has become our new favorite test bike in the SoCal quiver. While the changes for 2019 might be subtle, they are definite improvements on an already stellar bike. We always like less moving parts, especially when it comes with no penalty. The elimination of Full Floater was ultimately a wise move on Trek’s part, and allows for an increase in frame stiffness and a wide variety of tire fitments.
Since bringing the 2019 Trek Remedy home from camp it’s quickly showing us how capable it is on our local test loops that vary from big pedals to full blown DH shuttles. In a day and age where more people are buying one bike to do it all, that’s a big deal. What we liked even better is that even the most decked out carbon 9.9 model comes in at $6,999 and the entry level Remedy AL F/S is just $1,889. When considering value for performance, those are some impressive numbers.
We’re excited to spend more time aboard the 2019 Remedy and will update you with a full long term review soon. Want in on a little secret? Watch ’till the end of the video below…
For more info and number crunching, head to the Trek website.