Words/photos By Chili Dog
The Trek Remedy is a staple in the history of mountain bikes. The namesake has evolved greatly over the last decade, but to the die-hard fan, one can still see the DNA. Over the years it has evolved, but much of the bike’s core principals have remained. It has always been Trek’s aggressive, all mountain ready for anything trail slayer, regardless of wheel size or head tube numbers. We’ve spent six months on the latest Remedy and are ready to report our findings.
As full-time media hacks, it isn’t often that we get to experience what actual bike ownership is like. While it may seem cool at first to have your garage be a revolving door of new bikes, sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s actually “yours” and sticks around for a while.
Normally we do our best to accelerate the wear and tear a bike will receive during its life in the shorter test periods some brands offer, but thanks to Trek’s generosity we’ve been able to ride the Remedy 9.9 since August of last year. Although tempting to rush out a review in hopes of being the first, we decided to hang onto the bike and give it a proper long-term testing.
For 2019 Trek made some notable changes to the Remedy. Tire clearance has been increased and Trek now specs the bike with 2.6” Bontrager 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. Trek claims that the elimination of the Full Floater system increased stiffness 5%.
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. Trek maintained the OCLV Carbon frame making process, which is brilliantly explained by Cam McCaul in video form here. Trek also maintains their Active Braking Pivot, and RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft suspension design. Both increase the bike’s action under braking, and improve its willingness to respond to terrain on the trail. I won’t be shy when I say Trek has some of the best suspension on the market.
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 puts 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. It also raises the bottom bracket height from 13.70-in to 14.01-in.
So where does that leave the Remedy in respect to geo numbers? Very balanced. Though the YouTube commenters may have convinced you that you aren’t a true 2019 bike without a 500mm reach and 60 degree head tube angle, actual trail riding says otherwise.
A size large Remedy (19.5 frame) has a 66.0-degree head angle in the high position and a 65.5-degree head angle in the low position. Reach is 46.1cm in high and 45.5cm in low. Chainstays are 43.3cm in high and 43.5cm in the low position. As trail bike geo goes, it’s right in line with a lot of our favorite bikes, providing plenty good pedaling response, but still maintaining the ability to hit aggressive lines. The 160/150mm of travel certainly helps that cause.
Our 9.9 model comes equipped with a Fox Factory 36 Float, GRIP2 damper. Out back is a Trek specific Rock Shox Deluxe RT3, RE:aktiv with Trek’s Thru Shaft 3-position damper custom tuned by Trek Suspension Lab. Our top of the line 9.9 model comes packing the heat with carbon Bontrager Line 30 wheels, and a SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain.
SRAM XO1 Eagle cranks also keep on the premium theme while four piston Shimano Deore XT brakes do the stopping. A host of high end Bontrager parts round out the build with a Line dropper post, Line Pro carbon bars and Line Pro stem. Trek maintains their Knock Block headset spec for 2019 as well. To make the increased tire clearance worthwhile, Trek specs 27.5×2.6 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue tires. With all that carbon, this bike tips the scales at 27.8 pounds!