Trek just did away the Remedy 29 and Fuel EX 27.5, but why? They call it simplification. We call it making fewer things, better. While two bikes will now be found in the Wisconsin-based company's history books instead of on shop floors, moving into 2017 you'll see some big improvements to the models they've decided to keep around.

John Riley, Trek's Global MTB Product Manager, filled us in on the change to their lineup: "Over the last few years we've spent a lot of time on the bikes trying to really focus on rider usage by category, and trying to get to 'What is the best bike that we can make as a company for that rider?' "

For all-mountain and enduro use Trek's "best bike" is the all-new Remedy 27.5, and trail riders get an updated Fuel EX 29 to drool over. That's just one model and one wheel size per category, but Trek says they were able to achieve everything they wanted. Each bike now suits a wider range of terrain thanks to more aggressive attitudes with 10mm of extra travel front and rear, slacker head angles, extended reach measurements, and improved component selections.

We had the opportunity to check out both bikes in Squamish, British Columbia. In typical BC fashion, we were greeted by muddy spring conditions that would make for some exciting slip-sliding in the rock and root infested forests. Without further ado, let's discover exactly what's new and why.

Remedy 27.5 Geometry Updates

"We wanted to take the Slash and the Remedy, and blend those two together to really make a playful, capable bike," said Riley. Looking at the numbers you can immediately see the Slash's influence coming into play, as the new 150mm travel Remedy 27.5 sports a slack 66-degree head angle in the low geometry setting. It's also far more roomy with 11mm longer reach values across the size range, furthering its capability in chunky terrain. The bottom bracket drops down a bit too, adding even more stability to the ride.

View detailed Remedy geometry table.

Fuel EX 29 Geometry Updates

After bumping up to 130mm of travel, the Fuel EX 29 is now more "trail" than ever before. Again we see a one-degree reduction in the head angle and 5mm longer reach values in an effort to boost confidence on whatever the trail dishes out.

View detailed Fuel EX geometry table.

Straight Shot Downtube

One of the biggest changes to both bikes is the new Straight Shot downtube design.

"As we pushed these bikes further and further while trying to keep the weight down and keeping the bikes stiff... there was an area of the bike that kept coming back as a challenge for our engineering group, and that was the front end of the bike where you kind of have that gooseneck effect of allowing the fork to be able to clear the downtube of the bike."

"The best way to design a bike is a straight line between two points," Riley continued, "and by doing that you get the stiffest and lightest structure possible."

"If we kink that line, you've got to add a lot more material," added Dylan Howes, Trek's Director of MTB Frame Technology, "and that's true whether it's aluminum or carbon."

The new downtube design results in the Fuel EX 29 and Remedy 27.5 measuring stiffer at the headtube and bottom bracket than the existing 2016 Slash and Remedy 27.5, with very notable improvements in the bottom bracket area.

Knock Block Frame Defense

Trek came up with the Straight Shot concept a few years ago, but weren't ready to deal with the complication of the fork hitting the downtube at the time. Their new integrated Knock Block system protects the downtube from damage, and also prevents brake and shift levers from scratching the top tube as an added bonus.

It uses a keyed stem, custom headset spacers, custom keyed headset top cover, and a replaceable stop chip in the top tube to get the job done. There's also a molded guard on the downtube as a redundant measure.

Despite being bummed that our x-up and bar-spin game just took a major hit, we were pleased to find that the Knock Block system goes unnoticed on the trail, even in tight turns. And yes, it will work with non-Bontrager stems if you'd like to customize your rig. All you need is a keyed headset spacer from Trek that clamps to the steerer tube.

RE:aktiv Meets RockShox and Metric

Never one to shy away from trying something new in the suspension realm, Jose Gonzalez, Trek's Director of Suspension Development, was pleased to tell us that Trek's F1 racing inspired RE:aktiv technology will now also be packaged inside RockShox's Deluxe shocks.

"What RE:aktiv does is it creates a very high threshold platform that goes into a regressive mode upon sensing shock movement (essentially velocity), and once it does that it goes into a regressive drop in compression force. At that point the wheel can respond to the bump and tuck out of the way. As it does that it's building velocity and then regains control," explained Gonzalez.

In a race car application, regressive damping is designed to be firm when cornering but supple for sudden impacts. When applied to mountain bikes the goal is similar - to provide support when pedaling or pumping but open up when needed. How? RE:aktiv was designed to be very sensitive to shaft speeds, and it responds accordingly.

"Essentially it's shaving the tops of the bumps off," Gonzalez continued. "It also gives you the opportunity to approach the shock as a set-and-forget option instead of having to flip back and forth."

The move to Metric shocks makes sense for Trek, who had already been applying a similar "more room for more cool stuff" theory in their prior shock collaborations with FOX. The new air springs also replicate similar spring curves to Trek's DRCV. You'll find 230x57.5mm RockShox Deluxe RL and RT3 shocks across the Remedy 27.5 range, while the Fuel EX 29 uses 210x52.5mm shocks made by both FOX and RockShox. Both bikes maintain the use of Trek's concentric Active Braking Pivot at the rear axle and Full Floater suspension design.

Additional Features

Trek's easy-to-use Control Freak cable management system makes its way to both carbon and alloy frames for 2017. The internally routed design features large cable ports and a clever zip-tie slot on the downtube to hold cables secure inside the frame.

The Mino Link is back again, allowing for quick geometry adjustments thanks to a flip chip at the top of the seatstays.

Extra details include Carbon Armor and down tube guards, PF92 bottom brackets, ISCG 05 tabs, and Boost 148/110 axle spacing to aid with wheel stiffness and shorter stays. Full carbon 9.9 models are 1X specific.

On the spec side of things, some models use Bontrager's new Line components, including the Drop Line adjustable seatpost and 35mm diameter handlebars and stems. We found the new cable-actuated, air-sprung, and infinitely-adjustable dropper to be pretty dang impressive with smooth and precise movement.

New Women's Remedy 27.5 and Fuel EX Models

Trek isn't forgetting the ladies who shred, and the new Remedy (top) and Fuel EX (bottom) with both be offered in women's models with female-specific touch points.

There's no performance difference, and thanks to low standover heights fit is good for a pretty wide range of riders. The Fuel EX, which replaces the Lush, will come with smaller 27.5 wheels on small sizes to extend the fit range.

View detailed Fuel EX Women's geometry table.

Remedy 27.5 Models, Pricing and Weights

Trek aims to please by offering the new Remedy in five models ranging from $3,000 to $8,000, three of which are alloy and two are carbon. On the Women's side there are two Remedy models to chose from.

Those looking to get extra rowdy will be interested in Trek's Remedy 9 and 9.9 Race Shop Limited builds, which feature 160mm travel adjust forks and more aggressive 2.4-inch Bontrager SE4 tires. Thanks to the extra fork travel they slot in half a degree slacker at 65.5-degrees, adding to an already capable ride. A full carbon rear end on the 9.9 model helps drop the weight to just 27.8-pounds (12.6kg).

Fuel EX 29 Models, Pricing and Weights

The Fuel EX 29 comes in three carbon and four alloy models, for a total of seven options, while the ladies get to pick from three.

If you'd like to give 27.5+ tires a go, you'll be pleased to learn that the Fuel EX is also offered with meaty treads and components to match, including a bump up to a 140mm fork to keep the geometry in check.

If you're feeling fancy, it's also possible to customize your ride through Trek's Project One program.

On The Trail

Riding the Remedy 27.5, the biggest thing that strikes you is that it's just plain fun. Combined with the great pedaling and pumping provided by the shock's RE:aktiv technology, the progressive suspension feel provides loads of support when it matters most. It's supple off the top when it needs to be, and traction was no issue even in the wet. As we rolled back to home base covered in mud from head to toe, it occurred to us that Trek's Remedy has finally arrived. This is a carbon copy of a bike we'd build for ourselves, and it's a hoot to play around on.

The Fuel EX 29 continues to impress with its ability to gain speed when you're on the gas, and it seems to zip along at an incredible rate. It's a very sporty feeling ride that's sure to be a treat for those who prefer a good sense of efficiency at the pedals. What's new is an improved ability to handle more technical terrain. Run in the slacker geometry setting, it proved to be ready for a number of steep rock rolls and rough, rooty shoots. Compared to some others in the 130mm 29er game, however, this one is definitely more geared toward the cross-country ripper end of the spectrum.

Visit www.trekbikes.com for more details, and be sure to check back for another special product announcement from Trek on July 19th. It's going to be big...

Photos by Sterling Lorence and Margus Riga // Feature by Brandon Turman

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