2019 Trek Remedy 9.9

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2019 Trek Remedy 9.9 (Matte Dnister Black/Gloss Black)
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Tested: The Revamped 2019 Trek Remedy 9.9

Trek just made the Remedy stiffer and lighter while tweaking the suspension. We've already got a few months on the bike. Get the scoop!

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: The Revamped 2019 Trek Remedy 9.9

Itis as close to any objective statement as an opinion can be: the 2019 Trek Remedy sitting in the Vital garage is a damn good looking bike. Clean lines, bold carbon molds and a tuxedo-classy paint job. Trek’s popular trail machine is back in a new version, and like the Session and Slash it now has a stationary lower shock mount – no more Full Floater. Trek states that with updated shock technologies, primarily RE:aktiv and Thru Shaft, off-the-top sensitivity and overall rear suspension feel no longer require the action of the floating shock mount. The Remedy also gains some stiffness and tire clearance, loses about 100 grams of weight, and receives a few geometry tweaks to help try to keep pace with today’s more aggressive trail bikes. Several new aluminum and carbon models are available

Itis as close to any objective statement as an opinion can be: the 2019 Trek Remedy sitting in the Vital garage is a damn good looking bike. Clean lines, bold carbon molds and a tuxedo-classy paint job. Trek’s popular trail machine is back in a new version, and like the Session and Slash it now has a stationary lower shock mount – no more Full Floater. Trek states that with updated shock technologies, primarily RE:aktiv and Thru Shaft, off-the-top sensitivity and overall rear suspension feel no longer require the action of the floating shock mount. The Remedy also gains some stiffness and tire clearance, loses about 100 grams of weight, and receives a few geometry tweaks to help try to keep pace with today’s more aggressive trail bikes. Several new aluminum and carbon models are available ranging from $3,299 to $6,999 USD.

Old Remedy (black) versus new (Miami green)

For the past two months, the top-of-the-line Remedy 9.9 has been put through the paces as it was intended. Some days were 4,000-foot ascents and others were full-on park laps. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at how the new Remedy stacked up.

Remedy 9.9 Highlights

  • OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame and stays
  • 27.5-inch wheels
  • 150mm (5.9-inches) of rear wheel travel // 160mm (6.3-inches) fork travel
  • Active Braking Pivot (ABP) rear suspension design with EVO rocker link and fixed lower shock mount
  • 230x57.5mm Trunnion mount Metric rear shock with RE:aktiv and Thru Shaft
  • Mino Link adjustable geometry
  • Control Freak internal routing
  • Tapered headtube
  • 46mm fork offset
  • Knock Block headset to prevent damage to the Straight Shot downtube by the crown
  • Rubber downtube protectors
  • Threaded downtube inserts compatible with Wolf Tooth B-Rad system for tool storage
  • Press fit bottom bracket with ISCG05 mounts
  • 1X drivetrain only with max of 36-tooth chainring
  • Boost 148 rear spacing with 12mm through axle
  • 180mm post mount rear brake
  • 27.5x2.8-inches of tire clearance
  • Lifetime frame warranty, five years for swing arm
  • MSRP $6,999 USD

Geometry

At a rider height of 5’9” (1.75m) tall, the test bike used here was a size 18.5 (Trek's medium) with a 435mm reach and 445mm seat tube. The stock (low) head angle comes in at 65.5-degrees with close to a 75-degree effective seat angle. In an era of making the chainstay as short as possible, Trek bucks the trend and put slightly longer 435mm stays on the Remedy. Trek’s geometry is indeed still a bit on the traditional side, but long front ends and tucked up rear axles aren’t for everybody – some of these numbers give the Remedy rather endearing trail manners.

For shorter riders, know that Trek has improved the fit of the smallest 15.5 size so it works for more people.

Suspension Setup

The bike uses a propriety RE:aktiv rear shock featuring Trek's Thru Shaft technology. Trek claims that traditional shocks with an internal floating piston (IFP), which compensates for the change in damper volume and displacement, don't respond quickly enough due to lag in the system. The Thru Shaft design eliminates the IFP by allowing displacement outside of the shock. According to Trek, this provides a faster response, constant connection to terrain, more traction, and ultimately more control.

Cam McCaul explains:

Setting up the shock doesn’t take anything different than your typical RockShox Deluxe RT3. Pump it up to a bit over bodyweight to get that 30% sag and let it run. For reasons that will make more sense later in the review, we didn’t run the bike any deeper than 30%. We did however get closer to 25% sag and found the bike to take on a bit more of a poppy feel on the trail. One needn't be a suspension guru to extrapolate why that was the case. The stiffer setup did in fact, also result in a stiffer ride. Ultimately we kept the rear at the recommended setting.

We kept the FOX Factory 36 Float fork set up within the appropriate boxes, inside manufacturer recommendations for the given rider weight. Depending on the trail or the day, the high and low-speed compression settings saw 1-7 clicks from open but never more than that.

On The Trail

The new Remedy is an interesting bike. The 150/160mm travel and relative numbers make it look like a big bike on paper, flirting with enduro capabilities. But when Trek bills it as a trail bike, they mean it. The Remedy is a tool; it is meant to get a certain job done and for the most part does it well. The thing is, some riders want a happy hour on the weekend, not business as usual. The value is truly in the hands of the rider and is not necessarily objective in its nature.

An early test ride in Mammoth, California.

The stats of the Remedy are pretty similar to the new Santa Cruz Bronson. They both boast the same travel numbers and much of the rider fit even lines up, though there are some key differences that make the bikes fit quite differently and ultimately (suspension designs excluded) behave very differently on trail. First would be the fit. The Trek fits, feels, and rides very small – almost cramped. On steeper, more aggressive downhills the Remedy lacks the cockpit length to allow the rider to move around. We often felt either on the rear wheel or just behind centered, neither of which are ideal for weight distribution during the burliest of encounters. So why not simply size up? The tall seat tube length will limit many.

Take the Remedy to the bike park with expectations of rowdy and you may be a bit let down, particularly when considering some of the other bikes in this class such as the Bronson or even the shorter travel Transition Scout. In back to back runs, the Scout will out-corner, out-jump and otherwise embolden the rider on the descents far more so than on the Remedy. Inside lines, drifts and “Why am I riding this?” situations that the Bronson gobbles for breakfast can sometimes be a handful on the Remedy, or it just choses not to play along.

Certainly, though, a brand as established as Trek – with a roster of the most electrifying and successful riders on the planet – would not produce a lemon. Let’s unpack what the Remedy does well and examine the ever-broadening swath of trail bikes:

The bike's steeper seat angle and smallish cockpit are like EPO on technical climbs. This bike moves uphill in ways that only an XC bike can – a trait that was appreciated more than once in our time together.

First up, is the up. The bike's steeper seat angle and smallish cockpit are like EPO on technical climbs. Taking the Trek up Armstrong Pass to Mr. Toads Wild Ride is a physical affair comprised of big technical moves over the course of more than 3,000-feet of nonstop climbing. The Remedy ate it all up. The suspension platform is phenomenally efficient, shelling out traction like beers at a frat party. This bike moves uphill in ways that only an XC bike can – a trait that was appreciated more than once in our time together.

There are a great many rides that aren’t burly suffer-fests that pitch you into the bowels of Hell. In fact, there are oodles of rides that are up, across, and down some pretty mellow grades. There are some bumps, rocks and roots to encounter, possibly even something to be sent. This is a strong point for the Remedy. The lower grade (less steep) trails are fantastic as they allow a rider to cruise along, centered and ready for what may lay ahead. Should something sneak up around the corner, say, a large boulder, fret not because there’s 160mm of fork up there that will just pound it into submission.

Trek has a geometry adjustment flip chip on their bikes dubbed the Mino Link that will steepen/slacken the whole bike by half a degree and raise/lower the bottom bracket. It was very much our preference to ride the Remedy in the “High” position. The sharper angles are more true to the Remedy’s pedigree and result in a bike that feels more true to itself. While the rear suspension feel differs from the 140mm Canyon Spectral, the overall trail attitude became very much the same when adjusting the Remedy to the higher position. There was more pep in its step and compliance was easier to come by.

Right now, while many trail bikes are choosing to punch up a weight class, the Trek stays true to its designation and delivers riders a more traditional and conservative ride experience. If efficiency trumps burly, but you also crave longer travel, then this is the bike for you.

In the wide spectrum of "trail" bikes, it appears things can be pretty fuzzy. When lining up bikes, riders will often see something in the 130-160mm range supported by Pike/FOX 34 or a Lyrik/FOX 36. A fork alone does not a bike make but one could not be faulted for extrapolating a bike’s intentions based on this expensive and important component. The point? The Remedy, with it’s four-piston XT brakes, smash-ready suspension and stout chassis builds a different expectation than what may be delivered. The Remedy is for the all-day trail explorer, the backcountry rider that doesn’t mean to get into much heavy business. Park rats and party trains need not apply.

Build Kit

The FOX Factory 36 Float fork with a GRIP2 damper is a bit of a no-brainer these days. A strong performer on trail and stiff as hell when ramming things, it was no surprise that the 160mm fork at the helm of this bike never disappointed. For the most part, we ran the compression open with a touch softer air pressure. Diving and excessive bottoming were never a problem.

Bontrager's 2.6-inch SE4 tires provide immense traction and the draw is very understandable considering they aren't prone to folding or being too squirmy like plus-size tires can. The tradeoff, however, is that these tires slow down the bike with their overall girth and weight. Mounted on the bike they make the burly 36 fork look more like a 34.

The Bontrager Line Carbon 30 wheels were absolutely fantastic. Stiff in the corners, incredible fast-rolling ride qualities on those big hauls and light weight all add up to a set of wheels that are a joy to ride day to day. Hands down the star of the show. Hub engagement was solid and there were zero incidents or issues. On one particular ride, we had a set of svelte 800-gram tires mounted. Bashing our way down Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride had rocks meeting rim more than once. The Bontis rolled away unscathed.

You know that one cartoon where the character smashes the brakes in their car and their eyeballs fly through the windshield? Well now you too can have that feeling thanks to Shimano's XT four-piston brakes. These things will have riders relearning how to brake as the power and control offered by these things is other-worldly.

Our size 18.5 test bike came with a 125mm travel Bontrager Line Dropper. Truly, a medium size frame should have a 150mm by default as we did have to move the post up and down for the longer downhills. The plus side is that post travel can be adjusted by swapping internals (something Trek states your local dealer will be happy to do) which is pretty bad ass. The post performed awesome with precise actuation and a quick return.

SRAM X01 shifter, X01 carbon cranks, and XX1 derailleur but a GX cassette? On a flagship bike? All of the parts do indeed work awesome together, but given that the OEM up-charge from a GX to X01 cassette is not that significant, it's a bit of a bummer to leave the buyer with something a quarter pound heavier and quite expensive to upgrade. While the top-shelf derailleur is no doubt nice, we'd gladly trade down in this area for a higher-end cassette.

Long Term Durability

In full disclosure, this test bike saw zero mud, muck or wet grime. Instead, it was bathed in moon dust, boulder fields, decomposed granite and all other forms of all-too-dry riding conditions for two months of solid use. No pivots came loose, no bizarre noises emerged, all the suspension held its own, so on and so forth. There has not been a single instance of any technical issue or failure. The clear coat does have a few rock chips in it, as is customary when mountain biking with your mountain bike.

A few months in and still going strong.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Trek Remedy 9.9 is a trail bike through and through. Come to grips with its nature and a rider will be pleased as punch to rip up the mountain, across it and eventually back down. Right now, while many trail bikes are choosing to punch up a weight class, the Trek stays true to its designation and delivers riders a more traditional and conservative ride experience. If efficiency trumps burly, but you also crave longer travel, then this is the bike for you.

Visit www.trekbikes.com for more details.

Vital MTB Rating

  • Climbing: 4.5 stars - Outstanding
  • Descending: 3.5 stars - Very good
  • Fun Factor: 3.5 stars - Very good
  • Value: 4 stars - Excellent
  • Overall Impression: 4 stars - Excellent

About The Reviewer

Brad Howell - Age: 39 // Years Riding MTB: 25 // Height: 5’9” (1.75m) // Weight: 160-pounds (72.5kg)

Brad started mountain biking when a 2.25-inch tire was "large," and despite having threads, bottom brackets sucked. Riding in the woods with friends eventually lead way to racing, trying to send it at the local gravel pits, and working in bike shops as a wrench to help fix those bikes. Fortunate enough to have dug at the past six Rampages and become friends with some of the sport’s biggest talents, Brad has a broad perspective of what bikes can do and what it means to be a good rider. The past few years Brad worked in the bike industry and got to see the man behind the curtain. These days, though, he likes just riding his bike in the woods with friends.

Photos by Margus Riga

Specifications

Product Trek Remedy 9.9
Model Year 2019
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
15.5" (Low, High), 17.5" (Low, High), 18.5" (Low, High), 19.5" (Low, High), 21.5" (Low, High) View Geometry
Size 15.5" (Low, High) 17.5" (Low, High) 18.5" (Low, High) 19.5" (Low, High) 21.5" (Low, High)
Top Tube Length 562mm, 560mm 588mm, 586mm 604mm, 603mm 625mm, 624mm 649mm, 648mm
Head Tube Angle 65.5°, 66° 65.5°, 66° 65.5°, 66° 65.5°, 66° 65.5°, 66°
Head Tube Length 95mm 100mm 105mm 110mm 125mm
Seat Tube Angle 68°, 68.5° 68°, 68.5° 68°, 68.5° 68°, 68.5° 68°, 68.5°
Seat Tube Length 394mm 419mm 445mm 470mm 521mm
Bottom Bracket Height 349mm, 356mm 349mm, 356mm 349mm, 356mm 349mm, 356mm 349mm, 356mm
Chainstay Length 435mm, 433mm 435mm, 433mm 435mm, 433mm 435mm, 433mm 435mm, 433mm
Wheelbase 1140mm, 1139mm 1167mm, 1166mm 1184mm, 1183mm 1206mm, 1205mm 1232mm, 1231mm
Standover 730mm, 735mm 761mm, 767mm 758mm, 764mm 758mm, 764mm 768mm, 774mm
Reach 395mm, 401mm 420mm, 426mm 435mm, 441mm 455mm, 461mm 475mm, 481mm
Stack 587mm, 583mm 592mm, 588mm 596mm, 592mm 601mm, 597mm 615mm, 610mm
* Additional Info Measurements with a 160mm fork
Bottom bracket drop: 16mm low, 9mm high
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details OCLV Mountain Carbon main frame and stays, EVO link, Mino Link, Control Freak internal routing, down tube guard
Rear Travel 150mm
Rear Shock RockShox Deluxe RT3, RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft 3-position damper, tuned by Trek Suspension Lab, 230x57.5mm
Fork FOX Factory 36 Float, GRIP2 damper, tapered steerer, Boost110, G2 Geometry with 46mm offset
Fork Travel 160mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Knock Block Integrated, sealed cartridge bearing, 1-1/8" top, 1.5" bottom
Handlebar Bontrager Line Pro, OCLV Carbon, 35mm diameter, 27.5mm rise, 780mm width
Stem Bontrager Line Pro, Knock Block, 35mm clamp, 0 degree
Grips Bontrager XR Trail Elite, alloy lock-on
Brakes Shimano Deore XT M8020 4-piston hydraulic disc
Brake Levers Shimano Deore XT
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle, Roller Bearing Clutch
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide None included
Cranks SRAM X01 Eagle DUB
Chainrings SRAM Eagle 32 tooth direct mount
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB Press Fit, 92mm
Pedals None included
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Cassette SRAM XG-1275 Eagle, 10-50 tooth, 12-speed
Rims Bontrager Line Carbon 30 wheels, tubeless ready, tubeless strips included, valves sold separately
Hubs Bontrager Line Carbon 30 wheels, 54 tooth Rapid Drive, Boost110 front, Boost148 rear,
Spokes Bontrager Line Carbon 30 wheels
Tires Bontrager SE4 Team Issue, tubeless ready, Core Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 27.5"x2.60"
Saddle Bontrager Arvada, austenite rails
Seatpost Bontrager Line, internal routing
100mm travel (size 15.5), 125mm travel (size 17.5 and 18.5), 150mm travel (size 19.5 and 21.5)
Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions Boost 12mm x 148mm
Max. Tire Size 27.5" x 2.8"
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes
Colors Matte Dnister Black/Gloss Black or Miami Green
Warranty Lifetime of the original owner on frame, 5 years swing arm, 1 year paint and decals
Weight 27 lb 12.8 oz (12,610 g)
Miscellaneous ABP (Active Braking Pivot)
Knock Block steerer stop
562mm axle-to-race (commonly 170mm travel) max fork length
Price $7,349.99
More Info

www.trekbikes.com

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