Trek Remedy 9.8 Review


Chico (13 of 14)

Trek Remedy 9.8 Details

  • 650b Wheels
  • 66.5/66.0 degree head tube angle
  • Carbon Front triangle and seat stays
  • Sizes: 15.5″ 17.5″ 18.5″ 19.5″ 21.5″
  • 150mm travel front and rear
  • MSRP: $5299.99

The Remedy has been a staple in Trek’s line up for 10 years now. The 2017 Remedy has received some big improvements from past models. Notably, the Remedy line is now 650b only. Gone is the Remedy 29. Additionally, travel has been increased again to 150mm from the previous versions’ 140mm. Reach and wheelbase are longer and the headtube angle is 1 degree more slack, making it a much more capable machine. The versatility of this bike is amazing however. So far I have raced the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro, the collegiate downhill race at University of Nevada Reno(a course so gnarly that an unfortunate rider broke his back and another suffered a broken collarbone), and ridden several long days in the saddle with over 6,000 feet of climbing, all with ease!

The Remedy 9.8 comes with a Shimano XT 2×11 drivetrain, Rockshox Pike RC 150mm Fork, Rockshox Deluxe Shock with Reaktiv Damper, 125mm Bontrager Drop Line dropper post, XT Brakes, and Bontrager Line Comp Wheels.

Frame

You might have noticed a distinct difference in this bike’s downtube compared to a your traditional mountain bike. Trek designed this bike with a straight downtube that does not have a relief for the front fork. This creates a stiffer and lighter frame. To prevent contact between the fork crown and the frame, a molded rubber guard is glued to the downtube. Additionally, Trek designed a special keyed headset that prevents the fork and bars from rotating far enough to hit the frame.Sorry, no X-Ups or Bar Spins on this bike.

Cables are all internally routed on this frame. It’s not the best cable management I’ve seen, but certainly not the worst. All cables are “free” inside the frame but to control rattling a tab in the downtube allows a zip tie to wrangle all the cables and keep things quiet.

Another great feature is mino link. This flip chip allows the bike’s head angle to be adjusted from 66.5 degrees to 66 degrees.file_000

Geometry

remedy-geo

Setup

It is important to note how I have my suspension set up before we get into the details. The shock is running 30% sag in the open compression setting and rebound 4 clicks from open. The fork is at 25% sag with 3 of Fox’s orange volume reducers. Low speed compression two clicks from open, high speed compression 11 clicks from open, and rebound is right in the middle. I like my suspension to be progressive to help prevent wallowing and hard bottom-outs. Additionally, I am 5,8″ and I am riding a 17.5″ frame.

Chico (1 of 14)

Our Remedy has a few changes from the stock spec:

  • Fox Float 36
  • 1×11 conversion
  • Sram Guide Brakes
  • Bontrager SE5 tires

Riding

We took the Remedy out to Bidwell Park in Chico, California to put it through its paces. If you’ve ridden here then you know that the park consists of:

  1. Steep lava rock
  2. Loose lava rock
  3. More lava rock

There’s a reason they say, “If you can ride Bidwell, you can ride anywhere.” Most locals opt for burly bikes in the 140mm-160mm range as their daily drivers here. Its no wonder why when most of the trails look like this:

Chico (4 of 14)

Climbing

The Remedy easily carries itself up whatever hill you throw at it. With a seat tube angle of 74.5 degrees, your legs are positioned right above the pedals to put down the power. When pedaling out of the saddle there is a subtle amount of bobbing; even with 30% sag. Up technical single track or smooth gravel, I never have found it necessary to switch the shock into a stiffer setting. When the grade gets the front wheel stay’s planted to the ground without much body position change.

Chico (8 of 14)

Descending

With 150mm of front and rear travel, of course this bike is going to get rad on the descents. However, the bike has an overwhelming playful personality. The snappy handling yet burly confidence means you feel like a kangaroo on a trampoline, barely touching the ground. I noticed myself having more fun and carrying more speed on flatter trails and parts of the ride I don’t normally look forward too.

The Rockshox Deluxe took a while to get setup to my preference. After adding a few volume spacers the shock had no problem soaking up small chatter and big hits.

Accelerating from stops and out of corners is fast and easy. Typically bikes similar to this have a bit of a delay from when you start pedaling, the Remedy seems to respond quicker.

Chico (5 of 14)

Last Notes

There are a few things that Trek missed the mark on. With both Sram and Shimano offering wide range options for their 1×11 drivetrains, a bike like this should come spec’ed without a front derailleur. That is somewhat rider preference, but after replacing the stock cassette with an 11-46 I haven’t found myself needing an easier gear.

Next, something that is kind of inherent in Trek’s frame design but nonetheless annoying is the seatpost limits the bike to be compatible with shorter dropper posts only. If you look, there is quite a bit of post sticking out from the frame. The problem is, in order to accommodate the rocker link, Trek puts a bend in the seatube, limiting the space for a longer dropper post. It’s not too noticeable, but I would prefer to have a 150mm post and have the seat well out of the way.

I did have the rubber bumper on the downtube fall off while riding in Mammoth too. Luckily, the Trek’s demo tour was down there and they hooked it up with a new one, but I’ll be keeping electrical tape on there to keep it secured.

Chico (12 of 14)

Overall

I’ve been riding the Remedy for a little over a month and over 200 miles. I felt really comfortable on this bike from the first ride. While its a playful bike it still maintains a good balance as a capable descender. Considering the carbon frame and that the build kit comes with powerful brakes, a solid drivetrain, carbon bars, and a dropper post, the bike is a good value. The wheels have been holding up well even after taking beatings from Downieville and Mammoth. This bike is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an all around trail bike or enduro rig for under $5,500.

Video Test Ride

30 thoughts on “Trek Remedy 9.8 Review

      1. Oh nice! I have the remedy 8 2017 and have changed the Beatles and drivetrain and wanted to change the fork to the fox 36 160mm would u recommend ?

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  1. Really like your review, and the video is insane, I find it hard to believe you can stay on the trail going that fast. I feel my tires washing out just watching the video. BTW, I just bought the 2017 Stumpjumper with the Purgatory tires, which I’ve found do not have good off camber edge grip at all when trying to cling to the edge of rutted sections. I Have WTB Velociraptor (rear) and Weirwolf (front) on my old Enduro which have excellent grip and controlled braking (another thing the Purgatory’s lack). I read you change the tires on the Trek, any recommendations based experience (I’m in SoCal with similar trail conditions to many of your videos). Thanks and keep rippin!

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    1. Awesome! Yeah I swapped out the stock tires for the SE5. They dont have any intermediate knobs so they have more grip overall but you really have to lean the bike in order for the tires to work. The Specialized Butcher and Maxxis Minions are good options as well.

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    1. The difference in geometry is because the RSL uses a different rear triangle than the non RSL frame. Additionally, Fox forks have a shorter axle to crown length than RockShox.

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    1. Well the RSL chainstay does not allow for a front derailleur, so they certainly are different. I work at a Trek store. I know for certain that the 65.7 HA is accurate on my bike, because I’ve measured it.

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  2. I have a question on fork choice. You went with a fox 36 up front is it better than the lyrik and Do you think it’s better with out the travel adjust which comes on the bike? Thanks for your time.

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    1. The complete build the bike came with had a 150mm Pike RC. I’ve never like travel adjust forks. To me its not worth the weight and I don’t think I’d use it too often. Both are good forks, I just prefer Fox.

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  3. I wasn’t sure if their was a performance reason for going with fox over Rock shox. Like suppleness, rigidity etc. I mentioned the lyrik because for a bike like the remedy it seems like it would benefit from a burlier fork like the 36 you went with or the lyrik. Is yours the rc2 or fit 4? Thanks!

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  4. Would shorter cranks be worth the upgrade to allow switching the mino link to reduce pedal strikes and gaining a slacker ride? Maybe the F36’s would also help?

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  5. Hello, I’m thinking on picking the 2018 model and I’m interested into known how the shock has hold up on the long term. I’m little bit worried about reliability as its a proprietary technology and the shock length is not a standard one.

    Also I’m interested on your thoughts about a 170 36 up front

    Cheers from Madrid

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      1. I get from your previous answer that the HA with a 160 36 is steeper than with the stock 150 pike so that means shorter a2c. I’m trying to preserve the stack (2018 has a 160 lyric), but maybe you’re right and the difference in travel will not play well.

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  6. Hi, I’m considering a bike exchange. I own a Giant Reign advance in 2015 and am considering switching to trek remedy 9.8 2018 (with lyric). I would like to know your opinion, basically the trek will go up better than the reign, but down?

    Thanks from portugal

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  7. Hi
    Just wondering how you found the 17.5 inch frame. At 5.8 I was wondering if it is a bit short. I am 5.6 and thought that the 18.5 inch frame might be a better fit. I know there is a lot to bike geometry but the reach and effective top tube measurements of the 18.5 look better although the wheel base is starting to stretch out a lot on the 18.5. Cheers

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  8. Would love to see a review of the 2018 model. I’ve only seen a couple, and one (MTBR) was all about the thru-shaft shock, for the most part. I’m thinking of making the move from 26 (I have a Mojo SL) to the Remedy. A bit of a jump in head angle, but all reports are that it’s a very good all-round bike. Thanks.

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