The Remedy has long been a staple in Trek’s trail bike line up and has always proven itself out on the hillside. For 2017, Trek has given the Remedy a serious overhaul, limiting it to 650b wheels and giving it its most aggressive geometry to date in a bid to properly define its intentions.
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Turn the bars and instantly something feels different. That’s because Trek has used a steering lock limiter dubbed the Knock Block. This neat little system consists of a unique stem, spacer, headset top cap and a stop insert in the frame, all of which work together to prevent your fork crown or controls from whacking your down tube should you take a tumble.
There’s also some frame protection on the underside of the down tube just in case. But why go to all of this trouble? By using a straight down tube, Trek claims it's able to produce a much stiffer frame and with an improved strength-to-weight ratio.
More obvious highlights include Trek’s well-established ABP concentric drop out pivot and Full Floater suspension design, which delivers 150mm of rear wheel travel, all of which is controlled by the RockShox Deluxe RT3 RE:aktiv rear shock.
At the top of the seat stays sits the Mino Links, which let you adjust the bike's geometry. Flipping them will result in an alteration of 0.5 degrees at the head and seat angle and around 10mm in height at the bottom bracket. Even in the high position though, a head angle of 65.6 degrees and bottom bracket height of 344mm isn’t going to hold you back on the descents.
Trek Remedy 9 Race Shop Limited kit
If you’d wondered what the ‘Race Shop Limited’ actually refers to, it’s Trek’s way of distinguishing those bikes with a little more grrrrr from others. In our case it means that there’s a 160 rather than 150mm fork bolted up front in a bid to handle the beating that bit better.
To give the Remedy a touch more of that ‘do it all’ attitude, Trek has chosen to use the Dual Position Air Lyrik rather than the fixed travel Solo Air fork. This allows you to toggle the fork down to just 130mm of travel to help make those nasty long climbs that bit more bearable.
Both tyres and wheels come from Trek’s in-house brand Bontrager. The broad Line Comp 30 rims help to give the 2.4in SE4 Team Issue tyres plenty of volume and a nice shape and throughout testing I was constantly surprised by how well the combo held up, even after a proper battering on Italian rock.
Trek Remedy 9 Race Shop Limited ride
It’s the Remedy’s incredibly active, supple suspension that you’ll first notice on the trail. Though it’ll bob a bit when you’re slogging up a climb, the RockShox Deluxe RT3 Re:aktiv rear shock’s low speed compression lever is easy enough to reach and firms things up nicely. It’s when you’re heading back down that the lively nature of the Remedy really comes into its own though.
Trek has done a good job of using the 150mm of travel very effectively, producing a rear end that keeps the rear tyre planted, producing impressive levels of traction on properly bogged out or wet surfaces. That’s not to say things feel mushy though, as the suspension still feels well-supported enough when you do start to really push things.
Tuck the Remedy into some seriously awkward, nadgery sections of trail and its sorted chassis, relaxed angles and active suspension help to deliver accurate line choice and high levels of composure.
It was at higher speeds where the Remedy’s suspension balance didn’t feel quite as good as it could have. While it’s a bonus that you can now adjust the progressivity of the Dual Position Air Lyrik fork by adding Bottomless Tokens, just like you can on the Solo Air version, I found that I still needed to increase the air pressure in the fork in order to keep it propped up in the really rough stuff.
This then had a noticeable effect on how supple and forgiving the fork felt through its beginning and mid-stroke, ultimately throwing the overall suspension balance out when you're really throwing the bike into fast, high load corner compressions.
The high volume tyres and broad Line Comp rims do help to take the edge off of things though by sucking up a lot of the smaller trail chatter, but I can’t help thinking that the Solo Air Lyrik might have been a better fit and would have created an even more balanced ride.
OK, I'm being pretty picky here, but seeing as the Remedy has just had a pre-Brexit price hike and gone up an extra £200, it only seems fair. Still, there’s no getting away from what a capable, well-proportioned machine this is with some great kit to boot. It’ll need some fine tune fork fettling to properly balance it out when really being pushed hard at speed though.