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2017 Trek Remedy 9 RSL

Fit and Geometry

Unlike a lot of companies these days, Trek uses the more traditional numeric size notation. So I rode the 18.5” version of the bike, which roughly correlates to either a big “Medium” or a small-ish “Large” in most other brands.

(As a side note, I wish Trek would just use the Small / Medium / Large naming system for their sizes; the 18.5” number would traditionally be with the seat tube length, but (1) seat tube length is essentially irrelevant to the overall size of a mountain bike so it’s a pointless number to use, and (2) my 18.5” bike has a 17.5” seat tube, so the number is extra meaningless.)
Noah Bodman reviews the Trek Remedy 9 RSL for Blister Gear Review.Naming conventions aside, the sizing on the Remedy is modern, meaning it’s relatively long, low, and slack. And this is especially true of the RSL, which (by virtue of its longer travel fork), has a slacker head tube and a longer wheelbase than the regular Remedy.

Per Trek’s recommendations, at 5’9”, I fall right in the middle of the range for the 18.5” size. Reach on the 18.5” comes in at 445 mm, which would be a Large for most companies, and it’s a slightly bigger-feeling bike than what most companies would recommend for someone of my height. Personally, I think that’s great — it lends some stability to the bike, and I’m generally happy riding a bigger frame. But if you’re worried about it feeling like too much bike, it might be worth considering sizing down.

The Remedy, like many of Trek’s bikes, gets their Mino Link, which is just a flip chip at one of the rocker pivots that allows the geometry to be adjusted in a “high” or “low” position. I spent the vast majority of my time on the Remedy with the chip set in the low position. That yields a 65.5° head angle, a 339 mm bottom bracket height, and an overall wheelbase of 1185 mm. At the back of the bike, the Remedy has 435 mm chainstays, which are decidedly not the shortest in its class (which I think is a good thing).

Noah Bodman reviews the Trek Remedy 9 RSL for Blister Gear Review.

Noah Bodman on the Trek Remedy 9 RSL. (photo by Marc O’Brien)

For this type of bike, those numbers are at the slack and low end of the spectrum. In the low mode, the Remedy’s geometry puts it closer to more enduro-oriented bikes that have a bit more travel. And even in the high mode, the Remedy is still on the slack and long end of the 150 mm trail bike segment.

I mentioned above that the front end of the Remedy is quite low, thanks in large part to the Knock Block system that allows Trek to slim down the downtube / headtube junction. Stack height gives a pretty good picture of front end height, and the Remedy is quite low at 592 mm for the 18.5” size.

Normally I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to front end height; it is what it is, and I can change it easily enough with headset spacers and different rise handlebars. But the Remedy is noticeably low. I took quick measurements from the ground to the top of the headtube on an assortment of bikes (including a hardtail 29er with a 120mm fork and a couple other 27.5” wheeled bikes with similar or less travel than the Remedy) and the Remedy was substantially lower than all of them. Personally, I tend to like a lower handlebar, but for those who don’t, it’s easy enough to swap around some headset spacers and raise up the front end.

NEXT: Performance, Comparisons, Etc.

2 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Tom June 26, 2017 Reply

    Great, detailed (yikes!) review on a great bike, Noah. I’ve got the predecessor in 29 and love it. Kinda hoping Trek adds that model next year.

    I’ve also got a 2016 Fuel EX that I use for endurance racing (disclosure — Trek helps me out in this regard). I’ve been pounding this bike for nearly two full seasons (including a few laps up, over and around Tally Mountain in your back yard). A few observations on both bikes FWIW:

    1. Love the water bottle capability. Both of mine (21 or 21.5) will hold a one-liter Zefal Magnum bottle. Heaven!

    2. I’ve never had FS bikes with longer lasting, quieter pivots. On new bikes, I pop out the seals from each bearing, and top them off with Dumonde Tech liquid grease. Never had a peep from either bike, going on two seasons for the Fuel EX and three seasons for the Remedy.

    3. The Reaktiv rear shocks are everything they are cracked up to be for trail riding. Like a Brain that works right. For actual racing, I use a shock with firmer lockout valving for the inevitable gravel road climbing sections in just about every endurance race.

    4. As an old school guy, I wondered about the integrated lower headset bearings. Turns out to be a non-issue, and the Remedy has seen a LOT of rugged, rocky riding.

  2. Blister Member
    James July 27, 2017 Reply

    Noah — thank you for the detailed review. I have been looking at buying the Fuel EX 9.8 and was wondering how much I could infer from your review of the Remedy in considering the Fuel EX? In general the review seems very favorable of the Remedy and trying to ascertain if you were to review the current Fuel EX if you would reach similar conclusions. I know it’s a difficult question to answer but hoping for some guidance. I’m coming off of a 10-year old 26″ Santa Cruz Superlight and would like to upgrade. I’m a little cautious of going all the way up to a 29er vs. a 27.5, but I like the components on the Fuel EX 9.8 and some of the common characteristics of the Remedy in your review hit home with me. I live in Marin County and truth be told do most of my riding on fire roads, although I plan to increase riding of single tracks. A local bike shop in Fairfax is really pushing the Norco Optic 9.2 or 7.2, but I haven’t seen any recent reviews of Norco to assess.

    Love your reviews and keep up the great work. I hope Jonathan is healing well!

    Thanks,

    Jim

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