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2017 Trek Remedy 9 RSL

Comparisons

Specialized Stumpjumper

The Remedy feels like quite a bit more bike than the Stumpy. It’s slacker and longer, and the suspension feels a bit more bottomless, which means that the Remedy is much more of a contender on rowdy descents. Even though the Remedy has the same travel as the Stumpjumper, I’d say the Remedy is a bit closer to the Specialized Enduro in terms of capabilities (and intended use). I should, however, note that the “regular” Remedy that has a shorter-travel fork might be a bit closer to the Stumpjumper.

Specialized Enduro

I haven’t ridden the latest iteration of the 650b Enduro, so this comparison involves a bit of speculation. The Enduro has considerably more travel (170 mm front and rear), but it has similar angles and sizing as the Remedy. I’d say the Remedy is probably a slightly more well-rounded bike (meaning it climbs better), but the Enduro probably edges it out on the roughest descents.

Santa Cruz Bronson

The Bronson pedals better than the Remedy and is a better climber except on truly technical climbs where the Remedy really excels. But while the Bronson is by no means a bad descender, the Remedy pulls away when things get legitimately rough. The Bronson is an extremely competent and well-rounded trail bike, whereas the Remedy is more of a slightly-scaled-down enduro bike.

Devinci Troy

The comparison to the Troy is pretty similar to that of the Bronson. The Troy climbs better (again, except on really technical climbs), but the Remedy descends better. The Troy doesn’t have the ability to smash and plow through rough terrain like the Remedy, but the Troy is a bit better at pumping and carving through tighter corners.

Devinci Spartan

The Spartan pedals a smidge better than the Remedy, but it also has more travel, so climbing efficiency is roughly a wash. As is the recurring theme throughout these comparisons, though, the Remedy does better on techy climbs. On the way down, despite the Spartan’s extra travel, I’d actually give the Remedy a slight nod in especially rough terrain. The Spartan is a bit poppier and easier to jump, though, and the frame feels a little stiffer. Ultimately, the two bikes have a lot of similarities. (And just to clarify, I’m comparing this to the 2015-2017 Spartan.)

Transition Patrol

This is an interesting one, and I’d say the Patrol is probably the closest to the Remedy of any bike I’ve ridden. The Patrol is a touch slacker and has a smidge more travel, but both of those differences are somewhat negligible. The Patrol is a more efficient climber, and on the way up would only lose out to the Remedy on truly technical sections. On the way back down, the Patrol is more poppy and playful. While the Remedy can pop and it can play, it falls a bit more on the “plow” end of the spectrum. So for truly rough, technical trails, I’d take the Remedy. And for flowy, bermy, jump trails, I’d give a very slight nod to the Patrol, but both of these bikes are fun.

Durability and Maintenance

So far, so good. I haven’t done anything to the Remedy other than regular maintenance (lube the chain, air up the tires, etc.). I’ve put a couple of significant dents in the rear rim, but it’s still holding air just fine while set up tubeless. I do, however, think the wheels might need a round of spoke tension pretty soon. But other than that, no news is good news.

Bottom Line

The Trek Remedy 9 RSL packs a lot of punch for the amount of travel it has, which means it can hang with longer-travel rigs without breaking a sweat. But having a bit less travel also means it’s less of a chore on climbs, and rider input is less likely to get swallowed up by the suspension.

The longer-travel fork on the RSL version of the Remedy plays no small part in the bike’s descending prowess. And minor adjustments on the RE:aktiv rear shock can make a huge difference in how the bike rides, and what type of rider it works best for.

All in all, I’m entirely impressed by the Remedy. It’s a bike that can mingle with a posse of trail bikes on one ride, then hang with the endurbros on the next. While descending is clearly its forte, I wouldn’t (and haven’t) shied away from pedaling it up long and miserable climbs. Because what goes up must come back down, and if pedaling to the top of a steep, rocky, rooty chunderfest is the kind of thing you’re into, the Remedy should be on your short list.

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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