As the last of our series of four bikes with which we hit Winterberg BikePark, in this (video)review we are taking a look at the Trek Remedy 9.7. Two things that stand out immediately:
- The very reasonable price for a bicycle with a carbon frame and good components,
- The way you use the MinoLink to adjust the geometry of your bike to the terrain you are driving.
With the Trek Remedy we rode Winterberg. We wanted to see if you could also ride a bike park with trail/all-mountain/enduro * bike, because we are talking about very versatile bikes. With 160 travel front and 150 on the rear suspension do you have enough for the park. But I also rode Dutch cross-country trails on the Utrecht Heuvelrug.
*The distinction between these different terms is not always that clear. They refer mainly to much travel (so how far can the damper “travel” on impact) your suspension. Some people will say that an Enduro bike starts at 160 mm, some would call that same bike a long-travel enduro. To some extent, it’s just a labeling thing aimed at marketing the bike.
Let’s just say that the Trek Remedy has a thick trail / all-mountain set-up that also fits nicely into the Enduro segment.
The Trek should be able to handle much of the rougher work. But by working the MinoLink you should also have a bike that is so versatile, and work out on terrain where a maximum suspension is not necessary. The frame is carbon, the rear triangle aluminium. A often seen combination that helps keep down the weight fo a bike, add a bit of rigidity and comfort at the same time while keeping the price of the bike down with the alumunium rear triangle.
I mentioned it a few times, but what is this MinoLink, and what does it do? It’s actually two bolts and two nuts on the suspension bridge system. The actual nut is oval in shape with the hole for the bolt placed decentrally. And that’s where the smart thing happens. By loosening the bolts and switching the nut (the MinoLink) around you actually shift the suspension system.
The effect is that the height of the bottom bracket (bottom bracket in Dutch) can go up and down by 6 mm. And that, in turn, means the wheelbase can be longer or shorter. Higher en shorter means the bike is better suited to more flat terrain or terrain where you have to climb more, so the speed is a bit lower. With that higher position of your bottom bracket and the shorter wheelbase, you can power the bike a bit better uphill, and it steers and handles a bit tighter. With your bottom bracket lower and wider wheel base you have more stability at higher speeds and your center of gravity is a bit lower.
Switching the MinoLink around is a simple operation, although I doubt that you will often do that on the trail mid-ride. I can imagine that if you do a long climb that leads to that amazing long descent, that you then you would take the time to do that switch. But more than on the trail, It is most useful when you can make your choice before you go on your ride. At the BikePark low, and on the XC trail high.
In the BikePark
At Winterberg BikePark, four “middle-aged men” rode two days with, among other bikes, the Trek Remedy. Four different skill levels, from BikePark first-timers to very much experienced. We all had a great time riding the Remedy. Here is the experience in a row:
- Joest (a lot of experience): A great ride, agile, light. Joest is a fan of the Rockshox suspension on this bike that really gives the full travel (that is not the case with every suspension). This and the 27.5 plus tires give a lot of comfort and confidence in the bike park.
- Mark (average BikePark experience): I found the suspension fairly stiff. Landings hit me quite firmly. I had a little more trouble with it myself. I did find the bike quite well-balanced and calm at higher speeds.
- Jimmy (experienced MTB-er, no bike park experience): Lovely bike, nice in turns where you can throw in the back wheel and drift through those corners.
- Hayco (BMX in younger days, no bikepark experience): This is bike that Hayco would buy purchase. Delicious ride, felt completely one with the bike.
Just like the Trek was not actually made for the BikePark, the bike is actually not made for XC trails. And yet like in the park, the bike does well on those trails. Certainly, with the MinoLink in the high position, you have a bike that is short and compact, steering through corners well and powers well on the climbs. With the 1×11 you could miss that extra large on really long steep sections, although I did not miss it on my rides.
The SRAM NX drive train on the bike is not super high end (actually very affordable), but it just works well. Also the SRAM Guide brakes (which you really need in the BikePark) brake powerfully and progressive, and continue to give enough stopping power during the day.
Furthermore, the Trek is set-up with components of “house brand” Bontrager. I especially liked the Bontrager Drop Line dropper post. At the bike park you do not really need that dropper because your saddle is low all the time, but all the more on an XC trail. Where descending and climbing and flat sections where you want to power on the pedals, alternate very quickly.
Versatile, reliable and affordable. The Trek Remedy 9.7 is a bike that gives a lot of bang for your buck.