The Official Beer of Boise Trails

Bike Review: Trek Remedy 9.8

Do you like fun?

Yeah, I know that’s a manipulative lead-in.  But it’s appropriate, because after a lot of thought, it’s the best description I can come up with for the Trek Remedy 9.8, and also the primary reason that it joins me on my rides while my short-travel bike and hardtail sit in the garage. 

Look, I’m not going to even pretend to be a professional bike reviewer, or some kind of suspension kinematics quasi-scientist.  Here’s how I decide if I like a bike: I throw a leg over it and hit the trails. That’s what I did with the Remedy, as I have with many comparable bikes.  The local Trek Shop let me take it for a long-term demo, which was perfect because it allowed me to ride it everywhere from Boise’s lower foothills, to pedal laps at Bogus Basin, to lift days at Tamarack, and everything in between.

The bottom line: I liked it so much that I can’t give it back, and I’ve offered to buy it.

I know what you’re thinking: the Remedy is a lot of bike, for Boise (160 mm front travel, 150 mm rear).  Who needs all that suspension for Boise’s relatively tame trails? Well, you’re right. Strictly speaking, you don’t need it.  You also don’t need hot water in your shower, or cheese on your burger, or a stereo in your car.  They just make it more enjoyable. Why fight that?

Sure, you can log more XC miles faster on a 20 pound rigid singlespeed, or even on a cyclecross bike in some cases.  But your smiles to miles ratio will probably suck.

And I know there are more exotic long travel trail bikes out there from so-called boutique brands that will attract more conversation at the trailhead parking lot.  I’ve demo’d many of them. Their exalted “hipness” factor didn’t translate into higher performance or fun, for me.

So here’s why I’m buying the Remedy, in a sentence: I can pedal it from the Corrals trailhead, up Hard Guy, Ridge Road, all the way to Bogus, and yet utterly enjoy descending G19 or Berm Baby Berm on it when I get there.  

Go to a Trek demo day and give one a try.  If you’re coming from a shorter travel bike, you might find, as I did, that it climbs a lot better than you expect, that it basically surgically implants a smile on your face on the downhills, and that it gives you confidence to hit a bunch of features that you never hit before.

See you on the trails.


Comments Bike Review: Trek Remedy 9.8

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  1. bewsurf22 says:

    Great write-up Kirk. I can attest to Kirk’s Smiles per mile ratio as I’ve been there for a good majority of it.

    1. Kirk Cheney says:

      Haha, yes you have.

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