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Talking Trek MTBs with Steele and Crash

September 13, 2013

Mountain bikes. As any of the folks at the shop can tell you, it’s not my thing. I’ve had a few, but for one reason or another, I’ve never gotten really competent riding one. Probably because I get frustrated and turn back to my road or ‘cross bike. For those that stick with it though, there’s joy to be found blasting trails and exploring areas less traveled. Just like being on the road though, riding the latest and greatest MTBs from Trek is an added bonus to any ride as I found out when I talked with Eric (aka Crash) and Steele from Lamar about the new Remedy and Fuel EX rigs.

Eric and Steele on the trail in Waco.

Eric and Steele on the trail in Waco.

So I wanted to talk with you guys about these bikes because I saw some great shots on Facebook of the two of you riding and I couldn’t quite make out the bikes in the shots. What were y’all on?

Eric: I was on my personal bike, the Trek Remedy 9 29. 140mm of travel front and rear.

Steele:  I rode the Fuel EX 9 29 with 120 mm of travel on both ends that I borrowed from the shop’s rentals department.

No wonder I couldn’t tell what bikes you were riding. They look similar with that chrome finish. What bike do you own, or rather, what MTB is your “go-to” ride?

Steele:  Right now I can’t stay off my Santa Cruz Bronson C.

Eric:  I love my Remedy for my daily rides. It is fun and playful in the flats. It becomes pure joy when I point that thing downhill. I giggle all the way down the Hill of Life.

Eric, you’re always giggling! What wheel size was the Trek you rode?

Eric:  29. “Bigger is Better” – Trek.

Steele:  29. Don’t tell anyone!

Eric's daily comute across the Greenbelt spiced up by hoops from our rentals department.

Eric’s daily comute across the Greenbelt spiced up by hoops from our rentals department.

What wheels size do you normally ride?  Why?

Eric:  I like the 29 for trail riding in our area. We have a ton of rocks here and I like to keep the pedals moving. Momentum is your friend! I don’t seem to have a problem flicking that thing around either.

Steele:  I’ve been a 26 hold out for a long time. Now though I’m on 27.5 (also referred to as 650b, ed.) because I love the liveliness of line choice. Clearing rocks like you can on a 29, but also really carving through turns, and choosing my own “flowy” path is when I have the most fun on the trail. 27.5 is perfect for that.

What do you think of 650b?

Steele:  I love it! It suits my preference for a smaller wheel, while allowing me to update with the times. Although, like 26, it’s not for everyone. I’m curious to try Trek’s 650b offering when I can.

Eric:  I am interested in 650b. I have had very little time on one. Hopefully, when the shop sends me to Trek University I will get more time on the 650b platform. I had a 26 in the past and almost got another this time around. Trek says wheels size depends on the rider’s style. I am a believer in that. There is a bike for every style of rider.

What did you think of the Trek?

Eric:  Overall, I think Trek has stepped up their game this year. I rode the Fuel EX 26 in the past and loved it. I am glad to see them in the 29 option now. There are a few Trek bikes that I would like to own this year. I really enjoy the Full Floater suspension. The suspension is plush and seems bottomless. The Dual Rate Control Valve (DRCV) on the rear shock is amazing. For my bike, even though it’s a long travel bike, the Remedy has great pedaling efficiency. I have set a few new Strava PRs on my Remedy. And the Advanced Braking Pivot (ABP) is good for when I want my suspension to keep working while I am braking. Perfect for every descent here in Austin—20 to 30 seconds of terror followed by a 90-degree corner at the bottom of the hill!

Steele:  The Fuel 9 29 was easy and fun to ride. The bike is so smooth! DRCV works well providing a firm pedaling platform, yet seamlessly transfers into 5 inches of bottomless suspension. The big wheels really do just roll over everything, and with Treks G2 geometry it handled more like a bike with smaller wheels. I really enjoyed my experience on the Fuel.

How easy was suspension set up on the Trek?

Eric: Trek makes it really easy for suspension set up. You can go the Trek website and check out their Suspension Calculator (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/resources/suspension_setup). I’ve done a few tweaks from what the website suggests as I’ve gotten used to my Remedy but the calculator is a great place to start.

Steele:  Absolutely. Suspension set-up is a breeze. The Suspension Calculator on Trek’s website meant there was no guessing, just riding.

Where did you ride the bikes?  Other favorite area trails?

Eric:  On the day of those pictures we took a day trip to Cameron Park in Waco. I have taken my bike all over in just the short time I have had it. The Greenbelt is almost a daily occurrence. Walnut Creek or Slaughter Creek are perfect for when I want to do some speed work. Emma Long is great for “technique” rides. Prospect/Purgatory in San Marcos is fun for a short day trip. Soon to come is Reveille Peak Ranch and Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort.

Steele:  Yeah. We drove out to Cameron Park in Waco, TX, one of IMBA’s favorite trail systems. It has a mix of every terrain and style with lots of flowy, sweet single track.

What other area trails do you think the Treks you were on are perfect for?

Eric:  The Remedy is listed under the “technical trail” MTB section on their website and I think a lot of what Austin and Central Texas has to offer is technical trail. I ride the Greenbelt pretty much every day and I love riding the Remedy there. I will take this bike anywhere from fast, flowy single track to all-mountain trails in Colorado. I am taking the Remedy to the Womble Trail in Arkansas and can’t wait.

Eric loves to take bike photos. Here's his Remedy on the Womble Trail.

Eric loves to take bike photos. Here’s his Remedy on the Womble Trail.

Steele:  The Fuel EX 9 29 is a trail bike is ready for any part of the trail. It climbs like a billy goat, and descends with confidence. On the flats you’ll drop your buddies, and on the descents with the dropper post you’ll have the most fun—and drop your buddy’s again!

Sounds like you guys had a great ride and really loved the bikes. Thanks for sharing!

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