Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,448

    Went to a trek demo, heres what I thought.

    Backround: I ride DH because I can only afford one bike, and DH is my favorite type of mountain biking. I like pushing it hard and riding aggressively and doing jumps and rocks. I like adrenalin rushes and high risk tech speed stuff.

    But, I really enjoy trail bikes, and the more tame side of mountain bikes - I like the feeling of burning in my legs from a big hill climb, I like conquering a tech climb, and I like the feeling of getting bounced down a trail on a trail bike, not just the mushy mashy plow of a DH bike.

    first bike, and the one I was most excited about (by far )

    Remedy 9.8
    I had pretty high expectations for this bike. I rode a 2009 remedy 9 for a while and considered it the best "AM do everything bike in existence." You could literally do anything on it - a big drop, a jump trail, or a 20mile xc ride. It didn't matter, it could do it all and excel.

    I was slightly apprehensive about the DCRV, because literally the only complaint I had about the older remedy was that it bottomed out a little bit too easily. I was also a little bit apprehensive of the 150mm 32 on the front - the 160mm 36 with independent compression adjustments was a real high point of the old remedy I felt.

    Sadly, I would say my fears were pretty much 100% confirmed. I bottomed it out at granite bay in CA (think flat, sandy, buffed as a paved road, 6-7 fist sized rocks per 10 miles). It had its high points, in that it definitely felt stiffer and deflected less then the old one, and there was a lot less trail noise/vibration, but the heart of what made the remedy good, those huge, massive, grapefruit sized cohones, were ruthlessly removed and a neutered bike remains.

    Its not a "bad" bike, per se, but it doesn't give you the pedaling prowess you would hope for from a shorter travel bikes, nor the confidence and control of a greater travel bike. Several bikes in this class do both - the specialized enduro jumps to mind, as do offerings from knolly, giant, santa cruz, and many others. Its great for riding slowly over a fist sized rock, but for any aggressive rider, plan on getting aftermarket shock tuning.

    I think this bike could regain its cohones, and get bigger ones still, with the help of an angleset headset to slack it out a little bit, a 160mm talas or 2step lyric to drop the front end on climbs, and a pushed shock (not DCRV). However, buying a bicycle that costs in the 5K-8K range and immediately needing to pull the shock, and fork, buy new ones, send one off for custom tuning, and get a 300 dollar headset seems pretty retarded to me, especially when there are so many other bikes that do a good job. Trek needs to pull their heads out of their asses on this bike, and realize that 60 year old doctors who want to hit the trail and are going to ride once or twice is not a good market segment to pidgeon hole themselves into if they want to actually attract mountain bikers. Pretty disappointed on this bike.

    3/5 stars, still a great bike, but lots and lots of room for improvement, and certainly not something worth buying with so many other great bikes on the market. Trek needs to work on this one, starting with their component choices and ride quality goals. A few good notes: bike was fycking light, tires were great (first bontrager tires I've thought were good in any way, shape, or form), cockpit felt right on. it was still something I could have fun on, but it just lacked the zest and and excitement of the old ones, where it should be much better.

    2nd bike

    Fuel EX 9.9

    I rode this one back to back with the remedy. I liked this alot more. There was nothing the remedy could do that this one couldn't. This one bounced a little bit more through the rocks I could find, and the back wheel was more friendly with sliding and drifting rather then staying planted like the remedy, but it had the advantage of not diving and wollowing in the travel, and felt much more tight and controlled. It accelerated like a rocket, and held speed really really well.

    Climbing was great. I felt literally no bob, and it felt like it was holding speed as efficiently as my road bike. You give a few pedal strokes, and relax, and it just keeps going and going and going. Geometry was dead on for climbing. I couldn't get the rear wheel to spin, the front felt planted, and tight techy corners were a breeze. shifting balance points was easy, but there really wasn't a lot of need for it. It did everything a well designed and good geometry bike should, and nothing that it shouldn't. Really really liked it.

    Concerning descending, I've ridden trail bikes I felt like got hung up really easily,or felt overly harsh come bumpy or steep or fast sections, but this one had a very predictable attitude and never did anything surprising - it felt great. It didn't blow my mind anywhere, but it felt like any great trail bike should. It tracked well, it was tight enough that in tight corners it never felt overwhelmed, I never felt the need to drift the back wheel out to make a corner (which I did on the remedy, and definitely do on my session), but it never felt overwhelmed in what high speed sections I could find. It used all of its travel as efficiently as possible, not blowing through it, and never feeling harsh. It manualed fairly well, and drops were pretty easy despite it being an XL, but the cockpit didn't feel overly short or anything (6'2" with a long ass reach, and I'm usually more comfortable sizing down - my session is a medium). Overall I was very impressed with its descending abilities as a trail bike. It blew away everything I've ridden so far. I loved it.

    Only complaint was that it was a tad bumpy - through the tight rock gardens I could find, you definitely didn't get a bottomless feel, but it was still pretty fantastic.

    I give the Fuel ex9.9 a 5/5. Absolutely fantastic. Best trail bike I had ever ridden.

    Bike 3
    Fisher Rumblefish II

    Absolutely blew my mind. It had the snappiness of the fuel in the tight stuff, it had the "plow" abilities that the remedy should have had, it climbed like a rocket, it tracked in corners where either the remedy or fuel would have started sliding. Basically, it did everything the fuel did, but better, and it did everything the remedy SHOULD have done, but better. The only thing I don't think I'd be confidant about is using it as a really aggressive bike - I probably wouldn't want to jump it, for several reasons - frame geo just wasn't there on it, and it shares the same frame as the hifi, which is an aluminum xc race bike. The rumblefish II is the most ultimate trail bike I've ever ridden. The first 29er I've ever ridden that didn't feel sluggish and sh1tty, and cornered well too (and I like sitting deep in my travel and 26 wheels for corners.) This was definitely the surprise, and highlight of my day. It was an absolute treat. It was also the first fisher I've ever ridden that didn't feel uncomfortably steep and awkward. It just felt comfortable, fast, and in control.

    5/5. Might try and save up the dollars to get one.

    Last bikes:

    Scratch air 9 and scratch 9: Fun, geo felt dialed, climbed really really well for 7 inch bikes, but you could definitely tell that they were 35-40 lb 7 inch travel bikes, and I've never seen much purpose of these bikes. Either get a DH bike, or get a trail bike, but this "pedalable DH bike" has never made sense to me. Maybe it has to do with the trails I've ridden. Not alot of bob, but definitely still had a big bike feel. Trail wasn't rocky, steep, fast enough, or jumpy enough to really get a feel for them, other then the geo felt dialed and they pedaled well.

  2. #2
    Riiiiiide...
    Reputation: PsyCro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    691
    Hmm, interesting, but not even close (well, maybe a little close) to what i found. This just goes to show how 'AM' varies amongst people.

    IMO The Fuel EX 9.9 is a terrible AM bike.. i felt reeeally uncomfortable riding it even slightly agressive. The light carbon frame flexes so much that i basically couldn't believe it. Not very 'fun' in my books. The Alu version of the Fuel is a much better bike for me. Much more solid feeling. I see the carbon version as a bike for the XC type that want a little more travel and slightly slacker geo, not for anyone who actually rides 'agressive'.

    The Remedy 9.8 was an absolute blast. Really fun bike to ride that simply does everything right.. up - down - corner, everything is spot on. The move to a 150mm fork doesn't detriment it all that much.. although i'm sure many would prefer a 160mm fork on that bike (myself included actually). Again, it really depends how 'agressive' one really rides. If the Remedy isn't gnarly enough, well then there is the Scratch.

    I also tried the Scratch Air, and i just couldn't get comfortable with it. I really felt like i was ON the bike too much. I would have liked to have the opportunity to slack out the geo and lower the bars. That probably would have made a huge difference for me. IMO this kind of bike, even though in the upper travel range, is what AM bikes should be. A bike that doesn't weigh too much (32lb), pedals exceptionally well, but doesn't slow you down when the going gets rough.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: monty797's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    630
    Interesting. Thanks for the quick reviews!

    I'm intrigued by the Rumblefish honestly, I'm trying to figure something out to go with my Blue Pig that is in the FS realm. Guess I gotta try and find a demo near me now lol.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bionicman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    516
    I would mirror the thoughts regarding the rumblefish

    Great bike on my short list.....

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,448
    There is too huge a gap between what the remedy can do and the scratch. I think the line would work alot better if the remedy was more capable. I should be clear. The fuel ex is no AM shredder. Its a trail bike through and through. I thought it felt great, I thought the suspension did everything the remedy did but better (but not everything the remedy SHOULD have done).

    I have no experience on the alu version, but I had no complaints with its point and shoot through DH rock gardens while laying off the brakes. But again, different backrounds. I'm probably much more content to lay off the brakes on a trail bike and let it plow while getting pingponged then most riders are.

    The scratch, to me, felt like a freeride bike. If I was mostly at resorts, or pedaling up fireroads to get to the top of DH trails, it would be great, but otherwise, pretty worthless. There was no way I would ever want to do a 20 mile ride on it.

    The remedy needed alot more high and low speed compression in the front, the fork felt noodly as fyck, and the rear blew through travel like theres no tomorrow. I guess the long and short is that, to me, trek has absolutely nailed the xc line, the trail bike line, and the FR and DH line, but that its really missing something in the AM line, and its a pity because its purely because of parts spec. With a proper suspension spec, I think it would once again be the best AM bike on the market.

  6. #6
    dcb
    dcb is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    265
    I've never been on a 29er so I'm wondering how you "convert" a 29er head angle? I know there's no actual conversion but what I mean is that the current head angle trend for AM/trail 26" bikes is 68.5-66.5 degrees. I know there are bikes out there in this catagory that fall outside those lines but I think probably 80% do.

    Does a 29er with a 70 degree HA feel like a more slacked out 26" bike? I also found it interesting that the Rumblefish has the same HA as the HiFi even though it has 20mm more front travel and the same frame apparently. I thought that generally 20mm more axle to crown height would result in a 1 degree slacker HA.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,448
    it is about a degree slacker. and it feels it, and thats what's listed. Not sure how 29er HA comes into play, especially once you throw the g2 fork offset into the mix, but I always feel like fisher HA's are stupid steep, and was very pleasantly surprised by the rumblefish.

  8. #8
    dcb
    dcb is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    265
    Yup, you're right, I was just reading it wrong. The Rumblefish HA is listed as 70.1 (19") and I was reading it as 71.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    169
    I've been riding a Rumblefish since January. It replace a 160mm AM bike.

    If you want a trail bike to do everything add this one to your list.

    It will climb anything that your legs are strong enough to pedal up
    It will desend anything that you've got the balls to ride down

    It climbs without lifting the front wheel
    It descends without ever feeling like you'll go over the bars

    I've done XC enduro races on mine and shorter XC races. As has already been said it shares it's frame with the hifi but it has DRCV shock and thru axle fork.

    In the time I've had it I've done 2500 kms.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    Trek needs to pull their heads out of their asses on this bike, and realize that 60 year old doctors who want to hit the trail and are going to ride once or twice is not a good market segment
    unfortunately, you may be wrong here other than 'core' riders, these are the people spending real $ on bikes

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    861
    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    There is too huge a gap between what the remedy can do and the scratch.

    The scratch, to me, felt like a freeride bike. If I was mostly at resorts, or pedaling up fireroads to get to the top of DH trails, it would be great, but otherwise, pretty worthless. There was no way I would ever want to do a 20 mile ride on it.
    I agree with the first statement. I was not impressed with the Remedy, as well. Felt very XC oriented. I liked the Enduro much better.

    On the other hand, I LOVED the Scratch, blown away by it, in fact. Built up to 29-30 pounds, I'd have no problem riding it on a looong hilly XC ride one day, then swap in some heavier wheels, and wider tires, and bomb the downhill trails, the next.
    How you felt about the Scratch, is how I feel about the Specialized SX Trail II - awesome bike, but DH/Park only.

    Sooo many awesone bikes right now!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    769
    how would you guys compare the scratch air to the santa cruz nomad, or giant reign? i've ridden a nomad before, and liked it, but haven't ridden the other two
    94 Specialized Rockhopper

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,448
    Quote Originally Posted by miles of pain
    unfortunately, you may be wrong here other than 'core' riders, these are the people spending real $ on bikes
    Maybe I'm wrong, I simply don't see that as being the case. I agree, anecdotal evidence only counts for so much, but I think company sales probably reflect me being right - Companies like trek, specialized, santa cruz, kona, transition, gt, etc - they are all marketing to bikers. All of their marketing is driving at people who know what they want and display experience and strong preferences, and all of them are shooting for the "core" bikers as you put it. I don't think they've gotten to where they are by marketing to the wrong people.

    I think trek WANTS the real bikers - the guys who are out there riding every weekend that everybody knows, they want the guys who are going fastest at the races, they want strong word of mouth - in the bike industry, thats a powerful thing. On the road side, I think you get more of the "rich doctor playing bikes" then you do on the mountain side. Maybe I'm crazy, but, just knowing a couple of the guys working for trek, and guys working for specialized (the two brands I see most as being "rich person toy" brands), all of them are hardcore riders and very dedicated to bikes and love everything about them, from riding to working to selling, to getting other people riding and generally being bike advocates.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •