Long term Session 10 review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Long term Session 10 review

    I thought some of you may like to read my half-assed long term Trek Session 10 review.
    I originally ordered the Session 10 before it was released. I had talked to my sales rep and got some details and had an order place for my rig. I was pretty happy with my previous Session 77 but wanted something a bit more slack and race oriented than the Session 77. I had a pretty decent relationship with my previous Trek dealings so I felt pretty comfortable ordering something that hadn’t been completely finalized yet.
    The bike arrived late, no big deal. The first big dilemma was that the frame was out of spec. The main pivot was out of alignment and forced the bearing to line up incorrectly. Trek promptly sent a replacement swing arm. The swing arm wasn’t the issue it was the main pivot of the main frame. It took 4 main triangles to get the pivot right, and a 5th frame to get the pivot correct and not have 6 tons of slag in the seat tube.
    I eventually got the bike together and loved it for downhill right away. The frame was incredibly plush over everything. It was slack enough to find myself moving the dropouts to provide a steeper head angle. There wasn’t a significant amount of pedal bob, it was efficient and I liked it.
    At the time I got the bike I had just started racing the Sport class and didn’t find myself needing a big 38tooth chain ring that the bike came with, so I slapped on the 32 tooth ring and rode it to work, at races and on some cross country rides.
    My riding has improved and I can’t ride with anything less than a 36t on any of my bikes now or I spin out too quickly. I slapped a 36t back on the Session and noticed a HUGE difference in the pedaling. It was still efficient in terms of not activating the suspension. However, the bike feels extremely sluggish trying to pedal in anything higher than 5th gear. This was frustrating for me and I spend most of my time in 6-9th gear. You really can’t tell once your cooking at a good speed which is nice, but trying to throw cranks in out of corners takes a lot more effort than it should. I eventually got used to it and just let it be.
    My suspension makes a nice honking sound on any hits as the swing arms aren’t completely straight which slightly bent my shock shaft causing the spring to rub alongside the shock body.
    The overall ride of the bike is still really nice. Plush, easy to flick around despite weighing in a 40.5lbs which is 4lbs heavier than my Foes race bike. The adjustable geometry is a nice feature. For those wanting something more freeride oriented the steeper head angle and higher bottom bracket settings are perfect. For speed, the slack head angle and low bottom bracket are just that, low(14” bottom bracket) and slack.
    There are some obvious problems with the frame and were clearly missed by those at Trek. The main issue than got me was that riding in anything other than completely dry conditions would fill the linkage and force the bike further and further into the travel. I fixed the problem by creating an inner tube fender than keeps the mud from being thrown directly into the linkage. I talked to Trek about this numerous time and each time the tech would say to put a shock boot over the shock to prevent it. Obviously he either wasn’t paying attention to what I was showing and explaining or just didn’t care.
    The upper guide pulley, I feel, needs to be moved either to the pivot point or above the pivot point. As it sits right now it feels like the pivot forces the swing arm to lift further into the travel.
    The geometry listed for the large size is WAY off. The top tube on the large is listed as 24.4” my top tube is 22” with a 23” effective top tube length. The wheelbase is 46.5”!
    There frame is quite limiting as far as parts selection goes. I absolutely despise that the dropouts are 8” disc specific. I usually run a 6” or 7” rotor out back, the 8” just feels like way too much. Typical chain guide like the E-13 SRS that comes with it doesn’t work very well with the frame. There’s along going around the pivot area. In order to rotate the guide to the point that the SRS back plate would be out of the way up the upper chain torque pulley the ISCG tabs would need to be rotated on the bottom bracket. I haven’t tried too many guides but the SRS, LG1, and MRP G2 do not work well.
    Trek also did some weird things with my frame, I got 4 different bolt lengths for the 6 dropout bolts I have.
    The Session 10 is currently residing as my spare downhill bike and current winter downhill bike. The Session 10 will likely never be my primary downhill bike again, but I can‘t see myself selling it in the future.

    The fender I had to made to keep mud and debri out of the linkage:


    The many different phases of my Session 10(s)










    Current setup:





    -Kevin

  2. #2
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    I finally got the sluggish feeling pedaling junk figured out. I had always been checking the chainline from the rear cassette to the upper pulley and didn't really concern myself with much else.
    Well with the stock King Earl cranks and the Saint cranks the chainline made a "V"-esque shape between the upper pulley, sprocket and lower guide pulley.
    With alot of installing and removing of the cranks and chainguide and a handful of thin washers the chain finally is straight between the pulleys and the chainring.
    There is no more sluggish feeling when trying to sprint in the lower gears.
    I spent Sunday ripping some downhill on the Session and am starting to have a hard time getting away from it. The 41lbs of beast(5lbs heavier than my Foes) doesn't thrill me too much, but it can't be felt when riding so I'll let it slide.

    -Kevin

  3. #3
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    Great review man. I've never ridden one but always liked the look of this bike.

    I was wondering what you meant when you said that an 8" rotor for the rear brake "felt" like too much. Can you really feel the difference between a 6" and 8" rotor while riding?

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    I think it's possible too have "too-much" brake. I've always been a fan of running a smaller 6" rotor out back as it really helps to provide more modulation.
    I dispise skidding. Once you're skidding your no longer in control. I found with being forced to run the 8incher I was skidding alot more often than not. The brakes still provided modulation, but the gap between on and off was much slimmer.
    My riding style is over the front and mostly front brake which probably has more to do with it than anything else.

    -Kevin

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmxconvert
    I think it's possible too have "too-much" brake. I've always been a fan of running a smaller 6" rotor out back as it really helps to provide more modulation.
    I dispise skidding. Once you're skidding your no longer in control. I found with being forced to run the 8incher I was skidding alot more often than not. The brakes still provided modulation, but the gap between on and off was much slimmer.
    My riding style is over the front and mostly front brake which probably has more to do with it than anything else.

    -Kevin
    How much do you weigh? I'm over 200 with gear and would never run anything less than an 8" rear rotor for DH. Many brakes these days allow you to adjust the bite point (Formula, Avid, etc.). What brakes are you running that you don't have modulation?

  6. #6
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    wow....a lot of problems with that bike....maybe they will trade you for a session 88
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khemical
    How much do you weigh? I'm over 200 with gear and would never run anything less than an 8" rear rotor for DH. Many brakes these days allow you to adjust the bite point (Formula, Avid, etc.). What brakes are you running that you don't have modulation?
    I'm sitting at 145lbs with gear. I've run the Avid Juicy Carbons, Hope 6pot Ti, and Shimano LX. I have modulation and I find that I have plenty of power with a 6" rotor and would prefer to have options and not be limited to one specific rotor size.

    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    wow....a lot of problems with that bike....maybe they will trade you for a session 88
    Oh my, don't temp me. I wouldn't find it ethical to claim it as a warranty just to get a 88 though.

    -Kevin

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