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Once seen as a niche sport for the most adventurous, American mountain bikers are growing every year. At the same time, technology is evolving to meet demands for high-performance bikes that withstand the toughest challenges. But is Trek Remedy the bike to tackle those trails– or, in review, just an expensive model with big-name recognition?
In 2020, 9 million Americans hit the trails for mountain biking. While some of that may be attributed to the pandemic– and desire to get out– it’s actually a normal pattern from previous years. Since 2011, the number of mountain bikers has been growing. In that year, just under 7 million people headed out, all according to data acquired by Statista.
But why is mountain biking so popular– and why was it climbing as a top sport even before 2020? For most, mountain biking isn’t just about aerobic exercise. Nearly 86 percent of bikers in a survey said that mountain and trail biking was a part of their identity, and over 89 percent said that hitting trails made them feel good about themselves.
As cross country and trail riding has risen, though, one thing has remained persistent: it is still expensive to mountain bike, and that hasn’t changed as innovative models continue to come out. And one of the most recognizable models? Trek Remedy.
Is Trek Remedy enough to get new and experienced riders out on the trails? In this review, I’ll tell you how to find the perfect trail bike for you and everything you need to know about the features of the Trek Remedy bikes. I’ll finish by telling you whether or not these bikes are worth your money or if you should seek an alternative.
Do I Need a Trail Bike?
If you’re new to trail riding, you may be glancing at the price tag on popular trail bikes and wondering if you really even need one. While you may be able to get by on smooth trails, true trail riding really does require a trail bike.
If you’re riding with a bike that isn’t equipped for the terrain, not only will riding be more difficult, but you’ll be more prone to injury and error. Investing in a trail bike is worthwhile if you plan on hitting unpaved terrain.
What Is a Trail Mountain Bike?
A trail mountain bike is designed for rough terrain and unpaved paths– but there’s no one simple definition, as trail mountain bikes come in myriad styles and make. Known for their efficiency for uphill biking and control over uneven terrain, this category of bikes is usually used to compare against XC and Enduro bikes.
What Is the Difference between a Trail Bike and a Mountain Bike?
A trail bike is a type of mountain bike. The term mountain bike encompasses types of mountain bikes. Thus, a trail bike, like other mountain bikes, is suited for unpaved roads.
What Are Trail Bikes Good for?
Trail bikes are known for their versatility on trails. While XC bikes are incredibly lightweight and can be used for trail and road riding, they climb well and they don’t have the same control or hardiness as a trail bike. Trail bikes are heavier but can both climb uphill effectively and control downhill.
They also are suited for mucky trails and other obstacles. While not as heavy as dirt bikes, trail bikes are nonetheless useful for changing terrains during your ride and tackling more difficult terrain, from gravel to leaves and more.
Are Trail Bikes Good for Jumps?
XC bikes are great for jumps, but general trail bikes may not be. The most expensive trail bikes have aluminum bodies, which make them a bit more lightweight. While you’ll have plenty of control, a bike simply labeled as a cross-country trail bike is more useful for typical riding and not specialized for jumps.
What Should I Look for in a Trail Bike?
Knowing what to look for in a trail bike saves you from making an unwise purchase. But while I consider all of these factors, one pattern you’ll notice is that it’s never as simple as this vs. that, but a matter of needs and preferences.
Are Trail Bikes Full Suspension?
Trail bikes can be full suspension or hardtails, though full suspensions are more popular. You’ll have more to choose from in a full suspension style, though you’ll save money if you opt for a hardtail design. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both.
A full suspension has both a rear shock and a fork at the front. Full suspension bikes may be pricey, but they’re able to take on more difficult terrain and obstacles. They provide a smoother ride and offer greater control. They’re also the choice for trail racing.
This more economical option is easier to pedal, requiring less energy expenditure. Lightweight without the rear shock, they can climb hills and are suited for multiple terrains– but less able to ride in inclement weather and especially rugged trails. They are bumpier rides and require greater control on the part of the rider.
Which Is Better: 27.5 or 29?
27.5 vs. 29 refers to the wheel size. While it may seem like a small difference on paper, the wheel size impacts how you ride. While one is not inherently worse than the other, consider the pros and cons.
27.5″ wheels are faster to accelerate, lighter weight, and easier to maneuver. It’s also a popular choice for petite riders.
With the larger wheel size, you’ll have a heavier hide, but one with greater traction and control. This wheel size makes maneuvering trickier and acceleration is a little slower. Nonetheless, the size is preferred for taller people and if you need more traction.
What Material Is Best for Trail Mountain Bikes?
You’ll find that trail mountain bikes are made out of several material types. Many love carbon for an efficient and smooth ride, but there are pros and cons to different styles. Steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon are the most common you can choose from.
|Type of Frame||Pros||Cons|
If you have the budget, steel and titanium bikes stand the test of time and provide a smooth and comfortable ride. But none of these materials is bad per se– it’s all about your budget and how you’ll be using your bike.
What Is a Good Weight for a Trail MTB?
You don’t want to get obsessed with the weight of your trail mountain bike. It’s best to consider all of the features of your trail mountain bike and what makes the most sense for you- 40 lbs is considered too heavy for an efficient trail bike. Consider that the average mountain bike (all types) weighs between 29 to 30 pounds.
A lighter mountain bike will be speedier, easier to accelerate, and climb well, but a little extra weight can offer great control; 22 pounds is on the very light side, and 38 pounds is on the hefty side.
Interestingly, general trail bikes hit right at the average mark– just shy of 30 pounds. I’d recommend looking for a trail bike that falls somewhere between 27 to 32 pounds. This is a nice middle ground, and I wouldn’t obsess over a pound or so vs. other features.
What Size Trail Bike Do I Need?
The size of trail bike you need is dependent on your height. Finding a bike your size ensures a comfortable and controlled ride, so this is quite important and arguably one of the most important choices you’ll make
. See the chart above, provided by Evo, an online retailer for outdoor equipment. Note that the frame letter size (XS to XXL) is only meant as a guide, and it’s best to pay attention to frame size in inches and/or centimeters.
What Does Travel Mean on a Bike?
Travel is another important factor. Travel refers to the distance from the front to the rear of the back or the suspension’s length. The greater the travel distance, the more shock absorption that bike offers– making it more suitable for a smooth ride across rocky terrain.
For a trail bike, a normal range is 120mm to 140mm. Thus, 140mm will provide a smoother ride for a trail bike. Trail bikes do sometimes go beyond this range. An all-mountain bike should have a range of 140mm to 170mm, while a downhill bike can reach up to 200mm.
Do Hubs Make Your Bike Faster?
The hub of a bike is what makes the wheels rotate. The hub refers to the part of the bike that conjoins the spokes and rim of your wheels. You’ll want to pay attention to whether it’s a mid-drive hub, front hub, or rear hub. None of these are perfect, and each comes with unique pros and cons.
A front hub tends to be cheaper initially and cheaper to replace or repair- they don’t require much maintenance either. Downsides include limited traction for off-road terrain and difficulty climbing hills. These hubs are most suited for road riding, not mountain biking.
These hubs tend to be more lightweight than a front hub, with quiet operation and more power for uphill biking. At the same time, they’re best for more experienced riders, as you need a good deal of power to take advantage of their uphill capabilities. They also may wear out more easily, leading to higher maintenance costs.
Rear hubs are quite popular for off-road biking. Able to tackle difficult terrain, rear hubs still are as easy to maintain as front hubs, with the benefit of greater traction. You will get a little more wear and tear on your brakes than other hub types. But all told, I prefer rear hubs most for mountain and trail bikes.
What Are the Different Types of Bike Brakes?
For bike breaks, you’ll encounter three types: disc brakes, drum brakes, or rim brakes. See the table below for the advantages and disadvantages of different types of breaks.
|Type of Brake||Pros||Cons|
How Good Are Trek Mountain Bikes?
Trek Remedy is a fairly well-known name in the mountain bike industry. But is it worth the price point? Here’s my review of Trek Remedy, the company behind it, and the features you need to pay attention to.
What Is Trek?
Trek is a bike manufacturer that includes Trek, Electra, Bontrager, and Diamant mountain bikes. Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin, the company is one of the largest, with 1,700 stores selling their products in North America alone.
Trek bikes are made in the Netherlands, Germany, China, and Taiwan, and sold in 90 different countries. The company hit the two million sales mark within 3 years of its founding in 1975.
Today it’s most known for its steel bike frames, a wide selection of bikes, and innovative biking accessories.
What Type of Bike Is a Trek Remedy?
Trek Remedy refers to two models of Trek trail bikes. The claim is that these bikes are designed for difficult terrain, with aggressive charge and features that are suited for everything from jumping, maneuvering tight corners, and tackling different types of trails.
I want to take a closer look at those claims and compare them to the features you get. My investigation includes both the Trek Remedy 9.8 and the older Trek Remedy 8.0.
How Heavy Is a Trek Remedy?
As I mentioned before, weight is not the be-all-end-all, but it’s still important to take a look at, especially if you’re trying to decide between models. Remember, the average weight for a trail bike like Trek Remedy is roughly 29 pounds.
Some ask why Trek Remedy bikes are so heavy. In truth, the 9.8 is right on average, and the eight is not so heavy that it should automatically pass it by.
The Remedy 8 comes in at 31 pounds or 3 pounds above the average trail bike. It can accommodate a person up to 300 pounds.
The Remedy 9.8 is noticeably lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 29.5 pounds. It can also accommodate up to 300 pounds.
Is the Trek Remedy Carbon?
Next, I want to take a look at the makeup of the body. This is where you’ll notice a considerable difference between Remedy 8.0 and Remedy 9.8.
The more economical choice has an aluminum frame. Aluminum provides that ease for acceleration with a relatively lightweight feel. At the same time, this makes the Remedy 8 not as equipped to tackle rough terrain as the company claims– but it can maneuver for tight turns.
The Remedy 9.8, on the other hand, is carbon. This allows for a more lightweight body and a slightly smoother ride than the Remedy 8. At the same time, a carbon body will still feel a bit bumpy and it can’t quite match the quality of a carbon or titanium frame.
How Much Travel Does the Trek Remedy Have?
Materials aren’t the only factor in how smooth your ride will be: travel is also important. And here’s where things get interesting, especially as Trek Remedy bikes are marketed as general trail bikes.
Both Remedy 8.0 and Remedy 9.8 have the same travel of 170mm, planting them more in the all-mountain category. This generous travel somewhat makes up for the carbon and aluminum in terms of a smooth ride and is unexpected.
What Kind of Tires Do Trek Remedy Bikes Have?
Here there is no difference between the Trek Remedy 8 and the Trek Remedy 9.8. Both have 27.5 inches tubeless tires with 120 TPI.
First off, I like tubeless tires for a few reasons. Although they’re more difficult to maintain and sealant will need to be applied every six months, the advantages usually outweigh the advantages for most. Tubeless tires don’t contain an inner tube and require less pressure. They offer a smoother ride and are less likely to get a flat.
Is More TPI a Better Tire?
TPI stands for threads per tire; the lower the TPI, the more resistant to damage and bulkier it is. However, higher TPI is usually preferred for a fluid and lightweight ride. I’d prefer something in between; too high and you won’t get the traction you need, and too low and your ride will be both smoother and heavier.
120 TPI is considered quite high and will provide a smooth ride. However, these models aren’t going to provide much rolling resistance for downhill riding or mucky terrain.
What Hub Does the Trek Remedy Have?
It appears that the Trek Remedy 8 has a rear hub. While the Trek Remedy 9.8 does not specify, it likely follows suit with a rear hub as well. The rear hub is a perfect match for a trail bike meant to cover difficult terrain and makes sense for these models.
What Types of Breaks Does the Trek Remedy Have?
Both the Trek Remedy 8 and the Trek Remedy 9.8 have the same SRAM Code R 4-piston hydraulic disc brake. SRAM is a well-regarded company that specializes in bicycle components, with headquarters in Chicago.
A hydraulic disc is a popular and common choice for mountain bikes, providing more consistent and fluid braking than mechanical brakes.
These brakes, in particular, are popular in many trail and enduro bikes. They provide decent power and are relatively ergonomic. The comfortable brakes are not the highest end, though, as they are not quite as consistent as more expensive brake models.
In other words: these are decent brakes for the Trek Remedy bikes, but they aren’t going to wow you as much when facing more difficult conditions.
Do Trek Remedy Bikes Have Full Suspension?
Both the Trek Remedy 8 and Trek Remedy 9.8 rely on rear shocks, with a hardtail instead of full suspension. You’ll notice that they are responsive to braking and accelerating and equipped for climbing, but it may get a bit less smooth as your pedal in muddy terrain. I’d love to see them add a full suspension option for their line.
What Other Features Do Trek Remedy Bikes Come with?
Now that I’ve covered the main features for both Trek Remedy bikes, here are a few factors that factor into why some feel that Trek bikes are ‘so expensive.’ Both Trek Remedy 8 and Trek Remedy 9.8 have the same “extra” features.
An active braking pivot allows the suspension to transition from acceleration to braking separately. The idea is you have more control over both– and you can break or accelerate more quickly. The small frame of this bike features a curved top and is meant to accommodate shorter riders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Why did Trek get rid of full floaters?
Answer: The full floater is a rear shock. The concept is to allow the rider more travel without the price of a full-suspension bike. The goal was also for versatility. They ditched this for 2020 models, claiming that without it, they could provide stiffer frames.
Question: Are Trek bikes good for jumps?
Answer: Trek bikes are generally suited for trail riding, and they do a nice job of climbing uphill. However, they aren’t optimized for performing jumps. They should be seen more as mid-level professional bikes for moderate terrain.
Question: Is Trek owned by giants?
Answer: Trek manages many brands under its name, but they’re all owned by the parent company, Giant. Giant is a Tawainese bike manufacturer and one of the most prominent in the world.
Trek Remedy, in both models, offers some decent features. I like the hydraulic braking system, high-quality tubeless tires, and generous travel. Both models are suited for regular trail riding, though they won’t be suited for tackling the very harshest trails.
Trek Remedy bikes are versatile and suitable for a moderate rider, but they aren’t the very best in their class. Of the two models, they have certainly made upgrades for the 9.8 model. At the same time, you can save a lot of money buying the 8, and both I’d rank as mid-range bikes.
Buy the Trek Remedy 8 Here or Buy Trek Remedy 9.8 Here.
Final Buying Alternative: Yeti Cycles SB130 C2 GX Eagle
I could recommend many trail bikes as alternatives, but one that catches my eye is this model from Yeti. This trail bike impresses by tackling downhills with a carbon fiber frame and a comfortable, controlled ride.