Trail and Enduro Bikes

Trek Slash 9.9 Race Shop limited

The Trek Slash is a true statement. It’s the company’s flagship enduro bike and it’s 29 inch. Only. In full team colours with a penthouse spec and race geo, this is an absolute stunner – the performance is likewise.

There is a lot of thought gone into this frame. It’s based on the World Cup and World Champs winning Trek Session, so the resemblance it bears is far from coincidental. The straight downtube boosts stiffness (apparently to downhill bike levels according to Trek) and is complemented by the Knock Block chip frame defence.

“When this whole bike comes together, it’s a dream”

There is enough clearance here for a 2.6” tyre (keep an eye out for that size to take off over the next 12 months) but Trek don’t reckon that Plus tyres will fit (why you would want to is beyond us anyway). Also not permitted are multiple front chainrings, the Slash is 1x only to keep the chainstays short and optimise stiffness and weight.

As you would expect from Trek, internal routing keeps things neatly tucked away, their Cable Freak solution is one of the best we’ve seen. Trek has ditched the Full Floater link from the Fuel, instead opting to simply bolt the shock onto the downtube. The reason is that air shocks are now more developed so Full Floater isn’t needed to compensate, the result is a much stiffer bike.

Let’s move onto the spec. Ours is the 9.9 with a Race Limited spec, basically these are the same bits that EWS racers would pick. Fox bring a Float X2 shock and 2 position 130/160mm 36 fork. The idea is that you’ll use the lower setting on transitions but we barely changed it once, this bike simply climbs fine on full-whack.

The drivetrain is Eagle, but we’re at the point where you should really expect it if you’re going to be spending this much on an enduro bike. The rest of the spec is dominated by Bontrager: wheels, bars, seatpost, stem, saddle, tyres. Yes, it’s an in-house brand but it’s so much more than a cost saving exercise. They are well thought out bits of kit and a true pleasure to ride.

“One of the slackest 29ers on the market”

150mm travel may seem a bit under gunned in the Enduro World Series, considering the Slash is competing against bikes with 170mm plus, but the big wheels and clever design easily compensate for this.

When this whole bike comes together, it’s a dream. Whack the Mono Link geometry adjustment into the Low setting and it’s one of the slackest 29ers on the market, with a 65.1° head angle. The stiffness that Trek sought so hard to meld into this frame is so noticeable. It’s a precise ride without ever transferring harshness through to the rider. It’s a good job too as you’ll be ploughing through all sorts of burly terrain without hesitation aboard this confidence-inspirer.

Trek Slash 9.9 Race Shop limited

So there you have it. Without doubt one of the more expensive enduro bikes out there, but one of the best too.

Read Dirt’s review of the 2018 Trek Slash 9.8 HERE

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Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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