SPEED IS EVERYTHING
In a game worth hundreds of thousands and where thousandths have a very big impact it would seem smart to bring your A game to the table. On the World Cup downhill circuit there appears to be a certain shyness to take a fight to the clock be it through the employment of the slightly larger wheels or a frame size that works, just as two examples. Time definitely seems to be running out as the season heads to a conclusion in which it will go to the very tightest of margins.
I have little doubt that this Trek Session 9.9 is the fastest production downhill bike currently available. In more compressed time the design has proven itself to be the best when in the right hands too – during 2011/12 Aaron Gwin took 9 wins from 14 races establishing the bikes strength in varying conditions. And that’s just it, a good downhill bike has to be (unfortunately or not) one which can master varying gradients and fluctuating speeds. The Session both in 26 and now 27.5 wheels sizes, does this very well indeed.
If this Session were measured on such things as components, features, geometry, sizing, suspension and speed it would score nearer ten out of ten than nine. It has some challengers though, in the Strike from the small German company Solid bikes, it has the Intense 951 and sure enough Specialized, Lapierre and Giant will be bringing at least something to the table to compete with the red rocket. But the Session is a fact on the ground, it’s in our hands. End of.
The suspension has improved greatly since 2008, there are no weak points in component list, the sizing ranges from small to extra large and that is what most companies do not offer. The visual and finish is exceptional, the sub thirty 34lb weight and carbon chassis not wasteful of power input and the geometry gives the bike balance. Carefully developed suspension which includes the Fox damper and work by the Trek team to get the progression and subsequent power out of the terrain. It really is a an evolved masterpiece, taking a bike into more involved terrain at higher speeds than ever before. They have given their team riders a real advantage and more importantly time to adapt to the difference in perception of speed. Trek have not wasted time in showing their hand. Its a real race attitude that many could learn from.
We sat down with Dylan Howes (Director of Suspension Frame Technology) and Brian Buckle (European Marketing Manager) to discuss the new Session in a front room in Fort William. Check out the video here…