THE TREK SLASH LINEUP HAS BEEN RAVAMPED FOR 2014. These 27.5-inch-wheel equipped bikes are taking aim at everyone’s favorite buzz category: enduro. Our Slash 9 test bike is the pedigree of the new line, and at first glance it looks to be no-excuses trail weapon.
At A Glance
The Remedy has been in the line-up at Trek for some time now, billed as the ultimate technical trail bike it has undergone a few guises over the years. In 2013 it was a 150mm 26″ wheeled machine that could eat up a lot more than one might expect. For 2014 the range has been split in two in order encompass two different wheel sizes. There is now a 29″ version and also a 27.5″ version, with 27.5″being very much in vogue at the moment we felt this was a good place to start with the Remedy range, we’ll be testing the 29″ version later in the year.
After some extensive wheel size analysis, Giant has declared itself sold on 650b, with 29ers and 26in bikes taking a backseat in its 2014 line-up.
Spearheading the new direction is a range of reinvented low-slung Trance 650b bikes, where the 1is the top-end aluminum option. In addition to the change of wheel size, travel has jumped up from 127mm to 140mm, so even though Giant has dropped the X tag, the Trance packs more punch than ever before.
The swoopy, hydroformed frame gets a much more relaxed head angle for better high-speed stability(66.3°) and this, combined with the long back-end, means the Trance is easily the longest bike in the test, with a whopping 1,180mm wheelbase on the size Large.
At A Glance
The Santa Cruz Bronson is probably the most talked about the bike on the planet right now. Launched with a huge fanfare, and having the likes of Steve Pete and Cedric Gracia sing its virtues, it created an internet buzz that we haven’t seen for a while. Pre-orders stacked up and for a while, the bikes were as rare as rocking horse sh!t as the team in California struggled to keep up with the huge demand!
The process was well received as a 26in bike in 2013, but Kona has ripped up the rulebook and designed a brand new range comprising two longer-travel 650b bikes and one short-travel 29er. The Process 134 is the middle option, offering just over five inches of travel – 134mm, to be precise.
Kona’s new 650b –specific aluminum chassis, with its burly construction, would put many DH bikes to shame. The shape and geometry are very new-school. Using a steepest-on-test head angle, long front center, stubby stem and ultra-short chainstays, Kona relies on the extra length in the wheelbase for stability.
At A Glance
Chris Cocalis and the team at Pivot have been working on this new 27.5 bike for the last two years. Since the launch of the Pivot Mach 5.7, it has arguably been one of the most anticipated bikes they have launched. We’ve seen it and drooled at shows, and even swung a leg over it in a car park. When the box arrived and it was finally ours to get properly muddy we were pretty excited!
It’s based on a DW Link suspension platform and has a specially tuned rear shock from Fox that has been a designed to offer the bike the utmost performance possible. With 155 of the rear wheel travel, it’s been billed as the ultimate enduro bike, needless to say, we were keen to find out if it was.