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First Ride: 2021 Trek Slash – Now With Snack Storage

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First Trip: 2021 Trek Slash – Now With Snack Storage

Again in 2017, the Trek Slash took residence the Mountain Bike of the Yr title through the annual Pinkbike awards. On the time, it was one of many slackest 29ers available on the market, and it helped usher within the subsequent technology of big-wheeled enduro bikes. Within the years since, mountain bike geometry has undergone a major transformation, which meant it was time for the Slash to get a revamp so as to sustain with the opposite contenders on this class.

The end result would not look dramatically completely different from the unique, however the bike now has 160mm of rear journey (10mm greater than earlier than), longer and slacker geometry numbers, in-frame storage on each carbon and aluminum fashions, and a threaded backside bracket. There’s additionally an up to date, detachable Knock Block that permits for a better vary of handlebar movement, eliminating a criticism some riders had in regards to the earlier model.

Trek Slash

• Wheelsize: 29″
• Carbon or aluminum body choices
• Journey: 160mm (r) / 170mm (f)
• 64.1 or 64.6-degree head angle
• 486mm attain (measurement L)
• 437mm chainstays
• Weight: 32.3 lb / 14.7 kg (giant 9.9 X01)
• Claimed body weight: 2450 grams
• Worth vary: $3,500 – $8,500
• Body solely: $2,200 (alloy), $4,000 USD (carbon)

In whole, there are seven full builds accessible, two with aluminum frames and the remaining in carbon. Costs begin at $3,500 for the aluminum Slash 7, and go all the best way as much as $8,500 USD for the 9.9 XTR mannequin.

The orange 9.9 X01 model that is pictured on this article retails for $8,000, with components package highlights that embrace a RockShox Zeb Final fork, SRAM X01 12-speed drivetrain, Code RSC brakes, and Bontrager Line Elite carbon wheels. Need to spend much more? Trek presents their Challenge One program for sure fashions, which permits riders to customise the components package and choose from an enormous vary of customized paint choices. The total vary overview will be seen here.

What’s New?

An entire lot, it seems. The body form could also be acquainted, however there is a decent-sized record of updates and tweaks that have been utilized to the Slash.

Knock Block 2.0

Trek’s Knock Block system emerged once they debuted their ‘Straight Shot’ downtube. That straight downtube supposedly allowed for additional body stiffness, but it surely additionally meant that the crown of the fork would smack the body it the handlebar was turned too far, which is the place Knock Block got here in – a small cease chip within the headtube and a particular headset prime cap and stem spacers prevented the bars from turning greater than 58-degrees in both course. That wasn’t a difficulty for some riders, however others weren’t pleased with the vary of movement, particularly on tighter switchbacks.

On the brand new Slash, there’s 72-degrees of attainable handlebar rotation, and, maybe better of all, the Knock Block system will be fully eliminated. The downtube now has a slight curve in it, and the highest of the fork can go beneath with none points.

In-Body Storage

Trek’s in-frame storage resolution first confirmed up on the Gasoline EX, and now it is made its means onto the Slash as nicely. Whereas Specialised deserves the credit score for kicking off this pattern, I am all for it – I would not thoughts if each bike firm headed down the key compartment path. Trek’s system makes use of a lever that sits to the correct of the water bottle cage. Flip the lever and the plastic panel will be eliminated, granting entry to a device roll that can be utilized to retailer a tube, CO2, and tire levers.

The in-frame storage can be discovered on the alloy Slash fashions, which implies that riders in any respect finances ranges can profit from the flexibility to fill their bikes with gummy bears and small burritos.

Threaded Backside Bracket / 34.9mm Seat Tube

Adios, BB92, howdy, BSA 73. To be truthful, I did not have any points with the pressfit backside bracket on the earlier Slash, however the change again to a threaded backside bracket is one which’s consistent with what we’re seeing from a number of corporations. It appears to be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, do not repair it’ – threaded backside brackets are much less liable to creaking, and it is simpler to take away and reinstall a threaded BB vs. making an attempt to knock out a pressfit one with out fully mangling it.

The Slash additionally has a 34.9mm seat tube diameter, and Bontrager has launched a brand new 34.9mm model of their Line Elite dropper publish that is accessible with as much as 200mm of drop. At 5’11” I did not have sufficient room to run that 200mm publish with out operating into the kink within the bike’s seat tube (the dimensions giant is spec’d with the 170mm model), however I used to be in a position to match a 210mm OneUp dropper, which has a shorter insertion size, with none hassle.

New RockShox SuperDeluxe ThruShaft

It would not be a Trek with out some kind of proprietary shock expertise now, would it not? However wait, earlier than you begin pounding on the keyboard, needless to say the Slash body is suitable with a Fox Float X2 air and coil, DPX2, Tremendous Deluxe coil, and most inline shocks.

It is the RockShox Tremendous Deluxe Final ThruShaft that is solely accessible on the Slash, a minimum of for now. It shares some similarities with the inline Deluxe shock, like the flexibility to pick from three low-speed compression settings. A flip of the dial can agency up the shock for smoother, flowier trails, or turning it the opposite means will be helpful for slippery situations when traction is a excessive precedence. There’s additionally a numbered rebound knob, a type of “Why hasn’t everybody been doing this?” options that ought to assist velocity up setup.

The shock makes use of Trek’s ThruShaft design, the place the damper shaft exits out the underside of the shock, which suggests the damper valve meeting is shifting by way of one column of oil. Most shocks depend on a pressurized inside floating piston to take care of the displaced oil when the shock is compressed, however with ThruShaft the shock’s IFP (they seek advice from it as a ‘thermal compensator’) is not as dynamic – it is solely activated solely when the oil quantity will increase or decreases because of temperature change, slightly than shifting each single time the shock is compressed.

The shock has a brand new air can, which borrows parts from RockShox’s MegNeg air can, like an elevated detrimental air spring quantity. Each the detrimental and optimistic air spring will be adjusted with quantity spacers – the inventory setup would not have any spacers put in, but it surely’s attainable so as to add in a single detrimental spacer or as much as three optimistic spacers to fine-tune the texture.

Geometry Updates

The Slash’s head tube angle has been slackened by 1-degree, and now sits at 64.1-degrees within the low geometry setting. It is attainable to steepen that to 64.6-degrees through the flip chips within the seatstays, however I’ve a sense most riders will follow the slacker setting.

Together with the slacker head angle, the bike’s attain has grown by 20-30mm per measurement – the attain on a measurement giant now measures 486mm. Talking of sizes, there’s now an ML possibility within the combine, which suggests there is a whole of 5 sizes – S, M, ML, L, and XL.

The seat angle has been steepened to 75.6-degrees. That is barely slacker than what we’re seeing from different corporations, particularly when mixed with the bike’s comparatively slack precise seat tube angle.

The chainstay size stays the identical throughout the board, at 437mm within the low setting.

Trip Impressions

Trek nonetheless hasn’t totally embraced the steep seat-tube angle motion, and though the Slash’s new numbers are a step in the correct course, the bike’s 649mm prime tube size offers it a really roomy really feel throughout seated climbs. Sure, you’ll be able to slide the seat ahead within the rails, which is strictly what I did, however a steeper seat angle would have allowed me to maintain the seat within the middle, with room to maneuver it ahead or again to fine-tune the match.

The excellent news is that the Slash pedals nicely, and the three place change makes it simple to pick your most well-liked quantity of assist. There is a full lockout, too, however I by no means felt the necessity to flip that lever. The burden’s cheap, contemplating we’re speaking a few 160 / 170mm enduro bike, and I did not hesitate to take it out for lengthy days of pedaling. I used to be somewhat shocked to see 175mm cranks because the inventory spec – I might slightly have the additional floor clearance that comes from 170mm cranks, particularly on a motorcycle that is designed for racing.

It is on the descents that the Slash has taken an enormous step ahead, and that is saying one thing contemplating the earlier model was actually no slouch. The 486mm attain felt acquainted when descending, consistent with a big Norco Sight or Commencal Meta, or an S4 Specialised Enduro, all bikes I’ve spent a major period of time aboard. The Slash has a big-bike really feel that makes it simpler to cost into an unfamiliar path, whereas retaining sufficient maneuverability to stop it from feeling like overkill on mellower trails.

It is the shock that I have been most impressed by to this point – the tune feels precisely proper for the bike, with an excellent mix of sensitivity to clean out the chattery bits, and assist for dealing with larger impacts, even with none quantity spacers put in. The three compression settings make a noticeable distinction, which makes it a fast course of to regulate the bike to the day’s situations.

I will be performing some head-to-head comparisons over the subsequent few months to see how the Slash stacks up, together with placing in a bunch extra miles on this orange machine – maintain an eye fixed out for a extra in-depth overview later this 12 months.


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