With the enduro circuit seeming to stretch ever increasingly across each corner of the globe, athletes and bikes have to be prepared to cover a broad spectrum of terrain and conditions. Now on the Trek Factory Enduro Team, Scottish pinner Katy Winton can choose between two very different bikes when tackling the world’s toughest EWS stages: the Slash 29 or Remedy 27.5.

Being a smaller rider at 159cm (5’ 2”), Katy has chosen to run the 15.5” frame, which is the smallest Trek offering. Besides the difference in wheel size between the Slash and Remedy, there is a whole host of smaller and more subtle variations that produce two rides with distinct personalities. After racing on three different bikes over the 2016 season, including the Remedy, Slash, and eventually the new Remedy 27.5, Katy is looking to put in some winter laps to discover which ride suits her needs and demands best for another grueling season of racing.

I caught up with Katy during this testing to find out her thoughts on each bike, and to take a look at the setup differences between her Slash 29 and Remedy 27.5.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Trek Slash 29 / 160mm front / 150mm rear / 29.1 lb (13.2 kg) approx
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Trek Remedy 27.5 / 150mm front / 150mm rear / 30.6 lb (13.9 kg) approx


Ross Bell: The geometries of the two bikes are quite different, but what are the major differences in the feel you have out on the trails?

Katy Winton: The Slash just feels like a much bigger bike, because it is. Just in terms of being a bit more of a monster on the downhills, there's a little less regarding feedback just because eats everything up with the big wheels and longer travel. I feel like you can ride them both consistently, and they put you in the right position to be able to throw them around. They share a lot of similar traits; you don’t notice in terms of cornering which always seem to be the thing with people going to bigger wheels, I don’t find that’s the difference I feel the most. I feel like I can get round just as tight corners on the 29er as I can on the little bike. It’s more just how it responds to the trail as it’s coming towards you. It’s just stability.

The Slash just seems to iron stuff out, so you feel like you’ve got a lot more time to set up for things because you’re not fighting, just riding and riding hard. I like that style of riding when you’ve got time to set up; there's less feedback because you’re just plowing through whereas the Remedy is a lot more responsive to inputs, but that's just personal preference.


Bike Check
Katy already has race experience aboard the Remedy but is yet to put the Slash against the clock.


Bell: As a smaller rider, how do you find the bigger wheels?

Winton:I feel pretty good on them considering I’m so small. I think you have to give Trek credit for making a bike that works so well for smaller riders. It's not just been ‘midgetized’ (Katy’s term for herself!), it's actually been thought out so the geometry still works and the bike still responds as well as everybody else's. I’m going to do some testing to see whether they’re really working as well as they feel or not. For me, specifically as a smaller rider, it can be deceiving with your feel, so I need some raw evidence.


Bell: Where do the strengths of the bikes lie in terms of pedaling efficiency vs all out downhill blasting?

Winton:Well, they’re both brilliant bikes at both. I’ve been riding these ‘all mountain’ bikes for a while now, so you don’t notice the difference between that and an XC bike anymore; you don’t feel like you are losing much on the climbs. I find the Slash 29er can be hard going uphill when you’re at a slow speed and you’re just trying to get the big wheels to turn over, but if you’re just going up a fire road and trucking away you can just cruise along quite happily at a good pace. The 27.5 on the Remedy is good all the time, and I’ve got the double ring on that, so that helps too. The Slash feels like a bigger bike, but I don’t feel like I’m compensating in the climbs for it. I can lock the rear out and truck away just as well as the small bike.


Bike Check
The Slash edges away from the Remedy on paper and in the hands of Katy, it seems, thanks to the more aggressive geometry, bigger wheels, and higher travel. Stats like the 1-degree slacker head angle and 4cm longer wheelbase add up to create a punchier ride when things get burly.


Bell: Do you see yourself swapping between the Slash and Remedy over the races next year?

Winton:I want to try and avoid switching between the two because last year I raced three bikes because I needed to get used to the components and the bikes, and find out what I liked and what I didn’t. So this winter is about choosing which bike works for me and sticking with it so I’m fast all the time, rather than getting used to new stuff all the time. The Richie Rude effect!


Bell: The Slash and Remedy both have the changeable geometry position. Is that something you’ve been utilising?

Winton:So we’ve got the Mino Link which allows us to change the bike from steep to slack. I had it steep on the Remedy for the first few rounds I raced, then I changed it in Whistler to the slack position and moved myself up a spacer at the front of the bike, and that just slotted me into the right position. It's all personal preference but having that option allows you to get the bike setup and react in a way that suits you and your riding style, making it quite a personal bike.



Bell: In terms of cockpit setup between the two bikes, do you keep the contact points consistent from the Slash to the Remedy?

Winton:Yeah, I run my handlebars at 740mm but the stems are slightly different. I’ve not spent enough time on the 29er so haven’t thought out what stem length I’ll end up running. The stack height right now is as similar as it can be to one another, so the height of the Slash is the same as what is on the Remedy, it just looks different on the Remedy as there is more of a stack, but it brings the bars to the same height.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
In the pursuit of continuity and comfort, the contact points and cockpit setup largely stay the same bike to bike. The carbon Bontrager handlebars are cut at 740mm, however, and are anchored to different length stems and with different stack heights.


Bell: Coming from an XC background, does that influence your bike setup or choice at all?

Winton:Yeah, I’ve had to adjust my bike setup to push me further back in my riding position as I tend to ride over the front a lot as I’ve been used to having the seat up the whole time. So I raised the front end up quite a bit to try and push my weight back more to get me more central or just in a better position to move the bike around a lot better instead of the seat dictating where I was actually going.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
In an effort to keep the bar height consistent, Katy runs no spacers under the stem on the Slash...
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
...While the Remedy has a stack height of 20mm to bring the bars level with that on the Slash. There is also a 10mm difference in stem length, but Katy was quick to explain that she is currently experimenting with the longer 50mm stem on the Remedy but is yet to decide on her preference.


Bell: Your brake setup is pretty intriguing on closer inspection. Can you give us the run-through on that?

Winton: I run my brakes back to front, I run them euro style which, for a lot of people, is normal but not in the UK! I run my front brake bite point further in as I don’t like it biting so quickly, I’d rather brake harder on the back than the front as I feel like I can modulate it better. When I was out in the Alps where the majority of the season was, I just wanted the Saint for more power and slowing down quicker, and they just responded well to that style of riding. Also, because they were that much more powerful, I got a lot less arm pump than before. When I’m at home, I don’t need that sort of power, but when you’re away and descending for so long you really need that.

Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Not only is the choice of Saints over XTRs an interesting decision, but so is the varying bite point between that of her front and rear brakes. The rear (pictured) engages much sooner than the front.
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
This offers Katy better feel and modulation, giving her the confidence to push on those long EWS stages.


Bell: Why is it that you’ve got the older Fox D.O.S.S dropper on the Remedy and the new Transfer on the Slash?

Winton: When I changed to the Remedy halfway through the season, I didn’t want to change to a 100mm dropper seat post as the new Transfer 125mm post doesn’t fit low enough for my tiny legs. It was enough to change a bike in the season, so I didn’t want to start changing my saddle drop in the middle of the season.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Once the long-awaited Fox Transfer dropper launched mid-season, most racers were quick to jump at the opportunity to run it.
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Katy, however, stuck to what she knew as the 125mm Transfer post would not fit low enough in the frame without having to change her seating position. Not something you'd want to change coming into an already hectic race weekend.


Bell: Does your suspension setup stay the similar bike to bike?

Winton: At the moment, yes. I’ve got a blue spacer in the fork; I changed it as I initially had an orange spacer and four volume spacers in the shock. I work a bit with sag, but I don’t know specifically what percentage it is, I just know from look and feel. I’ve worked with Fox doing testing and with my mechanics just to keep it consistent between the bikes and discussing changes to suit the courses along the way. So I have one base setting across the board with rebound, and high- and low-speed damping, then I adjust it slightly when I come home as 2 PSI softer, then a couple clicks slower in the rebound and a couple clicks higher in the low-speed compression as I spend a lot of time on steep and slow terrain.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Suspension setup stays consistent between the Slash and Remedy, aside from the 10mm increase in travel on the Slash. Katy has found her base setting with the Fox 36, including an orange volume spacer and tweaks according to course conditions.


Bell: With the step up in team last year you’ve had not only choice in bike but greater support and access to knowledge, such as the guys at Fox. How much of a benefit have you found that to be in terms of bike setup?

Winton: It's been a massive help, especially with Fox. I’ve been able to ride in a new place with new terrain and a different challenge and being able to understand my suspension to know why it's reacting this way; I need to change in this way which is something I was never sure about before. Just having access to these guys who know everything about the product means it's more efficient in making decisions and sorting it out instead of something being not quite right and just having to ride it.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Out back is a Float X Shock with four volume spacers. Katy says that working with Fox engineers for the first time this year has given her peace of mind and confidence, and in turn performance.


Bell: You’re running a double ring on the Remedy but a single ring on the Slash. Why is that?

Winton: The Slash can’t actually run a double because of the way they’ve designed the rear end of the frame, so I’ve got no choice in that one! It’s to bring the chainstays in and keep them short at 435mm. I like the double ring on the Remedy because the synchro shift means I can run one shifter but still have a huge range of gears, as I like being able to spin up the climbs and really recover after each stage. Both setups are good, but I do find myself swaying to the double ring setup and synchro shift as it's just so smart!


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Katy is a big fan of the Di2's synchro shift system which, through some clever programming, allows her to only use one shifter while running a 2x setup on the Remedy.
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Both builds are feature a full XTR drivetrain.

Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
The Trek engineers decided on a 1x specific design on the Slash to help keep the chainstays short with the 29" wheels.
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
The Remedy uses a 2x setup, which Katy prefers as it helps her recover better on the long liaisons after a race stage.


Bell: There's a smorgasbord of rim widths, materials, tire compounds, casings etc… Where do your preferences lie?

Winton: I’ve just got my hands on a pair of prototype wheels with a 30mm internal width. Bontrager is going to be introducing new rims across their range, going wider across the board, including their XC bikes with minimal weight penalty. But it just changes the characteristics of the tire to give better support so the sidewalls don’t roll as easily. My standard go-to pressures are 23 PSI in the front and 25 PSI in the rear, then adjust from there. If it's dry or rough, I go harder; softer if it's wet. Since I’m small and don’t ride particularly hard on my bike, I can get away with a ‘normal’ casing. It's not a particularly light one, but I don’t need a downhill one.


Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
A fresh pair of prototype wheels were mounted to the Remedy that feature a 30mm internal width. The team has also switched from DT Swiss hubs to Bontrager offerings, which are touted to have a faster engagement.
Slash 29 vs Remedy 27.5 comparison.
Some revised rubber is also in the pipeline from Bontrager. The SE5 on the front of Katy's slash apparently features a softer compound than before.


Bell: And finally, what bike do you find yourself grabbing out the shed more regularly?

Winton: The Slash… It's blown my mind! It's so capable and makes me feel so confident. I can hit lines that I wouldn’t normally hit, do everything quicker, and push my boundaries as I know it’ll save me if I do something a bit sketchy. That really confidence-inspiring setup is amazing to have when you’re riding your bike a lot, or even a little! It's just such a good feeling to have, full stop!



MENTIONS: @rossbellphoto / @trek

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77 Comments

  • + 80
 Looks like you could have quite the session with those two bikes. ...I'm so sorry.
  • + 27
 im gonna go slash my throat that was soooo bad
  • + 26
 @jaycubzz: It's okay, I have a Remedy for that.
  • + 21
 There's no remedy for session puns.
  • + 17
 please dont fuel this again !
  • + 11
 If only we could go back a few years and start from scratch...
(I wasn't going to join the trek pun train but I'm glad I've madone.)
  • + 6
 I'll have to Stache those puns away for another time.
  • + 1
 Thought I'd add a little Fuel to the pun fire
  • + 7
 I'm getting a one way Ticket out of this article.
  • + 1
 Gonna need a Navigator for all these puns.
  • + 17
 Those bikes are gorgeous. GORGEOUS I say.
  • + 6
 Pretty state of the art, electronic shifting, and all. I would cut the steer tubes to the right length instead of mad stacks.
  • + 7
 Didn't expect baby blue can look so murderous.
  • + 3
 Step 1: Sell blue frame to public.
Step 2: Shut up and take my money Trek.
Step 3: Profit.
  • + 0
 I prefer my 29er to have the slightly shorter travel & slightly steeper HTA.
Trek please bring back the 29" Remedy & 27.5" Slash please. This years bikes are just confused, I for one won't be buying either one. And a THREADED BB please. Other than that, amazing bikes.
  • + 9
 But wait... all of the marketers and bike magazine writers and butthole-smokeblowers told me that front deraileurs were obsolete....what am I supposed to believe now? My worldview is imploding- Are all of my tightly clenched beliefs about drivetrains just a mountain of lies? What's real anymore?
  • + 11
 Its DI2 shifting, so you can relax
  • + 10
 Saints are always a great choice
  • - 1
 She probably weighs next to nothing - those brakes would be hectic.
  • + 7
 Those are some powerful brakes for such a small person.
  • + 3
 Being a smaller, lighter rider and being able to run standard tyre casings I'd be really interested to hear if Katy has tried plus size tyres and what she thinks of them. I expect they still wouldn't be supportive enough to race on but I'd be interested nonetheless.
  • + 2
 I see metric Fox Shox all around. When are they available for us mortals?

And btw interesting to see that the her Remedy is heavier than the Slash. I wondering if this is just because of the front shifter.
  • + 1
 Also wondering what the Fox feels like VS the stock Re:activ Deluxe, would be interested if you are reading this Katy!
  • + 1
 That's quite a good point on the brakes - I guess if you are lighter then you run the risk of locking up if your brakes are too good.

Me - i'm 20 stone and I need modulation to stop the "runaway train" effect when getting up to full tilt. I need a lot of stopping but I want to wind it on gradually.
  • + 1
 Both bikes look sweet but please tell your mechanic to trim some length off the top of the Slash's steer tube! Looks dangerous! I mean I can't be the only one here who has overshot something, landed hard, and had my face or chest get close to that area...
  • + 3
 Glad to see i'm not the only Brit running their brakes right rear, left front.
  • + 0
 Thanks PB again!!! in less than a week!!**** 2 times beautiful bike comparisons!!!.and so much into detail...love it............maybe I am dreaming but............Is 2017 going to be the year for bike comparison checks??????*******.........CHEERS!!!........next one LOOSERIDERS plizzz....
  • + 4
 So I understand that it's ok to call small people 'small people'?
  • + 1
 It's okay... I'm not offended. =P
  • + 3
 Why wouldn't it be?
  • + 3
 Please never do that again. I am 127cm tall and find that VERY offensive. The nerve of some people
  • + 2
 Trek Trek Trek ,put on the fox 40s and Gee has a new downhill bike !Soon very soon.
  • + 1
 I suspect they made slash at only 150 to leave a reasonable travel gap between it and the alleged big bike which could be at around 180. Life would be boring without some speculation right...
  • + 2
 Tiny people on the biggest wheels. What will the bike industry decide we need next.
  • + 6
 Smaller wheels for taller people? Wink
  • + 2
 Treks look awesome. Love the powder blue
  • - 1
 I have never noticed this until today, but the shock on the slash mounts to the frame? Wouldn't that make it not a ABP? With both the shock and chainstays attached to the frame only wouldn't that make it a Slip Pivot???
  • + 3
 Abp only refers to the concentric axle pivot. The full floater is absent on the slash.
  • - 1
 @allenfstar: So the slash is pretty much a split pivot bike.
  • + 1
 @Abe-Roy: It's ABP. There was a long legal battle with Dave Weagle over who came up with it first. Surprise: Trek won. And both bikes have ABP dropouts. But only the Remedy has Full Floater.
  • + 1
 @Abe-Roy: it is the same platform as devinci yes, but with different pivot placements make them perform differently
  • + 1
 @Abe-Roy: I currently own a 2016 remedy my previous bike was a 2012 devinci Dixon. Both bikes perform a little different under braking. The trek maintains really active suspension while braking which is great for steep rough sections while the devinci felt a little more planted through braking bumps and such. It's a really minor difference but it is a difference that exist.
  • + 1
 She can't feel the difference between an XC bike and these bikes on a climb?
  • + 2
 I thought the Remedy and the Slash were actually the same travel now?
  • + 1
 Same frame travel but Slash comes with a 160 fork and Remedy a 150 fork.
  • + 1
 Nice comparison on two lovely race rigs. I hope she slays it this upcoming season on which ever rig she choices.
  • + 2
 @somismtb SICKEST BIKES OUT THERE
  • + 2
 Beasts!
  • + 1
 The slash looks amazing but huge .
  • + 1
 REMEDY EVER!!! Long life to 27,5 wheels!
  • + 0
 What was the syncro shift thing?? I totally did not understand it
  • + 1
 As far as controls go it's as if the rider is using a 1x system. One shifter for the front and the back with two buttons, upshift or downshift The Di2 syncro shift will select the next gear ratio in line, even if that involves a front derailleur shift.
  • + 2
 Synchro Shift means that there is only one shifter on the right side. The front derailleur automatically shifts depending on the position of the rear derailleur on the cassette.
  • + 1
 @seraph: oh thanks! I see.. pretty cool Smile
  • + 1
 Both proper sexy bikes.
  • - 2
 And just a quick swap of that Shimano ring for a OneUp NW ring after the pics before the race and you're set (like so many Shimano racers)
  • + 7
 Shimano rings have a NW profile now.. but they won't admit that SRAM was right..
  • + 0
 Does she have one half of a chain link taped to her brake line?
  • + 2
 both plates. you can see two pins.
  • + 1
 @pwn1: I know. I was referring to the fact that it's only one "side" of one full chain link—as in, it doesn't have the second "plate" attached to the two pins to form the coupling that is usually known as a chain link. In either case, any insight as to why she has any sort of chain component stuck to her brake line? It doesn't seem to be interacting with anything.
  • + 2
 @serathestaii: Both halves are there. Taping a spare chain link somewhere to your bike is a good trick when you don't carry a backpack. It's easy to find there and not going to get too covered in mud
  • + 2
 @serathestaii: pretty sure that's both components of a split link. It's the Enduro way to attach a spare link to the bike. A DIY hack that's used a lot by the pros as well as amateurs.
  • + 2
 @pwn1: Wow, its use as a spare didn't even cross my mind haha
  • + 1
 #275aintdead
  • + 0
 It wouldn't. With 2 wheel sizes of different capability, manufacturers will find it easier to sell 2 bikes to the same guy. If 26 is still around, there'll be just 26 and 29... A third is too much.
  • - 1
 ya.... the seat post thing seems like a bunch of bs , tho.
  • + 1
 The photo shows she's only got an inch of post exposed and she would need two inches exposed in order to swap from a 100 to a 125 post. And that's assuming there is no interruption of the seat tube.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: ahhh the seat tube thing makes sense
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