Trek Scratch Air 8 Review

Aug 26, 2011
by Brad Walton  
This is the follow up to the 2011 Scratch Air 8 Preview we featured this spring. Coming in just a hair under 34 lbs and at a retail price of $3,879.99 USD, the Scratch Air 8 packs quite a punch into the one-bike quiver category. The Scratch Air is the product of Trek's Scratch freeride frame platform mated with little brother Remedy's all-mountain components. Although the versatility is almost immediately apparent, the practicality of such a niche-specific mountain bike may be confusing to some.

The 2011 Trek Scratch Air 8 in size XL
  The 2011 Trek Scratch Air 8 in size XL


The Scratch Freeride Platform

The heart of this bike is the Scratch freeride frame, made with Trek's premium Alpha Red aluminum. The Scratch, like all modern Trek frames, utilizes a hydroformed tubeset to maintain smooth flowing lines without turning the frame into one big curve ball of tubes. Everything fits together purposefully and aesthetically on this frame, such as the junction of the top and down tubes to the 1-1/8"-1.5" tapered E2head tube. It's clean, strong, light, and if you want to get overly techy, aerodynamic. Coupled together around a large main pivot bearing and backed by a 3-year warranty, this frame is ready for battle.

While the infamous all-mountain assault Remedy has been gaining popularity in the do-it-all segment, if air mail is how you want to send it, Remedy isn't for you. Scratch is thicker all over, so it can handle the big drops, high-flying acrobatics, and hard-charging dh punishment that Remedy isn't designed for. But what if Scratch, with its coil shocks and slack geo is too much in the freeride direction and you still pedal to the top? That's where Scratch Air comes in. Trek basically took two winning categories, the Scratch and the Remedy, and combined them into another segment of bike altogether. It's smart on their part because they already had the frame, and already had the components, so it's cheap to produce a Scratch with Remedy parts.

self-portrait for Trek Scratch Air 8 review
  Is it really called the Scratch Air because of the shocks? This bike craves airtime!


Bike Metrics

Trek uses 'virtual' sizing to help riders find the right fit, while actual size measurements allow for frame size identification. For example: my 'Virtual XL' test bike measures as a 19.5" at the seat tube, but Trek suggests that this 19.5" bike fits a little big for freeride use, so they call it Virtual XL, rather than a typical 19.5" Large bike. It's a little confusing, so you're going to have to learn a bit about bike metrics if you're not able to go try one on.

2011 Trek Scratch Air geometry table

Virtual sizing aside, sizing the Scratch is not the same as most bikes you are used to. Freeride bikes run a bit smaller for technical maneuverability, but Scratch runs even smaller still. At 6'2" in height, I have always, without exception to this point, run a size Large (19") bike. A typical Large bike has somewhere around a 24" effective top tube, which I know I like. Scratch's geometry has the 'Virtual XL' (actual 19.5") bike with a 23.4" top tube. By any standard, the Scratch runs small, which borderline works for me since I like small-ish bikes for technical maneuverability. If you're thinking of buying a Scratch, ignore the 'Virtual sizing' and go with the actual measurement.

photo by Sarah Walton for Trek Scratch Air 8 review
  The Scratch's 66 degree headtube angle is intuitively comfortable on high-speed singletrack corners.


Component Spec

Right out of the box, the Scratch Air 8 seemed a bit confused. The Bontrager cockpit parts, while visually appealing, seemed incorrectly proportioned to the handling characteristics of a bike with 170mm travel. The stock 80mm riser stem and 28" handlebar is the result of borrowing component spec from the all-mountain Remedy, and although it makes sense from a financial standpoint to keep the cost down, I did one test run and felt like the bike was VERY held back by these components alone. The spec may work for a taller rider than myself since this XL-sized test bike is the largest size offered in the Scratch frame, but a 170mm bike with a 66-degree head angle is most likely not going to reach its full potential with such a long stem.

After switching to a 60mm stem and 29" bar I had laying around, the bike now feels ready to take advantage of that slack geo and long travel. Most Trek dealers will work with customers to achieve proper bike fit by trading out custom-fit items like stems and handlebars for a nominal fee. It's nice that Trek threw in over an inch worth of steer tube spacers under the stem so the rider can adjust their stem height to their liking without having to worry about not having enough. It can always be cut down.


Specifications
Release Date 2011
Price $3879.99
Travel 170mm
Rear Shock Fox Float RP-2
Fork Fox 36 Float R
Headset FSA Sealed Bearing
Cassette Shimano HG8110 11-36, 10 speed
Crankarms Race Face Ride
Chainguide MRP LRP
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Shifter Pods Shimano SLX, 10 speed
Handlebar Bontrager Rhythm Pro, 31.8mm, 50mm rise, 9 degree sweep
Stem Bontrager Rhythm
Brakes Avid Elixir 5
Wheelset Bontrager Cousin Earl Disc
Tires Bontrager XR4 Expert, 26x2.35
Seat Bontrager Evoke 2
Seatpost Bontrager Rhythm Elite, 31.6mm



First things first- while Bontrager Rhythm Pro components appear to be up to the task, I felt the 80mm stem and 28
  First things first- while Bontrager Rhythm Pro components appear to be up to the task, I felt the 80mm stem and 28" handlebar to be unfitting for the Scratch Air's little-big-bike personality.

The Shimano SLX 2x10 drivetrain is a dream come true! 24/36 chainrings on Race Face cranks are more than adequate for any mountain pursuit, and with 10-speed 11-36 in the back, I can climb walls yet still not be spun-out on the commute to the trails. Spring this year was particularly nasty weather-wise here in Northwest Washington, so if 10-speeds can hold up to my 200 lb weight grime-grinding cogs in the wet, I reckon it's here to stay. The SLX line as a whole has held up phenomenally, without a glitch. Cable routing on the frame is well thought out and avoids kinks and exposure to contaminants where possible. Both front and rear shifters and derailleurs are perfectly in sync even after a season of hard abuse. It didn't take long to bend the MRP LRP chain guide, but it's not really designed for bashing in the first place. The long, thin aluminum guide arm bends back into place easily and functions great to keep the chain where it's supposed to be.

Less can be said for the Avid Elixir 5 brakes. The brakes, with their 200mm rotors, offer superb stopping power and good modulation, but have a sporadic feel. Pad life was less than to be expected, and without pad contact adjustment, ergonomics were a bit lacking and pad replacement was overly difficult. Overall the brakes were fitting both to the nature of the bike and the retail price, but I would prefer something with more adjustment and a more consistent feel.

  Shimano's economical SLX 2x10 drivetrain setup proves to be ultimate trailbike gearing.

Bontrager parts have always been synonymous with quality and value, and the array of Trek's in-house components on the Scratch Air 8 are no disappointment. Most impressive is the Cousin Earl wheelset with 20mm front hub and 12x142mm rear. These wheels can take a beating! During the entire course of rigorous testing, I checked and re-checked wheel tension and trueness, yet never once had to make an adjustment. VERY impressive. The wheels are pretty light and very strong. I did get a bit of hiccup out of the rear hub with a defective freehub pawl, which was probably due to riding in the muck all spring. Trek is quick to acknowledge any relevant problems with their 2-year warranty on Bontrager parts, so I would go so far as to say that if you're not riding in the wet, the Scratch Air 8 is a much better value than the Air 9 which is mostly more expensive due to the more durable DT Swiss hubs.

  Bontrager's XR4 2.35 tire new and after 3 months of all-mountain use. Rear tire mounts in reverse direction from front.

The Bontrager XR4 tires on the Scratch Air are a real love/hate scenario. Sized at 2.35 with soft rubber, these tires hold an edge to a certain point, and then slide endlessly. It took me a few rides to get used to them and to be able to predict the traction in corners. Overall, they climb great, roll fast, have a long wear life, corner decently, but are mediocre in the wet. The hate part comes with the soft sidewall that detracts from the stiffness of the Scratch frame. I was forced to run high pressure in the rear tire, around 36 psi, to keep from pinch flatting. The tires are tubeless compatible, but as a 200 lb lover of hard cornering, I didn't want to risk a peeler. Eventually I put in a thicker freeride tube that not only decreased my flat threats, but also stiffened up the sidewall profile of the tire significantly. Trailside flat fixes will almost certainly result in the frustration of an unseated tire bead with the XR4's. Proper bead seating requires either soapy water or a high-pressure compressor, or a combination of both. Improperly seated, the XR4's are rideable, but with a noticeable wallop on flat ground.

Scratch Don't Need No Shuttle Rig

Trek's full-floater suspension design is very apparent on the climb. The rear tire sticks to the ground when sitting, and also does pretty well when standing on the uphill steeps. I never found myself in need of the Fox Float's lockout lever for the rear suspension, although sustained flat ground such as pavement commutes to the trail certainly warrant such a feature for most long-travel trailbikes. Scratch Air pedals exceptionally well with minimal pedal-induced bob or chain-actuated pedal feedback over technical uphill terrain. Again, Shimano's 2x10 drivetrain setup was an ideal choice for this bike, easily conquering every lung-buster en route to the good stuff.

photo by Sarah Walton for Trek Scratch Air 8 review
  Scratch just wants to play!


The Good Stuff

Scratch Air, as mentioned, is based on the Scratch freeride platform, so downhill orientation is where it really shines. The trails in my testing grounds included a wide variety of terrain and conditions. The test began with a solid month of downpour, pedaling for hours through wet, slow, technical, root-laden and big rock terrain. With its low-range climbing gear, Scratch Air acted as the commute vehicle for many days of pedal-accessed trail building, waiting patiently in the rain like a good hound serving on cougar patrol, anxious to release all that pent up energy on fresh loam at the end of a long day. Once summer finally arrived and things dried out, Scratch was ready for dust-buster duty without a single repair.

self-portrait for Trek Scratch Air 8 review
  Rain makes for just another day aboard this aggressive all-mountain bike.

With air shocks mounted fore and aft, it did take some trailside experimentation with the included Fox shock pump to arrive at the proper pressure for my weight and riding style. Trek also has just debuted their new online suspension calculator, meaning that you are running out of excuses for not being in the ballpark with your settings. 160mm front travel and 170mm rear travel is a pretty close match, but I could feel that 10mm difference, and it forced me to ride a little more backseat on the downhill for optimal balance. Once adjusted, I found that with both shocks set for 25-30% sag, I was bottoming on hard corners. Rear air shocks currently lack any sort of low-speed compression, so I had to compensate with just a tad more air pressure. The added pressure was favorable to bigger hits, but made riding over choppy root and rock a bit bouncy.

You can't have it all, and in general the trails around Bellingham are comparatively smooth to anything north of the border, so I am pretty content with Scratch Air set up for riding jumps, drops, and corners, with less emphasis on smoothing over the rough stuff. And that's not to say it does nothing to tame normal trail terrain, it's just that for my weight, low speed compression is noticeably lacking for giving the bike the uber-plush feel most would expect from 170mm travel. Less air time will result in decreased air pressure and thus a more supple ride, but if you're going big, avoid constantly bottoming the rear shock as this will eventually lead to frame damage.

The bike handles high-speed, smooth trails with ease, pumping rollers, gapping doubles, and gaining momentum through undulations in the terrain. Set up stiff as mentioned above, the Scratch Air has lots of pop for those seeking air time, and secures very solid landings. The weight of the bike when flinging it around off medium sized jumps is awesome if you're used to bigger bikes, offering a more nimble feel in the air. It also makes for more solid landings if you're used to smaller, lighter bikes. Overall, the Scratch Air is balanced well for airtime, which is what I would say the bike excels at most.

self-portrait for Trek Scratch Air 8 review
  Scratch Air's air-sprung 170mm of rear trail-taming travel is best utilized to smooth out hard landings.

With two geometry settings via Trek's Mino-link, Scratch can be trail-tuned to most any riding area. For railing berms and dialing in jumps, I found the low setting, with its 66 degree head angle and 14.2" bottom bracket height, to be most fitting. Many will complain that even at the low geometry setting, Scratch is a tad high in the bottom bracket department. It really depends on your terrain and personal preferences, but I ride a lot of technical climbs and prefer to avoid pedal-strikes with rocks and roots, so I'm willing to give up a wee bit of cornering prowess to have a more versatile rig. In my opinion, considering the sag of a 170mm trail bike, the bottom bracket height on the Scratch Air is ideal. However, short of serving as a non-airtime, heavy-duty all-mountain machine for heavier riders, I can't think of a situation where the 'high' geometry setting would be preferred. Perhaps the Mino-link could be improved upon by making the current 'low' setting into a 'high' setting in the future, and offering a 'low' setting of sub-14" BB and 65.5" head angle.

Scratch Air's frame is stiff and solid, tracks straight, and holds down a line really well, thanks largely to the stiff one-piece Evo link and 12x142mm rear axle. Rear suspension is as smooth as when it was new, without a creak in any part of the frame, so reliability is foreseen as excellent. Active Braking Pivots (ABP) in the rear of Trek's bikes keep the suspension moving over bumps on steep terrain when the rear brake is on, and it is noticeable compared to seatstay-mounted brake caliper bikes. The bike certainly offers confidence to riders progressing up from typical all-mountain rigs. Fox's 36 Float up front, with its tapered steerer tube and 20mm axle, keeps the front wheel on track through chunder and doesn't dive in hard corners despite its lack of compression adjustment. Its no coil spring, but the Float R is fairly progressive and has the same highly-adjustable rebound control of the more expensive models.


Self Portrait for Trek Scratch Air review.
  Summer finally arrives and Scratch Air is prepared for plenty more action.



Pinkbike's Take on Trek's Scratch Air 8

Trek's Scratch Air 8 fills the niche for a healthy freerider on a budget. Pedaling to the top is the idea, though the reward in descent is of far greater value. Airtime, tech-gnar lines, and backcountry dependability are a good way to sum up the practicality of Scratch Air. With a 3-year warranty on the main frame, 2-year on the chainstay, and 2-year on the Bontrager hard parts, Scratch Air doesn't have to be a stranger to truck or bike park shuttles, and certainly excels on uneven, gravity-fed terrain. It's not as supple as a coil-sprung freeride or DH bike, and not as light for climbing as an XC bike, but if you're stuck somewhere in between categorization as a rider because you ride up, down, and all around, the Scratch Air comes in very close to being 'the one bike' capable enough to handle it all.

While the Air 9 is built like Schwarzenegger if he could run, the Scratch Air 8 is nearly as capable, minus the expensive steroids. Air 9 upgrades to Shimano XT-level parts spec, a very high-end DT Swiss wheelset, and a remote-actuated dropper seatpost, all in a package estimated to drop less than 2 lb's, for another thousand plus bucks. Is it worth it? If you don't need extra adjustments and dials, and perhaps a little more wet-weather durability, Scratch Air 8 gets you all the heavy-duty, all-mountain, technical-trail basics in a package just a tad heavier than the elite model.

Though the mesh of capable freeride bike with notorious all-mountain slayer may appear slightly experimental at first glimpse, under intensive review it's quite obvious Trek is onto a viable sub-genre of mountain bike with the Scratch Air series, which is why it came as s surprise to learn that they are being replaced in 2012 with the promising looking Slash lineup. Having said that, as much fun as I had aboard the Scratch, I'm looking forward to some time on the Slash, a bike that has the potential to take this sub-genre to the next level.


For more information, visit your local Trek dealer or check out Trekbikes.com.

Special thanks to Kulshan Cycles in Bellingham!


94 Comments

  • + 52
 Kinda too late to be tested... Trek discontinued the Scratch (air and coil) for the Slash; In my opinion, a foolish decision.
  • + 19
 (I can understand replacing the Scratch air but it blows my mind they dropped the Scratch coil as well.)
  • + 65
 yeah, they scratched the Scratch...
  • + 8
 its actually such a shame, sweet little bike
  • + 3
 im guessing you guys have not ridden the scratch havent you? as much as i think they should have at least kept the coil, the slash is an unbelievable bike. You guys will be blown away, trust me.
  • + 16
 Not pinkbikes fault. Obviously they didnt know when they set out to long -term test this bike would be canned. Should they not run the article? It still offers insight, and the new Slash looks killer.
  • + 13
 Yes when we took receipt of the bike, the Scratch had not been relieved of its position yet. There are still shops with these bikes and they are nice bikes and there are riders looking at them, so yes the review is still more than valid.
  • - 3
 This article was posted like 5 months ago
  • + 2
 where can I see the Slash? it is not included within trekbike.com
  • + 3
 Just do a web search. They are not up on Trek's site as they are a 2012 model.
  • + 1
 Looks like a cool bike, a lot like and enduro
  • + 1
 I love how fresh and clean treks bikes always look, there is no doubt that they do an amazing job at that. I think it really is a shame that they were discontinued. I never rode one personally, but they look like a fun bike forsure.
  • + 1
 there so many bike frames that look likes this .. kona transition trek and more to come..
  • + 2
 treks are the shit dudes. i had a trek as my first mtb back when i was a kid. 10 years of progression later i bought a session and its the shiznit. no doubt trek is stepping up thier game. as well as there photography. brad's the man!
  • + 1
 im glad they discontinued it, i met a guy at northstar who had broken two. maybe the replacement will be better
  • + 1
 @airsoftesneeto

Yeah the Slash looks sick but they need to sort out the cable routing FFS!!!! I love the designs of all the new Trek bikes (for past couple of years) yet they still insist on routing the cables in such 'dog-egg' places. Either make the cables go inside the frame (like most manufactures now do) or run them ALL down the top tube, out of the way. Why the f*** would you put them there! A buddy is constantly complaining about this and i've ridden his coil version and he's right!

I understand that running them through the frame might effect the integrity of the frame, particularly strength and flex but other manufactures manage to do it! Orange has been doing this for years and it doesnt effect them (be it, they are FAT)! And, Trak CAN do it because the rear mech cable runs through the chainstay WTF!?!

Come on Trek, use your noodles and sort this out. The frames looks sick but then they look s*** as soon as all the cables and pipes go on!
  • + 1
 dude on the slash 9 they are running the the stealth reverb seatpost!!! thats pretty cool, hopefully you wont have to bleed it that much, yikes! but yeah dude i have a fuel ex 8 2010 and dont get me wrong i love that bike! but i do agree with the routing when i hit bigger drops and my suspension soaks it up sometimes my rear der cable starts rubbing me and plus the cables rub against my white frame and mangles it up a lil bit. BUT yeah man trek should do better routing i agree with that, however there is no way that would deter me from buying another trek. Smile
  • + 20
 The bike is aerodynamic? Could someone stop repeating the stupid arguments of Trek marketing department?
Their bikes are real good, and don't need ridiculous explanation for it.
  • - 23
flag mrmanic (Aug 26, 2011 at 3:07) (Below Threshold)
 And you are, mr no one???
No PROFILE, but command.
  • + 13
 I'm someone with a brain and tries to use it. What about you? Do you prefer to swallow everything the marketing is telling you or do you prefer to think by yourself?
Take ANY frame, watch it from the front. See a big difference? No. A little, yes. Put a rider onto it. What is gonna have the more impact: frame or rider? The rider is a little wider than the frame. Good answer.
Last point: how many of us do release their brake long enough to feel the aerodynamic profile of their frame? Not so many. Plus you'll have so many turbulances generated by your fork (basically Fox and Rock Shox in this segment) and front wheel (Maxxis Ardent or Minion F?) that it won't matter a lot how aerodynamic your frame is.
  • + 3
 So, are you saying skinny riders are more aerodinamic than fat ones?
  • + 1
 Ever rode with Brad?!!
  • + 1
 I mainly meant it jokingly because in person the shape of the tubes is very well thought out and put together. I forgot Trek actually wind-tested the DH bike. Sorry, didn't mean to be serious on the aerodynamic comment.
  • + 6
 obviously aerodynamics matter on mountain bikes. Why do you think the kids in skinny jeans are always so damn good?
  • + 1
 you are right.
  • + 3
 mrmanic gets it. I think I am going to progress this sport to a whole new level. I'm going to ride DH in a speedo and shave my whole body like a swimmer.
  • + 6
 I know it's splitting hairs, but I'd like to see the Remedy offered with a 36 fork. I prefer the geometry and lighter weight of the Remedy as an all-mountain/trail bike but I just find that a long travel 32 is too flexible. I see the point of the scratch though, and that guy is sending it in every photo, nice work buddy!
  • + 2
 Totally agree. You could swap out your 32 for a 36, then put in one of the 10 mm spacers to bring the travel down to 150... so that it wouldn't void your warranty. I'm thinking of doing the same on my AM rig.
  • + 2
 ive got the stumpjumper evo with 150mm 32 float and im thinking of doing the same thing. i really think itd be worth the weight penalty
  • + 1
 I wholeheartedly agree. Threw a 36 on my Remedy and now I love it--with the 32 it was just too twitchy and didn't feel right on the techier/more bomber descents.
  • + 1
 problem is youd need a new front wheel
  • + 1
 Hey, courtneywylie, do you know what the head angle is on your Remedy since you installed the 36? 67 degrees maybe? I agree with you that the 32 makes the Remedy feel twitchy. I feel like I'm over the front wheel too much on mine, and that's after I swapped the 80 for a 50 mm stem.

Really? The 36 will void the Trek warranty if a 10 mm reducer is not used if a 36 is on a Remedy? How would Trek know what fork was being used?
  • + 4
 Someone at Trek might have to be canned for wasting so much money (development, marketing, distribution... ja I'm a geek) by having three bikes in three years that target the same rider - I call them the enduro rider (freeride is alive, dead? don't wanna get in that argument... I ride up to ride down!). I hope they have it sorted out now....

My Scratch frame was a replacement for a 2009 remedy frame... and I am quite digging it! I put a Monarch Plus RC3 on her, and wow, that rides P L U S H. Forget the Fox RP23. Its a bit short on the top tube but still run it with a 50mm stem and a 720mm bar, it's what the cockpit needs. The Scratch also has a rather steep seat tube (which is what makes the top tube so short)... which helps it climb like a monster!

I had it at Livigno last weekend, and for my first weekend on the bike, its feeling pretty good for hitting the park. She is going nicely:-) My next upgrade will be replacing the Talas FIT with the 2012 Lyrik air, from what I read its what the bike needs (plush air fork and the 170 / 130 mm adjustable travel)

From what I was told, the Slash is about the same as the 2009 remedy geometry wize (+/- 0.5 degrees), but including fixing the issues of the tinny light frame ( and some nicer cable routing). I imagine it will be the killer bike, which is how I felt about my 2009 remedy... RIP o'le girl.

RIP Scratch....

Ride on
  • + 2
 Surprising no fashion comments for riding this bike so hard and well without a full face and goggles. Comment intelligence level is improving!

On another note "Less can be said for the Avid Elixir 5 brakes. The brakes, with their 200mm rotors, offer superb stopping power and good modulation, but have a sporadic feel. Pad life was less than to be expected, and without pad contact adjustment, ergonomics were a bit lacking and pad replacement was overly difficult. Overall the brakes were fitting both to the nature of the bike and the retail price, but I would prefer something with more adjustment and a more consistent feel." . Could not agree more - not to mention they come with SRAM's wonderful out-of-the-box poor bleed function
  • + 2
 I don't know why you would want this when my Scratch Coil with the necessary upgrade of the Totem solo air RC2DH weighs in at 36lbs and climbs like a champ. The Slash looks more like it replaces the Remedy but definitely doesn't refill the Scratch niche. I hammer out 30 mile xc rides and have a more than capable park/DH bike in one rig. To me, the old (slacker) Remedy, Scratch (air and coils with 180mm fork), and Session is the all-encompassing line.
  • + 1
 I could not agree more.
  • + 2
 I just got a chance to demo the new Slash 9 and the thing is crazy fun. Many new highlights to consider, but the quick take is that bike pedals very well for what it is and absolutely RIPS on the DHs. It won't win any XC races, but for the amount of travel and the geometry I was surprised by how well it can climb, especially when you drop the Talas fork. Helping this still is the newly redesigned Bontrager XR4 tires that work really well too. Think of it as a Nevegal with a little wider spaced knobs. If any of you get the chance to go to a Trek demo day in your area, definetly check it out and ride one of the Slashes!
  • + 1
 all change guys the bike is going so they can make way for the slash which is a similier set up but the slash is aimed more at endro downhill with the chance to pedal (slowly i bet ) back to the the top will be interesting to see how it handles
  • + 1
 I purchased a scratch air 9 off demo, rode it a couple of days, and returned it. It was not really a problem of the bike's design per se but the design, parts spec, and the fact that the bike was in some disrepair from being abused as a demo.

The scratch climbs great, the suspension is caddy plush, but the BB height is high... I did not find that the scratch handled all that well at 20-25% sag... the BB still felt high and so cornering felt like cornering a monster truck rather than sports car. The bontrager tires are not good for colorado trails... very poor hook-up on stuff i tried... i was constantly fighting front tire wash-out.

I probably needed to play around with tires, suspension sag, etc... dropping the BB height and good tires woulda done so much for the bike. But after riding the bike a while I realized that it had a lot disrepair issues and returned it.

All in all, the 2012 scratch will be on my demo list for sure... should be a great bike.
  • + 1
 No Scratch for 2012! Trek unveiled the new Slash series, The Scratch series was cut from the lineup for 2012.
  • + 1
 Haha... right you are. I meant to say the slash...
  • + 1
 Wait, I thought the Slash replaced the Remedy and the scratch was sticking around? I am so confused, I will have to wait a month or two and see what actually comes out. I love my 08 Remedy and was thinking of a 2012 Scratch to replace it, but now that it doesn't exist, may be going with a Mojo HD or Enduro Evo.
  • + 1
 Remedy is sticking around for '12, as well as going back to a 67* head angle despite the 150mm stock forks - great news! The Scratch is getting scratched and replaced with the Slash, which looks very promising. We'll be riding them in Whistler shortly, stay tuned.
  • + 1
 I have one of these, set up pretty much just for dh. It is a sweet bike, really playful. Never had an issue with the rear shock sensitivity vs. bottoming like the author, although I am about 130 pounds so that would make a big difference i geuss. My only criticism of the bike has to be of the fork, while very supple, I can never achieve full travel. Even when running stupid amounts of sag there is always still about an inch and a bit of travel left over that i cant seem to use, even on big hits. The bars and stem also have to go, 50mm stem and 750 - 780 bars would be best.
  • + 2
 Try dropping the oil volume in the spring side of the fork a bit. Worked for me.
  • + 2
 exactly what brad said, fox is notorious for shipping with more oil than needed. I believe you need 10cc's in the spring side, lots of reports coming in with over 50cc's
  • + 1
 cheers, i'll give that a shot
  • + 2
 Great review AND pics!! I can't recall a bike test with such unique and overall BADASS pics!! Wish they were alll this articulate and well thought out!!
  • + 1
 Scratch>Slash. Slash=remedy. Not a fan of what they are doing. Hopefully they realize what they did and bring the scratch coil back again one day. Haven't ridden a slash but i can only imagine its the same as a remedy.
  • + 1
 I agree. Very disapppointed there's no 2012 scratch coil. I'm hoping they bring back a coil platform. Then again the new drcv shock is supposed to be sick...
  • + 2
 Even though the bike is dicontinued the review was excellent, I'm hearing that the Slash will be very similar all around and maybe a touch lighter very excited to see it.
  • + 1
 i think what trek does is take the session frame, lighten it up a bit, then put on different parts. thats what it looks like. it bothers me. all of their frames look the same on all their bikes.
  • + 1
 I second dirtworks911's comment. Nice review...just in time for Trek to discontinue the Scratch models. Hopefully the new Slash models will be a true heir to the Scratch throne.
  • + 1
 I always climb uphill, never shuttle, and i'm torn between getting the 2011 Air 9 or Coil 8, i am 5'4 and 135 lbs. and there are no small models in store to demo. Which 1 should i get?
  • + 1
 you need a Medium, trust me...
  • + 1
 IMO, if it's labeled as freeride, the headtube should be a 1.5 all the way through. that way you can run all three headtube sizes based on prefrence, plus it's strong as hell.
  • + 1
 I have a 2010 Scratch 7 (coil) and must say it is the best bike I have ever owned. Mine weighs at 36lbs, I can only imagine how fun a Scratch is at 34lbs
  • + 2
 Brad, despite comments about the bike being discontinued, this was an excellent and beautiful review. Thanks!
  • + 2
 sick stup, big change from more fr/dh setup. sounds like this nice all around bike! nice job trek!
  • + 1
 surprised didnt see any comments on how photoshopped the first picture of the guy jumping the bike looked. anybody else agree it looks very photoshopped?
  • + 2
 Agreed, it's just not 'sharp' due to motion blur. Camera panning is definitely one of the limitations to my self-portrait setup. Currently experimenting with work-arounds. Thanks for the feedback!
  • + 1
 yep. no problem. great job on the whole article!
  • + 3
 LOOKS LIKE A TREK....
  • + 1
 looks like the sesson 88 freeride with a little bit lighter frame and fork too.
  • + 1
 Nice to see ya sending it again B-Rad. Guess the leg is healed huh? Saweet! Nice trails btw =)
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=121709&pagenum=1


look at this thread first before anything else
  • + 1
 i could seriously see with the right build this bike would look like a sick slope bike
  • + 2
 Erm.. i would like to know more about your self portrait set up!
  • + 5
 I found this on another photo.

"I use the Time Machine (www.bmumford.com/photo) with Infrared Beam trigger. Beam is placed in the path of bike/rider at the exact moment photo is to be taken. Sometimes this is not possible and beam is placed in earlier position, then delay is set on Time Machine up to 1/1000th of a second accuracy. I usually have to ride the scene anywhere from 3-20 times to get the precise focus, timing, and lighting I want. I wanted to spend a little more time on this shot but it was starting to rain and my gear was getting soaked. 6 PW's total, 1 on each of 3 flashes, one on Time Machine, one to trigger camera, one on camera to trigger flashes, on various channels for relay."
  • + 1
 Sick, this is exactly what we need - more info on the photos are achieved Wink
  • + 1
 Anyone else think this is really overpriced? Part spec and near $4000 price tag arent adding up
  • + 1
 Yes. Trek's 'modern' mountain bike range was pretty affordable at the beginning, but now they seem like they are prices $700-1000 more than they should be compared to other bikes in the market. E.G, Devinci Wilson XP $3700. Trek Session 8, $4600. Similar parts spec.
  • + 3
 looks sick !
  • + 3
 sweet bike!
  • + 1
 Scratch is Good . I can't the understand difference between Slush & Remady.
  • + 1
 as far as i know.. Slash has a bit slacker headtube angle and intended for light freeriding and a bit heavier than remedy. oh and a little more travel too
  • + 2
 dang now i want a new bike again!
  • + 2
 Hahah you need to get ride of that Stumpjumper and get a bigger bike!
  • + 1
 haha i get scratch air 8 a week ago and is very cool bike Smile love it Big Grin
  • + 2
 looks very nice.
  • + 1
 nice detailed review, great photos
  • + 2
 $3900?
  • + 2
 decent
  • + 1
 Whats the head tube on this thing
  • + 1
 什么鸟语 啊有中国人啊 我靠 八嘎 你们这帮册老
  • + 2
 I must have this!!!!
  • + 2
 Great bike appreciate
  • + 1
 very nice review and photos!
  • + 1
 Shame you missed out on the DCRV float. Makes a huge difference.
  • + 1
 Exactly the kind of bike I am into!
  • + 1
 my next bike for sure
  • + 1
 I wanna buy!!
  • + 1
 I like it !!
  • - 3
 Looks like a Norco

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