Gee Atherton's Trek Session 29er - Vallnord World Cup 2018

Jul 13, 2018
by Mike Levy  



Trek's Gee Atherton is looking to gain some momentum after an early season injury took some of the wind out of his sails, and he's hoping to do that here in Vallnord aboard his 29'' wheeled Trek Session 9.9. If you swear you remember seeing the British rider on a 27.5'' wheeled bike earlier this year, you'd be right. But it's back to big wheels for Gee. ''It's a quite difficult one. As you can see, people are changing back and forth. We started with 27.5; that bike feels better, I guess. Gee can probably ride it, but it's a hard one to say. The 29er is probably faster,'' Gee's mechanic, Pete “Polish” Michaliszyn, explained to Pinkbike's Ross Bell.

''So even though we had a pretty average season last year, and obviously Gee injured himself on the 29er as well, so that probably played a part in deciding what bike we were going to start the season on. But looking at the results, and we put a little bit more time into the 29er now, it is a faster bike. And we are all about going fast.''




At well over 6' tall and 83kg, Gee is one of the bigger, stronger guys on the circuit. He's on an extra-large Session 9.9 frame, and he prefers a 790mm wide handlebar combined with a 50mm stem - a relatively traditional setup. His suspension, however, is anything but. Up front, his Fox 49 is rocking the new Grip2 cartridge, and Pete said that his rider is about in the middle on the compression settings, runs 85 PSI, and a whopping eight volume spacers inside the air spring leg. That's mirrored on the Float X2 shock, with its compression set to the middle, 230 PSI, and the maximum amount of volume bands inside the air can. In other words, all the progression.

Gee's air-sprung setup works for his attacking style, Pete explained: "The grip from a coil-sprung shock is a little bit better, but an air spring holds you up a little bit better. It works for this bike a little bit better."




Atherton's Session stays largely the same throughout the season, too, with Pete saying that Gee isn't the kind of rider who makes a load of setup changes anymore. ''We used to change quite a lot, but now we try to keep it similar to just try and concentrate on the riding, really. We don't make massive changes,'' he told Pinkbike. But when things do get changed up, it's usually just a few clicks on the suspension, or perhaps a small alteration to his handlebar height.

In fact, Gee's Session is staying the same as it was in Val di Sole, taller than usual handlebar height included.




One thing that Gee and Pete have had to manage is Gee's hand injury. ''This weekend, we will probably be playing with the grip thickness, and maybe put a little put more padding on, just because Gee's hand isn't at 100-percent,'' he said. ''We'll maybe soften the fork a tiny bit, just to get rid of the hard impacts, but he's just going to have to hold on.''

That's probably a bit of an over-simplification, but if there's anyone who can "just hold on,'' you know that it's Gee.




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58 Comments

  • + 174
 Looks like a Session.
  • + 3
 T presque drol
  • - 7
flag Pixelbanger (Jul 13, 2018 at 18:47) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like a prototype Scott, and a Kona, a Transition Patrol on steroids, and a Toys 'R' Us bike with everything thrown in the dumpster and a Session put in its place.
  • + 6
 You shut your mouth!
  • + 3
 Couldn't resist eh?
  • + 5
 Looks like a 98 Turner Afterburner, but I don’t think to many people around this site know anything from around that era, cause if you look at the first Session it looks nothing like a session and more like abs Turner/Kona
  • + 16
 First comment on your own article.... just couldn’t resist being first in with that statement. Haha
  • + 15
 boss move
  • + 7
 Posted your comment before the write up didnt you @mikelevy
  • + 1
 How do you do, fellow kids?
  • + 2
 @heavyp: Hey dude! I'm from the Era of Nishiki ok! Bar ends and all! Haha
  • + 2
 If it aint broke... dont fix it...
  • + 6
 The "look" that started it all.
  • + 2
 I'm curious about his levers. Looks like the end balls are chopped off. I have some Hope Tech 3's, and they are super freaking sweet in function, but the holes the the levers feel terrible just kills it for me!
  • + 1
 Guess he likes a straight lever , used to do it when he was on saint brakes
  • + 1
 Did you say someone chopped his balls off?
  • - 1
 He chopped his balls off to save very little weight.
  • + 2
 Get those tires to market @trek - please.
  • + 1
 They are bontrager g5 team
  • + 1
 @ibishreddin: I cant see them on Dexter in a 29" - can you - what's the PN?
  • + 1
 32" and 36" is the next moove even for 5" guys .Doesnt matter if they are short but they will be faster for shure
  • + 2
 I thought red bikes were always faster .....
  • + 0
 29" or 27.5" can we settle this BS before too long? How can people be confident buying any new bike these days? Will it become obsolete in a season or not?
  • + 2
 Since when has a consumer been confident about anything NOT going out of date for the last 25 years? Buy what you want..
  • + 1
 Most bike manufactures are offering both as an option now. So, why bitch? NOTHING prevents you from have just as much fun on EITHER wheels size the day after a change is made. If Trek stopped making 27.5 right now, does that slow Rachel down? Does Dan all of a sudden stop riding and creating crazy DH tracks on the bike he currently is riding? Nope. If you are buying a bike, ANY bike, for resale value, you are doing it wrong.
  • + 0
 Looks like the front wheel is 27.5 on the cover photo not 29 WTF to all y'all comments gotta call yens out. So stop with your for karma bull. Thanks.
  • + 3
 Soooooo nice Drool
  • + 1
 bike looks like its not even used
  • + 1
 6' and 83kg is considered big and he's riding an XL. I'm not going crazy.
  • + 1
 He is 6'3" and yes, 83 is considered big if you have 12% body fat
  • + 1
 Looks the business. Can't wait to try one out...someday.
  • + 1
 But is it faster?
  • + 1
 That is bananas
  • + 0
 Finished in 33rd...
  • + 0
 Yup - gave him a chance on my team based on free practice and he quali'd OK but then choked in the big show. You're back on the bench Gee!
  • + 0
 29ftw is so procore
  • + 1
 Your comment makes no sense. Also your username is utterly hideous!
  • - 2
 it looks at first second and third glance like a stock 9.9
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