2017 Pinkbike Awards: Mountain Bike of the Year Winner

Dec 14, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
PB Awards




Selecting the Bike of the Year is never a simple task, and choosing the winner for 2017 was no exception. Even after culling the list of contenders down to five finalists there were still plenty of lively debates about which model should take the prize, a sign of just how tight the competition was this year. But as we all know, there can only be one winner, and this year the award for Pinkbike's Mountain Bike of the Year goes to the Trek Slash.

The Slash was completely revamped for 2017, and, in a move that came as a surprise to many riders, Trek released it solely with 29” wheels. That proved to be a hint of things to come, and there are now more long travel 29ers on the market than ever before. That flood hasn't subsided yet, and with 2018 nearly upon us the next wave of burly big wheelers are already beginning to arrive.

Trek didn't hold back when they designed the Slash, giving it a 65-degree head angle, 150mm of rear travel, and a carbon frame that posesses a level of stiffness typically reserved for downhill bikes. It's a bike that'll make mincemeat of the most technical terrain around, and as Mike Kazimer wrote in his review, “It's one of those bikes that makes you think, 'I've got this,' time after time, no matter how treacherous the trail ahead appears. Feel like taking that cheeky inside line, the one with the nearly ninety-degree exit? Or would you rather go wide, blazing a round, clean arc on the very edge of the trail? In either case, the Slash is an unflinching machine, no matter how hard it's pushed.”

Of course, the Slash's geometry numbers mean this isn't going to be the best choice for taking on mellower trail rides, but luckily there's nothing in the rulebook that says the bike of the year needs to be a practical option for everyone. It wouldn't be a stretch to call this an 'aspirational' bike; it'll make riders who live in locations with a lack of vertical daydream about hitting the road in search of rougher and steeper terrain.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Slash's blistering speed and downhill wizardry helped propel it to the front of the pack in the battle for Mountain Bike of the Year, along with the fact that it's a sign of the future in both the enduro and the DH race worlds. There's no doubt that 29ers have left their awkward adolescent stage far behind, and in 2017 it was the Slash that epitomized just how capable they've become.



296 Comments

  • + 297
 Congrats!
  • + 35
 Bummer, I wanted the Jekyll to win so bad
  • + 20
 polygon r3act won and I m not the only one who thinks it! This bike here has nothing new... it's just another trek
  • + 20
 @labiker9: Jekyll@#!$%??? I broke two of those stupid frames in one year.
  • + 2
 @DH-Angel: the old fashioned name of crack and fail still plays true then!
  • + 18
 @RedBurn: was that a round about way of saying it looks like a session? Wink
  • + 4
 @DH-Angel: Well I'm assuming if you have already broken two it was an older model, and as bike of the year goes, I was referring to this year's Jekyll which has a different frame than previous years. Also, based on your username I'm assuming that you ride downhill, and the Jekyll is an enduro bike, i.e. not specifically designed for purely downhill riding.
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: Put those two bike in a DH race and tell me who wins
  • - 11
flag joni0001984 (Dec 14, 2017 at 13:57) (Below Threshold)
 Congrats for...?
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist:
I thought I wad the only one left who still referred to the company as Crack&fail.
  • + 3
 i was rooting for you, for me, because I am enjoying mine
  • + 2
 @DH-Angel: why did you buy the second one?
  • + 3
 @Monstertruckermotherfuker: I'm sure that he didn't buy two of them. You know, he broke one and they replaced it. Then he broke that one too.
  • - 7
flag godroxs (Dec 14, 2017 at 18:14) (Below Threshold)
 Ha! Exactly!! #crack-n-fail @DH-Angel:
  • - 6
flag godroxs (Dec 14, 2017 at 18:14) (Below Threshold)
 Ha! Exactly!! #crack-n-fail @DH-Angel:
  • + 1
 @labiker9: want to buy my Jekyll? ????
  • + 28
 @labiker9: anyone who has "DH" in their name rides green trails on their top-shelf 2018 nomad wearing a bell super 2r and dh kit...
  • + 1
 @SpinningAddiction: Already got one and I'm loving it, so no need
  • + 0
 @RedBurn: ridden both?
  • - 6
flag gdnorm (Dec 14, 2017 at 20:57) (Below Threshold)
 Oh good, the junior varsity Wreckoning won. So wreckoning is the winner of winners.
  • + 4
 @RedBurn: yep! Just another trek that blows shit outta the water!
  • + 1
 @Palmers: yes???? thank you
  • - 1
 26 4 lyfe
  • - 11
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Dec 15, 2017 at 7:52) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck that shit! This bike sucks!!
  • + 0
 @mikeyin19: the Polygon would, you big stupid idiot
  • - 1
 @bohns1: yeah right. Haha. Keep dreaming bubba
  • + 1
 @Palmers: eghhhh..... that's false. Don't judge a book by its coverSmile
  • + 2
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Haha anotha chump that probably has never swung a leg over one!
  • + 1
 @labiker9:We all do
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: have you tried both bikes?
  • + 148
 Looks like a session
  • + 22
 Imagine that.
  • + 72
 Lol @ "aspirational bike": aka the wrong bike for your local trails but you bought it anyway.
  • + 15
 @PinkyScar: Like my 2015 Nomad—about 3 million times too much bike for my riding. Haha.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: I can second that.
  • + 3
 @PinkyScar: This bike should come with a warning - "it will encourage you to ride in a manner that if it goes wrong you are likely to die". It is ridiculously good, but that makes a lot of trails feel like you are on flat tarmac,
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: Pretty funny just what we need for all the newly widened, smoothed and straightened trails. I rode one. Really nice bike but way more bike than anyone should need for 95 percent of trails in Colorado. You don’t need much skill to ride it fast. Just hang on and it pretty much does the rest.
  • + 1
 @Bikethrasher: Sounds boring.
  • + 120
 The color of this mountain bicycle is red.
  • + 37
 They are a descriptive people.
  • + 54
 I am very confused as this bike looks to be grey. Are you sure that this bike is not grey? Also. What is red?
  • + 5
 The cow says: 'moo'
  • + 2
 @IamTheDogEzra: Ezra! Go read the study on dog color perception rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1766/20131356
Good girl!
  • + 22
 @Konyp: I can't read, I am a dog. Duh.
  • + 1
 @IamTheDogEzra: So you are inferior to Sunshine the dog?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpbsaC_Vivo
  • + 3
 @Konyp: I can also respond to subtle visual cues from my owner for national television, but I just don't want to right now.
  • + 3
 Is that you, Perd Hapley?
  • + 2
 @IamTheDogEzra: if you can't read, how can you reply to the comments? Mad dog.
  • + 88
 random complaining and loud noises!!
  • + 35
 Your complaints aren't as good as my complaints!
  • + 24
 SCREEEEEEEE
  • + 18
 AAAAAAHHHHHH
  • + 11
 I don't like asparagus.
  • + 5
 @conv3rt Jeremy Clarkson... is that you?!
  • + 2
 Yep. This is B.S.! It should have been my bike.
  • + 59
 I'm Wreckoning they would have made a different choice if they tried just one more bike????
  • + 12
 They don't want to admit that they haven't ridden one.
  • + 0
 Complete joke that this bike was given bike of the year.

The following bikes were not even considered which is laughable:

Yeti SB5.5
Evil Wreckoning and Calling
Pivot Mach 5.5 and Mach 6
Ibis Ripley V2
Yeti SB5 v2

I find it almost laughable that a Trek wins again for the 2nd time in 3 years.

Pinkbike how much were you paid for that?

I don't give me some Crap that how much a brand pays for advertising has no effect on the outcome.

The fact that Pinkbike has only reviewed 1 Evil in 5 years shows there is some underlying agenda.

If you don't review all of the top bikes than how can you have a Bike of the year award. That's like giving an academy award to a movie having not watched or review all of the years movies.
  • + 2
 @Snowsed341: They have to have the bikes to test to be able to review them jackass.
  • + 9
 @Nathan6209: They cant get the bikes for test when every other bike website can?
  • - 3
 Wreckoning is a fine bike. But man is it UGLY compared to a Slash
  • + 10
 I think the Wreckoning was introduced in 2015 or 2016.
  • + 15
 @mikeyin19: no, no. Everything is ugly compared to Evils.
  • + 3
 @DrPete: I think you solved it. Evil just doesn't release bikes yearly like most companies and I think Pinkbike gives this award for the bike of the "year" so if you don't have a new bike you don't get to play?
  • + 2
 @Nathan6209: they did release the Following MB but maybe too late in the year to get reviewed.
  • - 2
 Evil Presley and Evil Carnival are coming in 2018 and they will demolish the competition
  • + 29
 I know the Wreckoning has bolt on axles, integrated chainguides, built in sag meters, and a custom Weagle suspension system, but did you guys see that the Slash has a fixed shock mount now?

BOOM! Checkmate atheists.
  • + 7
 If I owned a small, successful, top-shelf US based bike company, I would not submit my product to the pinkbike comment wolves either.

If pinkbike was paying full pop for the bikes they review (advertise), these "reviews" might contain more than just flagship bikes and the same old bike test clichés.
  • + 1
 @mikeyin19: yur 7 craft pints in
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I you can live with the creaking cracking suspension
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Na.. The Trek looks cleaner in my books! Just sayin.. Not the red tho!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: The Trek is a fine looking bike for sure but it's nothing compared to the Wreckoning which is jaw dropping. I get a huge amount of comments wherever I take mine so I'm probably biased through.

www.evil-bikes.com/products/wreckoning
  • + 1
 He used, sarcasm. -Monty Python lol @Thustlewhumber:
  • + 1
 I agree 100% just more Trek coolaid, there top vids had Trek in 3 out of 5 total bs
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: can't say I agree.. Just not a fan of the way the top tube connects to the seat tube with that y sort of look... I know it's minimal but I'm about aesthetics as well at those price points! The Trek just looks cleaner to me.. But hey, I'm biased as well.. Enjoy the evil
  • + 2
 @Snowsed341: AMEN! Preach it! Advertising dollars have EVERYTHING to do with this shamboozle and many more magazine shootouts as well.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: It's possibly the red colour that puts me off. I think the Wreckoning looks much better in person though. I was in my car for 30 minutes yesterday and couldn't believe how many people turned there head to look at my Wrecker as they walked past. At least 8 out of 10 of the general public took a long stare. All ages and sexes.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: AGREED!
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: That's cool and all.. But my stares come when my murdered out 9.9 is on the trails.
  • + 1
 @mcrider-bo: I love Trek kool-aid.. True story!
  • + 33
 Sorry T-wreck, still can't get rid of the bad taste of the Y bike. It was that bad.
  • + 97
 Damn, you sure know how to hold a grudge.
  • + 12
 @mikekazimer: It was that bad. Seriously.
  • + 6
 @Eatsdirt: Honestly, for its time, it wasn't that bad. I had a Y-22 and loved it. The Y Five-0 was one of craziest builds ever.

@mikekazimer: Yeah, what is it now, 17 years and counting?
  • + 29
 @mikekazimer: Speaking of grudges; whats the story between Pinkbike and Evil???
  • + 8
 @Powderface: Hippies live in URTs
  • + 1
 @Powderface: 22 and counting. Mine was 1995 oclv y22
  • + 3
 @pauldbrienkennedy: ha! Pacific blue? Baywatch on bikes had those shit heaps.
  • + 1
 look on ebay how much they're making now. crazy.
  • - 2
 The marketing manager has hidden a message in the name, he hated it so bad... the Why Bike.
  • + 4
 Sending ladder bridges in ‘99 on a Y3 are some of my fondest memories of riding bikes.
  • + 2
 @Eatsdirt: Lest we forget the super high pivot URT, Trek-owned Klein Mantra: it was the only bike where hitting the brakes during a parking lot test could actually buck you off.

Now that I'm reminiscing, I kind if wish I had one kicking around...
  • + 4
 Not as bad as the Trek 9000 with that huge elastomer stack...that thing was like riding a baby buggy...BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE...
  • + 2
 @Powderface: Wasn't that bad? Shirley you must be joking.

The seat mast flexed beyond reasonable, the URT wagged like a dog, the whole front triangle twisted in corners, the URT design itself was a joke. I could go on. That thing killed my desire to ride/race. Coming off a GT RTS... so it's not like I had high standards.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: I believe the term you were looking for is called Stinkbugging
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: I think there is one for sale near me, he says pre Yrek but dont believe the hype, vbrakes date it at least 97, and you can see the trek frame sizing stickers on there...

denver.craigslist.org/bik/d/klein-mantra-comp-pre-trek/6419913914.html
  • + 1
 @yeti-monster: have you been listening to the hktpodcast with Kathy Sessler? Wink
  • + 2
 @Eatsdirt: Oh it was a slippery eel for sure. That being said I was working at a Trek dealership so the only other bikes I was really testing (in 1997) were the similar URT Fishers, the Klein Mantra and the K2/Proflex. All of which were considerably worse. I dunno, maybe just overly fond memories of the past but I believe the y-frame played a part in the evolution of full suspension.

PS: The 17 years and counting was in relation to how long the y has been out of production, not when it was launched. Although I probably got that wrong too.
  • + 1
 @JarrodB: Thanks, but no thanksWink
  • + 1
 @pauldbrienkennedy: Same. In polished AL.
  • + 1
 @pedalhound: with a fox x2?
  • + 22
 So the die hard 29er hating crowd that was the very vocal majority of pinkbike subscribers for so long are conspicuously silent. Is this the end of an era. 27.5 was supposed to take over but those pesky wagon wheels wouldn't go away. Probably because they're awesome!
  • + 3
 Yeah I'm tempted to go back through my 2014 comments and paste some of the junk predictions by plebs who probably hadn't even ridden one or could understand why they can be better than smaller wheels.
  • + 37
 Could be that I’m out shredding on my 26” bike and don’t care what size wheels others are riding.
  • + 6
 @jclnv: in 2014, the 29er geo., esp. longer travel was still getting sorted.
  • + 3
 @ReformedRoadie: The 14 Stumpy Evo 29" absolutely pissed on any other trail bike I'd ridden before so I don't agree at all.
  • + 7
 @jclnv: hear hear.

I’m an official long travel 29er fanboi
  • + 1
 @ReformedRoadie: I think that's true of a number of 29ers of that era. I had one of those - Giant Trance X 29er. It was a good bike, I thought after trying it and a couple other 29ers at the time. But I later found out that there were others out there I hadn't ridden - and they were pretty awesome. Bikes like the Process 111 (ushered in a whole new class of shortish-travel aggressive trail 29ers - I own one now), the Transition Covert 29er (similar but not as long as the 111 - definitely a fun bike), and then of course there were the Tallboy/Tallboy LT and the Enduro and Stumpy 29.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: That would be time well spent. Looking forward to your historical anecdotes.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Had that same bike.. Thing was an absolute beast! Sorta miss it.. But not the chainstay length!
  • + 2
 @bohns1: chainstay length on it didn’t bother me. To the point where I started questioning the short chainstay trend.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah, similar to wheel size, people have to get out of the mentality of one perfect geometry for everyone. Neko Mulally races DH and he prefers a 27.5 over a 29er on some courses but he seems to like longer chain stays in general.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: I do agree on that point: I owned an Expert EVO 29, 2014, for 2 seasons and it was a wicked ride!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: guess it all depends on ur ride style.. For stability, yes cs length is nice.. But for playing and getting that front up for manuals and such I prefer the shorter stays.. That and I deal with a ton of tight switch backs and what not.. That stumpy was like a semi truck tho in xl.. Just smashed!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: since I learned to manual I don’t care that much about chainstay length. Switchbacks, euro nose wheelie on downs and hopping/ rocking on the climb. Yes it’s nice to be able to do it with less effort but quite frankly, that’s riders job.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: perhaps.. But I'm a new bike every two seasons guy! If I'm spending the money then the newer geo it is! Either way compared to my new fuel.. The 14 stumpy was a lethargic semi truck!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: it’s been too long ago for me to tell. I am yet to ride a trail bike that handles slower and more like a cow than 99% of DH bikes out there. I just wonder, I am not thaaaaat bad at riding, yet I am nowhere close to get into the zone of a DH bike, the minimum speed at which those bikes come to life. Riding DH bikes at safe pace sucks... how do these Joeys enjoy it? And then shout that they want a playful bike?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: no idear dude! I've only ridden full dh at Whistler.. Its easy to get up to speed there especially on runs like A-line where anything slower than balls out simply is not fun! However my for me, a playful trail bike is where I'm at home..
  • + 20
 To be expected, it probably is a better bike than the other ones that where chosen. It's also close to twice as expensive as the others hahaha
  • + 1
 I don't know, I've tried the Sight 29 that was nominated and it could probably give this thing a run for its money even as an enduro rig...
  • + 1
 @m47h13u: The Sight is fun, but not the same downhill charger that this Trek is. Very different bikes.
  • + 1
 @m47h13u: Agree. I've got a Sight and love it. I can ride anything I could previously on my Enduro but now my rides are much more fun because the cross hill and uphills aren't such a slog. Granted, it's a little harsher on the downhill but it's a trade off I'll take any day for non lift access riding.
  • + 20
 Knock Block wins? WTF???
  • + 4
 Amen. That setup is dumb.
  • + 3
 Bike should come with several spare headsets and a second frame or two...
  • + 19
 That's the ticket to a super fly session you got there....
  • + 5
 So smart, the top fuel of my brain is puns.
  • + 4
 @lindblomxc: If you run out of top fuel, I have the remedy
  • - 6
flag honda50r (Dec 14, 2017 at 12:15) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah when I red this I automatically knew I had to participate
  • + 1
 @huntstyle: is this your real Domane??
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: You could say I'm quite Procaliber
  • + 1
 @huntstyle: Hopefully you do, this is quite a pun Session.
  • + 3
 one would have to trek deep into their mind to fuel a pun session of this caliber.
  • + 17
 I have 9.9 problems and a trek aint one.
  • + 1
 I’m so batty about this that it makes me feel like a creep
  • + 15
 Seriously Pink Bike, when are you going to start testing Evil's products?? Evil won the last bike poll by a vast majority. What gives?
  • + 7
 ...when Evil decides to pay for one...
  • + 4
 The only new bike this year was the Following MB, and it was a late 2017 model. Though my Insurgent and I fully support the love for Evil.
  • - 1
 You'll have to ask evil. If Evil fronts the cash, they get a review.
  • + 16
 Don't forget, we did review the Insurgent a couple of years ago: www.pinkbike.com/news/evil-insurgent-review-2015.html. As for paying for a review, that's simply not true. We review bikes from a wide range of companies, and whether or not they advertise on Pinkbike doesn't have any bearing on whether or not we'll check out their bike.
  • + 31
 @mikekazimer: Can you please just review the Wreckoning so they shut the F up about it?! I've got some pointers: a little heavy, stock shock is lame, cool color, something something Dave Weagle rocks, and Easton wheels suck. Insert a few choice photos of loam and call it...
  • + 21
 @ryan83: Done, now we don't even have to review it. Thanks!
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Hahaha, well that settles that then!
  • + 2
 @AlexS1: My guess is Evil has exhausted their lip service budget over at Bike Mag. For this year as well.

Speaking of, remember their embarrassing "Trek Remedy 27.5: 2014 Bible of Bike Tests" redo video? Trek doesn't mess with these bike of the year competitions. It sell bikes.

@mikekazimer Based on the geometry numbers and my old Trek Remedy experience, I am of a strong conviction that your bike of the year just does not work out for riders taller and heavier than yourself. That STA, both effective and furthermore real, is too slack and CS not long enough to make a proper climbing geometry bike, which is a half of the bike ride story (otherwise you could have given this title to Session 29). Trek is aware of this. That's why they speced the bike with Talas in the first place, but in reality it doesn't solve anything other than further lowers the BB, just in situations when you need the opposite (steep, technical climbing).
Also far from "perfect", but, on paper at least, with very similar geometry to Slash, Norco Range 9 seems to have almost all the linkage numbers better than Slash (and Enduro 29). So, what gives?

mrblackmorescorner.blogspot.it/search/label/Trek%20Slash%202017
  • + 4
 @jollyXroger: Because bikes ride better in real life then they do on paper. Get outside and ride your f#@king bike.
  • + 3
 @jollyXroger: Range and Slash kinematics are very similar but we can't say that one is better than other. Also the different shock and fork in both models tested could have a huge impact, so the behaviour of the whole bikes is only possible testing the bike. At the end, all of this is a question of personal preferences and is near impossible to be 100% objective.
  • + 1
 @MrBlackmore: If you are taking such a stance, what's the point of work you do, trying to objectively quantify the bikes based on suspension performance?

As for the shock and fork. Norco Range C1 comes with the same Float X2 as the Slash pictured above and the fork (Fox Factory Float 36 with HSC/LSC) which should be as good, if not better than the Talas Slash is sporting. Though, Mike has previously tested a cheaper build - Range 9.2.

But anyways, let's hear @mikekazimer 's opinion on what makes Slash a better bike than Range. Especially given his positive initial impressions. I'm really curious.
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: I analyse kinematics which is objective and from that I try to interpret (the most objectively I can) how the bike could perform. Knowing this you can choose the right shock or have an idea of the settings you want, for example. Kinematics are only a part of the equation to understand the whole bike and is based in physics not in feelings, so is the only way to have a truly objective idea.

About the suspensions, I was referring to that. Range was tested with Rockshox and Slash with Fox. With the same brand, models and settings could be more similar yet, but IMO this isn't enough to get a clear winner. As I said, to evaluate the whole bike the only way is testing personally the bike (the best bike is not the best for others, is the best for you) because there are a lot of variables impossible to measure from paper. If not possible to test the bike, from kinematics, geometry and personal experiences (among others) you can get a knowledge to understand if a bike can satisfy your preferences.
  • + 16
 Yawn...
  • + 9
 Way too enduro for me to actually own, but a heck of a nice looking bike. Would love to give one a rip some day.
  • + 4
 I think Pinkbike may be overstating that this is the future of DH and enduro racing here. After all, a number of top WC riders switched back to 27.5 during the season and Sam Hill made his incredible year without the readily available Mega 290, not even using it at World Champs.
  • + 2
 We'll have to wait til next year to see what their fate in DH is.
  • + 4
 Think this bike is well deserving. I own one and it blows my mind every time I ride it no matter what it is, bike park or gravel double track. It just kills it all. Have yet to have not set a PR on it. Climb or descent. Everyone who hates on it must not know how it reslly rides. This thing can handle a downhill race on Saturday and take the podium, then Sunday csn go put an a$$ whooping on some XC bikes for as many laps as you csn pedal it. I’d know csuse I’ve done it. Well done Pinkbike for choosing a true trail weapon!
  • + 4
 "Everyone who hates on it must not know how it reslly rides."

I love opinions like this. I've spent time on one. It does some things well and some things badly. I would never, ever buy one.
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: ya I rode this back to back with a fuel ex 9.9...Guess wich one I bought? It's good but it doesn't do everything as well as the fuel!
  • - 2
 @bohns1: not quite sure why you made the comparison. They're opposite ends of the spectrum.

I wouldn't buy a trek full stop.
  • + 2
 “This thing can handle a downhill race on Saturday and take the podium, then Sunday csn go put an a$$ whooping on some XC bikes for as many laps as you csn pedal it.”

That’s where I’ve see this bike before! It’s the one Nino Schurter AND Aaron Gwin rode this year...
  • + 2
 I really hate it when bikes are described as weapons...like "they so bad, like Glock nine bad." It's a bike, not a weapon. Trails don't get slayed, they get ridden and usually over and over.
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: I made it because u said "does some things well and some badly"! The fuel, even tho not in the same class does more things well in regards to ur comment... Climbs, jumps, covers tons of ground and can even handle the odd bike park!

No one said u had to buy a trek dude!
  • + 1
 @bohns1: "not in the same class".

If you're looking for an enduro bike, then a fuel is going to do most things badly. If you're looking for a trail-ish XC bike, then the slash is going to do most things badly. It doesn't say anything about how good the bikes are.

"I drove a Ford focus back to back with an F150... Guess which one I bought? The focus commutes, carries groceries and road trips better, the F150 is good but doesn't do everything as well as the Focus".

All true statements but pointless if you're talking to someone that actually wants to pull a trailer.
  • + 2
 @AgrAde: B dude.. Take a read up on the enduro mag review of the fuel ex... It can handle enduro and does rather well... Guys run em with a 140-150 fork for such applications.. I've taken mine to Whistler bike park and then rode Mt Seymour and fromme on back to back days and it smashed! The newer fuels are not xc oriented although capable of doing so... Ya, obviously there is no such thing as a one quiver bike... But from what I've done, it comes damn close..
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: sorry about ur luck on the focus dude!
  • + 0
 @bohns1: I guess the concept of a metaphor goes over your head.

It's great that your riding is more suited to the fuel and that you don't need something more biased towards descending. It's also irrelevant when talking about whether the slash is good at what it's designed for.
  • + 2
 Metaphor what's that? Lol.. The metaphor you used was irrelevant within itself... U said in your initial comment that the slash does some things well and some things badly and that you'd never buy one.. Mine was a play off that in regards to the fuel wich maybe closer to doing a little more on the well side, seeing they are both treks..

Nothing irrelevant about my comment whatsoever as I've ridden both and own the fuel... Just trying to give some insight to other folk that are perhaps looking at the slash as an option..

In regards to downhill bias... The new Fuel can hang with the slash with a bumped up fork on the downs.. It is the near equivalent of last years remedy.. Hence the reason some pros were riding the fuels instead of the slash for certain races on the ews!
  • + 2
 @bohns1: Wish I could up vote this more. If all you plan on doing is 90% descending and 10% climbing. Plus you can't be in a hurry on the climbs the Slash is an awesome platform, speed going down is really what the bike is all about.
Now if you want a bike that can take on a casual Enduro race and still be comfortable pedaling up and down what ever you please. The Fuel EX is sooo good especially bumped up to 140mm fork. I say this because I own one, I race Enduro, and I'm a stickler on performance. For me I didn't want two bikes, I wanted one that I could get comfortable with and use it for pretty much anything. The EX has yet to let me down, and that's no dig at the Slash or other brands out there; it's just been one hell of a bike.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: Amen bud! I'm loving mine... I have the 2016 9.9 bought as frame and built it the way I want.. Not quit as slack as the 17-18s but with a 130 pike upfront she does nearly everything I need... Climbs like a goat at sub 28lb. Playful, nimble and fly's on the downs if u open it up.. The fuel handled top of the world in Whistler easily.. even tho the slash in that application would dominate, the fuel does an excellent job for a one quiver bike!

I'm in the same boat man.. One bike that comes pretty damn close to doing it all except for perhaps extreme downhill/freeride applications...
  • + 3
 I can say after one season, that this bike feels like cheating. It works better and better the faster you go. Few mishits on complete bikes componentry, but frame, suspension and overall dimensions are just right!
  • + 1
 The bikes with NAILD REAct3 suspension didn’t win the Bike of the Year award? But they claimed to be innovative! This Bike of the year, same suspension design over a decade, nothing new. Just refreshed with updated standards won, what? How’s that possible?
  • + 1
 The suspension is different.
  • + 3
 This is one of those bikes that is not even on my radar...I guess it is just too enduro for me and my trails for me to give it a look. I love my Hightower though.
  • + 0
 Maybe I'm just in another world of riding, but who picks a DH rig for their ride? Other than bike park use they seem a bit too focused.
  • + 2
 Seems like this should have been called "2017 Pinkbike Awards: Enduro Bike of the Year Winner"...

I'll stick with my Hightower LT, thank you very much, and have fun anywhere.
  • + 0
 I have a Slash. With the fork lowered to 130mm, the BB drops to around 332mm and HT steepens to 66.5. It literally feels just like a Standard Hightower. Essentially, you get a Hightower and a Hightower ELT (even longer travel) all in one. My 17.5" model weighs 29.1 lbs with pedals and 2.5/2.3 DHF/DHR EXO tires
  • + 0
 Wow, down-voted for expressing an opinion that's more or less in line with the gist of the article? I'll never understand commenters here.
  • + 1
 @mikeyin19: The LT has the same rear travel numbers as the Slash. The fork comes with 150mm of travel and can be increased if desired. As far as weight goes, my large was 29 lbs without pedals. I really can't be bothered to find out what it is now. I set my bike up how I like it; weight is a secondary concern.

As nice a bike as I'm sure the Slash is, it just doesn't appeal to me. A bullet-proof frame, threaded BB, lifetime bearing warranty, and a great all around performer is what I wanted, and exactly what I got, right out of the box.
  • + 3
 @abercrave: Don't forget, no knockblock thingy with a Hightower.
  • + 2
 @latte1973: Ohh, right! :-D
  • + 3
 I actually really like the Hightower LT. It was definitely on my short list and equally as Beautiful in my eyes. I actually upvoted you LOL. I would have been just as happy on either bike to be honest. I ended up with the Slash because I got a great deal on the frame. Knock Block is weird I agree!!
  • + 3
 Uh, the Hightower LT is an enduro bike.
  • + 2
 The carbon SC bikes are pretty much future proofed, you should be good for life unless your a dentist and always want the new stuff!
  • + 1
 @drivereight: what if im a refinery operator that makes a little less than my dentist friend and i dont have $200k in student loans...well, i get new stuff more often!
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: that's a unionized job that pays a lot and don't ever get fired, no student loan? You are middle class, you are good to go!
  • + 2
 @drivereight: middle class, lol according to the progressives im way above middle class(not after taxes!)...dang overtime.
Especially if i marry gf whom is a nurse...now we'd be considered rich.
Btw, i dont buy into the marxist class system but ill.play along.
  • + 1
 Consider the median income in this country and you'll likely find that you are probably in the top 10-20% of income earners. Any one of us on here is pretty damn fortunate to be discussing which CF superbike is our favorite.
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: If you got a nurse for a GF, put a ring on it ASAP! And she’s aspiring to be a doctor, your are very lucky! Good luck!
  • + 1
 @mikeyin19: I just think the slash looks cooler than the Hightower.. Cool idea with a 130mm fork
  • + 1
 @drivereight: I'm a mechanic and always want the new stuff! Well, atleast every two/three seasons anyways!
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: Haha well said! I'm an HET diesel tech no loans.. Relatively young and still get the new stuff! Life's good!
  • + 5
 Selling some Bitcoin and buying one. Now.
  • + 2
 Iv got one and I'm yet to find it's limits & I ride it on some bad ass natural Welsh trails built by the best.
And when Iv riden it on tame trails it's still blisteringly fast.
Best bike Iv ever ridden.
  • + 4
 I would have said Transition Patrol again!! Also because I have a frame on sale ahaha anyone?
  • + 1
 I'm sure this bike rides awesome. I just, really, really have trouble getting behind something that costs SO MUCH as the "best" mountain bike out there. I'm sure value isn't a criteria for PB, but it is for almost all of the mountain bike community. We don't have the luxury of the greatest bikes being sent to our doorsteps free of charge. So I think it should be considered.

I mean honestly, how much of the mountain bike community can really afford these? It's an honest question. Maybe I'm underestimating how much people are willing to spend on bikes. I know none of my friends can drop that kind of cash. I'm an engineer, and I have been for several years now, so I'm pretty well off- and I could never justify this purchase, no matter how much I love mountain biking. Maybe I'm just old and crotchety at this point... but it just feels like the $5,500 (of course, before any taxes you have to pay) is an answer to "how much is too much".

Again, maybe I'm the one who's out to lunch here. Or, maybe the bike industry is, and PB is along for the (very supple, well supported through the mid-stroke, great geometry, confidence inspiring, chunder eating) ride.
  • + 4
 This bike would've been much better if the stock rear tire PSI was 22, not 24, PSI.
  • + 5
 But can it play "November rain"?
  • + 10
 It can only play chocolate rain
  • + 1
 @poozank: the original or the Chad Vader cover? youtu.be/P6dUCOS1bM0
  • + 5
 if they would slash the price, i might be able to session that thing.
  • + 1
 Sure, they ride nice. But $6K for a Rockshox Yari and Sram NX...... Seriously. Not to mention a lot of their frames break. Trek is successfully making some of the best riding bikes on the market. But all the other things, like value, longevity, and warranty service have been ignored or sacrificed. I fall in love with the idea of owning a slash often, but then I remember that I work too hard for my money to spend it on a bicycle that is going to leave me hanging midsummer. Take a look at how much value a used Trek Slash 9.9 looses as a second hand bicycle when compared to a similarly priced Santa Cruz Nomad CC. Evidence that supports the general view, of many riders, that Trek bikes perform well, but only in the short term.
  • + 1
 I don't know man.. I had a blur ltc and still lost a fair amount on it when I sold it 3 seasons in here on pb... The longer you keep the bike the less people want it... I buy bikes now that I like regardless of resale.. On the fuel ex now and it rides impeccably well... I just accept the resale losses at this point.. Keep my parts and sell the frame.. Buy new frame, build, repeat!
  • + 4
 Nice. Almost ordered one of those but went with a Remedy. Should be in next week.
  • + 1
 Remedy is a sweet choice! you'll love it! which one did you get?
  • + 1
 @treekilla: frame only. Doing a full custom build.
  • + 1
 @onemanarmy: sickness brother!!!
  • + 1
 So let me get this straight, the best innovation award goes to R3ACT suspension because it's apparently game changing and no other suspension platform is close then for bike of the year you pick a Trek Slash that's has the same suspension platform Trek have sided forever?
Gee I wonder who paid the most in advertising in pinkbike this year.....
  • + 5
 hey, that's not an Evil Wreckoning!
  • + 4
 Congrats to Trek, rode for 20 years... 'Yet i' feel there may be better...
  • + 0
 I have a Trek Slash 27.5 aluminium 2015 and I love it with one little but increasingly worrying and annoying exception: the freaking press-fit bottom bracket. It started to squeak and make noises and I f*king hate that. With a normal tread bottom bracket, it could be the perfect bike...it really could be...but it is not.
  • + 2
 Hopefully they go direct sales model some time and I may be tempted to buy a Trek.
  • + 1
 I thought Trek went direct sales already.
  • + 4
 @rmerrill: may as well be, no shop can get stock.
  • + 2
 @rmerrill: They do that funky hybrid thing, where you can order one for full MSRP online and have it sent to a local Trek retailer for assembly.
  • + 1
 Is this F'n fake news? How could you not even consider DEVINCI? The DJANGO is a nonstop StokeBoner! And the SPARTAN, don't even get me started on that ones StokeBoner!
  • + 2
 This is a beautiful bike but I'd feel pretty silly riding it on my midwestern trails.
  • + 1
 Loved my remedy, but I got tired of the proprietary components... They did away with drcv, adopted the knockblock headset. Great. To each their own I suppose
  • + 2
 Not so happy with the price,but Trek Slash is a good material for a wet dream !
  • + 1
 Renting this bike turned me on to the geometry and the 29" wheel size. I bought a YT 29 CF1 as a result and couldn't be happier. Thanks Trek !
  • - 2
 So what... An over priced bike with stupid expensive carbon everything. If this was an ali bike with normal components it would weigh like a tank. The joys of Boost and bigger wheels make losers out of riders at lower price points. Meh!
  • + 3
 Of course
  • + 3
 yuck
  • + 2
 Pinkbike drinks the Trek Koolaid too
  • - 2
 I later tried a newer model of a Mondraker Foxy in carbon from 2018. Danny Harts custom model in fact, and it was even more amazing. I have no idea why this shitty Trek got this award. Its rear suspension is a poor man's version of a Mondraker Foxy. Even Norco makes a better rear suspension geometry than this. I mean come on!
  • + 1
 I have a Trek remedy and looking forword to upgrade with tis (not this spec), this article made me decie
  • - 1
 @mikekazimer: Is there something going on with PB & Evil, if not, can you please just come out and say it:

'We, at PB, have nothing against the people at Evil Bike Co., or their products'.
  • + 3
 boring, so boring
  • + 3
 Figures...
  • + 3
 Lots of figures
  • - 2
 OMG! I will have to repeat myself because I can't find my previous comment anywhere. It must have been deleted. H compared this bike to a Mondraker Foxy 2011 and it was so shitty! A friend of mine bought it
  • + 1
 What new "standards" is this bike running?
  • + 0
 Not impressed, I've ridden it and yes it is fast in a straight line but it's about a fun a bike as a deflated balloon.
  • + 2
 That's cause you don't enjoy speed probably. I find that thrilling, more than a shaky, unstable oh sorry! on Pinkbike one says "flickacke and fun"! Yes I'm teasing you a bit Wink
  • + 5
 @EnduroManiac:
I've ridden other bikes that are as good at speed and way more fun in the corners. You can have your cake and eat it too, whereas the trek is very much a one-trick pony IMO.
  • + 1
 @AgrAde: why thank you sir, my thoughts exactly
  • + 2
 Looks like a bicycle.
  • + 1
 Got one. Love mine. Thanks Trek.
  • + 1
 Try and buy Mine comes at end of january
  • + 1
 Big brand, big money, big bullshit.
  • + 2
 alloy nomad.....
  • + 1
 "The Yankers win it again!...ZZZzzzzzZZZxxxxZZZZZzzzz"
  • + 1
 wow it looks like a session.. oh someone beat me to it
  • + 2
 Shut the front door
  • + 0
 So Bike of the year is an Enduro bike that just made 3rd in the womens ? The best Slash in the mens was 20th !
  • + 3
 Rider's win, bikes just get them there.
  • - 3
 Meh. The E29 is every bit as capable and has propriety stuff that's actually useful like the in-frame storage and the rest of the SWAT system. It also doesn't a crazy seat tube interruption that doesn't cause issues with dropper posts. Plus Trek can suck it because my warranty experience with them was horrible and Spesh kills in that dept.
  • + 10
 None of that relates to how it rides
  • + 0
 @russthedog: Which is really... meh.
  • + 2
 Jekyll rules all
  • + 1
 I wonder if the profit margin is greater for a 29er vs 27.5-26
  • + 2
 Snore...
  • + 1
 What a surprise
  • + 0
 How much does it cost to be bike of the year?
  • + 1
 Whaaat ???
  • + 0
 LAME SAUCE...... DONT WANT TO BE NEGATIVE NELLY BUT LAME SAUCE
  • + 1
 coolio
  • + 1
 Big dumb wheels ????
  • + 0
 *insert standard dismal comment*
  • + 1
 But it has a slack STA
  • + 1
 Me gusta
  • + 1
 Looks like a Slash...
  • + 0
 Can't buy a Lance Armstrong brand no way.... Too soon?
  • + 1
 Yeahhhh
  • + 1
 Knew it.
  • + 1
 Zerode... done.
  • + 5
 Get my long-term test bike this weekend.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: I am definitely looking forward to seeing this.
  • + 1
 "Fake News"
  • + 0
 Sweetness. I love it.
  • + 0
 Pedal bikes are nice.
  • + 0
 This is a boring pick...
  • - 1
 Does trek own pinkbike or something? Great bike but cmonnnn!!!!
  • - 3
 A friend of mine bought it and it was the most boring experience of my life.
  • + 2
 You must not like speed.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: maybe he likes speed in changing directions, and you clearly really like trek
  • + 2
 @Jackson900: The slash changes direction pretty fast IMO. And doesn't look like it would be the most boring experience either...

youtu.be/J2jlaOEQzTU
  • + 2
 ...for you? Or for your friend? It would be "boring" to watch a friend buy and ride a nicer bike than my own, I guess.
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