The Slash now has 160mm of travel, a 170mm fork, and it received the usual longer, lower, and slacker treatment for 2021. As an added bonus it received a new in-frame storage system, which provides enough room to hold a tube, tire lever, and CO2, or whatever snacks you can squish into a rectangular opening.
Other changes include a threaded bottom bracket, and a new KnockBlock system that still keeps the handlebar or brake levers from contacting the frame during a crash, but allows for a much greater range of motion than before. It's also removable, eliminating any need to complain about what was once a polarizing feature.
In the low geometry setting, the Slash's head angle measures 64.1°, which can be increased to 64.6° via flip chips in the seatstays. Reach numbers have increased by 20-30mm per size compared to the previous version, and a size large checks in at 486mm. Chainstay length remains the same for all sizes at 437mm in the low position. The seat tube angle has been steepened to 75.6°, although that's still a degree or two slacker than many of the other new options in this category.
There are 7 builds available of the Slash, with prices starting at $3,500 USD for the alloy Slash 7 model up to an $8,499 for the carbon 9.9 XTR version. Want to get even fancier? With Trek's Project One program riders can choose from a massive variety of frame colors, and and customize the parts kit. A frame only option is also available for $2,200 USD for the alloy frame, and $4,000 for the carbon. Slash 7 - $3,500 USD
Slash 8 - $4,000 USD
The base model aluminum Slash 7 receives a RockShox Yari RC fork, a RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock, and an NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain.
This model, along with the Slash 8 and 9.7, has Bontrager's XR5 and XR4 tires, while the upper level models get the SE5 and SE4 versions, which have a thicker, more puncture-resistant casing.
Slash 9.7 - $4,800 USD
The aluminum Slash 8 has a workhorse built kit, with a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, a RockShox Lyrik fork, and the same SuperDeluxe Ultimate shock that's found on the most expensive carbon Slash models. SRAM's Code R brakes handle stopping duties, a significant upgrade over the Slash 7's Guide T's. The Slash 7, 8, and 9.7 all use Bontrager's aluminum-rimmed Line Comp 30 wheels.
Slash 9.8 XT - $6,000 USD
When decimals start appearing in Trek's model numbers it's a sign that you've moved up into the carbon-framed segment. The $4,800 carbon 9.7 gets a Fox Rhythm 36 fork, a DPX2 shock, and a SRAM NX / GX drivetrain. The cassette is NX, which means it doesn't use an XD drive body - something to keep in mind if you decide to upgrade to a lighter cassette in the future.
Otherwise, the remainder of the components are the same as the Slash 8, including the Code R Brakes and TransX dropper post.
Slash 9.8 GX - $6,000 USD
The new RockShox Zeb
fork first appears at the 9.8 level, complemented by the Thru Shaft Super Deluxe Ultimate shock. As the model name suggests, there's a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain, with SLX 4-piston brakes in place to slow things down.
It's not just the frame the turns to carbon at this pricepoint - you also get Bontrager's Line Elite 30 carbon wheels, and their Line Pro carbon handlebar.
Slash 9.9 X01 - $8,000 USD
The 9.8 GX version of the Slash is identical to the 9.8 XT with the exception of the drivetrain and brakes. There's a SRAM GX 12-speed drivetrain, and SRAM's Code R brakes.
Slash 9.9 XTR - $8,500 USD
There's no shorage of high-end parts on the Slash 9.9. For $8,000 you get a RockShox Zeb Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate Thru Shaft shock, along with an X01 Eagle derailleur and shifter, GX 10-52 cassette, and carbon cranks. There are also carbon wheels, a carbon bar, and SRAM Code RSC brakes.
Unless you take the Project One route, the Slash 9.9 XTR is the most expensive model, equipped with a Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, and e*thirteen LG1 carbon cranks. Just like on the 9.9 X01 model, there's a RockShox Zeb Ultimate fork and a Super Deluxe Ultimate thru shaft shock.