Justin Leov's EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua

Mar 25, 2015
by Mike Levy  
 
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Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua


Justin Leov's Remedy 29er Race Bike

Justin Leov's move from World Cup downhill racing to contesting the Enduro World Series has resulted in a steady rise up the finishing order, and he's clearly working hard towards consistently standing on the box at the end of each event in 2015. And, just as in 2014, he'll likely be one of the few top racers aboard a 29er for the majority of the season, choosing the 140mm Remedy big-wheeler as his main steed over the 27.5'' version of the bike with the same travel, or even the longer legged Slash. While much of his competition chooses to race aboard bikes with 20mm more travel than the Remedy, Leov seems to far prefer how the firmer feeling bike handles, which isn't hurt by the larger diameter wheels. But has he swore off 27.5''? Not so fast.

''I definitely haven't ruled out the 650B bikes. I mean, I just know the 29er works for me and I feel comfortable on it. At the end of the day, as long as I'm comfortable, I just choose whichever gives me that feeling,'' he said when questioned on why he prefers the larger wheels. It's also not exactly a secret that a 29er just seems to feel more forgiving than a bike built around 26'' or 27.5'' wheels, and Leov says that this is a real plus: '' I think that one of the advantages of riding the 29er is that you have a little bit more of a traction patch, or at least that's what it feels like to me.'' For the record, both versions of the Remedy share the same head angle (67.5 / 68.2 °) and have a bottom bracket height of within a few millimeters of each other, but the 29er sports a 10mm longer rear end and a longer overall wheelbase.

FOX Suspension

It always seems like so much suspension development dollars go towards long-travel bikes, but I've always said that the less travel a bike has, the better that travel must be. Companies putting their weight behind EWS teams is likely leading towards some pretty mind blowing mid-travel bikes that will answer my wishes, and it sounds like Leov thinks that his Remedy is already well on the way there, especially if you note what looks to be a production version of FOX's new air can on his bike's Float X CTD rather than the stock RE:aktiv shock: ''We had some runs on it back in Colorado [during the Winter Park EWS in 2014] but not for our current bikes, so it's obviously different when you try it on something else,'' explained Leov when questioned about how familiar he is with the shock. However, he does sound happy with its performance so far: ''The biggest thing for me now is that it's getting close to what downhill bikes feel like, especially over the rough and rooty sections where you get going quite fast. That's confidence, and it's pretty cool to have.''
Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua
Justin's FOX Float X CTD has been fitted with the company's new air can.

Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua
The Di2 display unit is tucked behind his handlebar.
Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua
The Di2 derailleur moves the chain over a standard 11 - 40 tooth cassette.

Shimano XTR Di2 Drivetrain

I suspect that we'll be seeing a lot of Shimano's athletes on their Di2 drivetrain, and I'm not just talking about the lycra crowd. Leov's EWS race bike is set up with the electronic group, complete with the production 11 - 40 tooth cassette instead of the long rumored wider range spread that has yet to make appearance. He's decided not to use the front derailleur (which can be programmed to be shifted automatically and as needed without the need for a shifter), which isn't that big of a surprise, going instead with a 32 tooth narrow wide chain ring from Wolf Tooth rather than Shimano's own just released single 'ring. Justin has spent comparatively little time on Di2, but he doesn't seem phased by jumping right on it in a race setting: ''I've only just got on it in the week leading up to the EWS. So, for me it's pretty much brand new. I've had it before for over a year on my road bike, so I know the basics of how it feels on that, and I'd say that I've always been a fan. First impressions are that it's really good, and something that I'd definitely prefer to race on if I have the option.'' A minimalist upper guide from MRP acts a near weightless piece of insurance, and there's a burly taco-style guard mounted underneath, which is something that can come in handy every now and then.

Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua
The large majority of EWS racers employ some sort of chain guide when they race, including Leov.
Justin Leov s EWS Remedy 29er - Crankworx Rotorua
Bontrager's G5 rubber, set up tubeless, is an all around choice for the New Zealand course.
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98 Comments

  • + 142
 dear bike manufacturers - stop making 29'ers look this good, its making it really really hard for me to hate them for no good reason (other than I can't afford one).
  • + 43
 These Trek racing bikes painted all red are just sooooo hot.
  • + 14
 Trek has some of the best paint. ..their blue is insane, silver n black (dah), ferrari red,...
  • + 19
 this bike looks sick, makes me want to buy buy buy

but thank God I watched this video
nsmb.com/hey-neighbour-seb-kemp
  • + 1
 Awesome bike really. Wanna buy even though I just watched the video... Wink
  • - 2
 Great video. Great perspective. Still don't want a 29'er to race Enduro with. But to each his own.
  • + 3
 This bike looks so damn clean, I wouldn't change a thing on it.
  • + 1
 It's refreshing to see a nice bike that doesn't have a sticker kit to color coordinate all the components.
  • + 1
 Great video! Makes you think.
  • + 24
 xtr cranks without those ugly covers are looking alright
  • + 8
 Maybe trek should do away with the proprietary rear shock mount so the pros don't need custom bushings and normal guys can swap out rest shocks without dealing with bushing issues.
  • + 2
 So does specialized.
  • + 2
 They do indeed. This is a pro with a modified shock mount on his sponsorship bike. Clearly people don't like the thing if even the sponsored riders swap them out.
  • + 3
 DRCV: doesn't ramp clapper valve
  • + 1
 DRCV forks sucked but the rear shocks are not that bad if you set them up properly.
  • + 1
 The older version of the DRCV sucked but they made a lot of improvement and the new ones 2014-2015 are freakin' awesome. I guess maybe for some enduro courses not be the best but that's why they have a different shock on the the Slash. For everyday trail riding for most of us I think the new DRCV shocks are perfect.
  • + 3
 My 2014 drcv shock bottomed so often off small drops and jumps that it broke the can. Fox warrantied it, but in my opinion they should have covered the cost of the push mod made specifically to fix how crappy they are. And yes I set it up right. Followed all the instructions. The options were too harsh on the top end or bottom out. Kind of like their 32mm forks. . . Fox makes mediocre rear shocks on which the valving fails in a matter of weeks. My dhx 5.0 air, both rp23s and now NY new drcv all had the propedal fail within a couple months of riding. I am just sad they come stock on so many bikes.
  • + 1
 When an aftermarket company has to make a special kit just to make your product work right maybe you should do a recall and fix it yourself. . .
Here is the story from PB about the tune kits: m.pinkbike.com/news/Push-Industries-Air-Volume-Tuning-Kit-for-FoxTrek-DRCV-Forks-and.html
  • + 1
 Its actually pretty easy to stick any shock in place of a DRCV shock, just use a longer aftermarket bolt & longer bushes, I did it several years ago on my old remedy
  • + 1
 It messes up your i2i a little, and you have to get long after market bushings besides, which may or may not be easy. I also question how it effects how laterally stiff the bike is since the racket link it's designed to join to the shock at a wide point.
  • + 2
 purely FYI I didnt notice any difference in stiffness.
  • + 1
 Good to know. I may have to upgrade at some point.
  • + 1
 @taletotell did you ever try a different i2i? Also, rumor has it, the carbon rear triangle on this bike has a different i2i then Trek's proprietary measurements to accommodate another shock - would like to hear your thoughts.
  • + 1
 If that is the case i would expect trek to ditch the drcv soon. If it holds back a racer who is going to want it? A tone of people already hate it. I Haven't had a problem since buying the push spacer, but I shouldn't have had to buy a special part just to make the bike work off the shelf, and I wouldn't say it feels as nice as a coil the way trek claims. I would rather buy the monarch debonair that RS released to accommodate the odd shock mounts, but then what would I do with this shock that doesn't fit anything?
  • + 9
 The finish on that trek frame looks amazing - as nice as Santa Cruz frames, dare I say it, if not even nicer...
  • + 4
 I love the prototype 2016 kickstand. I'm guessing it pivots at the rear axle and clips under the right chain stay when not in use. Genius! When will it be available and where can I get one?
  • + 3
 Oh, you mean the StickStand™? Its designed and manufactured in NZ, I'm the distributor. I can get you the 2016 model ahead of shop availability, for a very reasonable price? Very fast delivery too, it'll be delivered to your back yard minutes after payment clears.
  • + 7
 Those side knobs looks like a Minion.
  • + 3
 Bontrager have been making increasingly similar tyres to Maxxis. I noticed this especially when i got my Superfly, it came with the XR1 team issue tyres and have nearly the same tread pattern as the Ikon. The story goes that someone from high up in the Maxxis tyre making or design team or whatever flipped to Bontrager and gave away all the secrets to the rubber compounds etc and that is why they have been making grippier tyres.
  • + 1
 Actually the XR1 is closer to a Specialized renagade. I have both. The Ikon corners better but weighs more.
  • + 2
 god forbid the first mtn bike that used suspension was the only one allowed to use it for the similarity's sake. if one company has a winning design, and another tries to build upon it, good for them. its what makes US SHRED LIKE SLAYIN BEASTS!!!!!
  • + 5
 Exactly what the Doctor ordered as a Remedy.....
  • + 0
 Especially if you have a bad inTrektion...
  • + 1
 My thought about the 27.5 and 29 Remedy: given that, for two versions of the same model but with different wheel sizes (27.5 and 29 in this case), the bigger wheeleed version will have less suspension travel and a steeper head angle, right? But in the case of the Remedy, both 27.5 and 29 have the same travel and head angle. To me, this would mean that the Remedy 27.5 is more a "trail" bike, and the 29er more "enduro oriented". Am I right?

Anyway, this bike looks gorgeous!
  • + 2
 I would like to try the remedy 29er, and the slash too. I own the 650b version and can honestly say it descends really well and is very playful. I would think the 29er would descend faster with that wheelbase but play less. I would also think it would charge harder that a slash due to shorter travel.
  • + 3
 with the same geo except for a longer wheelbase & rear end, yes, the 29er will feel like a bigger bike. For instance a 29er with a 67 HA will feel similar to a 650b with a 66, & a 26 with a 65(well, not quite, but you get the idea.) The increased trail of a 29er compensates for a steeper HA.
  • + 1
 Exactly, Groghunter, that's what I thought Wink
  • + 1
 This whole 29ers are less playful thing is a myth, just PLAY WITH THE BIKE. 29ers don't feel like they've got more travel or have slacked angles just because they have larger wheels, they simply feel faster with a more stable contact patch, landing jumps or launching into rough sections on a shorter travel 29 still feels like it has exactly the amount of travel its labelled with. And anyone who says 'they don't corner well' simply can't corner a bike - hang off that sukka!
  • + 1
 I want to do a side by side of the remedies, but so far in my experience you are wrong. Shorter bike are less stake and there for more playful. Case in point: bmx vs dirt jumper.
  • + 2
 Depends on how you define fun and play I suppose, mine is the enjoyment of going flat out, the faster the better, letting you 'play' with the limits of traction at a higher speed and with a more stable breakaway point is what the 29er enables. I've never struggled with pop or pump on the 29 which is what I suppose you could also call the playful side of bikes, and that's coming off a 26" hardtail with a 66deg HA, the two feel just as poppy, all in the setup I suppose. What I'm saying is that it's the rider's approach that matters more than preconceptions about wheel size or chainstay length, you just have to adapt to the bike and what's fun to do on it, just my two cents.
  • + 1
 Sounds reasonable enough.
  • + 1
 I feel old. When did I miss the introduction of electronic drivetrain?... Does that mean, we are in the era of losing cables? (Bluetooth brakes from my childhood dreams not so impossible?)

The bike looks super good, I think, one of the most pleasing big wheelers I've seen.
  • + 30
 My childhood dreams aboard a bike were of front suspension!
  • + 2
 well, it's not like I was born straight onto a carbon Demo either. But once I got into biking, I was drawing bikes in all my worbooks at school, and some of them had all kinds of "wireless" stuff. Pretty awesome seeing it happen!
  • - 2
 You didn't really miss it, just came out like two weeks ago. These are some of the first bikes equipped with it. Probably nobody has seen one in person yet...... I haven't.
  • + 5
 Incorrect. it was announced last year. I rode a Pivot with it at least 3 months ago.
  • + 3
 Been seeing it in our shop too for a little bit
  • + 3
 Not a fan but, if you guys look closely the bike doesn't have the old, ugly chainstays, this ones look very clean!
  • + 1
 That chain stay is a carbon prototype. They haven't had it on any production bike yet because they haven't been able to dial it in the way they want it to be. It is still under testing but I hope they will be ready with it by the time 2016 bikes come out. I'm planning on getting that rear end ones it comes out. It just looks so good and will work and make the bike look better too. I've seen one of our local hot shot guy testing it too on his bike.
  • + 1
 I like how the chainstay's are not a production model stay, so will be seeing carbon chainstay for 2016 on the 29er? Its been reported that there have been some problems with the RE:aktiv shocks.
  • + 2
 The only issue I have heard of is them not functioning properly in really cold temps at which point Trek replaced them instantly.
  • + 1
 I've heard there are issues with the Re:aktiv circuit have a top end clunk/dead spot.
  • + 4
 This is gorgeous. Need I say more.
  • + 4
 And that folks, is THE cool 29er of the industry.
  • + 1
 What about the WFO? But bar that competition, yeah, blows other 29ers out the water for looks if nothing else.
  • + 2
 Not only for looks man... I had a chance to try the 2015 prototype version. This Remedy 29er is one hell of a ripper. It will rip through anything. Truly an awesome bike.... for looks and performance too....
  • + 0
 Can someone let Leov know that the tyre contact patch area is independent of tyre size. I think he's said this before in a previous article. Contact patch is proportional to rider weigh and tyre pressure only. It may well change shape, but it doesn't change size!
  • + 9
 @phutphutend so are trying to tell me that a 12" wheel has the same contact patch as a 29er?
  • + 7
 I think you may have this one wrong phutphutend. With all other factors equal, a larger wheel will always have a larger contact patch than a smaller wheel.
  • + 1
 Contact patch of a 29er is obviously bigger - and I'm no bike scientist, or math wizz.
  • + 9
 Yup, it just grows front to back, rather than side to side.
  • + 3
 Larger tires (width or diameter) increase traction by reducing deformation. Tire contact patch size is dependant on pressure and weight, altough its shape will change with dimensional differences.
  • + 4
 Actually, in a perfect world, I think he would be right. If the riders weight were the same and both tires had the same tire pressure, then theoretically they shouldn't they have the same contact patch. (rider's weight in lbs divided by tire pressure in psi should give you contact patch in square inches?) Its out of my realm and I'm pulling this theory out of my ass, but it makes sense...
  • + 1
 This is ridiculous.... of course the tire pressure and weight determine the contact patch of a given tire/wheel set up. So, assuming all other factors equal (tire circum, rider weight and psi) the larger the wheel the larger the contact area. It grows front to back not in width as Grog pointed out but it does in fact grow.
  • + 0
 Contact patch is only dictated by pressure and rider weight .... true, but a 29er means more tire volume, which means less pressure and more contact for a rider
  • + 0
 I was thinking on it and I suppose it's true that the actual contact patch in square inches is the same regardless of wheel size. However I'd still argue that because we are dealing with an off road tire on dirt and a wheel with decreased radius, in practical terms contact patch is longer and therefore traction improved.
  • + 1
 The fact that this discussion is still going on is ridiculous. Think about the extreme case where a wheel has the diameter of 100 miles. That contact patch will be soooo much longer than a wheel that is only 20"". It will have only a slight curve staying in contact with the ground longer so area of contact patch would be greater.
  • + 1
 The theory is that contact patch is a function of weight and psi, it's the deformed tire that contacts the ground not the wheel. If the wheel were solid and did not deform then it wouldn't be such a debatable topic. I think the bottom line is that when you are looking at a 26 vs a 29 the difference is negligible.
  • + 2
 I'm right, most of you are wrong...

Rider weight is reacted by tyre pressure x contact patch. Force = pressure x area. No where in that calculation is wheel diameter.

Rewriting the equation gives Area = Force / Pressure.

An 80kg rider plus bike = 800N (approximately),
with tyres at 0.2MPa (29psi),

needs a contact patch of 4000mm^2. Or 2000mm^2 per tyre.

So 20mm x 100mm maybe for a 26" tyre.

But perhaps slightly longer for a 29" tyre, say 17mm x 117mm.

For a 100 mile tyre, say 0.1mm x 20,000mm

But still the SAME area.

If grip is dependent on contact patch shape is another thing? Tyre knobbles may also confuse things.

Perhaps a longer patch is better for braking but less good for turning, that would make sense to me...
  • + 2
 It works on paper but because of the knobby tires and soft dirt I'm not convinced. I would also say that to the original point- him saying that the contact patch (shape as it were) is a benefit - could very well be true. Perceivable ? I don't know I'd have to ride two bikes back to back to have an opinion on that. At the end of the day- that sure is a nice looking bike Smile
  • + 2
 Agreed, I just have trouble with intuitive science. Just because it intuitively make sense, it does mean the science is correct. It looks like a Trek! But it's fast because it ridden by Leov. Like he says he feels comfortable on it and that is the most important thing. If you believe the contact patch is bigger and this gives you confidence to go faster. You may well go faster, even if in reality it makes bugger all difference. All good fun...
  • + 2
 Alright, well I think thats a good point on the force/area thing. But you aren't going to run the same tire pressure on a 29" as a 27.5" so I think the area would still get bigger.
  • + 1
 It's hard for americans to talk about math since we don't study that and also don't believe in evolution…THEYTOOKOURJOBS!!!!
  • + 1
 What did we evolve from?
  • + 1
 Pondweed I understand!
  • + 2
 The longer patch is what Leov is referring to, because there is more of the tyre's length in contact with the ground on a 29er, more side knobs in contact with the ground along that edge = more corner grip. It's instantly felt on-board a 29
  • + 1
 Generally speaking, a longer contact patch is not an efficient way to increase cornering traction. Slip angle is the angle between the wheel and the direction of travel- the longer the contact patch, the less angle can be mantained and the more torque is put into distorting the tire.
  • + 1
 looks like a Session!

nah nice looking bike for a 9er, new shock also sounds pretty interesting, Fox biggest bounce back for 2015 (c it, nah yeah)
  • + 1
 Boost 148? Rhythm Elite wheels compatible with it? Stock model has Roam 40 wheels with Boost 148. Maybe there's an ABP Convert for Boost 148 to make it 142?
  • + 3
 pretty remedy...
  • + 1
 It's been put a bit flat to make the wheels look smaller. Smaller by like 3 inches. That's why it looks sooo good!
  • + 2
 Bontrager is making the G5 in 29 now? Is that a DH casing or folding?
  • + 1
 I am seeing nothing of this on Trek's dealer site. 26 or 27.5 only.
  • + 2
 shimano 11-40 tooth production cassette? did I understand the right....?
  • + 5
 yup 11 speed
  • + 2
 Is that a new MRP AMg with a rubber insert on the upper guide?
  • + 1
 Where can I get this beautiful red colored remedy
  • + 1
 Looks beautiful. And no, not 'for a 29er'.
  • + 2
 Fork travel?
  • + 2
 The Remedy comes with 140mm front and rear.
  • + 1
 Yeah but some trek pros have removed a spacer and bumped for travel up to 150 or 160mm for enduro racing on a remedy. I bet leov's is set at 150-160mm.
  • + 1
 I bumped up my fork as well, to 150mm. It's actually not removing a spacer inside but changing out the spring. I've been riding the 150mm for a long time on my previous bikes and it just feels right at home for me. It slacked out the head angle a bit, which I also like, the bike is a bit more playful this way. Hopefully this year sometime I'll be able to afford the adjustable Pike 120-150mm and put that on it. I left the rear shock alone though... that's just awesome the way it is for trail riding that we do locally.
  • + 1
 Just put a 160mm air shaft in my pike on my remedy 29. Descends like a monster truck now, wants to wheelie climbing though.
  • + 1
 XTR9000 is really, really, and really ugly.
  • - 3
 29er's Twenty Niner's Twerty Neenah's Twerking Nonna's. Nonna's shouldn't twerk, must be a fad, it'll go away soon.
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