Trek chose Chatel, France, to launch their new bikes and I was lucky enough to be able to attend and deliver you the goods. In this first update you'll find information on the new 180 mm Fox 36 equipped 2011 Trek Scratch, including a video explaining the custom tuning that has been done to it's DHX RC4 shock.
2011 Trek Scratch 9
For 2011 Trek has split the Scratch line into two distinct categories, one being the air sprung Scratch Air and the other the burly coil sprung and freeride intended Scratch 8 and Scratch 9 models. The coil sprung versions have a different goal than their air sprung brethren: these are machines designed to spend all day in the bike park, spend all weekend shuttling, and session the biggest jumps. While the geometry differs from the Session DH race bike, the Scratch can handle the same terrain, impacts and speed. Fast riders who are looking for a smaller travel bike should take note.
The Scratch 9 and 8 are coil sprung and come fitted with chain guides - Park rats rejoice.
2011 Trek Scratch 9 details
Coil sprung front and rear
170 mm of rear wheel travel
Uses Trek's Active Braking Pivot
12 x 142 mm rear axle (convertible to 135 QR with supplied hardware)
Adjustable geometry allows for head angle and B.B. height variation
Custom tuned Fox DHX RC4 shock
180 mm Travel Fox 36 Van FIT RC2 fork
ISCG03 chain guide tabs
Two models: Scratch 9 (shown) and Scratch 8
Available as a frame only
Trek Employs their Full Floater system on the Scratch
Trek's entire lineup, including the Session, uses their Active Braking Pivot (ABP) to keep the suspension free moving under heaving braking. ABP actually pivots concentrically around the rear axle with the goal of lessening the amount of rotation between the rear axle and brake caliper. The less movement that there is, the more active the suspension under braking. This is especially important on the bike like the Scratch the will see a lot of time at higher speeds and on rougher terrain.
The Scratch comes stock with a 12 x 142 mm rear wheel, but standard 135 QR wheels can be made to fit using the supplied ABP Convert hardware. While the new and stiffer 12 x 142 mm axle size is gaining ground quickly, being able to easily use a standard quick release rear wheel if need arises is a big plus.
Just like you'll find on the Session and Remedy, a one piece Evo Link
The rear shock is a standard looking Fox DHX RC4, but inside Fox has done some custom tweaking to wring the most out of the damper. The result is a shock with a more controlled mid stroke. This is important because the mid stroke of a shock is where a bike will spend the majority of it's time.
Watch the video to let Jose Gonzales, Treks lead suspension engineer, explain the why and how of the Scratches custom rear shock tuning
The downtube is protected by Treks Aluminum Armor that can be retrofitted to older Scratch's as well
The geometry on the all Scratch models is adjustable via Trek's Minnow Link system. Simply flip the direction the the pivot hardware and you can alter the head angle by half a degree and the bottom bracket by 7 mm. Small adjustments for sure, but entirely useful to dial the bike in to your riding style. A nice touch that can go a long way in protecting the frame from accidental rock damage is Trek's add-on Aluminum Armor. This easily attached pad protects the downtube from flying rocks that may be kicked up by your front wheel. It's also worth noting that the Aluminum Armor is retrofitable onto older Scratch models as well.
2011 Trek Scratch Coil specs
Frame and Size
Trek Alpha Red Aluminum •E2 Headtube, EVO Link, ABP Convert, Full Floater •170 mm
Fox DHX RC4, Custom tuned •8.5" x 2.5"
Fox 36 Van FIT RC2 •E2 tapered steerer •180 mm travel
Cane Creek Frustrum SE Light Edition
Race Face Atlas
Race Face 36t
MRP G2 SL Mini
SRAM PG-970 11-34, 9 Speed
SRAM XO 9 speed
Bontrager Rhythm Pro
Avid Elixir CR
Bontrager Cousin Earl Elite Disc •20 mm thru-axle
Bontrager Cousin Earl Elite Disc •12 x 142 mm
Bontrager FR4 Team, 2.35"
Bontrager Ryhthm Elite •31.6 mm
Up front you'll find a burly tapered E2 headtube
Just as Trek has used in the past, the Scratch employs their tapered E2 headtube that focuses the strength where it's needed most, but keeps the weight low and allows the use of standard 1 1/8th stems. While there was resistance a few seasons ago to the new tapered standard, it makes so much sense that nearly all fork manufacturers are now offering models with taperer steerer options. The long travel Scratch uses Fox's exciting new 180 mm travel 36 Van FIT RC2 to handle anything that a rider can dish out.
Fox's new 180 mm travel 36 handles front suspension duties
2011 Trek Scratch 9
Stay tuned for more info on Trek's 2011 lineup, including the Scratch Air and carbon framed Remedy 9.9.
All photos by Sterling Lorence Visit the Trek website to see their entire lineup.